EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › The Triad - time for a change?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Triad - time for a change?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
If I understand correctly the three primary skills for skiing that must be mastered in the view of the majority of ski instruction in the US are:

1. Balance
2. Pressure
3. Rotary

Yet, much of what I read here in actual descriptions of turns and in many of the books I read or in the drills and focuses for skills I have been taught by both my PSIA and non PSIA instructors have this as a foundational skiing triad of skills to manage:

1. Balance
2. Pressure
3. tipping/edging management

Rotary in this 2nd triad becomes a result rather than an input. The set of skills to effect a turn and manage a turn shape do not require pivoting input according to instructors that go by the 2nd triad. Even in the bump ski lessons I've had where there is an apperance of strong pivoting were really change of directions caused by management of the second set of triad of skills.

Is it time to move direct pivoting to a 2nd tier of skills and refocus the primary 3 skills to develop as listed in the 2nd Triad?

If it isn't time in a person's skiing mindset, do these 2 triads describe a defining difference in approaching skiing and ski instruction? For the people that still follow the 1st triad where and how does tipping management come in? Pressure alone leaves you with inclination.

Rick in a recent set of ski posts spoke that direct pivoting moves are key in WC now. This is contrary to a camper I met at a recent camp that was told the opposite by a US Ski team coach in a recent converstion. How can Rick's belief be squared by the US Ski Team coaches statement to my friend?

Interestingly, the set of pics Rick referenced to show this shows the skier in the air when this "pivoting" occurs and they look just like the air "pivot" Eric demonstrates in his book. But Eric in his book points at that pic and says it was inside foot tipping that created the edge set change and change of direction and not a pivoting movement. In other words the change of direction was a result, not the input.

In other words tipping management of the edges includes and can encompase changes of directions. Often this is accompianed by the hips moving the other direction setting up a new edge set counter which means direct pivoting really isn't what is going on.

Anyway - take a look at page 75 in Eric and Rob's book Ski the Whole Mountain for an air edge change description to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

The new triad:

Balance
Pressure
Edging

I believe the reality of ski instruction is that it is moving to the 2nd triad from within and without the PSIA. I certainly see that in the general average of discussions here on this forum.

And like any complete skier, I can still direct steer my skis when I want to independent of one another. Just because a ski instructor thinks the 2nd triad is more primary than the 1st triad doesn't exclude direct steering when needed. (While I don't use it in normal ski turns, in a lift line where I need to employ a braking wedge I certainly independently rotate each foot inward. Everybody does.) It's just steering isn't viewed as something that needs taught at the expense of mastering the 2nd triad. Also, and more importantly, direct pivoting actions are viewed as counter to the 1st common piller in both triads - balance.

So, for the traditionalists out there, do you really still feel the 1st triad is the best approach? Or, if you're honest and look at how you teach others to ski, are you really using the 2nd triad anyway already?

Side question - are the tunups not under Epicski control anymore? I posted a long time ago with interest to go to one of the tuneups. I've had many instructors in my first 2 years of skiing, but all have been of the 2nd triad philosophy whether they were PSIA or PMTS or Independents (except for my very very first PSIA lesson at Breckenridge which was of the 1st triad approach).

If I go to the tuneups, anyone there coaching going to be of the 2nd triad view of the world? I'd still love to pay my money and go and I know you can't pick your coaches but this difference of view in my own observation of instructors seems pretty fundemental. I know you can learn from anybody yada yada yada, but I see the results of the two approaches on the slopes as well. Do the epic coaches consider themselves a 1st triad or 2nd triad coach if they were to categorize themselves.

Thanks all!

