Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
In the Movement Analysis 101 thread I found this model:
I like this. My question is:
If the BALANCE is off "There's your lesson plan." -
How do you teach this?
I usually do it by using simple activities that people do in everyday life that they cannot do without being in balance, like hopping.
Most adults don't hop a lot, but kids do and adults still know how to do it. Ask a person to hop and they will have to balance before being able to do it. Sometimes a person might need 4 or five tries to get it, but most will get it within 3 tries. After some repetitions of successful hops in whatever situation the skier is in they begin to stand in a much more balanced stance as a result.
As for the "lesson plans," it's hard for me to spit one out, because they are so dependent on the individual, but here is a try.
If the balance is off:
No skis on: - Hop in place 3-4 repetitions of 3 hops
- Get ready to hop- then lift one foot & balance (at least enough repetitions to experience balance on each foot 3 times
- Hop from foot to foot (until execution is relatively easy)
- Hop and propel self forward with pole use, 2 sets of 5 hops
After Edge Control movements and Rotary Movements are experienced without skis on, I use the same balancing series with skis on-static and with skis on-in simple glides.
Usually we spend about 5 minutes developing Balance, Edge Control & Rotary movements w'out skis on (Pressure control happens & develops naturally, but I don't find need to develop it specifically until later).
Note: Intensity of hops can be variable. No actual air-time is needed for a person to be hopping. Intensity of hops should allow them to do the approx # of repetitions above.
Note2: During these first minutes of the lesson we are talking, and people are relating what else they do in life, activity, sport and we incorporate activities/actions from these other pursuits/sports to develop balance & other skills.
During the first chair rides and warm up runs we are getting to know each other and the other skiing/sports/activities/experiences we have in life.
If, after the first run or two, things need go in the direction of developing balancing skills, we do something similar to the following:
- A series of linked traverses in which we Hop 3 times, (turn), Hop 3 times.(two traverses in each direction);
- We lift one foot at time, (turn) lift one foot at a time. (enough repetitions so they can lift each foot twice);
- We hop from foot-to-foot,(turn) hop from foot-to-foot.(enough reps so they can hop from each foot twice).
Note: Generally this is done without stopping between each activity change, but it depends of the person/people in the group and how they execute/understand. If needed, we stop and I do a demo or presentation before people follow, ideally though, I set this up for a minimum of talking or stopping. This series rarely takes more than a minute (two if demo/ presentations are used) or takes up more than a small portion of a run unless we do it a couple times, then there is some skiing between series.
Then we ski for a run or two and apply what we have developed so far.
Usually I move to to a terrain-based adventure mode in which we seek out terrain changes on the edges of the runs (small drops, rises, lumps, bumps, and sidehills) and ski over them in a continuous & flowing manner at an ideal speed for the person/people) the key developement here is to use ankles to keep ski tips in contact with the snow as we move over these terrain changes. We then go back to skiing the groomed run only and find the continuous movement over varied terrain changes results in a more relaxed and balanced stance which significantly changes how skiers move through turns and results in a naturally improved application of all the skills without specific attention to each.
note: sometimes this requires a short teaching segment in which we use one flat-to-down-drop at a time and execute the "use ankles to keep skis in contact with the snow" until I see them do it and tell them "That's it!" we "GO" immediately thereafter.
Note2: the terrain based adventure thing works well all by itself with most people, especially with kids & teens.
Note3: With intermediate and advanced skiers, continued difficulty with performing these very basic "everyday" things is a sign of equipment issues, most often ill fitting, stanced or improperly designed boots (of which there are many out there). Keep in mind the appropriate intensity thing and that these activities need not be very intense to be successful