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Heli progression - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Well. it depends. The on snow spin progression sans edges is a teaching tool to help people get the feet/upper body working together and develop an awareness of their movements. Once you have that down it's all-right to use the edges as a platform to jump off of, this is different from using edge interaction w/snow to create a spinning motion and having the upper/lower body not working together yet still have a spin result - something that would not work off a jump.

I'm sure Kevin is accurate. I first teach 180s from a twin track traverse which certainly involves using the edges as a platform to jump from.

There are several ways to use edges, and even a (gulp) wedge (remember rotary pushoff?) to promote spinning platforms. Without seeing/skiing with you I can't say which 'takeoff' would be more successful. And then there is the teaching for transfer idea which can involve taking a slightly longer road to a better movement pattern rather than heading for the quickest route to the 360.

I wish I had a digital cam so I could go film some simple stuff and post if for you, but I don't.

I would have to say that going off a jump and spinning from flatter skis is a more advanced maneuver than entry level and must involve more speed. When I do not concentrate I tend to spin off my edges **Like I did while I was first learning them** which is currently something I am having to work hard at to get over.

apologies for the hitch in the "stepping stones" (heh) for you. Look at this part again

straight run - air to 180.

Use the Quick 360 move, but slowly flex during your straight run until you feel a powerful stance. Without waiting, pop the Quick move and land at 180. When you do the 3, time your flex so you are at the powerful stance as you reach the lip of the jump.


as you flex into the powerful position, let your skis edge opposite of the side you are going to spin to (just like dropping the arm back). Then make a more powerful, even explosive version of the quick 360 move. All of the spin won't be generated from your upper body/head/arm, but they must, in the end, work along with your lower body.

WHOLE BODY ROTATION as demonstrated in the Alpine Technical Video of late.

think of strong, explosive rotary extension firing in sequence from your ankles on up, like a tall building that is being demoed so it falls vertically in upon itself.

nolo, have you developed your own 'names' or 'verbal cues' or 'kinesthetic cues' for any of this yet?

[ March 24, 2003, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #32 of 54
edit: deleted the "butter" spin info

Had a very cool experience yesterday. Worked with a group on rail/funbox slides by using a BI-DECK snowskate.

-The whole thing started with a good straight run stance.
-then hopping onto a stationary skate, making sure to land in the straiught run stance without having to adjust to it.
-then run at it from behind (or a diagonal) and jump onto it so it slides forward, maintaining that strt run stance without adjustment to get it.
-then we bulit a small (5-6") ramp, dug the snowskate into it so the deck was flush with the ramp surface and skied onto it, pivoting a 90 and sliding onto the skate with our skis on!
-it mimics a rail, cuz if you 'edge' or push the feet out to turn them, bam! the skate goes right out, just like your feet would do on a rail/box, but there is no box to tater on.

none of the folks were really ready do rails, so we didn't do the next step, actually airing onto the skate and riding it that way
....but...
Two of these folks successfully did basic grinds over a rainbow box later in the day!

[ March 24, 2003, 06:34 PM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #33 of 54
Thread Starter 
Roto, I have no self-discipline. I read it but I didn't understand it. I just popped in to share what Kevin said about a slight edge set to release. "The most common source of failure for wannabe spinners attempting their first threes is the skidding caused by a lack of edging during the windup phase."

My visual/auditory cues are O-180-360 ("one-two-three"). I don't know that I have any kinesthetic cues figured out yet.
post #34 of 54
Nolo -

I have a video camera and I'm willing to film your 360 for all the bears to see when your ready. Just let me know the date and I'll arrange my schedule so I can be at Bridger.
post #35 of 54
Thread Starter 
Oh boy, a deadline AND some pressure. Gotta love all this support.

Looks like Arcmeister will be at Bridger Sunday or Monday. Want to meet for a few runs, whether or not I ask you to bring the camera?
post #36 of 54
Nolo -

I'll join Arcmeister & you Sunday or Monday.....PM me when you know the date.
post #37 of 54
Nolo's title "Heli progression" is the key to why many people find such an easy move so hard to grasp.

In the words of Yoda, "either do, or do - not. There is no try."

And therein lies the secret to learning a simple trick like a helicopter. Keep trying one long enough, you'll realise the real problem is that your mind always clicks onto automatic safety and stops you at the 180 mark. If you can do a 360 in your kitchen in socks then physically you'll have absolutely no problem whatsoever doing the same thing out on the slope. *You do NOT need any ability in jumps or landings*. If you ski up a small incline with just enough speed to reach the plateau on top, you can do a helicopter with virtually NO forward momentum... and your feet never really have to leave the ground.