(P.S. anyone going to S. America in August? Looks like I'll be there for a week with a client. PM me if you want to get together. At this point we can pick our week as nothing's been reserved yet and won't be finalized for about 10 days.)
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
If I understand correctly the three primary skills for skiing that must be mastered in the view of the majority of ski instruction in the US are:

1. Balance
2. Pressure
3. Rotary
Simply stated.....no, you do not understand correctly!

No one said primary. No one said skills

The three movements that I suspect you are referring to are;

Pressure-flexion and extension movements
Rotary-this can cover a myriad of movements of various parts of the body
Edging-involves tipping the ski on edge and can again be done various ways

Where does balance fit into the equation. My personal opinion is that it is the ultimate chicken and egg scenario. Some will insist one must first be balanced in order to make the aforementioned movements. Others will say making those movements correctly will facilitate balance.

Where did you get the paradigm concerning the "majority" of ski instructors?
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
If I understand correctly the three primary skills for skiing that must be mastered in the view of the majority of ski instruction in the US are:

1. Balance
2. Pressure
3. Rotary

Yet, much of what I read here in actual descriptions of turns and in many of the books I read or in the drills and focuses for skills I have been taught by both my PSIA and non PSIA instructors have this as a foundational skiing triad of skills to manage:

1. Balance
2. Pressure
3. tipping/edging management
John, this just sounds like another attempt to say, "PMTS right, PSIA wrong", but this time with the cute twist of saying, Ah, but they're coming around to our way of thinking, they're not as wrong as they used to be."

Well, let me just say that I'm not here to vouch for the superiority of either camp, as I'm not really affiliated with either. But, as a freethinking independent, I do want to say that I'm really sick of the perpetual attempts to berate the perceived opposition. It gets kind of old.

And I will add, that while I don't necessarily acknowledge your analysis of the teaching focuses promoted by PSIA or PMTS to be correct, any instructor or organization that thinks high level skiing can really be achieved by directing primary instructional focus on either of those 2 "Triads" is a bit lacking in real knowledge of the sport. Both of your "Triads" are way to limited and simplistic.

Skiing is way more involved, with many more skill areas that must be equally focused on to really develop true master level skiing. Devote employment of cutsie little themes such as these "Triads" is limited in scope, and is the characteristic methodology of new instructors with limited knowledge of the sport. They cling on to these simplistic themes because they have nothing else in there knowledge base to operate by.

Quote:
Rotary in this 2nd triad becomes a result rather than an input.
John, all rotary movements are a result. A result of employing particular muscle involvement to create a desired outcome. It can be a desire to direct the skis into a particular turn shape, a desire to redirect the skis prior to edge engagement, or simply a rotational movement that enhance balance and edging potential yet does not directly affect the physical turning of the ski.

In high level skiing, all results are the product of intent.


Quote:
The set of skills to effect a turn and manage a turn shape do not require pivoting input according to instructors that go by the 2nd triad.
This is the limited in scope thinking I'm talking about. Depending on what a skier intends to achieve, sometimes it's not required, but sometimes it is. Blanket ruling out such as this limits skier choices and potentials.

This is what happens when instructors get caught up in adhering to these overly simplistic "3 step programs."


Quote:
Rick in a recent set of ski posts spoke that direct pivoting moves are key in WC now. This is contrary to a camper I met at a recent camp that was told the opposite by a US Ski team coach in a recent converstion. How can Rick's belief be squared by the US Ski Team coaches statement to my friend?
John, all you have to do is watch any WC run to see the ever more pervasive use of redirecting the skis during turn transitions, prior to reengagement. This is such a no brainer, there really is no debating this.
Even when not as gross in nature as displayed in the montage I provided in the other thread, to the even semi trained eye it's blatantly obvious.

The only explanation I can give you for the discrepancy you think you've found between what I'm saying and what you heard 3rd hand from another student, is that you're friend probably didn't comprehend exactly what the coach was telling him. That can be the only explanation because the utilization of the tactic on the WC is so pervasive, and so clearly evident, that any contention it's not would be, frankly, laughable.



Quote:
Interestingly, the set of pics Rick referenced to show this shows the skier in the air when this "pivoting" occurs and they look just like the air "pivot" Eric demonstrates in his book. But Eric in his book points at that pic and says it was inside foot tipping that created the edge set change and change of direction and not a pivoting movement.
In the redirecting tactic I'm explaining, John, the driving force that facilitates the pivot is an anticipatory countering of the upper body down the hill prior to disengagement of the prior turn. This countering creates a stored energy torque within the skiers body that gets released when the edge is disengaged from the prior turn. At disengagement the lower body is suddenly freed to return to alignment with the upper body and quickly join it in its downhill orientation.

