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What makes Bode fast. - Page 2

post #31 of 43
I am no analyst, but isn't what Bode is doing similar to the good old avalement, or "jet turn", brought by him to the extreme on modern skis?

In the theory of automatic control, there is a theorem that says you have the optimum performance at the edge of stability. The problem is then you may jump over into the unstable zone, which is why most process controllers are tuned so as to have the process at 10-30% below optimal performance. Looks like Bode's technique is driving his process at 0-5% below optimal, relying on his strength and reflexes to provide him with some semblance of dynamic stability. With so short a margin for error, no wonder he doesn't always stay on course.

It must take huge amount of agility in the core to overcome the centrifugal forces on the short SL skis he uses, to never be in the same position for longer than a few microseconds.

I don't think most of us recreational skiers will ever be able to achieve such performance, unless we spend hours in the gym working our core muscles and agility and months on the slope developing the feel for edges and general reflexes that are required to ski like he does.
post #32 of 43
Was standing on the side of the Slalom and GS courses this weekend at the US Nationals, Whiteface, as the top racers in the country passed by.

The first impression one gets when both Bode Miller and Eric Schlopy come down the course is a sense of INCREDIBLE power. Secondly, you begin to appreciate their complete composure and technique. That is after you've lifted your jaw off the snow.

I must say that the top dozen racers were all amazing but Bode and Eric really stood out!

For more on the weekend check out www.usskiteam.com/PublishingFolder/1458.htm
post #33 of 43
Thread Starter 
Learner
Bode does not “blast” out of the starting gate. He says the set up for the first turn is the most critical part of his race and a “powerful” blast start of old does not allow him to set up correctly. Now he is being copied.

FASTMAN
Success brings imitation, regardless of merit. Bode's rational has some substance. If an agressive start causes the skier to set a poor tone for the rest of the run the initial small sacrafice in time would be worthy. The problem lies in the fact that indeed a sacrafice must be made. Even a hundreth of a second can represent the margin of victory in this sport.

Herman's start is the polar opposite of Bode's, it's raw aggressioin uncaged and it doesn't negatively affect his run. On an equally executed run Herman wins because of his start. If an aggresive start throws off one's run they should by all means follow the example of Bode, but if it does not, as is the case with Herman, then one should not blindly follow Bode just because he happens to be the current stud of the mountain.

LEARNER
If he sets up wrong on a turn because he is too hot into the rise line he instinctively diverges a tip to “slow” up so he hits the line just right. Previously those instincts were not as “natural” as they are today.

FASTMAN
Actually he diverges a tail, diverging a tip is something one does at the end of a turn as in a skate step. This diverging tail move (I think Bode calls it a pitch) is nothing more than a form of the commom pivot move from the days of straight skis, and is done when the turn radius dictated by the course set exceeds the capabilities of the geometry of the ski, or when one comes into the turn to straight as you suggest. It always results in a dumping of speed, the amount dependant on the racers ability to quickly feather into a carve. Really nothing to strive for.

LEARNER
As far as tail race turns to gain speed the great winners have always launch around the turn using the tail at some point in the turn.

FASTMAN
This is true, is days of old everyone knew of the value of the tail. Recently however with the emergence of the shape ski new techniques have been developed (primarily by the Austrians) that have placed great importance on remaining fore/aft neutral through all phases of the turn. The Austrians have up untill just recently achieved much success with there theory of technique, so eveyone was following them. Bode is just reminding the world of something everyone use to know.

AlexG
I am no analyst, but isn't what Bode is doing similar to the good old avalement, or "jet turn", brought by him to the extreme on modern skis?

FASTMAN
Similar, yes Alex. Years ago in slalom I used to live on the jet turn, the only time my skis would be on the snow would be btween the time they landed at the top of a rut then launched out of the bottom of that rut. The rest of the time my skis were in the air. This is where the difference lies. Bode maintains edge engagement while riding out the bottom of the turn on the tail and directs the energy forward rather than up in the air.


HarryO
Was standing on the side of the Slalom and GS courses this weekend at the US Nationals, Whiteface, as the top racers in the country passed by.

The first impression one gets when both Bode Miller and Eric Schlopy come down the course is a sense of INCREDIBLE power. Secondly, you begin to appreciate their complete composure and technique.

FASTMAN
Eric is the supreme technician, Bode is the gun slinger. Both are great to watch and it's a special time in history to have them both on the team. You were fortionate to be able to watch them in person, TV does not do justice to what those guys can do on snow.
post #34 of 43
You are probaly correct it is the tail but the close up on TV was deffinetely a tip move but it made no sense to me so I should have said converge not diverge. Since I do not race I was not about to argue with the commentator. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #35 of 43
No Austrian's skiing fast in slalom? Not true. Check Benjamin Raich's runs this season and you will see that he is as fast as anyone, but for some strange reason has blown up on his second run on several occations. Other Austrians such as Schoenfelder and Schilshegger (SP) also have been very fast.
post #36 of 43
Thread Starter 
Not what I said Norf. I didn't say Austrians are not skiing fast. I said no Austrians are using the tail like the guys I mentioned.

