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Masters GS race ski advice

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hello.  Did plenty of reading on the newer masters race skis, including discussions on here, and formed some of my own initial opinions. I would like some advice in how to proceed next.

 

About me:  36, 5'8", 149lbs, slim athletic build.  Second year masters racing in far west (Lake Tahoe).  Level 8 skier rated by PSIA L3s and examiners at the vail resorts ski schools.  The major skill that I was working on at the end of this season was to shift weight to new outside leg as early as possible, trying to do it closer to the crossover when old inside leg becomes new outside leg, at the top part of the "C".

 

My current race training quiver are: 

-  Rossignol Hero Elite ST 160cm

-  Elan Ripstick Fusion 176cm, 71mm under foot, 17.8m radius

-  2013 Fischer Womens RC4 WC GS FIS.  183cm, 23m radius.

-  2013 Fischer Mens RC4 WC GS FIS.  186cm, 27m radius.

 

For most of the season I had been training on the Elan Ripsticks.  I got the Fischers at season end when they were steeply discounted, like $250 a pair with bindings.  I figure I can't lose much at that price.  I tried the Fischer womens 23m at the last weekend of the season and found that I do not yet have sufficient skill to control them consistently.  I certainly have the strength and ability to bend the ski when I do it right, but I can't do it consistently yet.  It's so unforgiving that it punishes my tiniest mistakes, and I still make plenty at my current skill level.  On the other hand, after feeling a real FIS ski and the power / energy it has, I feel that the Elan Ripstick is a bit lacking.  It's nice and stable and fun, but I feel that it doesn't propel me out of the turn.

 

So I am thinking about a new main "training" ski to for me to get better in skill before I try the Fischer FIS skis again.  Something with more energy / performance / skill than the elan ripsticks, but not as punishing as the FIS skis.  Based on my research, I believe the head i.speed, atomic d2 gs, and rossi hero master are good candidates.  Would appreciate any thoughts and recommendations from here.  Thanks!  

post #2 of 26


OK, here is some advice from a Far West masters racer and coach.  Probably not what you ere hoping to hear but based on experience. 

 

Stick with what you have. U the 23m 183 fischer and make it your bitch.  That is a decent ski that will help you get there and is reasonably user friendly and not over demanding.  Put the 186/27m in the closet and leave  it there, not the ski for you at this stage.  Same with the Ripstick, as you have found it is not designed for gates.  

 

Contrary to popular belief there is not a silver bullet accelerator from training on a shorter radius ski.  All it does is reinforce bad habits, skidding the ski around, encouraging too straight a line etc.  The 23 m ski will force you to focus on a better line and actually bending and working the ski and start to get proper habits built into muscle memory.  

 

Stick with it!

 

Oh, one other point, what boot are you using?


Edited by ScotsSkier - 7/8/15 at 1:38pm
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks ScotsSkier for your thoughts.

 

I spent maybe 2 hours on the FIS skis on the last weekend of my season in mid April.  I find the skis very hard to control - there was so much energy stored in them when I load them up as I get into the turn, that I find it hard to control on the release of the turn (I hope I am describing correctly).  At that release I kinda lose my sense of balance and it turns into an irrecoverable error.  After about 2 hours I was actually a little scared.  And the slopes got more crowded and also the snow was turning into slush so I stopped.  But I did have some turns where I nailed them on the release, and it was such a thrill feeling the sling shot and building into the next turn.

 

Is there a difference between shorter radius skis and stiffness in terms of technique progression?  I feel that those FIS skis are too stiff and so my initial thought is to get a ski that's between the elan ripstick and the Fischer in stiffness for me to progress on.  To me the Fischer feels like say a full on race car while the Ripstick is like a BMW.  I was thinking maybe a Porsche or an entry level race car to practice technique before going to the full on race car.

