I'm working now with a concept in my teaching that I'm trying to put more into practice: We ski the way we think about skiing.
Sometime this year while skiing with JF, he noticed I was killing my turns by over-steering my skis. He asked me to describe how I envision turns, verbally and with my hands. Through my explanation, we realised that my old idea of "powering" the end of the turn with a "foot squirt" was disrupting my movement. That's when JF revealed to me that often what we see in skiers reveals what they think of as good skiing.
Since then, I've almost always found that the habits I see in skiers are caused by their perception of good skiing.
- Are they falling inside the turn early, and exiting the turn inside and back? The skier may think good skiing comes from an aggressive inside movement.
- Are they rotating strongly? Maybe they feel they need to "get forward".
- Big up movement? They may think they need to lighten the ski to make it turn.
Having a good picture (inner video) of skiing seems to be the first step towards effective turns. If the learner has an ineffective picture in their head, you're facing an uphill battle to create change. If we can understand what our learners think good skiing looks like, we can help reshape the picture in their head and create better on-snow outcomes.