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How do you teach early edge engagement? - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Thread Starter 
If you are saying what I think you are saying, then I would not recommend doing that. Perhaps some more details? How do you release the previous turn, and where is neutral?

Thanks.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Peoples natural tendency is to redirect the skis during the transition and prior to re-engagement because it's a scary feeling doing the inclination down the falline (into the abyss) needed to immediately engage into a carve. And, it increases the amount of the new turn's direction change the skis must be trusted to do on their own. Scary prospect for inexperienced carvers.
As a middle-of-the-road intermediate, this has been a big problem for me. While I usually can demonstrate the necessary skills in isolation, making the turns when it gets a little steeper, faster, bumpier, cruddier sometimes results in putting in a yank and replant at the top of the turn.

What has helped and is helping me is a purely mental exercise - try to make the top half of the turn take at least two thirds of the time.

That helps with patience, and engagement directly, and release and early engagement indirectly, and just thinking of that as I ski has helped a lot.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
T
Thanks are very appropriate to all here, especially Arc, Rick, Kneale and SSH and therusty.
Big E

I think you may need to PM/email Rick because my understanding is he is on sabbatical - check the PMTS thread with something about mail boxes in the title
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
If you are saying what I think you are saying, then I would not recommend doing that. Perhaps some more details? How do you release the previous turn, and where is neutral?

Thanks.
Your release happens because the body comes across the skis. I am not sure what you mean by neutral, but the skis are not flat for more than a few milliseconds. I find that continuing to steer the old turn well after the body movement for the new turn begins give a lot of time to get on the new edges, and virtually guarantees that you will tip the skis into the new turn before twisting them. This is very much a speed control move, but if done with the right Duration, Intensity, Rate and Timing you can also get a very fast carved turn.
post #35 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks FOG, I was right. I would not teach that to folks trying to learn the early edge. It's way past their comfort zone, and I'm starting with RR tracks to make sure these folks can actually feel the edge...maybe for the first time....

Cheers!
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Thanks FOG, I was right. I would not teach that to folks trying to learn the early edge. It's way past their comfort zone, and I'm starting with RR tracks to make sure these folks can actually feel the edge...maybe for the first time....

Cheers!
I guess we are talking apples and oranges. I was suggesting a technique for a skier who engages edges, but not early enough in the turn. You apparently are looking for a technique for those who don't yet engage edges. I agree that railroad tracks are a great way to feel edges. A few other drills that work well are very wide track parallel, high speed high angle wedges, ski with two skis on the snow but with all of the turning effort coming from one ski, and paradoxically, ski making the most skidded parallel turn you can. The last drill gives the skier a very good feel for what it takes to disengage the edges, and by implication, what it takes to engage the edges.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
The subject line says it all. There are probably as many ways of doing this as there are instructors. With the huge number of techniques to choose from, do you have a "go to" method/drill to start the ball rolling?
???
I teach edge engagement in the first 10 minutes of every first-timer lesson, and work with edging throughout all levels.
can't imagine an effective beginner lesson which doesn't teach edge engagement.
post #38 of 52
Vlad has a good point about teaching all three skills. How many never evers do you see locked up on one edge or the other.
Symmetrical turns require a release/re-engagement maneuver. Far too many people neglect the work it takes to master transitions and are forced to add extra movements to their transitions. Edging skills are not limited to creating high edge angles. A very small edge angle engages the ski. See how long you can linger around neutral instead of always seeking high edge angles. When you can do this effectively, seek more range of motion and higher edge angles.
If you cannot get smoothly from one set of edges to the others, work more on skiing a flatter ski. Explore how little edge it really takes to create a turn.
Exercises for doing this start with...
  • Sidestepping and sideslipping
  • Garland traverses and J turns
  • Fan progressions
  • linked turns
  • pivot slips
  • RRX
  • medium radius carved turns
  • Dynamic short radius turns
In short, it is more about learning the full range of edging skills, which includes a totally flat ski as well as the highly edged ski.
post #39 of 52

Perhaps I shouldn't

Comment on this, for I am no ski instructor.

"early engagement" pictures edge changes at the very top of each linked turn. 12 o'clock. This is easily witnessed in fresh snow ski tracks where the "flat ski track" is at the top of the "C" less than a ski length long.

There was an article in SKI magizine that helped so much with this. It might have been demonstrated by T. Lito Flores, I forget, but I keep the magizine ;-). The essence of the "lesson" was to feel the forces building at the end of a turn, then release into to those forces. The release is accomplished by a relaxation of the (old) outside leg. The analogy given was that of carrying a suitcase in the downhill (outside) hand, keeping it close to the hip with angulation. Much importance was placed on feeling the forces, and releasing before they all dissipated into a traverse. When letting go of our resistance to the turning forces, there is an immediate edge change as the CM crosses over the skis. This edge change is neccessary to turn the ski in order to "catch" the free falling CM.
In my own progress, this lesson was accompanied by the supporting themes of keeping the head aggresively leading the down slope effort, ( as mentioned above, skiing is a down hill activity) and also keeping the body facing the location of the end of the NEXT turn, or beyond.

