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Teaching Older Populations

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have had the opportunity to teach older populations recently and I have found that many of them lack the ability to angulate effectively in the joints especially the ankes and knees.

Does anyone have any suggestions for getting more anulation out of older populations?
post #2 of 16
Angulation is a body position that results from the need to balance the turning forces. Focus on edging skills, and on the feelings in the soles of the feet that result from properly edged skis. If they edge properly, they will either use enough angulation or fall over.
Shape skis simply do not require as much angulation (or counter for that matter) as straight skis. With the possible exception of moguls, contemporary skiing rarely requires movements beyond the range of motion which even the least athletic (me) among us can easily do.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I guess what I am seeing is that edging is primarily coming from inclination or hip angulation as opposed to the ankle and knee.

When I show them what I am looking for many claim the inability to make this move.
post #4 of 16
Have them practice tipping their boots standing still on the flattest place you can find. Have them focus on the feeling of where the center of pressure is on the soles of their feet when they do this. Then do the same thing skiing the easiest green terrain. Describe it all in terms of tipping while going straight, not in terms of trying to create turns. Do sideslips with edge sets on blue terain. Do traverses on steeper (green or blue?)terrain and have them tip their boots while traversing, which should result in garlands. Work that into long radius turns. Describe the goal as learning to ski with using awkward or uncomfortable positions/movements. That's really the key for us older guys who want to ski until we're 80.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Beuller? Bueller? Anyone?

Anyone have any other thoughts on teaching older populations?
post #6 of 16
Define older...
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm not going to fall for that trap!

Basically I have noticed older (choose your own parameters)students have had difficulty creating angulation with their joints. Let's face it the older we get the less flexible we get for angulation or flexion and extension.

So I am just looking for ideas to promote these activities with these types of individuals. Maybe the answer is the same stuff I use with other students just tune it down.

Just looking for ideas, thoughts.
post #8 of 16
ummm send them all to Tai Chi in the off season?
post #9 of 16
Keep a bottle of glucosamine chondroitin in your pocket!
post #10 of 16
& adrenaline amps for those allergic to seafood? [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #11 of 16
In dealing with older populations, I work with them to summarize what they really want out of skiing and from a lesson. I let this dictate more what I am trying to get them to do. They know they are never going to be Bode Miller or Tommy Moe and most of them don't want that to begin with.
There is more than one way to ski and enjoy the sport. I listen to my customer and deliver a product that satisfies them. cruising without big angles is one of them.
Speaking of older populations. Since I have been talking about skiing bumps with little or no impact no matter what shape the bump is or what the snow texture is, I have been shocked at the response. I expected mostly skiers in their 40's and 50's to be interested. Instead I am finding skiers in their 60's and 70's to be asking and they are not backing down. These are people who said they haven't skied bumps in years. I am having to reconsider how I put progressions together to help older skiers learn to ski bumps. I am still in awe ever time I see one of these older skiers that I have been working with out actually enjoying the bumps with me.

[ January 17, 2003, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #12 of 16

>>define older<<

The older I get, older is older. [img]tongue.gif[/img] ------Wigs
post #13 of 16
"older" than someone younger.
post #14 of 16
I teach a lot of "older students" it seems. I don't really think about their age as much as who and what they are individualy. Pay attention to the individual, get to know who they are, where they ski, how they ski, and why they ski. Then address their needs and desires just like any other student, taking into account their physical abilities just like any other student. The last thing they want is to be categorized and treated to an "old persons" lesson.
post #15 of 16
It happened again this past Saturday. I was hanging out with the Tree Frog, and he had an "older" gentleman who didn't seem to get the idea.

I'll define older (since the -er makes it a relative term) person as someone older than me. I'm in my mid 30s. But both of the guys TTF has had problems with were at least in their mid 50s. I would guess that both were <70.
post #16 of 16

I can speak to this subject with authority! I am the youngest 68 year old codger that you will ever run into. I have had one hip replacement and two knees that need replacing.

Most of us have reduced muscle mass. So, wedging is literally a pain. For this reason alone, many of us drop out after one lesson. I have found that stepping turns seem to work ok, providing the terrain is fairly flat.

Many of us have other limiting factors, such as limited range of motion in many joints. My knees have limited range. My femurs don't rotate as much as a thirty year old. By a long way. Dorsiflexion in my left ankle? What dorsiflexion? But most of us are not ready for the bone yard, yet.

Desire is the word. We have that and no one will take it away from us. As Nolo said in another thread, "there is more than one way to ski." What I suggest is teach the most efficient movements that you can. At the risk of starting a war, I "discovered" PMTS about five years ago. It rekindled the desire for skiing in me. Without it, I would have quit skiing altogether. After skiing, I had real significant pain in my knees and hips. But now, I can ski just about anything except bumps. I still have a delusion that maybe I can get my timing back.

Primary Movements is different than traditional teaching. There are many aspects of skiing that will require changing in order to be less physical. For instance, most skiers "force" the ski into a turn. By being patient and using the proper movements, the ski will do the work.

TTF, I hope this has helped. We old folks need all of the help we can get when it comes to ski instruction. Many of the younger instructors just do not understand aging. We need people like you that take an interest in us. Thanks.
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