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What is the next step?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I started my girlfriend skiing last year, right at the end of the season.  She has skied about 7 times now with a few professional lessons to get her started.  She is progressing fairly well, but I can't afford to keep paying for professional instruction, so I have been trying to coach her through some things on my own.  I'm not an instructor, but I'm a good skier with a pretty good understanding of how it all works.  

 

So far, I think it has worked pretty well.  She is linking turns and skiing mostly parallel with a little bit of stemming from time to time.  She is already skiing groomed expert terrain without fear, although cautious and slow.  Its worth noting the expert terrain she has conquered is fairly steep (around 37 degrees).  I've had her in moguls a few times on intermediate terrain, mostly to eliminate the fear that so many people have of moguls.  Nothing crazy, just making traverses and trying to absorb.  The good news is she did pretty good, and we are still together :D.    

 

My concern is that I feel like I have run out of ideas.  I want to see her progress quickly, and I have noticed that skiers that are coached or given instruction regularly tend to progress faster rather than plateauing.  

 

I can see that she needs work on quite a few things, but I'm not sure what to address first, and in many cases, I'm not sure what would be the best way to teach those skills.  As many of you are professional ski instructors, I would appreciate any advice you could offer.  

Here are a few videos of her skiing.  

 

The first video was a few weeks prior to the second.  In the second she is starting to use her pole plant a little bit more.  

 

   

 

 

What should be my list of priorities?  What order should they be addressed?

post #2 of 23

It would be nice if she could find some sort of camp or multi week lesson. It sounds like she really enjoys it.  My suggestions:

 

1.  Back off the terrain.  No need to ingrain defensive movements. 

2. Work on the stance - her hips are well behind her feet for a majority of the turn.   Until she stands up, she can't turn her legs.

3.  Hands/arms should be outside of her skis.

4.  Work on releasing the edges - sideslips etc to give her the tools to release her edges so she can turn using her legs not her shoulders. 

5.  Work on turn shape - C shape - have her turn up the hill and slow down and when she is ready to go faster -then turn down the hill so she learns that she controls the speed, not the hill.  

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post
 

It would be nice if she could find some sort of camp or multi week lesson. It sounds like she really enjoys it.  My suggestions:

 

1.  Back off the terrain.  No need to ingrain defensive movements. 

2. Work on the stance - her hips are well behind her feet for a majority of the turn.   Until she stands up, she can't turn her legs.

3.  Hands/arms should be outside of her skis.

4.  Work on releasing the edges - sideslips etc to give her the tools to release her edges so she can turn using her legs not her shoulders. 

5.  Work on turn shape - C shape - have her turn up the hill and slow down and when she is ready to go faster -then turn down the hill so she learns that she controls the speed, not the hill.  

Good advice.  I try not to push her too hard with regards to advanced terrain.  I did that early on, and I ended up having to step back and let her relearn some of the basics.  I have worked with her quite a bit regarding turn shape, and using her turns to control her speed.  For a while she was controlling her speed too much, and kept slowing to a stop between turns.  I think you might have hit the nail on the head with the edge control issues.

 

Any tips for practicing side slips.  For me they are easier to do on steeper slopes, but I don't know that that would be best.  Its just kind of hard to side slip if the slope is too flat.

post #4 of 23

The terrain needs to be steep enough so that she can slide.  Her downhill hip will have to be over her downhill ski or she won't be able to flatten the skis to slide.  She will have to commit to moving the down hill hip over the downhill ski. 

post #5 of 23

the first thing to is to get separation to happen from the femur joint. 

 

there is alot going on but its inrelevant. In fact I would stop coaching her pole touches till that happens. 

 

skier31 is right about the 'stance" the problem with the term and also how skier31 see its is people are not balanced untill other things happen right. the force of the Skis turning underneath the body bring a skier into balance, not the other way around. 

 

Josh Matta MA check list.... skills

 

1. is the skier balanced in for and aft plain on straight run on easy flat terrain - do not know

2. is the skiers turning their legs underneath of them - for sure not twisting hips and creating the 'pose" of counter by facing shoulders down hill, FIRST thing to work on

3. is skier tipping from the feet up with the little toe edge of the inside ski leading - nope but will not happen with out the above happening first

4. is skier balanced on outside ski? nope but will not happen with out fixing above first

5. does skier move downhill during tranistion? no, are they trying to stem turn will they are but they have no idea what that is.

