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New Balance Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 55

I didn't notice that you had edited your post. I'm surprised that you have changed your ramp angle- very few people know about it. Good for you! It's like what David is talking about with an optimal skiing environment- you should get your equipment to work for you, just like you chose the right size of ski or boot.

Getting a negative ramp angle gives me a more natural and neutral feel on skis. I would immagine that it is lifting the toe not the heel that would make the most difference, but it is something that you have to try. The best way is to have someone who knows watch you ski with the different scenarios and pick the best one. Good luck to you, and I hope it helps!
post #32 of 55
sanchez, you have not read my posts very carefully.

I don't dispute the fact that alignment and balance are critical. I've known that for a LONG time. David's various thoughts posted in the boots-related thread go well beyond alignment and balance issues. The importance of alignment and balance is NOT the point on which I'm calling "foul."

how do you know that what David is writing is accurate? do you have sufficient biological knowledge and understanding, independent from the stuff David has written?

I'm sorry, but unless you have been trained as a scientist, you really don't know how much someone can bluff his/her way through science with high-falutin' words, obscure jargon, and an authoritative, pedantic tone. just look at how everyone had discredited my posts so far! that's because I don't try to impress anyone with nonsensical, unrelated issues.

I am sorry, but I hate to see instructors who are serious about their status as such being hoodwinked through pseudoscience. and because I love and care about the state of skiing -- for EVERYONE interested in it -- I am compelled to speak out.

that's my very last post on this, since it appears that many of you think I should be silenced. be happy in ignorance, it's a rare gift.
post #33 of 55
Yes, Kneale - precisely! I'm sure that Gonz is fully capable of understanding that, too. If he chooses to ignore it and not even discuss it, then it's fair to wonder why.

post #34 of 55
Thread Starter 
Roping off any part of the system as "out of bounds" only limits our understanding of the interdependencies of all the parts. As with all systems, we leverage the whole system when we strengthen weak areas, because everything is interrelated.

Furthermore, a system's goals define how it functions. There's a saying in organization development that applies: every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. If the skier leans back against the boots for support, the system can function as long as the muscles don't fatigue, the slope is mild, and the speeds are slow. The system does function within those limits.

Here's why I am interested in this topic. I am convinced that most beginners' introductory experience on skis does more to block than to facilitate good skiing. Furthermore, the habits reinforced on the first day on skis enjoy a special privilege. These first impressions are anchored in the movement repertoire. Quick and dirty on day one spells trouble ahead.

No great revelations here, I'm sure, but it leads to thoughts of optimal introductory programs that would do more than pay lip service to the idea of facilitating good skiing from the first day on skis. What would have to change for this to happen? By applying the principle of leverage and a systems approach, I think the dream can be realized.
post #35 of 55
Whatever, this is such a worthless thread. This thread isn't about balance, it's about back and forth bullshitting. I'm out.

post #36 of 55
Sorry Oz - I'm just getting sick of the "I'm the expert on all balance & ski instruction issues" attitude
post #37 of 55
Disski, you're too limiting. He's EXPERT. (that's a period) His position is that if anyone disagrees with his position, they have to be wrong. AND stupid to boot. Or too "arrogant" to see their error.
post #38 of 55
Disski, that's the scary part. There are instructors who think like Gonzo.

Gonzo Come on? I remember a night years ago playing hoops at the YMCA in Great falls when my foremen said to me, "Jesus Christ Blevins, you're just like horse shit, always in the road".

Nolo, I think the point all along was that our bodies have certain natural skills which we use, like in walking. We have to learn to use them in a different context. same natural skills and movements, different context. To me it's the difference between how something works and how we utilize how something works.

I think you are really on the money with begginers. That's where I keep going when I think of the practical applications of this knowledge having the greatest impact. this is where it's most obvious. The stuggle with equipment that begginers have to go through. Not that it's irellevant futher up the skill level. All of us have this struggle from time to time. Why not try ot elliminate or at least take the guess work out of this?

Balance feels natural to me. Skiing or otherwise. When I'm in balance skiing, or walking for that matter, I'm not feeling it, I just am, doing what I want to be doing, and I'm constantly moving doing these things when I'm in balance. When I feel something, when my body takes notice, is when I feel out of balance. When things are'nt quite right. There are root causes to this unbalanced state my body feels. Equipment is very definetly in the picture for me. Also technique. And the relationship between the two. Do my boots force me to look to bracing against them for some of my balance contact? If I'm bracing can I be constantly moving as required to balance? Too powerful of a ski can interfere with my bodies ability to balance also. So I've been paying attention to whats going on when I'm not in balance. What adjustments can I make to allow things to go into automatic. When I move into auto, thinking only disrupts the process. By really understanding this biomechanical process hopefully I will be able to better assess whats not right when I or my student says I don't feel balanced, or I can better determine if the equipment is playing a role in my movements or lack of movements, or in changing movements.

