or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Students; Favorite and most Hated Exercises
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Students; Favorite and most Hated Exercises - Page 2

post #31 of 65
[Edit] Oops--somehow double-posted. Disregard....

[ November 13, 2002, 12:01 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #32 of 65
Rusty certainly did NOT look like an old man skiing. But at one point, as he headed off-balance toward the trees after his downhill ski washed out, I wasn't convinced he was going to get much older....

It's true, though. Video can be one of the best learning tools out there, but it can also become the cause of the worst run of the day! Just remember--you can't impress a camera, no matter WHAT you do.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #33 of 65
Javelin Turns

balance, centering, independant leg action, edge feel, transfer

Hop turns

steering, timing, rythmn, pressure control, balance

Two brilliant excercises when introduced at the correct level. Practise them until they become part of your bag of tricks and you will vastly improve your dynamic, all mountain skiing. I love them both.

Not too keen on skiing moguls without poles though.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ November 13, 2002, 12:06 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #34 of 65
Re: javelins. Fox, you said:

Pick up the outside ski and point it across the other ski, and toward, or down, the fall line.
Which ski are you picking up? Surely not the outside, downhill, or stance ski?

My questions were slightly facetious. This is the granddaddy of contrived exercises, in my opinion. I see a lot of junior racers whose coaches like this exercise.
post #35 of 65

For what reasons do you think Javelin turns are not a useful part of the learning equation?

What drills do you use to achieve the same outcomes?


[ November 13, 2002, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #36 of 65
Thread Starter 
Pierre and I both hate the same dumb contrived pole exercises!
post #37 of 65
My least favorite drill is the ski on the uphill ski alone and turn on that one. My rigid brain chokes on that. Close behind is the railroad tracks to practice edging. Seems like a great way to get injured at low speed and I think instructors don't realise how hard this is for lesser skilled skiers such as myself. It may be low speed but it's like a bike, much harder to ride at a very low speed. Drills are a lot more interesting if I know why I'm doing them. I still remember my beginner group lesson where we were told "touch your downhill pole as far down the slope as possible". No info on hip or shoulder position. We all leaned down the hill and fell down pretty quick. I suspect the students weren't the only clueless ones on the slope that day. ski doc
post #38 of 65
I don't like the javelin because it's a position: the ski is in a position, the hips are in a position, the cheeks are tight, and we're trying hard. What appears to get transferred is park-'n'-ride hip angulation (hence my comment about jr. racers). I saw lots of people using this exercise in the '80s. Not so much today.

If I wanted to teach hip angulation, I suppose a couple of hours on a pair of fatties would do the trick. That would transfer beautifully!
post #39 of 65

What if the reason for using Javelin turns has nothing to do with hip angulation? What about balance, movement and flexibility? What about using this drill to get upper level skiers to feel separation in their movements? What about using Javelin turns to enable a "stiff" skier to get feel "foot centered" over the ski? What about a boot locked heel pusher?

Look at it as an exam question. I think "a pair of fatties" would not help towards a pass mark.

A "pair of fatties" would have a minor relevance for about 3% of skiers?

Just because a drill was used in the eighties does not mean it is irrelevant today. The snow is still white and our skis still have edges.

I am very intrigued by your dismissal type answer. Maybe you could elaborate.


You make a good observation about railroad track turn type exercises. IMHO 97% of railroad track turns attempted by 97% of skiers on 97% of all round skis on 97% of runs will end up in the forest if they are not aborted with some steering and skidding.


[ November 14, 2002, 01:40 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #40 of 65
This gets confusing. I always think and talk about the inside ski or the outside ski relative to the turn. I don't like to refer to the uphill ski or downhill ski in a turn because "downhill" is only the same as "outside" if you're doing Z-turns, which I don't like to encourage.

The problem is, I then tend think about the edges the same way (i.e., relative to the turn), which leads to inconsistencies and confusion. Is the inside edge the one that's on the inside of the turn, or the one that's on the inside of your foot? In the exercise I described earlier, I said to lift the new inside ski at the start of the turn and touch the inside edge of the tip of that ski to the snow. Nolo probably said to herself, "this guy's whacked," just as I said "huh?" to myself when she talked about driving a turn with the outside edge. Why? Because we're both talking about the same edge.