 

I could go on and on and one. but you have to get that seperation to happen at the femur/hip joint before anything else goes on. 

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post
 

The terrain needs to be steep enough so that she can slide.  Her downhill hip will have to be over her downhill ski or she won't be able to flatten the skis to slide.  She will have to commit to moving the down hill hip over the downhill ski. 

Please explain "downhill hip over downhill ski"?  Sounds like bad advise?

post #7 of 23
If you want to side slip, you must release the downhill edge. If your hip and rest of body is uphill, you can't release edge and slide downhill. Lots of people talk about rolling ankle or knee but that is not always enough.
Not bad advice at all.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

Good advice.  I try not to push her too hard with regards to advanced terrain.  I did that early on, and I ended up having to step back and let her relearn some of the basics.  I have worked with her quite a bit regarding turn shape, and using her turns to control her speed.  For a while she was controlling her speed too much, and kept slowing to a stop between turns.  I think you might have hit the nail on the head with the edge control issues.

 

Any tips for practicing side slips.  For me they are easier to do on steeper slopes, but I don't know that that would be best.  Its just kind of hard to side slip if the slope is too flat.

 

I certainly agree with Skier31's advice to back off the terrain to develop an offensive intent to turn rather than ingrain defensive habits which she show signs of in the videos, stemming, z turns, hip rotation, but agree with you that a bit steeper groomed pitch is much easier for side slipping drills.

 

She does demonstrate and impressive rhythm and continuous turning rather than shopping for turns albeit stemmed turns.

 

Josh pointed out a good place to begin, and will play into your question about practicing side slips.  Body position and stance is one of the three key areas I like to look at for possible improvement.  First have her stand across the fall line and find a good body position which entails balancing in the middle of the foot with the majority of weight on the downhill ski.  This should cause the uphill leg to relax and consequently move the uphill ski tip slightly ahead of the downhill tip.  Check that the plane created between the two ski tips is matched looking up through the body.  The feet are obviously on the same plane, as should be the knees, and most importantly the pelvis, and the shoulders and the hands, all should match the line drawn between the two ski tips.  Now have her pick up the uphill foot and balance over the downhill ski.  You should notice her head moves over the downhill ski and her hips move slightly uphill in order to balance efficiently.  Insure that the lifted uphill ski is evenly lifted or tail slightly higher than tip which indicates appropriate fore/aft balance.  This is a good body position from which to begin a turn or end a turn and should be practiced and ingrained early on.

 

Now to side slipping: From this solid body position above, get her to release her edges into a side slip by moving her ankles and knees NOT her hips to reduce the edge angles while simultaneously evening out the weight distribution between up and down hill skis. If the hips move over the downhill ski and the head moves uphill to cause the edges to release, this is the wrong move.   I see this move in her current skiing and this needs to be corrected before it gets too habituated.  Have her practice lots of side slipping then forward or diagonal side slips with this good body position.  Then practice garlands with an uphill christie into an edge release diagonal side slip back to a christie.  Soon you will see her begin to release and steer the ski tips down the hill and the garlands can be steered closer and closer to the fall line with a little more active steer and extend movement off the uphill ski until she is turning directly down the fall line with her release and steering movements.  Once there, linked turns are a couple "C" turns away.  Ingrain these turning mechanics early on.  Remember the edge release comes before any extension movements!


Edited by bud heishman - 2/27/14 at 9:11pm
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post

If you want to side slip, you must release the downhill edge. If your hip and rest of body is uphill, you can't release edge and slide downhill. Lots of people talk about rolling ankle or knee but that is not always enough.
Not bad advice at all.

 Moving your hip over the down hill ski will in fact cause the edge to release however it also causes your head to move in the opposite direction which sets up a very weak body position and will result in hip rotation, skidded turns, banking, and a myriad of other dead end habits.  This is a fail at a PSIA level exam.

 

If you are standing in a good body position described above, it is actually pretty easy to release edges with just ankles and knees.  If, however, you are in a square stance, not so much.