Mentally though, the first spin is a leap of faith and the whole trick to succeeding is to NOT STOP YOUR "HEAD" ROTATION WHEN YOU'RE HALF WAY AROUND. The most relevant piece of advice I've ever heard for completeing a 360 is simply keep leading your spin with your eyes (or chin if you tend to close your eyes). The day you "commit" and don't bring your head back to center during the spin will be the day you do your first 360

After wading through some advice from people here, I'm just dying to hear their advice when someone comes up with a post entitled, "Backflip progression"
:
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
Just checked my mail: the latest TPS has an article on how to do 360s by Kevin Mitchell with a great photo sequence. The fortuitous appearance of this article on my doorstep is an all-clear sign from the ski gods, no doubt.
TPS = ?

YA
post #39 of 54
Thread Starter 
Cheap Seats,

I read you loud and clear. It is a head game. It is the look. No try, just DO. Thanks for the talking-to.

Ladede,

TPS=The Professional Skier, the PSIA magazine. Kevin Mitchell is a current member of the PSIA Demo Team.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by Cheap seats:

the first spin is a leap of faith and the whole trick to succeeding is to NOT STOP YOUR "HEAD" ROTATION WHEN YOU'RE HALF WAY AROUND. The most relevant piece of advice I've ever heard for completeing a 360 is simply keep leading your spin with your eyes (or chin if you tend to close your eyes). The day you "commit" and don't bring your head back to center during the spin will be the day you do your first 360
And just like all the other simple things in skiing everyone gets it in a different way, or through a different set of steps... That's what a "progression" or whatever you wanna call it is for; To get people through their mental process.

in general, Teenagers can do one within minutes
Young adults in minutes to hours
Middle agers may take a number of days

It is all about the mental part
post #41 of 54
Thread Starter 
No 3 in the forecast today: 24" of fresh fell overnight and I plan to be snorkeling.
post #42 of 54
Nolo -

My son learned to do helis, flips, etc. practicing in big dumps of heavy snow. Today's perfect for it.
post #43 of 54
nolo, just a thought here, but you might anchor "commitment to continuous head rotation" by skiing a classic "3" on the slope before doing it in the air. Note how the tendency to recenter the head at the 180 point seems really ingrained (I wonder what the biomechanics/physiology of that is, beyond desire for safety)----- so you can practice overriding it.
You da woman. I'm still doing them on the ground at this point.
:
post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by vera:
Note how the tendency to recenter the head at the 180 point seems really ingrained (I wonder what the biomechanics/physiology of that is, beyond desire for safety)
When doing physically unfamiliar activities, your brain will force your eyes to seek a stable point of reference to help orient itself.

I have observed with the 360° that many people lead with their head/eyes on take-off. It gets around to the ~120° mark and locks (limits of the neck muscles), the rest of the body catches up and continues past the head. Because of the slight pause, your brain has found something to focus on and refuses to let go. Your head drifts to about 180° taking in the information depending on how fast you can process and recognize it. The body has gotten to about ~270° before the neck limits have been reached again. Classic stall. Bam!

Another way to approach it is to delay the head twist until AFTER you've taken off. The twist is initiated at the shoulders/core instead. Your head will get around to ~270° before objects come into focus (the body's at ~180° at this point). The rest is gravy as the body continues to twist past the head.

Every time I learn a new move in trampoline (latest is an off-axis back double-full) I have to spend time to allow my eyes and brain to "pick up" points of reference. Usually its the centre cross or side pads. It just takes time as every thing is blurry until that happens and comfort sets in.

What do I see? Wall--feet--ceiling--blur--blur--blue pad--red cross. Landing.
post #45 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by Warren:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by vera:
Note how the tendency to recenter the head at the 180 point seems really ingrained (I wonder what the biomechanics/physiology of that is, beyond desire for safety)
Another way to approach it is to delay the head twist until AFTER you've taken off. The twist is initiated at the shoulders/core instead. Your head will get around to ~270&deg; before objects come into focus (the body's at ~180&deg; at this point). The rest is gravy as the body continues to twist past the head.</font>[/quote]Agreed, except that requires a bit more air and may be a 'beyond entry level move,' or one for the more athletically/attitude inclined. The bigger and slower I go the more I can focus on whatever I want as I go around withpout stopping the rotation. I take this as a sign that the spin is becoming more core generated.
post #46 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by Roto:
Agreed, except that requires a bit more air and may be a 'beyond entry level move,' or one for the more athletically/attitude inclined. The bigger and slower I go the more I can focus on whatever I want as I go around withpout stopping the rotation. I take this as a sign that the spin is becoming more core generated.
Not necessarily, let's presume that essentially the objective is to twist the skis 360&deg;'s. The closer to this point in the kinetic chain you can do this, the more efficient the twist.

