Monday, December 14, 2015

Brian Day 1

Despite hardly skiing last year Brian has returned stronger than ever. Basic dynamics and skating skills are well integrated with good timing and improved body management – particularly regarding perpendicularity. I can only conclude that he has been dreaming a lot about skiing and that this had brought concrete results.

Observing Brian skiing it was clear that stiffness at the hips – leading to lack of angulation – needed to be the main focus for the day. The hips are the biggest joints in the body and being very mobile as well as surrounded by strong and massive muscles all adds up for major potential for mistakes – as well as major potential for good things. The video below was taken after working hard for most of the day on this issue and the results are clear. When the hip joint is free and working properly then “angulation” appears – as it does so here…

The following is a list of things we worked on today:
  • Pressure through the front of the heel – not the ball of the foot (not leaning on the shaft of the ski boot).
  • Chi Hips! Pulling back the supporting hip in isolation from the shoulders and feet (they mustn’t move).
  • Changing the hips during turn transitions.
  • Using the hip action to facilitate motion of the centre of mass.
  • Relaxing and dropping down into the turn from the hip joint – instead of stiffening the leg.
  • Being pro-active with dynamics creation – not waiting until pressure and security are already there before “dropping” into the turn.
  • Tilting the upper body forward at the hip (actual exercise  in above photo and correct here though not apparent).
  • Pushing the foot forward as the hip comes back.
  • Applying the same actions in non-carving turns on steeper terrain.
  • Arm carriage.

Relevant observed issues include:
  • Knee tuck
  • Lack of speed control – working and developing the turn effectively in varying situations (needs more active dynamics and edge/pressure awareness) This is vague terminology so I’m just noting it here for more detailed expansion later. Make sure the centre of mass isn’t a passenger – it’s the most directly active component instead.
  • Need to work on more advanced timing now (leg retraction, compression – bumps)
  • Need to work in gates to develop perception for more rapid turn transitions.

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