 

Try using this technique for pivot slips and let us know how it works for you?

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your suggestions.  I'm hoping to get her out again on Monday.  I'll make sure to spend a good deal of time working on stance and side slipping/edge control.  I'll try to post more video as she progresses.

post #11 of 23

Treefiter, consider ditching the poles until she has upper body/lower body separation.  They just give the beginner another thing to use improperly.  She doesn't need them, and they are gumping up her arms.  You ditch your poles too.   


One thing no one has mentioned:   where is she looking?   She should not be looking down at the snow.  Peripheral vision will take care of informing her what's going on down at the snow level.

 

Here's a sequence to teach the all-important "separation" (no poles).

--Get her to pick a target downhill; have her tell you which tree it is, or whatever.  

--The goal is to ski to that target, eyes locked on it, and jacket zipper facing it, hips, shoulders, arms and face all pointing at that target.

--Have her walk it through without skis first at the top of the hill.  You do it first.  Turning legs at hip socket is the unfamiliar thing she needs to feel without skis on first.

--Have her do a single turn to a stop, eyes locked on that target the whole time, coasting to a stop, skis, legs, knees, all pointed to the side of the trail and hips, shoulders, arms, eyes all pointed at the target.

--Keep doing single turns to a stop in both directions until she gets the upper body/lower body separation.

--Then link two turns doing same.  

--Keep at two turns until she gets it.

--Then whole run linking turns this way.

 

Then follow Josh's sequence.  

Throw in some sideslips while looking at a target downhill, hips, shoulders, arms all pointed at the target.  Do them whenever short steep little sections turn up.

Report back with a video that shows her skiing towards the camera, past it, and down the hill away.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Treefiter, consider ditching the poles until she has upper body/lower body separation.  They just give the beginner another thing to use improperly.  She doesn't need them, and they are gumping up her arms.  You ditch your poles too.   


One thing no one has mentioned:   where is she looking?   She should not be looking down at the snow.  Peripheral vision will take care of informing her what's going on down at the snow level.

 

Here's a sequence to teach the all-important "separation" (no poles).

--Get her to pick a target downhill; have her tell you which tree it is, or whatever.  

--The goal is to ski to that target, eyes locked on it, and jacket zipper facing it, hips, shoulders, arms and face all pointing at that target.

--Have her walk it through without skis first at the top of the hill.  You do it first.  Turning legs at hip socket is the unfamiliar thing she needs to feel without skis on first.

--Have her do a single turn to a stop, eyes locked on that target the whole time, coasting to a stop, skis, legs, knees, all pointed to the side of the trail and hips, shoulders, arms, eyes all pointed at the target.

--Keep doing single turns to a stop in both directions until she gets the upper body/lower body separation.

--Then link two turns doing same.  

--Keep at two turns until she gets it.

--Then whole run linking turns this way.

 

Then follow Josh's sequence.  

Throw in some sideslips while looking at a target downhill, hips, shoulders, arms all pointed at the target.  Do them whenever short steep little sections turn up.

Report back with a video that shows her skiing towards the camera, past it, and down the hill away.

The only issue I have with ditching the poles is that the mountain we ski is difficult to navigate from trail to trail without them.  Its a flat traverse across the top, and mid station.  Perhaps instead of getting rid of them, I could just have her hold them like a tray.  I remember doing drills like this when I was learning separtation.  Hold the poles like a tray and keep the tray facing down the hill.  

 

If i'm understanding correctly, you are talking about learning separation before mastering edge control.  Won't it be difficult for her to get her turns around underneath her if she is still dragging her edges?

post #13 of 23

My suggestions are quit giving your lessons for a while and just let her ski.  My good friend (girl), started dating my other good friend (male ski instructor), he decided to convert her from snowboarding to skiing, bought her skis, took her out skiing.  We were all shocked she actually did it because she has always been the lone stubborn snowboarder of our group of friends.  Anyway, later they broke up and then she decided to keep trying to ski on boring hardpack days.  So I finally got to see her ski last week and she was very similar to your GF, stiff, tight, thinking too much, trying to do 59 moves and make sure not to miss one.  She commented to me that every single time they skied together, my other ski instructor friend had to be constantly in teaching mode and doing drills and she almost never had a chance to just shut up and ski.  

