So this is really coming from a discussion in the MS video thread. I think it could be valuable to explore in a separated thread.
Here is what I said so far:
Given that what she does in that turn may or may not be skiing gold, what can I do with [..] videos of other skiers?
[...] if i'm a student/athlete looking at the video there are a few things that can happen:
1) I understand very little about skiing, this information could be overwhelming as I am not currently able to perform at a level close enough to implement her techniques.
2) I am an intermediate/advanced skier. I look at it in awe, I see perfection and I am driven to achieve that. Problem is I am not skilled enough yet, so I try to ski like her but I am missing a lot of foundational skills. I need to improve those first.
3) I am an expert/pro/racer. I know what excellent skiing is, I can see and appreciate both the good technical aspects of the turn, and the subtle mistakes. This information reenforces my knowledge. On the slope I can get close to, sometimes even match, her skiing. But I'm not there yet. I still need to iron out MY own mistakes.
So what does this do for me? In the end very little. I am the one skiing, not MS, the information useful to me is the one my coach/instructor gives me about MY skiing, not her because that is not what I look like.
Than, what is the purpose of analyzing a WC racer? It is exactly what is shown in this video. Show tactics rather than technique. So what are the mistakes to be avoided, and what strategies could work better in that specific situation.
Telling the viewers how well she skis, and how she does it might be interesting, educational, and a good reference point of what to aspire to. But in the end nothing of that will directly translate to MY personal skiing experience.
Or at least it won't be as efficient as focusing on personal MA.
So, if I was MS, I might need to know "hey, in this turn you did this and that, and it worked really well. look at your knees/hips/shoulder, remember what it feels like? now compare to this other turn". And also "look here you went too deep, tucked too early, stivoted, let's try not to do it in the next run".
But since I'm not her, it doesn't help me to know that. Not unless I have a direct comparison between what I am doing and her.
Watching awesome videos of other skiers is surely inspirational, but IMHO holds little value as training tool for oneself. This is why the first time you see yourself on video is usually going to have a groundbreaking effect, while the hours spent watching TL ripping not so much.
[...] I simply said what works for me is NOT watching videos of others. It can be useful for certain things, like I've already said, but in the end what makes a difference is seeing myself and having comparisons, instructions, comments, that are specific to MY skiing.
When you study tapes of others you look at them as a direct comparing to what YOU are doing, but you need to have that comparison available. This is what video analysis is, comparison!
In this instance I see great skiing, period. The commentary is useful the way it is because if I was to be in a similar situation I know some possible mistakes, but I'm not running that course, nor I ever will so what is the end value? Knowing she could have done better? How is that going to help ME?
Let's assume that we had a different style of comments to the video, focusing on explaining what she does well.
The same principles apply here too! How does that translate to me? I can see she has no A-frame, now what? what can i do with that information? I can imagine myself doing it but since I do not know the proper motor pattern it will not help me.
I can go out on the hill and try to copy what she does. But is it going to work? Well first I would't be able to know unless I had video of myself (and we go back to comparing) and second, if I do not know how to "make" that move, and there is nobody there to teach me, it is going to take a LOT of trial and error. I don't find this to be very efficient.
Therefore, as much as it is pleasant to watch excellent skiing, I do not think that this ALONE hold any kind of real life value as to the ability to improve one's skiing.
I'm gonna sum up my points here:
- great video, great skiing, inspiring to watch
- not useful as a tool to improve unless it can be directly related to one's skiing. This means that the connection must happen through comparison! that is my point, watching alone is not enough. You need to be able to relate your feeling on the skis, your movements, to what you look like and then relate what she looks like, how she moves, to your experiences. Like I said before, if your technical level is high, you might be able to do it yourself, and identify the areas where you are not proficient. Everybody else needs to have something more than just the video to have any real gains.
- the video commentary is exactly what it should be for the context the video was intended
- MS is a wonderful skier, among the best technically speaking.
- In a race course she is still not comparable to the top guys, needs to be stronger (I hope she will in the future)
Basically I think that watching videos can only be helpful if it is supported by direct comparison with your own skiing, and it supported by coach/instructor feedback. Watching by itself it's like saying I watch all the motogp races, I ride a bike, therefore I should be able to drag my elbow in every corner.
I just watched an interview of Rossi who said how he changed his style to match Marquez by following him on the track and watching him ride. He did it, in less than a year, but he is also a 9 time World Champion! How well is the rest of the field doing?