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Green Skier...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am not teaching this winter and I find that my instructor skills are a bit dusty. In my ski house there are a few folks who are new to skiing and they ask me for some tips.

No surprise here - not all exercises work for all people. So, I'm dealing with someone who is VERY athletic and not in the least bit timid when it comes to terrain and crowds. She is not 100% sure about speed yet.

You can just tell with some good instruction this girl will be an excellent skier, but she doesn't have a huge interest in instruction (nor the funds). So, she asks me to ski with her and give her tips. I ask her about what she wants, if things makes sense and how it feels to her. Her responses are "I dunno" or "I guesso". She will physically do what you ask of her. Yet, she will ultimately do what "feels good" to her. She has no real "problems"... I'd just like to give her exercises to do - that will encourage and reinforce good skiing.

Any suggestions for exercises - all are welcome.

post #2 of 11
Originally Posted by klkaye
She has no real "problems"... I'd just like to give her exercises to do - that will encourage and reinforce good skiing.
She has no real problems? Send more of your students my way! This is a first :-) . Seriously, you need to observe your friend/student/your skiing to break down what areas could be improved. The exercises would then promote advancement in the areas that need to be worked on.
post #3 of 11
Easy. "Follow me, and do what I do...."

She's a feeler and a watcher. Don't worry about excercies. Just get her mileage.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

that was my hunch - I want to get her to speed up... that's the one thing she doesn't do...
post #5 of 11
Does her equipment give her control and stability at speed? Could be they don't and that is why she is not comfortable picking up the pace. Lew
post #6 of 11
klkaye-Because she "appears" to be a feeler with kinesthetic awareness, try this. A ski will generally turn easier when the skier is balanced on the center of the ski. Just as an airplane propeller turns and spins on a propeller shaft, the ski will turn on the propeller shaft (the foot and leg), when the person is balanced on the whole foot. Try to get here to move forward and back (NOT bend at the waist forward and back) while on the ski. Try to get her to feel the pressure on the ball of her foot, and the ppressure on the heel of her foot. Then have her continue to move forward and back until she "feels" as if the pressure is evenly distributed on her whole foot. When she does that, demonstrate to her how easy it is then to make a "bow tie" in the snow, WITHOUT turning the upper body, using only the foot and leg. Then have her lean on the back and front of her foot and try to make a bow tie. Finish with her feeling the whole foot and making a bow tie in the snow. Then ask her which way it was easier to turn the whole ski.

I have had real good luck with this one progression, with beginner skiers, both children and adults. They seem to come to a quick understanding after this excercise, that the turn starts with the foot, NOT the upper body. I am sure there will be more suggestions. Let us know how they turn out!
post #7 of 11

One tactic to get folks comfortable with higher speeds is to slowly introduce them to those speeds in "safe" situations or areas where folks are already comfortable. For example, look for runouts, rollers that head back uphill, etc. For example, there's a small gulley on the crooked mile (it's a green) at Alta that's great for this. Mother nature's half pipe. I LOVE to ski people up one side and down the other, building speed and then letting gravity bleed it off. You can also talk about, lets ski to point "X" and let our skis run and then stop at point "Y". Next time we'll start 10'-20'-30' up the hill etc. Or, from the top of this pitch, make 5 turns and the let them run. Next run 4 turns, etc. The point is on every run move the "run" point just a bit higher. That way you aren't turning on too much speed too fast. If she's a wedger, encourage wedge change ups, Wide to narrow to wide to narrow etc. Try to encourage the time in narrow to get longer. Wedge "leapfrog" is a good one for this. (One skier moves ahead in a gliding wedge, then breaks while the other skier zooms ahead. Alternate this multiple times....) Anything that encourages gliding and higher speed (with control) will work.

And finally, if at all possible, try to teach her the hockey stop. It's the emergency brakes. (She'll need to be matching her skis fairly well) It takes a long time to stop in a wedge, even for good skiers. If she's got a solid stop, and she knows it, she'll (hopefully) lose her concern about speed.

Good luck,
post #8 of 11
I don't think one can readily pick up speed even if you give a good explanation of the mechanics. In my limited learning experience, speed developed gradually as I gain control of my skis and this comes mostly with mileage. This is probably true for most adults and the reverse for kids. If she's a feeler/watcher and on budget she could buy an instructional video, an hour of private instruction every season, and read this forum. Some encouraging words from my first instructor, " Keep on skiing, you'll have no choice but to learn". Good luck.
post #9 of 11

feel the need for speed

Hi Kiersten

Comfort zone first and formost for this one, but try some railroad tracks on real gentle terrain. (Im assuming she has shaped skis. This will work, even if she doesnt, just not as well) low traffic area, gentle slope at first, railroad tracks will show her that she can trust her equipment to do a little turning for her just by rolling to the uphill edges. This will help with turn shape when you dial it back into real skiing and give her the feeling we all love so much-pure carved turns that dont have to be at mach 10

good luck!
post #10 of 11

No one has mentioned alignment yet. If she doesn't have fear of speed or crowds, but yet, doesn't seem to be able to go a bit faster, it could be that the skis are not responding the way they should. My wife had this problem. She was doing everything right, but nothing seemed to have the intended results. We got her aligned and she was instantly able to do what she had been trying to do. It allowed the ski's edges to engage properly, which gave her a lot more stability, and she immediately started skiing faster and with better control.

The only issue with this, is that she may need to spend some money to get the boot work done. But she may be able to go to the shop where she got her boots and have them do the work (if they are competant and include boot fitting as part of selling the boots).
post #11 of 11
I forgot to mention in my previous post (#6) that after you learn how easy it is to turn your feet, control your speed with turn shape. In other words, keep turning your feet to slow down, and to control your speed.
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