or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Beginner MA request

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Some of you may remember my thread about friend want to learn to ski, and I ended up teaching her myself. Anyway this is her 4th time out, and I managed to get some video.

At the moment I want to get her stay forward, and extend her hands out. After the video I showed her pole plant, which seems to help a bit.

So what do you see lacking in the video, and what should I teach/correct next? Keep in mind this isn't a formal teaching/learning relationship, so I won't make her do too many repetitive drills.


Edited by jzmtl - 2/2/14 at 8:43pm
post #2 of 25

Nice first turns.

 

Your friend is turning pretty evenly right and left.  Her skis are moving together, mostly.  There's a lot to learn, but she looks like she's doing a great job of making her first turns. 


I'd take the poles away and work on hands/arms without them.  The pole plant is not necessary with novice turns of this sort, and they confuse the body.  The key is to keep the elbows in front of the jacket side-seams.  Those poles can go back in the hands when she figures out she can move her arms independently of her legs, when she's truly ready to make pole plants without gumming up the rest of her body's movements. 

 

Second, she needs to know she can move from one foot to another without falling over.  Have her add onto her nice turns some shuffling (sliding both feet back and forth, one forward & the other back).  Then have her try adding some stepping to those same turns (march!).  The point is to loosen her up so she feels confident with doing one thing with her left foot while doing something else with her right, while sliding and turning.  You can have lots of fun doing these antics; you can also have her clap in front of her body and clap behind her body as she turns, same goal.  All this helps with refining her balance so that she's more able to move into and out of counter, and flex one leg while straightening the other (hold off on these things until later - getting balanced while in motion comes first).  Can you get her to flap her wings while she skis?  Pat her head and rub her tummy?  (Well, not really, but can you do it while she's working on these other things?  She can think up some absurd balance challenges for you to try while she's struggling with your ideas for her.)

 

Stance is of course always an issue.  She does need to become aware of where her balance is, and she's definitely back.  This is normal.  Not only most beginners but most intermediates are aft, so it takes some real work to get out of the back seat.  Get her to bounce into her boot cuffs, shin-tongue wise while standing static.  Then bounce into the fronts of the cuffs while sliding and turning (another balance antic).  Then move to maintaining that shin-tongue contact while not bouncing.  The general idea is for her shins to come up out of her boots not at 90 degrees but tilted forward, not only while bouncing but all the time.  On the chair you and she can identify skiers who are doing this and those who are not.  Focus on the tilt of the shin.  Maintaining this angle takes some getting used to as you know.  


The next thing related to not being aft is for her to feel where her hips are; way back behind the bindings, slightly behind the bindings, over the heel piece, or over her arches, or over her toe pieces, or even in front of them.  Encourage her to try all those while sliding and turning, so she knows she can ski waaay fore and waaay aft without falling over.  When she can keep her balance while moving way forward to way aft, have her try to match her spine angle to her shin angle (both tilted forward).  She'll need you to confirm that spine-tilt angle, as it's very hard to feel.  She can confirm your shin/spine angles too.    

 

Work on moving the hips up and down while keeping the shin and spine tilted the same as each other.  Moving the hips up while not changing the shin/spine tilt angles is hard to do and needs training.  You've got it when you head goes forward and up as you raise your hips; it's not working if you head goes straight up and your spine tilt disappears so that it's 90 degrees to the skis.  Doing this right will allow her to feel the tilt of her thighs as it changes.  That tilt angle gets more upright as the hips go up, and more horizontal as the hips go down.  One of those movements moves the skier more aft; the other moves the skier more forward.  When she can do this without straightening up the spine's tilt, she can feel her balance moving fore and aft.  That fore/aft will be hers to manipulate as she sees fit.  Success!  Don't expect this to happen in a week, by the way.   

Best of luck and have fun! 


Edited by LiquidFeet - 2/3/14 at 6:53pm
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
wow, thanks, you just listed enough progression for her to do for at least a season. I'll try to implement them next time.
post #4 of 25
Some quick things you can try next time, to start building some skill and awareness.

1. Hands on knees. Keep them there the entire run.

2. Drag the poles. Hold the poles from under the grips and drag their tips firmly in the snow... Insist she gets there by lowering the hips not just by bending forward. Trying to get her to touch her boots in transition is probably too much at this point, but she needs to develop some range of motion... Yes, like biking, skiing requires some effort wink.gif

3. Picture frame: hold poles half way up at eye level and frame some object down the slope. Then keep that object there while the skis are turning. I have seen that work to develop separation skills in this stage.

Simply explain that a good range of motion will be much safer as she can absorb bumps and re-balance much easier than if she is tall/not moving. We have this mantra of "stability with mobility".

