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backseat bandits and wedging

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, 

 

I had two backseat bandits in my 2h beginner lesson today who I just could not cure. On flats, they could assume a reasonably athletic stance. And they could get into position on the bunny hill in an athletic stance. but as soon as they allowed themselves to move, they went into the backseat and their tips would often cross as the skis ran away on them.

 

I was actually really concerned--the one guy had two backwards falls from being so far back, and that really worries me. Basically I never want to see this in a lesson ever again. 

 

I went through my whole list with him to get him forward:

do a superman with the arms; he simply would stick his arms forward and lean back. 

do a "pelvic thrust"; he bent somewhat backwards above the hips. 

Bring your shoulders over the toes; this made no difference. 

Feel the weight over the balls of your feet; nothing.

 

Yet on a flat his stance was athletic. I could have him bring his shoulders forward, flex in the ankles/knees/hip... sigh. He also consistently looked out the hill, not down at his skis. And on flats he could slide on one ski, do the box-turn drill on one ski, rotate the femur in the hip socket...

 

Short of physically putting him in a vice I didn't know what to do. I was out of options. My supervisor says that you regularly see a possibly major split in your group within an hour or two... which made the experience a bit less upsetting for me... but I'd still like to find some way to fix this guy's issues. Though I sound upset right now, I tried to celebrate every victory for him (like his ability to do a gliding wedge to braking wedge on total flats and near-flats). 

 

All I can possibly come up with, in hindsight, was checking his boots... ... ... maybe if your foot's sliding around you're going to recoil in fear?

 

(My other backseat bandit was afflicted with some other challenges: she couldn't maintain any tension in her skis while moving, had a fairly hard time balancing over one ski just standing still, she couldn't really turn her femur in her hip socket and didn't get the concept of flattening a ski or putting it on edge--even while I was tipping them for her. She actually seemed to have minimal to no interest in being on the hill. :(  I think she might have benefited from more fundamentals practice for longer. In short, that one's a different post--I'm actually trying to figure out what I could have done for the guy above.)

 

Any thoughts for backseat bandit #1? The moment's gone, but I'm sure I'll see more of these in the future!

 

(My other 3 participants did amazingly well.)

post #2 of 37

I've had a lot of success with having the "backseat drivers" stand with the skis in a wedge pointing down a nearly flat slope and make a few hops.  It's near impossible to hop from a back seat.  In addition, if they can jump, and land with enough edge to remain in place, it's a great confidence boost.

post #3 of 37

Equipment

 

I cant do this for group lesson due to time and volume constraints but for every single private I teach I do a basic boot check.

 

1. do you just have one pair of socks on? and is there anything else tucked into your boot?

 

2. when we flex forward does your foot move back and forth?

 

normally the answer to both is yes I have more than 2 pairs of socks on, and yes it slides back and forth. If one of us went and tried to ski like this we would most likely be back seat.

 

I really wish for all group lesson especially never evers that we met inside so we could at least get the people renting boots from the mountain as close as we could to a good fit.

 

 

next for some people the rental bindings have tons of heel left which makes people who are trying to be centered on the ski have to lean back to stay there. There is not a quick safe fix to this if they are renting gear, but if they are are demoing nicer skis or buying their own stuff just steer them towards most 12 din binding as they have more acceptable ramp angle on them.

 

skill

 

Its a hard truth for alot of people to swallow but everything we do well in skiing has to come from a balance stance. If we arent moving with our skis effectively, applying  steering, edging, or fore and aft , side to side, diagonal balance moves(aka pressure)  is going to be incredibly tough if not impossible.

 

an athletic stance is not a static position even in the most basic flat straight run.  Any movement is a pretty complex dynamic balance move that requires our entire body especially our ankles to be constantly readjusting.  the balance movement we have while skiing are not something everyone brings to the table. In fact some people may not learn them in days doing straight runs, where some people who have already done other 'action" sport like ice skating, rollerblading, skateboarding, biking may pick it up instantly or fairly quickly. some people are simply to sentry to have these balance movements in the time an average group lesson goes for.

 

I personally start coaching moving constantly forward when we do our first one footed slides. The analogies change with each lesson but the goals stays the same. the goal is dont ever let your skis leave your body behind even on these most basic one footed exercises. I also challenge atheletic enough people to see how far they can glide on a flat one footed.

