Saturday, January 18, 2014

Leyla - Three Fundamentals

Layla before coaching

Leyla explained that the last time she skied two years ago she felt intimidated on the steep because she thought she would not be able to control her skis. After a brief warm up run and before working on technique Leyla was filmed skiing. The skiing is fairly “pedestrian” with any errors present being slightly hard to spot – however - the timing is mainly back-to-front (coming up at the start of the turn and down from about the middle), there is a frequent stemming and the upper-body is slightly left behind at the start of the turn. The general stance looks comfortable and relaxed.

When asked about her technique Leyla was typically vague in her ability to explain her actions. When asked to demonstrate her her own explanation of “weight transfer” she moved her body towards the uphill leg and to the outside of the turn. This clarified for me that we should start the technical work directly with Dynamics.




I gave Leyla the full basic explanation of dynamics with static and moving exercises. (details are found at this fixed page link -  “Dynamics” ) Her mild confusion at first made it clear that it was an issue that was alien to her initially – but this was dealt with by simplifying things – stating that you move the body right to go right and left to go left. The movement is an acceleration (not slow) and is from the centre – meaning the whole body moves not just the hips. Leyla picked up on this easily and looked much stronger immediately. Her motion was natural and this automatically corrected her timing so that it was “down/up” – down from the turn beginning and up at the end – like a motorbike making a turn.




I explained the basics of pivoting from the uphill ski and supported Leyla through the static exercises. (details are found at this fixed page link -  “Pivot” ) Leyla managed this at her very first attempt – which is quite rare to see.




With very little explanation and only one demonstration I introduced to Leyla the concept of skating in a skiing turn. I had noticed her ability to copy and act intuitively so i simply went into the “Direct Method” approach of skating straight downhill and then adding dynamics by falling towards the inside – maintaining the skating rhythm and action at all times – and then asking her to copy this. She did!  The skating action of the legs and body is ”down/up”, matching the dynamics, so a natural rhythm is formed. Leyla as anticipated picked up on this immediately – her natural qualities simply being harnessed and used with a little more awareness than previously.



Leyla was able to carry out every task and to feel the appropriate feedback in each case. Consolidation and development are necessary to ensure that lazy habits don’t flood back to wash away all this rapid achievement. Leyla clearly has a strong potential for rapid development as a skier.

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