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Adaptive Skiing??????

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have or can you share your teaching experiences with us concerning Adaptive skiers???

ie-What type of skier and what were your successes and what didn't work??????
: :
post #2 of 9
Have you been drinking?
post #3 of 9
whtmt, I don't know if this relates to what you perceive as adaptive skiing or not. I have had some time working with Downs Syndrome skiers. A few things that I have found out.
Downs skiers all seem to be missing something important and no two of them are even close to being the same. Fortunately when you get downs skiers, motor coordination is usually not what is missing. Unless you figure out what is missing and bridge the gap, you will get no where. None of them seem to have the normal ability to really sense danger and all of them have learned to play you with their disability. They treat you like you already know the "System". Its best to talk to any advisor or representative of the downs skier before undertaking them in a lesson. The advisor is a wealth of information that will help you relate to your student. They will tell you whats missing, how to relate and how the student will try to play you. Listen carefully, your students safety and your peace of mind are at stake.
Don't be afraid to take a downs skier out but be cautious. I have never met a downs skier that wasn't jovial and small breakthroughs bring huge joyous responses.
post #4 of 9
Not a direct answer, but related. Tookthe PSIA-E Master clinic on adaptive skiing. Most of the clinicians were from Windham, NY. Quite an eye-opener on what mostly volunteers instuctors do to get disabled skiers skiing!

I also spent a day on/in a mono ski. Another eyeopener. What prevented me from learning was I was one-sided in my balance, fear of falling, and no upper arm muscle to get up on my own(so didn't want to relie on my instructors to help me get up-Pride?)

Hope you get some interesting stories that might help you up at Loon.
[img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Pierre: Great comments. I have had some experience with down syndrome children. They're a lot of fun, but as you said they have no fear. It sounds like you've received good overviews from their friends or parents. Once they're having fun it's great to be out on the hill showing them the mountain. Thanks for the imput. Good luck and keep going with it.

Keetov: Thanks for the overview of the masters experience. The mono ski is really interesting to ski. I do a little mono-skiing with some disabled friends, when I can. Keep working at it and it will give you some real insite to your own skiing as your movement patterns get cleaner. On top of it it's great fun. I actually flipped a ski over backwards after spinning a 180 by mistake, a few years ago. Broke the ski just behind the rear binding. Had to ski from top to bottom with my hands out infront to keep from falling over backwards. Good luck and keep exploring how we can slide on snow differently then we are accustomed to.

Whtmt :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 20, 2001 08:15 PM: Message edited 1 time, by whtmt ]</font>
post #6 of 9
I took a clinic once along time ago to teach blind skiers. We wore blindfolds while we skied. We had “guides” to show us the way down the hill. It was pretty scary.

A few years later we had a blind skier show up the hill. I was the only person there that had any experience in this area so I was up. Man, that guy scared the bejezus out of me. He skied fast. “Left now. Right now. Left now. Left again, No, Left… Slow down…FALL. Don’t do that to me”

I have much respect for all the adaptive skiers. Gold Medallist Chris Devlin-Young, Andy Parr, and Tyler Walker, Diane Golden award winner, are all true inspirations to the sports. Try to keep up with the sit-skiers some day. Be prepared for some air.

post #7 of 9
Jim O'D
When you mentioned skiing blindfolded, I did that in a "Fear" clinic. Yeah...FEAR!!!

And the blind people really do go fast!! It is an inspiration to all of us.
post #8 of 9

Probably the lessons I remember most over the years are those with Adaptive skiers.

Back when I first started teaching (over 20 years ago-oh my gawd) at a little area in southern PA I wound up doing a series of lessons with a developmentally disabled young boy. After all these years, while the specific lessons elude me, I will never forget Adam and his smile on the hill.

Later while teaching in Michigan I did a series of lessons with an above the knee amputee. The interesting part was that as I was heading out from the ski school desk with Ryan to the nearest lift, which was about 50 yards away, his father casually mentioned his disability. Can you imagine what was going thru my mind in that short trip to the lift-what am I going to do here.

Ryan skied with his prosthesis and most casual observers couldn’t tell his disability. Ryan was a level 5/6 skier who had difficulty turning left which was the amputated leg. His amputation was just above the knee and he had plenty of rotational ability in that leg. We faced two major problems with Ryan. His prosthesis significantly canted his left ski on the inside edge and he lacked the ability to release the edge. Consequently he would always pick up the left ski and step it around. This we solved though a cant under his binding, which allowed release and steering. The second problem was an inability to create or sense any forward leverage on his left ski. The remedy here was to move to from generating leverage at boot level to keeping his hips moving forward over his feet throughout the turn.

This little area also ran a wonderful program for blind skiers on Sunday mornings before the crowds arrived.

If you ever have the chance to work with a disabled skier, as scary as it can be, do it. The rewards far outweigh the risks.
post #9 of 9

Great video of an early adaptive skier ... found it while searching for one-legged skiing drills...



Awesome in every respect, and great inspiration!   ;-)

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