I don't know if it's worth getting all worked up over this, but it is certainly something I need to keep in mind when teaching. I wish I had an intuitive, non-ambiguous and dignified way to refer to the edges without using the words "inside" and "outside," but the best I've come up with so far is "Big Toe edge" and "Little Toe edge."

[ November 14, 2002, 04:35 AM: Message edited by: daevious ]
post #41 of 65
Oz, I agree with you about the Javelin turn. Nolo I use this exercise sometimes, and find it very useful. Never found it to produce park and ride positional skiing. Actually quite the opposite. Allowing the inside ski to stay pointing more into the falline as the outside ski flows through the turn and under the hips and body, requires good mechanics. Park won't work here. Good alignment over the outside ski, good separation of upper and lower body, independant leg action, and all this can happen without our needing to really focus on doing these things. We're distracted by our focus of our lifted ski and suddenly students can find themselves doing things they've been struggling to do otherwise. New sensations are discovered and doors can be opened. How could there ever be a negative to that?

What do I hate doing? Hop turns. Because they wake up my arthritis which wakes me up in the middle of the night. Oh, and I also hate discovery when it really means try to guess what I know and you don't. Both of these have already been listed, so I guess I'm not alone here. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #42 of 65

I have great success refering to the edges as the right and left edges. Right edges to go right and left edges to go left.

This works well with adults but with kids stick with big toe, little toe.

post #43 of 65
I think Nolo's dislike of the Javelin turn exercise is similar to mine: It tend to make the skier static.

The skier gets into a contrived position in the name of squaring the hips to the fall line AND STAYS THERE too long. Really good Javelin turners turn their hips too far into the turn too soon and keep their hips facing down the fall line too long for the sort of turns the Javelin exercise is used: namely medium to long radius turns. With today's better boots and skis, the hips should be more square with the skis most of the time.

Regarding "exercises" in general, I like Bob Barnes's reminder: There's something wrong with every exercise....Otherwise, it would be skiing.
post #44 of 65
Maybe I'm just not doing them right, because "just stays there" is not something I recognize from this exercise. Green run, short side of medium turns, soon as you get into a position and stay there, the turn stops. stay active and everthing flows. Must be something different here. Like I said I don't use them often, but I get very positive feedback from my students about them.
post #45 of 65
Originally posted by Ydnar:
Right edges to go right and left edges to go left.
Ooh, I like that. The "turning" edge of the inside ski. No ambiguity, intuitive, and adults shouldn't feel like they're being treated as children. Thanks, Yd!
post #46 of 65
My apologies to fans of javelin turns. I guess it's lucky for me that I passed my exams, huh Oz? What fools were they!

I can't think of a single instance where I would use this exercise for the reasons I have given: it promotes contrived, positioned skiing that lacks total motion.

I'm not talking about an expert demo, but the amateur's approximation of pretzel to the right, pretzel to the left.
post #47 of 65

The way I understand it, each ski has a right and left edge. In a parallel turn you are on your right edges to go right and left edges to go left. Inside-outside refers to the circle: is the ski on the inside track or the outside track? Most times you stand on the outside or "stance" ski. (That's another term that was invented to dispel the confusion.) Uphill-downhill was obviously invented in the days when "traverse" was considered an essential part of a turn.
post #48 of 65
I wonder sometimes if the current system is turning out instructors that only have pivot slips, 1000 steps and railroad track turns as exercises in their bag of tricks.

post #49 of 65
Well cmon Nolo, saying something has value to some students for exploring sensations, feelings and letting go certain of positions is not the same as being a fan. I would love to explore your pretzel logic on the snow.

