Friday, February 1, 2013

Derin 5 & Emir 2

Emir  came out first in the morning braving the heavy snowfall. We were limited in choice of location and after working on dynamics for a while headed off in the direction of Tignes les Brévièrs to get out of the wind. I hadn’t worked on dynamics with Emir during his first session because I wanted him to pivot better and to be able to apply it in very steep terrain – with a view to loosening him up and getting his hips working – plus to get him away from his “park and ride” on the ski edges tendency. Those turns were started by jumping and pivoting – but today on the uneven piste that wasn’t appropriate. Instead of removing pressure with a jump I wanted him to generate pressure with dynamics and to stand very strongly and securely on the outside ski from the start of the turn. I’d spotted him rushing the start of the turns in the lumpy snow so this is why I picked dynamics. The aim was to make his turns strong, round, smooth and quick – but not rushed. After doing the “shoulder” exercise for dynamics  he was clear on what he had to do. This had the desired effect.

During a drinks break I asked Haluk to explain the “turn exit” dynamics – the coming back up to perpendicular on the outside ski to complete the turn.  When pivoting in fall-line skiing the turn can be finished in vertical but when making round turns with dynamics the turn should be completed in perpendicular with the skis flat and facing across the hill – the body already falling. The body is like a pendulum coming up out of the  turn  - lifted by the skis - but also the legs can be used to help the “coming up” to complete the turn and gravity actually aids the very last bit. This makes a bomb proof start to the following turn so when ever snow is a mess or unmanageable this is the key.

Emir only had one run of practicing this before lunch. After lunch in the trees he struggled and fell on one steep pitch. I told him afterwards that the steep pitch was the one place that he should have jumped! Emir was tending to lock his hips again – but he was on slalom skis so this was also challenging him.

During lunch I helped him through the mechanics of chi-running but it’s pretty hard to demonstrate in ski boots. I tried also to get him to use the hip and spine movements for ski technique but he is clearly not ready for that and has trouble even identifying between his hip joint and his lower back. All this requires is persistence and feedback. He’s a good student and very keen.


Derin came out to play after lunch and we skied to les Brévières again. The first part involved a shuss at high speed over invisible bumpy terrain and I didn’t think Derin could do it – but her little legs were going like a machine gun on the bumps and she went flat out – very impressive!   All I asked Derin to do today was to work at relaxing her hips – pulling the leg inwards instead of bracing against it and pushing outwards. I kept reinforcing this as we were skiing – stretching her skiing all the time. Her fall was because she got airborne due to the steepness of the pitch which she didn’t realise was VERY steep. The camera doesn’t really show it. She enjoys the deep snow so much and even falling in it that all wanted to do was repeat the fall. I promised to put it in slow motion on the video so she could see were the ski came off. She didn’t realise the ski was missing at first.


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