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MA request

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Skier:  adult male, reasonably athletic, skis 10-15 times a year (this is not me, posting on his behalf).

 

I have my ideas about what's good and what's bad, but I'm PSIA-level nothing, so throwing this out there for addtional evaluation.

 

 

Be gentle, yadda yadda yadda.

post #2 of 25

one of hte easiest MAs ever, but my guess its not the easiest to fix.

 

(disclaimer I saw the skier in person) 

 

the Good 

 

He has a very proficient and rhythmic stem move that keep his speed exactly where he want it to be.

 

The bad

 

He has a very proficient and rhythmic stem move that keep his speed exactly where he want it to be.

 

and....

 

he also 

 

turns his shoulder, then his pelvis then let that turn his feet , this makes it impossible to be anywhere near balance on his outside ski.

 

 

 

 

my course of action would be to introduce postive movements patterns on easy enough terrain that he is not looking for any speed control. while introducing separation at the Femur/pelvis joint.  IMO this will clear up anything bad I mentioned and a lot of stuff I did not mention because quite frankly an upper body rotating/stemmer is just going to have those problems.

post #3 of 25

I would work on turn shape and balance against the outside ski. This guy is too two footed for me. Drills like outside ski to outside ski and 1000 steps would be good. Encourage changes in leg length, higher edge angles, and using ski design to assist turn shape.

post #4 of 25

I'm really new at this. How about this.

 

I see a stem going left and pretty good inside ski initiation going right and little or at least smaller stem.  Does he have an old injury that might account for this? Immediatly  I'd try something like hockey stops because they are fun to do and help get the feeling of  separating the upper and lower body while controlling speed.  I'd take Josh's lead and move to easier (and wider) terrain to give it a go.

post #5 of 25

Not that I'm an expert on this, but I haven't seen anybody comment about where his weight is.  He looks very upright and slightly aft.  It might be worth working on "getting forward".  

post #6 of 25

Right now, it is all about losing that very, very pronounced stem (in fact, it is so pronounced this almost looks like a fabricated video to aid new instructors with their MA and detection of SMIM).

 

Yep getting forward, more dynamic, more upper/ lower body separation all good and ultimately necessary things, but all will remain elusive until he ditches that very pronounced stem-entry on all of his turns.  I'd say his stem is the reason for most of his other deficiencies. Fix that first and he'll be on his way.

 

The most immediate fix needs to come as close to the the region of his problem (his feet) as possible. Focus should be on the role of feet, ankles and knees (in that order).

 

Kevin, Show him how to release his stance ski prior to beginning his next turn by flexing (bending) his knee joint, shifting all balance to the new stance leg prior to the turn, then practice guiding that lighter ski closer to the stance leg throughout the turn.  Don't tell him anything about hands, fore and aft, facing the fall line, nothing.  

 

Let him focus on the sensations of early balance transfer via flexing the stance leg and the the role of the inside leg in shaping the turn.  Until he gets that right, he'll always stem and all the other stuff just won't happen.

 

I thought Josh was on target, his turns are generated first by his upper body and them get down to his feet, you need to reverse that.

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
 

Right now, it is all about losing that very, very pronounced stem (in fact, it is so pronounced this almost looks like a fabricated video to aid new instructors with their MA and detection of SMIM).

 

Yep getting forward, more dynamic, more upper/ lower body separation all good and ultimately necessary things, but all will remain elusive until he ditches that very pronounced stem-entry on all of his turns.  I'd say his stem is the reason for most of his other deficiencies. Fix that first and he'll be on his way.

 

The most immediate fix needs to come as close to the the region of his problem (his feet) as possible. Focus should be on the role of feet, ankles and knees (in that order).

 

Kevin, Show him how to release his stance ski prior to beginning his next turn by flexing (bending) his knee joint, shifting all balance to the new stance leg prior to the turn, then practice guiding that lighter ski closer to the stance leg throughout the turn.  Don't tell him anything about hands, fore and aft, facing the fall line, nothing.  

 

Let him focus on the sensations of early balance transfer via flexing the stance leg and the the role of the inside leg in shaping the turn.  Until he gets that right, he'll always stem and all the other stuff just won't happen.

