To avoid cluttering up the Three Wedge Turns Thread I broke this out in its own thread.
Teaching Skiing - Breakout from Three Wedge Turns
Here are the posts that lead into this discussion.
As a point of interest, I take great pride in having neverever students that I teach making bigger radius, faster wedge turns on the beginner hill than any other instructor on our staff. I think that this is an important part of why my students so often make very rapid progress both in the type of turn they make and the terrain they are able to handle.
Boy, do I like this. This sounds like you are really teaching beginners to ski.
What do you do at the beginning of your lessons to bring out the aggressiveness of your students so they are comfortable with making long radius turns? (I'll be honest. I'm looking to steal some good ideas here.)
Hope you don't mind getting this in pieces.
First, there is a language thing involved. I have trained myself to avoid using the word turn. When I ask the student to flatten the right ski or point the skis to the right I describe the outcome as 'going right' not as a turn or turning. When we get out on the hill I never say 'we're going to make turns as we go down" but instead talk about going over there toward the ski lift, then down and around the slow sign, then over by the aspen trees, then make a big arc back over by the magic carpet area. If we want to go slower we keep going right or left until we start to go up the hill if necessary. This way of thinking gets the student to make big arcs to get to where they are going and not fear the acceleration that they feel when they point the skis down the hill. In fact they learn that to get 'over there' they have to embrace the speed they develop or they won't be able to get there. They learn that to get somewhere they need to let the skis glide forward and that if they ski with the brakes on they won't get there. They learn that to go faster just point the skis down the hill and enjoy the feeling of acceleration and that when they get 'there'( and at this point 'there' might just be the end of the arc) their speed will be slow enough that they will want to go faster. Because they are enjoying the going aspect of skiing they get comfortable with the speed and are soon skiing all over the beginner hill going where they want to while enjoying the thrill of controlled speed.
I know that this probably sounds a little vague but I have never really tried to put what I do into words before. I'll probably be able to clear things up as I write and think more about it but the above is one of the first things that came to me. Please ask questions as that will help me direct my thinking and writing about this
And yes, i do think of it as teaching the student to ski not teaching them to make a wedge turn. Teach them to ski and the wedge stance is just a step along the way to higher level skiing. Teach them to make a wedge turn and the outcome can be a dead end or a 'hitch in the get along' toward better skiing.
Next time I'll be a little more specific as to just what I teach them to 'go there'
It doesn't sound vague at all. Getting people use to turning without saying it out right.
We have all seen students that are "afraid to embrace the speed." You've got a great statement and concept there. This goes along well with Bob Barnes' "go there moves" and teaching people to use line to control speed.
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Thanks for moving this, there was an awful lot of clutter on that other thread.
In the magic carpet area I have four things in mind. I want the student to change the size of their wedge while gliding straight down in a wedge. If you take this to a full on braking wedge will depend on the terrain you will have to work with and the students age, attitude,size, etc. I try to avoid the full on braking wedge just let the student know that the size of the wedge will affect their speed. I show and have them learn that they can use their feet and legs to point the wedge to the right and the left and that when they do that they will go to the right or left. I follow this by teaching how flattening of the right or left ski will take them right or left. At this point i ask them which foot they feel themselves standing on when they flatten one ski. Don't think I've ever had a student give me a wrong answer to that. I point out that standing on the right ski when going left and the left ski when going right is just what we want in skiing so they should keep letting that happen. I follow this by combining the tipping and the pointing but preface it by explaining that since we are standing on one ski it will be hard to point that ski so focus on pointing the one that you aren't standing on. This usually produces a turn to a stop. We do these in both directions. Then we flatten and point in one direction until we slow just a little then flatten and point in the other direction. Once we have these linked changes of direction I've pretty much used up what I can accomplish in the magic carpet area and its off to the lift. The student has learned; wedge size affects speed, we go where the wedge is pointed and they can control where it points, flatten left-point left left-go left and flatten right-point right right-go right, to stop or slow down point uphill.
More later got to do Christmas stuff,