Originally Posted by Max_501
The following is based on 10 days of skiing during the month of June up at Hood.
Here's some of the things the coaches are working on with their racers:
1) Counter and Counter balance (lots of camps running various drills). Note, about 10% working more inclination rather than counter balance.
2) Flex to release is quite common and represented in roughly 80% of the skiing. About 20% working on an extension movement.
3) Quite a bit of lightening of the inside ski and tipping to engage the new turn (a noticeable number doing full lift and tip work both in and out of the course). Haven't seen anyone working on a weighted release or white pass type of turn.
I've asked the following question of coaches from at least a dozen camps:
"Do you teach your racers to pivot or redirect the skis?"
So far only one coach said yes, and it was a movement which he described as a delay in the tipping so the skis drifted before be put on edge and back into the carve. One coach offered that on modern skis if you can lay it way over you can arc just about anything.
Follow up question:
"If you don't teach a pivot how do the kids redirect the skis if they need to make a line correction or can't make a turn via a carve?"
100% answered with words stating more or less that the any kid that has developed tipping skills (balancing on the edges) can easily and instinctively redirect their skis. A few pointed out that they work to get rid of any ski redirection and worked hard on getting them to arc every turn.
Follow up question:
"Do you use any pivot drills during training?"
11 said no and a few said it was not a good idea as it had the potential of undoing the tipping (arc to arc) training. One said yes as a way of teaching the kids to feel what it was like to be forward in their boots (he described a pivot slip type of drill).
Questions for the racers (about 30 asked to far):
"Do any of your coaches, here at camp or at home, teach you to pivot or otherwise redirect your skis?"
90% answered no. 10% described the delayed tipping to drift before engaging.
Follow up question:
"What do you do if you have to correct your line or when you can't carve the turn you need to make?"
100% answered that they just turn their skis in the direction they need them to go.
Well after 5 pages or so, you all knew I was bound to chime in eventually.
I guess my first comment is...."ya, so?" I dont think these answers are unusual, or unexpected. I would think that in the same context I would have given roughly the same answers.
At the age/level of kids Max501 asked, there is no doubt, that generally speaking developing edging skills is greatest importance. Most kids struggle to pick up the edge at all, let alone arc to arc...so the fact coaches work on edging as priority one, doesnt raise any alarm bells here.
As for other coaches at other levels...I gotta say, I am still not shocked. Edging is still required, sure controlling steering is needed, but in a racing context I would put the focus in terms of fore/aft balance to control it, it certainly wont be through your muscles that rotate the leg. I would watch the athletes rotational balance, but if that was fine....then no issue.
Hence I dont see any controversy in this OP....certianly not 5 pages worth of debate.
BUT this is where I think things are perhaps getting taken too far (bolding by me):
Well this is where things go haywire. Intentional or not Max is implying that pivoting is bad, in any
circumstance. This is definatley taken this coaches words too far. Max may not be saying that, but I think that is what is getting people in a stir.
An important distinction is missing. In racing your first goal is to carve the whole turn...if you cant, then carve as much of the bottom of the turn as possible....you pivot or steer the top as required, and carve the rest.
In "regular skiing" there are many instances where a "scarve" from the top of the turn to the bottom is required...BPST on anything other then a short SL ski is a great example. Thus to get the desired end result pivoting needs to emphasised in a different way. I think others in this thread and god knows elsewhere on this board have covered this well before.
In racing, you really only need to redirect, and then ensure your body is properly alinged and balanced to handle the load created when the edges hook up...from a SI point of view, this is pivoting, from a coaching point of view it is fore/aft and rotational balance. Getting it right, especially at race speed in a race course is challenging, but the view or approach is through the various planes of balance....not pure pivoting...