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Concentration

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Due to my recent accident skiing I am curious to know what I really should be focusing on while skiing. It seems like I panicked because I was catching up to the person I was following. Instead of focusing and slowing myself down, I ended up not thinking about what I was doing and well, I'm not walking so well. Fast is a whole lot of fun. I had a rhythm for the most part for once, mostly due to me following a really good skiers line, but this also got me way more speed then I was used to as well.

So what are some things while skiing that are best to focus on? I think I started focusing on what was ahead to much and not what I was doing, and did not complete my turn properly causing the skis to bite in to hard throwing me over.

Should I try and be less aware of whats going on around me and focus on myself?
I'm just not really seeing what I should be concentrating on. Or perhaps it is just lack of experience.


I doubt there are any drills to really go though while doing this, but with any task, I know if I concentrate to hard and let it become unnatural, I will start to stiffen up and not perform properly.
Perhaps maybe some help with some goals to think about while I'm riding the lift, or waiting to go down the hill to help me focus properly and stay natural instead of over thinking situations and getting myself upside down and dorking up my knee.
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyn View Post
I'm just not really seeing what I should be concentrating on. Or perhaps it is just lack of experience.

You got it, practice and training will make what you should do in an emergency, second nature. Reactions should be automatic. Still, even the greatest skiers in the world fall and get hurt.
post #3 of 27
So you heard about my sore thumb.

Really, it's like Kieth Code says in his very good book on learning to ride motorcycles, "A twist of the wrist". You have an attention dollar. If you speend 90 cents on on any one task, you only have ten cents left for everything else. When you are first learning, tasks take a lot of your attention dollar. As you get better those same tasks take less.

Just remember to keep a reserve fund of that attention dollar for other things, while you are learning.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
That is good advice!!!

You are right, there is a lot to focus on.

I've been watching some drills online. I think I will go to the local crappy ski hill when My knee gets better and do some of the drills I've seen. I will definatly not have much confidence for a while. I dont like getting hurt at all, it stays in my mind to hard. I was pretty fearsome this last time out, Just lost my concentration and didn't think about what i needed to be doing. Things need to be natural so when there are problems you can adjust.
post #5 of 27
talyn,

Quote:
Should I try and be less aware of whats going on around me and focus on myself?
I'm just not really seeing what I should be concentrating on. Or perhaps it is just lack of experience.
To answer the questions above, there is a difference between a focus, awareness, and risk management. Risk management is your responsibility to ski within your ability on terrain suited to your ability. Awareness is your ability to recognize what risks your are taking or posing to other skiers or hazards on the hill. Focus is one particular item, movement, or feeling that you are giving attention to while performing a task.

Skiing smart is a combination of knowing your ability, the risks involved and discipline of body movements required to ski in control. Hopefully your experience will make you a smarter skier.

RW
post #6 of 27
Stop following skiers.

Let them go, choose your own line and ski it because it's your own line.

Meet them at the chair. Or- hoot and hollar at their side... if your line so takes you there.
post #7 of 27
To rip, or not to rip. That is the question. Whether it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of ....
post #8 of 27
Back when I was a patroller we had a term for the skiers who pushed the envelope too far and ended up in the ICU, or Morgue. Which I would love to share with you but it is in such bad taste I won't.
In their defense, I would say most skiers just don't realize just how quickly they can exceed their skill level and as a result they are being carried off the hill in a sled. It sounds like you didn't need that but you learned an important lesson. Knowing when to say when is before things get too hairy. As you probably also experienced that's long before the panick and fear take over and you become an unguided missile looking for a place to land and blow up. Trust me when I say nothing good comes from that situation.
post #9 of 27
I think we may have a case of "target fixation" here. When you are skiing, or for that matter riding a motorcycle or bike, or a car in traffic, you tend to go where you are looking. When skiing trees, the strategy is to look for the open spaces, not at the trees (targets). The same goes for a piste with other skiers. We need to be aware of their general location, speed and pattern, but its probably not a good idea to focus on that target.