What adjustments can I make with my boots to change how my body reacts? What movements and responses help me stay rooted in the bottom of my boots? Do my boots allow me to stay rooted all through the turn or do they interfere, and force bracing at some point? None of this has been looked at enough in my oppinion. But then My oppinion and a buck will get you a lousy cup of coffee or an even lousier burger.

Short of a device like DM's, we have to work from the problem backwards. The more we understand, the shorter the work. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #39 of 55
Originally posted by disski:
Sorry Oz - I'm just getting sick of the "I'm the expert on all balance & ski instruction issues" attitude
Didn't say I was the expert on ski instruction. I'm not telling anyone how to teach skiing. I'm telling people about balance, which is what this is supposed to be about.

I do know how to learn. I'm telling you what MY experience on learning is. Ignore it if you like. I'm not talking on the substance any more, as promised above.

Kneale, I remember you from Paula's. I don't need to say any more than that.

The Pouters are laughing their arses off over these 3 "balance" threads, and they have great reason to do so. The arrogance of many "professional" ski instructors is nothing but a set of fetters. If you don't understand your students OR the basics of balance, you'll never help 'em. All your knowledge of ski instruction will be trapped in the bubble of DavidM-isms.

post #40 of 55
Thread Starter 

I think the key to helping the beginners would be a very soft boot (to go with short soft skis) that would allow them to start their journey out cuff-neutral. Beginners are like colts--there are two basic ways of teaching a colt to be a riding horse, breaking and starting. Obviously, breaking is "breaking the habits" and uses negative reinforcement. You do something to get something else to stop happening (e.g., braking to stop acceleration). Starting is different-- it's about positive reinforcement. You do something to get something else to happen (e.g., pressing down to the ground to bend the ski and make it turn).

Just a thought.
post #41 of 55
No theory, but the method of introduction is simple.

Tele gear. on gentle terrain.

AT gear as a logical progression.

Some may never continue to the raceresque devices.

More should do it this way.

post #42 of 55
Originally posted by gonzostrike:

BK, I didn't say the topic is invalid. Again, I'm talking about the process of instruction. I am definitely not a fan of "lowest common denomiator" learning. All that style does is discourage those with aptitudes that are average or higher.

My point on balance is fairly simple -- you can conduct all kinds of "studies" on balance. None of the "studies" can change the essential points - you are born with a degree of balance sensitivity and coordination, and you can train those characteristics through balance exercises, but at some point you cannot improve further.

Reciting the results of academic studies, lab exercises, etc., do not help a student improve his/her balance. If we are concerned with the way a student's development seems hampered by balance issues, then the solution is not to consult an academic treatise or someone's PhD thesis paper. Rather, it's much more simple -- prescribe balance exercises. Lisamarie knows some, I'm sure. Harald Harb's books provide them. EpicSki provides some too -- EpicSki training article

The primary reason I get worked up about this type of complexity is that it does NOT help the student improve as a skier. Nobody should be suggesting to the instructors/coaches that they need to brush up on human anatomy, human physiology, biochemistry or any other natural science. Those subjects might be interesting to study, but they surely don't help one practice and improve one's sense of balance.

If we want to work on balance issues, we don't need to know the precise neuromuscular reactions that work to help us balance. We only need to improve our balance. That's done most easily through repeating the balance exercises until one gains a better awareness of HOW IT FEELS to balance while doing unnatural things (standing on a wobble board, sliding on a glide mat, etc). Ultimately, that's the first step. The next step is to engrain those balance sensations and movements through repetition to the point where they become intuitive and natural.

...and that's the whole truth right there! :
Gonz - I'm sure as hell super glad that my ski instructors didn't have your attitude - for I would NEVER have learnt to ski & certainly NOT as well as I do & as I WILL.
I have been LEARNING to balance for OVER 20 years & it just is NOT that simple - although I wish it was.
post #43 of 55
Originally posted by gonzostrike:

more than anyone I know or know about, I constantly try to understand EVERYTHING to which I'm exposed. as a result, since I've always been athletic, and since I did so much detailed study of biology, I completely understand the mechanics of balance, and the tiny details that go into the muscular movements providing compensation and balance.

none of that micro-detail will help a student ski better.

perhaps you or someone else could explain the way in which these overcomplicated discussions are helping ANYONE become a better skier. I don't see it. And, I fear for those who have to be stuck with a coach or instructor who is so busy thinking of micro-detail that the macro stuff -- balance assessment and balance improvement -- make up the forest that can't be seen for all the surrounding trees of micro-detail.

OK Gonz - as YOU are the expert explain to everyone here how you would have taught me to ski & then to become an advanced skier?

Edit: All people who have some idea how I DID/DO learn this stuff please be vewy vewy quiet - gonzo is playing ...

