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Habitual Abstemmer

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
How would guys develop a lesson plan to correct a habitual abstemmer? What focus would you have and what steps would you take? What might his default movements be identified by and how would you change them?

b
post #2 of 14
Help a non-pro with this...What is abstemming?
post #3 of 14
It is stemming of the downhill or new inside ski before turning (also known as a downstem).
post #4 of 14
Bud,

Do a search trough Epic on stemming. There are some pretty in-depth threads about it. But know that there are many causes of a stem. So just saying that there is a stem doesn't provide enough info to go on. It could be a fear thing, a speed check, over rotation or over counter rotation, or possibly something else. Would need video or multiple still frames to even start an analysis.
post #5 of 14
Come on John, that was a cheap out. FYI readers - Bud's post was initially in the default movements thread. So there is a little "trick" to this question.

Here's a link to a previous thread on abstemming. Another thread has a slow start, but gets going further on. I especially like the concept of push off of the outside ski during turn initiation as related to the abstem.

My lesson plan would be to diagnose the root cause of the abstem (there are several possible scenarios presented in the above threads). One possible cause I did not see discussed was boot alignment. I'm waiting to hear from Bud on this one. Given one of the other scenarios for a parallel skier, I'd try exercises like the phantom turn, railroad tracks, cowboy turns, cross under turns or match shoulder angle to the pitch exercises (I like bamboo over the shoulder). For a christy turn skier, I'd first try just explaining to turn the tips more than the tails and to simultaneously turn both skis into the turn to start it. These exercises may incorporate moving to flatter terrain, focusing on finishing turns more up the hill, focusing on ankle roll, focusing on eliminating upper body rotation and developing counter instead, focusing on getting the hips forward and inside, etc. depending on the root cause diagnosis. Of course, if the reason the skier can not roll both ankles simultaneously is their boots are not aligned, trying to fix this in a lesson would not be productive.

My lesson plans incorporate the "Here's what I see. Here's what I want to see. Here's how we're going to do it." approach. So I would mimic the student's abstem, explain what it is that I'm mimicing and why it's something that's holding back improvement. Then I would present what movements are needed to replace the abstem. Finally I would demonstrate and task the student with exercises to develop those movements. At the end of the lesson I would review where we were when we started, what progress we made and what the student should be working on after the lesson/what they should work on in the next lesson.

See John - this is how you really weasel an answer!
post #6 of 14
Quote:
It is stemming of the downhill or new inside ski before turning (also known as a downstem).
...or at least that's your definition, Nolo. Mine too. But is that what you mean, Bud?

Assuming it is, like almost anything, the key to solving it (assuming it's unwanted--there are times when it's a useful, albeit defensive, movement pattern) is first to identify its cause. It could be equipment-related (underedged--your field!--or bad tune), technique-related (reliance on a stable "platform" with the downhill ski to push off from into a "rotary pushoff" turn initiation--very common), understanding-related ("I need to mash down on my boot cuffs. . ."), tactics-related (needing to check speed by braking, whether habitual or situational), or intent-related (defensive--turning to "stop going this way," rather than to "go that way").

Any of these things can be the root cause. Once the cause is identified and addressed, the abstem--which is probably a symptom rather than an error in itself (unless it's intentional)--will vanish!

One sure way to make it go away, though, is to focus on releasing the downhill ski edge first, making sure its tip (not tail) has started slipping and turning down the hill, before making any other turn-starting movements. Release (flatten the ski until it lets go), slip, THEN turn. Maybe even count to three after releasing and before turning, just to make sure it's happened and also to require the skier to move downhill for balance over those slipping skis. This won't solve some of the other problems I described above--especially equipment issues--and it may not prevent the skier's tail from sliding out at the end of the turn, but it will assure that the habitual platform-pushoff skier has to find a whole new movement pattern and experiences a whole new feel with turn initiations. Releasing and slipping entails new movements of the body down the hill to remain in balance in the transition. (Not moving downhill across the skis is often a cause of the abstem, as a way to slow the skis down so the body can catch up.) Ultimately, combined with properly aligned and tuned equipment, it's a very good start to a real breakthrough for many habitual abstemmers!

Best regards,
Bob
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Come on John, that was a cheap out. FYI readers - Bud's post was initially in the default movements thread. So there is a little "trick" to this question.

Here's a link to a previous thread on abstemming. Another thread has a slow start, but gets going further on. I especially like the concept of push off of the outside ski during turn initiation as related to the abstem.