 

I thought Josh was on target, his turns are generated first by his upper body and them get down to his feet, you need to reverse that.

 

I have no idea what SMIM means.  Googling "SMIM" brings up "Static Mesh Improvement Modification" which I'm guessing isn't what you had in mind.

post #8 of 25
Single Most Important Movement
post #9 of 25
For MA... narrow the stance then teach him to balance on a tipped outside/stance ski. Stance comes first. Where he's at is far from functional, and you cannot address anything else until you fix it.
post #10 of 25

If he skis 10-15 days a year, this will be hard to fix on his own.  It is, for him, a functional movement pattern that he's had a decent amount of practice with.

 

I would echo Skier_J's question about the difference between turns and whether there is a physical reason for this, and any other physical issues.  Assuming none, broad learning green, and get him used to balancing on one ski, or the other, before even worrying about turning.  But, this is not a one-lesson fix.  He likely can be looking much better on easy terrain after one lesson, but will be back to the old movement patterns quickly without directed practice.

post #11 of 25

Very nice video!

 

The beauty of this skier is that almost any teaching approach/sequence could lead to improvements. Some might say that alignment issues should be addressed first. This skier looks bowlegged to me with the left boot worse than the right. If I'm right, attaining high end performance without alignment is out of reach. Nonetheless, I get the sense that more skill improvement is necessary before the cost of alignment can be justified.

 

It's hard to argue that stance and balance changes won't lead to improvements. A drill that might help both is Tug of War. Countering and balance against the outside ski are intertwined. From there try the picture frame drill. From there try carved traverses. This won't help for the narrow trail seen in the clip, but it's a start. A traditional teaching approach would typically involve narrowing the stance width and increasing speeds to spontaneously reduce the shoulder rotation and induce earlier matching to parallel.

 

I see a glimmer of hope at the right turn from 7-9 seconds. Here, the skier moves his weight over the new inside ski at the start of the turn. It looks like the slight double fall line in the trail helps this movement to occur. Some might question why I like a movement that produces the longest skid in the clip...

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

Not that I'm an expert on this, but I haven't seen anybody comment about where his weight is.  He looks very upright and slightly aft.  It might be worth working on "getting forward".  

 

 

he is aft but he aft due to a lot of other factor getting him forward will be impossible till he is....

 

seperating at the hip joint 

 

and balancing on his outside ski. 

post #13 of 25

He never learned how to angulate and balance over a tipped edged outside ski. And a bunch of other useful things. Start with wedging and turning by an active weight transfer. From there work your way through a wedge Christie to a parallel Christie using pressure management and upper body balancing movements. This will be the path that will take him into steeper terrain, bumps and powder. The way he skis now he will never be able to really excel and take he's skiing that far. Or alternatively do noting. That is also an option. Maybe he's happiest the way things are right now. Its not like its all bad. Just that it cant get much better and he might find it tiring to ski like that especially if he accidentally has to ski in lets say shallow crud or moderately steeper terrain.

post #14 of 25

I think Rusty is on to something with the stance set up. It looks like he's set up on the outside edges, in which case he'll never go to a narrower stance since there's no edge control without the skis being far out. Frankly, it would make sense to start there since it looks like he has pretty good control of what he does do. Also, set up like that the tails feel safer so getting off them will be tough.

 

Try jamming like 4-6 trailmaps between shell and liner at the top. Medial, (inside), side. This would hopefully get him more on an inside edge.

Otherwise, you're trying to change ingrained patterns that are partly caused by the setup. Changing the setup first will make everything feel different and make it easier to change the patterns. Yeah, it'll cost some money, but experiments don't.

Where would he go to get work done? What area is he in? If at Stowe area, where does one go?

post #15 of 25

I'm seeing that opinions are fairly varied with regard to which issue is causing the rest.  Introducing separation, losing the stem, getting forward, turn shape, and edging have all been mentioned.  To me, it seems like some of these things are dependent on others.  For example, I mentioned getting forward, because it is difficult to initiate a good turn from the back seat.  

 

I think I would agree with nateteachski that turn shape might be where his best chances for a breakthrough may be.  

 

As Josh Matta pointed out, he is using his upper body to turn instead of using his skis.  