 

Same advice for my friend as for your GF, just go get some miles on blue terrain.  Stay away from blacks for now.  Try to withhold your comments and just let her develop a feel for skiing in a relaxed way.  Don't film her.  Don't ski behind her watching.  Just let her ski.  When she starts to feel more comfortable bring it back perhaps to some skill development, but give it PLENTY of time.

 

Think of her like a kid that you are just leading her to fun things to try without it being like you're trying to show her perfect movements.  Get her to play around on sidewalls, which are a great place to practice edge control.  Edge to ski up the side, then release the edges to side slip back down.  You can find those on almost any easy green cat track.  Get her to try jumps.  Take her on stuff you are secretly trying to get her to discover things, without actually saying anything about it, she will feel like she's discovering it herself even though you've been planning it.  

 

In general, most ski instructors will tell you, don't try to teach your wife, or gf, or perhaps other family members...or even some close friends.  Its hard for both people to stay objective.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
 

My suggestions are quit giving your lessons for a while and just let her ski.  My good friend (girl), started dating my other good friend (male ski instructor), he decided to convert her from snowboarding to skiing, bought her skis, took her out skiing.  We were all shocked she actually did it because she has always been the lone stubborn snowboarder of our group of friends.  Anyway, later they broke up and then she decided to keep trying to ski on boring hardpack days.  So I finally got to see her ski last week and she was very similar to your GF, stiff, tight, thinking too much, trying to do 59 moves and make sure not to miss one.  She commented to me that every single time they skied together, my other ski instructor friend had to be constantly in teaching mode and doing drills and she almost never had a chance to just shut up and ski.  

 

Same advice for my friend as for your GF, just go get some miles on blue terrain.  Stay away from blacks for now.  Try to withhold your comments and just let her develop a feel for skiing in a relaxed way.  Don't film her.  Don't ski behind her watching.  Just let her ski.  When she starts to feel more comfortable bring it back perhaps to some skill development, but give it PLENTY of time.

 

Think of her like a kid that you are just leading her to fun things to try without it being like you're trying to show her perfect movements.  Get her to play around on sidewalls, which are a great place to practice edge control.  Edge to ski up the side, then release the edges to side slip back down.  You can find those on almost any easy green cat track.  Get her to try jumps.  Take her on stuff you are secretly trying to get her to discover things, without actually saying anything about it, she will feel like she's discovering it herself even though you've been planning it.  

 

In general, most ski instructors will tell you, don't try to teach your wife, or gf, or perhaps other family members...or even some close friends.  Its hard for both people to stay objective.

Good advice.  I have been backing off a little bit the last few trips.  She is considering a lesson on Monday. My goal for the season was to get her to a point where she could ski with me, instead of being stuck on the bunny slopes all the time.  I think I've reached that goal, so its probably a good idea to be happy with that and let her ski a bit.  

 

I usually ski behind her as a safety precaution.  That way if she falls, I am right there to help her back up, and it also lets me act as a blocker to keep other skiers from crowding her.  There are a lot of really inconsiderate skiers here in NY.  When I take video, I try to do it without her knowing, so she doesn't feel pressured to perform.  That's why they are all from behind.  

 

One of the reasons I feel compelled to keep coaching her is because she is NOT a risk taker at all.  So I don't see her experimenting without being told to try something different.  For some people, they automatically realize that if what they are doing isn't quite working, they need to change something.  Others will wait for someone to tell them what to change because they aren't confident enough to risk it not working and making things worse.  But like you say, there are opportunities on the mountain to teach without really teaching.  

 

We are going to a different mountain than we usually do on Monday.  The terrain parks are really nicely done, and offer something for everyone.  The last time we went there she was trying jumps, and she had a blast.  I'm sure we'll get in there again on Monday.  

