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"The skills you have...are the skills you have." - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM View Post

 

 

I guess the answer is to get a solid technique and then feel confident to bring that technique anywhere on the mountain.

I agree with this -- it is almost common sense that solid, basic technique will help us ski better in all types of terrain.  I guess that all the arguments come from trying to define what "solid, basic technique" consists of...

 

Another common sense comment is that you need to spend more time in the 3D terrain to get better at it (i.e., "you have to eat some powder to get a taste for it").  Which I guess still comes back to SD's initial point: we ski how we ski.  And who said that skiing was not an existential sport?

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

 

Quote:
I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer.

I've heard some long time instructors say they can evaluate a person's skiing just by watching him or her walk across the parking lot in their ski boots. Would you go so far?

  Fair point, and I believe this to be true.  But can these instructors give constructive pointers after watching the walk in ski boots?  Now that would be magic!roflmao.gif
 

post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post





Well this is my point exactley I guess, I know there are lots of people out there...high end students particularily who beleive what you do.  My intent with this thread is to dispell this myth. 

 

This is kind of like saying Shaq isn't playing basketball because he sucks at free throws. 

 

How you ski so how you ski?  More like "How you ski these bumps today is how you ski these bumps today.  How you ski that trail yesterday is how you skied that trail yesterday.  How you will ski that bowl in tow years is how you will ski that bowl in two years".  And, we can be excellent in some disciplines and not so great at others.  One turn won't get you everywhere...

post #34 of 57


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbinder View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

 

Quote:
I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer.

I've heard some long time instructors say they can evaluate a person's skiing just by watching him or her walk across the parking lot in their ski boots. Would you go so far?

  Fair point, and I believe this to be true.  But can these instructors give constructive pointers after watching the walk in ski boots?  Now that would be magic!roflmao.gif
 


This is similar to cops being able to tell who's likely to try to lie their way out of a ticket, who's likely to argue, etc.  You can know they're likely to lie, or likely to be x or y type of skier, but until they start skiing or riding you can't know exactly what the specific lie, or result on snow, will be.  And you have outliers -- I've had a few jaw-droppers good and bad.

 

But, it's not surprising that Nailbender's video in this thread also had snowboarding showing much the same movement pattern, though without the wedge.  

 

Also, not only is how you ski generally how you ski, it's also not a good idea to even try to change that too quickly.  But, if you're stuck in a dead end like some of the videos in question, you do have to change wholesale over time if you want to break out of it. 

 

 

post #35 of 57

 

Quote:
crgildart wrote:
 
One turn won't get you everywhere...

 

But the QCT will handle most conditions and terrain and do it very well.  Keep it simple.

post #36 of 57

HeluvaSkier: I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer.

 

Plenty of instructors have evaluated me on groomers and were surprised to see how I sucked in bumps and freaked out in steeps (but that is another problem as I am afraid of heights). It took me years of focused bump skiing to improve, but I am still far better on groomed and you would never know it.

 

All this simply says that I am not an expert skier. I do agree that the closer you get to expert skiing, the more accurate Skidude72's proposition becomes. And that PMTS premise of "one turn" everywhere ... well it makes perfect sense, but you need to reach a very high level of skiing to pull it off.

post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Skidude, while the examples you showed may hold true to your statement, a skier with a more complete command of skill blends would be able to switch easily to various terrain and texture changes with the appropriate skill blends to reflect efficiencies of effort and fluidity don't you think?



Yes of course.  But I am not sure your point?  Are you implying that my idea does not somehow hold true for better skiers?


Perhaps I am?  I would also note that many times certain movement patterns we see in all conditions and all terrain could be some physio limitations or asymetries, or alignment issues, rather than skill based limitations.  Just think your statement may be an over generalization?

post #38 of 57

Now you are making more sense.  

 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Well this is my point exactley I guess, I know there are lots of people out there...high end students particularily who beleive what you do.  My intent with this thread is to dispell this myth. 