 

after learning how to glide on one foot and turn that foot while its on the snow with both of their feet. It time for 2 skis. 2 skis on right up the first lift right? WRONG. I then spend more time learning to slide forward and shuffle, and if they are athletic enough some skating. skating does a whole bunch of great stuff but for balance purposes it does 2 really great thing. Gets people to flex their ankles, and get people to project their hips down the hill.

 

time for the carpet. I then do straight runs with emphasis on never leaving your body behind by actively moving forward(for the real technical the movement is really in our ankle). Get a straight run dialed before you ever attempt to turn. After the straight run you going to go on your own path but myself I teach a gliding wedge turn but have people do really basic 1000 step turns on the carpet before ever riding the first chairlift.  the reason for 1000 step turns our this. Its get them moving down the hill with their skis(catching a common theme here), it also is pretty basic parallel turn using independent leg guiding and long short leg last time I checked every person on the planet can walk to. :)

 

 

 

My thoughts for guy number 1 is that first you have to make sure his boots are as close as possible. Also every drill you did I would never do because they dont work!

 

1. superman with arms, having our arms in front of is an active movement and not a static pose. Just having someone put their arms out in front actually make them counteract by reaching their butt to the tails of the skis.

 

2.Pelvic thrust will quite often leave the shoulders behind

 

3. when you stand on the balls of the feet  you quite often get more straight leg, best have them stand on our whole foot.

 

 

some stuff I would of done with him with out seeing him in person assuming I had already check his boot

 

hopping in place then moving slowly

skating

one footed shuffles until he was balanced

1000 step straight run eventually turns

hula hop straight run

have him stand on a flat while I grabbed his skis and moved them back and forth untill he could match my pulling and push in his skis

 

its really hard to say with out being their  in person.

 

closing thoughts

 

Balance, balance, balance. For our students and for us the most effective way to apply the rest of our skiing skills is to have our balance and balance recovery as dialed as we can.

post #4 of 37

What you are seeing is a normal fear reaction.  As a good friend of mine taught me, "Before you take away something, you must give them something."  So here we want to take away fear.  To do that we need to give them control.  And for a never ever, that control is a turn to a stop.  (You don't want to give them a breaking wedge.  That will just reinforce the back seat position.)

 

Some things that I use.

 

  • Hopping (as stated before)
  • Pull your feet back as you ski.  (A different way of saying get forward.  The movement to do this is different.  People tend to stand up when they pull their feet back rather than bend over when told to get forward.)
  • Pull your toes up as you ski.  (This causes them to close their ankles which pulls them forward.)
  • Bend/flex your ankles as you ski.  (Again closing the ankles pulls you forward.  Saying bend your knees normally puts someone in the back seat.  Plus they only bend the knees, the won't flex the ankle.)
  • Hop from one ski to another.  (Again you can't hop in the back seat.)
  • Lift a foot as you glide.  (Can't easily pick up a ski without being forward.)
  • Stand tall.  (This actually works for some people.  If they get scared of moving they slump down to get closer to the ground which puts them in the back seat.)
  • Push your knee towards the tip of the ski to turn.  (i.e. pressure the tip of the outside ski. Not as good as other ideas. But it could work for some people.)

 

You might need to do more flat and straight glide work with this type of student.  They need to get comfortable with gliding on snow.  So keep them where they feel safe.  Also, make sure they can turn to a stop when "on the flats."

 

Also you might want to try stepping turns.  From a slight glide use a short choppy divergent set of steps to make turns to a stop.  I use the cadence of step (lead ski steps ever so slightly divergent in the direction you want to go), parallel (following ski is stepped up and parallel to the lead ski), step, parallel, step parallel, etc.  These have to be demoed as very tiny steps with the skis leaving the ground.  This combines turning to a stop (the control that most never evers absolutely want) with lifting the ski off the ground (which gets them centered and, hopefully, forward).

post #5 of 37

Sounds like a core strength issue to me. A lot of balance issues I've seen in beginner recreational skiers, particularly those that lead otherwise sedentary lifestyles, stem from an inability to engage the stabilising muscles around the abdomen and the lower back. 

