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Instructor seeking help (edge locked)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am seeking help with ideas. No right or wrong answers here. Just trying to build my tool bag.

Here's what I'm looking for: Task's and exercises to help a student with a specific problem. The task or exercise needs to be simple (how do you present it, remember, K.I.S.S. Leave out all the technical info for the prsentation), and Fun.

Then for my use (and all those other instructors that need the same help) Why does it work? (now you can get technical) and what skills does this exercise help?

The situation:

You have worked with a never ever student and gotten them to glide, (wedged or not), easy turns both directions on very easy terrain (wedged or not), They can stop fairly well and control speed using terrain and the tools you have taught them.. You are now moving to steeper terrain and a little fear begins to creep in and your student is now "locked on edge".

You want to teach them to "release their edges" and let the skis smear or skid so that they can shape their turns etc, control and feel/experience their edges.

Thoughts?

I'll start with one so you get an idea what I'm looking for

The exercise: With the class standing with their skis across the fall line, have the flex their anlkles (shins into the toungue of the boot) and turn their body a little towards the fall line. Then have them slowly stand taller until they begin to sideslip, and then flex to stop. Let them play with this and experience the movement. have them try to slip more, then less. faster, slower, make a game of it. then turn around and do it the other direction. Etc.

The reason it works, It teaches the student to "feel with their feet, gives them the confidence to let the skis skid knowing they can stop it at any time. It teaches edge control and some pressure control.

The next step, might be a game. While moving across the mountain, draw several lines down the fall line at different places on the hill, have the students try to traverse or move across the mountain and reach these lines at the top end and smear them away.

This would teach them to use this skill "on demand" rather than reactivly.
post #2 of 29
dchan, that edge lock is usually fear and moving back to an easier slope is usually the way to go. Yur kinda stuck though if that hill you went to was the easiest lift serve (not walk up) slope you have available. In that case wide traverses across the slope to get them milage and get them lower will usually break the log jam.

If you have a class where everyone else wants to forge ahead then you're usual option is to task ski the rest of the class and join them a little furher down the hill after you work with your edge locked student.
post #3 of 29
Dchan,

Fear: Return to the previous terrain and practice until the STUDENT is ready to try something new.

Sideslip: Try this semi static task; with the skis directly across the slope, close together and the weight on the uphill ski, ask then to roll the ski towards the little toe edge. They will be able to feel the ski start to slide. With no weight on it, the student is in control of the ski. Next task is to stand on the downhill ski. Flatten the downhill ski to start a sideslip. As the student begins to move, tip the uphill ski towards the little toe edge. This will act as a brake. Release the brake and the slip will continue. During the slip, shins against the tongue and the tips will start to lead going downhill. Calves against the rear of the boot and the tails will lead. Alas, the Falling Leaf.

The edge control can be equated to downhill ski is the accelerator and the uphill ski is the brake. The student will know that to stop the slide, just apply the brake by tipping it to the little toe edge.

Remember, move in very small increments and move to steeper terrain only when the student is ready and then in small steps. If you can move across the fall line, rather than down it, it is less terrifying.
post #4 of 29
I agree with Pierre and Rick,
Get them back on terrain where they can move with comfort (no fear).

As exercises I'd suggest: (both directions as applicable)
1- Grip/Slip sideslipping (roll downhill foot to trigger release)
2- Traverse to forward sideslip (grip, slip, grip, slip w/feet)
3- Fan into falline with shin/boot pressure. Forward ss will become a release of tips downhill & exercise becomes a garland. Encourage flexing of legs to allow CM to move across into new turn. (vs. "rise and release", let that become a later option)
4- Fan garland back across falline to further challenge development of release avtivity of feet (trigger is dh foot)
5- Link whole turns from shallow, in falline, to rounder with focus on continious tipping of inside foot to shape turns
6- Ski faster to build comfort with "energy" on easy terrain by encouraging a more agressive release/edgechange with feet and flexing of legs to allow CM to move across into new turn.
7- Incriment Terrain re-using #4 fanned from falline
8- Repeat #5-7

Same basic foot release movements reinforced throughout.

Keep motivation high, i.e use their desire to ski parallel or blue runs as a carrot to raise level of focus.
Have fun.
[img]smile.gif[/img]

[ December 04, 2002, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #5 of 29
Student's perspective, from a student with a propensity to edge lock.
Yer' darn tootin straight its fear.

