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Sitting back under stress

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok.. I'm not sure how much this will translate to reality..

I play Halo in my boots - many times on one foot or the other to make sure I have good balance. But when the fierce battles happen I find myself sitting back in my boots - which parallels reality for me. If I feel out of control I sit back.. not for long because I know better but sometimes its too late.

Any ideas on how to train that out of your instinctive moves?

This only happens for me one or two turns where I get too much speed and have an instinctive reaction - and I dont want to tear my ACl or anything from sitting back. Time will cure it, but I need a fast mental trick to keep my mind focused

Ideas?
post #2 of 11
Make it your habit to pull both feet back strongly when the feet are light on the snow at the transition between turns. During the turn always pull the inside foot back strongly all the time. All the time. Don't even think about inside tip lead...you need your weight balanced fore & aft with your hips over the feet before you consider anything else...and tip lead is overrated, anyway.

Practice heel flappers...on an easy traverse, pull you feet back so strongly that the tails of the skis come off the snow then flap back down. Do this several times on each traverse each way. Make turns on easy snow and make these strong pull backs all the way through the turns, especially in the middle of the turns and at the transition between turns. Learn the feeling.

Practice going off small drop offs or over bumps and pulling both feet back strongly to get your ski tips back in contact with the snow immediately.

Exaggerate these drill movements until they're somewhat automatic, then incorporate them into your skiing until they are automatic. Understand the paradox...the more aggressively you ski, the more control you'll have to ski the speed you want. Aggressively work your skis, especially the tips, on the snow for that control.

Hand position...hand position doesn't do much right, but can do very much wrong. Your hands need to be held easily out to the sides, arms relaxed, hands out wider than your elbows and somewhat forward, with your hands above waist high and the inside hand as much as shoulder high on steep pitches (the outside hand can be low--pole tip maybe 3" off the snow--on those steeps). If you let your hands fall low into the briefcase-carry position, you'll make your sit-back problem worse.

Do you also lean back toward the hill for a false sense of security? Do you rotate...swing your outside arm & shoulder wrapped around your body toward the hill? Both are also signs of insecurity. Find out how to correct these problems (subject for future postings).
post #3 of 11
When you are sitting back, I bet the pressure is on the balls of your feet? Like you are pushing away from the drop?

The only solution I have, is not to create that pressure. Instead, lift the toes off the bottoms of the boots. This ought to close the ankle and bring you more forwards.

The drill is to push yourself forwards into the fall-line, and squat at tranisition. So launch forwards to fall-line, stay as tall as you can, then squat at release/transition..... It's crude, but very effective.
post #4 of 11
If I'm forward, I feel tension in the muscles at the hip socket. If I'm back, the pressure pulls on the top of the knees.

I prefer to think of keeping my hips ahead rather than pulling back on my feet. It's just a focus point--the result is the same. If you want to really feel pulling back the feet, stand on a flat spot and resist having a healthy partner (someone with good grip and upper body strength) pull on your ski tips, one at a time. If you want to develop awareness of keeping your hips forward, do some skating on the flats and up a gentle grade while keeping focus on the relationship between your hips and the foot you're pushing with. Then make turns back down the gentle grade trying to get the same hip/foot relationship with your outside foot for each turn.
post #5 of 11
Robogeek,

It is common for skiers to get back when in an out of control situation. People tend to streighten certain joints in this situation. Depending on what joints you streighten, the verbal cue is different. If you streighten your ankle joints, your hip (and butt) retreats as you react. If your knees streighten, your head retreats and gets behind your feet. Your instincts make you protect the part of the body you value the most (your head or your pelvic area).

For the butt retreater, the verbal cue is chin up, sholders back. For the head retreater, the verbal cue is hands down, sholders rounded.

Everyone fits into one of the two catigories (to some extent), and my guess is you know which one you are. The best solution is to make shure you finish your turns enough by rounding out the botton of the turn, so you don't get into the situation where instinct takes over.