 

My boots are Head Raptor B2s.  Upgraded from Technica Cochise in March and got about 15 days on them.  Made a huge difference in power transmission and control.  And apparently I was one of the lucky ones with narrow feet that they fit without much m odification.  Wish I had done so earlier.  I love the fit so much that I bought a pair of B3 at season end sale to free ski on.

post #4 of 26

OK, a few things here.  It sounds like you were free-skiing on them rather than training in gates? and softer snow would not help?   A few thoughts based on your comments although obviously without seeing you in action these are an educated guess.    Sounds like you are loading the ski up too deep into the turn rather than getting pressure earlier in the turn.  As a result when you should be making the move to the new ski as you come through the gate you are just starting to load  up the ski in the belly of the turn rather than having the turn almost completed. And the result (as you are finding) is that it becomes difficult to move to the new ski and you get late for the next turn and apply pressure too late and so the issue continues and is exaggerated.    That is why you need to focus much more on turn shape and line, come more high across the hill and apply the pressure early in the turn rather than pointing straight at the gate (real or imaginary).

 

Think of the Fischer more as a BMW and the Ripstick as a Ford Focus........

 

And the boots.   Confirmed my suspicion.  I am not that familiar with the Head boot but IIRC the Raptor B2 is 140-160 stiffness.  I am 20 pounds heavier than you and am racing in a 130 boot, cut down to about 115-120 stiffness.  While the stiff boot feels great when you first move to it (I know because I persevered with a 150 for too long!) the problem is you are probably barely  able to flex it.  And,much as you describe, when you cant flex the boot and be able to adjust your CoM easily you get thrown off balance.  Hence your "race car" feel of sensitivity!.  The issue is not in the ski, the issue is you have no suspension travel in the boot.  You have effectively taken a BMW set up ski and locked up the suspension to Nascar stocker stiff so you have no movement!   and at 150# and a new racer, you are giving yourself the worst of all worlds.  All is not lost though, soften up the boot and give yourself a chance.  You would be surprised at how much softer even the WC guys are running their boots for GS these days!

 

Are you part of a Masters program anywhere?  Coaching will make a big difference


Edited by ScotsSkier - 7/8/15 at 9:50pm
post #5 of 26

I pretty much agree with ScotsSkier.  You are adjusting to longer skis.  You are adjusting to stiffer skis.  You are adjusting to longer turn radius.  You are doing this all at once, and you are still not used to your stiffer boots (maybe too stiff, but that is another story for another time).

 

Stick with the 23 m Fischer; it will take some time, but it will come. 

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ah, that makes a ton of sense, thanks!

 

I am in the masters program at Kirkwood.  The program shut down early this season due to lack of snow, so there was no coaching on that last weekend when I was on my Fischers.  These questions I am having now were inspired by seeing discounted prior season skis in the middle of summer, thinking ahead already to the next season.

 

I was free skiing on the Fischers that weekend because the program had already shut down and there were no gates.  Yes softer in slush had definitely helped, but then Chair 10 / the wall opened up and I didn't want to take these skis into that difficult terrain, so I switched back to my Elans and had a blast.  Hope that clears things up a bit.

 

Yeah B2 was 140 - 160 stiffness.  I had actually skied with a PSIA L3 who is also a boot fitter for two days when I first got these boots, because I wanted an expert to help me dial these in.  He observed my skiing and made adjustments to the boot (added one heel lift to get my stance just a little bit more forward).  He thought I was flexing it fine at 140 stiffness, but it was with the Elan skis and it was hot that week (first week of April).  After the season ended, I did buy the B3 which is the exact fit boot with 120 - 140 stiffness.  So by next season I will definitely get to experiment with the stiffness setting.

 

Your explanation of Fischer + B2 = BMW with stiff race suspension makes perfect sense.  I will as you say try to make the Fischers my bitch :)

 

Sometimes I am too lazy to switch after gate training... do you guys think I can free ski on these GS skis?  I have a son and daughter on the team as well.  Sometimes we ski in the afternoon, and they go everywhere. 

post #7 of 26

It can be done, but if you are not carving those things arc-2-arc, you are wasting them.  Sometimes conditions (hills too crowded) suggest a more cautious approach, and sometimes hills are too small to make it worthwhile in a turns per dollar sense. 

 

I would plan on skiing them, but bring the Ripsticks just in case.

post #8 of 26

Pretty much what SS and Ghost said. Stick with the 23 m FIS skis.