When you drive a car, if you focus on the car immediately ahead, you give yourself very little reaction time in an emergency, and you lose your vision of escape routes. The same applies in skiing. Good awareness without fixation is an acquired skill. Ski within your abilities, stay aware of what is around you and focus on your openings, rather than targets.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
Stop following skiers. Let them go, choose your own line and ski it because it's your own line.
I followed somebody else for a reason, to learn. We will ski so far down the hill and stop and watch each other. He will stop and watch me come down, and I will watch him go down a bit in front of me and follow him, not always with the same line, sometimes I do because I dont really like pushin with the poles up hill. That stinks. I really should have known better, but I love to push myself somewhat, and learn. And I wanted to learn to do what we were doing, which was basically a quick side to side motion, which apparently I was doing really well till I was sliding down the hill on my back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
To rip, or not to rip. That is the question. Whether it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of .I would say most skiers just don't realize just how quickly they can exceed their skill level and as a result they are being carried off the hill in a sled. It sounds like you didn't need that but you learned an important lesson. Knowing when to say when is before things get too hairy. As you probably also experienced that's long before the panick and fear take over and you become an unguided missile looking for a place to land and blow up. Trust me when I say nothing good comes from that situation.
I want to rip bad. But I know not to get carried away. You are right, you can quickly pass where your skill level is. I got unlucky when I got hurt. My ski caught on the hill and jerked my knee. I fall all the time, its part of learning, but never at this speed. I didn't get my feet up in the air and I had fell right on my back so my leg came down quick and the ski caught hard. I've had many crashes where they seemed like I should get hurt, but everything was okay. This was just silly and unforunate. I should have been able to get back up and keep skiing. I might have been okay with a lower din setting on the ski as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I think we may have a case of "target fixation" here.
No target fixation here. I know enough to focus on where I'm going, but I do know enough to occasionaly glance up to see what is ahead. Lots of kids and stuff around, they are very unpredictable. I wanted to go down the same part of the slope as the guy i was following, so i looked up to see where he was, and i was getting closer. I didn't crash till a few turns after that. I'm not exactly what went though my head when it happened, but it seems like i had lost my concentration. I know enough to stop, and i could have stoped, but the ski's bit or i just lost my ballance, one or the other and over i went.

I am by far not an advanced skier. The chart seems silly cause that makes me a level 6 skier and i've only went a few times. So throw that out the window. I just want to learn, and I have a great person to teach me. I had no problem following him most of the way down. Something didn't work out right, and i'm sure its a brain issue. So thats why i started this thread, so I can make sure my head game is up to par with my ski ability. It seems to be fairly natural to me, as long as i'm not trying anything stupid. (like turning with your body!!! grr, i hate it when i do that)
Just like anything though, you gotta have your brain in place too to do good and succeede. I dont want to be like the weekend skiers who ski once or twice a year and are really dangerous on their rented equipment and no sence of direction or goal but to get in your way. heh. I hope this helps you guys with a little more insight to maybe give some other tips. You guys are really helping a lot. I can't wait to go skiing again. I would like to be better before next friday, but I dont know yet. Prolly have to ski greens all day, but who cares if i'm skiing!!!!!! I got some drills i want to try out to help with my ballance and make some things more natural instead of thought up. So. Get the head game there and the natural game, I'll be getting better in no time!
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
talyn,
To answer the questions above, there is a difference between a focus, awareness, and risk management. Risk management is your responsibility to ski within your ability on terrain suited to your ability. Awareness is your ability to recognize what risks your are taking or posing to other skiers or hazards on the hill. Focus is one particular item, movement, or feeling that you are giving attention to while performing a task.

Skiing smart is a combination of knowing your ability, the risks involved and discipline of body movements required to ski in control. Hopefully your experience will make you a smarter skier.
Thanks Ron, this is some great info that goes along with the suggestions another poster posted about!
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyn View Post

No target fixation here. I know enough to focus on where I'm going, but I do know enough to occasionaly glance up to see what is ahead. Lots of kids and stuff around, they are very unpredictable. I wanted to go down the same part of the slope as the guy i was following, so i looked up to see where he was, and i was getting closer. I didn't crash till a few turns after that. I'm not exactly what went though my head when it happened, but it seems like i had lost my concentration. I know enough to stop, and i could have stoped, but the ski's bit or i just lost my ballance, one or the other and over i went.