 

That the client ends up with the shoulders back when they thrust their hips forward gives me the impression that they've got reasonable motor control for their glutes and back, but poor control of the rectus muscles at the front. There is often a fear component in leaning back or into the hill, but if the skiers are progressed at an appropriate rate in appropriate terrain, this shouldn't be too pronounced. Plenty of times I've see pros taking kids onto steep slopes before they're ready for it and blaming the huge lean back on age and development, but this is only a factor in pre-operational skiers and your average 6 year old should be able to maintain a centred stance on appropriate terrain.

 

Internal Focus

 

Depending on the sensitivities of your group there are all sorts of analogies you can use to try and encourage better core activation. I tend to use an internal focus for earlier drills to encourage good posture in straight running, or with cognitive learners.

 

- Imagine trying to squeeze out a number two, and trying to hold one in at the same time!

Engages everything. Good if you've got a good rapport with the client, or if it's a colleague or friend! Best not used on the elderly, could lead to accidents.

 

- Trying to recoil from a red hot poker being prodded towards your navel

Good for the stuff at the front, not so much the lower back though

 

- You're wearing a belt of nettles (or something else you wouldn't want wrapped around you) so you're trying to pull yourself in and make yourself as skinny as possible.

Works all around the core, doesn't do as much for the pelvic floor as the number 2 thought though.

 

- Clench!

I prefer this one to the pelvic thrust as it's more specific, people can get the wrong idea about the thrust and think that the idea is to have the hips further forward than the shoulders. I usually combine this with curling the toes up hard to bring all the lower joints into a more athletic stance.

 

External Focus

 

- Clap your hands!

Either in front of, or above the head - both help with engagement of core muscles, the over-the-head variation promotes extension in the lower joints, but raises the centre of mass. This will either help bring them over the centre of the ski or make them topple backwards. Experiment with clapping high and clapping low, moving slowly from one to the other, or quickly to develop a sense of vertical balance as well as improving fore-aft position.

 

- Rub/pat your tummy

Engages the reflex reaction in your core muscles, requires less co-ordination than the hand-clapping so I prefer this one to the hand clapping for the skier that's still in the initiation stage of a snowplough turn. 

 

- Crazy Apes

Swinging your arms around madly and making monkey noises. Requires a good degree of confidence and works best with kids and other (sorry) monkey-see-monkey-do learners, who have the basic movements acquired in spite of a miserable stance. I use this one

 

 

Obviously all the core work in the world won't do a thing if the client can't close the ankles a little bit and extend more through the knee and hip, but this is all easier to do when the upper body becomes part of the effort, as opposed to being dead weight that the legs are having to carry around. A stable core allows the legs to work much more efficiently in all ways.

 

Edit - The slide-stop-hop exercise for a straight running plough is an excellent exercise as well, whilst still straight running. Everything else up there can be used to some extent in turns, though depending on the skier the internal focuses may be a little tricky for them to think about along with everything else!

post #6 of 37

Two more stupid pet tricks:

Shuffle your feet

Hold your hands behind your back

post #7 of 37

I check basic boot fit at the beginning of every lesson including groups, just takes a minute.  After explaining that you need to be able to press on the fronts of your boots, and showing, having them try, how much more stable it is pushing forward then backwards, I get down on my hands and knees and ask each student to pull up their pants legs and see if their shin makes contact with the front of their boot, and if the boots are even buckled somewhat tightly (which they often aren't) and even if they're on the correct foot (believe me even this is wrong sometimes.)

 

Can't say this would fix these student's problem, but the simple act of checking does a lot, besides making sure they can pressure the front of the boots, it shows that you care, it shows that you are willing to get down on the ground for them - and it emphasizes the importance of pressing forward on their boots.

post #8 of 37

SMJ -

I'm not an instructor, but I am curious.  What do you do if you find a seriously too large boot?  Obviously you can't have the group wait while they go switch them out.

post #9 of 37

Good question mdf.  I send them back to rental to get another pair, it's right near the bunny slope.  They might miss a few minutes of the lesson, but it's worth it.  I have even spent a few minutes after the lesson is over with a student that had to do that.

post #10 of 37

I never have my students use ski poles on their first lessons. First couple of years sometimes if its kids. Then if I spot an upper body problem like back seat, windmilling arms or heavy rotation, I have the students put their hands on their knees. Or upper leg. Its a good way of dealing with students in the back seat. Your experiance sounds very familiar.

post #11 of 37

How do you introduce the wedge, Met?