The result; the feet and skis pivot to face downhill. The more the upper body is countered prior to disengagement, the more dramatic the pivot can be.
post #4 of 28
Since I started teaching (recent) and in most of my reading, I have found that it's Balance that encompasses all 3 skills and the skills or movements of current thinking are rotary, edge and pressure. No one skill is more important or less than another, it's the blending of these 3 movements as needed for the intended out come.

As I read old texts such as "Skiing, and art a technique" or some of the different texts that are still accepted today as good skills they all seem to have these "skills or movements" in common. How they teach them, and in what blend? Depends on the intent, terrain or desire.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

DC
post #5 of 28
Rick, Anticipation due to an upper body rotation or as a result of the legs turning under the body?
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Rick, Anticipation due to an upper body rotation or as a result of the legs turning under the body?
Good point JSPR.

The extreme anticipatory counter can be created by simply letting the skis change direction through the bottom of the turn and not following that same direction change with the upper body.

Still, the skier does have the option of maintaining a more efficient rotational position for a longer time during the turn, then make a last minute gross counter move prior to disengagement.

Really an optional thing.
post #7 of 28

My two cents

John,

I feel your post shows a some lack of understanding of the rotary skill, what it is, and why it is important. Hence I will try to explain it here to help.

When somthing turns...anything...it must turn about a point. This true for skidded or purely carved ski turns, for a car turning a corner, or a ship turning at sea. The "point" may not be obvious, but I guarantee you, the turning action of a body can be reduced to a single point on that body. The key behind the rotary skill, is ensuring that the ski turns about the right point. Independent leg action is also important, BUT secondary to ensuring the ski turns about the right point.

If your ski turns about the wrong point (ie too far forward on the ski body, or too far back) it will be impossible to edge effectivley, balance effectivley or control pressure effectivley. In other words, without the proper rotary skill, it would be impossible to perform any of your 2nd triad skills with any proficiency.

I can understand how this may be missed, since in perfect carved linking turns, the rotary skill doesnt appear present. However, I assure you it is. In fact, it is becuase the skill is present, that the perfect carved turn is possible.

Simply put, as your skis go from left to right, and then back right to left, you need the rotary skill to keep the skis turning about the right point....(in case it is not obvious, the "right point" is often also referred to as the "center" of the ski, but it is not really(if you measured it, it is actually back of center)...it is however were the ski is narrowest from the sidecut, and also the point where the camber is greatest.)
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
John, all you have to do is watch any WC run to see the ever more pervasive use of redirecting the skis during turn transitions, prior to reengagement. This is such a no brainer, there really is no debating this.
Even when not as gross in nature as displayed in the montage I provided in the other thread, to the even semi trained eye it's blatantly obvious.
Oh......but you are so wrong. You see, rotary movements do not exist on the WC level. The reason they do not exist is because my teacher says so.:
post #9 of 28
John M.,
I got into a big argumentative discussion about “rotary” on this board last winter. Any discussion of the primary skills will bring this about. I think these discussion are great

I have come to the conclusion that there are various views of what rotary is. I have also come to the conclusion that rotary is used. I have concluded that various types of rotary are used mostly when the skiing gets demanding and it is necessary to get the skis moving into the fall-line quickly (pivoting) and for adding tip pressure in a turn (knee drive).

It used to be my view that rotary was an upper body function. I still have that view but I have added to it, knee angulation which is also used in conjuction with hip angulation or leveling which is also used in conjuction with upper body rotation and angulation. I now view what I call “knee drive” as a rotaty movement as it relates to the femur in the hip socket and actual lateral flexion in the knee joint – as limited as that is. But all this is done for the effect of edging and pressure, not a twisting of the feet (as it has been described to me).