I am by far not an advanced skier. The chart seems silly cause that makes me a level 6 skier and i've only went a few times. So throw that out the window. I just want to learn, and I have a great person to teach me. I had no problem following him most of the way down. Something didn't work out right, and i'm sure its a brain issue. So thats why i started this thread, so I can make sure my head game is up to par with my ski ability. It seems to be fairly natural to me, as long as i'm not trying anything stupid. (like turning with your body!!! grr, i hate it when i do that)
Just like anything though, you gotta have your brain in place too to do good and succeede. I dont want to be like the weekend skiers who ski once or twice a year and are really dangerous on their rented equipment and no sence of direction or goal but to get in your way. heh. I hope this helps you guys with a little more insight to maybe give some other tips. You guys are really helping a lot. I can't wait to go skiing again. I would like to be better before next friday, but I dont know yet. Prolly have to ski greens all day, but who cares if i'm skiing!!!!!! I got some drills i want to try out to help with my ballance and make some things more natural instead of thought up. So. Get the head game there and the natural game, I'll be getting better in no time!
It's not target fixation so much as task fixation. I remember teaching a friend to drive.... in a parking lot at slow speed. He got so hung up with how to change into second gear he forgot to steer; I had to grab the wheel to keep him from climbing the curb.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
It's not target fixation so much as task fixation. I remember teaching a friend to drive.... in a parking lot at slow speed. He got so hung up with how to change into second gear he forgot to steer; I had to grab the wheel to keep him from climbing the curb.
I learned my first day skiing to try and focus on what I'm doing. I always fell if I was more concerned with other people. I didn't fall after that point unless I did the ole lean back trick, or I tried to traverse a new hill that was more challenging.

The only thing that really matters going down the hill is you. If you worry about others like all those mothers do, you'll surely crash and die. Perhaps I lost my focus on my task like you said, and crashed. I will admit, though it felt like it, i was probably not 100% in control of myself. I really was pushing my limit skiing by going as fast as I was. Now I must suffer and pay the penalties. Gotta go back to a green and practice some drills to make sure I don't bite it in a turn next time I get to that. Thats what drills are for right? Make things natural so you can focus on other things.
post #14 of 27
I don't know about going back to greens, so long as you know how to stop or slow down when things get a little hairy. Just keep about 20 cents of your attention dollar on the big picture and what's going on around you, or better yet on reserve in your attention bank to be called on when needed or to show you where it's needed. Stop or slow down when you get a little too close to your limit.

I have been skiing for decades and I fell last Saturday too. It happens. Skiing too safely is not nearly as much fun.

'Tis better to have skied and fallen than never to have skied at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyn View Post
I learned my first day skiing to try and focus on what I'm doing. I always fell if I was more concerned with other people. I didn't fall after that point unless I did the ole lean back trick, or I tried to traverse a new hill that was more challenging.

The only thing that really matters going down the hill is you. If you worry about others like all those mothers do, you'll surely crash and die. Perhaps I lost my focus on my task like you said, and crashed. I will admit, though it felt like it, i was probably not 100% in control of myself. I really was pushing my limit skiing by going as fast as I was. Now I must suffer and pay the penalties. Gotta go back to a green and practice some drills to make sure I don't bite it in a turn next time I get to that. Thats what drills are for right? Make things natural so you can focus on other things.
post #15 of 27

Focus etc.

TALYN, you have received some great suggestions from some very knowledgeable people. Here is something that is the same but a little different way of doing it:

For the first time. Stop on top of the run you are about to do, look down the hill and record in your conscious and subconcious what is ahead (when you do this the lst time be patient and take a few minutes to repeat the featuress to yourself) for instance; crowded/no one on run/kids/boarders/anyone taking up the whole run turning, where is the ice, any hazards, any manmade objects, groups of people standing around, any rolls or ledges you can't see over, ski the middle, sides, L side, R side, wheres the best snow.

