Originally Posted by Rick H
I used "pointing the inside ski in the direction I want to go" as a teaching movement. I didn't point the ski, but my inside knee in the direction of the turn. Inverting the inside foot is pretty strange for a lot of people, including me. But the use of this movement requires another movement to set up your balance; drawing the inside foot back under the body, or heels together. This worked for last season.
I think it's useful, in all this, to distinguish between what you're trying to accomplish on the hill, and how you describe it to the student (or yourself) to create that movement/effect. And it's important to remember that we students may not "get" something described three ways, but can connect with it if it's described a fourth way, and make a really profound change in our skiing.
With that introduction, saying something like, early in the transition/turn initiation, you should imagine headlights on both your knees turning to point in the direction of the new turn (as, say, the cool headlights on some new cars like the Lexus 330 do) doesn't actually promote so much active steering of the inside ski (at least to me) but rather simultaneous knee and ankle rolling with parallel angles to get an early rolling of the ski onto the new edge. It seems to me a different way to describe the early rolling onto the little toe edge of the old outside ski.
Some of us "get" the early turn initiation and simultaneous change of angles with both legs by hearing "I like to feel like I'm changing edges with my knees" (Bode Miller, as quoted by Ron LeMaster) or, in my example, the dual headlights.
Others of us get it by thinking that the move is first an edge change of the old outside/new inside ski onto the little toe edge (Harb; Malmros; Anthony) quoted below or, perhaps, in some variant of the advice from the lesson cited by LisaMarie at the beginning of this thread or RicH's explanation, that it's the inside knee you aim in the direction of the new turn to create the ankle and knee and whatever-driven (anatomy is not my strong suit and I defer to the knowledge of the other participants here) edge change, letting the rest of the body follow.
Quotes from the racing world:
Ron LeMaster (Alpine Technique) quotes Bode Miller "I like to feel I'm changing edges with my knees"http://www.ronlemaster.com/presentat...nique-2003.pdf
Malmros (Speed 101) goes back to Harald Harb to describe this. "roll the foot laterally to change the edge. As Harb says, think of it as stepping on the little toe of the [old] outside foot. Sounds weird, but it works. The outside foot rolls downhill to initiate the edge change, the hip bone goes with it, the other leg bone is connected to the hip bone, so it goes with it, parallel leg shafts, big edge angles early, skiing on rails."http://www.rmmskiracing.org/articles...1-Speed101.pdf
Chris Anthony agrees. "To achieve this power [evident in Hermann Maier's skiing], I widened my stance to full shoulder width at the initiation of the turn. Next, I rolled both skis on edge simultaneously. I imagined rolling and driving the pinky toe of my [new] inside foot into the hill…. Now, on every run, I think of rolling and driving my pinky toe into the hill."http://www.skiingmag.com/skiing/priv...395663,00.html
That's how I'd interpret it, or translate it, anyway.
Lisamarie, this is pretty much contemporary ski racing dogma. (I just heard it again this weekend in a racing clinic, from the coach at Alpine Meadows who usually instructs junior racers but was stuck for the day with us, er, veterans.) The canon is (in general), ski an early line, finish your turns right at gate clear, and then have a fast active transition to get the skis tipped onto the new edge as soon as possible, so they can carve.
A key differentiator between a better racer and a recreational skier is the ability to roll onto the new edge earlier and get a bigger edge angle earlier. To do that, the first (or one of the first, depending on your skiing bible) move is to change edges quickly.
There are a variety of technique descriptions posted here and elsewhere (tipping onto little toe edge of old outside ski; roll your ankles; simultaneous edge change with knees; dynamic extension of the old inside leg; projection of CM to the inside of the new turn; relaxing of old outside leg and toppling of mass to the outside of the old turn) including aiming your new inside knee in the direction you want to turn. They are various ways (or, IMHO, persuasive descriptions to encourage) rapid and early rolling onto the new edge and earlier, larger edge angles.
I would guess that was what your instructor was trying to promote, and it sounds, from your reaction, that it had some success.