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Center Line Concept

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Where can I find PSIA materials describing the Center Line concept. I have the definition from the Encyclopedia of Skiing, but am looking for something a little more complete.

post #2 of 62
Originally Posted by marcmojo
Where can I find PSIA materials describing the Center Line concept. I have the definition from the Encyclopedia of Skiing, but am looking for something a little more complete.

Marcomojo, just read the entire text in the encyclopedia and was wondering what more there could possibly be related to this concept?
post #3 of 62
Thread Starter 
I am looking for materials discussing the application of the concept.
post #4 of 62
A search of the archives will bring up center line beat to death in threads. You don't see it beat to death recently because it has been replaced with stepping stones.
post #5 of 62

more info needed

Originally Posted by marcmojo
I am looking for materials discussing the application of the concept.
Could you be more specific as to why you are looking the definitions up?

The centerline concept relates to skiing "positions" and how they relate to skill level. For example, a wedge position is usually used in the beginning stages of learning. A wedge-christie is used for advanced beginners and beginning intermediates. Open or Beginning parallel is used for advanced intermediates and above. Now, I say "positions" because thats the easiest way for people to visualize the stages of advancement. In reality we strive for constant movements to adjust and stay in balance and not to get stuck in static postitions when we ski. Without getting too complicated, to stay in balance, you may utilize any of these "positions" by adjusting and blending different skills.
The skills we talk about are balance (movements), rotary (movements), edge control (movements), and pressure control (movements).

keep in mind, The centerline concept has evolved a bit from its inception and a good understanding of what the centerline is and also the term "stepping stones" should be looked into as well.

again, Im not sure why you are asking about it, but if you can be a bit more specific, maybe we can shed some light on your question.
post #6 of 62
Thread Starter 

lvl II study guide

I am trying to flesh out some answers on a lvl II study guide, and there are some questions on the topic- most of my material deals with the three steps to success and stepping stones- so I am struggling a bit with it.
post #7 of 62
Go ahead and post the specific questions you have. Maybe some of us can help you out.

I took and passed my LII in the western division 2 seasons ago (2003-04) I have also been trying to help some of my fellow instructors pass their LII exams this season.

post #8 of 62
Thread Starter 

Good Idea

I think if I get some input on this question it will help me with the rest.

"Define how the skills on either side of the center line help you formulate a plan for each student."

It is the "either side" concept I am not getting- there are 4 skills. Maybe I am just letting the wording trip me up- I am not sure.

Thanks all-
post #9 of 62
You said you have the "encyclopedia" I assume you mean Bob Barnes book.

Take a look at the centerline model in 3d.

If you look up the center it shows the milestones in the centerline model.

If you take any path other than the center, you will see weaker or stronger blends of skills. To move the student back to the "center" of the model think about your Movement analysis of that student and what would you need to do.

IE You have a student that uses primarily Rotary to make turns (no edge or pressure) You would want to work your student on edge or pressure skills to blend with their rotary skills. Now formulate a plan based on this knowledge.
post #10 of 62
Originally Posted by marcmojo
"Define how the skills on either side of the center line help you formulate a plan for each student."

It is the "either side" concept I am not getting- there are 4 skills. Maybe I am just letting the wording trip me up- I am not sure.
There are really 3 primary movement skills we focus on. Balance encompasses all 3.

post #11 of 62
I thought I told you to toss that study guide away!

I dare you to bring that to work tomorrow. You need sleep, drugs, booze and a little love. I bet I can hook you up with a big, smelly, unshaved, coworker from Ned. I guess your wife will allow two out of the four.

Right on......Niiiice!

You don't need a study guide.

Folks this guy is having pre-exam angst prior to the level II exam. He will ace the exam. Don't feed the frenzy

OK, I'll take a shot. Let's compare "dynamic parallel" turns (whatever the heck that has morphed into) with a wedge turn. Is it safe to say an important skill on one side of the centerline for "the wedger" is steering. The other skills are also important, however, with early student were out there sweating those first efforts to "guide", ie., turn the feet.

On to the level seven eight student. They have bought a $1000.00 carving machine and want to learn to lay them over. We're going to be trying to get that student to "tip em" as opposed to "turn em". The paramount skill is on the other side of the line and although tipping or edgeing obviously exists in the case of the wedge turn I would argue the one milestone is turning biased and the other edging biased.

Start getting some sleep and quit worrying........you'll do fine!
post #12 of 62
As someone who studied and passed the Associate Cert (now LII) exam when we referred to developemental stages as "Milestones" and then prepped for the Full Cert (now LIII) exam during the changeover to "Centerline" let me give you this bit of info. "Milestones" like "Steppingstones" were six markers of developing skill blending. Unfortunately many instructors took that to mean there were only six things to teach not six million grey area transitions and applications of skills in differing conditions. The Centerline was The ideal path of development with The ideal student on The ideal day. Of course we never get that lesson so you would have to deviate "left and right" of center placing more emphasis on edging when on hardpack, or more emphasis on rotary and two footed skiing when on soft powder. As long as you brought the lesson "back to center" by the end of class you were not "penalized" for going "off course" to accomodate the snow or student conditions. Hope that explanation from someone who lived through the period (1987-'9X) helps.

