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Drills or games for getting weight forward? (4 year old)

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

My daughter is keeping advancing and is going faster, steeper and higher for every day, but she's very much in the back seat. Just like I was at her age.

I know that she doesn't really care for where her weight is. I don't want to get in her way, being boring and complicated. But I'd like to get the weight centered without her knowing.

 

Is there any games you'd suggest for creating lateral body position awareness?

post #2 of 24

Try the "grow up" game. Kids are built that way.

 

That said, any hopping game will teach a centered stance. Pop goes the weasel. Ski like a kangaroo. Shooting gallery (you know those targets that change direction when hit) - hop and turn on the ding. Simon says (touch your toes, touch your nose, hands behind the back, make a funny face, stick your hands in your years and stick out your tongue, lift this foot, set it down, ski backwards). Stick your toe in the water (tap a ski tip). Use natural banks (or a small 1/2 pipe) to ride up a wall, turn and come back down or hop and turn.

 

Stay clear of the power wedge. Teach directional control of speed and weight in the back seat will most likely not be a problem. Try teaching flat spins by teaching backwards skiing first, then teaching turning all the way up hill to a stop, then let gravity reverse direction of travel (two of those linked together is a 360). Hockey stop games - cover a pole (or other object) with snow.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Excellent! Thanks Rusty! :)

post #4 of 24

Carl R, we are talking about a complicated matter. Your daughter. The thing is that there is not much to do about it. Or its difficult. Your kids dont want to ski with their father that tells them things all the time. They want to look good in the eyes of their parrents. My sons are also in the back seat and so are most of the kids I teach or I see in other groups or on the mountain.

 

Here are some of my thaughts on the topic. Too stiff boots are a problem. Especially with small kids, the load from behind boots. These are the worst ones. Often straight and stiff. When jr grow its also a problem because they often have big feet and need to use big boots. At some point they cannot fit in jr boots and adult performance boots are too stiff.

 

What I have done with my kids is putting them on blades. That serves two purposes, they have fun and they cannot be in the back seat.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

You're so right Tdk6!

 

Thats why I on purpose avoid giving her tips other than "you need to go faster if you want to get up that jump". ;)

post #6 of 24

She is only 4 , she is trying to find that balance point, Her head is probably bigger than (mass wise) other parts of her body and this is what happens with very young kids. As long as she is keeping herself under control and making turns i.e no power wedge as therusty said just keep skiing her. If you get too far away from them they tend to straight line it , cutting off the turn to catch up to you. Good stuff from above posters on what to play with and look for. Little jumps are fun, unfortunately they will lead to larger ones in the future and I hope your body can keep up with that ha ha.

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

Bowler, she's already waiting for me at the end of the hill. And the jump is one I built with the snowcat.

post #8 of 24

Take some video, Carl. You don't have to share it with us, but you'll be grateful to have it when she's older. There's nothing more charming than a ripping 4 year old chick on sticks.

 

I agree that your daughter's normal human development will bring her up and out of the backseat as her body grows and strengthens. At this stage, the most important thing is that she love skiing, which is all the start she needs now. Later, after she's been in school a couple of years (age 6-7), get her in a youth ski league type program (also known as development team) so she can benefit from skiing with her peers while getting some technical direction from a coach. 

 

These days I've been skiing with my 23 year old daughter during her university break. She still skis with the unbridled joy she had as a 4 year old and it's so much fun to tag along. If your daughter loves skiing at 23, you have done your job. Think of it this way: if you expose your children to expensive sports and they catch the bug, it virtually guarantees that they'll have motivation to work hard in school and get a good job. wink.gif

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R View Post

You're so right Tdk6!

 

Thats why I on purpose avoid giving her tips other than "you need to go faster if you want to get up that jump". ;)



icon14.gif

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Think of it this way: if you expose your children to expensive sports and they catch the bug, it virtually guarantees that they'll ...... wink.gif



....tag along as long as you are paying for it duck.gif

 

post #11 of 24

Take a look at the skis. Usually the bindings are mounted way far back making control of the front of the ski very difficult. Whether you want to get into it is another matter, but Weems has posted before about moving kids bindings forward and having great success. Shops may not want to do it, but there is likely no good reason why they're mounted so far back other than it makes a wedge easier to make but not to ski. Even for adults binding position is all over the place.

See here for discussion on binding position:

under Nordica binding report, in depth binding report, and binding position affects balance:  http://www.lous.ca/techarticles.html


Edited by Tog - 1/11/11 at 10:08am
post #12 of 24

Tog, good observation. This is exactly what i have done on my kids skis, mounted the bindings forwards. I bought a pair of killer Blizzard Jr skis length 100cm that had a fully front/tail pc adjustable Marker kids binding with a quite high plate integrated. I have moved the bindings to longer skis as he has grown out of the original length. With a setup like this the kid can easily form a wedge and carving becomes also easier because the ski is more evenly pressured and there is more tail to keep the ski from skidding.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Try the "grow up" game. Kids are built that way.

