or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Drills for faster turns

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Recently started slalom race training in a masters group. Finding it tough to get on and off edge quickly enough, especially through flushes. Any drills which will help?
post #2 of 18

Welcome to Epic Doc D!

 

Got any video of turns in a corridor about 2 cats wide?

 

The first traditional answer would be in home/gym hopping drills like the football players do: Start with both feet about 3-4 inches apart. Hop forward and diagonally about a foot for 4 hops, then backwards for 2. Do for 3 minutes, rest a minute and repeat 2 more times. 3 times a week, increasing hopping distance and hop speed as fitness improves. Caveat: do not start any fitness program without medical consultation.

The expensive solution is a skier's edge machine. The on hill version would be hop turns down a steep pitch, reducing pitch as fitness level improves.

 

The second traditional answer assumes that technique is more responsible for the problem than fitness. A funnel drill where you start with wide turns and gradually narrow down to short radius turns can help identify at what point you begin to have problems. A few people have successfully used this drill to gradually go from slow movements in larger radius turns to the same movements done faster in small radius turns. However most people have inefficiencies in their large radius turns that turn into skidding (and cheating) in shorter radius turns. In this case, a funnel drill will only help you identify the symptom (the bad turn caused by cheating) vs the cause (why you're not getting more turning performance out of the ski.

 

For some flushes, all you really need to do is just roll your feet from edge to edge. The railroad tracks drill can help with that. That is where you make turns only by rolling the ski from edge to edge and let turning happen only via the sidecut. As you increase speed and decrease radius the turning forces build and help identify stance and balance issues that prevent a clean carved pencil thin track from happening. For most flushes, there will be a need to move the center of mass laterally at least a little bit through the flush. This is where fatal flaws in short radius turns will cost you time and you'll get that sense of toughness to get on and off your edges. In this case, we'd need more information in order to give you specific drills to help the most.

 

Yet another avenue to explore is alignment and gear. Have you had your alignment checked? I doubt you are trying to take all mountain mid fat skis through flushes, but gear issues could also be contributing to your troubles.

post #3 of 18

    What The Rusty said Thumbs Up. Try and get some video at some point--it's difficult to say without seeing you ski but I can add that, especially in slalom, things happen very quickly as I'm sure you're just discovering. That being said, start thinking about your line choice and tactics. There just isn't much room in a typical slalom set for recovery so the best thing to do is make sure you don't have to recover. Often if someone is having problems getting off of their old edges and onto their new ones they will tend to get pushed low and late (for the next gate/turn) so think about starting your turns early (just after gate clear release your old outside ski by flexing that leg), this will in turn help you  finish them early and will keep you on a higher line so you won't have to scramble to catch back up. Start working on this from the very first gate.

 

  With flushes, the problem can be compounded if you are late coming into them because you go from a lot of offset  to very little so if you come in low and late and then try to straighten things up (straighter turns) the resulting acceleration will make it very difficult to make the next gate after the flush. So line choice is key here as well! 

 

  Also, watch LOTS of video of good racers doing it right and try to implant those images in your mind's eye...good luck!!! And welcome to Epic :)

 

  zenny 

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Super helpful! Thanks both of you, I will try and get some video next week. Suspect it is is more technique than fitness. Using 165cm slalom race skis, so it is me rather than the skis.
Line choice also definitely an issue. The snow wasn't the firmest and ended up having to ride in the ruts sometimes and most people had turned at rather than before the gates.
post #5 of 18
yes, soft snow can make it difficult for sure...especially if youre out of the start DFL--by then it can be a totally different course than you saw during inspection! thats why we like the hard stuff biggrin.gif


back to tactics. one additional thing i can add is that when you do find yourself low and late, rather than reaching across your body with your outside blocking arm to knock down the pole--a move that for some is instinctive, but one which can rotate your upper body and exacerbate lateness--ski it like a gs panel instead. by this i mean "duck under" the pole and let it pass above your inside shoulder/arm. this move will help you maintain a countered position and can help you get back on line.

zenny
post #6 of 18

Lead with your head! Level shoulders!

 

Ya gotta  drive forward,  no back seat driving allowed in slalom at all no time!  Upper body heading in direction of new turn before edge change. 

 

Sequence: Click gate, immediate pole plant to the outside and slightly forward, (non planting hand and shoulder must stay forward too). upper body facing new turn, edge change. 

 

Flushes, no changing hands on gate block, one hand all the way through. A good flush drill is skiing on one ski turning on that ski as liitle as possible. 

 

 

http://ussamasters.org/newsletters/2013/Masters_Newsletter-2013-01-Fall.pdf

 

 

 


Edited by Atomicman - 12/27/13 at 11:31am
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

Lead with your head! Level shoulders!

 

Ya gotta  drive forward,  no back seat driving allowed in slalom at all no time!  Upper body heading in direction of new turn before edge change. 

 

Sequence: Click gate, immediate pole plant to the outside and slightly forward, (non planting hand and shoulder must stay forward too). upper body facing new turn, edge change. 

 

flushes, non changing hands on gate block, one hand all the way through. 

 

 

 

Technique and tactics are the two critical components of skiing gates. While you can't ski gates at all without technique, you can't win without tactics. Assuming you're a strong skier outside of gates, it's most likely your tactics rather than technique that needs refinement. 