 

If you use "push out the heels" you're telling them to move back.

 

On shaped skis, it's almost impossible to press the shins to the cuffs of the boots and spread the feet without forming a wedge unless the boots don't fit so the skis roll flat.

 

An extreme approach (but great with kids) is "look through the window", the window being the knees.  You have to get pretty forward to look back through your legs.

post #12 of 37

The key was covered briefly but glossed over. Fear of sliding that results in an aft stance. More sliding on less threatening terrain. Until they overcome that fear you're not going to get them centered on a moving ski.

post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

The key was covered briefly but glossed over. Fear of sliding that results in an aft stance. More sliding on less threatening terrain. Until they overcome that fear you're not going to get them centered on a moving ski.



This, humans will naturally seek a centered stance. I largely think that the argument that people have poor balance skills is bogus. They managed to walk from their cars to the lodge and then from the lodge to the lesson in skiboots. I think they have darn good balance skills we just have to allow them to adapt them to a new situation. Keep them on the gentlest terrain you have for longer than you think is necessary. If they have been taken to terrain to steep or went there on their own and developed a lean back defensive stance they will not unlearn it unless they are taken to easier slopes. Many of the ideas in this thread will help them find center but they have to go to gentle terrain to do it.

 

fom

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

What you are seeing is a normal fear reaction. 

....

They need to get comfortable with gliding on snow.  So keep them where they feel safe.  Also, make sure they can turn to a stop when "on the flats."

....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

The key was covered briefly but glossed over. Fear of sliding that results in an aft stance. More sliding on less threatening terrain. Until they overcome that fear you're not going to get them centered on a moving ski.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
....

Keep them on the gentlest terrain you have for longer than you think is necessary. If they have been taken to terrain to steep or went there on their own and developed a lean back defensive stance they will not unlearn it unless they are taken to easier slopes. Many of the ideas in this thread will help them find center but they have to go to gentle terrain to do it.

....


JASP & FOM,  Thank you.  You get it.

 

Lower the terrain; then up the task or repeat the task until your client is comfortable with what they are doing.  Then gently turn up the gravity.  This is particularly true with beginners.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

The key was covered briefly but glossed over. Fear of sliding that results in an aft stance. More sliding on less threatening terrain. Until they overcome that fear you're not going to get them centered on a moving ski.



very true I guess despite not glossing it over in my own lessons on here I just assumed it was known here.

 

 

 

post #16 of 37

Flatter terrain is suggested here. I would like to add less speed. And speed controll.

post #17 of 37

TDK, think even shallower terrain and straight runs where a slight swale will stop them. No wedge, no turns, just a short but successful gliding experience.

post #18 of 37

jasp, where I used to teach before we had a field at the bottom of the slope. It was nice becaue you could just let it glide untill you stopped. According to our manual you should always start with a straight run straight down the fall line. Then glide at an angle to the fall line. Only after you master this you start wedging. I had a woman from India as a student once and she could not even stand on her skis in the parkinglot. It took me at least 2/3 lessons before we ever got to the slope.

post #19 of 37
Metaphor,

One common pattern I see in fearful people placed on a sliding platform is the tendency to be relaxed and flexible - until they feel how easily their feet migrate fore, aft and sideways on that slippery surface. Once they feel their feet slip out from under them, then they tense up greatly and 'lock' in that 'back' position.

In effect, they've morphed into a backseat position first and then frozen themselves in that stance/position rendering further development problematic.

In this situation I've found it useful to get them to first "tense up" in an Athletic Stance (a nebulous term... but you know what I mean) and hold that 'position' as they begin sliding. While not Good Skiing, this idea enables the skier to gain (and maintain) a sense of control since their skis no longer slip forward out from under them (the ongoing tension in the ankles, knees, hips and waist prevents it). It also enables the skier to operate the skis from a centered stance (albeit a very stiff and inflexible stance).

Once this skier begins moving around successfully we can get them (gradually) to reduce overall tension until they maintain a reasonable level of functional tension rather than deliberate artificial tension. This has worked well for me with fearful students.

Such people will be in a highly tensed state even if we do nothing so I'd rather they were tense in a proper stance than let them tense up in a backseat position.

