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MA-an alternative view.....IPpAR...long!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
This is my personal approach. IPpAR

1. I stands for INTENT. What is the skier being looked at INTENDING to do?
Look again at Highway-Star's videos...maybe he is INTENDING to
overpower the skis by forcing them around with gross upper-body rotation.
If his INTENT is to exploit the design of modern skis by using the side-cut
and torsional rigidity to arc the skis in a dynamic carving movement, then
there is an obvious gap between the INTENTION and the actual
This is the gap where I perceive coaching works best, and is most

2..P stands for POSTURE. My old Logics prof. always told me to define my
terms....ergo, in my mind, POSTURE reflects the relationship of all
body parts to each other in a changing moving dynamic.
I base my evaluation of POSTURE on how it affects the interaction
of the 18" of ski under the boots with the snow.
For example, I read a lot in here about lead-change. My belief is that
the difference between the tips should reflect the difference between
how far one hip is ahead of the other hip. Try this....stand up, move one
foot forward by a foot or so, and see how much strength and movement
on that leg is compromised.
Now do the same, but move the hip forward, keeping the foot more or
less under the hip. There is a huge difference.
Whatever we do with our bodies will affect the competence of the turn,
any part of our body that moves North, South or East when we intend to
move West will cause our INTENDED turn to be performed less well than
we desire.

3. p stands for POTENTIAL (in the physics sense). Defining my terms again,
I regard POTENTIAL as the storing of energy from one turn to another.
If we move at speed down a mountain, then change direction, forces
are created. What we do with those forces affects what I see as using
the mountain, as opposed to fighting the mountain. Do we jam our edges,
skid, bank or otherwise seek to dissipate these forces, or do we flex our
bodies to harvest them, for use later?
Look at really good skiers, they flow with the mountain, the turns are
not discrete events, but a continuous flow of energy.
Following WC practice, the long leg/short leg movement, in my thinking,
is the most efficient...where the outside leg is long and strong, and the
inside leg is short and active. Oftentimes, people interpret 'long and strong'
to be the same as braced. A braced straight leg is very weak. Try this..
extend your arm straight out, have someone attempt to twist it...pretty
easy to do. Now do the same, but keep them arm flexed, much more
difficult to do. A flexed limb is several times stronger than a straight limb.

4. AGILITY. This means to me...can the skier being evaluated move quickly
from ski-to-ski, or change direction quickly? Is there something in his
POSTURE or POTENTIAL that is preventing AGILE skiing?
Age, skill level or physical issues do not, in my mind, affect how I look
at AGILITY. The level of AGILITY is relative to the skier. I would not
expect a 60 year old, overweight, intermediate to do hop-turns down
a double black run. I might expect a fit 30 year old, level 3 to be able

5. RHYTHM. Not in the metronomic sense. I regard RHYTHM as the flow of
the skier from turn to turn, and within the turn.
If the RHYTHM is compromised, what in the POSTURE, POTENTIAL or
AGILITY is causing that compromise?

Once having done the above, which I usually do on a warm-up run, I regard the student's performance as a base-line from which to work, and seek to add skills to that base-line. Never take something away from a student, until you've given them something better to replace it!!
post #2 of 5
Yipes, Skiswift
That is a cool way to look at things. As you know, I have skied with you a couple of times and have commented to you about the great difference between that experience and other lessons Ive had.
The posting encapsulates your emphasis on movement!!!

I do like the notion of adding skills/movements rather than telling me what I'm doing wrong.
post #3 of 5
skiswift, that is very insightful, and is a generous contribution to my thinking. Thank you!
post #4 of 5
skiswift,,, very sound stuff. I like the thinking on inside lead. It's what I refer to as rotational alignment. And a big pat on the back for understanding that nothing needs to be UNLEARNED,,, just added to.

Growing up our family owned a big barn, and my dad had it filled to the roof with what I considered useless junk. So often when I'd walk in there I'd shake my head and think to myself, "what the hell are we keeping all this crap for?" But son of a gun,,, whenever I needed any type of item, I could usually find something that would fill the need in that barn.
post #5 of 5
Another of Skiswift's victims um 'students.

I always thought that it was important to know "what I did wrong".
I have learned to accept what I am doing and to work to add to my
I'd never heard of 'potential' before, but I love the image.
I've watched pro racers, and can see exactly what Skiswift meant.
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