 

That said, any hopping game will teach a centered stance.

 

 


+1.

 

You can spend a lot of time trying to work on this perceived "technical problem" but at the end of it all you have a fairly small probability of actually changing anything for a 4-yr old.  What you might do though is dampen their enthusiasm with technical training at this age, and that would be pretty counter-productive.

 

It really is much better to just let them ski lots and they will grow out of it quite naturally as they build strength and develop skills.  By all means, go ahead and throw in some of the things that TheRusty has suggested now and then, but don't worry at all if they don't seem to "fix" anything.
 

post #14 of 24

As said before, hopping games work.  Thumpers (tapping the uphill ski in traverse, inside ski during a turn)  Jump before a turn, during a turn, after a turn.  Ski on one ski in a traverse.  (Yes, little kids can do it.)  Stepping games on the flatter sections of the hill.  Getting some foot to foot action will draw her forward.   (I just had a 3 year old doing this.  Sort of skating down a soft soft green.)

 

Get out and PLAAAYYYYYYY!  snowfight.gif

post #15 of 24

(acceptable) speed across the hill often closes the wedge, may help with the stance

 

if she is the pilot and skiing on offense and not defense, i wouldnt get too concerned

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

As said before, hopping games work.  Thumpers (tapping the uphill ski in traverse, inside ski during a turn)  Jump before a turn, during a turn, after a turn.  Ski on one ski in a traverse.  (Yes, little kids can do it.)  Stepping games on the flatter sections of the hill.  Getting some foot to foot action will draw her forward.   (I just had a 3 year old doing this.  Sort of skating down a soft soft green.)

 

Get out and PLAAAYYYYYYY!  snowfight.gif


Yes, they sure will work for a lot of little ones.  What I would note is that many kids will still be on their tails, and you'll wonder how they even can hop around like that.  I'll suggest that the kids are still benefitting from these games (let's not call them "drills" for the young ones!!) even if it doesn't look like they are showing the intended outcome.  And if they don't work at all (which also happens), don't waste time on these diversions, just keep skiing.
 

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R View Post

Bowler, she's already waiting for me at the end of the hill. And the jump is one I built with the snowcat.


icon14.gif Nice !

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Take some video, Carl. You don't have to share it with us, but you'll be grateful to have it when she's older. There's nothing more charming than a ripping 4 year old chick on sticks.

 

I agree that your daughter's normal human development will bring her up and out of the backseat as her body grows and strengthens. At this stage, the most important thing is that she love skiing, which is all the start she needs now. Later, after she's been in school a couple of years (age 6-7), get her in a youth ski league type program (also known as development team) so she can benefit from skiing with her peers while getting some technical direction from a coach. 

 

These days I've been skiing with my 23 year old daughter during her university break. She still skis with the unbridled joy she had as a 4 year old and it's so much fun to tag along. If your daughter loves skiing at 23, you have done your job. Think of it this way: if you expose your children to expensive sports and they catch the bug, it virtually guarantees that they'll have motivation to work hard in school and get a good job. wink.gif


Nolo, have you laid down any hints to her to take you skiing someday when she has a good job and she can pay your way. I'm reinforcing this dream all the time with my kids 15 and 13. They are fun to ski with, I really hope they take the hint.smile.gif I have a bunch of videos with them from around 5-8 years old, I have to get them consolidated and on a disc. I need to watch that stuff and really appreciate what we have done.

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Take some video, Carl. You don't have to share it with us, but you'll be grateful to have it when she's older. There's nothing more charming than a ripping 4 year old chick on sticks.

 

I agree that your daughter's normal human development will bring her up and out of the backseat as her body grows and strengthens. At this stage, the most important thing is that she love skiing, which is all the start she needs now. Later, after she's been in school a couple of years (age 6-7), get her in a youth ski league type program (also known as development team) so she can benefit from skiing with her peers while getting some technical direction from a coach. 

 

These days I've been skiing with my 23 year old daughter during her university break. She still skis with the unbridled joy she had as a 4 year old and it's so much fun to tag along. If your daughter loves skiing at 23, you have done your job. Think of it this way: if you expose your children to expensive sports and they catch the bug, it virtually guarantees that they'll have motivation to work hard in school and get a good job. wink.gif

 

 

This.......

 

 

I have an 8 YO and a 6 YO daughter who have been following me around on skis 40-50 days a year since they were 2.5-3 years old.  My 8 year old loves to ski and can rip.  She is one of the smoothest fundamentally sound kids I see and I pretty much watch every kid I see pretty closely.  

 

 

I made lots of mistakesfrown.gif and I'll make a lot more.  She learned from all of the mistakes I made....much more than I did.