.ma
post #20 of 37

After correcting boot fit and lessening the terrain---

 

One woman recently responded very well to being told to move forward and out over her outside ski (others don't respond to this).  This woman also responded well to having her knees over her toes with the knees & hips near-straight.  We talk about all the physical activities where they must be on the balls of their feet--running, cycling, golf, flycasting, diving, dance, etc., etc., including skiing.  If they can do it, traversing with the uphill ski tail tapping the snow or lifted a cm or two off the snow helps--just the tail to help keep them forward.  Hops and steps works.  Hands need to be in the automatic, natural, flexible balancing position we'd all use when walking on an icy parking lot.  A contrived position of the hands jutting forward is no help.  I don't like to suggest raising the toes (tensed feet are a hindrance), nor trying to bend the ankle forward (little muscle there to do that--flexed ankles are an indicator, not an action).  Backward skiing is good for balance drills, but gets one into the front of their boots for the wrong reason--leaning toward the hill.  I told one husband to give me two $20's...I'd put them into the front cuffs of his wife's boots, and if they were still there by the end of the lesson, he'd get them back.  Tightening the cuffs of the boots around the legs so there is constant contact front & back helps--they have a feeling of support without moving back (and loosening the lower cuff buckle to make the boot flexier).  I've had young women with wonderful flexibility who can put their shins against the front cuff and still weight their heels; I notice the tips of their floppy rental skis flapping on the snow.

 

The backleaning stance is one habit that certainly cannot be allowed to continue.  I always get some kids who had other instructors that allowed them to remain in a backseat power wedge---arrrrgg!

 

I do like beginners to use poles.  The poles help with balancing, pushing across flats, standing while doing stationary movement simulations.  I can always carry them or stash them for a certain drill.

post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, 

 

Thanks for the ideas. (I may have conveyed the impression that it was a subpar lesson, but another instructor who saw me actually congratulated me on it, and he wasn't even being facetious!) Some thoughts: 

 

Fear reflex - yes, this was an issue (though whether it was the cause or a symptom is unclear still). I can have people with an overly-pronounced fear reflex stay five steps lower on the hill (where it's ridicuously flat instead of simply really flat) and let them build confidence that way. In fact, after a few failed \attempts, I was having these two work solely on the bottom of the hill for the second half of the lesson. But if these folks can't at least do a braking wedge from the top of our most mellow magic carpet area within two hours, I've pretty much failed them as an instructor. In fact, if I can't get them eking out some kind of turn, I think I've failed.

 

Any thoughts on how you would effectively teach a class with two thirds of the participants ready to go up the magic carpet to learn turns while a third is still only using the bottom 3 feet?

 

Strength (possibly flexibility? or boot fit possibly) issues did manifest in one of the two challenged participants as she could not tip the skis to form edges on her own. Including on flats. She could hold them if I tipped them into position for her, and she could somewhat hold an edge while sidestepping (when the terrain provides half of the angle for you). Actually, I'm suspecting loose boots at this point--it was almost ridiculous. Well, I know to check for next time. However, that just adds the issue that my learner's a good 30 minutes round trip away from the rental shop once we've started the lesson... sigh. In the mornings our instructors help with boot fitting so it's less of an issue. This was an afternoon lesson tho--so it's possible this poor girl fell through the cracks. 

 

Kneale's comment on wedging: Ooh, thank you! When I learned both as a new skier and in my level 1, the technique for braking wedge was "brush out" the heels. (I suppose if you call it "brush out" instead of "push out", it doesn't sound as bad. ha. rolleyes.gif) I'll attempt a braking wedge with your technique--though my braking wedge has always passed exams by flexing and "brushing out" the heels. (that's not to say it's effective for learners. It was simply sufficient for the exams.) I still feel a braking wedge is a dead end technique as it puts the learner into a crappy stance with legs over-extended beyond what you'd use for normal skiing--and it's not even helpful when the pitch gets steeper. I'd like to move learners past it as quickly as possible so we can learn more efficient ways of maintaining or eliminating speed. 