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
 

My suggestions are quit giving your lessons for a while and just let her ski.  My good friend (girl), started dating my other good friend (male ski instructor), he decided to convert her from snowboarding to skiing, bought her skis, took her out skiing.  We were all shocked she actually did it because she has always been the lone stubborn snowboarder of our group of friends.  Anyway, later they broke up and then she decided to keep trying to ski on boring hardpack days.  So I finally got to see her ski last week and she was very similar to your GF, stiff, tight, thinking too much, trying to do 59 moves and make sure not to miss one.  She commented to me that every single time they skied together, my other ski instructor friend had to be constantly in teaching mode and doing drills and she almost never had a chance to just shut up and ski.  

 

Same advice for my friend as for your GF, just go get some miles on blue terrain.  Stay away from blacks for now.  Try to withhold your comments and just let her develop a feel for skiing in a relaxed way.  Don't film her.  Don't ski behind her watching.  Just let her ski.  When she starts to feel more comfortable bring it back perhaps to some skill development, but give it PLENTY of time.

 

Think of her like a kid that you are just leading her to fun things to try without it being like you're trying to show her perfect movements.  Get her to play around on sidewalls, which are a great place to practice edge control.  Edge to ski up the side, then release the edges to side slip back down.  You can find those on almost any easy green cat track.  Get her to try jumps.  Take her on stuff you are secretly trying to get her to discover things, without actually saying anything about it, she will feel like she's discovering it herself even though you've been planning it.  

 

In general, most ski instructors will tell you, don't try to teach your wife, or gf, or perhaps other family members...or even some close friends.  Its hard for both people to stay objective.

 

I love this guys advice.

 

Watching those videos, I think she looks better in the second video than the first. So, I would suggest just let her ski, and enjoy what she can. It looks like she's thinking too much. 

post #16 of 23

Have her ditch the poles - you can carry them for her if you want to.  They are doing nothing for her at this point, not even the so called pole plant, because it is not a movement in the direction of the new turn.  It is better to have no pole plant than a mistimed one. 

 

She is holding the poles much too high. This actually makes her chest more straight up and down, which puts her in the back seat.  Worse still, the "need" to hold up the poles restrains any directed upper body movement towards the new turn. 

 

Have her hold her hands slightly above the height of her hip bone and leading her body slightly (a few inches ahead, and a few inches to the sides).  She should still be able to see both hands at the periphery of her vision.  A good cue is that when she is skiing she should be able see both hands most of the time.

 

Now she will be better able to concentrate on the timing and flow of her movements as she turns, and start finding her groove.  She will be able to use the hands more effectively to balance, and her hands can do so quietly.  

 

Watching her in the cut up powder, it looked like she was trying to find her rhythm and flow.  I could see some intelligence in her movements.  So, for now, it is time to hold your commentary and let her feel and find her way.  Let her play. 

 

Then you can move on to all the other stuff.  One thing at a time. 

post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

Good advice.  I have been backing off a little bit the last few trips.  She is considering a lesson on Monday. My goal for the season was to get her to a point where she could ski with me, instead of being stuck on the bunny slopes all the time.  I think I've reached that goal, so its probably a good idea to be happy with that and let her ski a bit.  

 

....

 

This in red is a bad bad bad idea.  Do not try to get her to ski with you.  I suspect you are doing this because YOU don't want to get stuck on the bunny slopes all the time.  The red quotes above sound like they apply to making you happy, not her.  She needs to be skiing on terrain that will bore you.  She needs to be happy on terrain that you find boring, and she needs to get lost in this happiness for a long time without reading disapproval in your face if you really want a skiing girlfriend.  If you want to ski with her, ski with her on her terrain.  That's how it works.  Adults learn slowly.  Kids do too, but people who learned to ski as kids forget how many years it took them to learn to ski parallel and capably on black terrain.  Years.

 

When you get bored, do not go into instructor mode to hurry her up so you can get back to your terrain with her tagging along.  Over-teaching her will let her know you are not happy with her present skill level.  Over-terraining her by taking her up with you too soon is going to throw her into defensive skiing, slow her progress down dramatically, and make her very unhappy.  She'll read your displeasure at every turn, and react to it more than reacting to the sensations that skiing brings.  This does not bode well for longevity in a relationship.

