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Do you ever....???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Naturally, the bright and taleneted folks of Epic Ski have gotten me to thinking again!

With all of this talk of the "good" ways to ski - I wonder...

Do you ever give a student an exercise... have them do something that is NOT good skiing, explaining that you don't want them to ski this way, but you want them to FEEL something new?

I'd love to hear the WHY you do it - if you do... or share an example. And, as always the "Hell No!"s are welcome, as long as you tell us WHY NOT [img]smile.gif[/img]

thanks again...
post #2 of 7

I have heard Robin May discuss at great length the value of exploring polarity.

One case comes to mind. I was asked by a fellow instructor to help them get ready for their level II exam. The fellow in question was the epitome of "overly countered/park and ride".

On a whim I came up with a drill. I asked him to try and over rotate in turns particularly with his shoulders and hips. Going both directions I suggested he try to turn his chest and point it uphill.

The result was a startling improvement in overall alignment as well as the ability to tip his skis on edge with his feet as opposed to increase edge angles by moving his overly countered hips inside the turn.
post #3 of 7
I different strategies in this vein a lot!

Students with inefficient or inhibiting habits are often only aware of the undesired effect or outcome, but not aware of the causing habitual movement. By having them learn to exaggerate the habitual movement on purpose, we can bringing it into their perceptual realm of awareness. Then for their practicing a new movement activity, we have set a "booby trap" such that a mental alarm should go off when they feel their old habitual movement instead of the new one. If they don't know what they are doing, they can't do what they want.

I also will have them start their pactice run alternatly skiing a few turns of new movements with a turn or two of the old movement. the goal here is to create create as much "contrast" as possible between old and new, both in their movement focus and in their awareness of cause and effect or results. This also teaches them that they can "choose" to ski the way they want to.

These and other strategies along this vein are all designed to develope greater awareness, which creates opportunity for greater learning. For learning to take place, there must be perception of change or difference (contrast).

[ November 15, 2003, 08:17 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #4 of 7

It may be corny, but my philosophy is that there are no "bad" or "good" ways to ski, with only one exception. There are more efficient and less efficient ways to ski. There are more safe and less safe ways to ski. There are more fun and less fun ways to ski. And so on with endless other adjectives. If one is not choosing the way one is skiing, then one is unintentionally out of control. This would be a bad way to ski.

In the old centerline model, there was a concept called lateral learning. This involved over emphasizing certain aspects of turning as a means of helping to develop skills. Arc has artfully described "perceptual realm of awareness" as the reason for why the end goal of "feeling something" can justify virtually any task.

Eliminating "good" skiing from your vocabulary is important
because it implies the possibility of "bad" skiing. Bad skiing and doing something wrong subtly inhibit the ability to learn alternatives. Bad skiing is one of the reasons that some people choose not to make skiing a lifelong pursuit. They try it, they determine that they are a bad skier and quit.

If I try to teach you an alternative method of skiing and tell you that if you can ski the way you do now AND the new way, then you will be a more advanced skier, it kinda takes the pressure off doesn't it? Assigning "crazy" tasks helps to prove your point versus just being quibbly about terminology for strictly psychological purposes.

One example I've used is to have a student finish a turn with an exaggerated move up the hill and then use an extreme pole plant way down the hill to induce an extreme high downhill edge angle to start the next turn. This usually helps highlight the effectiveness of earlier edging and occaisonally induces a students first carved turn.
post #5 of 7
I can think of a prime example where I use this sort of exaggerated incorrect movement thing. I will go out on the hill with a small group of brand new instructors who want to ski better and take them back to their beginings.

I find the easiest lift served terrain than I can find and pretend that I am a brand new never-ever skier. I have them teach me how to do a good wedge turn. If I can easily interperate what they are saying wrong that is what I will demonstrate. I only do what they have said and no more. If they have not given me enough information to make a turn that is what they get, no turn. I often combine my interperation with their demonstration.

At first the results are usually no wedge turning and much laughter but it soon becomes apparent to the new instructors that what they are teaching may not be helping their students or themselves in the most efficient way.

The new instructors can usually get me turning pretty good within about 45 minutes. When they are all tapped out for ideas and demanding that I show them what I do, I introduce a few very simple offensive movement patterns and how they relate to all efficient skiing. These instructors quickly realize that efficient offensive movements are not easily miss-understood and are easier to perform.

With the introduction of very simple offensive movement patterns in a low level wedge turns, the light bulbs go off big time. I think a major contributor to the light bulbs going off is the big contrast of offensive movements with the exaggerated inefficient movements.

The intial goal of going out with these instructors was to help them ski better. I want them to see the value in humbley going back to the wedge turn on easy terrain for their own skiing and improve their never-ever lessons at the same time. Most of these instructors have asked for a repeat of the same clinic. They want to measure their improvements and check their understanding.
post #6 of 7
Take a pack of ... lets say .... Level 3 or Level 4 skiers. Put them on relatively easy terrain, like a big wide open green or a moderate (as you progress up in levels).

Have them skate down the fall line as agressively as they dare. Some will have some real breakthroughs here, using their edges to the fullest.
post #7 of 7
Originally posted by yuki:
Take a pack of ... lets say .... Level 3 or Level 4 skiers. Put them on relatively easy terrain, like a big wide open green or a moderate (as you progress up in levels).

Have them skate down the fall line as agressively as they dare. Some will have some real breakthroughs here, using their edges to the fullest.
You know, my first response to this question was...God, I'd be scared as hell to do that myself...but then I thought about it, you know, I have done this myself on many occasions. I've skated down slopes to catch run away equipment (skis before they had brakes, but mostly boards lately), and children of parents who decide to teach them themselves, take them to the top of the hill to do so, don't have anyway to restrain them and end up having the child take off down the hill(this has actually happened several times at the small area-225 ft vert- where I work). I think I have also skated down the hill pulling a patrol toboggan once or twice in tobaggan races.
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