Originally Posted by Temple67
Great posts, question
How do you keep looking down the hill and cross block the near gate? Lastly why would the two skiers (pictures) have been quicker to not cross block?
If you are cross blocking, the gate should be passing to the outside of your body. It will be in your line of vision to the outside of the turn. Looking two turns ahead will keep it in your vision. If as a Arrgee pointed out, that the two racers were reaching, then the gate is directly in their line of vision as it is either directly in front or just inside them and they should have used an inside block, not a cross block.
The greatest fault I see in good SL racers that I coach, is that they reach and generally end up with their tails skidding and having to recover. If you pass the gate with your hands up in front of your face, not with the inside hand lagging behind, it will be quite intuitive to know which arm to block with. When the inside hand is down and back, you don't have much opportunity to inside block. Thus you reach.
In GS, maintaining an outside focus with your hands pointing towards your tips will pretty much insure that you don't have to block so much as simply take the gate on your inside arm, or lat. The GS skier directly above is showing great body position. He didn't have to explictly block as his inside arm was already in a blocking position.
You will notice that many racers will take a 'swimming' approach down the course, bringing their hands together in front of their face as they pass the gate. This gets them into a balanced hand position with outside focus and serves to insure that no gate will get between their hands.