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Best Way To Improve - Page 2

post #31 of 53

Join a ski club

In the Albany area we have the Out of Control Ski Club. You must have something similar. Join and ski with them. They offer lessons and often the instructors are pretty good.

Skiing with others who are better than you will help. The ski club could be a great resource.
post #32 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskinow
In the Albany area we have the Out of Control Ski Club. You must have something similar. Join and ski with them. They offer lessons and often the instructors are pretty good.

Skiing with others who are better than you will help. The ski club could be a great resource.
I definitely agree with you. I try to watch out for good skier while I'm on the lift, seeing how they turn and the technique they use. I have the entire skiing schedule for the tv all mapped out, and I try to watch as much of it as possible. Same went for tennis, I would purposely go out and play with people 100 times better then me until I was good enough to beat them. I’m going to ask around and see if I can’t find a good place to join and ski with.
post #33 of 53

camhabit

You can learn from other good skiers. You can pick apart their strenghts and weaknesses. I have never had any luck with instructors. You need many lessons but if you ski with great skiers you will learn. In the East there is a shortage of good instructors. I have recently seen guys I ski with pass their level III and there is no way they are level III skiers.

The Club setting brings many skiers together. Some where in the crowd are skiers who can ski. Get with them and step it up. Let them challenge you and before you know it you will be challenging them.

If you join a club you can go North and ski real tough terrain. This will force improvement - do or die. Do the difficult stuff with others and make it happen.
post #34 of 53
Strength and endurance training (which you are already doing).

Ski tuning.

When not in the race course, ski the ugliest conditions you can find on the mountain.

Get a group of your racing buddies and sign up for a group lesson, and see if you can get the best instructor on the mountain (ASK!). Be sure to go at a time when it's not crowded.

Get a small group of your racing buddies and video yourselves in and out of the gates and spend a lot of time doing analysis. Get some video analysis SW for your computer and do side-by-side comparisons with videos of WC racers and each other.

One thing I have heard from some top level coaches is that you should learn line in the gates, but you should learn skiing out of the gates. In other words, you shouldn't be in the gates all the time, and you shouldn't be getting coached on skiing fundamentals when you are in the gates.
post #35 of 53

Chill!

The real question is......Do you have any friends to chill with and hit the slopes?

I can't imagine being so driven and not taking the time to feel the sun on my face while I'm challenging my husband and friends:
"race ya down the hill. Last one at the bottom has to buy lunch! "

There are times when I'm just having a mind blowing time and realize that my form has improved just because, it did!
post #36 of 53

One more thought

Maybe you should find a girl who's faster than you are. Chase a snow bunny down the slope! That'll get you going!

(sorry... just my sense of humor rearing it's ugly head: )
post #37 of 53
Trekchick advice is teh best I have seen so far. maybe one of the bears will introduce you to there fast daughters.

Really though just get out ski.

"ski shit or be shit" moto to live by.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by camhabib
I ski at the very least 4 times a week. I go with my HS team and run gates about 4 hours a day, Monday through Thursday. I usually get a chance to go up on Saturday to someplace close by, like Wachusett, and ski the day there. I know that practice makes perfect, but is there anything else I can do to improve my skill? I try to watch as much racing on TV as possible, try to run as many gates as time allows, and get on snow any time I can, but I still feel like there is more I can do. For any other racers or just casual skiers, what have you done, or do you do, to help improve your skills? What have you found most and least effective? I know lessons are good but at around $65 per/hr with the best I can find being a Level I, I won't be able to afford them for long. Any comments are welcomed.
practicing the wrong moves ingrains bad patterns.

ingrained bad movement patterns are VERY hard to break.

suck up the $$$ and take a lesson from someone who knows good racing and non-race technique.
post #39 of 53
what gonz (uncle crud) said....

