stance and music"Does this info imply that mogul skiing technique should be altered to respect the deficiencies inherent in this posture or is this posture unavoidable when mogul skiing?"
This is a complex question that I don’t think can be answered simply. I am sure I don’t have the answer in fact. Although what I am saying is the professional mogul skiing stance, and I am talking about the low back here, not the feet, is more upright and therefore more protective of the acl, and it allows the hams to be active, through their range of motion. A rounded lower back does not, it tips the pelvis and in essence put more slack into the hams, combine this with the fact that this muscle group is weaker than it should be for most people, or at least not balanced, it enhances acl risk.
Current world class racers do not round their lower back for just this reason. Their shoulders may round, but the upper body is kept more in alignment in order to be powerful. Their are also striking simularities between world class sprinters and their posture and world class bump skiers, the posture is about the same.
As an aside with all the talk about Dan’s book I bought it as well. I found it disappointing there was nothing there that I don’t teach, or that isn’t taught through PSIA methods, but I not interested in fighting about that. I am glad to support the effort, but I think the title is disingenuous, and a metaphor for some of the problems of the snowsports instructor profession.
The book could have been much better in my opinion if he spent a lot more time on the money move, absorption/extension. Getting that move is the barrier for most people’s critical path to zipperline. The tips are good but they are tips, the drill is good, but come on ski instructors don’t teach that?, it doesn’t really get most people there from here. You need a plan for development. A book about absorption/extension would have been more useful. (Or at least a expanded chapter) I am sure Dan knows much more than was written on those pages and I am sorry he didn’t share it.
Mogul skiing is an example of the barriers people have to go beyond to execute a move, fear, not knowing how they ski, not knowing what clues/feedback they should be receiving from the snow common roadblocks to expect and how to get around them.
The music question.
Movements can be changed and things can be learned, but not all. Neuro muscle example one :singing need I say more, the ability to develop voice is lost for most people very young largely due to lack of use. anecdote two: I play the banjo, poorly. When I started I was told to anchor my right hand with my pinkie and my ring finger both. I cannot do it. I can anchor with my pinkie but my ring finger moves too much when I am playing to make it useable. I tried with enormous effort to make it stay down on the head. I taped fingers together I taped them to the head, I slowed my playing I did exercises, I tried for about a year and I play almost every day. It destroyed my playing until I gave up and now I just use my pinkie. Is it what I want, no, but its what I can do. I still make the attempt from time to time but as of yet no success. Having said that proprioception, even in the disease state can be improved through effort and adaptation. In general terms there are requirements for this type of training. I think it might be interesting to talk about only one in the sense that it is a roadblock to muscle memory and improved proprioception, and it is used often: rationalization.
Rationalization is modeled by many ski instructors especially in peer clinics. It sometimes sounds like: Well I do that because, I wasn’t paying attention, we were supposed to do what?, I don’t understand because of my learning style. How many instructors do you know think they are doing something they are not and you know if you tell them it will be met with disagreement and resistance, and varieties of other defenses. Ski instruction can in a sense, no pun intended, coach proprioception, but that coaching is usually most effective when the student is using motor skills they already possess, assuming fear or other emotions are not an issue, resistance happens when things need further development, and new pathways need to be blazed. Of Course this isn’t everyone, but it is amazing what people have access to if the barriers can fall. I was reminded of this again the other night while watching a news program about handicapped musical individuals. There was one person that I found the most edifying for the purposes of this discussion, he was blind and retarded because he was premature not because of any genetic defect and his piano playing and virtuosity was fantastic, yet he couldn’t even goto the bathroom on his own. He didn’t resist the music he became it. In a sense this music anecdote is more hope than reality.
Another example: I have a friend who I have skied with since I started skiing in 92. He has always felt that PSIA is not a good path for personal development for all the reasons that everyone has heard before. He was, and remains very into mogul skiing, so much so that he only skis on mogul skis. He has desired to learn the zipperline style and has practiced for all these years, watching tapes, hanging out with the mogul skier’s etc. He can ski about 5 to 7 bumps before he is out of control and bails out, he stance is way to short and he never absorbs. Harsh ? perhaps , true absolutely. He never got better. Worse recently when he was viewing a dvd I had called just good skiing II he thought the skiers on the film "weren’t that good". He has no idea how he skis or what good skiing looks like.
That the rub for most people, how can you change if you don’t know what you are doing in the first place.