 

I don't see how he can even begin to work on something like separation until his turns are happening at his feet and not his shoulders.  At this stage, if you were to tell him to keep his shoulders and pelvis facing down the fall line, he wouldn't be able to turn.  

 

I might suggest working on pure carved turns on very low slopes to start.  J turns seem to work pretty good in my experience.  Let him get a feel and understanding of how the ski bends and carves an arc.  Without that, he has no choice but to slide the skis around.  I guess you could say he is forcing his turns around with is body because he doesn't know how to use the skis to make it happen.  

 

I might also suggest working on edge control and side slipping.  I think it is just as important for a skier to understand how to release an edge as it is to grip with an edge. A perfect carve uses a firm edge grip.  A brushed turn uses a controlled slip.  Everything in between should make nice S shaped turns that originate from the skis.  

 

As for losing the stem, I'm not all that concerned.  I view the stem as a safety blanket.  It's what you do when you are scared.  You see it a lot when skiers are trying steep slopes for the first time. You see it at the beginning of the turn because that is where the leap of faith has to happen, where you have to face downhill with nothing to hold you back.  I would certainly agree that relying on a stem to start your turns isn't good skiing, but I think it will fade away if the skier becomes more confident in their ability to use the ski to turn and trust their edges.  

 

Thats the way I see it.  Again, I'm not an expert on the topic, but this makes sense to me.   

post #16 of 25

He needs to start turning his legs and stop initiating turns from the shoulders and learn appropriate flexion extension movements for basic parallel turns.  Getting the boots checked and aligned will likely be beneficial.

post #17 of 25
Quote:

 

 

As for losing the stem, I'm not all that concerned.  I view the stem as a safety blanket.  It's what you do when you are scared.  You see it a lot when skiers are trying steep slopes for the first time. You see it at the beginning of the turn because that is where the leap of faith has to happen, where you have to face downhill with nothing to hold you back.  I would certainly agree that relying on a stem to start your turns isn't good skiing, but I think it will fade away if the skier becomes more confident in their ability to use the ski to turn and trust their edges.  

 

 

Agree. If he makes the right movements,  the stem disappears. 

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

I think Rusty is on to something with the stance set up. It looks like he's set up on the outside edges, in which case he'll never go to a narrower stance since there's no edge control without the skis being far out. Frankly, it would make sense to start there since it looks like he has pretty good control of what he does do. Also, set up like that the tails feel safer so getting off them will be tough.

 

Try jamming like 4-6 trailmaps between shell and liner at the top. Medial, (inside), side. This would hopefully get him more on an inside edge.

Otherwise, you're trying to change ingrained patterns that are partly caused by the setup. Changing the setup first will make everything feel different and make it easier to change the patterns. Yeah, it'll cost some money, but experiments don't.

Where would he go to get work done? What area is he in? If at Stowe area, where does one go?

 

The skier in the video lives in the Boston area.  The boots were setup by the Westwood Ski Stop, which has been mentioned on these forums as one of the better boot fitting shops in Massachusetts.  That's where I told him to go.  I'm assuming they did a good job fitting him; I'm not sure if they did any sort of balancing work.

 

Trying the trail map trick is an interesting idea.  It's easy enough to start there to see if there's some "instant improvement".  It's at least a starting point.

post #19 of 25

He will get the skis on edge once he gets them out from underneath his body. That's what the wedge is good for. That's one of its purposes. Create angulation and tip the ski. Teach edging. The other important lesson to learn from wedging is that you don't turn your skis. You let the skis turn you. And you steer through upper body balancing movements. Not by twisting or turning your skis. It only leads to upper body rotation like the skier in the video. As Josh and other mentioned. Its important to have the right equipment and boots fitted but I have never had a student that could not learn the right movements at this level. Most of them come with rental equipment and you cannot go worse than that. This is not equipment related. Like Helluva said, start with proper stance. Go back and start over if you want to change things.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

I'm seeing that opinions are fairly varied with regard to which issue is causing the rest.  Introducing separation, losing the stem, getting forward, turn shape, and edging have all been mentioned.  To me, it seems like some of these things are dependent on others.  For example, I mentioned getting forward, because it is difficult to initiate a good turn from the back seat.  

 

I think I would agree with nateteachski that turn shape might be where his best chances for a breakthrough may be.  