Austrians are still well represented in the top 10 at SL races, but the guys I mentioned are the ones who have been winning most of the recent WC SL races. It's been a while since an Austrian has won a WC SL.

I'm not bashing Austrian racers, they are great skiers. I'm simply pointing out a recent technical development that is taking place right now on the WC for those who are interested in such things.
post #37 of 43
Just when I start to take this guy serious like ......

I read that tag line of ... PALM CITY FLORIDA!

OK .... reality check time .... breathe deep ... OK now.

[ March 25, 2003, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Learner:
As far as tail race turns to gain speed the great winners have always launch around the turn using the tail at some point in the turn. Bode has more problem here than most due to re-balance but his techniques is so good otherwise that as long as he can maintain balance he is hard to beat.
Yes, Bode is a lot of fun to watch, I always root for him to ski well and win.
But Bode has proven to be the easiest to beat of the top skiers on the WC, usually all it takes is a stand up run, as he so frequently beats himself.
So, I am uncertain by what criteria one could state that Bode’s "technique is so good"? By World Cup results standards? By winning percentage? By consistently turning in high level performances? By USST Coaching publications on technical components of Alpine skiing? I do not see support by any of these criteria.

More accurate might be: Bode can be fast enough to win an occasional race, in spite of his technical flaws which he sometimes overcomes because his athletic ability is so good.

Maybe WC is in a talent lull right now that lulls us into thinking Bode is better than he really is. Lets compare Bode's record to some true technicians of the sport.

Bode finishes only 37% of his SL/GS specialty events. On easier courses when he makes few mistakes he can be fast, and might even win. But his SL/GS win rate is 6% (his all WC win rate is 4%). Bode podiums SL/GS top-3 in only 17% of his races.

Not bad results you say?

Stenmark, a SL/GS guy (as Bode really is), finished 93% of his races, and stood on the podium in the top-3 in 67% of them, (almost twice as often as Bode finishes), and his 86 wins represent an amazing 37% of his starts (same as Bode’s finish rate).

Tomba, a SL/GS guy (like Bode), finished 88% of his races, and stood on the podium in the top-3 in 46% of them (10% more often than Bode finishes), and his 44 wins were 26% of his starts (4 x Bode’s).

Does anyone think Bode’s “technique is so good” he will win 38 of his next 79 SL/GS events (48%) to rate comparison to Tomba who’s technique really was “so good”, since he mathematically cannot win 80 of his next 62 to warrant any
comparison to Stenmark, the ultimate technician?

Not fair, these guys are too good? Take Michael Von Gruenigen, he finished 93% of his 189 races, won 12% of them, podium’s 25% of the time in top-3. Andre Kjetil Ammodt, an all-event skier, he finished 93% of his 378 races.

At the Lillehammer World Cup Finals Bode's athleticism couldn't overcome the balance compromises for his skiing with his arms/hands way out behind his body. His season's WC SL results are a testimony to his weak stance fundamentals. Those very attributes of sound foundational stance are very evident in the other WC SL skiers that have been consistent top finishers all season.

It is important to recognize that there are very few athletes of the level that could ever hang on and ski as fast as Bode with such fundamental stance flaws. But this issue has been reflected by his inconsistency and inability to finish races over the years. Just imagine what he could accomplish by skiing even semi-balanced vs. constantly un-balanced & re-balancing. Rather than “good technique” I think it is rather a case of his tremendous athletic ability allowing him to exploit "Bode's" technique to occasionally reap high rewards, but at high risk and inconsistency.

Very little of what he does reflects "good technique" that I would offer as a model to younger racers. WC racers ski with a power-to-weight ratio that allows them the luxury of exceeding limits the rest of the world skis under. Using the most extreme of these images as a model for young racers defies common sense. I have expressed before that I feel the WC women who ski with technical accuracy and precision (lacking the pure horsepower of the men), present far better images for young racers to use as technical models.

Is it better to coach racers to "go for it" allowing only the most athletic to excel, or coach a path that builds a foundation of solid basics with which any racers can first learn to finish the course with and then learn to lean on that foundation for more speed as the racer grows and gets stronger? A big philosophical dilemma? I do not think so.

The point here is, until Bode learns to finish, either by becoming technically more solid and consistent (or tactically more mature), his WC stats will never support any legacy that “his technique is so good”. Bode will always be known as a great athlete that occasionally put a couple fun-to-watch runs together for a big win. Maybe for pure entertainment factor that is all that count’s, but it does not support his unique “technique” as what to teach the kids and subvert their development.
post #39 of 43
Thread Starter 
Here are some comments by Arc that are bound to create some profuse head scatching out there, mine is already starting to bleed!!