 

Lets look a little closer:

 

You mention turn radius....turn radius is just an outcome based on a particular skill blend input.  If a guy cant carve a long turn on the groomers....I'll bet you dollars to donuts he cant carve a short turn either, and if he cant carve a short turn on a groomer, he definatley cant do it in the bumps, nor the gates.  If you look at a skier like "nailbender", his pivot point is too far forward in his short radius...well guess what, it is too far forward in his bumps too, and as one suspected, there it is again in the powder...no surprise.

 

Fore/aft?  There ya go....yes Fore/aft is a skill...so either you have it dont.  I find it hard to beleive that you ski for example with strong fore/aft balance on the groomed, weak fore/aft in bumps, and so/so fore/aft in powder etc.  What you are really seeing is possibly for example that medium radius groomers dont show up your lack of fore/aft the same as bumps do...for example.  So you think you are skiing different...you arent.  Bumps is an area that requires excellant fore/aft skill...same with high performance short radius on the groomed...but "performance" is relative, and lots of skiers think they are skiing high performance short turns...when they can be doing alot more...not realising that it is thier lack of fore/aft skill that shows up big time, in bumps, is also holding back their shorts on the groomed. 

 

Hence skills dont deteriorate in more challenging conditions, it is just the challenging conditions show how far, or not, the skills where developed in the first place. 

 

Conversly, if you see a skier ripping up short turns...if you know what to look for, you can also see them manipulate their fore/aft...these skiers, no doubt can do the same in bumps, thus they will at least, not have fore/aft issues in the bumps.

 

Now since it is the skills we teach, fore/aft, pivoting, edging, etc...hopefully you can now see the point..your skills are you skills, and they dont just magically appear or disappear as conditions change.  Thus you can if you know what you are doing, improve your bumps for example, opn the groomed.

post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbinder View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

 

Quote:
I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer.

I've heard some long time instructors say they can evaluate a person's skiing just by watching him or her walk across the parking lot in their ski boots. Would you go so far?

  Fair point, and I believe this to be true.  But can these instructors give constructive pointers after watching the walk in ski boots?  Now that would be magic!roflmao.gif
 

I don't know about constructive pointers but...
Yes, I believe good instructors can make some pretty accurate predictions from simply watching people walk in or out of ski boots.  One example would be people with severe Q angles or severe bow leggedness, severe pigeon toe gate or severe duck footed gate.  We can predict a certain degree of athleticism or lack thereof.  We can see obvious alignment issues while standing in boots and skis on the flat terrain. So you see there are tell tale signs, if we know how to pick up on them, which will forecast what we will see when they slide down the slope.

 

In fact this is an area I have been trying to improve in our Western division with various on snow and classroom clinics on proper alignment and foot and lower leg biomechanics.  As instructors improve their understanding of cause and effect relationships between equipment and technique they can begin to spot potential causes to skiing problems before the ever see the effect materialize on snow.

post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post

HeluvaSkier: I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer.

 

Plenty of instructors have evaluated me on groomers and were surprised to see how I sucked in bumps and freaked out in steeps (but that is another problem as I am afraid of heights). It took me years of focused bump skiing to improve, but I am still far better on groomed and you would never know it.

 

All this simply says that I am not an expert skier. I do agree that the closer you get to expert skiing, the more accurate Skidude72's proposition becomes. And that PMTS premise of "one turn" everywhere ... well it makes perfect sense, but you need to reach a very high level of skiing to pull it off.


Having had the pleasure to meet and ski with TomB in Aspen years ago, I can see his point!  Tom skis very skillfully on groomers yet is a bit timid in more challenging terrain or at higher speeds.  In Tom's case he may benefit from skiing with Mermer Blakesley or reading her book, "The Yikes Zone" to work on the mental skills to overcoming anxiety based impediments.  Certainly Tom is a good example of how "The skills you have are the skills you have" does not apply to everyone.

post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Now you are making more sense.  

 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

Bud,
I agree, though I would not leave the alignment part till last. That brings up a question on this blog  http://tinyurl.com/2fbpng7  about the context of movement analysis. Does body position create "good" skiing or does the need to maintain "good" balance create the body position?


 

post #42 of 57

We probably agree here that the need to maintain equilibrium trumps technique and manifests into compensatory movements detracting from efficient technique.

