Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alex & Daisy 2

One Ski Skiing

Today’s session began by asking Alex and Daisy to try to ski on one ski. Although this can be seen like a game it’s meant to test their current ability to perch themselves on a single leg and then manage some sort of edge control and dynamics. Predictably this was impossible but “playing” like this helps to develop the skill.

Jump Turns

I’d explained to Alex at breakfast that the skis are not turned into a turn during a pivot, they are swung into the turn by pulling them sideways – like a knife spreading butter. In the jump turn we only have to swing both skis about 10° through the air to start the turn. One pitfall to avoid is the temptation to start the turn before the jump –  the jump at the end of the previous turn. This exercise was intended to help daisy to get rid of he snowplough and it worked very well for her. It also helps develop timing and coordination – plus it’s a valid technique in everything from off-piste to racing. This exercise was also leading on from yesterdays rhythmic jump turns (short swings) and the act of swinging the lower ski tip downhill into a turn.


I used some gullies and the natural banking to begin to work on dynamics – children loving this and finding it to be a game more than an exercise.

Now that both Daisy and Alex were skiing more comfortably without using the inside leg as a brake of stabiliser it was time to re-introduce dynamics. They didn’t know about the magic wall- so I had to explain it to them. The magic wall only appears when moving forward and it’s on either side of the body but completely invisible. When you push hard against it with your shoulder all the pressure goes on the furthest away foot so if you push against the wall downhill of you then all the pressure goes on the uphill ski. With the wall being invisible you never feel anything against your shoulder – but the more you believe in the magic and harder you push the better it works. Dynamics is explained in full here! 

In practical terms I had Alex and daisy one after the other push their shoulders against my hands (me being downhill) and feel all the pressure on their uphill skis and the lower ski coming off the ground. I then asked them to start the turns like this and to deliberately lift the lower (inside) ski at the same time to help. They were already familiar with lifting the ski but now needed to add the magic wall. The coordination was already in place for this to work. Both Alex and Daisy managed this well and so it was time to let them try the slalom.


We had a practice run together for everything to be explained about using the race course and timing. Daisy got lost on her first few runs and only managed to find the course on her third run. She naturally went defensive this being her first time on a black run and so the gigantic snowplough reappeared and her dynamics disappeared – but she still skied confidently despite this and managed 50 seconds on her first score. Alex attacked the course and skied well scoring 39.5 seconds on his first run – but then frightened himself significantly after straight-lining it all the way down the Poma button tow line and trying to hockey stop and 90mph at the bottom. At least he was more frightened than damaged and learned never to do that again! Mike also had a go but his wide off-piste skis are not really suitable for a slalom course

Alex looks great here but he’s travelling as much sideways as forwards and you can see the skis are not bending. His attack on the course was brave but now he has to start to think about applying the technique that he is learning.









Daisy is doing the fastest snowplough in France here. She needs to lose that stabiliser and think about using her newly developed magic wall (Dynamics) – which had her skiing beautifully parallel on the piste.









Mike looked on target to become the family champion but was thrown out of the course due to rotation. Dropping down lower into the turn would have done the job – staying softer in the hips.










Took the Olympic to get back fast to Val at the end and sort out my gear at the same time….

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