I still do not subscribe to the foot rotation argument. I argue that the turning of the feet is something that I don’t do. My view on the subject is that the feet are riding the skis which are turning as a result of the pressure and edging, and that the feet are simply not hindering the process of the skis turning. The scarved turn is still an edging and pressure process, not a turning of the feet process.

I think “pure carve” is something that almost never happens in my actual skiing practice. I know that there are patience turns and cowboy turns that may come close to pure carve. However, in real practice there is, in some point in a real cranking turn, a component of skid.

That doesn’t mean that we, or I anyway, don’t try to minimize the skidding component. But I am aware that it is there.

About the BERP diagrams – I cannot be bothered. These are an academic mental masturbation, an attempt to nail down something that changes constantly. And what about balancing skills and/or movements... well yaaah.

Turnalot
post #10 of 28
John,

There are 4 skills in the US.

1) Stance and Balance
2) Rotary
3) Pressure Control
4) Edging

You seem concerned that rotation is being taught ahead of edging. That would be a sensible position. However, you also wish to artificially restrict the use of rotation -- which is not sensible.

While I love skiing arc to arc, not everyone does. So, skiing arc to arc cannot be the goal of all skiers.

I would certainly not teach such technique to a beginner, regardless of their personal desires. Teaching a beginner to make round skidded turns for control is far more sensible than teaching techniques that suggest a beginning skier can be parachuted into "expert" domain. Heck, that's not even reasonable -- there are other people on the hill, whose safety is a concern, and that matters way more than being able to ski "arc to arc" ASAP.
post #11 of 28
Mental masturbation, Hmm...
The forces created or encountered have not changed much since Newton's time, only our description of how we move to exploit them. That said Tipping the skis onto and off of an edge, Steering the skis left or right, and bending the joints of the body still remain the only options. Balance is an objective, turning is an objective, and hopefully getting to the bottom of the hill unscathed is another.
I'm done now and yes it was good for me.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Mental masturbation, Hmm...
The forces created or encountered have not changed much since Newton's time, only our description of how we move to exploit them. That said Tipping the skis onto and off of an edge, Steering the skis left or right, and bending the joints of the body still remain the only options....
I'm done now and yes it was good for me.
OK Jasp, now try is skiing harder and faster!!!
post #13 of 28
Steady ST, your typing is being affected.
post #14 of 28

PSIA Alpine Manual Copyright 1996

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
John,

There are 4 skills in the US.

1) Stance and Balance
2) Rotary
3) Pressure Control
4) Edging

You seem concerned that rotation is being taught ahead of edging. That would be a sensible position. However, you also wish to artificially restrict the use of rotation -- which is not sensible.

While I love skiing arc to arc, not everyone does. So, skiing arc to arc cannot be the goal of all skiers.

I would certainly not teach such technique to a beginner, regardless of their personal desires. Teaching a beginner to make round skidded turns for control is far more sensible than teaching techniques that suggest a beginning skier can be parachuted into "expert" domain. Heck, that's not even reasonable -- there are other people on the hill, whose safety is a concern, and that matters way more than being able to ski "arc to arc" ASAP.
The previous PSIA Alpine Manual has an absolutely fabulous diagram of how each of the four skills blended with each level of skier. Balance being the primary skill and then edging, pressure, and rotary blending into each other based on a beginner skier up to and including powder skiing. Balance makes a lot of sense because if you can’t stand up your darn sure can’t ski either.

If you can find one of these manuals you will find the manual very self explanatory in reference to the skills concept of American skiing. Blend them when and how you wish, the skills are still relevant with today’s contemporary skiing.

PSIA does not throw out the old just to invent the new; we try and remember that the old still has its place today when used in the right application. Rigidity is not a theme we like to market.
post #15 of 28
I think rotary skills are important. Even experts probably need these skills on extremely steep or moguled terrain. World cup slalom racer will not finish a run without rotary skills. The gates are intentionally set such that no one can carve arc to arc. (Make the test too hard for anyone to ace it if you really want to find out who is the best).

