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Teaching movements - Page 2

post #31 of 50
Thread Starter 
Actually BK your golfing does nothing for your skiing.

The sport I was thinking about was inline speed skating. Dryland practice of the leg movement in recovery (post push) produces a different result from the recovery on the track. That dryland training is harmful to the real movement.

I won't say "pressure management" to anyone -- I'll say absorb or flex and extend, but never "pressure management". I will definately say I teach flexing and extending -- that transfers directly to the students skiing. It is their choice of when to use the move, how intensely to use it, how progressively to apply it, and how long is it's duration.

Teaching movements helps create the concrete experience.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
Trying to reproduce skiing movements in dry land trying is a waste of time, and proves my point. It's not the specific movement, it's the underlying skill that counts.
Carvers are an awesome dry land activity that use carving movements.
post #33 of 50
Thread Starter 
How is it that if movements are the foundations of skill, that there is such a resistance to teaching movements?
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
How is it that if movements are the foundations of skill, that there is such a resistance to teaching movements?
I not sure I even understand that statement. I don't think "movements are the foundations of skill." Skills are the ability to react to whatever is going on in a way that accomplishes your goal. In skiing, the key is to be aware of what is happening under your feet, and to react properly.
I don't think I can teach movements. Maybe years ago, when we skied straight skis, the required movements were so awkward and unnatural that they had to be taught, but modern technique is simple and intuitive. If there is a movement that a skilled skier can't discover on his own, I probably can't teach it to him.
I also don't resist teaching movements, I'm just trying to teach something more than that. If I teach you movements, where does that go? When you perfect that, do you need to come back to learn another movement? If I teach you to learn skills, your learning never stops, and in fact that learning skill is useful in all areas of your life, not just skiing.

BK
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
Everyone can do the movements, only the people with skills can ski.
I'm specifically focusing on movements while on skis (wasn't sure if that was clear). And in that context, the majority of skiers do not seem to be using the movements seen in high level skiing.
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Teaching movements helps create the concrete experience.
Concrete experience is just the beginning of learning. Practicing specific movements is like having the same experience over and over again. You learn the movement but not much else. To really learn, you need to understand the experience, be able to analyze the various factors that create the experience and figure out how to control those various factors. You can't do that if you are practicing the same movement over and over.
The concrete experience that you learn form does not need to be the exact movement you want to use in your skiing. One of my favorite exercises is outrigger turns; you squat down as low as possible, extend one leg out to the side to put the ski on as high an edge as possible, and point them down the hill (try it on a wide green trail without much traffic). Without doing any of the movements of high level skiing, you will pretty quick learn what a ski on a high edge feels like, how strong it can hold, and the kind of turn it creates. If I were only teaching movement, I could tell a beginning parallel skier to tip his skis more, or move inside more, but he won't do it, because his body hasn't learned how well a ski can hold a high edge. My way he learns to hold a high edge in one pass down a green trail. The movements-only way he only little by little is able to get to the high edge, if at all, even if he is well balanced and has good parallel release skills. The same thing applies to pivot slips and other exercises that the movement only program doesn't allow.

BK
post #37 of 50
Thread Starter 
BK,

I think your seling the movement program a bit short. The "banana turn", where you flex the uphill leg at the start tand extend it at finish to leave banana shaped tracks in the snow can produce much better results than the outrigger turn. The outrigger turn has the flaw that the weight may not become fully committed to the outside/turning ski. The "banana turn" also has the benefit that you can control the flexion of the uphill leg to create as progressive an edge engagement as you please. Teaching the movement that creates this shape is not limitting the skiers tactical use of the movement. You can draw a banana of unlimited widths.

Also, you are suggesting that the movements learned are limited to an exact replication every time. This is simply not possible, as skiing is and open sport -- the terrain does change, which does require some adjustments to any movement pattern to maintain balance. The concrete experience is provided by moving the same drills to different terrain - cut up snow, steeper, mild bumps etc. They do have to analyse the situation, factoring in the terrain and decide how to implement the movements they know. They need to implement changes to the DIRT of the movements to be successful in the new terrain. Same movements just a different application.