If you enter this data into your computer on top of your neck, it will direct your actions. After a few conscious attempts at this you will advance into doing this automatically and very quickly. Also you will start more flowing with the terrain/hill and become less mechanical.

Basically you will tell yourself how you want to ski this particular run/trees/moguls/steeps/crowded greeen-blue etc. This might help you focus on safety and performance at the same time.

Oftentimes I will Focus on the hill and flow of the terrain but my personal emphasis will be on my feet.

Be patient on your recovery.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I don't know about going back to greens, so long as you know how to stop or slow down when things get a little hairy. Just keep about 20 cents of your attention dollar on the big picture and what's going on around you, or better yet on reserve in your attention bank to be called on when needed or to show you where it's needed. Stop or slow down when you get a little too close to your limit.

I have been skiing for decades and I fell last Saturday too. It happens. Skiing too safely is not nearly as much fun.

'Tis better to have skied and fallen than never to have skied at all.
Falling is part of the game. Just pray its in the lift line where you can have a good laugh and not on the hill. haha. =)
Reason to go to the greens is to help build some strength in my knee. I skied blues first day I skied, and made it down. Granted I fell, but it was more so from bad balance and inexperience. The second time out I made it down at least 2 times without falling on a blue. I seem to do fairly well skiing. Honestly Impressing myself, but the problem is, I've kinda feel I've skipped some things I could have practice to help give me a better idea of how to react in situations, or to stop trying to ski in the back seat. I try to build good habits, but drills are to help reinforce good habits. With finding out I have weak knees, and my experience with my last knee, which was a total dislocation, gotta take it easy till your confident it can hold up again. Cause I hurt it being to confident in its ability. So, I figured that next time or 2 I go skiing to play on some greens and have some fun. Practice some things I want to get better at and do some drills. I really enjoy going down blacks and blues, but, I'd rather be able to have confidence next time I'm in the situation I was and be able to handle it. Going fast is so much fun, I want to make sure I can keep doing it, without a repeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
TALYN, you have received some great suggestions from some very knowledgeable people. Here is something that is the same but a little different way of doing it:

For the first time. Stop on top of the run you are about to do, look down the hill and record in your conscious and subconcious what is ahead (when you do this the lst time be patient and take a few minutes to repeat the featuress to yourself) for instance; crowded/no one on run/kids/boarders/anyone taking up the whole run turning, where is the ice, any hazards, any manmade objects, groups of people standing around, any rolls or ledges you can't see over, ski the middle, sides, L side, R side, wheres the best snow.

If you enter this data into your computer on top of your neck, it will direct your actions. After a few conscious attempts at this you will advance into doing this automatically and very quickly. Also you will start more flowing with the terrain/hill and become less mechanical.

Basically you will tell yourself how you want to ski this particular run/trees/moguls/steeps/crowded greeen-blue etc. This might help you focus on safety and performance at the same time.

Oftentimes I will Focus on the hill and flow of the terrain but my personal emphasis will be on my feet.

Be patient on your recovery.
That is a great idea!!!!! I never really think about where I want to go till i get to certain parts of the hill. I follow the guy who teaches me because he picks such a great line, I can rarely choose better unless I want to see what a certain area will do, so then I'll start going where I want to go, specially if it's part of the hill I've gone down many a times. Have fun and mix it up, but know the terrain first. So, I follow him.
I'll definitely keep that in mind, gotta check your brain then go down the hill!

I really hope some other novice skiers are reading this thread and getting this good info you guys are giving me! I could not be more happy.
My Fulie Stage 1's are getting shipped out tommarow also! =)
180's. I ski'ed on 170's, but whoopie do. I'm a tall guy, I don't think I'll mind it a bit longer ski. The p30's I ski on are great, but I'd rather not borrow a pair of ski's. And I need to get on one set of ski's and stick with them.
The p30's really punish you for doing the wrong thing, but they just dont compare to a 1000 dollar set of ski's.
post #17 of 27
i have actually had this occur to me recently (except for the accident and i hope you heal well)my latest breakthrough has allowed me to fly through the powder and trees by FOCUSING on matching my skiis to the terrain. Meaning if the terrain is angled one way and then another way i focus on matchign it exactly. i found it gave me more control of my speed and control. and less effort exterted....for all you experts is this the right idea?
post #18 of 27

