Thursday, July 23, 2015

Alex Slalom Day 1

Day one of Alex's "on snow" summer slalom training. It's worth mentioning here that this is Alex's first time ever doing slalom on snow. He has run a few special slalom gates on plastic in the UK - but that's not really comparable.

The video here is towards teh end of the first session. Alex was trying to move earlier in the turn - rather than waiting and hesitating. He was also working on focusing on his hips.

Alex is actually doing incredibly well for starting out in slalom. This is largely because he was trained in dynamics from the beginning of skiing. Still, poles have a way of exposing all your weaknesses - which is useful because then you can get to work on sorting them out!

Alex's main issue - which blocks him and makes him hesitate - is that he is over rotating. The turn starts late and often with a stemming out of the outside ski - which also means there is too much pressure on the inside ski and it's being used to rotate the body. All of this limits grip and acceleration and then the confidence to incline more dynamically into the turn. Reaching the outside arm defensively against the poles just worsens the rotation. This all leads to a slowness to react, a lateness in the turns, lots of skidding and loss of speed, and a general "woodenness".

Chi Skiing ( )

We worked on Chi Skiing - the pulling back of the outside hip to allow the body to fall into a turn - by actively eliminating hip rotation. This also places the outside arm automatically into the correct position for defending against breakaway poles - without any "reaching". 

Alex is starting to be curious about things and had already asked me about ChiRunning - so he's at a good age now for being given basic technical information. (He also asked about the "Illuminati" which slightly astonished me! I told him it was started in 1776 in Bavaria by Adam Weishaupt on behalf of Rothschild. So if there is any connection with this today it could be that the Bank of England is in the names of both Rothschild and the Queen! Invisibility extends even there - because this bank has never been audited.)

Alex is easily distracted so part of the Chi approach is to bring attention to the centre of the body - to feel the twist and tension in the abdomen as the change is made from one turn to the next. Focusing internally and on a core issue (literally the core!) trains the mind naturally to be disciplined in a peaceful and appropriate way.

We will have to work harder on technique to eliminate this rotation. It's recovering from this rotation that causes the stem (pushing out and flattening of the ski) into the start of the next turn. 

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