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Need Ideas for Advanced Skiers

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have a group of men that ski with me every Wednesday for eight weeks. Some of them have skied with me for numerous seasons and I don't want to give them the same material over and over again so I would love to get some fresh ideas ! These men are advanced skiers who like to ski easy blacks and most all blue terrain. My consistent theme is focusing on stance and BALANCE ( despite what some observers may think, lack of balancing skills is the root of every skiers problems and it is my main focus in every lesson plan ). I don't care if the ideas are PMTS or PSIA or if you created your own system. I just want some ideas to help stimulate my own creative process. Those of you out there that get stuck in the idea that there is only one way to teach skiing are missing the boat. For example, some comments have been made that "lifting the downhill ski and leaning down the hill is how we should initiate our turn". I would try this with my students, then I would show them a better alternative. When they 'felt' the difference they can decide which is more efficient skiing. As instructors, we have to remember that it is not enough to correct ineffecient movement patterns, we must also give the student an understanding of the 'why'. Thanks in advance!! :
post #2 of 26
Just a thought...use a MA model and begin to feed their technical understanding of movement instead of feeding their need for more feel this/try this. Make them part of their own evolution. Maybe some video and MA on each other......or ask Uncle Milty for some inspiration...always worked for me!
Hope you get some natural soon! I plan to be there end of Feb for the Edwin.
post #3 of 26
snowdancer, I'm in the same situation, only my classes are 10 weeks with three different upper level groups (7-7-6), where most are returning students, with overlap of one student per class, so I can't duplicate material in the three classes, though I can pick one theme and tell a story three ways.

I would love to share ideas for teaching level 8-9 skiers.

Thanks, Robin, for an excellent suggestion to get them into self-assessment. As I mentioned on another thread, I'd like to use more synchro analysis as well.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Robin, I am planning on using the video camera this week ( although I hope it will be snowing so hard that we'll have to do a powder clinic instead... ) Nolobolono- sounds like you have a challenging winter ahead, when all else fails I guess we can just take 'em skiing ! If we don't get some snow pretty quick I might be teaching a class on rock avoidance tactics this week !
post #5 of 26
Some balance focal points: Traversing on the uphill edge of the uphill ski. If you're not in contact with the boot cuff and a tad countered, you can't do it. Try the same with no change of direction (the ski points to an object at the side of the slope and doesn't turn away from it). A small jump while traversing on the uphill ski. Most folks find they can do these better on one side than the other.

Try tracer turns (left and right on the left ski with the right ski carrying maybe 10 per cent of the weight).

Both these activities help me get back into positional balance if I'm feeling that things aren't going just right.
post #6 of 26
Don't know what you've done in the past, but how 'bout teaching them to SKID? Tipping-release garlands, straight side-slips, On snow 360's, Wide track 360's (both directions), "Noisy" skidded turns, Backwards Pivot slips (non-crowded slope!), and/or linked pivot slips with little or no counter.

Skill focus? Activating the inside leg within the rotary and edging realms and becoming Simultaneous. During 360's and pivots, watch for wedging and create skidded activities to aleviate the wedge! Usually pretty fun and gets your students INVOLVED in what's going on from the hips down.

Best of luck to ya, and if you take Robin's advice and involve Milt, tell him "Yo" from South Dakota for me. Have fun!!!!

Spag :
post #7 of 26
When you are n the flats, ski straight on one leg. Harder is to ski straight on one leg, then hop into the air and have the other ski land in the original track!


Take a look at the B.A.S.E. tests from USSA. If you can't get a holdof them, give me a few days to "post" them. Ask.
post #8 of 26

I am a Level 1 instructor and I teach levels 1 to 4, so I don't really have much advice for you as a teacher, but some of the things that I have been working on as a student are

1) lifting the tail of the inside ski, and steering the shovel of the inside ski into the turn.

2) lifting the outside ski to put all the weight on the inside ski. I'm not very good at this yet.

3) getting on edge at the cross-over point so that I am fully edged by the fall line.

not all at the same time though.

