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Advice On Shoulder Rotation For Junior Skier

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Asking advice for my eleven year old daughter. She has been skiing for two years and has become very competent with the wedge. She handles blacks and bumps with confidence and surprising speed. I think you guys call it a "power wedge". In the off season she spent a lot of time on her ice skates practicing balancing and turning on one foot. She has taken that skill to the slopes and is converting her wedge into parallel turns this year.


She does a great job of making an early weight shift a and starts the turn without an obvious push off. Her shoulders do not lead the turn, but once in the turn she allows her shoulders to follow, so there is no separation. Is this something I should try to fix or should I let her keep developing her parallel turns? I don't want to overload her, especially with so many new skills. On the other hand I don't want to underestimate her ability to progress. I've tried to get her to focus on facing down the fall line but she seems resistant to the idea; too early for her?


For context, we are recreational skiers that get about twenty five days a year. I'm not a coach, so please be patient if my terminology is inaccurate.

post #2 of 8

I guess it depends on what you want. Do you want to enjoy the weekend with your daughter? If so, you're better off having fun with her and letting the instructor sort out her skiing.  


If anything, do some fun things with her like crab walks. Explore terrain features like berms and little quarter pipes. Challenge her to make a zillion short turns. But you're not an instructor and it's not a lesson. 

Edited by Metaphor_ - 12/11/13 at 8:05pm
post #3 of 8

I've always found that when parents try to teach kids past a certain age (about 10 or so) it often becomes very frustrating and upsetting for both individuals.

That being said, she should be leading the turn with the inside hip/shoulder. When turning left, everything on the left side of the body comes forward and leads the turn. When turning right, everything on the right side of the body leads the turn.

Try having her exaggerate these scenarios, inside ski, inside hip, and inside shoulder come forward.

Exaggerating this really seems to help with the kids around her age. Have her make some turns with the everything on the inside wayyy forward.

post #4 of 8

Dial the things back a notch or two. Try the ideas on a green or blue slope. Unwillingness of facing the fall line on a steep slope is natural if this is the case. As much as I like to spend my time on blacks, I always go back to mild groomed blue to do some drills or practice new ideas. 

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Is this something I even need to worry about at this stage? She is leading the turn with lower body, it's just that the shoulders tend to follow after. I have no desire to ruin our fun together by trying to teach her myself. I am a little reluctant to fix something that isn't broken and just wondered if this needs fixing or may naturally sort itself out with experience. We have talked about lessons but she is a little resistant to the idea.

post #6 of 8

There's no innate reason she would start coiling, or allow the legs to wind up under her body through the turn. That's a learned skill. ...but as you mentioned, you want to keep having fun together...


Maybe she'd be less resistant to a camp? (Lots of camps run over Christmas, and it's a chance for her to ski!) Or if she complains that a run she chooses to ski is too hard, it might be an opportunity to talk about how lessons can help people ski harder terrain, or enjoy it more. And if there's someone you know who she can't keep up with, that might be a motivator. 


I'm hesitant to even recommend an approach to teach her, since there are so many parent-child dynamics issues at work... 

post #7 of 8

The problem could be as simple as vision.  In skiing, you tend to go where you look.  The eyes are in the upper body and the skis attached to the lower body.  Pick out the path where you want the skis to go and the eyes and head will also follow the same line.


It may be difficult to get your daughter to change right away.  She Is probably picking the path for the skis with the clear intent of avoiding anything that looks the slightest bit questionable.  She probably does not fully trust her new found parallel mobility.   She is probably looking to close up.  You might encourage her to look up more or better yet. move to easier terrain and play some sort of game on snow that causes her to look and plan further ahead (change the intent)

post #8 of 8
A good practise for balanced shoulders is holding a ski pole horizontally (one hand on the top and the other hand at the tip) in front of you while skiing, then while turning you must keep the pole as flat as possible while looking downhill all the time. Just imagine you're balancing a glass of water on the pole or something.
When you get used to that you can hold your hands in front of you and keep them balanced.
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