 

I only put Alignment last out of courtesy because I know it is the key area to rule out before looking any farther into technique!

 

When doing movement analysis I consider three areas with every skier I watch, possible alignment causes, possible technique issues, possible physiological issues.  Example: skier with stiff ankles and breaking at the waist to find balance = A)alignment issues/possibly needs work in sagital plane with 1)ramp angle 2) fwd lean angle 3) delta angle 4) binding placement? B)technique issues/possibly needs taught to flex ankles and move weight over middle of foot?  C)physio issues/possibly limited ankle range of motion (ie: club foot or fused ankle) see "A" for alignment work.

post #43 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCantu View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Now you are making more sense.  

 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

Bud,
I agree, though I would not leave the alignment part till last. That brings up a question on this blog  http://tinyurl.com/2fbpng7  about the context of movement analysis. Does body position create "good" skiing or does the need to maintain "good" balance create the body position?


 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

We probably agree here that the need to maintain equilibrium trumps technique and manifests into compensatory movements detracting from efficient technique.

 

I only put Alignment last out of courtesy because I know it is the key area to rule out before looking any farther into technique!

 

When doing movement analysis I consider three areas with every skier I watch, possible alignment causes, possible technique issues, possible physiological issues.  Example: skier with stiff ankles and breaking at the waist to find balance = A)alignment issues/possibly needs work in sagital plane with 1)ramp angle 2) fwd lean angle 3) delta angle 4) binding placement? B)technique issues/possibly needs taught to flex ankles and move weight over middle of foot?  C)physio issues/possibly limited ankle range of motion (ie: club foot or fused ankle) see "A" for alignment work.



Not sure I agree with this...are you implying that alignment is the single biggest factor that determines how we ski?

 

Sure if alignment is out we might compensate with how we execute the skills...but we can compensate.  And lets face it, in most cases that compensation requirement is minimal.

 

To take it to the next level...is the opposite true?  Can we compensate for bad technique by altering alignment?  I think you will find the answer is no.

 

Another thing to consider...2 skiers: 1 has lots of skill development but bad alignment, the other has no skill development, but excellant alignment....who would ski better?

 

I think it is clear alignment is well down the list of importance, and in the context of this thread....not really relevant.  The concept is general rule of thumb, not somthing to be taken to extremes.  Sure exceptions exist, but that doesnt warrant throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

 


Edited by Skidude72 - 11/28/10 at 11:20pm
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Skidude, while the examples you showed may hold true to your statement, a skier with a more complete command of skill blends would be able to switch easily to various terrain and texture changes with the appropriate skill blends to reflect efficiencies of effort and fluidity don't you think?


Yes of course.  But I am not sure your point?  Are you implying that my idea does not somehow hold true for better skiers?

Bud, to me, your point is also SD's point. A skilled trainer/coach/instructor (and I am not claiming to be one of these people) can see beyond the current blend and assess the skier's ownership of the underlying fundamental skills. If those skills are solid, the skier can adjust the blend. If any skill is lacking, the skier cannot bring it into a different blend requiring more of the weak skill.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 Hence skills dont deteriorate in more challenging conditions, it is just the challenging conditions show how far, or not, the skills where developed in the first place. 

 

icon14.gif Yes, I believe this is usually the case. There may be exceptions. There may be fear/anxiety issues that can contribute to ineffective use of skills in more challenging conditions. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer. Apparently a few of them were very insulted by this. So, this is probably a good topic for many to understand. 
 

I think this is SD's point. You can evaluate ownership (and stylistic application) of the fundamental skills based on how the skier uses them on "easy" terrain. All that changes as the terrain gets more challenging is the blend, the DIRT.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

I would argue that psychology should also be included. As noted several paragraphs above, fear or anxiety may in some cases interfere with the application of skills that are otherwise well developed. Sometimes, further development can alleviate the anxiety; sometimes it can't.

 

post #45 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Skidude, while the examples you showed may hold true to your statement, a skier with a more complete command of skill blends would be able to switch easily to various terrain and texture changes with the appropriate skill blends to reflect efficiencies of effort and fluidity don't you think?