 

But I'll add two ideas: 1) You don't specify what "training" really means. There are big differences between running gates on your own with some friends, same with a Masters coach yelling a couple of things as you skim by, video and serious coaching input, and finally, taking a lesson from a Level III. IME, and coaches will say the same thing, we don't learn anything new racing. Everything's happening too fast, we revert to a lowest common denominator of our technique. There's some desensitization, which is one reason racers run a zillion gates, but you won't learn to flash your bases uphill running gates. And honestly, a lot of Master's coaching is more about details than fundamentals anyway. So unless your Masters program is sitting you guys down and looking at video, really going over stuff, I'd argue for you to take some actual lessons - a bunch - from a Level III using the Ripsticks. Good ski, owned a pair. Once you can do what you want to do, with an instructor doing real time Motion Analysis, then it will transfer to the GS skis. But less sure you will get anywhere just trying trying on your own. And keep in mind that the U.S. Team does a fair amount of training free skiing at a snail's pace. Harder to do things correctly slow than fast. 

 

2) Soften your boots. Or sell them and get a pair in the 120-130 range. They're too stiff for your size, period. Will actually encourage bad habits. 

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post
 

Ah, that makes a ton of sense, thanks!

 

 

 

Sometimes I am too lazy to switch after gate training... do you guys think I can free ski on these GS skis?  I have a son and daughter on the team as well.  Sometimes we ski in the afternoon, and they go everywhere. 

 

Absolutely!  the best way to really get used to them, ski them everywhere and keep building the muscle memory and work on building edge angles.  My normal daily ski, unless I am coaching or training slalom is a 188/30 or 191/27 FIS GS ski.  i simply find a good GS ski is still some of the most fun you can have on snow. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Pretty much what SS and Ghost said. Stick with the 23 m FIS skis.

 

But I'll add two ideas: 1) You don't specify what "training" really means. There are big differences between running gates on your own with some friends, same with a Masters coach yelling a couple of things as you skim by, video and serious coaching input, and finally, taking a lesson from a Level III.  L200 or L300 coach. IME, and coaches will say the same thing, we don't learn anything new racing. Everything's happening too fast, we revert to a lowest common denominator of our technique. There's some desensitization, which is one reason racers run a zillion gates, but you won't learn to flash your bases uphill running gates. And honestly, a lot of Master's coaching is more about details than fundamentals anyway. So unless your Masters program is sitting you guys down and looking at video, really going over stuff, I'd argue for you to take some actual lessons - a bunch - from a Level III using the Ripsticks. Good ski, owned a pair. Once you can do what you want to do, with an instructor  a coach doing real time Motion Analysis, then it will transfer to the GS skis. But less sure you will get anywhere just trying trying on your own. And keep in mind that the U.S. Team does a fair amount of training free skiing at a snail's pace. Harder to do things correctly slow than fast. 

 

2) Soften your boots. Or sell them and get a pair in the 120-130 range. They're too stiff for your size, period. Will actually encourage bad habits Thumbs Up

 

I am normally pretty much in tune with Beyond and he has a lot of good stuff here.  However I will disagree with him on taking lessons from an LIII if your focus and passion is on racing. Some of the basics are similar but the focus and purpose of an LIII v. a L200/300 coach is quite different.  In racing we want you to get faster, not necessarily prettier!  (and wait for the flaming here from the PSIA guys :D)  .  I don't mean any offense to them but we are trying to achieve different objectives.  This is particularly true with Masters coaching where you need to individualize the analysis and approach for every athlete to match their age, mobility, physique and fitness.  Very often with Masters you are working with guys who are coming to racing late/later in life and want to make progress because, simply, we dont always have that much time on our side and have multiple years of ingrained habits .  That is one of the things I find most fascinating and rewarding about working with Masters racers.  You cant just use a cookie cutter approach and work them through a multi-year progression because you dont necessarily have the luxury of time to get there:(.  So I like to focus on what actions for each individual  to make progress and get faster.  And sometimes you need to advocate some unorthodox tactics (which could give some PSIA guys apoplexy! )

 

I am very much in agreement on NOT just running gates all day.  We have a pretty strict rule at Mt Rose where we will do a maximum of 6 runs through gates in a training session.  (OK , I have been known to sometimes sneak in an extra one!).  We apply this with kids and with Masters.  Experience has taught us that going beyond that is counter productive and starts encouraging sloppy skiing and bad habits. But treat each of these runs like a race run and go for it.  (look also for some of the articles by Dr Jim Taylor around approach to training, very insightful)  And definitely use analysis afterwards, either video or stills.  Personally i am a big fan of good stills if you are shooting 20-30 FPS.  i find you can spot issues more effectively from a series of stills than you can with video.