As an aid to other instructors who will have more and better ideas, maybe you should list the exercises that you like to use, so that they will not be repeating them.
post #9 of 26
Along the lines Spag suggested, you know the synchronized skiing exercise where a pacesetter sets a consistent turn rate and a follower matches the rate but accelerates and decelerates? Well, try it in a vertical sideslip. One skier maintains a steady rate of descent while sideslipping and the other adjusts to go faster, slower than the pacesetter.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback, Spag, Kneale,KeeTov,TT, good ideas for slipping and edging . TT- I would have a list a mile long if I tried to list everything I've done : thanks for your input on the things you're working on, it's helpful to know what advanced skiers find challenging, the more you teach , the better skier you will become

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 13, 2002 06:01 PM: Message edited 1 time, by snowdancer ]</font>
post #11 of 26

How long is each class?

Do you try to get in a minimum number of runs?

I guess what I'm asking is, how do you pace yourself? Do you use lesson plans?

Do you have special activities like a day on skiboards, out of bounds skiing (transceiver training), visit from a master boot fitter, etc.?

Just picking your brain...
post #12 of 26
Dynamic check hop garlands
Long turns in bumps
rythmn change on the steep
carve turns backwards
ski short, ski tall
exagerate down unweight and push legs away from body
step uphill and dive into turns.
uphill ski carve
very very slow pivot turns on relative flat with a standing start
parallel stem and ride the uphill edge and roll into new turn
spieze to short swing to spieze to stop on moderate terrain.
all the above with no poles
power wedge to short to power wedge to short to check stop
banking turns with uphill leg retraction
wide track, narrow track
ski slow and continuous through changing terrain mixing up turns.

Indoor bookclub. Choose three big time ski books and get them to study different passages and prepare feedback for the group ... discuss over beer.

Your shout.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 13, 2002 06:27 PM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #13 of 26
I'm not an instructor, but I remember one of the most enjoyable lessons I had was the 4th day of a 5-day course when we were all feeling a bit tired. We ski'd backwards, did 180s & 360s, & tried some (very small) jumps. We then did 'follow my leader' where we tried to follow the instructor exactly, staying the same distance apart, and doing exactly the same turns. He made it more fun by including all sorts of other things to copy - jumping, skiing on one leg, crouching etc. I don't know if we were improving our skiing in any particular way but it was great fun!
post #14 of 26
I'm not an instructor, but I remember one of the most enjoyable lessons I had was the 4th day of a 5-day course when we were all feeling a bit tired. We ski'd backwards, did 180s & 360s, & tried some (very small) jumps. We then did 'follow my leader' where we tried to follow the instructor exactly, staying the same distance apart, and doing exactly the same turns. He made it more fun by including all sorts of other things to copy - jumping, skiing on one leg, crouching etc. I don't know if we were improving our skiing in any particular way but it was great fun!
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Great stuff, Oz; thanks for your input, Frances. Nolobolono , the classes are 3 hours , we will ski one day on either snowblades or short skis ( 143 cm or less)and I'm hoping to shoot video twice. I try to have a loose idea ( written down ) of where I'm going with the lesson plan. Last week we explored stance and balance, experimenting with flexing and extension and the timing of each. I think this week we will start to play around with staying balanced over flat skis and edged skis, some great ideas above for edging stuff. At my area we keep a written lesson plan going so that if you have to miss a class, your substitute knows what's happening. There's a rumour of snow in the forcast, say a prayer to the snow gods! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #16 of 26
... IMHO nothing forces you in fore/aft balanced position like leaving one ski at the lodge....
... maybe a bit extreme for intermediates, but can still work on an easy slope...
... lots of fun too ....

post #17 of 26
How about on a gentle slope try "skiing" or sliding on your boots, no skis.

