or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › We ski the way we think about skiing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

We ski the way we think about skiing

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

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.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 14

Metaphor, you bring up a very interesting process of perception and confirmation that is an excellent standard of improvement.

 

I like to think of this as a re-looping process for which every lap provides an opportunity for advance in movement refinement.

 

Integrated with a spiral method of fundamental skill improvement and corresponding drill applications would round out an effective path of skill improvement.

 

Having an opportunity to be videoed throughout the day for three or four sets of side to side video comparisons to the same chosen model would be ideal.

 

If I owned a ski school, this is what many of the full day privates would look like: Every instructor for these types of lessons would be equipped with a camera with high end zoom capabilities and an Ipad mini pre-loaded with a number of model types for chairlift viewing and immediate side by side, split screen, on going comparisons. I would market these lessons as "Cut to the Chase Ski Academy".

 

 

The breakdown:

 

1. choosing the "appropriate" model based on student ability and preferences regarding style and turn type. (student centric)

 

2. helping the student envisioning reproduction of that model based on a set of skill focus and cues.

 

3. video recording student attempt of model reproduction.

 

4. guide the student in comparing the attempted reproduction with the model.

 

5. identifying the gap between the student's reproduction and the model.

 

6. identifying the means with which to close the gap with a newly refined set of skill focus and cues.

 

Return to number two and continue looping process

post #3 of 14
Interesting subject Met. I would suggest reading a book like Prime ski racing by Jim Taylor. The Zone as it is called is a subject of many authors that I am trying to recall. I have about ten books I collected over time but I am no where near my office right now. I will be back in the office Tuesday and will PM you the titles in my collection. Till then I would like to share my journey into this subject.

Let me start by stating I am convinced shifting away from the mechanical and allowing the body to simply act has huge value. That does not mean we abandon technique and the bio science behind how we move. It simply means I believe automaticity requires us to stop obsessing about how we move and instead focus on the larger picture. It also needs to be understood that no two skiers move exactly alike. Even identical twins exhibit differences in how they ski. Why? I believe the mental attitudes, self images, and personality of a skier are the answer. Who we are rather than what, if you will.
So how we as instructors and coaches create lasting change in a student must become as much about changing their mind as it is about changing how they move.
post #4 of 14

Rather than what I posted above, another modeling improvement technique that worked really well with the youngsters was to simply tell them:

 

"Monkey see, monkey do. If a monkey can do it, so can you."

post #5 of 14
Met here are a few more books I can recall. The authors may be misspelled but here goes...
...Smart Moves by Carla Haniford, flow in sports by susan jackson, inner skiing by tim galloway, Sweet Spot in Time, don't recall the author, That's four good books about the mind's role in sports...
post #6 of 14
Met,
One of the problems I've seen with new skiers relates to this. They see something but don't understand it or why it was happening, and then they try to emulate it. Some of the most blatant are new skiers trying to ski fast. How many times have you seen a non trained racer get in a tuck (or at least their version) and see the hands pulled back instead of forward and the ski pole tips high in the air behind them like antennas.

I think this is a big contributor to people that dump their hip inside. They see a racer with their hip low so they throw their hip low in an attempt to achieve the same turn. The hip low didn't cause the turn. The turn cause the hip to be low. All they saw was a low hip so they try to get the hip low before the turn has developed.

It isn't just seeing and picturing good skiing. It is understanding why it looks like that.

Great subject.

Ken
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post


It isn't just seeing and picturing good skiing. It is understanding why it looks like that.



Ken

Lots of what goes on in great skiing is somewhat invisible to the untrained eye.  Often by observing the response (or lack there of) of ski performance  can we determine the efficacy of skier input.   The better the skier, the more subtle the MA becomes.    Coaching a very strong skier requires a collaborative  effort between the skier and the coaches to reach a definitive analysis and sensible recommendations  to achieve higher levels of performance.   YM

post #8 of 14
I rarely get pictures taken of my skiing. When I do I am always pleasantly surprised. Even if I felt off.

It seems when I feel things that are not quite how I wanted to ski, I am able to figure it out and get the right feeling again by going back to basics, doing some groomer runs on easy terrain and then trying again and going for it - when the lactic acid has burned off. Basically it's supposed to feel easy, almost effortless - when it feels too hard, I know something is wrong.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

I rarely get pictures taken of my skiing. When I do I am always pleasantly surprised. Even if I felt off.

 

A constant state of surprise with the same results may be indicative of something else. :)

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Met,
One of the problems I've seen with new skiers relates to this. They see something but don't understand it or why it was happening, and then they try to emulate it. Some of the most blatant are new skiers trying to ski fast. How many times have you seen a non trained racer get in a tuck (or at least their version) and see the hands pulled back instead of forward and the ski pole tips high in the air behind them like antennas.

I think this is a big contributor to people that dump their hip inside. They see a racer with their hip low so they throw their hip low in an attempt to achieve the same turn. The hip low didn't cause the turn. The turn cause the hip to be low. All they saw was a low hip so they try to get the hip low before the turn has developed.

It isn't just seeing and picturing good skiing. It is understanding why it looks like that.

Great subject.

Ken

 

Technical comprehension, especially for racers, is a crucial filter.

post #11 of 14
Physical aptitude alone is not the complete picture. Nor is mental comprehension of a theory. Confidence and trust that we can produce exactly the intended outcome involves both and much more.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich666 View Post

A constant state of surprise with the same results may be indicative of something else. smile.gif

Well I do lack selfawareness. If that's what you mean?
Edited by tromano - 4/8/16 at 6:47am
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post


Well I do lack selfawareness. If that's what you mean?

 

No, I know what you meant. It's just that it came out sounding funny like the definition of insanity in doing things the same way but expecting different results. 

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Physical aptitude alone is not the complete picture. Nor is mental comprehension of a theory. Confidence and trust that we can produce exactly the intended outcome involves both and much more.

 

Yes Jasp. Good skiing is holistic in nature and requiring a homeostatic balance of the physical, mental and emotional (attitudinal) assets of the human species. 

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 › We ski the way we think about skiing