Yes of course.  But I am not sure your point?  Are you implying that my idea does not somehow hold true for better skiers?

Bud, to me, your point is also SD's point. A skilled trainer/coach/instructor (and I am not claiming to be one of these people) can see beyond the current blend and assess the skier's ownership of the underlying fundamental skills. If those skills are solid, the skier can adjust the blend. If any skill is lacking, the skier cannot bring it into a different blend requiring more of the weak skill.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 Hence skills dont deteriorate in more challenging conditions, it is just the challenging conditions show how far, or not, the skills where developed in the first place. 

 

icon14.gif Yes, I believe this is usually the case. There may be exceptions. There may be fear/anxiety issues that can contribute to ineffective use of skills in more challenging conditions. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer. Apparently a few of them were very insulted by this. So, this is probably a good topic for many to understand. 
 

I think this is SD's point. You can evaluate ownership (and stylistic application) of the fundamental skills based on how the skier uses them on "easy" terrain. All that changes as the terrain gets more challenging is the blend, the DIRT.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

I would argue that psychology should also be included. As noted several paragraphs above, fear or anxiety may in some cases interfere with the application of skills that are otherwise well developed. Sometimes, further development can alleviate the anxiety; sometimes it can't.

 



I think this is a pretty good assessment.icon14.gif

post #46 of 57

Bud Heishman: Tom skis very skillfully on groomers yet is a bit timid in more challenging terrain or at higher speeds.

 

A bit? You are too kind! smile.gif I actually removed myself from the group and went to a lower group just to be able to function. But that just goes to show us that specific skills are required for specific terrain. It is similar to taking me (a XC rider with tons of racing experince) and plopping me on a DH bike and asking me to do some World Cup run. I know what would happen and it would not be pretty. smile.gif

post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCantu View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Now you are making more sense.  

 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

Bud,
I agree, though I would not leave the alignment part till last. That brings up a question on this blog  http://tinyurl.com/2fbpng7  about the context of movement analysis. Does body position create "good" skiing or does the need to maintain "good" balance create the body position?


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

We probably agree here that the need to maintain equilibrium trumps technique and manifests into compensatory movements detracting from efficient technique.

 

I only put Alignment last out of courtesy because I know it is the key area to rule out before looking any farther into technique!

 

When doing movement analysis I consider three areas with every skier I watch, possible alignment causes, possible technique issues, possible physiological issues.  Example: skier with stiff ankles and breaking at the waist to find balance = A)alignment issues/possibly needs work in sagital plane with 1)ramp angle 2) fwd lean angle 3) delta angle 4) binding placement? B)technique issues/possibly needs taught to flex ankles and move weight over middle of foot?  C)physio issues/possibly limited ankle range of motion (ie: club foot or fused ankle) see "A" for alignment work.



Not sure I agree with this...are you implying that alignment is the single biggest factor that determines how we ski?

 

 

 Skidude,
       Not sure who you are asking the question of but my one word answer would be a lot closer to yes than no. I also believe it is the biggest contributing factor and reason that out of every 100 people who actually put on boots and skis and get onto snow (try skiing) only 15 become skiers.
       I contend that there is a direct correlation between the amount of misalignment and the decision not to become skiers as misalignment causes a lack of control. The lack of control in skiing, unlike in golf and tennis, does have serious consequences both real and imagined such as "I am going to break my _ _ _." or "I am going to hit a tree and _ _ _."
       It is no wonder 85% walk away from our wonderful sport. So with that being said those we see on the hill as skiers are a very select group, and those that we consider "good" skiers, I think you would agree, are a very small percentage of that very select group.  
 

 

Sure if alignment is out we might compensate with how we execute the skills...but we can compensate.  And lets face it, in most cases that compensation requirement is minimal.

 

The compensation is the thing that we see when we do Movement Analysis and then try to "correct" with exercises and drills.  

 

To take it to the next level...is the opposite true?  Can we compensate for bad technique by altering alignment?  I think you will find the answer is no.

