Today we used a combination of stubby and long poles together in one slalom course – to encourage Alex to ski the same way in both. The course changed into a giant slalom towards the end. There were two verticales with long poles so that Alex could learn how to ski them properly and avoid over-turning. After face-planting and losing both skis on the first attempt at going straighter in the verticale Alex got it right – using the same hand to defend for all the poles.
We did static and free skiing exercises on skating the start of the turn – that is – skating the uphill leg forwards as the body goes over the downhill ski. Skating this leg forwards (but out to the side relative the the actual body) allows the body to sink down into the new turn without turning the upper body away from the fall line. Eventually this will give the sensation of skating straight down the hill and allow improved timing due to early pressure in the turn.
The body needs to be out of the existing turn by at least half way between the poles – so the exit of the turn has to start practically at the pole. Any body rotation (in defending against the poles or for any other reason) will make good timing impossible. Alex made significant progress and although still a bit late with his timing and losing speed his body started to be naturally placed for clearing the slalom poles – instead of reaching. There is still a lot more movement required.
Mike actually stayed in the course – so something must be improving! Outside of the gates he did the skating exercise more visibly than Alex – but the actual gates make it hard for him to hold that together and the stepping uphill returns. Still the same deal here – got to get over that lower ski!
Alex’s favourite video still image from yesterday… on his inside ski – but rock solid!
Good body positioning for clearing the slalom pole…
… and the reason why. But he kept it together.
First GS training – looking good but too late coming out of the turns over the lower ski. Perhaps we need to introduce leg retraction.
The mountains in the distance – seen from the summit of the Grand Motte (where we were free skiing – working on dynamics away from the race gates)