Often when people say movement based teaching does not work, it is because they assume that movements are taught in very restrictive ways. eg. the edge angle must always be 46 degrees at exactly 56% through the turn. This is simply not the case with movement based teaching.

I
post #38 of 50
From my perspective the "skills" and movements being discussed are related. I would interpret the skill as closely related to the outcome one is trying to achieve (edging, balance, etc.). Sometimes these outcomes/skills can be directly perceived (depending on the skier and the situation) and sometimes a cue is needed that can be used to assess whether the outcome (skill) has been achieved (i.e. check the position of the trocanter over the boots to assess fore/aft position). The movement is the means to achieve the outcome.

While I am not an expert by an means in motor learning, I have read a few articles (and slept at a Holiday Inn). There are certainly situations where an external goal (with an associated cue) can be presented and the person can develop the movements needed to achieve that skill. In one study of table tennis players, that was shown to be more effective than trying to teach how to swing the paddle.

In skiing, however, my experience has been that it is even more difficult than in other sports to develop effective movements on your own in order to achieve a desired goal. I believe that is because there are the added stressors of speed, fear of falling, unfamiliarity with sliding on or in a surface (especially with attachments that elongate the normal base of the foot), etc. Thus, while it may be effective for some skiers in some situations to just learn to identify the goal and develop the movements for themselves, I would expect that coaching of effective movements to achieve the desired goal (outcome/skill), along with appropriate experience or cues for assessing outcome, is generally the most effective means of progression.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Perhaps the movements on the groomed runs aren't what they need to be in terms of precision to handle the more challenging terrain?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
BK,

Often when people say movement based teaching does not work, it is because they assume that movements are taught in very restrictive ways. eg. the edge angle must always be 46 degrees at exactly 56% through the turn. This is simply not the case with movement based teaching.

I
Which is it?

BK
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post
In skiing, however, my experience has been that it is even more difficult than in other sports to develop effective movements on your own in order to achieve a desired goal. I believe that is because there are the added stressors of speed, fear of falling, unfamiliarity with sliding on or in a surface (especially with attachments that elongate the normal base of the foot), etc. Thus, while it may be effective for some skiers in some situations to just learn to identify the goal and develop the movements for themselves, I would expect that coaching of effective movements to achieve the desired goal (outcome/skill), along with appropriate experience or cues for assessing outcome, is generally the most effective means of progression.
It's true that a lot of people need some explanation of movements, but I think that's at least in part because they expect it. The sooner you get past the descriptions of body parts the faster the learning goes. Modern skiing movements are pretty easy compared to the techniques we needed to use 30 years ago, or compared to other sports (think about golf).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post

In one study of table tennis players, that was shown to be more effective than trying to teach how to swing the paddle.
It's interesting that the only actual study anyone has referred to actually supports my position.

BK
post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
BK,

I think your seling the movement program a bit short. The "banana turn", where you flex the uphill leg at the start tand extend it at finish to leave banana shaped tracks in the snow can produce much better results than the outrigger turn. The outrigger turn has the flaw that the weight may not become fully committed to the outside/turning ski. The "banana turn" also has the benefit that you can control the flexion of the uphill leg to create as progressive an edge engagement as you please. Teaching the movement that creates this shape is not limitting the skiers tactical use of the movement. You can draw a banana of unlimited widths.


I
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a "banana turn," but what you call a benefit is actually a limitation. If you can control it to create as much edge engagement as you want, it's too hard for most people to get more edge engagement than they already are comfortable with. That's the advantage of outrigger turns: they create as much edge engagement as possible. Once you are comfortable with that, it's easy to get that high edge using ordinary turn entries. The fact that outriggers don't always get full weight transfer on the first try, or that they require no recognizable effective movements, is immaterial. They are still part of the fastest way to learn a high edge angle.
The same is true of pivot slips, or side stepping up the hill. They don't duplicate high level effective movements very closely, but they pretty quickly teach you where your center is, and something about edge engagement as well.