Life teaches us that rarely does one fail by giving answers from the manual, or giving the examiner what they want to see. My personal oppinion is that the ski school culture an instructor works in has a greater impact on their quality of teaching than any certification they do. A better question would be how many ski schools allow homogenized, bland, do this lessons day in and day out. Follow your cheat sheet and the supervisor is happy. People don't learn their stuff in certification, they take to certification what they learn teaching and training on their home snow. Fortunately mine doesn't opperate this way. Just another plug for ski school accountability. [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #50 of 65
Originally posted by nolo:
[QB]I can't think of a single instance where I would use this exercise for the reasons I have given: it promotes contrived, positioned skiing that lacks total motion.QB]
Sort of worrying when the people who write the manual have such a narrow view :
post #51 of 65
Oz- I hope the current system turns out instructors that do exercises that meet the needs of the client which as Weems mentioned once, may mean NO EXERCISES at all!

Every activity has postive and negative transfer it is the coaches job to fit the activity to the need and TIE it back to skiing. If it does not tie back to skiing then it does not hold alot of merit other than maybe it was fun.

I happen to agree with Nolo that the Javelin turns holds little use for me as well. It is not modern skiing and has no relation to current movement with the hip. But given the right situation maybe it could have been used to get someone to move? The problem is we need the hip to turn up the hill away from the direction of the next turn not into it. Opening the hip the way the javelin does flattens the foot and releases the edge as well as turns the legs the opposite direction of travel. But like I said there are NO abosolutes here is a quick story:

I had a beginer skier with MS and very timid who was very upset she had taken 2 lessons at a mountain and still could not ski. After working for a few minutes she could make somewhat of a turn to the left but could not make a right turn. She leaned into the hill so far the ski got up on high edge and acted like a brake. No foot activity or edging drill worked at all. In talking with her she mentioned she white water rafted once and loved it. We talked about what the guide coached them on when paddling. She told me they had to paddle hard on the downstream side so the boat did not fill up with water. So turned our slope into a river (people were rocks) and took off with our poles turned into paddles, paddling hard on the downstream (hill) side. She skied in control top to bottom with round wedge christy turns becoming more parralle as she made her way down. VERY HAPPY RAFTER (skier).

Why do I mention this? The fact is I hate teaching people to do things with their upperbody to turn a ski. I beleive it is a deadend movement, I would never teach upperbody tipping but in this case I did and it was a huge success. Had I not she would have given up. The point is in skiing everything is legal and everything works, some just works better. Know your client and make the right choice FOR THEM. Then you can reguide them. Your can not have refinement of movement with out movement.
post #52 of 65
Your can not have refinement of movement with out movement
I like that.
That's a great story. I wonder if there's another instructor who had her much later just shaking his head as she's paddling and going "This is how I ski!"
post #53 of 65
You cannot have refinement of movement with out movement.
I could not agree more.

What I am on about is the fact that dismissing an exercise out right at the top of the learning pool narrows the depth of the bag of tricks that an instructor can choose from to assist his\her clients. If a new instructor comes through the ranks with nothing but “railroad tracks” & “1000 steps” as “drills” then they will be pretty limited as an all mountain ski instructor. I find the "poles in a box" exercise very "old school" but would never dismiss it outright. I also find the phrase "park and ride" the most abused on the hill and would never use it. It is one of those "superior" turns of phrase that feedback ziltch.

IMH experience the most common answer to the question “What is your ski goal” is “ski all the mountain with confidence”. So lets give em what they want and use every appropriate drill in our "trick bag". Javelin turns may not be as appropriate any more as we no longer use as much hip counter BUT it sure promotes movement and wakes up the skier, especially at the mid to higher end.

Modern short carving skis and the technique required to master them have changed many things in instructing. What still remains the same or IMHO should remain the same is ensuring instructors have a full bag of tricks and think outside the square to assist their clients in achieving their chosen goals.

The feedback from SkiDoc on the railroad track turn mantra is invaluable to forming all encompassing teaching criteria. Likewise an open discussion and intelligent recourse on the pros and cons of particular exercises is also invaluable.

I find "a pair of fatties" attitude very limiting for all. I still have no idea what this means by the way.