I guess the "take home" for those studying for any exam is to know the individual skills and what effect developing each separately, and when mixing them with the others, has on the total picture. Know the pieces and how they fit into the whole. If something changes one piece how do you change other pieces to still complete the puzzle?
post #13 of 62
Stache, that's very helpful. I thought I understood the CL, but I never knew about the 2 "sides" business. Is that found in "Core Principles," or whatever it's called?

post #14 of 62
Pre-dates Core Principles by about ten years.
Think of The Centerline as the perfect path to perfect skiing with the perfect student on perfect snow. Now if anything is not perfect how well do you understand the elements and how to make them fit into your not perfect situation so they still apply when things do get back to perfect.
post #15 of 62
I only know Centreline from Bob's description in his book, but it's a pity PSIA ditched it, because it gave PSIA a central philosophy of what its teaching was all about. Now it's very diffuse and vague-sounding. I don't think Stepping Stones is a better replacement.
post #16 of 62
The Centerline was a great concept, suggesting that a skier doesn't just progress in a straight upward line, but some of that progress needs to be lateral in order to build versatility. Lateral learning came into the ski instructor's lexicon at the same time. The area to the right and left of any skill level, which we might call less and more, are where the movement patterns at that level are broadened, diversified, and anchored. For instance, short radius turns can be rapid pivot-slips (on the slippy-slidy side of the Centerline--more rotary, less edge) and they can be arced like HH's high-C SR turns--on the carvy side of the Centerline--more edge, less rotary). A versatile skier should be able to perform SR turns either way. My take-away is that to arrive at perfection at any level, one must be able to dial up and tone down any of the component skills/movements.
post #17 of 62
Thanks guys- all great feedback. I am still waiting for my hairy loving though.
post #18 of 62

psia centerline video

PSIA produced a video in the early 80's ran - about 20 minutes and filmed US demo team members skiing ideal centerline levels - very high quality video(if you can get past the funky 80's demo team unis)...I believe the demos were wedge, wedge christie, open parallel, dynamic parallel and diverging parallel (haven't watched it in 10 years)....my copy is a bad duplicate if I even still have it....I am sure someone here has an original they could lend you....a view of the video would explain it to you clearly. PSIA also published a book for the general public about the same time.....which was excellent...I believe it was called "The Way to Ski" it addressed level A thru F with F being diverging parallel as well I believe.....of course the ATS manual at the time(80's) was based on centerline, I no longer have a copy....certainly some bear can help you with that for sure.....good luck.
post #19 of 62

Since no one actually answered your question...

There are a couple of very good resources for the info you seek.
One is Horst Abraham's book, "Skiing Right", the other is the PSIA ATS Teaching Concepts. All of these were using Centerline as it's core concept. But you may have a hard time finding these, as they have all been out of print for some time. But find an old timer in your school who has a decent library, and I'd bet you could borrow a copy.

JPSKI- you are not exactly correct about the Centerline philosophy and application. It had nothing to do with "positions".

It was all about the blending of skills. Given certain degrees of experience and the ability to blend skills in particular ways, these would result in a given outcome. It might manifest itself as a wedge turn, wedge christie, or parallel turn,(etc), but that was not the most important outcome. As has been stated, it was about exploring the range of possibilities, not the absolutes.
Any change in the environment, such as speed, terrain, or snow conditions would result in different blendings, and give a different appearance to each turn, though the mechanics all fell within the Centerline parameters.

When the "sides" of Centerline are discussed, you must start as per the illustration in Bob's book, with the edge/pressure bias on one side and the rotary bias on the other. The "Centerline" manuevers merely were representitive of a blend which resulted in manuevers which were familiar to most instructors and skiers.

To this day, we still explore those parameters. In the RM division, we even evaluate both Railroad Track Turns and Pivot Slips. One is pure edge/pressure, the other pure rotary. This is an excellent example of the extreme "sides" of the Centerline Model.

And somewhere in between is the turn (the blend) you'd want to make in any given condition.
post #20 of 62
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
Thanks guys- all great feedback. I am still waiting for my hairy loving though.
That wasn't me (Rusty Guy)

That was Mark using a computer at work. I will, however, agree a little love is always a good thing.

