Friday, December 27, 2013

Rodion 1

Today there was fresh snow and sunshine so the entire family were off-piste even for the warm up run. The entire morning was taken up finding soft fresh snow in safe terrain so that everyone would have the best opportunity to get back into skiing in an enjoyable and adventurous way. All the time I was observing the differences in strategy used by each member of the family. Timothy managed well skiing deep untracked snow for the first time in his life with no problems. Rodion, as expected, was strong in some areas but had forgotten some of the core ideas that he had been taught in his childhood. Liliana made up for lack of technique through great determination and Victor was as consistent and skiing as strongly as ever.




After lunch we decided to work a little on technique. I’d noticed that everybody needed to increase their dynamics so that seemed like a good place to begin. First of all Rodion and Liliana wanted to try out the race course. Rodion was 3 seconds slower than when he was 10 years old! I predicted this would happen and could see it in his free skiing. I knew that Rodion was picking up bad habits from the ski coaching he had at the Aiglon school in Switzerland and probably from listening to other children who pretended to know it all. It wasn’t until he was in the slalom that I could clearly see what he was trying to do. He was dropping his hips into the turn and facing downhill to try to look like the racers he has seen. This is a “balancing” act – not active dynamics  - and the result is that the weight goes onto the inside ski and there is a loss of control.

I explained to the whole family that their skiing needed to be more 3 dimensional. They were currently all skiing in a two dimensional way – turning on flat ground – instead of seeing their paths as banked tracks in three dimensions where there is no turning – just running straight along the banked track. Rodion’s “hip dropping” is a two dimensional response – he is not creating a banked track with his skis and then riding around it. The hip angulation should come from a combinations of skating and moving the centre of mass down and into the turn– not dropping the hips down into a turn.

To get everyone active with stronger dynamics  I used the “poles to the inside” exercise – moving the hands and poles to the inside of the turn. This is the direction they would face anyway towards the beginning of any turn – but they now stay there through the whole turn. The exercise prevents a “two dimensional” “face downhill” stance from taking over and blocking the skier’s dynamics. We didn’t have a lot of time left to develop this further but everybody managed the exercise. Rodion can be seen adding this to his hip dropping on his final slalom run in the video clip. To fix Rodion’s skiing we will need to rebuild it. At least I know that he already has all the necessary building blocks somewhere.

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