Thinking ... always thinking ... not always right of course.

post #54 of 65
Fatties are K2's skiboards. My students and I get a lot of technical improvement when we spend a couple of hours skiing on them. Want to teach arc2arc fall-line to fall-line turns? Put 'em on fatties. Save your spiel.

An exercise should make doing the right thing easier. Exercises for their own sake are noise.

I'm not that crazy about exercises. I don't use them in teaching near as much now as I did as a pup. But the coolest example of an exercise I have ever seen was in the Ski the Mahre Way tape, when Phil and Steve did wedge hop wedeln to lead to short swing. It was a seamless exercise progression.
post #55 of 65

So you promote equipment changes AS the exercise. Over the past 18 mths of reading your posts I had gathered that. Now you state it ... good we make progress!

mmmm ... more questions

1. What would you do if you had no "fatties"? No equipment changes allowed.

2. How do you transfer the arc2arc from a "training" type ski exercise on the front side to "real" skis on the back side? From your example it appears there is no steering taught. (I may be wrong).

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]

I will be back in 3 days ... school camp time.

[ November 14, 2002, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #56 of 65
You may have a point in saying skiboards are a form of exercise. But I don't get the part about how they don't need to be steered.

What I would do if I had no fatties is what I do the other 18 of the 20 hours I have with these students. Lots of skiing, lots of terrain variety, the use of AAR (after action review), reciprocal tasks (notice where in the turn the leader sprays snow, see if the leader's inside ski leaves a line parallel to the outside ski, ski the leader's turn and vice versa and try to figure out what feels different about it), awareness tasks (make several turns and report back on where in the turn you feel your head is farthest from your outside foot, imagine that you are skiing in your bare feet and pace the tipping of your feet to show the most sole in the middle of a c-shaped turn, ski a run focusing your eyes ahead while being acutely aware of what's happening in the peripheral view).

Of course I can teach explicitly, but the level of skier that I generally work with doesn't want to be taught so much as she wants to learn. I try not to act too much like a teacher, because I my goal is to facilitate learning.

If I needed to make it explicit, I would use a boot drill. It would require more technical writing than I feel like doing to describe it, but I would be glad to show you sometime.
post #57 of 65
Todo said "The point is in skiing everything is legal and everything works, some just works better. Know your client and make the right choice FOR THEM. Then you can reguide them. Your can not have refinement of movement with out movement"

Very well said. If we go at our teaching thinking that something will never have any value or it's old school ,not appropriate anymore, then we may very well have closed a door to someone before we ever see them. I say I never teach a braking wedge, but I would if it had value to a student. truth for me, it's whatever works that will get a student over, past or through something, even if that's just the confidence to stop when they want. Now this is just hypothetical. Hopefully there would be other directions to go. I learned many years ago in construction not to subordinate my customers wishes and needs with my own values and judgments. Go where you need to go to give them what they want. Governed by saftey, funtionality, and economy. Who's leading who down this path, anyway? :
post #58 of 65
Some instructors like using lots of exercises. I think my view of exercises is colored by my experience taking piano lessons. I hated scales and finger exercises, but I loved tackling a hard new piece of music.

Skiing exercises aren't skiing. The people I work with will tolerate an exercise to illuminate a point, but they are there to ski. We also know each other well enough that if I was doing something they didn't enjoy, they would tell me.

If a PSIA examiner audited my classes and I didn't do any recognizable exercises, would I pass?

If a PSIA examiner failed my teaching, and yet my students come back year after year, whose judgment should we count as meaningful?
post #59 of 65
Why your students of course. Without students, and without satisfying our students, what we do is meaningless. One of the things I like most about you is that your posts always make me stop and think and evaluate my position and thoughts. Whether we always agree or not really isn't important. and I doubt that there is much that we disagree on. It's hard to disagree with someone you look to for guidance, but give me time I might come around. I do agree on your last post. You are your own person Nolo and this grasshopper thanks you for that.
post #60 of 65
milesb- I don't have the video. I have no objection to Bob posting. I think it takes a good deal of work and memory.

It's not pretty!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Students; Favorite and most Hated Exercises