Ski

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingers View Post
i have actually had this occur to me recently (except for the accident and i hope you heal well)my latest breakthrough has allowed me to fly through the powder and trees by FOCUSING on matching my skiis to the terrain. Meaning if the terrain is angled one way and then another way i focus on matchign it exactly. i found it gave me more control of my speed and control. and less effort exterted....for all you experts is this the right idea?
Bingers, I am not an expert but to KISS your question, Yes and No. Yes matching your skis/feet to the terrain is an integral part of good skiing. But, go a couple of more steps and match your body, brain, spirit and speed to the terrain. Ski the slow line fast and that will get you started in the right direction - literally. A good example would be to take a run you cruise and do it differently, skiing the slow line fast by using the terrain to your advantage whether it is speed or to slow down, bank or zoom.
post #19 of 27
I guess a little off topic, but how's the eye sight. This has become a problem for me recently. Concentration and eye sight can go together.

Yesterday was a fast groomer day and everyone was rippin. I almost took out a two pole sign at the bottom of a steep pitch. Part of the problem was that when I finally saw it, I looked at it which seemed to move me in that direction.

Next run down I read the sigh, "SLOW"
post #20 of 27
Route selection / line choice are two very closely related ideas.

1. Choosing a route is all about surveying the terrain and taking advantage of the little bumps and dips that we can use to our advantage. It's sort of like an obstacle course we are trying to get through. Choosing to take a riskier route adds excitement to our journey but we also need to be honest with ourself about our ability at that point in the day. When we're tired, or just warming up, it doesn't make sense to push it. So following your friend because they choose such a good route needs to be balanced with the idea that their route choice includes their ability level.


2. Line is a more immediate idea. We've chosen an overall route but how we get from one place to the next is all about the size and shape of turns we make while getting from one place to the next. Straight lines from place to place offer us little in terms of speed control, or the ability to avoid things. As you pointed out you do not follow your friend's line just his route. Something to consider is his line allows him to ski that route safer.

Another piece of the puzzle is the type of turn we want to make as we follow the route and line we've chosen. This is where the nuts and bolts of technique come into play. A good turn includes finishing it so that we don't continue to accelerate and end up going too fast for our comfort, or ability. This is where most skier get into trouble. Abbreviating their turns doesn't give them enough speed control, so they start making braking movements. At speed this isn't very effective because the skis start bouncing and bucking and you start looking for a good place to land and explode (the unguided missle syndrome I mentioned earlier). It is much safer to finish your turns across the hill more and scrub off some speed over a couple turns. Better yet is to finish all of your turns and not let the skis get away from you in the first place. Which if you're following a better skier might just be the culprit. Wanting to keep up, you abandoned the idea of finishing your turns and keeping your speed in check. Or it might be that your technique includes a lot of braking by skidding the skis. Which for the reasons I mentioned earlier, doesn't allow you to ski safely at the same speed as your friend. Remember that Intent dictates technique. If your technique doesn't match the activity, it's time to consider changing your technique. That's where a good coach can help you more than skiing behind a friend. Expanding your technical choices is what lessons are all about. Obviously, as a ski pro I have a biased opinion about coaching but a good coach knows how to help you learn and can help you improve more than anyone else on the hill.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
you are probably 100% correct on me not finishing my turns correctly. Just because I am following his cuts in the snow does not mean I am finishing the turn to control my speed.

As for me following him, he knows that I am, so he chooses thusly based upon what he thinks I can handle. If he is going to do something out of the ordinary, he will tell me before hand, and if I want to take the same rout as him, to do this differently, or stop here and start again, that sort of deal.

I really like to play with taking different parts of the hill when I'm used to it, seeing what happens when I go over this or over that. I just trust the equipment and lean my knees into the turn. Sometimes I do make mistakes, but I always try to trust the equipment. I know if I do things right, the equipment will support what I'm doing. I have not, I feel at least, had the unguided missile syndrome, but perhaps the start of it. Usually when I feel like things are not going well. I'll just try making longer turns to slow down. In this case of my stupidity, I was probably not finishing my turns while following, because I didn't understand the theory behind what was going on. That extra 1 or 2 inches of turn could make that difference in the long run. So perhaps I was a fly by wire missile that lost its wire. Intentions were good, but things went bad.