RW
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
The only solution I have, is not to create that pressure. Instead, lift the toes off the bottoms of the boots. This ought to close the ankle and bring you more forwards.
I also have the same problem. It used to be far worse.

The toe lift was a very effective drill when I first tried focusing on correcting the backseat-under-stress situation. I would highly recommend it as a first step for a say Level 5/6 skier.

However, I found that the technique was out grown during progress as the hill got steeper and as the speed picked up. At the end of the day, I just ended up with very sore toes and very tired feet.

Started last year, I started a couple of new drills (but still fall back to the toe thing when situations got tight) that allows me to stay more naturally and constantly forward.

The easier of these was, on a carved turn on hardpack, I tried driving my inside knee about 30 to 45 degrees into the turn by pressuring with my shins towards the front corner. But, by doing so, I had a tendency to neglect the outside ski and introduced a tip lead problem with the inside ski.
post #7 of 11
chanwnr,

Quote:
The easier of these was, on a carved turn on hardpack, I tried driving my inside knee about 30 to 45 degrees into the turn by pressuring with my shins towards the front corner. But, by doing so, I had a tendency to neglect the outside ski and introduced a tip lead problem with the inside ski.
This is the right idea, but keeping contact with the shin to the boot tongue on the inside leg might be more efficient than a driving motion.

On the same subject, I had a lady in a lesson today that was returning to skiing after not skiing for 5 to 6 years. Her weight was back a little and after introducing ankle flex to make contact to the boot tongue, whe had much better control and balance. She still got her wieght back on the steeper parts of the hill and my suggeestion to her was not to slow her body down at those parts of the hill, b/c her feet would get ahead of her. She had to keep her body moving with her skis at those tougher places on the slope. It worked for her.

RW
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
chanwnr,
She still got her wieght back on the steeper parts of the hill and my suggeestion to her was not to slow her body down at those parts of the hill, b/c her feet would get ahead of her. She had to keep her body moving with her skis at those tougher places on the slope. It worked for her.
RW
I am glad that she was able to carry that out, perhaps partially due to you standing/skiing beside her boosting her confidence. For most others, that may take some time getting there, particularly when skiing on his/her own, due to this thing called fear. Speaking for myself, I still have plenty of problems when faced with an icy tight section, especially over a headwall.
post #9 of 11
chanwmr,

In my earlier post I described two types of retreaters. This is caused by fear either concience or inconcience (instinctive). It is a battle everyone fights in some situations to some degree. Finding ways to overcome the effects helps overcome the cause in many casses. In the case above, the lady felt in control as she moved with her skis and she was able to ski the section of hill without retreating.

RW
post #10 of 11
What I seem to recall working for me was someone telling me when the time comes on a steep section where I have to make the turns, then is the time to concentrate on cutting the snow cleanly with my front edges, meaning from the mid foot up and focus on them, get them cut in and set and working well. To forget about everything else and make sure I had those skis working properly. That kept me in position; you can't work the front edges from the back seat.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
Robogeek,

It is common for skiers to get back when in an out of control situation. People tend to streighten certain joints in this situation. Depending on what joints you streighten, the verbal cue is different. If you streighten your ankle joints, your hip (and butt) retreats as you react. If your knees streighten, your head retreats and gets behind your feet. Your instincts make you protect the part of the body you value the most (your head or your pelvic area).

For the butt retreater, the verbal cue is chin up, sholders back. For the head retreater, the verbal cue is hands down, sholders rounded.

Everyone fits into one of the two catigories (to some extent), and my guess is you know which one you are. The best solution is to make shure you finish your turns enough by rounding out the botton of the turn, so you don't get into the situation where instinct takes over.

RW
This is a great way of saying this, Ron!

I usually go for recover by reaching for my tips, in your hands down, shoulders rounded recovery, as I learned in my racing days. I hadn't thought about the alternative for "butt retreaters", so thanks for that.

This approach really addresses the OP, I think. Well done!
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