Put a line of bamboo poles on the slope (up and down) and have them ski one footed on one side then the other.
post #18 of 26
Teach them how to have fun. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #19 of 26
Dchan, I have a buddy who coaches. He loves bootskiing as an exercise for his teams. But he likes fairly steep terrain for that. But it depends somewhat on which boots folks have. My Lange's don't slide very well. It may be the weight/surface area, however. I'm heavy and have relatively short feet.
post #20 of 26
Snow--for this level, I find one of the most fun focuses is gate running. Not just for racing, but if you can get some 'stubbies', put them on a fairly easy slope.
Do 1 foot carving through the gates.
Do tuck turns with carving-back remains parallel to the snow.
Do tuck turns with skidding-no carving.
Do skate turns through the gates-inside ski off the snow through the turns.
Do 'white pass' turns through the gates.
Do 'gumby' turns through the gates.
All of the above can be with or without poles.

Hope you find this useful-it sure is fun playing with these exercises-they can also be done without gates. Good luck
post #21 of 26

Funny thing about the boot skiing, As an new instructor, I have not tried and proably would not try this with my students since most are still trying to just keep from falling over. I was never run through this exercise as a student but have watched it done several times and have played with the exercise myself on my own. This weekend the path in and out of our locker room was an almost solid patch of ice pretty steep slope and no one had the time to cut steps so a great deal of the the people coming in and out had to struggle to climb up and walk down without falling over. I just grabbed my poles and "boot skied" right down the path (NOT RECOMMENDED for the timid) Several instructors that saw it kind of snickered "show off" or something like that. I hadn't even thought about it and just took for granted that all the other skiers/boarders had done it too. I guess if I had thought about it I probably would not have done that because it was probably a bad example for the students that were around but I find it funny sometimes that things people learn and sometimes take for granted are real hard for others to fathom "how do they do that?"

Again, A good reminder to me, Try to remember that things that come natural or seem natural to me may be very "hard to learn" for others depending on their background. Keep trying new things to remind myself of that.
post #22 of 26
another thought,

Take them into some narrow trails/paths like the kids instructors do. "Whoop de do's", through the trees, etc.. It will make them have to think and watch the terrain more carefully and learn to anticipate more quickly. When I was leading my friends kids throught the trees a few others decided to follow, they found out and had to practice being quick on their feet and speed control with turn shape as well as sideslips and edge control, Bumps and dips required better balance and anticipation. They all had a blast.
post #23 of 26

How to make it fresh and excitng each time you go skiing. That's a challenge !

First, you need to incorporate the "fun run." You probably do, but if you don't that's a free ski on terrain that is not upping the "fear" factor, and it is just for fun, don't think..just ski. Do these at least once every 1/2 hour or every third run, which ever happens first.

Minimize verbal explanations, and maximize skiing.

Some exercises. The thousand steps to teach edging, and balance. Skating on the flats to warm up and teach edge transfer and the phantom foot move or as Lito calls it "phantom edging."

Emphasize the unweighted ski, and its importance in turn initiation. And really focus on the concept that the end of one turn is the beginning of the next turn.

I hope this helps, but also you must....
post #24 of 26
If you're an instructor:

What are three reliable indications that you taught a great lesson?

If you're not:

What are three absolutely necessary things for you to be satisfied with a lesson?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 15, 2002 09:06 PM: Message edited 1 time, by nolobolono ]</font>
post #25 of 26
OK Nolo, as a non-instructor, the three things I like to take from a lesson:
1. A problem with my skiing technique has been sorted out.
2. I've done something that I thought I couldn't do. (This could be turning better, going faster, steeps, powder, whatever)
3. I have a stupid grin on my face: i.e. I've learned something that makes me ENJOY skiing more.

Actually, the list above is probably in reverse order:
1. Enjoy
2. New Experience
3. Improvement


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 16, 2002 04:00 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Wear the fox hat ? ]</font>
post #26 of 26
Thanks for the insights, WTFH. That's the priority I try to deliver. Group lessons suffer a bit from the Abe Lincoln rule--you can't please all of the people all of the time.

I like John Alderson's recipe: Play, Drill, Adventure. My favorite mix is one run for warm up and play, two runs for learning some new stuff, two runs testing new stuff in target terrain. Plus take at least one run in fun terrain they wouldn't ordinarily ski.
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