Originally Posted by Trekchick
Perhaps to figure out what "centered on your skis" means, you could practice doing spins.
360's on flat.
This is another thing that Charlie and Bob had a clinic group do to find out how to find our "neutral".
Silly question--if this is on flat snow, how do you get going? I imagine just twisting my body while keeping my skis flat would work. Does that sound right?
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Originally Posted by litterbug
The main thing she worked on was getting us as far forward as we could with full pressure on the tongues of our boots throughout all the exercises we did.Yuch. Pressure builds and releases throughout a turn, as does being "forward." Don't like this at all.Don't crush the tongues of your boots all the time! Read Bob Barnes X-move description. It changed my skiing dramatically.
Oh believe me, I get that. At some point last season I read something about always having pressure against the tongues, which turned out to be screwy in practice. I can't pretend that my body and skis are doing a perfectly-timed dance, and I can always feel
the front of my boot unless I'm freaking out and falling back, but the pressure changes constantly while I'm flexing and straightening throughout the turn.
Personally I don't gain knowledge by just seeing things. Maybe in slow motion I do a bit more, but I need to have things explained, and thus have been pegged as an "analytical learner."
However after years of trying to "learn" that way and having very slow progress, I started working with a trainer who refused to explain anything to me and just had me do things that created feelings in my body of what she wanted me to develop. Once I felt them I was able to try to recreate that feeling and I started to learn. These were things that I fully understood before, but still didn't do well.
That sounds brilliant. I think I know what you mean. One instructor, after some explaining and some correcting and a certain amount of cursing on my part, told me to just think about bending the ski at a particular moment in the turn, and going after the feeling of pressure clicked right away. Once I feel the sensation of the position or movement I feel like I have something to go for.
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet
I really like what SkiMangoJazz said above. It definitely ain't you. Groups are difficult to teach with personal feedback included. Some instructors simply choose not to identify and address what each student needs in a group lesson. Others (more rare around here) do. You need that kind of instructor. Keep in mind that some folks like not being singled out because they get embarrassed, so they prefer group lessons with no personal feedback. Those are the people who will give a great recommendation for an instructor who only talks to the group.
I definitely like feedback. When there's something identifiable that I can correct, I want to know as soon as possible, and I don't care who else hears it. (I don't mind positive feedback either!) I a great group clinic where the instructor gave a lot of individual feedback; not only did his feedback to me directly help my skiing, but watching other skiers get the same feedback as I did let me see what I was doing wrong, and if they solved it before I did and heard the instructor tell them so, I could often see exactly what they'd changed.
Pivot slips are difficult. No one learns to do them in one lesson. There are too many issues that mess them up. The two major ones are keeping your upper body facing downhill while turning your legs independently of it, and the other is keeping yourself centered rather than aft. Think more along the lines of one season, with continued self-torture every day you're on snow, if you are determined to do pivot slips perfectly. It sounds like your instructor was using this drill to highlight fore-aft issues. If a skier is aft, that really messes them up. Most people (surprise!) are a little aft.
That's very useful. Along with SMJ's comments, it makes it clear that finding my center is critical, no matter what anyone says I should be doing to my boot tongues. I may not be as hopelessly in the back seat as I have been, but as my Kenjas like to remind me, I'm also not centered a lot of the time. That's why I'm eager to work on this stuff--I may never get good at it, but I know I'll reap big dividends from anything I can learn about it.
--don't let your feet slide out ahead towards the trees when the skis are pointed sideways; slide/hold them back up under you.
--don't let your feet get downhill of you; as the skis turn sideways pull/keep the uphill foot back uphill above you so your weight is between them.
There have been several comments on keeping one's feet underneath you, or uphill, or whatever, but for some reason that last comment finally makes all of that gel. Thanks!
And stop thinking it's you. It's them.
Awww...you're really too nice. For all you know, I could be an absolute horror in a ski lesson!
As an aside about the instructor, I'll paste in something I sent another member in a PM. Unfortunately I didn't even remember the backdrop until later last night after I finished beating myself up for being such a hopeless student.
In retrospect, though, I'm not sure I saw our instructor at her best. Apparently she'd been told that we were supposed to spend the day free skiing and getting comfortable in the group, but later she saw other instructors stopping and giving instruction, at which point we made a beeline to Sunnyside for the green runs. So maybe she was waiting to plan her lesson strategy until after the first day, and found herself grabbing some concepts and trying to make them work in the time we had left. In some of my previous work incarnations, we would have called that getting sandbagged.
The instructor did encourage us to let her know if there was something we didn't like, but I tend to feel self-conscious about my skills in a group, so I never found a time to say anything. She did give us her card, though, so I'm going to call tomorrow, let her know what I think, find out where she's at with it, and get a feel for how she sees the group going for the next five weeks. I'm optimistic that this will end up being a useful program, but if it seems like we're just too far apart, I have other options, even if my whole class fee were to go down the drain.