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Sequential & Simul

post #1 of 14
IMHO sequential movements are part of the bag of tricks that we need to teach our students. An up stem in real messy conditions or deep snow is a very useful tool. I think these days PSIA would accept these type of movements in appropriate situations.
post #2 of 14
While my focus in general skiing and teaching is simultaneous employment of the feet/skis, I practice a bit of the "old" approaches almost daily and suggest their value to students. A complete skier uses whatever best deals with the circumstances encountered. That can even include sidestepping down, definitely a sequential move
post #3 of 14
Roto- Good question as I do see some heated talk about this movement pool one VS the other. My question: Is a slice or a hook a bad shot in golf??? Answer: Only when you did not intend to do it.

Skiing I am looking for GO movements into the turn most of the time but if I have to change line, avoid a rock, have steep turn entry, teaching in the bumps, the list can go on and on. I need to be able to do both and should teach both so others can do sequental movements when needed and simaltanous movements most of the time.
post #4 of 14
I'm with Todo too. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Wedge and stem braking movements impede flow down the hill, which is their valid use in skiing. Intentional use of any movement to further survival is good skiing. Unintentional or habitual movements which disrupt flow down the hill are impediments not intents, and are rightly called ERRORS.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sequential & Simul

Thinking about all the anti-stem/wedge sentiment going around (Not just here, on the slopes too).

It seems to me a lot of instructors (and skiers) have gotten to thinking that stemming, stepping, or wedging are bad and simultaneous movements are good.

Is this accurate? Do most, all or some of you think sequential movements are overall bad/undesireable in relation to simultaneous movements?

Is it really Simultaneous vs. Sequential?

[ December 09, 2003, 12:28 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #6 of 14
Hmm--interesting thoughts here, Roto, but I'm not quite clear on the question. Are you asking about wedge vs, parallel, about simultaneous vs. sequential movements, or about offensive vs. defensive movements? They are not the same questions--wedge and parallel both can involve either simultaneous or sequential movements, and both can be offensive or defensive.

I'll agree with the others that there are no bad movements--but there are certainly bad habits! As in a car, braking is an essential skill to master, and an important part of the skillful driver's and skier's repertoire, but riding the brakes is a bad habit.

Offensive wedge turns and wedge christies, just exactly like offensive parallel turns, involve simultaneous (for all practical purposes) movements. They all answer the offensive "GO" intent that Todo refers to--they're all attempts to "go that way," not to "stop going this way." They're attempts to control line, not speed, to go precisely where you want to go, as efficiently, smoothly, and fast as possible. They are not brakes! They all involve simultaneously turning both ski tips in the direction you want to go, with no pushing/twisting of the tails in the opposite direction.

They are quite different from braking snowplows, STEM christies, defensive hop turns, and hockey stops, all of which involve twisting the tails out into a braking skid. Stem christies are sequential--first the uphill/outside ski stems out, then the inside ski is moved out toward the stemmed outside ski to bring the skis parallel. Hockey stops and hop turns are simultaneous movements (again, for all practical purposes).

I say "for all practical purposes," because none really, truly involve precisely simultaneous movements. In my opinion, the disctinction between simultaneous and sequential is overrated, and misses a more critical point. What really matters is not whether one ski turns before the other, or how much time lag (if any) there is between the movements. Far more important is which ski turns first?

In offensive "go that way" turns, the inside ski turns first--in the direction of the turn. It has to--otherwise it's in the way of the outside ski, which then can only turn tail out into a skid. The outside ski can follow immediately--virtually simultaneously--or not. It really makes little difference in the outcome of the turn, or the fundamental character of the movements. "Right tip right to go right, left tip left to go left" is the key triggering thought for all offensive turns, wedge or parallel, steered or carved.

In defensive braking movements, the outside ski turns first. Again, it has to, because it has to get out of the way of the inside ski. Again, they can be virtually simultaneous, as in hockey stops and hop turns, or clearly sequential, as in stem christies or converging step turns.

It's important to understand that "simultaneous" does not necessarily imply "equivalent." In a wedge christie, for example, both ski tips steer into the turn, but for various reasons, the outside ski tends to turn more quickly, causing the wedge. It is difficult at very low speeds, especially on steeper terrain, to roll the downhill ski completely off its uphill edge, and as we've much discussed, any active move to lighten or lift that ski BEFORE initiating the turn involves an unproductive "negative movement" uphill. So it is harder to turn the downhill ski at the start of the turn (at low speeds), resulting in the likelihood of the skis opening into a wedge, even as the skier tries to steer them both simultaneously. As the turn progresses, the pressure on the inside ski diminishes, the body moves farther inside for balance, and the inside ski rolls to its outside "little toe" edge--all combining to make that inside ski easier to steer than the outside ski. At this point, the continued effort to steer the "right tip right" causes the skis to "match" (become parallel), as the inside ski turns now more easily and quickly than the outside ski.

So the rates of the turning movements of the skis vary (unintentionally, but nearly inevitably) in wedge christies. But the timing and intent is still simultaneous, as both turn at (virtually) the same time.

So the sequential movements that cause problems (in offensive turns) are those in which the outside ski twists first, tails out, before the inside ski releases, causing a negative (away from the turn) movement, and a braking skid. Sequential movements--as exaggerated by the "thousand steps" exercise--in which the inside ski turns its tip into the turn first, followed by the outside ski tip turning into the turn, are still highly offensive.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #7 of 14
I was watching one of the more recent TGR movies the other day, and noticed that Scot Schmidt stemmed almost every turn. I'd still call him a "go" skier though.
post #8 of 14
This is probably a gaper question, but doesn't it depend on "how" sequential. A few years ago, Todd discovered a big time lag between my edging my left ski and my right. My right leg, that had been injured in a car accident, sort of "hangs on." Working on increasing proprioception has made my movements a bit more simultaneous.
post #9 of 14
Some 25-30 years ago some curious research group with access to neuro-muscular monitoring gadgets wired up a bunch of world class skiers an discovered that try as they might they could not make truly simultaneous skiing movements it terms of rate of movements or applied power of movements. This was proved to be due to the use of different muscles in opposite sides of the body working on joints functioning in dissimilar planes of movement.