[ December 06, 2002, 12:48 AM: Message edited by: disski ]
post #44 of 55
and as the last bewildered person left the room ... a mournful BAAAAlance, BAAAlance was heard for days afterwards
post #45 of 55
Sorry Cal - but no go.
My brother was a tele skier & his buddies would have been HAPPY to teach me after he died.
I was SENT to learn downhill due to my balance problems - easier for me to learn to balance on FAT skis with FIXED heels.

One of these guys is an APSI examiner for tele & runs a business that gives tele lessons. He has told me NOT to have lessons with his guys (even now) when he considered the instuctors he had inappropriate for me.
post #46 of 55

I never said learn to tele.

If you don't lift your heels. the equipment skis "just like alpine" try it if you like.

Don't go on steep stuff. Think " intro". My first skis had a leather strap over the toes, and I still turned 'em sometimes.

With AT gear you can lock em down, but still allow lots of flex.

It is all there, It does not have to be hard.

post #47 of 55
Cal - I STILL don't tele on my tele skis (well not much or well)...

The whole thing is I COULDN'T really STAND on skis to start with - except dead still. Spent about 2 weeks being TOWED around a hill by an instructor. Remember I have privates every day.
post #48 of 55
Oh & Cal - remember that guy is an APSI examiner for telemarking & STILL thinks alpine was right way to start me
post #49 of 55
These are 2 of our best threads on balance. Balance: What is it? Balance/stability
post #50 of 55
>>>The whole thing is I COULDN'T really STAND on skis to start with - except dead still. Spent about 2 weeks being TOWED around a hill by an instructor. Remember I have privates every day.<<<

Miss/Mr. disski, your case is very unusual, in 25 year of teaching I have never run into anyone having this problem and we have an extensive disabled skier program.

Is your affliction rare or is it that folks with it don't usually attempt to ski? Your case of private instructors every time you ski would be cost prohibitive here unless some instructors do it pro bono, which happens now and then here too.

Having heard so much about your struggle to overcome, which I admire, I was just wondering if skiing is rehab therapy and has it helped your situation overall?

post #51 of 55
a) Having ONLY my disability is rare - most people with my disability also have some motor function loss eg They have had a stroke or a brain injury in a car accident.

The closest description is that in "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" the chapter called "The Disembodied Lady" is pretty close to me - except i NEVER had any proprioception that anyone can tell/remember.
Challenge Aspen seemed to have some idea - as did some other disabled people - although they never see someone with JUST proprioceptive loss they are aware of the ramifications in other students with further losses.

My 'unusual' bit is having the full motor control - so if I can DO IT RIGHT enough times I will eventually learn a movement.
The tricky bit is getting me to DO any new move - moves that I have learnt before in a gym or fencing help me to learn similar moves.

It is not specifically REHAB - I function well in normal life as long as I don't want to play sport or go FAST anywhere(especially stairs). ie If I play couch potato & nerd I am fine.
However skiing DOES help me - because it challenges me to have better control of my body than I do naturally - so I improve. I sent an email to my ski instructor proclaiming my success at breaking into my house through the toilet window - after climbing a wheelie rubbish bin. No FALLS - no terror of falls - just SLOW CONTROLLED movement - VERY UNUSUAL for me - I couldn't do this before skiing & fencing.

Hope that is enough info
post #52 of 55
Thanks for the info, disski. Do you bake the cookies you bring to your instructors yourself? [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #53 of 55
Yes Ott - known for my choc chip cookies [img]smile.gif[/img]

Also my muesli cookies & cakes
post #54 of 55
Oh & Ott - cost is expensive here - although I get 50% discount on presentation of my disabled passport - atANY Oz resort - both tickets & lessons.

On the other hand - I have little choice if I WISH to ski. I am lucky enough to have a good job & to have little desire for general material goods. So I find it easy to allocate money for skiing [img]smile.gif[/img] & BE BROKE

Ah well...

Edit: BTW who is dobbing me in on the cookie front?

[ December 07, 2002, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: disski ]
post #55 of 55
Nolo, just back from the festival. What's reassuring is that I found alot of reinforcement for my own ideas on balance and begginer skiers.

Day 1, took beggining parallel from Schoezenbaker(?). Tons of ballance in movement. Total transfer from daily activities, and natural movements starting out. From there, a direction and not a system. good presentation of the stepping stones concept, with some good new twists on first turns. We spent the day on short atomic freezone(?) skis. Much more for later.

Day 2, went with Neil Heatherington. Lateral transfer between disciplines. Neil is a tele and snowboard examiner. Great clinic. With all three disciplines represented in our group. What where our commonalities? Just about everthing. Anyway, who brings up the foot and ankle, and the different types of flex and movements ect. Yep, the snowboard examiner. Maybe even more important to snowboarding than skiing. Very interesting to tie together the bio-mechanics across the disciplines. My deeper understanding from our recent threads has already been put to use in a way I never would have anticipated. Never turn away from learning, it will benefit you when you least expect it. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Thanks everyone.
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