 

In atomicman's image, look how far ahead of the gate the skier's making the turn. That's a good, safe, and pretty fast line (depending on where the following gate is). If you're skiing one gate to the next as it sounds like your peers were doing, you're way too late. 

 

To make good use of tactics, you need fast eyes. One way to work on speeding up your eyes is to watch two gates ahead. If you're coming up to a red, focus on the following red. If you're coming up to a blue, focus on the following blue. Initially you can start by just looking at the reds, or just looking at the blues. 

 

 

...random stuff...

post #8 of 18

A-man, the photo sequence reminds me of what I was taught too many years ago.  Anchor a solid rod at the bottom of the hill, run it through your chest and keep your shoulders square to it no matter the direction you are skiing.  In the sequence the skier has shoulders square to the hill on every shot.  Second thing is the turn is started well before the gate and finished at or just past the gate, even back in the day.   Well described.

 

I'll add turn early, start transition just past gate....Get forward, stay ahead of the gates, Sit back, you get behind on the gates.

post #9 of 18
Another thing to possibly try to speed up your transitions is a retraction turn. As you finish a turn, you are going have a long leg and a short leg. Initiate the new turn by shortening the long leg. When you retract that leg, your CoM will come across your skis extremely fast, getting you from edge to edge very quickly. The more your ski is loaded at the end of the old turn, the faster your edges will change.
post #10 of 18

+1 to the funnels and hop turns..

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

+1 to the funnels and hop turns..

 

funnels?

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

funnels?


Pick a long, steeper blue run when there is little or no traffic.  Start at the top skiing super wide SGS turns then gradually shorten the traverse and turn shape to GS, then SL then shortswing as fast as you can possibly turn.  Then, open them back up once you reach your limit to how tight you can pull off linked turns.  It is like skiing in to a funnel wider at the top, then gradually narrow til you have reached your limit.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

Another thing to possibly try to speed up your transitions is a retraction turn. As you finish a turn, you are going have a long leg and a short leg. Initiate the new turn by shortening the long leg. When you retract that leg, your CoM will come across your skis extremely fast, getting you from edge to edge very quickly. The more your ski is loaded at the end of the old turn, the faster your edges will change.

The more level your shoulders are the better this works!

post #14 of 18

Play Ping Pong

 

How many times during the day do you react and move quickly? Probably not very often. Maybe that's part of the problem.   So play Ping Pong or a similar reaction based sport.

post #15 of 18
Being early at the gate refers to the line but starting your turn early or gettig on your edges early is a totally different thing. This is what pro skiers do. Nailing that upside down position as early as possible. To do this in SL you need to master the retraction transition and learn how to vary your carved turn radius by how much you project your upper body into the turn. Being early or late is of less importance. When you practise you should be aiming for proper technique. Once you master the turn multiply it. Repeat it at every gate. A good way of pulling yourself out of the beginners zone is to try to hit the gate with your skis in the fall line. If you are playing it safe by being early then you end up reaching for the gate with your blocking arm causing hip and upper body rotation causing skidding. SL is difficult because it is all or nothing. Good coaches set courses where you can repeat successful turns.

To be quick in a flush you need to be relaxed and quick with your knees. Set a strait line of stubbies on a very flat slope. Tighten the distance as you get better.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drdan View Post

Recently started slalom race training in a masters group. Finding it tough to get on and off edge quickly enough, especially through flushes. Any drills which will help?

 

Great advice in this thread.  Here's a drill to target rapid edge change through flushes.

 

On an almost flat run, ski straight down the fall line with your hands touching behind your back (you can drag your poles).

Keep ankles closed (dorsiflexed) so shins are against tongues (these two encourage you to get forward).  

Lock your eyes on a target way ahead; ski to it simply tipping ankles left, then right.  Tipping starts with the ankles.

 

Goal is to leave pencil-thin tracks in the snow as you ski a very narrow line that's straight down the hill.  

No turning the skis allowed, just tip them ankles first.  

Check tracks.  If they are not pencil-thin, you're turning the skis manually.  Must purge the rotary totally.

 

Second step, move hands forward into normal position.  Maintain the forwardness you experienced with hands behind back.  

Flick poles with wrists as fast as you can, and match that rhythm with your tipping.  This will get you tipping fast

 

Note:  keep your inside shin (with ski on its LTE) under your inside hip; do not allow it to move out to the side.  

This will lessen the amount of mass that's needing to be moved laterally; you'll move down through the flush faster.

I think of this as "maintain a narrow profile," as if you are trying to squeeze through a narrow space.     

post #17 of 18

If you're looking for drills to help your skiing technique, then USSA has a good series of videos.  They have a Skills Quest program that teaches athletes to progress their skiing technique from basic to advanced.  If it's good enough for Ted Ligety and Michaela Shiffrin, then it's worth looking at.  At the very least it'll show you some great demos of very beneficial drills that carry over directly to racing.  

 

Here's the link:  http://www.dartfish.tv/Presenter.aspx?CR=p1490c81240

 

Good luck and have fun!

 

T. - wasatchreport.com

post #18 of 18

Another thing to note is that in such conditions its pretty much worthless to practice technique.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching