or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Triggering breakthroughs for borderline advanced skiers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Triggering breakthroughs for borderline advanced skiers

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I notice a lot of seasoned, dedicated skiers who seem to be stuck in a rut with their skiing - really strong level 2 instructors who can't demonstrate at the level 3 standard. They're great at making slow-to-moderate turns on any terrain, and can often be seen doing drills in their free time. However, they've been stuck for sometimes 5+ years. These guys strike me as different from the typical "intermediate rut" skiers who have obvious technical deficiencies. 

 

Have any trainers found themselves in this situation? What did you do to move past this point to the 3 standard and beyond? What sort of changes knocked you out of your almost-advanced rut? How have you helped these rutted skiers attain the breakthrough they need?

post #2 of 29

I've seen some who've been getting great coaching (e.g. ex demo team coaches) and still make no progress. I won't even dream of being able to do better even though I can clearly see what's wrong. Some times the problem is between the ears, Some times the problem is physical. Some times the problem is gear. Some times the problem is coaching. There is no magic bullet for all situations. Just like for any other student, one needs to figure out what the problem is and then figure out the right solution for the problem.

 

If you've got your level 3, these "stuck" pros do have obvious issues. We've all seen them as failed L3 candidates. Some of us have been those failed L3 candidates. I spent 5 years "ready" to take the L3 exam "this year" and never seeing myself as ready to pass. During that time I sought out high level coaching, got all sorts of different advice, retooled my turns multiple times over, fixed some things by breaking others, went backwards trying to start out from square one, and worked through all of that crap to think I was ready and then fail. Then I found a coach (my new SSD) who immediately saw what someone else had said was fixed (and confirmed not fixed in the exam) and pronounced me a year away from getting "fixed" again. But a week later he gave me a move (new outside ankle extension at initiation) that just clicked and a month later I passed. From there I took the advice that "now you are ready to learn how to ski", and started all over again. During that process one of my L3 examiners who passed me observed "you've really stepped up your skiing" and then proceeded to work our group for 1/2 day doing wedge turns (and yes that did help). Some people have the gift and the process of getting "there" is easy. For me the process was frustratingly tedious and not capturable in an Internet post.

 

I don't claim to have the power to transform strong L2s into L3 skiers. It's been my observation that one common issue is "edging skills". The common difference between a strong level 2 and a level 3 is "excitement". The L2 turns just don't have the zip that L3 turns do. That zip comes from edge control. And that kind of edge control requires balancing against the outside ski and being centered on the ski. Some have described it as getting on edge above the fall line. Some have described the difference as bending the ski. When you can truly carve railroad tracks in a variety of terrain you're 1/2 way there. When you can "call up" that kind of carving for parts of turns you'll have it. I've helped some skiers on this road but never had a success story where I was the coach that claimed the victory. The closest I've come is working with one gentleman where I got his freeskiing to the L3 standard through a focus on the White Pass drill, railroad tracks and fast "follow me" skiing. But I could not work with him enough to get his bump skiing up to standard. It's been my experience that "the drills" can get you from L2 to L3, but there are certain drills you need to be ready for or they just won't help you improve. An example drill is the bamboo over the shoulder drill with no poles. If you have shoulder issues, you shouldn't even try this drill. If you're ready for it, the drill is an excellent way to fine tune upper body positioning and movement. If you're not ready or the conditions/terrain are/is not right, the drill is a stupid waste of time. There are a lot of drills like this (no names mentioned one legged skiing). Part of becoming an L3 skier is having the MA skills to know when you are an L3 skier. Too many people focus so heavily on the technical skiing skills that they never learn how to analyse their own skiing without seeing it. Without accurate internal feedback, the average every day Joe who does not have access to constant coaching never gets enough feedback to make the breakthrough from L2 to L3.

 

It usually takes a lot of work to get from L2 to L3. There are plenty who work hard but don't work smart. That's another common element for those who are "stuck". Many of those who are stuck expect someone above them to solve their problems for them. That's a common reason why many of them stay stuck. Getting yourself unstuck is one of the unwritten requirements for L3. One of my rare coaching techniques is "evil Rusty". This is where I find a soft spot in a skiers mental makeup and exploit it to trigger frustration that illuminates what the skier really needs to work on. This can help people unstick themselves. I can't tell you how many times I've told someone something and they go "yeah - I've heard that before". Every now and then I also get "but this is the first time it's made sense". Is it because they needed to hear the same multiple times before it sank in and they unstuck themselves or did I find some unique way of communicating the information? I don't believe I'm that good. I'm just happy to help out a little where ever I can.

 

Does that help?

post #3 of 29

If it's not a physical issue, it's likely between the ears, like Rusty said, assuming obvious equipment issues can be easily addressed.

 

It's really easy to fall into the "good enough" trap - and it's often a subconscious issue. We are conscious that we can and need to improve, but sub-conciously may think "meh, it's ok - I'm not doing that bad and I'm having fun".

 

I've been stuck before, for a season or more, content with my skiing, before changing it radically again and again, as my eyes opened to new ideas... and yes, now trying to change it radically, yet again... although to the untrained eye, it may not look like it.

 

Range of movement is a really big issue and I find internal cues for that unreliable - my own experience with that. Skiing by feel or contentment can only get you this far... video doesn't lie and helps tremendously, but it can be demoralizing and you need to find a way out.

 

Drills help, but if not pushed to the extreme, there's the risk of settling even deeper into that "good enough" range of motion plateau.

 

To change the skiing, they must change something... and again, range of movement of different movements is one thing to focus on. As a coach, you could find the extremes of the different movements and target that: flex this much. Incline this much. Angulate like this at the apex. Coil this much between turns... etc... and as the skier starts to work on those ranges of movements, he will start changing.

 

The other thing to realize is that change is not easy. My skiing has completely fallen apart many times when going through big changes. And it continues to do so. The skier will be out of his/her comfort zone and must be willing to put up with it for the day/days that it takes. There must be trust that the direction is correct and that even if the skiing is completely out of whack, there's an expectation of improvement.

 

cheers

 

p.s. Skiing this weekend?

post #4 of 29
Yay, another topic way out of my league that I'm going to blabber about. biggrin.gif People like that, at least some of them, are too fixated on doing the drills and demos for the sake of doing them well, instead of focusing on what the underlying skills they should be developing. They should stop worrying about doing the perfect looking IP and just let er rip, do some butt dragging on snow carving runs, or down the zipperline barely keeping it together, even if they will look like crap while doing it. By pushing themselves to the limit they will learn the techniques faster than they ever can doing any slow perfect demos 100% under control.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Razie, see you out there, we're having an inter-club race tomorrow between high park and north Toronto.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
So these are all good considerations. That said, how can you trigger a breakthrough in someone? How will you shock that long-time level 2 out of their comfort zone slumber? How will you move them from the false notion that they just need a little tweak into truly accepting that a more fundamental change needs to happen?
post #7 of 29
Not sure if you are allowed to do it officially, but physically throw them out of them comfort zone might help, assuming they aren't totally against it. That's how I learned to ski bumps, forcing myself into zipperline down spring slushy bumps even though I was happy on flat terrain. Now I'm very glad that I did.
post #8 of 29

I've run across two ways, one of them mentioned above. The first is to push them out of their comfortable envelope. The second is for them to achieve an internal connection between a concept they know but one that they can't translated into correct movement. I'll give some examples of this.

 

I recently read about a student who had real trouble achieving clean carving turns. When the instructor wanted some video of bad technique, he asked the student to skid more instead of trying to carve. To both the instructor's and the student's surprise, when the student tried to exaggerate his skid, he ended up skidding less! Whatever the cause, the student was able to greatly expand his understanding of his motions and the response of his skis. I think the lesson is this, when you're on easy terrain, doing medium turns, try moving around, move up, move down, move forward and backward, try doing stuff you know is wrong. You might be surprised like the student above because what you thought was wrong might actually be right.

 

The second example is personal. For a very long time, I've conceptually known that I should be facing the fall line, upper body stable, and I need to have lower body separation. Unfortunately this did not translate to lower body initiated turns, I was a shoulder turner, strong enough to compensate for some of the problems this causes in most terrain (but not extreme terrain), the classic stuck at level 6-7 skier. I took a private half day lesson and one of the drills my instructor had me do was pivot slips. I sucked at them. I completely lacked the ability to use only the rotation of my legs in their sockets to control ski orientation and edging. Now I understood that upper-lower body separation was not at the waist, but at the femur sockets and I had a drill to practice this separation. I can honestly say that my skiing has improved more in the last half of the season than the past three seasons combined. And my pivot slips are getting pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

 

There are plenty who work hard but don't work smart. That's another common element for those who are "stuck". Many of those who are stuck expect someone above them to solve their problems for them.

 

A quick question. How much do you think might be "The Dilemma of Spilt Attention"? That is an interesting concept a Tour level golf instructor presented one day that many, many people become focused on the outcome rather than a deep dive and put the time into strictly working on the changes in movement pattern that will lead to the desired outcome.

 

Interesting concept. Last winter I watched a guy who has come oh so close to making the Web.com Tour spend days bunting drivers no more than 80 yards as he worked on one move to address and ingrain a change he needed for his accuracy off the tee deficiency. He is almost there; can run the table 99% of the time but when the pressure is on like Q-school he reverts to the deep recesses of old movement patterns.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

So these are all good considerations. That said, how can you trigger a breakthrough in someone? How will you shock that long-time level 2 out of their comfort zone slumber? How will you move them from the false notion that they just need a little tweak into truly accepting that a more fundamental change needs to happen?

I haven't had too much experience with these stuck L3 candidates as in Japan the instructors are typically young and moving through the levels quickly, and in Chile most people are already full cert. That said, I remember a few in NZ who were perennially in the L3 training group, they were typically older, out of shape and would show up to exams 'for the experience' rather than actually trying to pass. 

 

I would say the only way to create a breakthrough in those types of candidate is to change their mindset. Some people will train for L3 and even take the exams without fully committing to the process. This is often a defence mechanism, as if they never really try 100% they can justify failure mentally, going all in for something runs the risk of having to accept that you really failed, which is tough.

 

A good way to break this is to clearly set goals, both short and mid term. Starting from a year out to give the best chance of success, get them to work hard in the off season in the gym, make sure they have their equipment dialled, and only then start focussing on technique as the season starts. Clinics are a good start, but are often only long enough to start changes, not cement them. Make sure they have peers who they can ski with, take video with and own the journey as a group. 

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

Not sure if you are allowed to do it officially, but physically throw them out of them comfort zone might help, 

it's a very good idea - not actually pushing them, heh, but some simple challenges that usually show weak points - you could design them based on the weaknesses that you see. Take outside ski commitment: try to ski one full blue run on the outside ski only, with the inside ski lifted and get big angles.... that will make you FEEL and SEE the current limitations and give ideas for improvement...

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewil View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

 

There are plenty who work hard but don't work smart. That's another common element for those who are "stuck". Many of those who are stuck expect someone above them to solve their problems for them.

 

A quick question. How much do you think might be "The Dilemma of Spilt Attention"? That is an interesting concept a Tour level golf instructor presented one day that many, many people become focused on the outcome rather than a deep dive and put the time into strictly working on the changes in movement pattern that will lead to the desired outcome.

 

Interesting concept. Last winter I watched a guy who has come oh so close to making the Web.com Tour spend days bunting drivers no more than 80 yards as he worked on one move to address and ingrain a change he needed for his accuracy off the tee deficiency. He is almost there; can run the table 99% of the time but when the pressure is on like Q-school he reverts to the deep recesses of old movement patterns.

This is another area where I've seen a range of reasons. With regard to working hard vs working smart, some of it is pure ego: they know they are a great skier so they deserve the pin. With regard to split attention, sometimes it is also because of ego, but I usually see the "split attention" problem in 2 different ways. Focusing on the outcome instead of the plan to get to the outcome is one of them. But for that we have to realize that this technique does work for some people on some problems to a certain extent. The trick is realizing when it's not working.  The other side of this is focusing on the wrong thing (e.g. a symptom vs a cause or pressure movements vs edging movements). Again, sometimes this approach does work and sometimes this approach works better because it works around something else that is blocking progress. If this stuff was easy, it wouldn't be a problem for students or for teachers. Look how much Haney struggled with Barkley.

 

Foley is a big proponent of learning new movements at slow speeds before ramping them up to full speed. We don't see a lot of this in skiing. I also don't see a lot of students who are willing to consider doing days of practice on a subtle move a good use of their time. Your tour wannabe may be doing exactly the right thing to fix his driving, but he may be able to get to the tour quicker by allocating that kind of time on his wedge game or putting. Until you get to a Pelz like analysis of your scoring it is easy to make an error in deciding what "the most important thing" is. Too bad we don't have anything like that for skiing. When I was in college studying Operations Research, finding sub optimal solutions (i.e. getting a good enough answer without putting an excess of time into finding the solution) helped build an interesting life skill.

post #13 of 29

Mike,

 

BTW - this is one of the reasons I started to golf. They are so much farther along in this area than we are in skiing.

post #14 of 29

For those who read my posts, you know I come from a physics perspective. Not a techy one but a fundamental one  with the understanding that skis are designed to create circular travel. With that circular travel comes a new force (centripetal) which is the skier's responsibility to build and maintain. This is where my focus is. How can I improve my ability to create that circular travel. For if i don't the only alternative is back to straight line.  I am a 43 year Level 3 and I have experienced many leaps in my skiing abilities albeit much attributed to the ski technology. But I must say that this approach (begun a few years ago) has been a game changer.  I can map all the information, drills and yes, even inputs on this forum into this new perspective on the whys of skiing. I am having the most fun ever on my skis and I'm going as good as my old bones can take me. 


Edited by JESINSTR - 2/20/16 at 11:10am
post #15 of 29

There is an interesting saying on an amazing website, dedicated to snowboard extreme carving. Although it talks about this particular technique, I find these steps pretty relevant to the progression talked about over here:

 

The progress of a carver on a quest for the perfect heel side can be predicted by a universal prophecy:

  • Before you reach the advanced level of carving, you will have four breakthroughs.
  • But one of those breakthroughs will be a false epiphany.
  • By the time you reach the third breakthrough, you will have revised every one of your long-held beliefs on technique.
  • Just when you think you have grasped a unified, canonical truth of carving, you will realize it doesn't exist. Only then can you achieve true mastery.

 

(quoted by the plainly awesome -albeit outdated in terms of aesthetics, but who gives a damn when the material is so mind-blowing!- http://www.alpinecarving.com )

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaethon View Post
 

There is an interesting saying on an amazing website, dedicated to snowboard extreme carving. Although it talks about this particular technique, I find these steps pretty relevant to the progression talked about over here:

 

The progress of a carver on a quest for the perfect heel side can be predicted by a universal prophecy:

  • Before you reach the advanced level of carving, you will have four breakthroughs.
  • But one of those breakthroughs will be a false epiphany.
  • By the time you reach the third breakthrough, you will have revised every one of your long-held beliefs on technique.
  • Just when you think you have grasped a unified, canonical truth of carving, you will realize it doesn't exist. Only then can you achieve true mastery.

 

(quoted by the plainly awesome -albeit outdated in terms of aesthetics, but who gives a damn when the material is so mind-blowing!- http://www.alpinecarving.com )

"A man who goes over what he has already learned and gains new understanding from it is worthy to be a teacher."   Confucius

 

"Nothing special.  If you continue this simple practice every day, you will obtain some wonderful power. Before you attain it, it is something wonderful, but after you attain it, it is nothing special".  Zen Mind Beginners Mind         YM

post #17 of 29

@Metaphor_  I think the issue is that with shaped skis, skiers can look very good, appear to ski very well, and in most conditions.  However, when push comes to show there are still items in their basket of skiing technique that they have never learned because the skis do 90% of the work up to this point.  Not having the need to learn them in most situations limits them later.

 

Biggest one in my books is a full understanding of balance and edge feel.  Most don't have this which is why they don't or can't advance.

 

Therefore the true skiers that make it to the advanced/expert level have learned these extra items.  Racers tend to be pushed into learning this because it is how you go fast, extreme types (regardless of level) learn because you push the limits and get forced outside the norm and allows them to advance.

 

So as to the level 2's they may be very good level 2's instructors, but they are really only very good (looking) intermediate skiers and not yet close to being advanced, hence stuck. 

 

Your earlier post on the mogul run is a good example, looks good , shows potential but is missing something (because he is outside his total skill set).

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

So these are all good considerations. That said, how can you trigger a breakthrough in someone? How will you shock that long-time level 2 out of their comfort zone slumber? How will you move them from the false notion that they just need a little tweak into truly accepting that a more fundamental change needs to happen?


Put them on old straight GS skis, it will actual teach them how little they know and how much more they have to learn.  I've done this to one or two hotshots and it is a quick learning curve.

 

Ski right and survive, think your skis will save you and crash and burn.  Kind of funny to watch especially after you've you show it can be done without effort.

post #19 of 29
This is a great topic. Several years ago Skidude 72 (by my recollection a very experienced CSIA level 4) posted his view that to move into the true expert ranks a level 2 instructor stuck in a rut would have to be prepared to make profound and transformative changes to his skiing, not merely get better or smoother at what he was already doing. I agreed at the time and still do. Expert skiing is not merely intermediate level skiing done better; it's fundamentally different.

Expert skiers use specific movement patterns in highly predictable ways and sequences to make their skis perform on the snow they way they want them to. And they eschew movement patterns that ruin this performance. The most striking thing about, say, WC slalom or GS skiers is not how different they all are, but how remarkably similar they all are!

The philosophy that there are many different ways to ski well is mistaken and does great disservice to candidates who are serious about moving to higher levels.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardDaysNight View Post

This is a great topic. Several years ago Skidude 72 (by my recollection a very experienced CSIA level 4) posted his view that to move into the true expert ranks a level 2 instructor stuck in a rut would have to be prepared to make profound and transformative changes to his skiing, not merely get better or smoother at what he was already doing. I agreed at the time and still do. Expert skiing is not merely intermediate level skiing done better; it's fundamentally different.

Expert skiers use specific movement patterns in highly predictable ways and sequences to make their skis perform on the snow they way they want them to. And they eschew movement patterns that ruin this performance. The most striking thing about, say, WC slalom or GS skiers is not how different they all are, but how remarkably similar they all are!

The philosophy that there are many different ways to ski well is mistaken and does great disservice to candidates who are serious about moving to higher levels.

What? Different ways of skiing makes you bad?

If your examiner says"I wantto see / can you do it this way?" Your better be able to. Free-ski like you mean it, for fun, rip, don't think - move. Easy on training too much. Play, drill, adventure, summary.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tip Ripply View Post


What? Different ways of skiing makes you bad?

If your examiner says"I wantto see / can you do it this way?" Your better be able to. Free-ski like you mean it, for fun, rip, don't think - move. Easy on training too much. Play, drill, adventure, summary.

 

I believe he's speaking to the idea that "there's no good or bad in skiing, just different outcomes", which is a bit obtuse since most of those outcomes are horrible :P 

 

Your ability to blend your skills differently is fundamental to expert skiing and moving past the L2 plateau.

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Mike,

 

BTW - this is one of the reasons I started to golf. They are so much farther along in this area than we are in skiing.

 

That we are except maybe in the elite racing levels. It the again all the Trackman data etc. in the world combined with advanced teaching philosophy still comes down to application in the proper manner.

 

And for my buddy you mention above it is not his short game-it is beyond good. It is learning that when the vice is twisting your stomach and nether regions into knots and you seem to always perform when there is no cost---it is all in the most dangerous 6 inches in golf--between your ears

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Mike,

 

BTW - this is one of the reasons I started to golf. They are so much farther along in this area than we are in skiing.

 

 

 

In many ways yes but, but as I told one tour instructor and surprisingly pissed him off, in skiing we get to teach in the arena where we play, not the artificial environment of a range or studio. Egos exist everywhere.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardDaysNight View Post

This is a great topic. Several years ago Skidude 72 (by my recollection a very experienced CSIA level 4) posted his view that to move into the true expert ranks a level 2 instructor stuck in a rut would have to be prepared to make profound and transformative changes to his skiing, not merely get better or smoother at what he was already doing. I agreed at the time and still do. Expert skiing is not merely intermediate level skiing done better; it's fundamentally different. [emphasis added]

Expert skiers use specific movement patterns in highly predictable ways and sequences to make their skis perform on the snow they way they want them to. And they eschew movement patterns that ruin this performance. The most striking thing about, say, WC slalom or GS skiers is not how different they all are, but how remarkably similar they all are!

The philosophy that there are many different ways to ski well is mistaken and does great disservice to candidates who are serious about moving to higher levels.

 

Great post.  I'd like to zero on the part I emphasized, because I do have a quibble with it, and that's more interesting than agreement.  

 

I actually can find good 12 year olds who are doing many of the same things as the best racers in the world, just less well.  I can also take an athletic adult intermediate willing to put in the time, and with a progression of simple drills and movement patterns, have them making turns not dissimilar from GS turns within a season.  The mechanics are accessible, just as an intermediate tennis player can hit topspin.  Accessible, if people are disciplined, not looking to snow themselves, and willing to pay the dues to access those movement patterns.  

 

Culturally, however, part of what people run into, whatever the reason, is the conceit that the fairly simple progressions used in developing, say, WC slalom or GS skiers are wrong.  E.g., recently Shiffrin's mantra of knees to ski and hands in front -- why do that, when you can lift your toes to your shins and try to keep your COM over the front of your heel?  The level 2 instructor stuck in a rut often simply needs to be honest with his or herself, take themselves out of their comfort zone, and get themselves into 3 or 4 weeks of race or big-mountain camp a year, plus inline drills during the off season and some trail running, e.g., and all of a sudden a transformation gets ground out through grooving very simply movement patterns.  People do exactly this, every year.  It is a very democratic and fair skillset up until the higher levels of performance, in that you don't need to be born with a great vertical leap, or other physical gifts not shared by the majority lucky enough to be reasonably able-bodied, to access the skillset.  The choice whether to put in the work (the work makes it fair) is there.

post #24 of 29
I agree 100% that the movement patterns are accessible to motivated people and that large improvements can be realized fairly quickly. In many cases the correct movements are easier to perform than what the plateaued skier is actually trying to do. But, they are different, rarely intuitive and, as you point out, subject to much perplexing misinformation.
post #25 of 29
Quote:

 

And for my buddy you mention above it is not his short game-it is beyond good. 

 

 

Maybe I misspoke. I meant in theory. Without knowing his stats, there's no way to know what his best route to the tour is (and even then it's just a guess). I mentioned it because it is common wisdom for the common player. Sometimes we need to go against the common wisdom because our problems are not as common as they may seem.

 

Hypothetically, could even a great short game player shave off a half stroke per round (counting wedge. bunker and putting)? What did Seve do? On the other hand we all know that a 10 yard increase in driving distance takes a club off your approach shots and automatically makes your irons and short game stats better. In ski teaching we have to choose between working on strengths or weaknesses. We don't often work on making strengths better, but sometimes working on making a strength better is easier than working on weaknesses and sometimes better strengths can make weakness hurt less or even improve them. Finding the most effective route to improvement is part art and part science.

 

If the guys problem is truly between the ears, how is banging drives going to help? It sounds like he should be exploring a little extra practice in pressure situations, some mind clearing (e.g. breathing, visualization) techniques, double checking his routine - you know Dr. Gio stuff. Personally I hate all that crap. For me I know that there is room in my game for purely technical improvement. Of course I also know that the fact that I hate that mental crap just makes it all the more obvious that it's also a problem. If I can't (admit to or) solve my own mental problems, how can I expect to solve my guests problems? All I know is that on the rare occasions when I do help someone, it feels really good.

 

Congrats to Met for asking the question.

post #26 of 29

But so back to the question: how does he//she get out of the rut?

 

First would be to recognize the need for CHANGE and embrace it. Then find a good CHANGE - although all changes feel miserable at first, not all changes are good! And then go through, put up with the process and CHANGE !

 

It all starts with figuring out a SMIM for him/her, work and frequent feedback... I would not necessarily get stuck with any standard or task or such - great skiing is great skiing is great skiing in any system and improving one's skiing in general (say carving, on piste) will help with any future exams or tasks...

 

cheers

post #27 of 29

I read through most of the posts and rather than try to duplicate or quote anyone else I will cite my own experience and thoughts. 

 

FWIW, I FAILED LEVEL III ****FIVE*** TIMES over an 8 year period. My breakthrough came via a clinic at Snowbird (UT) by Roger Renstrom.  Roger's approach to skiing was SO much different than all the clinicians and examiners that I had experienced to that point.  What I realized what that most of those who had been clinicing me over the years would say/teach/recommend something, yet do something on their skis entirely differently... without even recognizing that what they preached and demonstrated were incongruent (a lot had to do with misapplication of pressure skills).  When I finally realized that I had been approaching skiing entirely wrong I was able to make the appropriate corrections and on my 6th attempt I passed Level III without even breaking a sweat (and was even recovering from a sprained knee at the time of the exam). 

 

Over the next years, freed from having to parrot the PSIA manual, I began examining things that worked with my students having the quickest, most direct effect on their skiing. I was fortunate to work for an organization that had the same skiers week-in/week-out, year-in/year-out so I could see the progress both on long and short term time frames. I came to realize that skiing was really simple and could be broken down into three basic areas: 

 

1) Turn shape

2)  Continuous active inside ski

3) Lateral/Dynamic body position

 

Working on these three core elements simplified everything provided the keys ingredient for movement analysis, progression and error correction. Because it is so simple it is easy to teach student how to self-evaluate and I believe that is what allows such significant skier improvement from week to week.  It is also a great tool for helping new instructors get going without a lot of experience and the bag of tricks we all develop over the years.  

 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
 

I read through most of the posts and rather than try to duplicate or quote anyone else I will cite my own experience and thoughts. 

 

FWIW, I FAILED LEVEL III ****FIVE*** TIMES over an 8 year period. My breakthrough came via a clinic at Snowbird (UT) by Roger Renstrom.  Roger's approach to skiing was SO much different than all the clinicians and examiners that I had experienced to that point.  What I realized what that most of those who had been clinicing me over the years would say/teach/recommend something, yet do something on their skis entirely differently... without even recognizing that what they preached and demonstrated were incongruent (a lot had to do with misapplication of pressure skills).  When I finally realized that I had been approaching skiing entirely wrong I was able to make the appropriate corrections and on my 6th attempt I passed Level III without even breaking a sweat (and was even recovering from a sprained knee at the time of the exam). 

 

Over the next years, freed from having to parrot the PSIA manual, I began examining things that worked with my students having the quickest, most direct effect on their skiing. I was fortunate to work for an organization that had the same skiers week-in/week-out, year-in/year-out so I could see the progress both on long and short term time frames. I came to realize that skiing was really simple and could be broken down into three basic areas: 

 

1) Turn shape

2)  Continuous active inside ski

3) Lateral/Dynamic body position

 

Working on these three core elements simplified everything provided the keys ingredient for movement analysis, progression and error correction. Because it is so simple it is easy to teach student how to self-evaluate and I believe that is what allows such significant skier improvement from week to week.  It is also a great tool for helping new instructors get going without a lot of experience and the bag of tricks we all develop over the years.  

 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 


Bravo-more detail please.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiteebow View Post
 


Bravo-more detail please.

I'm not sure exactly what to say. But if you read my posts on Epic you will see the three core elements invoked on every single one.  When I evalute a student the first think I look for is his turn shape.  If a skier is trying to make a decent turn shape and has problems then it is mechanics. If the turn shape is bad we have to fix that (at least conceptually) before ANYTHING else is addressed.  As others have said it's often "in the skier's head".... but it could also be the ABSENCE of what is in the skiers head- correct turn shape. 

 

If conceptually the turn shape checks out, I have to examine how a skier is making that turn shape.  The inside foot/ski is the key. So many skiers have learned to muscle turns with the outside ski (see my five failures above) that they (and their instructors) fail to understand how critically the inside ski pretty much makes everything work and holds everything together. 

 

The lateral/dyamic balance is how the body (CoM) travels throughout the turn. That position is what allows the feet to function and let the feet control edges and allow pressure to come to the skier (another thing I had bass-ackwards).  At the beginning/intermediate stages it is a lot about lateral positioning. If the CoM is positioned too far up the hill the feet lock up. Move it into the right position and the feet suddenly can function properly. Everything happens from the snow up so foot/ankle function is critical.  As speed, centripetal force and momentum build the vector of the CoM has to adapt to compensate and allow for the energy of the ski to work within each turn. 

 

As a sub-category (which I'm conceptually working on for descriptive purposes) we have "synchronicity". In other words, how all the movement synchronize.  Often you see a good skier with all the skills, but the timing of the movements just don't quite sync up. It's a lot like the timing of the cylinders in a car.  When the timing is in sync the engine has maximum power and efficiency. Out of sync, same engine but it takes a lot more effort  (and fuel) to get sufficient torque and power. 

 

Not sure what you were looking for but I hope that helps. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Triggering breakthroughs for borderline advanced skiers