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The Switch

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
'Switch': verb. Edge to edge. Edges to edges.

"When you switch..." "Just before the switch..." "the switch happens earlier..." "just after the switch..." and so forth.

'Transition'... well, frankly in our SL world, saying the word - transition - takes longer than actually doing it.

'Release' only really defines the beginning of the switch.


It's one move - the sum of a well executed switch is much greater than its' parts.

Very simple for the kids to understand..."Switch" focuses on switching edges. It's in their vocabulary. They know what they are trying to achieve.

So, we work on our switches. Should it be necessary to focus on elements within the switch, we do. Shortening, lengthening, little toe, releasing, ski direction, tipping, body direction, fore-aft, hip height. edge angle, simultaneous, sequential, footwork, volume, rhythm, timing, etc, etc.... can be explored.

Do you switch?
post #2 of 10
I like your thinking....as far as I know in gs the move from one turn to the next where the body crosses over shouldn't be rushed - maybe a point to make when coaching older kids...
post #3 of 10
I like it
The K.I.S.S. principle.
It's task based and outcome directed.
I get bleary eyed reading some of those rambling posts in the "Instruction" section.
post #4 of 10
Thank you Slatz. I thought I was the only one.

I like it because it's a very concrete, on-the-snow concept. Do you have any favorite drills that explore this concept?
post #5 of 10
Actually I've been using the stuff I got from Harald, it's now in his "Essentials" book. I haven't built the dryland tipping platform but it looks pretty good.
Most of what's in that book is stuff I've been hearing for 25+ years from top coaches. Back in 84 I wrote a little "coaches paper" for our program that had most of that stuff in it (minus the tipping drills, which are the main thrust of the book). It was based on keeping the CM moving to the finish line as close to a straight line, in all planes, as possible. I spent a lot of time working on skiing that way and got really ripped by PSIA examiners for it. (one of them had an article in the Professional Skier about a year ago, Im sure he doesn't remember me but I won't forget him saying "Pat never came up through his transition at all, I don't know why he didn't fall down") (of course I failed) I'm not anti-PSIA, I've just observed over the years that they're not usually at the cutting edge.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Drills to explore this concept ... hmmmm ... well, let's go to a beginner area, 200-300m long, very slow where we can tip from left to right edges to left edges and so on. As soon as the ski begins to change direction, switch. As speed increases (remember, beginner terrain) we'll be switching lots. Generally, this is a fall line drill.

Using the above framework, lets do it this time focusing on little toe to little toe. Next time up lets focus little toe-big toe same foot. Next time matched edge angles. Next time little toe higher edge than big toe. Next time, let's only allow the knee to stay tracked directly over the inside, then outside edge. Next time hourglass (tip both little toes, then big toes, etc). Next time we'll listen to our switches. Maybe do it with our eyes closed. Now, as quickly as you can.

That covers 10 runs - we only burned 20 minutes, had fun, and tried stuff. Greater awareness through feeling complimented by 10-20 second task descriptions. Change one of these variables - terrain, slope gradient, ski (SL/GS/SG) and you can run through the above with a whole different feel. Keep it moving.

The question in creating drills is what are you trying to acheive?
post #7 of 10

There's a really good drill...

...that comes off the USSA F1/F2 DVD, and it's the one where you go from parallel position to natural athletic stance to paralle position on the other side. This is teaching "the switch with patience", which most juniors initially have very little of...patience, I mean...
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
We would want to explore many different 'tempos' - not just 'patience'.

We do not think position (stance/position) in this switching exercise. Our focus is feet and edge awareness. Our focus is external - snow ski aware. Feel of accuracy.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Without Bob Barnes permission (Thanks Bob!) I've copied the following montages of various switches from the http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=56128&page=6 thread.

Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #10 of 10
You must "learn dee feet"
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