 

So, when you are bored with the skiing you can do in her presence, work on flat 360s, skiing backwards, doing old school tricks (as in ballet skiing with Cedric Grand  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5G9W5Xq6ak, Glen Plake, Wayne Wong, etc.), or just leave and go have your fun on steeper terrain alone or with your buddies.  She needs to love skiing, not try to make you happy with her skiing abilities.  From your posts I have a feeling you already know this.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 3/3/14 at 7:42am
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Good point LiquidFeet.  I think when I started her out, I was pushing her too far too fast, but at this point, she is at a point where I am happy with her progress, and she is having a lot of fun.  We went out today, and we had a blast.  I can see her getting more confident in her skiing, and she is trying all kinds of things I didn't expect her to try.  Wherever there is an odd dip or the hill drops away, she seems to be there playing with the terrain instead of taking the easiest way.  She did end up on some steep terrain, but it was because she wanted to do it.  She handled it really well.  
 
Before we went, I went over some of the areas she needed to work on.  She was fairly aware that her weight was a little bit back, and she did a pretty good job of staying more forward today, and it showed in her skiing. She was starting to get the feel for carving, and getting her edge engaged instead of letting her skis slide sideways.  She is still struggling with rotation/separation issues, but I did see some progress in that area today.    
 
I tried taking away her poles for a few runs, but it didn't seem to make too much difference for her.  I did see her hands calm down a bit as the day went on.  I think as she became more comfortable on her skis, and got her weight more forward, and on her edges, she gained a fair amount of stability, and didn't need to try to control her balance by flailing with her hands as much.  Still plenty of room for improvement, but I think she did great today.  
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

After another day on the snow, I am seeing what I think is significant improvement.  I found that she was still not committing to her edges, so we did some side slips and edging drills.  She seemed to pick it up right away.  Then I had her work on making pure carved turns whenever we were on flatter sections.  Little by little, she started to get the feel for it, and all of a sudden something just clicked.  She started making some really smooth GS turns.  I could see her tipping her feet and letting the skis turn for her.  She started skiing more offensively and aggressively.  She noticed the change when it happened too.  She is definitely skiing with more confidence.    

 

I'm still not seeing as much rotational separation as I would like, but it is there (might not be apparent in the video, but I was seeing it throughout the day).  I think now that she is turning with her skis instead of her body, this will improve.

 

Her hands are still an issue, but have calmed down significantly.  I think they will continue to get better as she becomes more comfortable and confident.  

 

 

post #20 of 23

Kudos to her.  Please give her my compliments on her obvious improvement.  She is showing a lot of patience, and I do see flow in her movements.  I think she is feeling what is going on in her feet.

 

Now is the time for her to work on her hand position, because doing so will only reinforce and improve all the good things that she is now doing.  My earlier remarks again,

"She is holding the poles much too high. This actually makes her chest more straight up and down, which puts her in the back seat.  Worse still, the "need" to hold up the poles restrains any directed upper body movement towards the new turn. 

 

Have her hold her hands slightly above the height of her hip bone and leading her body slightly (a few inches ahead, and a few inches to the sides).  She should still be able to see both hands at the periphery of her vision.  A good cue is that when she is skiing she should be able see both hands most of the time.

 

Now she will be better able to concentrate on the timing and flow of her movements as she turns, and start finding her groove.  She will be able to use the hands more effectively to balance, and her hands can do so quietly."

 

The simple act of repositioning her hands lower will bring her upper body over here skis more, which will also strengthen her edging because her COM is more towards where it should be. 

 

As she becomes comfortable with this hand positioning, you can gradually use them to begin separating the upper and lower body.  Have her square her shoulders to the fall line and maintain her hand position squared to the fall line, as her skis turn underneath her.  Ideally her hips would square also, with the femurs turning in the hip socket to shape the turn, but that is likely asking a bit much at this stage. Skiing into this countered position will also increase her edge angles. 

 

Looks like you have created a monster, Treefiter.  She's going to leave you in the dust.... :)

post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 

So we've been out skiing just about every Monday since the season started, as that is her only day off midweek.  I've tried to back off and let her ski.  I say tried because when I saw the opportunity, I would throw out some coaching here and there, but far less often than I had been.  She took a lesson a few weeks ago.  The instructor had her do a lot of pivot slips.  