 

Re BWPA's comments on my attempts to get the learner forward: Agreed that you can cheat on any of those visualizations (as proven by my learner!), but you can cheat on the vast majority of exercises. I was just going through my laundry list to get at least some part of the fellow's body forward--while demonstrating the intended stance. Some of them have worked on me when I was learning--unfortunately not for this fellow. Sigh. I really like your visualization of keeping the ski under/behind the body when on one ski. We do a lot of mobility on one ski, so I'll add this to the next lesson as a focal element. Also, your (and theRusty's) idea to slide the skis forward/backward under them would probably help them establish a centered stance on flats first. 

 

T-square: We can only move on to turning after success in the braking wedge. That aside, your ideas are sound and I've seen and used several of them in more intermediate-ish settings. 

 

Thanks for the contributions, guys!

post #22 of 37


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Hi guys, 

 

Thanks for the ideas. (I may have conveyed the impression that it was a subpar lesson, but another instructor who saw me actually congratulated me on it, and he wasn't even being facetious!) Some thoughts: 

 

Fear reflex - yes, this was an issue (though whether it was the cause or a symptom is unclear still). I can have people with an overly-pronounced fear reflex stay five steps lower on the hill (where it's ridicuously flat instead of simply really flat) and let them build confidence that way. In fact, after a few failed \attempts, I was having these two work solely on the bottom of the hill for the second half of the lesson. But if these folks can't at least do a braking wedge from the top of our most mellow magic carpet area within two hours, I've pretty much failed them as an instructor. In fact, if I can't get them eking out some kind of turn, I think I've failed.

 

Any thoughts on how you would effectively teach a class with two thirds of the participants ready to go up the magic carpet to learn turns while a third is still only using the bottom 3 feet?

 

Strength (possibly flexibility? or boot fit possibly) issues did manifest in one of the two challenged participants as she could not tip the skis to form edges on her own. Including on flats. She could hold them if I tipped them into position for her, and she could somewhat hold an edge while sidestepping (when the terrain provides half of the angle for you). Actually, I'm suspecting loose boots at this point--it was almost ridiculous. Well, I know to check for next time. However, that just adds the issue that my learner's a good 30 minutes round trip away from the rental shop once we've started the lesson... sigh. In the mornings our instructors help with boot fitting so it's less of an issue. This was an afternoon lesson tho--so it's possible this poor girl fell through the cracks. 

 

Kneale's comment on wedging: Ooh, thank you! When I learned both as a new skier and in my level 1, the technique for braking wedge was "brush out" the heels. (I suppose if you call it "brush out" instead of "push out", it doesn't sound as bad. ha. rolleyes.gif) I'll attempt a braking wedge with your technique--though my braking wedge has always passed exams by flexing and "brushing out" the heels. (that's not to say it's effective for learners. It was simply sufficient for the exams.) I still feel a braking wedge is a dead end technique as it puts the learner into a crappy stance with legs over-extended beyond what you'd use for normal skiing--and it's not even helpful when the pitch gets steeper. I'd like to move learners past it as quickly as possible so we can learn more efficient ways of maintaining or eliminating speed. 

 

Re BWPA's comments on my attempts to get the learner forward: Agreed that you can cheat on any of those visualizations (as proven by my learner!), but you can cheat on the vast majority of exercises. I was just going through my laundry list to get at least some part of the fellow's body forward--while demonstrating the intended stance. Some of them have worked on me when I was learning--unfortunately not for this fellow. Sigh. I really like your visualization of keeping the ski under/behind the body when on one ski. We do a lot of mobility on one ski, so I'll add this to the next lesson as a focal element. Also, your (and theRusty's) idea to slide the skis forward/backward under them would probably help them establish a centered stance on flats first. 

 

T-square: We can only move on to turning after success in the braking wedge. That aside, your ideas are sound and I've seen and used several of them in more intermediate-ish settings. 

 

Thanks for the contributions, guys!



I am not trying to rag on you I am just trying to help. after 9 years of teaching I have stopped using anything you said because it simply doesnt work and people will generally be worse of for trying.

 

also one of T square's recommendation IMO arent awesome. Lift your toes up is something I never do myself and IMO is bull caca, because it make people tense where they shouldnt be. I personally never ski with lifting my toes up and if I never do it that probably means its a dead movement pattern. s

 

the stuff I mentioned cant be cheated, and I also demonstrate and coach most of the walking/one footed drill with keeping the lifted skis tip on the ground. With the tip on the ground its extremely hard to 'cheat".