Do we want to teach a beginner railroad turns (no rotary) and set him loose!? Sounds dangerous to me.

Pressure control skills
Edging skills
Rotary skills

That triad covers it all but each is a part of many different movements that skiers use. Most movements will include all three to some extent. Balance is always needed and encompasses the other three sets of skills. When I was teaching years ago there was some talk about adding "rhythm and flow" as a fifth component of skiing.
post #16 of 28

Rythm and Flow

Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
I think rotary skills are important. Even experts probably need these skills on extremely steep or moguled terrain. World cup slalom racer will not finish a run without rotary skills. The gates are intentionally set such that no one can carve arc to arc. (Make the test too hard for anyone to ace it if you really want to find out who is the best).

Do we want to teach a beginner railroad turns (no rotary) and set him loose!? Sounds dangerous to me.

Pressure control skills
Edging skills
Rotary skills

That triad covers it all but each is a part of many different movements that skiers use. Most movements will include all three to some extent. Balance is always needed and encompasses the other three sets of skills. When I was teaching years ago there was some talk about adding "rhythm and flow" as a fifth component of skiing.
We talk about rythm and flow today as an out come in blending of the "primary" skills and not a skill per se'.
post #17 of 28
HH has a different definition of "Rotary". To him it's what I'd call steering. He recognizes internal rotation but doesn't call it "Rotary". I would suggest that tipping is accomplished by rotating certain body parts.(as well as rotating the ski on it's longitudinal axis)
As for what a "US Ski Team coach" says, based on my 20+ years of experience with them, I'll take Rick in a heartbeat.
A USST coach is
athletic trainer
support psychologist
"pack mule"
willing to live out of a suitcase for little money because they love it
(not necessarily in that order)
Very few, that I've met, are technical wizards. It's the athletes that are the innovators.
post #18 of 28
John Mason,
I have to stretch my memory wayyy back, but I think I can remember a time when I began to see the the second triad as an improvement over the first. It was either when I got a pair of long skis, or when I started skiing in deep snow, but the revelation was when I discovered that it was better to make the proper adjustments to weight and edging to the ski and let the ski provide the major force for the rotational movements instead of "muscling" the ski around.

However, I did in fact learn rotary skills first! It was only later, having the benefit of experience and time on the slopes that I was able to ski well enough to advance. I'm not so sure I would have been able to get there without being able to use the "rotary" skills along the way. The rotary skills are never abondoned. They are there, ready to "cheat" when needed. Need to reset your edges quicker than they will come around? Drive the front edges harder into the snow using rotary skills. Pick up your skis twist 'em and set em down. That stump / boarder still comming up too quick for that? Do it to the outside ski.

Triads are overweighted. Come up with a nice group of seven skills.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
... I did in fact learn rotary skills first! It was only later, having the benefit of experience and time on the slopes that I was able to ski well enough to advance. I'm not so sure I would have been able to get there without being able to use the "rotary" skills along the way.
Well put.

John, you may be exposed to more edge-centric thinking for a far simpler reason than you may think. Remember the notion of Guest Centered Teaching? How do you think that would apply to you? I'd think that an instructor would focus on teaching you edging skills, because that's primarily what you want to learn.

Oh, and they'd certainly not start an argument with you about PMTS/PSIA or edging vs rotary on the chair lift. I'd bet all the instructors you have had, once you got into PMTS, were supportive of you.

