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Learn to move away!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
This is a piece I put together the other day and thought the BEARS would be the best people to pick it apart!!! Thanks,

Having the pleasure and opportunity to teach many very good skiers year in and year out I have seen a trend that I continually work to correct in not only their skiing but my own! I am going to outline some thoughts and activity’s that I have found to be successfully in adding correct movements into each skier’s skills. These are some of the observation. Skier’s with a downstem at turn transition. Skiers with a tail push initiation. Skiers that have a hard skidded finish to each turn leaving both legs the same length. The skier that steps the ski, or the skier that tends to over twist leaving very little control phase of the turn. (Abrupt starts stops using the turn to slow down). For all of these symptoms I notice the tendency to move TO the skis instead of moving AWAY from the skis. Although every skier can have specific needs that need to be addressed, the following is just meant to convey some general activity’s that when done properly can help promote good skiing movements.

Straight run on 2 and 1 ski: Straight run on 2 skis move to the right ski hold a straight line then back to 2 then to the left ski and hold the straight line to a stop. Watch for tipping or edge engagement or a nervous tip that does not leave the desired straight line. Many people when asked to do this will just pick up the off leg. This pick up can cause an abrupt change in balance causing them to tip or twist and settle back in their stance. Now ask them to try it again but in order to pick up the off ski simply stand taller on the gliding ski. (Work from the ankle). Rise forward and up on the gliding ski to pull the off ski up off the snow. See if the results improve, as this is a more progressive and positive move. The key is you are moving your body away from the ski. You can make the analogy of the moving sidewalk at airports. As you step on them you move forward with the sidewalk just as you need to with the moving ski. You can no add things like hops and side jumps to increase the difficulty and promote agility, stance and movement.

Thousand parallel steps: Start off with side stepping up the hill, Focus on tipping and rising from the downhill ski to step up the hill. (Vs. lifting the uphill one away). Now pick and object at a 45o angle and step towards that. Once again focus on the tip and rise from the downhill ski and keeping the ski’s parallel. Next start a traverse and add the stepping with parallel skis at the 45 angle with the focus being on the rise from the downhill ski. As you do this you should start to feel the ski bend and want to climb the hill so that at the end of your traverse you end up higher up the hill then where you left. (key to roll the ski on edge before you step up the hill) This allows a solid platform to move from as well as room under the ski to bend. After having success in both directions it is time to connect them. We need to now step down the hill. Just like above we need to roll the leg first and step FROM the ski, so now we focus on stepping away from the inside edge of the uphill ski (new outside). Need to allow our body to fall over the top as the legs pass under while stepping. The tracks in the snow should be thin curved tracks. Choose wide green or easy blue terrain. After doing this a few times take it into skiing! Have skiers do the steps 4 or so times and blend it into medium turns, try to keep the same feeling of moving away from there skis all the time.

Crab walk: These are not TURNS do not add active rotary input. The idea is to move sideways back and forth across the hill. From a wedge position on very flat terrain have skier flatten the right ski to go right and flatten the left ski to go left. Focus on rolling the right ankle and the thigh outward to get the knee over the binding (flat ski) as you move down the hill. The left leg in this case will be pulled to a higher edge allowing the sidecut to engage and pressure to build causing it to bend and arc back towards you, pushing you sideways across the hill. As you move further and further away you hip will also slide to the flattening side. (Do not try to move your weight from foot to foot just focus on flattening). Once again the focus is on moving away from your outside ski. Do these back and forth feeling how by moving away this can cause your ski to bend and seek to come back to you. As you become proficient at this check your track it should show 1 thin carved line going up the hill and one smeared track. Start to play with how long you can resist and then play with how you release. Next from a crabwalk take the ski you are flattening and tip and steer the tip away from the other tip. The result should be a very carved turn. Play with this in both directions. Now take those movements into your free skiing to see what you can apply.

Skating: This is another activity that when done properly really can give skiers the ability to learn how to move away from there equipment as well as promote edging skills and activity from both legs. There are many variations to play with but sometime it is best to just start on the flats. As you coach this make sure every9one is rolling the ski on to its edge to promote active tipping. (If this is difficult see “crazy carve&#8221 Now its time to take it to a slight downhill (easy green terrain). Skate right down the fall line looking for the ski to roll and push the body away from the skis, as you get going start to hold on to the skate so that you are riding the carving ski. Continue to allow this to blend right into turns. You should feel a very active inside leg and a clean carving ski. As you get better at this you can go to steeper terrain and try to skate across the hill and into the turns on a wide trail. This helps to further promote the activity of the whole inside half of the body into the turn.

Crazy carves: This is a simple activity to get people being able to tip their legs and allow the ski to carve back and forth. On easy terrain start a traverse across the hill. Now take the inside leg and tip it away from the outside leg as much as you can, leave a thin line. Now tip it back while holding the traverse and allow the ski to carve back in. Keep doing this. The result will be a thin traverse line on the downhill ski while the uphill ski will show thin lines going out and in.

I believe that in any movement sport it is important to get people to become aware of movements and sensations to best allow for self-coaching. It is very important to mix these activities with guided mileage, feedback and free skiing on various terrain, conditions and speeds to allow for full understanding and synthesis into there skiing. I find that with these activities as well as many others you need to encourage and challenge people to play with extremes and even to the point of failure. It is better to work from gross movements into refinement, then to seek just refinement. Remember we are only limited by our imagination, I hope you will find some of this as useful as I have.

post #2 of 5
Todo, I think it is important to change skiers minds from one of defensive, moving towards the ski movements, to offensive, moving away and into the turn type movements. I am just smiling to myself because the other day I found myself intentionally teaching a defensive stem christie to a level 4-5 student.
We have one hour lessons and this private students goal was "I am going out west next week to Jackson Hole and need something that works in the steeps to allow me to survive". Mind you, in one hour, regardless of defensive moves, a stem christe beats anything else with that goal and skill level in mind. I cringed, smiled and gave the student what he needed.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Pierre'- My father who has been teaching a long time in a multi-week class always spend one lesson on survival skills. Sideslips, downstems, Stem turns, traverse ect... I think is a great idea.

Many times skiing with groups I will ask them to ski stem turns, braking short radius, hop turns, counter rotation, banking. It sometimes amazes me how FUN everyone has doing this and how some people CAN'T. I always say what seperates good skiers from great ones is that the great ones no how to fake it better (because they can do all these moves and use them when needed, thus keeping them in balance or the ability to change a line or handle a tough spot and keep flowing down the mountain.) In the end it all works right? Some just works better at different times!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 25, 2002 10:36 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Todo ]</font>
post #4 of 5
I plan to move away as soon as I am outta school. I am going to park my rig at the base of a snowy steep mountain and ski 100 days in a season. Gotta ditch Ohio for a few years.
post #5 of 5

This great stuff!! I am sure I can benefit from all of it, both in my teaching and my own skiing. Thanks!
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