Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mini Derin 3

Although there were massive queues on the Bollin lift hardly anyone was skiing on the piste – they were just using it for access – and the ski school entrance was empty so there was no real problem there. The sun was out but it was cold due to a cold front arriving after the storm and there were crystals in the air everywhere.


Derin started off by going straight off-piste into the fresh soft snow. This way she gets used to the feeling of it and her skis disappearing. Of course I’m assisting her all the time and she struggled to begin with but later on she felt clearly comfortable even when being taken through turns. In some ways the skis work even better in snow like this and give clear feedback so it’s a very useful experience. Naturally she had her first ever wipe-out in deep snow – and seemed to enjoy it! We stopped short after about 50 minutes to go inside for an early break – partly due to the queues still growing, partly the cold and partly because I knew that pacing was necessary because she would tire out soon enough. (In fact that happened in the next session when she unexpectedly ran out of energy before lunch)

Pulling In (Adductors)

Indoors we did the most valuable lesson – which was to have her seated in front of me and for me to place a hand on the inner side of a ski boot and get her to pull against me with her leg (adductor muscles). We worked so that she knew the left and right legs and how to pull inwards with either on command. This instruction would now be used directly – “pull in with the left leg” – to turn right and “pull in with the right leg” – to turn left. This is of course the basis of pivoting which I had been training her to do unconsciously up to this point. When skiing with Derin on the end of my pole it’s a bit like a fishing rod – I can feel everything that she is doing. More and more I was telling her to “stand up” and avoid using me as a support to lean on – especially on the second part of each turn. She would be encouraged to complete the turn across the hill so that speed would slow down completely after each turn. I explained that this is how we must control speed. She was encouraged to jump as an exercise while traversing and sideslipping to encourage her to lean less on the back of the ski boots. All children lean on the back of the boots and although it tires the legs It’s best to reduce it only naturally and progressively because it does have the advantage that it places the feet ahead of the body.

Flying Boxes

After she ran out of energy we headed for Le Lac and we all went up the “flying boxes” to the top of the Tovière. Despite having been asking for this trip for days she appeared to be mightily underwhelmed by it all. I guess she hadn’t eaten enough breakfast and was too much in need of energy to make the most of it.

First Ever Solo Turns (Process Oriented)

The video clips capture her first ever solo skiing and the turns are parallel. She only just really started turning strongly when she was surprised by it and had a tumble and then ran out of energy so we had to call it a day. To be honest it’s about a day earlier than I’d have expected so it’s a very good sign.

People tend to be too “goal oriented” and anxiously want to see a result. This is a bit frustrating because I know that it’s the wrong approach. Skiing requires a “process oriented” approach where there is a certain quality of experience and development at all levels. I hope that nobody now flips this around by showing Derin the defensive snowplough – thinking it will let her ski more independently. She only needs a little more time to be able to cope very well without the damaging and infectious defensive coordination of the plough. There are other more effective ways to brake and deal with practically any situation than resorting to a plough. Ironically I’m the one who has to use a plough to control her – but that’s perhaps the way it should be.











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