 

So lots of stuff to think about. i look forward to seeing you at FW races next season, feel free to ask for any help I can provide on race days!

post #10 of 26
Quote:
In racing we want you to get faster, not necessarily prettier!

Scotskier nails it! There are no style points in ski racing-fastest guy or girl wins....................

 

Lots of good advice here. I assume you've had your alignment/canting checked on your boots-if not that should be a priority. You may want to pick up a second set of the skis you decide you're going to race on to use for inspection/training.

post #11 of 26

My .02.  Eastern Masters Racer, "serious" beer leaguer and u14 Race coach.

 

+1 on the boots.  For your size / weight 140 seems stiff.  It would be hard to flex the ankle but - as you say - not your first day.  :)  That said, we do a lot of training on gentle terrain with cuff unbuckled.  ANKLEs.  Is there are rivet you can remove to soften? I am your height but 40# heavier and fit.  I am in 130s.  

 

The 23r is a good choice.  IF you can find an older 21r Fischer -  these are sweet.  Depending on the set for your races, you might consider a cheater.  I raced on a Volkl 19m 186 cheater this year.  OMG.  Loved it.  Great grip, great angles, easy corrections.    I raced night league (little tighter) on a 175 19m.  What a great ski!  Nobody cares what is on your feet - only what is on the clock.

 

At your size, do not be afraid to troll the swaps looking for a youth ski.  The larger radius and softer flex might suit you well.  Sometimes I coach on youth 19m 176 Atomics.  So fun.  I think I paid $50 at a swap.  

 

Finally, race skis do not work too hot in soft snow.  They are designed to grip and rip on hard ice.  When first thing in the morning and mach shnell ripping, pretty fun, but once the snow softens and crowds roll in, put them away.  You CAN bend them at speed on ice.  Fluff and mush - not so much.  Did I mention you need to be going FAST.

 

If gate training, you will also need race gloves, and I recommend a stealth top and perhaps a back protector.  Best to train in padded GS suit and shorts.  You will need a hard sided helmet.  Pad up.  Protective equip does no good in the closet or car.

 

Finally, VIDEO.  Get or make a selfie stick.  Have a partner follow you with cam or phone (I use this a lot).   The stick allows for close up video but with a margin of safety via the extra distance provided by the stick. Take turns.  Pix reveal all and if on phone you can watch anywhere anytime for fun / education :)

 

Good luck with your racing.  The best!

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice.  Gave me a lot of think about.

 

Geez, you guys are taking the fun out of mid summer day dreaming on buying new skis. =)

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post
 

Thanks for all the advice.  Gave me a lot of think about.

 

Geez, you guys are taking the fun out of mid summer day dreaming on buying new skis. =)


One huge plus point Galun, you have already grasped the first rule of Masters racing.  Always think first "what can I buy  to improve " before worrying about training and fitness!   :D

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 


One huge plus point Galun, you have already grasped the first rule of Masters racing.  Always think first "what can I buy  to improve " before worrying about training and fitness!   :D

 

It's always the equipment's fault if you don't win!

post #15 of 26

My new GS suit should be good for at least a couple of seconds.........................:D

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

I am normally pretty much in tune with Beyond and he has a lot of good stuff here.  However I will disagree with him on taking lessons from an LIII if your focus and passion is on racing. Some of the basics are similar but the focus and purpose of an LIII v. a L200/300 coach is quite different.  In racing we want you to get faster, not necessarily prettier!  (and wait for the flaming here from the PSIA guys :D)  .  I don't mean any offense to them but we are trying to achieve different objectives.  This is particularly true with Masters coaching where you need to individualize the analysis and approach for every athlete to match their age, mobility, physique and fitness.  Very often with Masters you are working with guys who are coming to racing late/later in life and want to make progress because, simply, we dont always have that much time on our side and have multiple years of ingrained habits .  That is one of the things I find most fascinating and rewarding about working with Masters racers.  You cant just use a cookie cutter approach and work them through a multi-year progression because you dont necessarily have the luxury of time to get there:(

And I normally am in tune with SS, so I'll gingerly take up the cudgels. :D:D

 

Past couple of years I was in the middle of the sandwich between my coaches and my instructors about just this. In fact, the P word came up derisively from the racing side several times. Then an interesting thing happened. Took a few lessons from the head of the school, very high level former racer, that were directed specifically at some issues I was having racing. And to paraphrase what he said: "Both sides are wrong. It's about teaching, not technique"

 

Put another way, the fastest way down a course will necessarily use the same basic technical principles that high level freeskiing uses. Physics is physics is physics. It isn't that some of the basics aren't similar, it's that they have to be the same. There will be differences in details, like positioning and using the arms, or leg placement, and obviously in strategy because only trees offer even a vague analogy in freeskiing, but even those detail differences get exaggerated by each side arguing with the other. In reality if you spend too much force trying to knock out gates, or even too much focus thinking about them, you slow down. If you take too straight a line up high, cuz it's faster, you'll pay for it trying to recover three gates down over the lip. There's a reason that Shiffrin and Ligety look like water flowing down a streambed; smooth is fast. Early is fast. Everyone predicted that Ligety would take his new GS's and stivot and recover late like it was 1996. Wrong. He made the new sidecuts fast by the same mechanics he'd always used. Get the damn turn done early so you can go flat for a few milliseconds longer each between. And Shiffrin, she's like watching ballet on edge. She's fast because her skiing's pretty. 

 

The extreme opposite is true too: If you're too focused on elegance in freeskiing, you'll look like a fool after 2 serious bumps. You better be able to initiate now, recover on one leg, stivot, keep both legs independent, stay fast. But under all that recovery are solid basics that allow you to recover in the first place. 

 

Now SS won't disagree I bet, as much as he'll argue back that he's trying to make latecomers skip the foundational work so they can compete right now.  My response: You're putting an automatic ceiling on them; no one gets a free pass out of Physics 1. Yes, you can get them moderately fast, if ugly, and if your goal is simply to make them end up in a higher place instead of a lower, all good. But is that their goal? I guess I don't see the urgency to do well as much as I see the inefficiency of bandages toward a goal of becoming a better skier. 

 

As far as passion, age, mobility and fitness: I once tried to follow a respectful distance behind Stein Eriksen as he flowed down through a mogul field, singing and talking to his buddies. I was fast and ugly and about two generations younger. (One instructor around that time said he had never met someone who had such good balance and recovery stemming from having to compensate for so many bad mechanics.)

 

Couldn't even vaguely keep up with old Stein. OK, not every guy in his 60's is a genius of the body, and not every guy in his 30's is as plateaued high intermediate as I was, but my point is that good fundamentals will make your skiing easier (and faster) as you age and get banged up. Whether you race or not. Bandages over mediocre fundamentals will carry a higher risk, however fast you go past that gate, to ACL's and concussions. Which don't heal real quickly later in life, trust me. And you don't learn those fundamentals racing, you learn how to race. Just saying'...

post #17 of 26
Just a quick bit here, but there are L3's out there with a race background and understand very well what efficient, functional, balanced, and fast skiing means both tecnica.ly and tactically. Deb Armstrong is an L3. I have a friend who was on the women's USSA development team who's an L3. What's the difference? Someone who's raced at a fairly high level (let's say 80 FIS points or less) will get their L3 relatively quickly as the skills of good skiing are largely already well developed AND they have the race experience and perspective you're looking for. Pretty? Hell, Mikaela's skiing is about as pretty as it gets. smile.gif
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Just a quick bit here, but there are L3's out there with a race background and understand very well what efficient, functional, balanced, and fast skiing means both tecnica.ly and tactically. Deb Armstrong is an L3. I have a friend who was on the women's USSA development team who's an L3. What's the difference? Someone who's raced at a fairly high level (let's say 80 FIS points or less) will get their L3 relatively quickly as the skills of good skiing are largely already well developed AND they have the race experience and perspective you're looking for. Pretty? Hell, Mikaela's skiing is about as pretty as it gets. smile.gif