 

post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

Equipment

 

I cant do this for group lesson due to time and volume constraints but for every single private I teach I do a basic boot check.

 

1. do you just have one pair of socks on? and is there anything else tucked into your boot?

 

2. when we flex forward does your foot move back and forth?

 

normally the answer to both is yes I have more than 2 pairs of socks on, and yes it slides back and forth. If one of us went and tried to ski like this we would most likely be back seat.

 

I really wish for all group lesson especially never evers that we met inside so we could at least get the people renting boots from the mountain as close as we could to a good fit.

 

 

next for some people the rental bindings have tons of heel left which makes people who are trying to be centered on the ski have to lean back to stay there. There is not a quick safe fix to this if they are renting gear, but if they are are demoing nicer skis or buying their own stuff just steer them towards most 12 din binding as they have more acceptable ramp angle on them.

 

skill

 

Its a hard truth for alot of people to swallow but everything we do well in skiing has to come from a balance stance. If we arent moving with our skis effectively, applying  steering, edging, or fore and aft , side to side, diagonal balance moves(aka pressure)  is going to be incredibly tough if not impossible.

 

an athletic stance is not a static position even in the most basic flat straight run.  Any movement is a pretty complex dynamic balance move that requires our entire body especially our ankles to be constantly readjusting.  the balance movement we have while skiing are not something everyone brings to the table. In fact some people may not learn them in days doing straight runs, where some people who have already done other 'action" sport like ice skating, rollerblading, skateboarding, biking may pick it up instantly or fairly quickly. some people are simply to sentry to have these balance movements in the time an average group lesson goes for.

 

I personally start coaching moving constantly forward when we do our first one footed slides. The analogies change with each lesson but the goals stays the same. the goal is dont ever let your skis leave your body behind even on these most basic one footed exercises. I also challenge atheletic enough people to see how far they can glide on a flat one footed.

 

after learning how to glide on one foot and turn that foot while its on the snow with both of their feet. It time for 2 skis. 2 skis on right up the first lift right? WRONG. I then spend more time learning to slide forward and shuffle, and if they are athletic enough some skating. skating does a whole bunch of great stuff but for balance purposes it does 2 really great thing. Gets people to flex their ankles, and get people to project their hips down the hill.

 

time for the carpet. I then do straight runs with emphasis on never leaving your body behind by actively moving forward(for the real technical the movement is really in our ankle). Get a straight run dialed before you ever attempt to turn. After the straight run you going to go on your own path but myself I teach a gliding wedge turn but have people do really basic 1000 step turns on the carpet before ever riding the first chairlift.  the reason for 1000 step turns our this. Its get them moving down the hill with their skis(catching a common theme here), it also is pretty basic parallel turn using independent leg guiding and long short leg last time I checked every person on the planet can walk to. :)

 

 

 

My thoughts for guy number 1 is that first you have to make sure his boots are as close as possible. Also every drill you did I would never do because they dont work!

 

1. superman with arms, having our arms in front of is an active movement and not a static pose. Just having someone put their arms out in front actually make them counteract by reaching their butt to the tails of the skis.

 

2.Pelvic thrust will quite often leave the shoulders behind

 

3. when you stand on the balls of the feet  you quite often get more straight leg, best have them stand on our whole foot.

 

 

some stuff I would of done with him with out seeing him in person assuming I had already check his boot

 

hopping in place then moving slowly

skating

one footed shuffles until he was balanced

1000 step straight run eventually turns

hula hop straight run

have him stand on a flat while I grabbed his skis and moved them back and forth untill he could match my pulling and push in his skis

 

its really hard to say with out being their  in person.

 

closing thoughts

 

Balance, balance, balance. For our students and for us the most effective way to apply the rest of our skiing skills is to have our balance and balance recovery as dialed as we can.



This is a great post, I agree completely.  The more time you spend on balance and on establishing an always moving forward, always moving/non-static approach the better.

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

....

T-square: We can only move on to turning after success in the braking wedge. That aside, your ideas are sound and I've seen and used several of them in more intermediate-ish settings. 

....