practice does not make perfect
practice makes permanent

perfect practice makes perfect
post #40 of 53
There definitely are LII PSIA instructors at Wachusett, I've worked with one, Ed Santos. There are no LIII's however.
post #41 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
There definitely are LII PSIA instructors at Wachusett, I've worked with one, Ed Santos. There are no LIII's however.
I called up on Friday I and talked with (I believe) the race organizer and he told me there were no LII, but you could very well be right. I do have a couple of good friends that I currently go skiing with, doing the NASTAR or such with. . I hate powder so I don't do that, moguls are too hard on my body (still a little beat up from years of tennis), but I do ski the worst stuff I can find (that doesn't show grass). I can ski great in the good stuff but once the trails start to get beat up, I find it pretty hard to keep my skis from just going all over the place. I will definitely invest in a good teacher, either from the mountain or from someplace else if I can find a good one.
post #42 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by camhabib
I called up on Friday I and talked with (I believe) the race organizer and he told me there were no LII, but you could very well be right. I do have a couple of good friends that I currently go skiing with, doing the NASTAR or such with. . I hate powder so I don't do that, moguls are too hard on my body (still a little beat up from years of tennis), but I do ski the worst stuff I can find (that doesn't show grass). I can ski great in the good stuff but once the trails start to get beat up, I find it pretty hard to keep my skis from just going all over the place. I will definitely invest in a good teacher, either from the mountain or from someplace else if I can find a good one.
Call the Ski School, not the race organizer if you're looking for a normal Ski Instructor, I know of at least 2 LII's. Perhaps there is a difference however between race and ski instructors in this guy's mind.

You can buy a book of 5 one hour lessons for $275, saving a bit on the hourly rate, by the way - that's what I did. Ed Santos used to race and I like him a lot.
post #43 of 53
Quote:
I hate powder so I don't do that
Hmmmmm . . . .
post #44 of 53
Lessons, although good, will play a small role in your full development as a skier. Find good skiers to ski with and push yourself. Bumps are part of skiing. You almost have to develop these skills. And powder! If you don't like powder then you must work this skill. That's what it's all about.

It sounds like your 'comfort zone' is some what restricted. Seek these situations out and go to work. Add a lesson - say on bumps - after you do some work on your own. Only take a bump lesson from someone who knows how to teach bumps. You'll get enough bad advice from your friends! It's not likely that you'll find a good bump instructor at Wachusset, at least one that will work with you.
post #45 of 53
On the college ski team bit, don't assume that because they have a team that you can get on it. Actually contact the coach. Many colleges have their teams filled with Europeans and you can't get on the team unless you have a 40 point profile (men). Now, if it's a "club team", like some of the USCSA schools (as opposed to NCAA), maybe they accept everyone. The "serious programs" expect you to have a USSA and FIS profile.

You'll find it amazing the lack of time you have to train once you hit college, by the way.

I should know. I have an 18 year old daughter who just started college and didn't make the "cut" before she started college. And it's proving hard to find races this year that she can fit into her schedule at school. She needs to train and race to make the team, but it's a rough road without an accommodating school (such as she had in HS).
post #46 of 53

Crudness says

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
practicing the wrong moves ingrains bad patterns.

ingrained bad movement patterns are VERY hard to break.

suck up the $$$ and take a lesson from someone who knows good racing and non-race technique.
And I agree.

The problem is: 1) You have to find a good instructor and that is very hard to do. 2) Instruction is too costly for a kid. and 3) All skiers must become their own coach and be responsible for their own success.

I am not saying that habit should not take a lesson. It's just that lessons are not as productive as they should be. If you get lucky and find someone good then that's great, but the odds are against it.

Club instructors are often better than what a ski area can provide. Especially at a smaller mountain like you find in MA.

I still think a club setting would be great for a situation like this. His friends could join, too.
post #47 of 53
I haven't read this whole thread, so I don't know if it has been mentioned yet, but weight training and plyometrics can do a world of good for your skiing. Get in the squat rack, with free weights, and do some lunges as well. Both exercises build strength and balance. Core work (abdominal work) can't be understated as well. A strong core helps you to separate your upper (keeping your upper body quiet) and lower body, while also improving your balance.

Plyometrics will also help with balance and will build explosive power in your legs, improving your lactic acid threshold (the point where your muscles begin to fail due to fatigue) and providing an anerobic workout as well. I would do your strength exercises for legs on Monday, and add Plyos in on Thursday or Friday. Abs two or three times a week.

You have to be careful with plyos though. Start with jump rope, and work into jumping exercises as your leg strength builds. You should probably be squatting 1.5 - 2 times your body weight before working into the more taxing jumping exercises.

If you're unsure as to how to properly perform plyometric exercises, do a web search for sample workouts. I can attest to the amount of improvement you'll see to your skiing by religiously hitting your quads in the weight room.
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskinow
And I agree.

The problem is: 1) You have to find a good instructor and that is very hard to do. 2) Instruction is too costly for a kid. and 3) All skiers must become their own coach and be responsible for their own success.

I am not saying that habit should not take a lesson. It's just that lessons are not as productive as they should be. If you get lucky and find someone good then that's great, but the odds are against it.
I have to disagree with most of this (except the fact that it is very costly.)

if you insist on at least a Level II PSIA Instructor you'll probably do pretty well finding a good one.