 

I haven't seen huge gains in the technical aspects of her skiing, but I am seeing a big jump in her comfort and confidence.  The weather patterns just happened to choose Mondays for stormy weather this season, so she's had to ski in some deeper snow, often rather heavy.  She struggled in the deeper snow, but she was able to make good S-shaped turns.  I kept telling her that if she can survive the heavy deep snow, the groomers would be a breeze.  

 

We just came back from two days at Smugglers' Notch, and she totally raised her skiing to a new level.  Before the trip she was afraid of moguls and trees.  While at Smugglers' we found ourselves on a few bumped up runs, some not so bad, some steep with big bumps.  Without any coaching she started to pick apart the run a few turns at a time.  As for trees, it stated with the little side trails off the groomers, where you can loop around a tree or two and come right back to the groomer.  At one point I dipped of into a glade to have a bit of fun, and much to my surprise, she popped in right in front of me.  Eventually, she decided she wanted to try a glade, so I found one of the smaller and easier glades.  Fairly spaced out trees, but somewhat bumped up.  Not too steep.  She went in with no hesitation, she was using the moguls to her advantage, and she didn't keep to the easiest lines.  When we got home, she said she wished she had spent more time in the trees.  

 

She is skiing faster, but still maintaining control.  She even dropped down into a tuck a few times to keep speed for flat sections and uphill traverses.  

 

So now that she is skiing with confidence, I'd like to start refining her technical skills.  She is skiing parallel, but she tends to rely on a wedge/stem quite a bit.  I'm seeing upper/lower body separation starting to show up in her skiing, but it could certainly be better.  Her stance seems pretty good to me at this point, but she appears stiff.  Her inside ski appears to be dragging along rather than on edge and steering.  I told her to play around with Railroad Tracks whenever she finds herself coasting along flat terrain, and she is starting to get it.  What else should I show her at this point?  

 

Here is some video from our Smugglers' Notch Trip.

 

post #22 of 23

Hi Treefiter:

 

Wait, wait, don't tell me - she didn't pick the music for the video did she?  :)

 

She certainly has made some improvements and her confidence is showing.  Confidence goes a long way towards success. 

 

I can see that she is sequential in her turns, as in both skis do not move together at the same time.  I think that is largely rooted in a lack of flexion and extension - you know, long leg, short leg.  Because her inside (uphill) leg is more or less the same length as the (outside) downhill ski, you can see that it sticks at the beginning of the turn because the pitch of the hill gets in the way.  What I would have her practice is shortening the inside leg by being softer on that ski.  Another way to think of that is that there should be bend in that knee.  She can practice that by shortening the inside leg at the beginning of the new turn, which should be above the fall line and while it is still the old outside ski.  Soften and let the knee flex, and she will find that the turn will want to continue to come around in more of an arc, and if she continues to flex that knee, there will be more of a finish to her turns.  Have her practice that, and ask her to really exaggerate the shortening of the inside leg, far more than she thinks she should.. 

 

This is easy to practice, and will give her immediate benefit. 

 

Her stance width will vary less also.  Sometimes her stance is too wide.  A comfortable shoulder width apart.

 

Her turns should start to round out more.  Once you see that, the next thing I would want to do is for her to move from turn to turn with no dead spot in between where she is parking. 

 

One simple thing I do with students is ski behind them while they are doing short radius turns.  They continue to turn until they hear me say "start", as in start the movements that will begin the next turn.  I wait until they are approaching the natural finish to the turn and just before that say "start".  It becomes start, start, start.  They start above the fall line which gives them more time to make the movements that create the turn and allows them to establish their edge above the fall line, which gives them more control over their speed, and creates a nice turn shape.  I let them finish the turn but do not give them any time to park before the next turn.

 

There are other things to work on, but this is what I would focus on for now.

 

Good luck.

post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdog View Post
 

Hi Treefiter:

 

Wait, wait, don't tell me - she didn't pick the music for the video did she?  :)

 

 

It fit the opening tuck scene so well, I just couldn't resist.  :D  

 

Thanks for the suggestions.  We should be back on the snow next week.  We probably won't be skiing this weekend to avoid the holiday crowds.  

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