Good input Marko and no real disagreement from me.  Our Head Coach is  an L3 as well as L300 (400?) .  There are several coaches like that and it makes a huge difference compared to those L3s who have no race experience or expertise. That is the point I was making.  I know in your own case having a race background I would be comfortable that you understand the differences and would have the correct focus.  Other L3s..... not so much.... :o

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

And I normally am in tune with SS, so I'll gingerly take up the cudgels. :D:D

 

Past couple of years I was in the middle of the sandwich between my coaches and my instructors about just this. In fact, the P word came up derisively from the racing side several times. Then an interesting thing happened. Took a few lessons from the head of the school, very high level former racer, that were directed specifically at some issues I was having racing. And to paraphrase what he said: "Both sides are wrong. It's about teaching, not technique"

 

Put another way, the fastest way down a course will necessarily use the same basic technical principles that high level freeskiing uses. Physics is physics is physics. It isn't that some of the basics aren't similar, it's that they have to be the same. There will be differences in details, like positioning and using the arms, or leg placement, and obviously in strategy because only trees offer even a vague analogy in freeskiing, but even those detail differences get exaggerated by each side arguing with the other. In reality if you spend too much force trying to knock out gates, or even too much focus thinking about them, you slow down. If you take too straight a line up high, cuz it's faster, you'll pay for it trying to recover three gates down over the lip. There's a reason that Shiffrin and Ligety look like water flowing down a streambed; smooth is fast. Early is fast. Everyone predicted that Ligety would take his new GS's and stivot and recover late like it was 1996. Wrong. He made the new sidecuts fast by the same mechanics he'd always used. Get the damn turn done early so you can go flat for a few milliseconds longer each between. And Shiffrin, she's like watching ballet on edge. She's fast because her skiing's pretty. 

 

The extreme opposite is true too: If you're too focused on elegance in freeskiing, you'll look like a fool after 2 serious bumps. You better be able to initiate now, recover on one leg, stivot, keep both legs independent, stay fast. But under all that recovery are solid basics that allow you to recover in the first place. 

 

Now SS won't disagree I bet, as much as he'll argue back that he's trying to make latecomers skip the foundational work so they can compete right now.  My response: You're putting an automatic ceiling on them; no one gets a free pass out of Physics 1. Yes, you can get them moderately fast, if ugly, and if your goal is simply to make them end up in a higher place instead of a lower, all good. But is that their goal? I guess I don't see the urgency to do well as much as I see the inefficiency of bandages toward a goal of becoming a better skier. 

 

As far as passion, age, mobility and fitness: I once tried to follow a respectful distance behind Stein Eriksen as he flowed down through a mogul field, singing and talking to his buddies. I was fast and ugly and about two generations younger. (One instructor around that time said he had never met someone who had such good balance and recovery stemming from having to compensate for so many bad mechanics.)

 

Couldn't even vaguely keep up with old Stein. OK, not every guy in his 60's is a genius of the body, and not every guy in his 30's is as plateaued high intermediate as I was, but my point is that good fundamentals will make your skiing easier (and faster) as you age and get banged up. Whether you race or not. Bandages over mediocre fundamentals will carry a higher risk, however fast you go past that gate, to ACL's and concussions. Which don't heal real quickly later in life, trust me. And you don't learn those fundamentals racing, you learn how to race. Just saying'...

 

en garde sir!! :duel: :D  I think actually you have just proved my point!  Your lessons "...very high level former racer, that were directed specifically at some issues I was having racing"  is very different from just taking a lesson from any L3!.

 

I think though that you misunderstand some of my points.  I agree that the fundamentals are the same.....I disagree that spending lots of time focused on that is going to improve race performance.....because, quite simply, that doesn't provide the drive necessary to get faster.  I see it with several of our training group.  They spend so much time thinking about the perfect turn that they forget to go fast!!!!.   I fall a bit more in the Bode type camp where you work out what is going to work for the individual.  And no, this is NOT putting a ceiling on them, it is keeping them in the game.  When you get a new racer coming in late 50s/early 60s, they do not want (or have the time!) to spend several years working on fundamentals while not racing or underperforming.....