I'll log off at work in the morning!
post #21 of 62
I have the origional Centerline video. The "Divirging Parallel"(they never did figure that one out) isn't very good but the rest is right on.
Centerline brought a number of things that the WC skiers were doing then into PSIA. It made a lot of sense and I used it with my kids frequently. Does this sound familiar? "Release(flatten) the downhill ski as you extend the uphill leg, moving the CM across into the new turn".(something like that anyway) Of course it then said "steer both skis in a wedge through the turn". Unfortunatly a lot of the lower level examiners used it as a "final form" or got stuck on one part and didn't see the whole picture. The Divirging Parellel was where they really missed it. "The downhill ski is left short of completion as pressure is transferred to the outside edge of the uphill ski and it carves into the hill causing the skis to divirge". ("seamless turns" one D Teamer called them" ) The straight ski version of what we do now to make RR tracks.
I thought it was a great system but it got lost in everyone's over analyzing and mis understanding.
post #22 of 62
I will agree with you completely!
Centerline (along with the Skill Development Model) was one of the best conceptual ideas ever brought forth in PSIA. And it should have been kept, with a re-explanation of how to use it effectively, rather than tossing it in favor of another confused, half baked, misunderstood idea.
Here is another example-
In RM, the "3 Steps to Success" is nothing more than a confused rehash of the skills concept. But when its bought into by divisions, then it becomes an even more confused gospel to the newer instrs who have no understanding of the history of such concepts.

Why is it that so many feel the wheel needs to be reinvented every generation of instr? When with minor tweaking, it could have been left intact, instead of being made more obtuse?
post #23 of 62
Thanks for putting my info into a more applicable presentation. I just didn't feel I was communicating it correctly. Mine was more "Tommy technical" your explanation was better.
post #24 of 62
For everyone ranting or raving about
"Final Forms", "Milestones", "Centerline", "Stepping Stones" or any individual region's timely vernacular, you just haven't learned that PSIA exists to sell lessons to instructors. If they did not change the words they use to describe the basic skiing movements that really haven't changed since Og, then why would anyone have to keep paying dues and attending update clinics? Actually wouldn't it just be easier if they published an annual glossary of terms and what is this years "buzzword" for last years commonly understood phrase?
post #25 of 62
you think maybe you guys should ask the guys who wrotethe centerline to comment? horst still lives here in vVail, and I think Mike porter does to. Why notask them to join here and explain all this stuff?
Nothing better tehn going to the source.
post #26 of 62
I'd really like to hear from them. Ellen Post-Foster too.
post #27 of 62
And Max Lundberg and Carol Levine.
post #28 of 62
Actually, I think the guy to talk to is Jerry Warren. I don't think Horst was involved in this one, though he was the author of the skills concept.
post #29 of 62
Originally Posted by nolo
Actually, I think the guy to talk to is Jerry Warren. I don't think Horst was involved in this one, though he was the author of the skills concept.
Jerry Warren narrates and skis beautifully in the 80's PSIA centerline video....Ellen Post Foster skis in it too....get your hands on the video it will answer all of your questions...it was very well done... I found it priceless as I was entering the ski instructor business. The early 90's ATS videos work off centerline as well. Those are terrific too....the footage of Shawn Smith skiing steeps is fabulous....as was his description of the techniques(and attitude) required to conquer gnarly terrain.

This is a great thread for me - kinda like reliving a time warp....I was really, really into ATS and Centerline at the time. I was clear on it and it worked for me and my students. The 80's general public PSIA publication I mentioned in my first post was demo'd by Carol Levine and Max Lundberg. Jerry Warren wrote the intro.....if you want to immerse yourself in centerline that is a must find too....again "The Way to Ski " was the name of the book.

Another attempt in the 80's to hammer centerline home to the general public was a 1986 video release by Ski Magazine called "Learn to SKI" Jerry Warren, Mike Post, Stein Erikson, Andy Mills, Tim Petrick were just a few of the 80's skiing "rock stars" who appeared.....the Andy Mills segment is one of my all time favorite bits of ski instruction....absolutely classic!

Sorry to go on, but just an old ski dude rambling on about classic stuff....everything I mention tho, if you secure it will immerse you in centerline as much as I was back then. Sure it's old stuff, but IMO it is all still relevant today. At least to this retired veteran. I encourage you to hunt the material down. I watched this stuff so much I actually felt I knew these folks. Maybe, in a strange sort of way I did.

The mention of these names brings back a warm feeling......despite the limitations of the gear vs today's equipment, gosh it was a great era to be skiing, and thanks to my friends mentioned above and here in my post, skiing very,very nicely thank you. Those 205 Olin RTS with the Look z turntables and the TNT's with the lime green buckles strapped on and blasting down Steins at the Bush at warp 9.....yep, good times indeed!
post #30 of 62
my dad used to make me watch that ski magazine video! Classic! As I recall starts out with Stein sweeping down the hill like some giant bird...the Andy Mills stuff was cool too! I wish I had a copy. Good stuff.
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