I have an interesting situation and am looking for some advice. There's a client I've been working with occasionally over the past two years. In terms of his profile, he's middle aged, approximately 100lbs overweight (obese), and has some health issues. The client is a solid "level 4" skier. He very much wants to progress.
The good stuff:
Timing and coordination: Good symmetry in turns. Movements are generally coordinated though sometimes abrupt.
Stance and balance: Good fore/aft balance for the pitch he skis
Pivoting: The skis do come around (turning effort's led by the hips... but let's put that aside for now)
The client has hit a plateau in terms of:
Consequently all turns are upright, skidded, and low speed on greens and mellow blues. Steeper blues are inappropriate right now due to the fear and backseat action I've seen when the client's been led onto these runs by others.
My suspicion here is the plateau is 70% based on the lack of flexion. If the client could flex, he'd have more stability after the transition, could probably start balancing over the outside ski without fear of being bounced off it, and could start skiing at higher speeds without being launched in the air. I think the other 30% of the constraint is general fitness and having sufficient musculature to pivot the skis with the ankle, and being able to tip on edge. Perhaps balance counts as general fitness. But just enabling flexion would probably break him out of his plateau.
I also wonder if a fear of falling has something to do with it. This client is petrified to fall, so doesn't really take chances. This probably also affects his ability to move laterally down the hill. I'm honestly not sure if this fear is warranted or not when you're heavier (maybe things break easier--I have no idea, but would appreciate clarification).
I can get results out of most skiers--but in this situation I just see such minuscule progress (as do the other instructors who've coached him). Though I always try to stay upbeat, it's really frustrating! Does anyone have suggestions for coaching someone in this situation? What sorts of expectations and objectives do you set when you engage this type of client?