Get video every time and simply show her. Then watch her face as she sees herself smile.gif

Good luck.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks, the other two are probably a bit early, but the hands on knees should be no problem, will do it next time.
post #6 of 25

What kind of progression did you use for teaching her to ski?

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Started with basic stance and snowplow straight down, then a bit weighting outside ski, then pivoting (by making hourglass shape in snow with boots without moving upper body, the one from lemaster book). Fore/aft balance, hand position, and stop looking at ski tips are mixed in.
post #8 of 25

For looking at ski tips:  

How many green helmets can you find?  

I spy something orange....  

How many red jackets can you count?

 

Keeping it fun, you give her a question, then she gives you one.

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

Started with basic stance and snowplow straight down, then a bit weighting outside ski, then pivoting (by making hourglass shape in snow with boots without moving upper body, the one from lemaster book). Fore/aft balance, hand position, and stop looking at ski tips are mixed in.

 

Thank's for the info. You did a pretty good job and the progression is ok. However, I cannot detect that much outside ski pressure in the video. She is pretty much turning due to rotation of her hips and upper body on very flat edged skis. I would have liked to see much more turn shaping. More outside ski pressure and more functional edge angles. I would put more focus on keeping her hip into the turn, angulation. To aid her down such track you have to introduce some movement in the vertical plane. I have all my students ski without ski poles in the beginning. That's part of the reason she holds her poles like that.

post #10 of 25

She looks like she is having fun, job #1 is done. As others said ditch the poles for now, they also look too long and that will cause her to be pushed into the "backseat" with a too upright stance . On any flat traverse or slight climbing /walking area with snow work on skating . She needs to get the ankle joint functioning and this is one exercise that anyone can do in areas where they would otherwise go straight, or walk and just waste the terrain. When skating have her feel that shin /front and side  of boot connection, feel how that manipulates the ski edge. keep having fun

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
SO you don't think introducing angulation is too early at this stage? I've started introducing some edge control via side slipping, and some up down movement, but she finds them a little hard so I didn't push it. I think I will continue on engaging the edge next time, and add vertical movement a bit later. I think her lack of physical strength made some of the movement more difficult, like skating on skis.
post #12 of 25

I think she needs to stand up.  Her hips are way behind her feet.  Telling her to get "forward" can be confusing and meaningless to some people. Until she stands up, she will not be able to turn her legs.  I have people act like they are sitting in a chair and then ask them to get up from the chair. They then can see the difference in where they are and where they need to be.

 

I would veto the "hands on the knees". That just sends her butt backwards.  What does that do?

post #13 of 25

Jzmtl, welcome to the basic intro to how to teach adults to ski.

Wade through all this advice, wait, and apply sparingly.

 

"Ignorance is Bliss" was the very best piece of advice I ever got on how to teach beginners.  

Less is More  

KISS  

and all that.

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Haha, yeah, I think what I'll do it try something for a run, if it works then great, if it doesn't then move to the next on the list.
post #15 of 25

Actually, you might re-think that approach.  

Doing a bunch of drills that seem to contradict each other and abandoning them after one failed run can lead to frustration and confusion.

Trust me on this; been there, done that.

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Good point, I guess I could try them myself and see which ones feel more useful?
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post

I would veto the "hands on the knees". That just sends her butt backwards.  What does that do?
makes her get lower, get some motion as well as challenge her balance, by keeping the hands busy. Usually activates the ankles too, to keep balanced. You'd normally progress to touching the boots from here, to get even lower and increase the range of motion. It does kill separation, not that she has any.... Which is why me other drill was specific separation drill.

Cheers
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post


makes her get lower, get some motion as well as challenge her balance, by keeping the hands busy. Usually activates the ankles too, to keep balanced. You'd normally progress to touching the boots from here, to get even lower and increase the range of motion. It does kill separation, not that she has any.... Which is why me other drill was specific separation drill.

Cheers

 

Why would she want to get lower?

 

If she stands up, she will be able to turn her legs and flex her ankles. If she can turn her legs, she is in the correct position to develop separation as she progresses.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post

Why would she want to get lower?

