Nice discussion developing there - topic is very interesting to me... let's get "a room".
are these two mutually exclusive? Sequential? is there even one proper way to "edging" ?
I am not a PSIA, I'm a CSCF, I don't use BERP. I'm actually quite opinionated on this, prefer to focus on specific movements and outcomes, rather than skills, but that's a whole different discussion.
You're right about the words and over-thinking though - it's a good idea to find a simple system of thought about skiing, something you can think about and focus on while skiing. Here's an example: edging.
I cannot think edging or focus on edging. there are many ways to edge the skis: throw my body, drop my hips, angulate, turn my femurs while flexed, push the inside ski forward, tip at the end and let the body cross and drag the skis, deep flexing of the inside leg or tipping the feet or tipping the inside foot. Most of those are wrong, anyways, but stuff you do when push comes to shove thus part of the "edging" skills. Instead, I focus on a very specific tipping movement, "the good one" which will result in edging the skis and that's what I do in 99% of all turns. I can work on it, drill it, explain it in a sentence and direct my FOCUS on it as opposed to being distracted by the other possibilities...
I cannot think edging or focus on edging! There are many ways to put the skis on edge, i.e. "edging": throw my body into the new turn, drop my hips, angulate, turn my femurs while flexed, push the inside ski forward, flex at the end of the turn and let the body cross and drag the skis, deep flexing of the inside leg, or tipping the feet or tipping the inside foot. Most of those are wrong, anyways, but stuff you do when push comes to shove thus part of the "edging" skills.
Instead, I focus on a very specific tipping movement, "the good one" which will result in edging the skis and that's what I do in 99% of all turns. I can work on it, drill it, explain it in a sentence and direct my focus on it as opposed to being distracted by the other possibilities...
Focusing on skill development through variation and different solutions to desired outcomes is how we develop elite athletes. Focusing on one "right" or "correct" movement or technique is how you develop one dimensional athletes that have no future.That is why skill development and a focus on outcomes rather than the "technique du jour" will always produce more successful athletes. It is the ability to change and modify outcomes based on the ever changing demands of your sport that defines elite athletes not the ability to reproduce specific techniques regardless of changing demands. I(t is an important thing to remember in your athletes development as well as your own. We are training these athletes for the future, not for today's demands of the sport; unless you are coaching athletes on the world cup as we speak. We don't know what the future holds for the sport, the only thing we can be sure of is that it will change. The only way to prepare for that is to develop a strong skill set that allows the athletes, or your self to adapt your movements to the outcomes rather than trying to make your "correct technique" work as things change.
Just my thoughts on the difference between skill development and technique mastery.
Adaptabilty requires a wider view where constants are concerned. As a coach it is easy to throw out rigid rules for youngsters but as I mentioned before, at some point a talented kid will transcend those sort of rules. Bode on k2-4s, Guc skiers dominating the ski world, Ted figuring out the new skis a year before most of his peers, Marcel raising that to even higher levels. All of these skiers helped change the sport. Some youngster will do it again and an even younger skier will do it after him / her. Technique evolves and thanks to computers it changes faster than ever. FIS attemps to regulate equipment changes with things like sidecut specs and such but the skiers find workarounds that force FIS to change regulations again. Staying up to date is possible but innovation is organic and surprisingly unpredictable. As it has been for a long, long time. We can adapt to change, or watch it make us as antiquated as straight skis and soft leather boots.
The "ways to edge skis" is a bit of a red herring though. I've never had a successful class by showing up and saying "OK class, today we're going to work on edging" and then running through a tutorial on edging. (To be fair to myself, I would never do that to begin with.)
I see the skills as mostly a model to describe and analyze skiing. The skills aren't binary. They're applied differently at different parts of the turn, in different conditions, based on skier intent and depending on what's happened in the moments prior and in the moments to come.
I would be limited if I only thought in terms of "he's balanced" or "he's out of balance". Rather, at a given point of the turn, on their chosen terrain and at the speed they're moving, how balanced is the skier in each plane (fore-aft, lateral, vertical, rotational)? Have the skier's actions set themselves up to be in balance in the next phase of the turn? And when you figure out the skier isn't in balance in one or more planes, what is the root cause? (It may be their stance; maybe their pressure control; maybe their edging or lack thereof; maybe their timing & coordination of movement.)
In short, the skills model helps me to sort out what's happening and to figure out my teaching strategy. But because of both the open nature of skiing and the complex relationship between symptoms versus root cause, it's not as straightforward for me as "he's not edging, therefore we use an edging drill".