Originally Posted by Skizz
A few more simple practical exercises to do with young racers and I'm good to go.
The most crucial element in a well executed arc to arc transition is the manner in which the new turn is initiated/engaged. Typical carve initiations by lesser skilled skiers are characterized by harsh edge applications and initial steers and pivots.
To refine a developing skiers ability to produce clean turns we have to help them get a handle on the ability to control the release of their CM from the prior turn, and control the rate of travel of their CM across their skis and into the new turn. We need to help them develop that important feel
for initiating a clean edge engagement, and also must help them develop the lateral and fore/aft balance skills that will support their quest to achieve those end results.
The realization of those objectives entails the utilization of a large number of balance, edging, and transition drills. These drills help skiers to develop the foundation skills that allow them to consistently produce clean arc to arc transitions in a variety of manners. It's that versatility that allows for quality transition consistency to occur within the challenging environment of ski racing.
Always, a full gamut of lateral and fore/aft balance drills should proceed this arc to arc transition drill progression. It's the development of the balance skills those balance drills address that will support the students ability to master the coming transition drills. I won't cover them all now, they are too numerous for this post, but lets assume they are being covered.
Specific transition drills should start off very simple, with strong focus on producing ultra clean transitions to low edge angle carves.
>Start on very gentle terrain, and emphasize the progressive tipping of the inside shin as the initial CM release and control mechanism. Make sure the inside shin leads the transition, and that new turn initiations are always clean. Keep the edge angles lows, and complete turns at a soft angle to the falline
>A drill variation with a pause at neutral helps student get the feel of a clean new turn initiation roll and engagement.
>After becoming proficient at this, vary the rate of CM cross-over, from slow through fast, always ensuring a clean and progressive new turn edge engagement.
>Vary maximum edge angles and turn shapes.
>Vary the fore/aft positions within the above drills
>Move to more difficult terrain and repeat the above drills
>Now it's time to vary the transition methods.
>Focus on a CM release initiated with a relaxation of the old outside leg, and a tipping of that shin. As before, start on easy terrain, vary cross rates, fore/aft balance, vary turn shapes, then move to tougher terrain.
>Focus on a CM release initiated with the inside leg extension methodology I explain in the link I provided in my first post in this thread. Again, follow with the same drill development variations as above.
>The above are pressure transfer transition methods, where the pressure transfers from the old outside to the old inside ski. Now it's time to vary that aspect of transitions.
>Execute transitions in which pressure remains 50-50, left ski/right ski, through the transition. Follow with the same variations as above.
>Execute transitions in which pressure remains 100 percent on the old outside ski though the transition. Follow with above variations.
>Through all these drills, ensure that students maintain solid skis to snow contact throughout the transition. No rebound, extension, or retraction fostered contact loss.
That should provide enough keep the team very engaged in productive training for quite a while. The above drills are only a starting point, many other variations can be included, but this serves as a good basic framework. When these skills are well developed racers will possess the ability to execute solid arc to arc transitions under a broad range of situations, and will feel much more confident on their skis.
From there future transition training will involve skating transitions, pivoted transitions, spivoted transitions, retracted transitions, and of course Waist Steering methods.