So, how can you tell if you are the focus of GCT or not?
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
However, I did in fact learn rotary skills first! It was only later, having the benefit of experience and time on the slopes that I was able to ski well enough to advance. I'm not so sure I would have been able to get there without being able to use the "rotary" skills along the way. The rotary skills are never abondoned. They are there, ready to "cheat" when needed. Need to reset your edges quicker than they will come around? Drive the front edges harder into the snow using rotary skills. Pick up your skis twist 'em and set em down. That stump / boarder still comming up too quick for that? Do it to the outside ski.
You don't stop using rotary skills when you discover you don't need to "muscle them around." You actually learn to use the rotary skills more skillfully and more efficiently. Every smooth "balancing on edges" requires some rotary input. You may not be foot steering, but you do apply rotary to get the skis on edge.
post #21 of 28
the John Mason school of pro-PMTS advocacy, in one quick lesson:

1) create a strawman of a hypothesis about non-PMTS instruction
2) show how PMTS is different from the strawman
3) take apart the strawman, showing that it is straw
4) congratulate PMTS on not being made of straw

see, Mason, the problem you have is that you always start with bad assumptions that are either pure fiction or high exaggeration "examples" of PSIA stuff.

how much does Harb pay you to be such a lousy advocate? whatever the price, it's well too high. you suck at advocacy. it's that simple.

don't ever try to defend yourself in any People's Court, you'll lose quickly and will provide great amusement to your adversary, the judge, and the audience.
post #22 of 28
Words to live by, Gonzo!! After reading this thread, I was prompted to write something about John's initial posting. He is so far off base! But most of the posts cover all that I would have said.

Retired PMTS Accredited Instructor....Rick H
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
the John Mason school of pro-PMTS advocacy, in one quick lesson:

1) create a strawman of a hypothesis about non-PMTS instruction
2) show how PMTS is different from the strawman
3) take apart the strawman, showing that it is straw
4) congratulate PMTS on not being made of straw

see, Mason, the problem you have is that you always start with bad assumptions that are either pure fiction or high exaggeration "examples" of PSIA stuff.

how much does Harb pay you to be such a lousy advocate? whatever the price, it's well too high. you suck at advocacy. it's that simple.

don't ever try to defend yourself in any People's Court, you'll lose quickly and will provide great amusement to your adversary, the judge, and the audience.
I guess I'm amused/amazed by the fact that he posts this dribble then fades away never to defend the.......stuff.

I honestly don't fault John. I means this.

He stands around and listens to what his teacher has to say and after a while he buys into it....all of it.

In terms of advocacy I can only imagine he wants to make a doting teacher pleased. How does he please? An amen from the choir while teacher prostylitizes about PSIA.

PMTS has one fatal flaw and it involves it's handling of rotary movements

I think John is in a situation similar to Edsel owners. No one wants to spend money on a product and then say......I should have spent my money elsewhere.
post #24 of 28
I don't know PMTS from PSIA, but as I'm not a ski instructor I don't care either.

To me it's just applying forces to the skis. I have to agree that rotary skills are used, even when not doing a midair turn, or deliberately attempting to give that front edge more bite. I apply forces in many directions at many locations. Force times distance is torque. Unless the integral of force x lever arm to the tip equals that of force x lever arm to the tail, you have a net torque involved. Torque implies rotary skills, wether you know it or not. Rotary skills are like algebra to a physicist. You are using it even though you don't know you are using it.
post #25 of 28
Rusty,

I think he is spending his money wisely. He is getting alot of enjoyment by studying the superior methods of PMTS with like-minded individuals.

He'd be enjoying it even more if folks around here would just knuckle under and validate his chosen path. Hey! Why not just admit that PMTS is the word?
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Rusty,

I think he is spending his money wisely. He is getting alot of enjoyment by studying the superior methods of PMTS with like-minded individuals.

He'd be enjoying it even more if folks around here would just knuckle under and validate his chosen path. Hey! Why not just admit that PMTS is the word?
indeed

I guess I have a slightly different perspective since I'm so close to Jonestown and occasionally see the product when the rite is practiced.
post #27 of 28
John,
If racing is your primary interest, and like you said you have only attended three race camps, your development need to follow the path that you feel is working for you. My suggestion would be to go to USSA.ORG and look for the educational materials available there. It will give you the foundational knowledge you seek and help you decide which program best suits your goals.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
indeed

I guess I have a slightly different perspective since I'm so close to Jonestown and occasionally see the product when the rite is practiced.
Rumor-there are snipers between Dumont and Loveland and they have your picture!!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › The Triad - time for a change?