 

I believe the correct answer is YES. To support that answer I offer the following two examples from threads here on Epic.
The first deals with the "bad technique" of having to step the inside ski to finish the turn to the right. Post #1 the skier describes the issue and the solution (incorrect) offered by his "fitter". Post #3 explains the cause and effect of this misalignment as a Canting problem and proposes a solution. Post #7 describes the results.

 
http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/80711/canting-question
       
         
The second deals with the "bad technique" of an A frame described in post #1. The questions asked in Post #2 answered in Post #3 helped define the problem. More information was asked for in Post #7 and answered in Post #8. The misalignment in this case was not a canting problem but a problem of rotation with a solution that deals with footbed and cuff alignment.


http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89430/questions-about-my-stance-what-to-try-next#post_1164216 

 

Another thing to consider...2 skiers: 1 has lots of skill development but bad alignment, the other has no skill development, but excellant alignment....who would ski better?

 

Over time the second one will ski better. 

 

I think it is clear alignment is well down the list of importance, and in the context of this thread....not really relevant.  The concept is general rule of thumb, not somthing to be taken to extremes.  Sure exceptions exist, but that doesnt warrant throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

 

 

Based on my experience I don't think it is as clear as you think it is.



 

post #48 of 57

 skidude said:

Not sure I agree with this...are you implying that alignment is the single biggest factor that determines how we ski?

 

Sure if alignment is out we might compensate with how we execute the skills...but we can compensate.  And lets face it, in most cases that compensation requirement is minimal.

 

To take it to the next level...is the opposite true?  Can we compensate for bad technique by altering alignment?  I think you will find the answer is no.

 

Another thing to consider...2 skiers: 1 has lots of skill development but bad alignment, the other has no skill development, but excellant alignment....who would ski better?

 

I think it is clear alignment is well down the list of importance, and in the context of this thread....not really relevant.  The concept is general rule of thumb, not somthing to be taken to extremes.  Sure exceptions exist, but that doesnt warrant throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

 


I would bet if we took two beginners of equal athletic abilities, one being poorly set up in their equipment and the other perfectly aligned and gave them equal attention or left them completely alone, the properly aligned skier would excel.

 

My point is proper alignment removes impediments to skill development.  Compensatory movements are poor technique.

 

I believe instructors who do not consider alignment issues in every movement analysis they do are missing a key element of job competency.  And at a higher level, we should also be considering physiological and psychological (thank you jhcooley) issues as well in the cause and effect scenario.  If we do not understand these areas and how they play into a skier's performance or ignore their importance, we are missing the boat! 

post #49 of 57

Great points RayCantuicon14.gif

post #50 of 57

I think im like alot of skiers on here in the fact that I practice and use many types of turns every time im on the hill. I started out with an old school skidded turn, taught by my parents who had skied on nothing but straight skis up to six years ago. I now use tip initaition for a skidded turn most of the time but its still fun to use the old school style once in a while. When im screwing around having fun I use my tails at the end of the turn for a dolphin move? (cant remember the exact name) but basically I use my tails to release and catch a little air between turns, a real blast. In bump skiing I use both old school and tip initiated turns. My powder turns are a work in progress, still working on bending the skis, I do pretty well on my 175's but my 193's are stiff as steel, so theyre demanding to say the least.

post #51 of 57
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCantu View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCantu View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Now you are making more sense.  

 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

Bud,
I agree, though I would not leave the alignment part till last. That brings up a question on this blog  http://tinyurl.com/2fbpng7  about the context of movement analysis. Does body position create "good" skiing or does the need to maintain "good" balance create the body position?


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

We probably agree here that the need to maintain equilibrium trumps technique and manifests into compensatory movements detracting from efficient technique.

 

I only put Alignment last out of courtesy because I know it is the key area to rule out before looking any farther into technique!

 

When doing movement analysis I consider three areas with every skier I watch, possible alignment causes, possible technique issues, possible physiological issues.  Example: skier with stiff ankles and breaking at the waist to find balance = A)alignment issues/possibly needs work in sagital plane with 1)ramp angle 2) fwd lean angle 3) delta angle 4) binding placement? B)technique issues/possibly needs taught to flex ankles and move weight over middle of foot?  C)physio issues/possibly limited ankle range of motion (ie: club foot or fused ankle) see "A" for alignment work.



