Thanks for the reply, SSG. Good discussion!
|Cochrane has the skill to re-center after allowing the ski tails to jet him forward. I can't see enough in Chuck's video to tell if he has that skill.
Good question, although I might spin it slightly differently. Surely, Chuck is carrying less speed than Cochran, so none of his movements should be as dramatic or extreme--including the "jetting" movement in question. Given that, it would indeed suggest an error to find Chuck in exactly the same position as Jimmy. Despite his obvious extraordinary skill, I would say that much of what we see so clearly in the Cochran sequence is due to high speed--and a fairly steep slope. At lower speeds, the same basic movements follow the same basic principles, but they will be considerably less obvious. What do these principles look and feel like at lower speeds, and even at beginner speeds (and skill levels)? A good topic for another discussion!
Likewise in the comparison of Cochran's turns to Marlies Schild's turns. I would say that the Cochran sequence expresses not so much a unique personal style, as the outcome of skiing on what really is a steep pitch for GS turns. (It is the final drop on Keystone's Starfire run on North Peak, as it plunges to the base of the lift.) The timing of Cochran's float and pressure phases--the relatively late (compared with Schild's turns) "carving"--is at least as much due to the pitch as to "his style." Unfortunately, I don't know how steep the pitch Schilds was on is, but I'll bet it's much less steep.
In any case, I'd love to see one frame earlier in Schild's run. I suspect you'd see there her hips further back in relation to her feet. The forward movement of feet below hips is apparent in the final four frames, though--although perhaps not as dramatic as in Cochran's sequence. In the final two frames, I would estimate Schild's balance point to be just forward of her heels--exactly where it should be at the moment I call "neutral" (end of one turn, beginning of the next).
There's no doubt, though, that various World Cup racers show differences in their basic stances, at least partially resulting from different body proportions--limb lengths, mass distribution, and such--as well as to differences in equipment setup and, to some extent, personal preference.
Here are two more animations that I have posted previously. They're getting a bit dated, perhaps, from a World Cup race in 2001. But they once again show the movements I'm describing quite clearly:
(If these animations aren't synchronized, reload the page.)
In this case, Koznick makes a clear error in her turn transitions--particularly the transition into the final right turn. She gets her torso too far forward. (Why? She was known to make this mistake, but it also likely stems from losing her tail slightly at the finish of that previous left turn--also due to too much forward leverage?) In any case, look how much time she lost in that one gate!
|Also note how Cochrane has very little inside tip lead. Is it possible to achieve that with a deeply retracted inside leg without intentionally pulling the inside foot back? I don't think it is for most of us.
It's hard to say what Cochran might have been conscious of during this run. I suggest that his inside tip lead looks just about right to me, under the circumstances. Whether it's due to a conscious, intentional effort, or simply due to well-practiced, highly disciplined movements, along with substantial "functional tension" in his body needed to ski athletically, I'll leave up to him! (And I'll say the same for the Pequegnot and Koznick sequences as well.) As always, there is no need to focus consciously on "pulling the inside foot back" unless it's too far forward--and every reason to focus on it when it is.
Regarding Marlies Schild's turns, it is worth noting that she makes a "course correction" in the transition to that right turn--as evidenced by the lateral move uphill of her left ski. She gets to the "inclined into the turn" attitude, with her center inside and downhill from her feet, as much by moving her ski uphill as by moving her body downhill. Whether unique to this turn situation, or representative of her habitual movements, is not apparent from this single-transition sequence.
Every turn is unique!
|it is easier to reduce too much front ski pressure than it is to regain front ski pressure. How many ski students have you had where you've told them to back off the tips vs. the number of students you've worked with them to get off their heels?
You might be surprised!