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?
|It is stemming of the downhill or new inside ski before turning (also known as a downstem).|
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!
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!