BK
post #42 of 50
Why pose this as an either-or situation--that we can teach movements or we can teach skills? As Bud pointed out several posts ago, the word "movements" was appended to the four skiing skills decades ago. This means that skills are movements, so how can there be a debate over either the substance or the semantics?

I think the only debate is whether we teach skiing or people to ski. I stand firmly in the latter group and I am sure the people who take lessons from me find that a plus.
post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
The pendulum has swung too far; it's time to return to teaching the movements of skiing.
I'll return to teaching the movements of skiing right after I stop beating my wife. O wait - I'm not married. For the record, although PSIA's "American Teaching System" is anchored upon "the skills concept", PSIA spends a huge amount of time training instructors to teach movements. The first chapter in the Alpine Technical Manual is entitled "The skills concept and contemporary skiing movements". The "Visual cues" analytical model is all about movements.

To misquote The Matrix: "There is no spoon". There is no need to return to something that has never been left. Discovering the distinction between skills and movements may be a worthwhile academic pursuit, but it will have zero impact on the quality of ski instruction. There is no ski instruction issue here.
post #44 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
To misquote The Matrix: "There is no spoon". There is no need to return to something that has never been left. Discovering the distinction between skills and movements may be a worthwhile academic pursuit, but it will have zero impact on the quality of ski instruction. There is no ski instruction issue here.
I sort of agree with that, but not entirely. Nevertheless, it's important for teachers to understand what they are trying to teach. In actual practice, most teachers end up blending the 2 approaches. You will learn skills if you pay attention while doing movements, and you can't teach skills directly without at least some direction about the movements, but I think the best teachers favor skills, even if they are not entirely aware of that. The worst ski teachers emphasize irrelevant movements ("raise your hands"), which address neither skills or the important movements. I have taught math, and the movement v. skills debate is a lot like the reasoning v. times-tables debate in math. Obviously, I think reasoning and skills are a lot more important than knowing movements and memorizing times-tables.

BK
post #45 of 50
Thread Starter 
BK, Please don't confuse Max's posts with mine. I am not Max and will not answer for him. FWIW, I am not on that team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a "banana turn," but what you call a benefit is actually a limitation. If you can control it to create as much edge engagement as you want, it's too hard for most people to get more edge engagement than they already are comfortable with. That's the advantage of outrigger turns: they create as much edge engagement as possible. Once you are comfortable with that, it's easy to get that high edge using ordinary turn entries. The fact that outriggers don't always get full weight transfer on the first try, or that they require no recognizable effective movements, is immaterial. They are still part of the fastest way to learn a high edge angle.
The same is true of pivot slips, or side stepping up the hill. They don't duplicate high level effective movements very closely, but they pretty quickly teach you where your center is, and something about edge engagement as well.

BK
The banana turn:
Stand sideways across the hill. Begin a descent at say 30 degrees, feet parallel. Start flexing the uphill leg. The legs will separate, and the tracks will widen, the weight will transfer to the downhill ski. Extend the uphill leg for the skis to come back toghether. The tracks leave a banana shape in the snow.

No one "balks" at this drill. It takes only a couple of tries for the skier to have full weight transfer to the downhill ski, they can even get their knee up under their chest with very little weight on it. They do get more engagement than they are used to because the movement pattern of independent leg flexion is far different from what they commonly do, and the directive on how much flexion to use is an external cue - until the uphill knee touches the chest. It's new and is a clean break with their old balance methods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by si
Thus, while it may be effective for some skiers in some situations to just learn to identify the goal and develop the movements for themselves, I would expect that coaching of effective movements to achieve the desired goal (outcome/skill), along with appropriate experience or cues for assessing outcome, is generally the most effective means of progression.
Sure, they need to know how to evaluate their own success.

eg. flex low between turns. How low? Grab your ankles low. Success is easily measured, and deep flexion between turns is being done -- the movement is being established by the exploration of it's range. Then, identifying the outcome/focussing on the desire result will help. Here's what we do and here's what it is for.....