 

The most important thing you can do is get her LOTS of time on skis.  That alone will make up for almost anything you do wrong.  My oldest spent her first 3 years in the flying power wedge following me down every run on the mountain...double blacks...everything.  She learned some serious POWER wedge habits that took over a full year to break (around age 6-7) but she also learned that she could SUCCESSFULLY get down everything and that fear could be conquered.  She also learned that her dad was happiest and most fun to be with when he was skiingyahoo.gif.  

 

 

 

My younger one is a better a skier at 6 than the older one was...because as stubborn as I am I learned a few things from the first one but the most important reason is she wants to kick her older sisters buttbiggrin.gif
 

So take her out ski a lot and don't be afraid the try just about anything....if it's not working you'll change and she'll learn something from it anyway.

post #20 of 24

The marshmallow thing (not sure if you hv marshmallows in sweden but)

 

Tell her she has marshmallows along the shin/front of her boot & she has to keep them squished at all times.

 

Older kids: tell them they have dollar (or kroner or whatever) bills in the front of the boot & they need to keep if from flying away... and the only was is to maintain constant weight/contact.

post #21 of 24

 

Kids who love skiing

whitski.jpg

 

 

Will always love skiing

P1130041.JPG

 

post #22 of 24

I've got one for you Carl.  My 5 yr. old got ski poles this season, same age as his older brother.  Since he's determined on keeping up with his older brother, he's skiing much more than his brother did at this age, much faster and skiing much steeper terrain on a regular basis.  He really wanted the poles just to be like his brother and to help him get around on the flats.  I didn't like what I was seeing as he was quite far back, stiff legged and would very often start descending in the flying wedge.  I really didn't like it, as it was dangerous for one thing and he would tire quickly.

 

So I needed to get him forward and start actually pole planting to define the end of his turn, instead of drifting sideways down/across the mtn., body 90 deg to the fall line, with his poles basically dragging behind him.  No easy task instructing a 5 year old how and when to pole plant or explaining the reasons why I want him to do it.

 

I started making headway when I described to him I wanted him to ski like his big brother and point the downhill pole down the mountain as he was going across the hill.  He was already drifting across the hill in the wedge, so I'd ski behind him and remind him to point his pole downhill.  This alone got his upper body much more upright and actually squared up his upper body to the fall line a little.

 

Now I had to get him to plant his pole and turn.  I told him to "touch" his pole to the snow and "turn" around it, he did.  We were onto something.  He didn't pound the pole or stab it, he just lowered the tip pointing down the hill and turned around it.  We only did this for about 6,000' vert.  for him to get the timing.  So when I ski behind him now, I'll remind him, especially on steeper groomed and natural terrain to "touch & turn" and he instantly gets forward and squares up a bit,  slightly downweights/touches the pole tip to the snow and proceeds to unweight and initiate the new turn.  It's really magic, "touch & turn".  He's solidly on his downhill ski and very stable even at speed.  He's even starting to release  the uphill wedged ski and carve with both skis on moderate terrain.  The "touch & turn" mantra has really worked well and we are skiing all over the mountain.

 

I've seen a lot of young kids being told to keep their hands on their knees without poles when they are wedging, which seems to keep them forward.  I never did that as it seemed to confining for them, especially when jumping and skiing faster.


Edited by Nailbender - 1/18/11 at 4:00pm
post #23 of 24

Interesting about the poles...my now 7 year old skied a bit with them last year, but started out this year without them as we don't know what we did with them.  She skied with some loners a few weeks ago and I didn't like the way she skied (and very high up at her shoulders to keep them off the ground even though they seemed to be the right length).  I tried something similar to touch and turn, but maybe I didn't phrase it right and she got frustrated trying to follow me.  Haven't be in a hurry to get poles as she has seemed much more comfortable without...

post #24 of 24

kids leaning back seem to come from :

1. physical development ... heavy head vs rest of body plus the other devlopment stuf like control happening top down and inside out to limbs

2. equipment :  boots too big (usually too stiff), and often the cuff to big for thin legs so they have to brace back to find support and the interesting idea of the ski binding position...or even the skis too big/long

3. lots of people including instructors often lean back when power wedging

4. understanding of what they should do.  Often they think they should lean back

 

Ideas...in addition to .the games that were mentioned in other post.  Holding a snowball or something in their hands.  (this one helps A LOT).  Plus the backward skiing thing. I've had alot of success with both the holding something and backward skiing (eventually trying to make a 360 on the snow) even for 4 yo.  In addition, some kids seem to change where they stand when they figure out how to absorb a roller or bump (without finishing it off with a jump).  I wrote a whole bit about how I include this in a lesson but there are probably several ways to do so,,,so I deleted the paragraph.  And several of the ideas mentioned in all these posts depend on the skill level and aggressiveness of your child.   Oh...and skating into turns also seems to help some kids even the young ones( on appropriate terrain).  Some young kids don't have the dexterity for efficient skating but some find it really helps. 

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