Like I said, I'm no instructor, but these ideas worked well for me by giving good body positioning and allowing me to FEEL what I was trying to do.
That feeling of letting go, free falling and then being caught by the carving. turning edged ski is euphoric and can be addicting!

CalG
post #40 of 52
again, utilizing exercises to enact 'guided discovery', as opposed to overtly 'teaching' edge engagement, is far more successful...
post #41 of 52
This is an excallant thread. May I ask some questions?

BigE mentioned a progression but did not describe what it was. I'd love to read it.

Patproff said "can't picture this"... visual learning... Is there a good picture/illustration that can be used.

Several people have said loose the steering. Are you saying rotational hip movements? Steering is too broad of a term.

Everyone, it is one thing to describe these things in writing, or pictures, but we all rely on internal feeling Qs (kinesthetics) to decide when our bodies match our internal model of what we are doing. I've heard 10-12-2 any others? In short ... how do you help a student self-guide using their own internal Qs
post #42 of 52
Thread Starter 
The short progression ( 4 drills ):

1) RR tracks by rolling ankles only. Upper body positions irrelevant : Terrain: green

2) With poles, start turn with rolling of ankles and slowly reach inside as you extend the legs. Full extension when skis point straight downhill. Full flexion as you go through neutral. T: Green and light blue.

3) Add angulation to (2). Hold poles as drink tray, serve drinks to outside of turn. T: Light blue to blue

4) Glass ceiling: straight down fall-line, full extension and full flexion of legs, with head at constant height above trail. T: dark blue.

Now you are ready to ski a SL course.

This progression requires SOLID foundation/balance skills. In and of itself, it is not a short-cut to good skiing. We went through this in about an hour.

Internal Q's -- pay attention to the path of the CM vs the path of the skis. Allow the pull of the new turn to bring you to full extension.
post #43 of 52
BigE,
RRX turns have so many variations but somewhere around cert 3 people begin to actually understand that it is more than a park and ride the sidecut maneuver. Just ask some cert 3 candidates how much work it takes to pass that portion of the test. Usually a lot more than one hour.
I like your progression but I was wondering how you get a new, never ever, student up to the point that they could do the beginning RRX maneuver? A lot of skill development happens before they would be able, or willing to do RRX turns.

Everting/inverting the ankles happens when they first sidestep up the bunny hill. It also happens when they traverse that hill for the first time. I point that out to every new student but I hardly ever make it a strong focus. Too many bad things happen when they get edge locked. So, IMO way too many skiers are out there "riding the sidecut" without the ability to switch tactics when necessary. A more balanced application of all three skills is needed and it is our job to teach them all three skills.
Additionally, IMO teaching early edge engagement is sort of misleading. It needs to happen in the proper sequential order. While it may sound like I am splitting hairs here (or standing on my soap box), it is part of every release and re-engagement maneuver.
Even in a race course some edge is good but more isn't always better.
post #44 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
I was wondering how you get a new, never ever, student up to the point that they could do the beginning RRX maneuver? A lot of skill development happens before they would be able, or willing to do RRX turns.
I'm assuming that you mean never ever RRXed, but has skied. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The problem I am having is with a student that will not do dryland exercises -- and on snow is a real "I can't do it" type, when it's out of comfort zone.

I think dryland is where it has to begin because they are way too tense to allow such ankle movement on skis. I could mean weak ankles, but this student roller blades every day throught the spring/summer and fall.

OTOH, I could try to use knee angulation to get to the edge for step one. Then drive the initiating movement down to the feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
IMO teaching early edge engagement is sort of misleading. It needs to happen in the proper sequential order. While it may sound like I am splitting hairs here (or standing on my soap box), it is part
of every release and re-engagement maneuver.
Are you suggesting that early edge should be taught through a release move? While that will give you an edge change, will it make the student conscious or able to control the edge engagement?