My favorite exercise: 2 flat 2
post #6 of 29
See if any one has paddled a canoe, raft? Have them grab both poles and turn them into paddles. Have them paddle on the downhill side to turn! Edge lock is often result of the upperbody twisting or leaning up hill by getting them to reach out over the downhill ski it will move the knee over the top and allow it to release so they can guide the tip into the turn. Create your own on the hill white water rafting adventure!
post #7 of 29
In an effort to try to add something different only one person has spoken to so far. (Lisamarie)

The problem is lateral balance. When on easy slopes this person can find the down hill edges quite easily. When the hill gets steeper the edge is farther away from the snow and hence you need to help this person find them again. Identify what is working on the flats and just reinforce it when it gets steep

Like this. on the flat ask the person to traverse on the down hill edges when they want to start a turn. (Impossible I know but the effect is engaging the edges early in the turn by tipping not twisting) IF they begin to twist or turn to engage the edge they are using a different skill blend than we are looking for to set up for success on the steeper slope.

Another task could be to try to teach to use specific body parts or muscles. Try to use toes up technique. To engage the new edges lift the pinky toe of the outside ski into the turn to get the ski to grip earlier. On the inside ski lift the big toe into the turn. to engage the new inside edge of the ski. Then remind them that when It gets steeper they may have to be more patient with this move It may take a few seconds longer. This is where proper practice on the flats sets up success when it gets steeper.

"Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect".
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Most of you guys are missing the point of this exercise [img]tongue.gif[/img]

I think most of us know what causes the edge lock, I'm looking for simple "tasks" or "goal oriented" tasks to use and how to present them. (see my example)

Todo hit it right on. Now why does it work? (so those of us newer instructors can understand the mechanics)

Lisamarie, from the student's point of view is great.
Can you explain the "exercise" and How did your instructor present it to you? was it lots of technical information or "let all try this" and let you discover on your own. I think I know which exercise you are talking about but lots of the new instructors might not.

[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 29
LOL,coming from me this is going to sound totally ironic, but it was presented as simply as possible. Starting out with both skis edged "uphill" then flattening both skis, then edging both skis "downhill".

He had us say it slowly "2 flat 2". Then, he skied down a bit ahead of us, turned around, and used his ski poles like a conductors baton!

2 flat 2.

Some of us had a tendenecy to rush the flat parts.
I'm not sure it was totally due to fear, or due to the fact that for some of us, we were new to getting our skis on edge, and very excited about it.
post #10 of 29
dchan,

You are describing a student whose ability to turn, which was present on shallow terrain, has been blocked somehow in the move to steeper terrain. Is it a deficient skillset or panic that causes this? I'm guessing the person does not believe you when you say everything is going to be okay. They're hedging the bet by not letting go of that secure supporting edge. Your task is to nurture the belief that letting go of that edge is going to get him or her to the new base of support.

How are you going to change the student's affect from doubt to belief in your proposition if you don't dial down the terrain?

[ December 04, 2002, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #11 of 29
BTW, if there is one exercise I wish I had learned MUCH earlier than I actually did {not till level 3 ) its a side slip. Nothing does a better job at teaching you to release your edges like a side slip.

I also think that how well a student learns to release their edges may have to do with the way they learned to get on edge in the first place. Not to go into detail, because most of you have heard this story a gazillion times, but the first time someone tried to teach me to get my skis on edge, he laid down in the snow and pulled on my ankles. Needless to say, I was not to happy, but after that I spent a good deal of time with my skis edged firmly uphill.
post #12 of 29
DChan - As a student I LIKED the answers you got that said go back to easier terrain. I KNOW that the success my instructors had was in NOT pushing me to ski terrain that TOTALLY TERRIFIED me - but allowing me to ski WELL on terrain that was relatively easy for me technically - but allowed me to FEEL ALMOST comfortable ie I was a little out of my confort zone but not scared witless.