If she stands up, she will be able to turn her legs and flex her ankles. If she can turn her legs, she is in the correct position to develop separation as she progresses.
for balance. you are more balanced when you have enough range of motion to move around when you get out of balance. beginners are so stiff and make things worse by being long and unable to move around with the terrain etc.

think of it this way: any impulse on the feet, either sideways or vertical or front/back (like slipping, skidding, slowing etc), wiht the legs extended, goes through all the way into the entire body - you can't absorb it. also, you cannot "extend" into a depression, since you're already extended all the way etc.

you should be centered from many points of view, including vertical... now - skiing is a dynamic sport, you can say where you basically move from outside long leg to outside long leg, and then use the hips to articulate etc. from that point of view, she is too static, needs to get some movement. getting lower helps with that as well: you can't get from long outside to long outside via long in transition... i mean you could if you really wanted to (up-unweighting?), I guess, but with many drawbacks.
post #20 of 25

I understand where you are coming from but:

 

  • It is only her 4th time out.
  • Her balance is not bad.
  • She is turning by rotating her upper body.
  • It is her overall body position (mostly hips behind feet) that is precluding her from turning her legs and being in a position to develop flexion/extension movements.
  • Having her put her hands on knees to get lower will do nothing to get her in a better position to learn other movements.
post #21 of 25

i disagree. the balance doesn't look bad because there was nothing to rattle her in that few seconds of a pedicured green slope. as soon as something happens, the mind goes into defensive mode, locking up the entire body, disabling all other movements, basically.

 

this is why not only beginners but all skiers have problems reaching a serious range of motion: tight muscles because of a defensive mindset.

 

i think she's quite centered on the skis - beginners and pretty much all skiers except WC racers keep their hips behind the boots more often they'd like to think :) and compensate with upper body... or just ski on their tails

 

try this: stay upright, with long legs. now try to tip the legs to the left... to the right... can you? you can't turn the skis if you can't tip them... even pivoting will result in catching an edge.

 

now put your hands on your knees by flexing your knees a bit and bend a little at the hips, i.e. "get lower" and try again. are you also more forward now, by any chance, since you were reaching for the knees?

 

cheers

 

PS if you want more on the defensive mindset, look into Survival Reactions - i have some links here http://www.racerkidz.com/wiki/Blog:Poor_Razies_Almanack/Post:Survival_Reactions - it is from a great motorcycle racing book: http://www.racerkidz.com/wiki/Blog:Poor_Razies_Almanack/Post:A_Twist_Of_The_Wrist_II

 

i should add there some thoughts as to their applicability to skiing... it is a most important concept...

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post
 

i disagree. the balance doesn't look bad because there was nothing to rattle her in that few seconds of a pedicured green slope. as soon as something happens, the mind goes into defensive mode, locking up the entire body, disabling all other movements, basically.

 

this is why not only beginners but all skiers have problems reaching a serious range of motion: tight muscles because of a defensive mindset.

 

i think she's quite centered on the skis - beginners and pretty much all skiers except WC racers keep their hips behind the boots more often they'd like to think :) and compensate with upper body... or just ski on their tails

 

try this: stay upright, with long legs. now try to tip the legs to the left... to the right... can you? you can't turn the skis if you can't tip them... even pivoting will result in catching an edge.

 

now put your hands on your knees by flexing your knees a bit and bend a little at the hips, i.e. "get lower" and try again. are you also more forward now, by any chance, since you were reaching for the knees?

 

cheers

 

PS if you want more on the defensive mindset, look into Survival Reactions - i have some links here http://www.racerkidz.com/wiki/Blog:Poor_Razies_Almanack/Post:Survival_Reactions - it is from a great motorcycle racing book: http://www.racerkidz.com/wiki/Blog:Poor_Razies_Almanack/Post:A_Twist_Of_The_Wrist_II

 

i should add there some thoughts as to their applicability to skiing... it is a most important concept...

 

I suggested she stand up and bring her hips up over her feet not lock her knees out.  Yes, I can stand up with my hips over my feet with ankles and knees slightly flexed and tip and turn with no problem.  She already is in a defensive mode - sitting back.  Yes, there are a lot of beginners who turn with their shoulders but that is not the movement we are looking for.  Skiing on the tails of the skis is not the desired movement.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post
 

 

I suggested she stand up and bring her hips up over her feet not lock her knees out.  Yes, I can stand up with my hips over my feet with ankles and knees slightly flexed and tip and turn with no problem.  She already is in a defensive mode - sitting back.  Yes, there are a lot of beginners who turn with their shoulders but that is not the movement we are looking for.  Skiing on the tails of the skis is not the desired movement.

hey - have it your way... i may be showing my bias as a race coach by inssisting on balance and range of motion first, anyways.

 

but seriously, if she's using only 75% of the ski length by being almost centered now, as opposed to 85% if she spends the next 2 days bringing the hips forward, is that a big difference with modern super-shaped skis?

post #24 of 25

It is not about having it my way. I am trying to understand what your objective is by the exercises you suggested. 

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post
 

It is not about having it my way. I am trying to understand what your objective is by the exercises you suggested.

1. bring her lower and more balanced via range of motion (without getting her aft - that's why reach forward for the knees)

2. i believe was angulation and more flexing by dragging the poles

3. separation and external cues

 

that's about it... then just more of each until you can ski anything :ski

 

cheers

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