 

My focus is on helping them make progress in the course against the clock so they can start racing and also we can work on further improvements as we go.  Different? yes!, limiting? I do not believe so.  ;)  .  I want to encourage people to get into races and have fun, not have to spend several years building up to it!.   I actually dont want people thinking about technique once they trip the wand!.  I want them thinking about line and how quickly they can get to the bottom.....

 

And as those that have skied with me know, lots of flaws in my technique from a PSIA critique :rolleyes, but still reasonably quick in gates with a decent track record for someone who only started Masters racing at 50......:)

 

But, overall, I think we are mostly in violent agreement!   It comes back to focusing on the individual and what they need rather than one size fits all.  To me that is a huge part of the analytical challenge...

post #19 of 26
Quote:

Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
because, quite simply, that doesn't provide the drive necessary to get faster.  I see it with several of our training group.  They spend so much time thinking about the perfect turn that they forget to go fast!!!!.  

 

Do not agree with first part of A, cuz I think drive is about individual psychology, probably set in childhood, not something you learn. At best, you learn techniques to satisfy the drive you had all along. (Notice I said technique, not speed. Concentrating on speed is the best way to lose. See below.) OTOH, agree that trying for a perfect turn may not lead to very immediate rewards. It's a question of whether we want our gratification right away or in a season or two. :dunno We Americans are a very impatient people...

 

Agree with B, have been there. If you cannot tell by now, I also play golf and tennis without keeping score. :eek Comes from having won a few medals in a solitary sport, high school through college (distance running), setting some intramural records in grad school. Never elite, but trained with a few ranked/alternates to the national team at couple of points. So IME, you learn to assess your internal status, monitor your mechanics, focus on personal goals, which usually just include sustaining a biomechanical or psychological tweak, rather than clock watching. And you get faster that way. Worrying about the clock is a good way to lose. Listening to your body and letting go of worrying about the outside world is a good route to the podium. Very Buddhist, distance running. For me (YMMV and apparently does) skiing is also that way. I get better by not trying to get better, just paying attention to what I'm doing, one piece at a time. I have a ton of drive, but it ain't about beating people, it's about reaching my own benchmarks. 

 

But, overall, I think we are mostly in violent agreement!   It comes back to focusing on the individual and what they need rather than one size fits all.  To me that is a huge part of the analytical challenge...Nope, don't think we are in agreement, actually. ;) One size does fit all, in the sense of mechanics. Bode may take outrageous risks because of his balance and strength, but his fundamentals are sound. Otherwise he'd have blown out everything years before he did. That was my instructor's point: One style of teaching may not fit all, one drill won't, one suggestion won't, one stop action video won't. But they're all aimed at the same underlying fundamentals, in his opinion. Physics is physics is...


Edited by beyond - 7/10/15 at 1:43pm
post #20 of 26

Ah Zen and the art of ski racing......:D   I hear you but doesn't work for me I'm afraid (hence proving my point about different strokes for different folks! :rolleyes)     The thinking is not about speed per se it is about how and where you can shave time off... which may or may not involve fundamentals.   Of course in some cases you will need to completely deconstruct the skiing and start again.......

 

I understand where you are coming from though.  To me that approach is more like motor racing where, with enough practice time (and money) a fairly average driver can learn to become reasonably fast, by consistently driving round the same circuit and gradually upping the pace.  I come at it more from the loose surface rallying viewpoint where you need to be able to react to the unseen and unknown and take some risks and push the envelope a bit to make the podium.  I am better with that type of challenge than with just consistently running drills (low boredom threshold).

 

Which is also why I like to treat every training run like a race run from an internalization process, (and why I hate to see athletes giving up in a training run instead of making the effort to complete)

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ok... so newbie question... what is the difference in philosophy / technqiue between PSIA instruction path and USSA coaching path?

 

Looking at my own experience... last season was my first season in masters racing.  I went in with relatively poor fundamentals.  Race coaches taught me how to run gates, line, angles, where to look, stuff like that.  Also gave me drills to improve my fundamentals - ski with unbuckled boot, garlands, food tray, etc.  But it was a group program, and there was relatively little individual attention.

