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Pole plant

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Looking for recommendations on how to teach 10 years old, solid level 7+ daughter to make pole plants. She is skiing with poles for 3 years now, but hardly use them even in bumps.
post #2 of 7

Make it fun

Good question. 2 basic types of pole swing and touches should be considered.
1) Blocking 1-2-3-4
2) Gliding 1-2-3-4

For bumps either can be used. The stereotypical pole plant is the Blocking pole "plant". Usually should happen at the end of the turn. It can be used to offer a resistance point for the body to create leverage to turn around. The rhythm sounds like 1-2-swing-Plant.

Visually you can allow your child to swing to, then plant their pole to the top (or up the face) of the bump. Then begin to swing to the next bump.

When my wife teaches the kids, she said "stab'em in the toes, punch'em in the nose". Which brings up a relevant point. The punch'em in the nose, or going from 4-1. Is a reminder to keep moving the hand in the direction of travel. In otherwords, keeping the hands in front of the body.

The reason with the "blocking" is to stop direction from going one way, by stopping the rotation, or stopping and redirecting the rotation. I find that it is important to use the core muscles in the torso to do it. Skis going in a direction, and the upper body moving in the "new" direction of travel. The blocking pole plant simply adds more power to this move by allowing the upper body to "lever" against something (pole in the ground).

Final thought. This is just a way of approaching the pole swing in moguls. I actually prefer to have a gliding pole plant as it lends to a smoother approach to bumps. I enjoy minimal effort for great results (effectiveness). I use the blocking pole swing/plant. When I need to abruptly check my speed, or direction.

to your success,
Jon L
post #3 of 7
I'd suggest you wait until she asks how she should use the poles. Her desire to learn their use will help more than anything you say.

Once that occurs, go to the most gentle terrain she'll agree to ski. There she can practice without being concerned with turning. Starting to think about hands and poles really messes up turning.

As Snowpro noted, the important thing is that the outside pole swings with the turn and is ready to touch the snow when she's ready to make the next turn. Having the hand and pole in position aids in moving the whole skier into the next turn. After the touch, it's important the hand moves ahead so she can continue to see both hands while skiing. I like to talk about the pole touch hand moving up and over so it can stay ahead of the torso.
post #4 of 7
Definitely agree with Kneale on waiting for her to ask, or possibly planting the seed in her mind that prompts her to ask the question. Understanding the motiviation for a child to learn something is one of the biggest keys to being able to teach it to them!

At 7, kids generally don't have the fine motor skill development tuned in to using poles the way a 30 yr. old would. The kids are able to do the movements we would ask them to do, but are often more gross than fine, meaning, exaggerated vs. smooth and effective. I would say this is OK, because getting her to start the movements needed now will only help in the future as the purpose of poles becomes more important in her skiing development.
post #5 of 7
I know I'm in the minority - but I'd let it go a good long time. The less your kid fools with it at this point, the less likely it is that pole plants will mess up their basic technique.
post #6 of 7

Welcome to Epic! Great advice in the threads above. 7 is about the age which I will even allow a child to use poles. The fact that your child has had them for 3 years shows me that she is using them by carrying them. Even the small weight and length of a childs pole is enough to help her balance. I wouldn't be too quick to teach advanced pole use yet. By carrying them while skiing, she is integrating them into her skiing.

Skiing gates is a good way to get the pole more involved in her skiing. For that, I would recomend she get in a season long racing program with kids her own age and ability. Be shure the coach is a qualified. Another possibility is a holiday period week long race camp. Skiing with other children who also have poles will have a big affect on her.

Good luck and keep on posting!

post #7 of 7

Welcome to Epic also.

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