I do notice that being tired will really make a big impact on your skiing. I'll sometimes drag my skis while turning. I really get upset at this, and curse myself and try and fix it, then you try to hard and still drag the edge.
Skiing is just so much fun. I want to be good at it. I like to be good at whatever I do, unless its just a dabble to get a basic knowledge of it. I'm so geeked for skiing I want to make sure if people ask me for advice, I will be giving them good info as well. I dive in head first if I find myself passionate about something.

No paul, no eyesight problems.
I can't read clearly after a long ways away, but for skiing I can see more than good enough. I make sure to not look to far ahead of me so I can keep my ducks in a row. Well, that's the plan anyways.
I always try and take a run slower the first time to survey the land if I coudln't see it from the lift.
post #22 of 27
Sounds like a pretty good friend. Just remember he can do things you cannot at this point in your skiing. So even if you finish your turns they may not be as clean (you are probably skidding more than he does) and at speed that tactical advantage means he is not working as hard as you are. If he is willing to teach you to carve great, if not hire a coach.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Last time I went out I worked a lot on getting over on my edges for good clean turns. I tip my knees in the direction you want to go to get em up over on the edge. I would like to think i don't skid, but I might some. I dont like sliding on the ski while going sideways, so i really try and get them carving. They just might not be very pretty carves, but the more you get em on edge, the more trusting you can feel in them performing. I had a great time with the stage1's trying to carve. Watching some videos on carving really gave me some great tips. I started using my body weight more and tilting my knees. I coudln't for the life of me remember if i was doing those things naturally the times before. putting your weight into the turn feels soooo good too. I'm sure I improved my turns the last time I was out. Thinking about it here for a minute. I believe in the last 2 times i've been out i've just learned to get the tail to slide while turning, unless your talking about initiating the turn by sliding then leaning to carve into the snow, cause I dont turn like that. But never could figure out till recently how to get the tails to coast around where you want them till one of the last 2 times. Different ski's made a difference. the p30's have a wierd ege on them. I put a little more weight foward to get them to do what I want and stay more in control. Get to far back and turning is impossible.
I never did no snow plow crap, hell I can't even do it. I tried snow plowing to get off the hill when i got hurt, I couldn't do it. So the skidding turn stuff i might not even know how to do that either.
post #24 of 27
Talyn you are right. The better you become at the basics the easier it is to build on them and resort back to them in a tight situation. Oh and somtimes we need to skid
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Skidding can be fun, as long as your not on your heals and your doing it on purpose. Makes for fun turns. Just lean forward on the skis and get the back to slide around, which is not a proper turn, but still fun.
Suppose to bring the tips around, not the heals around. That's the purpose of the pivot slip. Which I'ma make the pivot slip my beotch.
post #26 of 27

The ability to carve, scarve, skivot, and pivot the skis are all important outcomes that you will use somewhere in your skiing. However, just leaning forward and levering off the tips isn't a pivot slip. That's a windsheild wiper skidded turn. Short swing turns rely on this initiation and they end with a strong edge set at the finish of the turn. Useful but not exactly contemporary ski turns.


Edited by justanotherskipro - Mon, 02 Feb 09 13:39:21 GMT
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

The ability to carve, scarve, skivot, and pivot the skis are all important outcomes that you will use somewhere in your skiing. However, just leaning forward and levering off the tips isn't a pivot slip. That's a windsheild wiper skidded turn. Short swing turns rely on this initiation and they end with a strong edge set at the finish of the turn. Useful but not exactly contemporary ski turns.


Edited by justanotherskipro - Mon, 02 Feb 09 13:39:21 GMT

 

That's a great way to put it.
I know doing the windshieldwiper can be a little dangerous, just by simple thought and physics. Those buggers could just whip out on you in a second. I also know its not a pivot as well.

I do believe that a lot of people learn to turn like that and that is how they ski.

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