Great, great, GREAT topic, Nolo!
Tactics RULE technique. That is, in my opinion, why the "slow line fast" is such a critical concept! Instructors who try to teach the TECHNIQUE of skiing the slow line fast to students in the defensive mindset of wanting to control speed CANNOT SUCCEED. The movements that allow us to "go that way" are entirely different from--opposite, and contradictory to--the movements that allow us to "stop going this way."
The impact of this is that IF we can get students into the offensive "GO" mindset, their technique will "automatically" change to the right moves for good turns! Their SKILLS will not improve instantly, but the type of movements they do, regardless of their skill level, will transform qualitatively. They will do their best to "go that way"--which is exactly what Bode Miller, Picabo Street, and Hermann Maier do!
And since they are now practicing the "right stuff," their skills and proficiency at "good technique" will improve naturally.
I stood at the bottom of Keystone's steep blue "Starfire" run many years ago, watching skiers descend the last, steepest pitch. At the bottom of the pitch, the trail levels out, and after 50 yards or so, skiers make a 180 degree turn into the maze of the Santiago lift to ride back up. I watched a classic "glue-footed back-seat tail-pusher" come straight down the pitch, in control, with extreme twisting, skidding movements. Before I had time to gag, he reached the bottom. Of course, now that the "run" was over, he relaxed, and his stance opened naturally as he glided across the flats. Then--SURPRISE!--he pulled his tips apart in big "offensive" stepping movements to make that 180 degree turn into the lift maze.
So--why were his movements so completely different when he was "turning" down the hill from when he was "turning" into the lift maze? The only explanation was that his INTENT--his TACTICS--were also 180 degrees apart. Down the hill, his intent was clearly to CONTROL SPEED. Indeed, I suspect that for this particular skier, he worked particularly hard to make sure he did NOT turn--did not veer from that fall line. He wasn't "turning" at all--he was BRAKING.
Then, when it came time to TURN into the maze, his intent was obviously no longer to control speed, but to GO another direction. And his movements--his technique--reflected the change in tactics. His stance widened appropriately (necessarily!) and he moved FORWARD, out of the "back seat" and into the turn. He completely stopped pushing his tails out and made vigorous movements of his tips IN to the turn. ALL the technical changes I would have liked to have seen HAPPENED!
And a big light bulb flashed on for me. If I could get skiers to change their tactics in ANY situation, would this not also reflect in their movements?
Since then, I often spend time with skiers exploring tactics--with the "hidden" (sometimes) agenda of helping them find a technical breakthrough. There are lots of exercises and focuses that can't help but put skiers into the "offensive" tactical mindset that is the precursor to all "good turns" (and that contradicts the intent that produces "good braking").
Completing turns uphill, past a horizontal traverse, requires offensive "tips in" technique. You simply can NOT go uphill by pushing your tails downhill! Having students follow my tracks puts them in the mode of controlling line rather than speed. Running gates forces us to "go that way" rather than only to "stop going this way." Lateral movements, GO-ing back and forth from one side of a cat track to the other, puts usin "go" mode. Having students chase me as I skate around on the flats.... And there are many other tactical drills too, where only "offensive" technique works, and "defensive" technique feels wrong.
All of these drills require only an explanation of WHAT to do--not HOW to do it. Again, the technique--the "how"--changes automatically with the right tactical focus. The proficiency with any technique improves with practice. But the right tactics do get skiers practicing--and improving at--the right techniques.