Originally Posted by bud heishman
Rick, I am not sure you understand the skills we are talking about (rotary, edging, and pressure control movements) are not one dimensional. It is not a situation of we either own them or we don't, it is that they exist in every turn, in every skier, all the time, from the very first turn. Though these skills in a beginner are very unrefined and inaccurate they still exist in some form. Perhaps as you said, "we can change movements" to improve or refine our skills, but we are not creating "new" skills.
They're certainly not one dimensional, Bud. Take for example, rotary. It's not a singular skill, it's a basket of skills. In the active sense you have rotation,,, counter rotation,,, anticipaton,,, pivoting,,, and leg steering. In the passive category there's an infinite number of rotational states skiers can move in and out of. All these "skills" are developed on a graduating progression of expanding range and
proficiency, just as you suggest. I write about this on my website. Did you know I have a website now, Bud?
Here's an article I wrote about how these skills are progressively developed and refined.
Your description seems to imply that there are many different skills and that forming new movement patterns will form new skills?
I would state it a bit differently. Learning different skills requires learning new movement patterns. A cleanly initiated carved turn requires a different movement pattern than executing an upper body rotation driven pivoted turn initiation. Both transitions, but vastly different movement patterns, with differing forms of edging skills, rotary skills, flexion/extension skills.
I can have a student balance on their downhill ski and traverse without any further explanation and in order to balance their body will do what it must. When they have difficulty, I may suggest changes to their body position to help them succeed like "flex your ankle and keep your head over the downhill foot" and with a little practice they will figure it out.
Yes, the skier's body has to figure it out, but the hints provided by the coach are often of crucial importance in helping them make the discovery. Different people require different hints. Expanding the repertoire of ways to help bring the "ah ha" moment is what good coaching is all about.
I don't believe we disagree on the skills concept as a whole just in the explanation. If I were a new skier and you told me I had to learn many different skills to ski well I may choose an easier sport. If I were told I needed only to be able to tip, twist, and pressure my skis and continually improve the ability to do this, I would say, "let's get started"!
Again, different people require different approaches. Some want to stay in the here and now, and would get discouraged to hear the entirety of what's entailed in achieving true expert level skiing. Others NEED to see the map before they start the journey. Some want simple instructions, and get overloaded with technical detail. Others have to understand the technicals of why things work, and why they're doing them, and what purpose it's serving, before they can buy into and devote themselves to the process. As coaches we need to learn to recognize the different student mentalities, and modify our approach to best suit them.