 

So to supplement / accelerate my development, I had also taken lessons from PSIA L3s.  I had told the ski school ahead of time that I was an aspiring racer and wanted instructors that could help me.  These L3s I had did not seem to care about "pretty skiing" at all.  Early in the season I was shifting my weight to the new outside leg way too late, usually after apex.  Combination of old habits and didn't know any better.  An L3 skied behind me and simply said I want to see the underside of the ski before you even start to make the new turn.  I was like wouldn't I fall?  Sure enough, after a few falls, it clicked for me and I got it.  Then later on in the season I was trying to ski more stacked.  Another L3 gave me many drills, mostly one legged drill on the outside ski so I can get the feeling of weight / balance shift in my head.  He did not care about my hands positions, how the inside ski was doing, etc.  Total focus on getting weight shifted onto new outside leg as early as possible.  After a while, I got it and we moved onto something else.

 

I realize that my experience is probably relatively unique.  One PSIA L3 even said PSIA won't like the way I am teaching you.  LOL.  Did I get good (for my specific situation) PSIA L3s who teach more like USSA coaches?  How would they have taught if they had stuck to PSIA methodology?

 

Just trying to learn.  In my own experience, I had a blast with both "schools of thought", and they worked together beautifully for my own skill advancement.  So I don't really understand when I read about the differences in methodology...

post #22 of 26
That's actually been my experience too.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post

Ok... so newbie question... what is the difference in philosophy / technqiue between PSIA instruction path and USSA coaching path?

Looking at my own experience... last season was my first season in masters racing.  I went in with relatively poor fundamentals.  Race coaches taught me how to run gates, line, angles, where to look, stuff like that.  Also gave me drills to improve my fundamentals - ski with unbuckled boot, garlands, food tray, etc.  But it was a group program, and there was relatively little individual attention.

So to supplement / accelerate my development, I had also taken lessons from PSIA L3s.  I had told the ski school ahead of time that I was an aspiring racer and wanted instructors that could help me.  These L3s I had did not seem to care about "pretty skiing" at all.  Early in the season I was shifting my weight to the new outside leg way too late, usually after apex.  Combination of old habits and didn't know any better.  An L3 skied behind me and simply said I want to see the underside of the ski before you even start to make the new turn.  I was like wouldn't I fall?  Sure enough, after a few falls, it clicked for me and I got it.  Then later on in the season I was trying to ski more stacked.  Another L3 gave me many drills, mostly one legged drill on the outside ski so I can get the feeling of weight / balance shift in my head.  He did not care about my hands positions, how the inside ski was doing, etc.  Total focus on getting weight shifted onto new outside leg as early as possible.  After a while, I got it and we moved onto something else.

I realize that my experience is probably relatively unique.  One PSIA L3 even said PSIA won't like the way I am teaching you.  LOL.  Did I get good (for my specific situation) PSIA L3s who teach more like USSA coaches?  How would they have taught if they had stuck to PSIA methodology?

Just trying to learn.  In my own experience, I had a blast with both "schools of thought", and they worked together beautifully for my own skill advancement.  So I don't really understand when I read about the differences in methodology...


No. You just got good coaches because you explained in advance what your goals were. Good skiing is good skiing. Good coaching is good coaching. L3's with race experience aren't a myth. smile.gif
post #24 of 26
Amen to that. IME (limited), most L3's have raced at some point, and some have done pretty well. The key may be, as stated above, to let the instructor know what you are after.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Amen to that. IME (limited), most L3's have raced at some point, and some have done pretty well. The key may be, as stated above, to let the instructor know what you are after.

I agree with Marko's point..

 

However I think that must be pretty limited experience Beyond. IM(very limited)E it is in single digits but I suspect overall it is less than 20% that have race experience.. maybe some of the PSIA afficiandos have some facts (not opinions) around this?..  If we had the same race performance requiremenst as the ESF I suspect we would see a lot fewer qualifying....

post #26 of 26
That sounds about right. There are a handful of us with race experience at the hill, but enough to provide appropriate feedback for a race oriented client.
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