Not sure I agree with this...are you implying that alignment is the single biggest factor that determines how we ski?

 

 

 Skidude,
       Not sure who you are asking the question of but my one word answer would be a lot closer to yes than no. I also believe it is the biggest contributing factor and reason that out of every 100 people who actually put on boots and skis and get onto snow (try skiing) only 15 become skiers.
       I contend that there is a direct correlation between the amount of misalignment and the decision not to become skiers as misalignment causes a lack of control. The lack of control in skiing, unlike in golf and tennis, does have serious consequences both real and imagined such as "I am going to break my _ _ _." or "I am going to hit a tree and _ _ _."
       It is no wonder 85% walk away from our wonderful sport. So with that being said those we see on the hill as skiers are a very select group, and those that we consider "good" skiers, I think you would agree, are a very small percentage of that very select group.  
 

 

Sure if alignment is out we might compensate with how we execute the skills...but we can compensate.  And lets face it, in most cases that compensation requirement is minimal.

 

The compensation is the thing that we see when we do Movement Analysis and then try to "correct" with exercises and drills.  

 

To take it to the next level...is the opposite true?  Can we compensate for bad technique by altering alignment?  I think you will find the answer is no.

 

I believe the correct answer is YES. To support that answer I offer the following two examples from threads here on Epic.
The first deals with the "bad technique" of having to step the inside ski to finish the turn to the right. Post #1 the skier describes the issue and the solution (incorrect) offered by his "fitter". Post #3 explains the cause and effect of this misalignment as a Canting problem and proposes a solution. Post #7 describes the results.

 
http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/80711/canting-question
       
         
The second deals with the "bad technique" of an A frame described in post #1. The questions asked in Post #2 answered in Post #3 helped define the problem. More information was asked for in Post #7 and answered in Post #8. The misalignment in this case was not a canting problem but a problem of rotation with a solution that deals with footbed and cuff alignment.


http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89430/questions-about-my-stance-what-to-try-next#post_1164216 

 

Another thing to consider...2 skiers: 1 has lots of skill development but bad alignment, the other has no skill development, but excellant alignment....who would ski better?

 

Over time the second one will ski better. 

 

I think it is clear alignment is well down the list of importance, and in the context of this thread....not really relevant.  The concept is general rule of thumb, not somthing to be taken to extremes.  Sure exceptions exist, but that doesnt warrant throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

 

 

Based on my experience I don't think it is as clear as you think it is.



 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

 skidude said:

Not sure I agree with this...are you implying that alignment is the single biggest factor that determines how we ski?

 

Sure if alignment is out we might compensate with how we execute the skills...but we can compensate.  And lets face it, in most cases that compensation requirement is minimal.

 

To take it to the next level...is the opposite true?  Can we compensate for bad technique by altering alignment?  I think you will find the answer is no.

 

Another thing to consider...2 skiers: 1 has lots of skill development but bad alignment, the other has no skill development, but excellant alignment....who would ski better?

 

I think it is clear alignment is well down the list of importance, and in the context of this thread....not really relevant.  The concept is general rule of thumb, not somthing to be taken to extremes.  Sure exceptions exist, but that doesnt warrant throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

 


I would bet if we took two beginners of equal athletic abilities, one being poorly set up in their equipment and the other perfectly aligned and gave them equal attention or left them completely alone, the properly aligned skier would excel.

 

My point is proper alignment removes impediments to skill development.  Compensatory movements are poor technique.

 

I believe instructors who do not consider alignment issues in every movement analysis they do are missing a key element of job competency.  And at a higher level, we should also be considering physiological and psychological (thank you jhcooley) issues as well in the cause and effect scenario.  If we do not understand these areas and how they play into a skier's performance or ignore their importance, we are missing the boat! 


I think you guys make a few good points here, but you just take it too far in my view.