ARC:
Bode has proven to be the easiest to beat of the top skiers on the WC

FASTMAN:
Did you happen to see the world championships this year? Two golds and a silver, and probobly another medal if not for the freak loss of a pole in the SL. There are a lot of guys on the WC that would laugh at your statement.
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ARC:
I am uncertain by what criteria one could state that Bode’s "technique is so good"?

FASTMAN:
What value does conventional criteria hold when efficient exucution of a new standard so dominates old models. Bode is not the only guy doing this. Watch Palander and Rocca in SL. They are picking up on what Bode has been doing and are dominating the SL world with it. Anytime a new technique evolves it ruptures old models.
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ARC:
Bode can be fast enough to win an occasional race, in spite of his technical flaws

FASTMAN:
At the world cup level people don't win races if they posses signifigant technical flaws. There are too many fantastic racers bidding for podiums to allow that to occure.
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ARC:
Maybe WC is in a talent lull right now that lulls us into thinking Bode is better than he really is.

FASTMAN:
World Cup in a talent lull? That is really streching to promote an argument. Racers have never skied faster in the history of the sport. Training techniques have never been as refined. That Bode can win by the margins he does when he is on his game, and that the guys that are emulating his technique are dominating lend obvious credence.
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ARC:
His season's WC SL results are a testimony to his weak stance fundamentals.

FASTMAN:
Very wrong and anyone who has been paying attention knows better. Last year Bode was very consistent in both GS and SL. He had dialed in his fore/aft movement sequence and was winning races by large margins.

This year the combination of changing equipment and attempting to develop into a 4 event skier compromised his technical sharpness in the technical events. He never did get dialed back in like he was last season and the time constraints imposed by competing in all the speed events did not allow him to commit the focus necessary to do so. The result was a tendancy to revert back to old habits so at times we saw much back seat riding with little loading the front of the ski at the top of the turn.
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ARC:
Just imagine what he could accomplish by skiing even semi-balanced

FASTMAN:
Even semi balanced? Wow, a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think? Sounds like one of the ski bus kids we see flailing down the hill with no control over their own fate. Look out everbody, here comes Bode!!
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ARC:
Very little of what he does reflects "good technique" that I would offer as a model to younger racers.

FASTMAN:
Edge development, pressure developement, edge/arc control (best on the tour), development of high edge angles, bio mechanical allignment (ankle, knee, pelvis, torso). There is so much good going on in bode technique that can be shared with a developing racer. Yes, save the fore/aft thing for tweaking a highly developed racer, but don't ignore the rest.
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ARC:
Bode will always be known as a great athlete that occasionally put a couple fun-to-watch runs together for a big win.

FASTMAN:
His record has surpased that status already.
post #40 of 43
There is no doubt Bode does not stack up percentage wise or technically to many of the “great” racers. However that being said it appears because of the type of person and athlete he is Bode will set a path, we hope, that will give a path for American racers to follow to the future. If nothing else he will be a legend in his own time and by the way he is still working very hard to improve the flaws even he will admit he has! Maybe this is the case where percentages can go out the window. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #41 of 43
FASTMAN:

I stand corrected. But you have to give me this. It is not that long ago that an Austrian won a WC Slalom. March 8th, 2003 to be exact.
post #42 of 43
Thread Starter 
YES NOREFJELL, I DO HAVE TO GIVE YOU THAT ONE!!
I neglected to recognize that Schoenfelder tied for 1st with Kalle on Mar. 8th, during Palander's 4 race win streak.
Good Job. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Men's Slalom
Shiga Kogen, Japan
Sat. Mar. 8
1. Kalle Pallander, Finland, 1:41.14
1T.Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 1:41.14
3. Giorgio Rocca, Italy, 1:41.58
4. Ivica Kostelic, Crotia, 1:42.25
14. Erik Schlopy, Park City, UT, 1:43.57
post #43 of 43
One gets an impression reading the media that Bode is the only one making spectacular recoveries from behind his skis. I saw the second run of the US nationals at Whiteface last Sunday. I can say that many, many racers even in the junior levels where making recoveries that really left you gasping. You wonder how their acl's don't just blow out they get so far back on the skis. It doesn't appear to be deliberate "sitting back" but a recovery from the skis acceleration.

Seeing Bode and Schlopy come down one sees a more solid, steady and confident run. I don't believe Bode had the fastest time on the course and his total margin of victory I think was 0.7 secs. I think Jesse Marshall may have had the fastest second run and it was quite impressive though not as smooth as Bode or Schlopy. This is such a small margin when the combined time was around 130 seconds. That's a little over 1/2 percent difference in time!

Arc, I'm curious as to the problems you see in Bode.
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