I teach turning on the flats first.  I'm teaching people to use line to control speed.  Then I teach turning to a stop.  This reinforces using line as a primary stopping/slowing mechanism.  Also in an emergency, more often than not, turning gets you away from the problem area.  A breaking wedge will take you towards it.  I teach the breaking wedge last so they have it in their bag of tricks.  But not first because of all the bad habits it can reinforce.  (Too wide a wedge, pushing the heels out, getting in the backseat to pressure the tails of the skis, etc.)

post #25 of 37

Thanks to everyone, this thread has been very educational for a terminal back-seater! (me.) I have fought boot fit since I started skiing at age 25. But I now realize I also "suffered" from my ass being too far behind me thanks to my training and skill as a fitness instructor. So this could also be food for thought for some of you :D A fitness person who is trained to do squats properly might (as I did) apply that same stance to skiing (which also explains at least partly why my quads were always on fire.) It's a knee protective mechanism. I have taken a lot of lessons and nobody ever caught this. Needless to say, it was always frustrating to me that I was fitter than most on the mountain yet could never ski anything steeper than a groomed blue with any style and grace. I am VERY anxious to get to Tahoe in Feb. to try out my "no squat" position. I'm hoping to take a trip to Big Bear here in SoCal just to get a few turns in, too.

 

One other activity that I do (and am damn good at) is riding horses. I always felt that my riding should really compliment my skiing, but it never did. Now I realize (and you can all correct me if I'm wrong here) that it does. A balanced rider will have their shoulders stacked above their hips and their heels. Seems if I keep my hips stacked over my heels or instep, I might be in a much more proper position on my skis. Any feedback?

 

 

Hopefully this might help some of you instructors, too. If you ever get a fitness person or someone who is a talented rider, you might be able to help them a little better!

post #26 of 37

Interesting. Thanks for the info.

As far as your best stance, well we go through a lot of ideas here but here's a simple saying that may give you somethings to ponder. Nose over knees and hips over heels. To acheive that you need to flex all of the joints in the lower body.

post #27 of 37

Region 1 2010 small.jpg

 

So yes, similar! Dressage riding is more appropriate than what I am doing above  to apply to skiing as I would have my pelvis tilted more towards the anterior than here. As a rider, I also have INCREDIBLY flexible ankles and am definitely used to having all those joints bent at a slight angle, AND multi-tasking my body, so to speak. We are taught to look where we are going, not at our hands, and the hands, seat, legs, and torso all have to act rather independently, and yet in total harmony. Anybody who says an equestrian is not an athlete, even a casual rider who rides all gates, is terribly wrong. And a 1000 pound horse is often far less predictable than a mountain! :D

 

I do a lot of visualization when riding, and am already starting on it for my ski trip. I am creating a mantra that I will repeat to myself over and over as I hit the hill. Really excited to hopefully push past my MAJOR intermediate hump!

post #28 of 37

Major backseat wedges have gotten me through more than one REALLY steep chute that was too narrow to hop turn and too long to straghtline.th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

It ain't pretty but it is an effective tool.  That said I'd hope it isn't your only option on a wide open trail.

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Interesting. Thanks for the info.

As far as your best stance, well we go through a lot of ideas here but here's a simple saying that may give you somethings to ponder. Nose over knees and hips over heels. To acheive that you need to flex all of the joints in the lower body.



very right but as you know skiing even in straightline at walking speed is a dynamic balance move, we must remain moving with the skis.

 

T square: editting out someone's post simply because they disagreed with you is WAY overstepping what a MOD on here should be allowed to do. We can only get better as teachers by finding out what works and what doesnt work.

 

I am not trying to disrespect you or Metaphor. I am challenging your drills. If you think they are right defend them. at the very least we will come to an understanding of what works and what doesnt work.

 

for those wondering what this is about T square posted about lifting your toes to get forward. This works but kinda off..... I have found it tends to put people on their heels and also make people ankles static. I stated their are better ways and maybe he should explore them. I didnt mearly say he was wrong, I gave good logical reasons why their could be better ways and just to avoid using that method.  T square I am sorry bud. the bull caca comment was meant to show a bit of humor.

 

 

 

post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Major backseat wedges have gotten me through more than one REALLY steep chute that was too narrow to hop turn and too long to straghtline.th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

It ain't pretty but it is an effective tool.  That said I'd hope it isn't your only option on a wide open trail.



if its wide enough to do a braking wedge its wide enough to hop turn.

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