 

As Josh Matta pointed out, he is using his upper body to turn instead of using his skis.  

 

I don't see how he can even begin to work on something like separation until his turns are happening at his feet and not his shoulders.  At this stage, if you were to tell him to keep his shoulders and pelvis facing down the fall line, he wouldn't be able to turn.  

 

I might suggest working on pure carved turns on very low slopes to start.  J turns seem to work pretty good in my experience.  Let him get a feel and understanding of how the ski bends and carves an arc.  Without that, he has no choice but to slide the skis around.  I guess you could say he is forcing his turns around with is body because he doesn't know how to use the skis to make it happen.  

 

I might also suggest working on edge control and side slipping.  I think it is just as important for a skier to understand how to release an edge as it is to grip with an edge. A perfect carve uses a firm edge grip.  A brushed turn uses a controlled slip.  Everything in between should make nice S shaped turns that originate from the skis.  

 

As for losing the stem, I'm not all that concerned.  I view the stem as a safety blanket.  It's what you do when you are scared.  You see it a lot when skiers are trying steep slopes for the first time. You see it at the beginning of the turn because that is where the leap of faith has to happen, where you have to face downhill with nothing to hold you back.  I would certainly agree that relying on a stem to start your turns isn't good skiing, but I think it will fade away if the skier becomes more confident in their ability to use the ski to turn and trust their edges.  

 

Thats the way I see it.  Again, I'm not an expert on the topic, but this makes sense to me.   

good advice for all

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

I think Rusty is on to something with the stance set up. It looks like he's set up on the outside edges, in which case he'll never go to a narrower stance since there's no edge control without the skis being far out. Frankly, it would make sense to start there since it looks like he has pretty good control of what he does do. Also, set up like that the tails feel safer so getting off them will be tough.

 

Try jamming like 4-6 trailmaps between shell and liner at the top. Medial, (inside), side. This would hopefully get him more on an inside edge.

Otherwise, you're trying to change ingrained patterns that are partly caused by the setup. Changing the setup first will make everything feel different and make it easier to change the patterns. Yeah, it'll cost some money, but experiments don't.

Where would he go to get work done? What area is he in? If at Stowe area, where does one go?

 

The skier in the video lives in the Boston area.  The boots were setup by the Westwood Ski Stop, which has been mentioned on these forums as one of the better boot fitting shops in Massachusetts.  That's where I told him to go.  I'm assuming they did a good job fitting him; I'm not sure if they did any sort of balancing work.

 

Trying the trail map trick is an interesting idea.  It's easy enough to start there to see if there's some "instant improvement".  It's at least a starting point.

Did he specifically get his alignment checked or did he just buy his boots there?

post #22 of 25

There's only a couple of shops that do that as a matter of course.  Otherwise, few people want to pay for it up front as we know.

 

Have him make slow narrow wedge turns on easy terrain with a little pitch. It is likely that he'll almost automatically go wide as he has little edge control narrow. As he gets into the fall line, he may want to push the outside ski out to get some control. Coach him not to, but he may be forced to by the setup. Or, he may lean way in to compensate. I've seen this happen, though he has gotten quite used to things this way.

post #23 of 25

SMIM - what a great acronym.

 

I'm with Josh on this one.  If he learns to face his shoulders/arms/hips downhill while turning, that will throw a wrench in the works and shake up his very stable interrelated package of bad movements.

 

Once the upper body/lower body separation is going well, he'll be turning using his feet and legs instead of his upper body.  He will be ready to deal with the wide rigid two-footed stance, the back seat issue, and the stem entry.  

 

People are different and respond to different things.  My suggestion is teach separation first; then go to other things if repeated attempts to get him to hold his upper body facing a target downhill didn't work.  

 

Well, actually, if he were my student I'd keep working on that until he got it.

post #24 of 25
I guess I look at this opposite as you, LF.

If he stands up, releases his edges and turns his legs while keeping the upper body quiet, he is learning efficient movement patterns from which he can build on.

I agree he needs to learn upper/lower body separation but I would go about it differently.
post #25 of 25

I think teaching him to turn the legs while keeping the upper body quiet is teaching "separation."

Teach him to do it any way that works.  

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