I was my own coach along with skiing with excellent skiers all the time. It wasn't until I got some Instruction, first at ESA East, then a day with a LIII, now a couple of lessons with a LII that I made HUGE improvements. That's a total now of 5 lessons in two years. Made all the difference in the world. Great skier friends don't have the eye and the Movement Analysis skills to see and suggest changes for the things that are the most important to work on. You can't see those things yourself. The more coaching I get, the more I can FEEL what I'm doing and will be a better self coach because of it.
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
I have to disagree with most of this (except the fact that it is very costly.)

if you insist on at least a Level II PSIA Instructor you'll probably do pretty well finding a good one.

I was my own coach along with skiing with excellent skiers all the time. It wasn't until I got some Instruction, first at ESA East, then a day with a LIII, now a couple of lessons with a LII that I made HUGE improvements. That's a total now of 5 lessons in two years. Made all the difference in the world. Great skier friends don't have the eye and the Movement Analysis skills to see and suggest changes for the things that are the most important to work on. You can't see those things yourself. The more coaching I get, the more I can FEEL what I'm doing and will be a better self coach because of it.
: I have a convert! (sorry but I got so sick of Miles B telling me lessons were unnecessary & you only had to ski with better skiers to improve.... finally someone AGREES that lessons have a purpose!)
post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
I have to disagree with most of this (except the fact that it is very costly.)

if you insist on at least a Level II PSIA Instructor you'll probably do pretty well finding a good one.

It wasn't until I got some Instruction, first at ESA East, then a day with a LIII, now a couple of lessons with a LII that I made HUGE improvements. That's a total now of 5 lessons in two years. Made all the difference in the world. Great skier friends don't have the eye and the Movement Analysis skills to see and suggest changes for the things that are the most important to work on. You can't see those things yourself. The more coaching I get, the more I can FEEL what I'm doing and will be a better self coach because of it.
ESA East is equal to about 20 lessons! Now that is a great way to improve. As a matter of fact, I would call that skiing with a group and having the best in the group.

I know it can be real hard to find a good instructor. There are plenty of level IIs that really aren't that good - MHO. I would agree that lessons would be a good thing if you could find a worthy teacher. Your 5 lessons were probably worthwile. But it's tough for a kid to go out and make it happen - pin down someone qualified and willing to take the lesson.

The guys I ski with help me and I help them. I see the same thing at all the larger mountains in the East. Small groups skiing hard and working together.

I believe that a good lesson can provide the material you need to self-coach. But to get better you need to get out and ski hard and put it too the test. Taking a lesson then muddeling around by yourself is useless.
post #51 of 53
Another thing that's helped me is books. My favorite is Ron LeMaster's "A Skier's Edge" which is not a "how to" type book, but an incredible book on the mechanics of skiing with tons of stop action multi-frame pictures of racers, which I find more helpful than video, because I can see exactly what the skier is doing at every moment in a turn sequence. He has a website http://www.ronlemaster.com Get the book, it's awesome!
post #52 of 53
I did ESA East last year. It was a 2 day group lesson, I had Tom Burch, a fantastic full Cert (LIII) Instructor. I then later spent a full day with him alone in Colorado. I wouldn't say that the ESA East was equivelant to 20 lessons though, it was basically 2 lessons, since he had 5 or 6 of us to split his attention to, I figure I had about 3 hours of his attention on that weekend. He however had that amazing eye that could see just what I needed to work on (in my case ankle flex was a big one.)

In the last 2 weeks, I've had 2 merely 1 hour lessons with a LII at Wachusett. Same thing, it's the eye (and he has only one, wears a patch over the other) that is the thing. He immediately identified the areas I need to work on.

On a humourous note, the one eye caused a bit of a problem when I decided to pass him on the right (his blind eye side) and he made a big sweeping turn across the hill and we crashed! I went down. He asked me if I needed a couple of minutes, I answered "I'm fine. I think I'll need a couple of minutes to see if I need a couple of minutes."
post #53 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by camhabib
I actually just turned 17 and will be at college before I am 18. I have already applied to colleges, top three choices are MIT, Harvard, and Princeton. Didn't really pick them for skiing, more for the education. I’ll be majoring in biochemistry, hopefully getting a PhD in it and an MD in cardiothoracic surgery. I think that they all have skiing programs, not anywhere near the level or size of other colleges, but it’s a skiing program none the less.
yoiu're joking right?

please tell me that youre joking

btw, biochem and cardiothoracic surgery--interesting combination
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