LM - I was taught side slips when still on a beginners slope. The visibility was poor & rather than scare me by taking me UP THE HILL as planned,my instructor taught me side slips. Looking back now I am still REALLY impressed with the stuff that guy did to get me skiing (& really upset that he no longer teaches)
post #13 of 29
Oh & DChan - BTW if I was 'locked' as you suggest & you tried what YOU suggested WITHOUT explaining to me why - I would be taking my butt down to the ski school desk SOOOOO fast you would not believe.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
dchan,

You are describing a student whose ability to turn, which was present on shallow terrain, has been blocked somehow in the move to steeper terrain. Is it a deficient skillset or panic that causes this? I'm guessing the person does not believe you when you say everything is going to be okay. They're hedging the bet by not letting go of that secure supporting edge. Your task is to nurture the belief that letting go of that edge is going to get him or her to the new base of support.

How are you going to change the student's affect from doubt to belief in your proposition if you don't dial down the terrain?
Exactly, Nolo!

However,

I didn't say we can't move to different terrain, (or at least didn't mean to)

I'm describing a situation/problem and how it might present itself. Several people have said move to a different location, and I never said that's not an option. I am looking for simple tasks, how to present them in a fun way and why they work. See my example. I guess I could have added that we have moved to a more comfortable location. Now what?
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
I guess I need to clarify why I put this post up this way.

In an effort to help several of our members that have stated they are going to start teaching, and also to help me take advantage of all the instructors we have, I thought I would post some situations that might arise in the course of teaching.

Try to think outside our PSIA/CSIA/direct parallel/ box or what ever other training we have. Toss out that "we have not done this so we can't do that" mentality or "you have to use this progression to get there" and come up with exercises that you have tried or want to try. How did you or would you present them to keep the customer having fun, maybe not even realizing they are learning/discovering. And then for the sake of the other instructors that might want to try it, why did it or does it help.

So I'm looking to all that experience out there to give me an idea what has worked for you. The situation is "hypothetical" and made up. Just the exercise, how to present it, and why you think it works.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by disski:
Oh & DChan - BTW if I was 'locked' as you suggest & you tried what YOU suggested WITHOUT explaining to me why - I would be taking my butt down to the ski school desk SOOOOO fast you would not believe.
Thanks for the reminder disski.

read my posts after you posted your's. (we were typing at the same time)

Part of being an instructor is building that relationship. I think in your case a good instructor would read the "terror" and the move to an easier terrain would be in order. I agree.

Also part of that relationship would be to "see" if the student want's technical info or just want's to ski. How much info given and how technical that info might be would also have to depend on the student.

[ December 04, 2002, 11:19 PM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
LM,

So the 2 flat 2 exercise was in the context of a turn?

This is what I'm looking for. Different ways to present the same info and exercises. sometimes our student's don't respond to a specific exercise so we need more ways to say the same thing.

Some of our instructors called it a "patience turn", "1-2-3 turn", or something else.

Thanks LM.
post #18 of 29
Okay. This is hypothetical and we control the terrain selection. I would focus on making the release of the gliding wedge turn the focus on easy terrain and tie it to walking, letting go of one base of support to gain the other. Since the student is obviously timid and doubtful, I would rather introduce slipping and skidding on the easy terrain. I would probably teach a wedge christie, possibly stepping back to a wedge sideslip (what we called a stem sideslip in the olden days) if necessary.

Then I believe the student would have the necessary releasing, slipping, and skidding skills, plus have those tied together as some hybrid of a christie, along with the confidence that skidding to a stop is always an option. Now the student has a strategy for the challenge, some past proof that he can pull it off and therefore a foundation for the risk, and the competence to do it.

Then you go to the target terrain: once for the flight test and twice for the victory lap.
post #19 of 29
Now that my panic from my anticipated fall has passed....

The ONLY times I can think of that my instructors WOULD mention falling would be when I had already ground to a halt fretting about a perceived possible fall. Then it would usually be 'If you fall from there you will slide to here - no further' (usually about 2 metres vertical for me [img]redface.gif[/img] ) or 'The worst thing that can happen is you will fall - the snow there is VERY soft & very deep so you won't get hurt'

We try to avoid allowing that to happen though - hence it is VERY common for me to be told to 'ski there- straight down - NO STOPPING' (The straight down means fall line short turns - no 'traverse escapes' which I am an expert at finding)

Interestingly as my fear really is GETTING HURT I am often instructed on the lift as to how to minimise the risk of that. eg 'If you keep stopping you will have more chance of being hit by snowboarders' - That was on a fairly tight tree run the outcome was that as I thought I was going TOO FAST but braking/stopping would increase my risk of being hit I would turn OFF the run uphill around trees to bleed speed when I felt worried. I was happy because I THOUGHT that I could stop there if needed - safely!- of COURSE when I did that I DIDN"T NEED TO STOP!