I'm promoting teaching the edge engagement as a unique event and THEN working that into the skiing through a series of drills. I'm not trying to teach edge re-engagement as a secondary effect of a release move. It's a target for the release move, and as a target presents the future balance point. That's why I want to isolate it.
post #45 of 52
Big E,
Q1. New skiers. Yes the dryland is a very important step. Introducing the movements there gives them the greatest chance for successfully accomplishing the task. Then they are more willing to attempt that maneuver on snow. It is there that the lateral movements begin. Long before attempting RRX.
Q2. Yes, it teaches engagement at the proper time and place in the turn. It is implied in your method as well. To engage a set of edges don't you have to start with them not engaged? So I feel we are really teaching the same thing after the skis get flat. I do not abbreviate the engagement, I just call it re-engagement.
The advantage of teaching it as part of a greater whole is that it also allows the student to linger in neutral and experience what Gravity does to them during the first half of the turn. (Redirects the skis into the fall line). Which points out how progressive re-engagement of the edges can and should be. The slamming the skis over to the new edges phase is avoided because they realize they actually have a lot more time to build edge angle. Even when they go rail to rail.
So I am suggesting re-engagement (or engagement) is just part of the act of getting from one set of edges to the others. While I focus on it differently I think the final result is similar, I just start a little closer to skiing because it is then understood in the proper context. I've had too many students mis-understand engagement and lose sight of the idea that it is part of the transition which is really what we are talking about when we do more than a single turn.
post #46 of 52
Thread Starter 
Our two styles are different. I've been thinking about what would make one choose between the two : reduction and reassembly or teaching the whole.

My reduction and reassemly demands that the student has sufficient coordination and balance to isolate the individual components. The benefit to this is that each component can be addressed, and how they fit into the whole and the linking of each component through inertia can be highlighted. The disassembly offers the ability for different release mechanisms to be grafted into the start of the turn. Again, I must stress that this takes good balance and coordination that may be beyond the level of some students.

Teaching the transition as a whole is more appropriate for the students that cannot break down and show individual movements. These would be older/adults that have not benefitted from a series of coached lessons, as junior racers would. These older adults have learned movement patterns and their muscle memories restrict their ability to break the turn into it's respective components.

For this sort of student, engagement would be move successfull if taught as a by-product of release. In this way, there is no need to venture into RRX territory at all. I'd suggest that ILE be taught to these first, since it maintains the snow contact, there is no dissconnect between CM and feet, and the likelihood of slamming the skis sideways prior to re-engagement disappears. Launching the turns from the uphill edge and allowing the path of the CM to determine the edge set would be a good introduction. The price you pay is in speed control -- this needs to be setup with some confidence inspiring drills first....

That's my 2 cents. Coments?
post #47 of 52
Big E,
I disagree with the idea that minutia is always necessary. Isolating a move without including the subsequent effects of that move later in the turn, is the main problem with that method.
Even for racers, the movements need to be seemlessly integrated. Keeping that as a focus saves time later when we are putting the pieces back together.
post #48 of 52
Thread Starter 
justanotherskipro,

They'll see the effects the minute they do it. I'm not asking them to deal with hypothetical movements. I'm asking them to deal with a particular movement, by isolating that movement. The instructor then frames the movement with what happens on either side of it in the turn.

IMO, if the student is capable to perform the dissection, they should. One should not ignore this sort of task driven teaching -- the tasks form the roots of guided discovery.

So, the way that the progression is introduced to the student, and what parts of each drill you ask the student to focus on are what makes the whole thing work. The movements will be as seamlessly integrated as well as the instructor is able to stitch them back together -- that would be part of the discovery.

To be fair, I'd not do this dissection in a one-hour lesson with no follow-up. It's far too technical, and not fun for anyone if your student suddenly "don't/can't/won't" do one of the steps.
post #49 of 52
Yes, exactly! It is the instructors job to frame the movement. That is all I am trying to say E. A subtle semantic change here, an added phrase there and we are doing pretty much the same thing. By never losing that frame of reference they spontaneously begin putting things together during the guided discovery phase. I feel strongly that this is an important step because it results in understanding and ownership coming from their first hand experience, not my opinions or feedback.
Wouldn't you agree that racers are especially resistant to change? (You work with them more than I do so it would be interesting to hear if you agree).They need a good reason before they will consider a change.
So IMO getting them to open up usually means validating their opinions and listening closely to their feedback about a new movement/maneuver. Minutia might be needed but I have found it gets in the way more times than not. If their feedback does not include it, or they do not solicit that level of detail, I don't go there.
post #50 of 52
Thread Starter 
What you are talking about is a coaching style. It is used alot. Racers do benefit from it. But, to suggest that it is the only way is incorrect. There are many racers that can be taught without such detailed collaborations.

It all depends on the student, and the lesson.
post #51 of 52
Indeed.
post #52 of 52
How do you teach early edge engagement?

A: How do you NOT teach it???!???!

The First 15 minutes of any first-timer lesson should becovering edge engagement, if only for skating, sidestepping, and braking.
From there, it's old news, different force and angle applications of that principle.....
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