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Centered Skier, Centered Rider

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've alaways been a fan fan of Denise McCluggage's book, The Centered Skier. By coincidence, the other day, I came across a book written by another "daughter of Vermont", Sally Swift, called The Centerd Rider.

This is a book about horseback riding, which I do not engage in. For some unfathomable reason, even though most animals seem to think I'm some sort of Saint Trancesca of Assisi, horses seem to have a built in antipathy towards me.

But my teenage step daughter is an avid horseback rider, already an instructor assistant at the age of 16. And even though she lives in Florida, a stste where many residents can't even figure out how to use a voting booth {sorry, couldn't resist [img]tongue.gif[/img] }, the few times she's gone skiing, she picked it up quite quickly. Since she is coming up for the christmas holiday, I thought this may be a good gift.

But I may not give it to her!

DARN!!! This book can almost apply more to skiing than the centered skier!
Take a look at this article, based on the book:

I mentioned this in another thread, but the concept of 'soft eyes' really hit a note. Have you ever looked down the hill at either an accident or a bunch of boarders having a butt fest, and stared at the "road block" with tension.
What happens to your skiing?

The soft eyes concept has you focus on a point in your path, without tension,while trying to tak ein a s much of the periphery as possible.According to Swift, this enhances prioprioception. It can also be used on a crowded trail to keep people from bumping in to each other.

The concepts of breathing, grounding and centering also seem to have an application in skiing. Take a look at the diagrams on the second page of the article. In the balance awareness diagram, look at picture 3. The head is the heaviest part of the body.

What do you think this sort of chronic alignmet would do to someone's skiing?

Take a look at figures 7&8 in the body alignment while driving diagram. Now picturs this alignment on skis.
What would happen?

Then , I love this in the last diagram, using your centre.
She says "To ask for a turn, simply turn your center in the direction you want to go".

ASK FOR A TURN!!! I really love this!

[ October 30, 2002, 09:25 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #2 of 11
Does she have a section that deals with tight cheeks? I once went to a horse clinic where the instructor told us to smile with our butt cheeks to get situated. Then Timothy Gallwey does a shtik about "Trying. You know how your face gets when you're really trying hard? The cheeks get tight, don't they? I think the other cheeks get tight too, but I don't really have much empirical evidence."

I don't know why your post rang the butt bell with me, Lisa. Pardon me!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
LOL! I did not see anything on that. Interesting image though. But I think this is where vanity oriented fitness conflicts with sport skill. A smile of the "cheeks" sort of implies middle aged spread! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #4 of 11
Is the "Centered Skier" out of Print? Sounds interesting, I'd like to read it.
post #5 of 11
Originally posted by TAMSki:
Is the "Centered Skier" out of Print? Sounds interesting, I'd like to read it.
It was out of print, then I think it was reissued a few years back, now it might be out of print again. I have a link to it on amazon from my website, but the link appears to be non-functional right now.

I got my copy from these guys, you might give them a call and see if they still have it:

Tempest Bookshop
5031 Main St
Waitsfield, Vermont 05673
Business: (802) 496-2022

I'm not sure, but I think they may have some association with the reissue.
post #6 of 11
The best students I've ever had were horseback riding instructors and rodeo cowboys. I think that all of the reasons you mention, LM, horse people really learn the balance and poise very quickly.

I think they understand balancing while moving through changing scenarios very easily. Also, in the case of cowboys, there is anything that's going to happen to them out there could be worse or harder or tougher than what they do for a living.

However, there is another underlying awareness that I believe they have: it is easy and obvious for them to work in harmony WITH the animal (their vehicle) rather than against it. We often say to skiers trying to force the turn, "Ride the horse the way it's going. You can't force it to turn. Just give it the signals it understands, and it will do what it does naturally (or by design)." A no brainer for horse people.

Nice cheeks, Nolo!

[ October 31, 2002, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #7 of 11
post #8 of 11
You always seem to find such neat articles.

I had a ski coach that refered to internal and external, similar to the soft and hard eyes. The more aware of the external distant surroundings, the easier it is to ski, because the feet really do know what to do. Once you limit your thoughts to your feet(or toe), you tend to become off balance and tense.

This is very obvious in moguls...if someone is concerned about the mogul they are on (internal/hard eyes), they don't flow with the mountain.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Being into martial arts, kee tov, here is something you will like. She speaks of the "Bubbling spring" point in your feet.

Imagine energy coming up from your feet and spreading throughout your body, like a bubbling spring. From there, she describes the relationship between bieng centered and being grounded. you would swear that she is describing skiing.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Tamski, if you cannot find Centered Skier, check out Centered Rider, even if you do not ride. I know you recently started taking Tai Chi, and she makes a few allusions to that in her book, which can also apply to skiing!
post #11 of 11
Lisamarie, Thanks, I called the Tempest book store in Waitsfield and ordered a copy - $16.95. Apparently they many copies still on hand and I'm looking forward to receiving and reading it.
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