How to flex? Use the legs, don't reach with the upper body alone.

OTOH, if one tries to teach this by becoming aware of pressure changes under the feet (one outcome) you will have much less success. Especially when teaching a 7 yr old. It's all about movements when a student lacks the vocabulary, body awareness and reflective/analytic skills -- which many students, not just 7 yr olds, lack.
post #46 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Why pose this as an either-or situation--that we can teach movements or we can teach skills? As Bud pointed out several posts ago, the word "movements" was appended to the four skiing skills decades ago. This means that skills are movements, so how can there be a debate over either the substance or the semantics?
What I'm on about is the relevance of the movement being taught when one teaches the movements to develop a skill vs teaching a movement that can directly be used when actually skiing. I am suggesting that movement based approach addresses the area where "the rubber meets the road". From the initial post, I think the Austrians do too. Movements are most easily taught with external cues, which may be the real crux of the biscuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
I think the only debate is whether we teach skiing or people to ski. I stand firmly in the latter group and I am sure the people who take lessons from me find that a plus.
The issue you raise is different from the issue that I am speaking about. Teaching people vs teaching skiing is really one of teaching style. The subject matter of what the teacher is expressing is irrelevant. I can teach people movements, or teach movements to people. I can teach people to cook, or I can teach cooking to people.

FWIW, My goals when teaching people are to improve "Balance, Movement and Confidence".
post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Sure, they need to know how to evaluate their own success.

eg. flex low between turns. How low? Grab your ankles low. Success is easily measured, and deep flexion between turns is being done -- the movement is being established by the exploration of it's range. Then, identifying the outcome/focussing on the desire result will help. Here's what we do and here's what it is for.....

How to flex? Use the legs, don't reach with the upper body alone.

OTOH, if one tries to teach this by becoming aware of pressure changes under the feet (one outcome) you will have much less success. Especially when teaching a 7 yr old. It's all about movements when a student lacks the vocabulary, body awareness and reflective/analytic skills -- which many students, not just 7 yr olds, lack.
I'm in total agreement. Sure they need a goal but that goal has to be something appropriate that they can perceive and work with. I just was trying to bring out that the goal is usually skill related. In the referenced case of the kids the goal is getting low (which can be thought of as a skill I suppose).

Of course if they grab their ankles by only bending at the waist then there needs to be further input about the movements you're trying to get them to make in order to be able to grab their ankles. These two possibilities in this case (goal of grabbing the ankles) exemplify how teaching of movements can be so critical.
post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Movements are most easily taught with external cues, which may be the real crux of the biscuit.
Bingo
post #49 of 50
This is a cool thread.

I remember that when ATM first came out, we had fits because instructors were teaching skills instead of movements. They weren't using movements to help people become skillful. Hence, the reference that Bud made--that PSIA moved towards movements. My memory is that this actually originated with John Armstrong when he was the tech guy of NZSIA.

I think that I generally try to use the skills for analysis at first (and that part is covert). Once I have a sense of what the student wants, needs, aspires to, etc. AND have appropriate permissions and agreements, I coax them toward movements and movement patterns that will be successful for them and make them skillful.

So definitely, it's not either or for me.

But I agree with Big E generally. Although it is nice to develop certain skill pools to go hand in hand with and support accurate movements, I have found that most of my students appreciate the "magic" move that they can do and get a precise result.

Having said that, I have to teach them to be careful with it because there is a tendency at that point to skip becoming skillful--efficient, effective, versatile--in favor of the magic move.

P. S. edit: I once wrote a letter to the Professional Skier that sounded very much like your post Big E.
post #50 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckimson View Post
FWIW, my own thought is that "skill" might best be defined as the proper application of "movements". In my teaching I use drills (movement patterns) in an attempt to improve the student's abilty to ski (skill) and meet their skiing goals. IMO, teaching "positions" would be counterproductive.

Mike
This is hitting the nail on the head....no board required.
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