I stumbled onto this technical article http://skiracing.com/feature/how-to-improve-your-slalom-skills/
One of the things there is
An upper body that provides an anchor for the lower body to lever, hinge and rotate against will allow the skier athletic freedom.
First off, I think it's rather stupid to use "anchor" since anchors are small things used to lock big things (ships) in place, while here the body is the big thing and it's defininetly not used to anchor the legs in place but to move them faster... as they state later - so "anchor" is completely the wrong mental image. Also, there is nothing static about skiing, while anchors are all about statics.
Using the body's inertia though is a correct and important principle: together with keeping the body on the most efficient line is one of the reasons why retraction is better than extension (where you move the body up and down thus less efficiently) and so on and so forth... also, retraction is a clear example of leveraging the body's inertia, since you use muscles to retract the legs against the body via levers... etc.
But, whether you like anchor or not, this principle strikes home in the sense that this is what was on my mind in that other somewhat disastruous thread of my other 12 year old :) where I couldn't quite pinpoint what I was after.
There's not many things to work with as a skier: you basically have gravity and inertia thus managing the body's inertia is a lot of what high performance skiing is all about. You manage inertia via the skis (edging, bending, fore/aft) via the body (tipping, flexing/extending, angulating, (counter)rotating etc). There are certainly many schools of thought and levels of understanding on what causes what and what we should focus on.
Darn - I already typed a page and didn't get to what I wanted to ask, so I'll just stop at these two questions:
- do you agree with my thinking that the term "anchor" is not applicable - if so, what paints a better mental image?
- do you think that leveraging the body's inertia is something that should be taught directly or never addressed, implicitly managed via the stuff we directly teach, like tipping, flexing/extending, angulating whatever?
I may get to ask my other question depending on how this thread evolves.
thanks and cheers,
Edited by razie - 10/20/14 at 11:34am