Can anybody tell I had a phobia about snowboarders?
post #20 of 29
I have read all with interest. It made me think of my first snowboard lesson. Gentle terrain, I could barely stand up, and I LOCKED UP!

Ask me to sideslip?......could not do it!

What helped me?

A kind reassuring voice, proximics, and literally a little hand holding.

I remember hearing, "you'll be fine just take my hand".

I began to lose my fear, lose my grip on the snow, trust my teacher, and trust my body.

The whole deal made me appreciate how difficult an LTS experience can be.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by dchan:
The exercise: With the class standing with their skis across the fall line, have the flex their anlkles (shins into the toungue of the boot) and turn their body a little towards the fall line. Then have them slowly stand taller until they begin to sideslip, and then flex to stop. Let them play with this and experience the movement. have them try to slip more, then less. faster, slower, make a game of it. then turn around and do it the other direction. Etc.

OK - I'm being the difficult student here - but ....

I know what you want me to do - that description of body movements I find very confusing though... is it just me?
:
I was taught to side slip simply by 'letting edges go' & to direct the slide by altering pressure fore/aft

The direction was that simple 'Roll skis that-a-way' The BEST bit - instructor stood downhill to 'catch' me - unneccessary but reassuring. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Very good disski!

Your response is exactly the point I'm making.

Yet I'm sure in your lesson taking an instructor has given you information that didn't make sense or just confused you. I have tried the roll your skis this way while standing under a student and it didn't click, but the exercise I gave worked perfectly. All our minds work differently!

So for you the simple explaination of rolling your feet worked. If it had not, and the instructor didn't have any other ways of explaining the same movement, you would have been upset and not learned anything. If the instructor first gave you my earlier instruction and you looked back with a confused look, I would hope they would look back and say something like "I guess that didn't click for you, How about rolling your feet over this way? I'll make sure you don't fall over by standing here..."
post #23 of 29
But why would you START with a COMPLEX direction rather than the simple?

I am considered the person most ridiculously hung up on knowing WHAT to do. We would only do the 'move this muscle this way, while keeping this joint here' type stuff when the 'easy' stuff doesn't work.
post #24 of 29
NO NO - don't mention falling down - that sets in my mind the idea that YOU think I WILL(MIGHT) fall.

Simply BEING there provides the safety net...

Isn't it GREAT how I know HOW STUPID my fear is & HOW to DEAL with it - just CAN'T not be scared!
post #25 of 29
Yep Rusty - can be down right terrifying ...

I will squeel at the smallest lump in the snow(well cured of that now but did for years) - yet my rollerblade instructor could get me to jump off a kerb... simply by skating me up to the speed required - going off himself first - then standing next to it with his hand held out - LOW DOWN - & saying "It's OK grab my hand" I would happily reach OUT to him & skate off
post #26 of 29
Some of the people we have also go karting.

They understand the analogy of 'two-footing' where one foot slams the brake pedal whilst the other presses the accelerator and the hands steer the wheel around the corner.

The effect of two footing is uncontrolled (unbalanced) cornering reducing their ability to corner at speed. The kart snakes and bucks and often spins so keeping speed on into the straight is hard.

Identifying the inside ski edge with the brake pedal and the outside ski with the accelerator pedal can help.

To corner faster one keeps the inside/outside/both (dependent on the particular problem edge/s) skis flat whislt turning. I.e. don't brake with the inside foot is the starting point for most people.

Keeping speed up through the corner is the bit of the analogy we leave out (although turning faster and more easily is ok) and balanced throughout the corner is what gets left in.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Nettie:
Some of the people we have also go karting.

They understand the analogy of 'two-footing' where one foot slams the brake pedal whilst the other presses the accelerator and the hands steer the wheel around the corner.

The effect of two footing is uncontrolled (unbalanced) cornering reducing their ability to corner at speed. The kart snakes and bucks and often spins so keeping speed on into the straight is hard.

