Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Victor Day 3

Day Three
Timothy's warming up technique...
Day three started off with a continuation of the poor weather - "no sun and no snow" - but Timothy had not eaten breakfast and was probably not wearing enough clothing so after just one descent he was cold and needed a hot chocolate to get himself warm...

Uphill/downhill body motion
Icy and crowded slopes with no off-piste or other possibilities available makes it hard to work on technique. Timothy and Liliana's needs are quite different too. We skied a few runs just keeping out of danger and Liliana worked on dropping her Centre of Mass  (CM) into the centre of the turn a bit more and then using the CM to initiate the following turn. I held Liliana so that she could feel how much it is necessary to drop into the turn (and how to do it) and we had already worked on the "turn initiation" part of the pivot. I found that demonstrating this on a gentle slope I could use the poles behind my body to support me "dropping in" to a static position (skis not moving) then with a push up from the poles the body would move up out of the turn and then the skis - still on the top edges -  could commence the next turn just due to the downhill direction of travel of the CM. Liliana copied this exercise reasonably well, which showed me that she understood what we were trying to do. The move I'm looking for here is that the body is made to move back uphill or down into the turn during the control phase of the turn - towards the end - then at the very end it comes up and off directly downhill - continuing downhill at the start of the next turn. This gives a feeling of the body going downhill/uphill/downhill/uphill etc. while the skis go out to the side around and back in again in front. The feelings can be separated out completely. In reality the body is travelling with the skis but the directional impulses can be separated out.

Skiing Backwards
Nobody was willing to attempt 360° spinning - which I like to do to teach edge control in a playful way. This reticence was overcome by skiing backwards for a while - which led to Liliana doing one very nice spontaneous 360°.

Timothy Skiing Backwards

The snow might not be great near La Tania at 1400m altitude but the view certainly is and the trees are always a pleasure to ski in.

Snowless view from Meribel 16th Feb 2011

In the afternoon I took Rodian on a hunt for interesting places to ski, but apart from some bumps at the sides of the pistes there was not much out there. We nevertheless covered a considerable mileage and skied to both extremes of the Meribel valley - up to 2950m altitude at one point. We had a bit of a rush to get back home which led to some creative and interesting skiing off the side of the pistes.

Loading up the Ski
Rodian tended to lock his legs out to save energy instead of bending and dropping his CM into the turn. I tried to get him to understand that by dropping deeply into the turn you could load up the ski much more and make it more powerful. This was demonstrated with short carved turns but he didn't really understand. As a result Rodian continues to ski fast but quite statically. It's almost impossible to carve however in the icy conditions without skis being freshly race tuned - and carving teaches the required feeling better than anything due to clear feedback.

Slightly more successful was an attempt to get Rodian to use his poles properly in the bumps. The video clip shows him skiing without using the poles and then with the poles - using them to lead the CM into the turn and then being able to turn more effectively and tightly as a result - even though slowly at present while learning. He still hasn't quite realised how much support can be gained form the poles so we need to work more on this.

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