Originally Posted by LiquidFeet
... I think this must be a big part of ski instruction. We need to be able to do MA on a client or ourselves; this involves seeing the whole without its details. Then we need to work on the details. Then work back and forth to fine tune the whole. How do we do that?
Is the key to seeing the Forest putting our focus on the ski-snow interaction (grip or slip) or our ability to ski any line in any terrain, since after all this is what we do (maybe this is the Forest, and everything else is Trees)? Is it the skier's intention; do we need to change "brake this way, then brake that way" into "go there, then go there" (well, yes, but this is mental; it isn't enough, but it may be the mental component of the Forest)? Is the key fore-aft balance and all its possible permutations (I usually think this is it, but maybe it's the most important detail)? Could it be the skier's focus on a rhythmic letting go and regaining of control (sometimes I think it's this)?
Maybe the nature of seeing the Forest instead of the Trees in ski instruction and golf instruction changes with the person and the moment. Perhaps it isn't always the same thing.
This is good and true. All primary athletic movement learning is big picture and personal. And learning fundamental movement is, at its core, subconscious. We overlay the new observed movement onto existing automatic movements. Then we add technical details. We learn whole movements: swing a bat, catch a ball. Our brains and bodies do the best they can to create
personal efficiency and technique. Then we get coached in better technique. In this hypothesis, skiing becomes a mashup of walking, bouncing, and balancing while sliding.
Maybe ski instruction would be better served by focusing on two or three fundamental athletic movements at the core of solid skiing. Instructors would add technical details later in a students journey. Something like choreographed dance steps or tai chi moves. Maybe with a,b,c, and d steps that build up to one entire movement. Two or three core movements could be taught and practiced for thirty minutes or so in a studio-like or rehearsal space before a class goes out onto the snow. Ideas for core movements: possible step ideas:
a) Slo-mo bounce: in athletic stance with poles, pressure from the bottom of the feet - flex / extend using ankles and knees only, control speed up and down.
b) Balance: from athletic stance with poles, stand on one foot at a time for three to five seconds, add correct pole wrist action on opposite sides, add slo-mo bounce.
c) Lift, Tip and Roll: lift ("inside") right foot, tip and roll right foot, extend from left foot, step to neutral stance on right foot, match left foot to right - repeat left to right.
d) Fall and Catch: Integrating the above, allow the hips and upper body to "fall" diagonally (very small angle) and anticipate position of new stance foot.
Students learn new movements faster, more completely, and with fewer errors in comfortable environments like a studio. Instructors could focus on a students individual steps as they coalesce around core movements. Instructors and students benefit with focus on small common movements. It would be easier to identify and eliminate errors early before they are habitual.
Core movements are eventually integrated into connected turns and then to "the infinity loop".