 

Sure most people who try skiing dont stick with it....but the suggestion that this low take up rate is primarily due to alignment issues is delusional.  Most beginner ski boots are 4 sizes too big!  Let alone properly aligned!

 

Interesting examples of where alginment compensated for bad technique.  Not sure that is what really happened....I read it as alignment was used to negate the need for compensation moves allowing proper technqiue to develop.  Yes those cases exist...but in my experience they are not nearly as widespread as again you seem to suggest.  Further the improvements are a few percent, not whole step changes.

 

As for Bud's comments.  I agree...alll things being equal, if you give one person an advantage (such as better alignment or better tuned skis), they will excel over their counterpart.  From philosphical standpoint this will always be true.  But that is not the question...the question was which is more important...skills or alignment?  In that case the proper question is: if you had 2 skiers of equal natrual ability/strength/athelitics etc. and one you gave unlimited trips to the boot alignment specialist and the other unlimited instruction...who would come out on top?  To me the answer is clear...If you disagree, fine, we'll have to just leave it there then.

 

 

BTW: Physcology is important, no doubt.  But confidence etc, comes from feeling in control...that comes from skills in most cases...sure some people may need alignment issues resolved before they have a chance...but again that is more excpetions to the rule rather then the standard.

 

The number of times where I actually had to adjust a skiers alignment on the hill becuase it was just not allowing them to do what they needed to in any form....is very low.  Times in my experience that alignment would take a say "80% skier" to a "83%" skier....ok, much more common. 

 

The biggest boot issues are simply fit.  The number of skiers on the hill today that could benefit from getting boots that actually fit properly?  Around 50% I am sure.  Those that must have aligment done on top to ski?  Substantially less...under 10% for sure.
 

post #52 of 57

I've been following this discussion and really don't envy you guys.  There are SO many variables to instructing and I think different components may have more importance depending on the skier's skill level and technique being instructed.  After reading this, I'm wondering how important equipment selection is, the correct ski and length applied to a certain terrain/condition....how about dedication and desire, I mean really, good luck.

post #53 of 57

Skidude,

 

You make good points and I agree there is no substitute for skills!  and I agree with your scenario that one given unlimited instruction and ski time would advance better than one with only unlimited alignment work (which by the way would/should not take but one or two visits at most to get very close).

 

Based on my experiences both teaching and boot fitting and looking at thousands of feet and legs and turns,  I would argue your percentages of who would benefit from good fitting and alignment are WAY off.  Yes most begin their skiing careers in boots two to three sizes too big and correcting that alone offers huge benefits.  Then we can look at the foot and ankle inside the boot.  Simply by stabilizing the foot in a neutral position with a good footbed will offer another level of both comfort/fit and the beginning step in the alignment chain.  Unfortunately, as an instructor only seeing how the skier turns and stands over their skis, we can not see inside the boots to evaluate how their skiing may be affected by the footbed and boot board angles yet these do have positive or negative affects in one's abilities to balance and turn.  Then we can consider the ramp, forward lean to address the range of motion in the ankles which, to a trained eye, is more visible in their skiing if there is a misalignment.  Then the delta angle, which can be easily spotted by a trained eye,  can be optimized for fore/aft balance.  These four parameters are all in the sagital plane and affect fore/aft balance.  I could go on with the parameters affecting the frontal plane too but my point is this....

 

Just because an instructor or coach may not understand what to look for or the indications of alignment issues that surface in our students/athletes does not mean they do not exist and offer us a red flag to check and then adjust to help the skier ski more efficiently.  Remember, You have the tools you have as an instructor or coach just like you say, "the skills you have are the skills you have!"  I believe this holds true for the coach too!?  You use those tools as best you can to progress the skier, However; THE MORE TOOLS YOU HAVE IN YOUR TOOL BOX (knowledge) THE BETTER COACH/INSTRUCTOR CAN YOU BE!   There are nine primary alignment parameters (angles) that have unique affects on the skier's balance and abilities to edge and turn their skis.  A good instructor/coach should seek to understand these parameters and how they can affect performance when out of alignment one way or the other and, recognize when they are correct or as close to perfect as possible.  This is just part of good movement analysis skills and a key part of cause & effect!   I can promise you very very few skiers I have seen throw a pair of boots on their feet are perfect out of the box!   How much are you willing to compensate for less than optimal alignment is your call but I am always seeking to optimize mine and my students'.

