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Teaching the Visually Impaired

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just had an interesting experience. I was teaching one of my "signature" classes which involve traditional weight training exercises using the core board and stability ball. A blind woman came in with her friend, who assists her in classes.

Given the amount of complex balance challenged equipment patterns I was using, I was a bit apprehensive.

The vision impaired woman did better than most people in the class, especially her "helper".

Now in all modesty, I've been praised for my good cuing, but I'm not THAT good! I do recall that skiing through a white out is not that hard for me to do.

Do any of you teach vison impaired skiers? Do you notice that they have pretty decent proprioception?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 07, 2002 01:17 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #2 of 10

I just don't see, and never have, how teaching Pilates or whatever applies to ski instruction. Are you trying to fit a square peg into a round hole?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
SCSA, read between the lines, please! First of all, I'm not talking about a Pilates class, I'm talking about a class that involves balance and proprioception, which is used, {UH, DUH!!!!} in SKIING!

There are certain teaching skiils that are inherent to specific sports, but there are also skills that are simply good teaching skills. These skills are universal!
post #4 of 10

Eh, that's a little better - but I still think you're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

post #5 of 10
did you try skiing with your eyes closed yet? Try it and then revisit this thread.

Personally my sense of balance is affected by flat light /whiteout conditions so I practice a lot skiing with my vision really up and just feeling the snow and moguls and being really active with my feet/legs to absorb terrain changes.
Skiing blindfolded really amplifies all balance/allignment issues that one might have. E.g. I kept catching inside edge, which I would never to with my eyes open on a green trail.

Sorry could not contribute to the actual question that is being asked, but would love to hear about additional drills that one can do to improve skiing in poor visibility.
post #6 of 10
SCSA, I think the peg fits perfectly.

For example, a skier at the "breakthrough" intermediate level can overcome terrain and movement challenges with a better tuned machine.

Strenghtening the non-beach muscles like the transverse abdominus is crucial to being able to lead your skiing movements with the powerhouse. You know, ski like you're f*#@ing not like you're sh$%ing.

Of course, physically super-human people, such as yourself, overlook the physical deficiencies of mortal men.

Don't just sharpen your edges, sharpen your body too.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
"Don't just sharpen your edges, sharpen your body, too". I love it!!! Can I use it for next years Skiready class?

Have any of you ever watched a visually impaired skier on the mountain? It seems like they have a "secret" that "thinkers' such as myself need to catch on to. Sometimes feeling out the terrain is more important than thinking out the move!
post #8 of 10
I have had some experiance with blind skiers and have found that these senses are developed more than in many peolpe that have sight. Out of the skiers that I have worked with I have found that there is still a varried level of development in these skills as there is with anyone else.
post #9 of 10
A good exercise before skiing, after streaching(you do streach don't you?)is to stand in a relaxed stance and close your eyes and concentrate on what your body is feeling. Then try lifting one ski off the snow ever so slowly. Don't cheat by using your poles for balance. This will tune your senses in and cause you to ADAPT to your balance mentally and physically.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Very interesting question about stretching, Slider. I am one of the very rare minority for whom stretching before skiing can be a disaster! I am both hyperflexible and hypermobile. Any extra flexibility can cause a good deal of unwanted movement. Believe it or not, on the hill this can result in a loss of proprioception.

My last blood pressure check had me at about 88 over 59! {yeah, I know, am I still ALIVE?!} So anything that slows me down can get me a little bit dizzy while skiing.
I do have a series of dynamic flexiblity and balnce moves that I sometimes do prior to skiing. I save the more intense stuff for afterwards, but only if I need it.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 11:26 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
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