Originally Posted by nomad555
Agreed - my turns are not smooth - again because I lack the ability to turn at will so if I can't find a comfortable place to turn, I traverse. Thing is it is also tough to find progressively harder terrain so sometimes I guess I have to ski the harder stuff till I can ski it well.
Originally Posted by nomad555 How do I practice that ? Patience turns ? BTW on gnarlier terrain like Shirley and Granite, the movements have to be faster/more aggressive right ?
Originally Posted by nomad555
Thanks Rusty (and all). So I went back to easier terrain and practiced the drills again.
What you say here - "In gnarlier conditions, the movements need to be more accurate and done with more power" I think applies to me. I "think"
I can do the movements on easier terrain. But get quickly defensive on steeper terrain. Is this because I really can't do the movements (even though I think I can) ? Perhaps. Or because my movements are not accurate/powerful enough like you surmise?If the latter, then the only way to learn movements on steeper terrain (because the fear factor is higher in those conditions regardless of skier), is to ski that terrain and do the drills there right ?
Perhaps 80%-20% (20% harder) to start with and slowly increase the percentage as I feel more comfortable? Because learning skills on more forgiving terrain does not necessarily translate to less forgiving terrain if one immediately gets scared in the latter
? I guess that transition to carry those skills from an easy groomed blue run to a black/bumped out black run is very hard for me, mentally.
I totally agree with KevinF. Expert (any skill) is not "more", it is "more efficient". But the only way to teach myself (mentally) is to forcibly do those movements on harder terrain and see that my skis turn (to save my a$$) every time so I trust them right ??
For a long time I took this attitude--just throwing whatever new thing I'd figured out onto something steeper, cruddier, whatever-er--and simply made what could be functional offensive movements into defensive, life-saving, "gonna-die" rushed turns and crouching stiff traverses, then drilled those negative movements into my form. Now I have to replace all that dysfunctional stuff with actual ski technique. I very strongly recommend against teaching yourself something or trying to 'get' a concept and then just trying to gut it out on steeps. The more you avoid the fall line and adapt to survival mode, the more work you'll have down the line driving those ideas out of your head and those movements out of your body.
That being said, if your problem is timidity, you may need to push yourself into steep terrain before you think you're ready. But what I hear you saying is not that you're timid; it's that you know that you're unable to maintain control on difficult terrain
unless you carefully muscle your way through skidded turns and spend the rest of your time controlling your speed (you do that very well, by the way; it may not be pretty, but it's effective, and I'm not being snarky). But that's not timid; that's intelligence. Listen to it.
You don't just need to grok a movement; you need to get it right, and really get it into your body, before you can move on.
Because when you apply the skill you learned on easier terrain to something cruddy or chopped up, or icy and steep, or narrow and bumped up, you're not forcing anything, because you don't need to anymore
, and every once in a while you forget why it was so challenging in th first place, or stand at the bottom of a run and marvel that it was so much fun when it puckered you up a short time ago. That challenge is gone, and now it's time to find another one, another skill that makes even harder terrain not just smoothly doable, but really, really fun. And so on and so forth. It's not negative reinforcement where you build ability through adversity; it's positive reinforcement where you get greedy for more ways to explore more challenges.
Of course, you may have friends who tell you you've got to man up and just point your tips downhill. But speaking for myself, developing resilience through building on skills is much more fun than bravely facing the abyss.
I also tried to learn to ski through the internet and books, but the problem with that is that while you may think you understand a drill, there's nobody there who knows what the drill should look like and can tell you whether you've got it or, more likely, what would help you execute it well enough to transfer it to the runs in your video. That warm body is generally called an instructor
.who can then tell you when you're ready to take the skill to the next level, point out where you're falling apart, and help you adapt it to different conditions.
And a caution about learning to ski on an internet forum: while you'll get encouragement and lots of suggestions, it's easier to learn skills one at a time, and not necessarily to take every piece of advice on how to execute a movement, because there are a lot of approaches, a lot of ways to explain things, and even expert instructors will sometimes use the same jargon to mean different things, which only makes the confusion worse. If you're trying to learn how to distribute your weight and frame with your poles and counter your weight and keep your feet a certain distance apart and carve all at the same time, it's likely that little of it's going to happen. That's my experience, anyway. You may have more luck than I did, though.