Can you do it from the feet alone? Perhaps, but you still have to add enough effort to get the rest of your body around. On skis, you would start with the feet apart, and carve the right ski toward and slightly ahead of the left (spin is counterclockwise). It's called a carve 360. Tough to do because of the timing but this is the ultimate expression of a "contact twist" since no additional energy is added by the upper body.

Using the head alone will result in a delay of the rest of the body coming around since its relying on the stretch reflex in the neck to spring the body into action. This is a very weak twist. Height and distance are your friends here.

Using the arms, works sort of like the carve 360&deg; since you generate the power by bringing the arms in and counterclockwise. Balance on take-off is the biggest concern if the arms travel inwards on an angle. The spin will start corking. Difficult to recover from.

So we're left with the body core (anything from the shoulders down to the hips). Generating power in this area is the best compromise since the balance is even (provided you don't break at the mid-section) and gives you fine tuning options with the arms.

If you're generating the spin from the core you'll know it since bringing the legs up and doing grabs will come relatively easily and don't upset your balance too much.

Can you spin without setting ANY rotation on take-off? Yes. It's called a cat-twist. It requires a lot of energy as you twist the head and feet in one direction and the midsection in the other. A constant back and forth motion will eventually get you around. Imagine doing twisters in one direction only. Needless to say, hang time is the key... not recommended. Besides it's ugly as hell.
post #47 of 54
Thread Starter 
Wow, thank all of you for the excellent advice! I am humbled to have your support. I want this as my birthday present (comfortably in the distance, I should add), and you are all part of the gift. [img]smile.gif[/img]

I asked the freestyle coach to take me out one day next week to get the job done. Roto said he wished he could be there to watch what I was doing and coach me a bit, and that seemed like a very good idea, instead of going out alone or with an equally inexperienced buddy to throw ourselves around. Mike has kindly agreed to help.

I think you all are right about continuity of the spin. Practicing the ground 3 I was focusing on cadence: one-two-three without a hitch. I too noticed the tendency to stall at 180 so I made passing through that point the objective of the practice. I think I spin pretty well. I'm goofy (left-side dominant), so I spin clockwise.

Warren, I plan to use your advice to find visual references as cues. Kevin Mitchell agrees that spins that do not involve strong upper body rotation are more difficult to do. The cat-twist sounds bizarre and I pity the poor cat that served as inspiration.

Again, thanks. I'll get it, though probably not by the time I see you, Rio. Bring your cam anyway--Arc's a fantastic skier!
post #48 of 54
nolo. Don't give up! Why don't we replace hop turns with 3s, they are a lot more fun.
post #49 of 54
Thread Starter 
Let's do a switch, Roto. I'm back at it tomorrow. Today was another powder day!
post #50 of 54
Just want to say that this thread is a VERY entertaining read. Keep it up!
post #51 of 54
Thread Starter 
I did it. Twice. Only a tiny amount of flesh was sacrificed, one mackerel slap, and minor tweakage of the left knee on the less than successful attempts. The secret was going for it on the inrun to get a lot of air and, of course, looking for the landing, which I'm not sure I did, but things happen pretty fast.

Put it this way: I did it but I don't think I have it. More practice needed.
post #52 of 54
Keep after it Nolo. After awhile it's just like turning left... or right. Only its a lot more fun!!!

Spag :
post #53 of 54
Thread Starter 
The 3 is a leap of faith. If you believe, you can do it. If you doubt, you starfish. It's great training for getting into the Zone.

When the article by Kevin Mitchell came out in The Pro Skier, it set off controversy in ski schools across the land: what's the liability downside of teaching the 3? Many instructors at my school were highly skeptical. When some of the instructors went out last week with the freestyle coach for a clinic in 3s, the patrol looked askance at it. If we get too obvious about it, the risk manager is likely to ban ski school doing/teaching 3s.

In the old days, every ski hill had a ski jump. Racers were expected to jump. The techniques of getting/landing air were taught.

To air is good.
post #54 of 54
Great nolo!

You have definitley passed a milestone. Make sure you do at least two a week now, until you feel comfy enough to do 1 a day!

You are right about the liabilty and questions with this. When people ask me to teach 360s I tell them that it is definitely a personal journey, that I can help them develop the skills necessary... but that I can't necessarily 'teach' them a 3. I will however, coach them as they go forward on their journey.

It's tricky to even decide who to do it with. I get the impression some people who ask me need a lot more experience before they are ready for the actual coaching leading directly to 3s, some I will go right out and work on it. It does not seem to be related to overall skiing skill either. Some folks of lower skill levels are more ready than others of higher skill levels. I agree the inclusion of this into the daily diet of ski instruction is questionable, and think it may be best to 'officially' keep it as part of coaching programs, although the experienced instructor who has a good feel for it may/should incorporate it into what they do with certain clients on a limited and appropriate basis.

[ April 08, 2003, 08:03 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
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