But consensus was, the better you are the better you can fake it.

So it is noteworthy that most movements in skiing can be most easily first learned in some sequential fashion. New movements are very difficult to learn if attempted with simultaneous as an artificial goal. Simultaneous is far more useful simply as a learning tool or even as a functional outcome, as in a tactical application (powder, bumps, sideslipping, arc2arc, etc). Tactical applications are but one reason for the importance of learning an efficient order of movement in the very beginning before bad habits are created in pursuit of pseudo-simultaneous appearance. Movements first learned in an efficient uncompensated order offer more options later on and can be refined to actually appear as simultaneous as needed, or desired.

I see skiing as something done with not just both feet and legs but the whole body as an integrated system. If you pause and really think about it, it becomes intuitive that our body is a fully integrated system that can only function as a process of sequential movements resulting in movement patterns, resulting in intended outcomes.

So consider the value in first learning new movements in an efficient sequence with focused awareness, then with mileage and refinement shrink the gaps, and with blending develop a flow to the ever engaging series of movement patterns that make up expert skiing.

For this reason I have always considered simultaneous movements but a sub-set of the all-encompassing movement pool. Simultaneous appears when a couple body parts just happen to be doing (actually) different things to produce the same integrated outcome or intent from both skis at the same time.

Arc [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ December 09, 2003, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

This is great. Getting home from work and reading this is like opening a present.

I was getting the impression that sequential movement patterns were dying in the minds of skiers and their value both as tools for teaching learning and tactical choices was becoming forgotten.

Actually Bob, I'm asking about all three variations. Originally I was curious about Stem/Step movements. But in writing and editing the start post I became interested in more. I included the wedge because of the resurrected wedge vs parallel "stuff" going around AND I figure that wedge turns actually do fall (more often) into sequential MPs than simul, though I understand and agree, etc. etc. with the simul wedge/christie stuff. In editing my original post I meant to differentiate stem/step from wedge, but I had to get to work this morning and was rushing.

Todo: "My question: Is a slice or a hook a bad shot in golf??? Answer: Only when you did not intend to do it."

Beautiful question and answer. Simply beautiful. Thanks.

I guess this question comes out of a re-evaluation tryout I participated in. We were asked to (individually) create and perform a demonstration that showed "how Sequential Movement Patterns can be utilized to develop Simultaneous Movement Patterns."

When I teach I often find sequential opening new terrain and patterns to skiers and following a simple path to simul.

I've got more, but everyone is saying to so much better than I can... besides. Pizzas just showed up!
post #11 of 14
Todo: "My question: Is a slice or a hook a bad shot in golf??? Answer: Only when you did not intend to do it."

Beautiful question and answer. Simply beautiful. Thanks.
I love this question and answer. I was watching the masters one year with my relatives and there was one shot where a big tree was blocking the pro's shot from the fairway so he just "hooked" the shot around the tree and placed the ball nicely in the center of the green. The sports announcer just commented, "That's the difference between us hackers and the pros. They can hook their shots on demand!"

Back to skiing.

While taking my exam prep last season one of the things our clinician kept reminding us for our demos was "the examiner want's to see simultaneous movements not sequential. In our wedge cristy demo the movement from parallel to wedge should be both skis moving into the fall line and into the slight wedge. Leapers both skis should leave the ground together, etc..

By working on these functions we found that we had to change our attitude about how we ski. more "go that way" and more "move down the hill" in order to accomplish these skills. Any hesitation or breaking of flow seemed to make the movement more sequential.

Just some observations.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
So if sequential patterns can be used to develop simultaneous ones. How?
post #13 of 14
Start with an efficient and effective order of movement based on understanding of cause and effect.

Teach/learn the lead movement first.
Add the following movement.
When the sequence is aquired, reduce the "gap" between lead/follow until the movements "appear" to happen at the same time.

As wedge christy skiers we use a big toe to big toe stem to start our turns, but want to ski parallel.

We have an ineffective order of movement for parallel skiing.
We do not end the prior turn before starting a new one.
To make a simple parallel turn we need to learn to end the old turn before starting a new one.

So, we need to first release the edge of the old outside/new inside ski before changing the edge of the old inside/new outside ski. This would be the efficient/effective order of movement.

Practice sideslipping, lead releasing by rolling/tipping downhill foot towart little toe edge. Slide forward releasing into forward sideslips. Fan into the falline until an edge change occurs. Continue to focus on the lead foot triggering movement.

On easier terrain than we would normally ski, practice the leading movement to start turns as rolling/tipping releasing new inside foot toward little toe edge. Key is that with continuation of that movement the other foot will follow to it's big toe edge (base on prior habits it needs no encouragment, only patience). Initially once an effective order of movement is obtained there should be some "gap" in the lead/follow sequence. Milage with focus on creating a new lead foot trigger movement will allow that gap to be minimized until the edge change "appears" simoultaneous.

post #14 of 14
Arc - is this why I got taught "slippy turns" when I first was learning to ski parallel?

Slippy turn - release skis & wait until they turn down hill - then engage edges again

Sorry - nearly midnight & I am struggling here...
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