 

No alignment is not a substitute for good technique or skill development, it goes hand in hand!


Edited by bud heishman - 12/4/10 at 7:41am
post #54 of 57

good skiing nailbender, but.... there is something not quite right. I'm not a skilled enough instructor to pick out what it is, I would need some refresher clinics. It's just the way you move it feels that something could be smoother, or more relaxed. Hey, that gives me an idea. How about next time you take a video of yourself, just relax and tear it up, don't worry about how you're going to look and don't think about correct techniqe. Add a bit of pace in the bumps. Those bumps looked soft, sweet, forgiving and on a gentle enough pitch to tear it up. Try get agressive as if the bump is a beautiful breast that wants to be rammed by your long ski. 

Oops, there I go again.

On a technical note, I do think I see some A framing. On a less technical note, some head tipping to initiate the turn, Plus there seems to be something not quite right with the vertical movement, I think it needs to be smoother and continuous, not a quick, sudden movement. Remember your skis don't stop moving, so why should you stop moving in the vertical plane.


Edited by skiingaround - 12/5/10 at 5:07am
post #55 of 57

 

Quote:
skiingaround wrote:
 
Add a bit of pace in the bumps. Those bumps looked soft, sweet, forgiving and on a gentle enough pitch to tear it up. Try get agressive as if the bump is a beautiful breast that wants to be rammed by your long ski

 

Hey, bring the comment over to one of the mogul threads, somehow this is probably thread jacking.  I will get more video, yes my skiing can improve in many ways.  Yes I hear you, why work around those beautiful bumps when you can be on top of them...

post #56 of 57

Lol Nailbender, that's the spirit, get on top of them alright.But really, you're skiing is pretty damn good, great control, and you are having a blast. We'd have a great time if we ever skied together. I remember one of my coaches saying to me once 'technically, you look fine, but get that carrot our your arse'. I was so busy concentrating on technique I was forgetting to ski for the sake of skiing. I'm not saying this is so much the case with you, but try a bit of pace on the gentler bumps.

post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Skidude, while the examples you showed may hold true to your statement, a skier with a more complete command of skill blends would be able to switch easily to various terrain and texture changes with the appropriate skill blends to reflect efficiencies of effort and fluidity don't you think?


Yes of course.  But I am not sure your point?  Are you implying that my idea does not somehow hold true for better skiers?

Bud, to me, your point is also SD's point. A skilled trainer/coach/instructor (and I am not claiming to be one of these people) can see beyond the current blend and assess the skier's ownership of the underlying fundamental skills. If those skills are solid, the skier can adjust the blend. If any skill is lacking, the skier cannot bring it into a different blend requiring more of the weak skill.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 Hence skills dont deteriorate in more challenging conditions, it is just the challenging conditions show how far, or not, the skills where developed in the first place. 

 

icon14.gif Yes, I believe this is usually the case. There may be exceptions. There may be fear/anxiety issues that can contribute to ineffective use of skills in more challenging conditions. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

I've received a lot of doubt from long-time instructors last season when I told them that it was easy to evaluate their skiing on any terrain with only a few turns on a groomer. Apparently a few of them were very insulted by this. So, this is probably a good topic for many to understand. 
 

I think this is SD's point. You can evaluate ownership (and stylistic application) of the fundamental skills based on how the skier uses them on "easy" terrain. All that changes as the terrain gets more challenging is the blend, the DIRT.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
 

Still, I would argue there are three areas to consider  skill set, individual physiology (ie. assymetries, flexibility ranges, injuries,etc.), and last but not least, Alignment.
 

I would argue that psychology should also be included. As noted several paragraphs above, fear or anxiety may in some cases interfere with the application of skills that are otherwise well developed. Sometimes, further development can alleviate the anxiety; sometimes it can't.

 



I think this is a pretty good assessment.icon14.gif



I concuricon14.gif

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