My lesson plan would be to diagnose the root cause of the abstem (there are several possible scenarios presented in the above threads). One possible cause I did not see discussed was boot alignment. I'm waiting to hear from Bud on this one. Given one of the other scenarios for a parallel skier, I'd try exercises like the phantom turn, railroad tracks, cowboy turns, cross under turns or match shoulder angle to the pitch exercises (I like bamboo over the shoulder). For a christy turn skier, I'd first try just explaining to turn the tips more than the tails and to simultaneously turn both skis into the turn to start it. These exercises may incorporate moving to flatter terrain, focusing on finishing turns more up the hill, focusing on ankle roll, focusing on eliminating upper body rotation and developing counter instead, focusing on getting the hips forward and inside, etc. depending on the root cause diagnosis. Of course, if the reason the skier can not roll both ankles simultaneously is their boots are not aligned, trying to fix this in a lesson would not be productive.

My lesson plans incorporate the "Here's what I see. Here's what I want to see. Here's how we're going to do it." approach. So I would mimic the student's abstem, explain what it is that I'm mimicing and why it's something that's holding back improvement. Then I would present what movements are needed to replace the abstem. Finally I would demonstrate and task the student with exercises to develop those movements. At the end of the lesson I would review where we were when we started, what progress we made and what the student should be working on after the lesson/what they should work on in the next lesson.

See John - this is how you really weasel an answer!
Yeah, that was the long winded version of my answer. What's different about these answers than the answer to the question "How do you fix someone's skiing?"? That the issue is an abstem matters not. But Bud asked for a lesson plan to fix an abstem. Use the same lesson plan you use for any/every lesson.... Look for the cause of the issue and fix it. Simple, no?
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
...

One sure way to make it go away, though, is to focus on releasing the downhill ski edge first, making sure its tip (not tail) has started slipping and turning down the hill, before making any other turn-starting movements. Release (flatten the ski until it lets go), slip, THEN turn. Maybe even count to three after releasing and before turning, just to make sure it's happened and also to require the skier to move downhill for balance over those slipping skis. This won't solve some of the other problems I described above--especially equipment issues--and it may not prevent the skier's tail from sliding out at the end of the turn, but it will assure that the habitual platform-pushoff skier has to find a whole new movement pattern and experiences a whole new feel with turn initiations. Releasing and slipping entails new movements of the body down the hill to remain in balance in the transition. (Not moving downhill across the skis is often a cause of the abstem, as a way to slow the skis down so the body can catch up.) Ultimately, combined with properly aligned and tuned equipment, it's a very good start to a real breakthrough for many habitual abstemmers!
Since the stemming is one of the issues in my skiing, I will offer my perspective. The stemming shows up in my skiing in 2 situations, one when the terrain gets steeper than I am comfortable on and two, when my speed is faster than I am comfortable going. I have used Bob's suggestions. I make sure that I am on terrain where I am comfortable and keep the pace at speed at which I am comfortable so as to not put myself in the situation where I reflexively do the stem movement. I gradually try to take the same movements to steeper terrain. It is getting better. I also focus on spending "more time in the fall line" as to not rush the turns.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Whoa, my question became a thread?..

It was a simple example I was using to elicit some responses using "default movements" from the thread to demonstrate how they should tie into MA or cause/effect analysis and correction.

Yes nolo and bob my definition concurs with yours.

The great observations made so far illustrate there are multiple possible causes and different tacts to take for each one. The important thing is to identify the true cause of the problem before developing the plan! Nothing new here just tying it together for better understanding.

You guys nailed it .....of course.
b
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Skier31,

You nailed it too.

When reading and thinking about the "pianta su" thread and the history of skiing. The stem turn has become an artifact from our skiing past, though as Bob points out, still a tool to pull out when needed. Though, any kind of stem is braking movement, stalls a fluid crossover, and counterproductive to the "go" type turn ESA has focused on in recent years.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
therusty,

I hadn't thought about an abstem caused by an alignment problem but I guess it could be. If a skier was severly undercanted they may resort to clinging onto the uphill ski and pushing the downhill ski away to establish a platform to move from, but that is doubtful.

In addition to skier31's solution of releasing edges, I would add one legged skiing.....it requires two on the snow to make a stem.
post #12 of 14
Ryan posted this video under his MA request http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-yvxgu0zSM

I just wanted to hear if this is the kind of move we are talking about.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
That looks like an abstem to me Cirq!
post #14 of 14
I've got an MA coming for Ryan in the original thread. But I made a special page on my website for what I thought was a real abstem that I found in the clip. Sorry for not posting it here, but it was easier than pasting the side by side pic together into one pic.
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