Identifying the inside ski edge with the brake pedal and the outside ski with the accelerator pedal can help.

To corner faster one keeps the inside/outside/both (dependent on the particular problem edge/s) skis flat whislt turning. I.e. don't brake with the inside foot is the starting point for most people.

Keeping speed up through the corner is the bit of the analogy we leave out (although turning faster and more easily is ok) and balanced throughout the corner is what gets left in.
Nettie-I suppose a student would be told to ski on a relatively flat ski as they "skid" their first turns. I would argue that after a quick intro to "left tip left to go left and right tip right to go right" a student needs to understand that it is their ski edge that in fact makes one "go there". The edge is an offensive mechanism whereas a flat skidded ski is a defensive mechanism.
post #28 of 29
I have a concern as I read thru this, many people said bring them to flat terrain. I think this is one reason learning centers fail as students get past the beginer level. For too many instructors/coaches that is the answer all the time, "take them to easier terrain" They do not want to ski on easier terrain they want to ski on this terrain or they want to ski where their friends are skiing. Although you can accomplish much on easier terrain the point I read from Dchan was they could do it on the easy terrain just not on the steeper terrain. You need to be able to coach them on the terrain you are on. Maybe it is technique maybe fear maybe just tactics but use your abilities to give the means to ski on the terrain they are going to be on after the lesson, otherwise they are going to think the lesson was a total waste of time and money they still can't ski with their friends or on the terrain they think they want to be on.

As for activities I gave one earlier here are a few more:

Use your poles and have them hold onto them as you start a slight slow traverse, you grab the other end and play a little tug of war, have them pull you (they get on a high edge) then you gentle pull them (take them off the hight edge). Then loop the pole and slide it down to the thigh. (FROM A STATIC POSITION) have them tip the thigh in (high edge) tip the thigh out (flat edge) then slid it down to the ankle and have them tip the ankle in then tip it out to release.

Crab walks. Just have them not try to make turns just release and engage the ski by tipping the ankle and thigh over the binding, They will move sideways like a crab.

teach sideslips then add the idea there skis are hands on a clock and have them move the tips around the clock.

Ski in as small a wedge as they can.

Use the terrain, Ski them over a fall away to set them up for a release.

Build confidence and have fun!
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Nettie-I suppose a student would be told to ski on a relatively flat ski as they "skid" their first turns. I would argue that after a quick intro to "left tip left to go left and right tip right to go right" a student needs to understand that it is their ski edge that in fact makes one "go there". The edge is an offensive mechanism whereas a flat skidded ski is a defensive mechanism.
I think we are talking at cross purposes, Rusty. I thought we were discussing tools for locked edges in a wedge.

Indoors we have a relatively steep slope for absolute beginners ~10 degrees I think). It is too steep to teach wedge serpentine progression to parallel. Some develop locked edges in a wedge to control their body/balance/speed. This can start to develop backseat driving. Whatever the reason/s one of the tools I use is a sort of 'find out things for yourself' method.

The karting way of explaining to a student one way he (it was a he) might change things came from a chinwag over lunch with never evers after their first three hours. He and another student were asking how to make the skis turn MORE easily. I was not their instructor for their day's skiing (Ski in a day course = 8 hrs).

From a short discussion (and having seen them ski earlier) I surmised their problem may be locked edges in their wedge, trying to control their speed with their inside foot by edge braking and trying to force their turns with more outside edge.

I presented the karting analogy and suggested they try out their edges to see which worked best. I did not monitor their progress or even if they were implementing the suggestion.

Halfway through the afternoon they both came up and said it had worked and they were now more aware of what their skis were doing and had progressed on, linking turns of varying radius and speed, turning where they wished.

All the group were skiing with confidence down our narrow, bumpy that day, 15 degree top slope at the end of the day.

The chap is coming to Copper on the 20th December.

This is not an excercise but a way of focusing a students attention on a particular part of his ski equipment and encouraging him/her to investigate its effects. Very similar to crabbing, but in crabbing you add edge for effect and in this you let yourself go, removing edge. To the student it can feel like hurtling round the turn and the brakes often go on halfway round which is hilarious to watch.

Hope this is clearer

BTW I think flat skidded skis is often a defense mechanism to a balance and timing problem rather than a failure to trust edges. Or am I on the wrong track?
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