A few days ago I was worried about Derin’s progress as she was stuck in the back of her ski boots and very defensive. I thought it might be linked to difficulty in language and communication. However today it became very clear that there is no problem – she just needed time to get her feet back and continue with the process she has always been on since she began skiing - of building natural skills.
I just focused on her desire to keep skiing and kept her on moderate slopes so she could build confidence and did short sessions on technique where she didn’t have to struggle too much. This combination has paid off because it is all working. She is now more or less off the backs of the boots and is developing new skills rapidly – her confidence growing fast on the skis.
We worked mainly on adding skating to the turns – which helps to get the legs active and get off the backs of the boots. This also develops edge control and awareness of moving the body. The stepping and sideslipping exercises and skating across the flats (feet rolled on inside edge) has all helped to get this far. I was impressed at how quickly Derin was able to bring this into her skiing. There’s no worry now about communication.
Yesterday was had used jumping to get her off the boots but the big shift happened in the small border cross course where she had to bend and duck under hoops. This got her interested and moving. Today I felt that patience was really starting to pay off as she started to become incredibly responsive.
We deviated on the way home – going properly off piste on steep terrain and rough snow and she managed it perfectly! Later I took her down a big section of an icy black bumps run and although I was a bit worried about the state of it all I could here from behind me was giggling. She amuses herself in a child like way but has excellent and mature judgement for safety and controlling her own speed – which is why I can let her ski in front of me when filming.
The way Derin has been taught makes it possible for her to ski off piste with no alterations to what she is doing. It was a little bit of a test of this today and it worked so well it even surprised me!
The first photograph below is of the off piste slope she skied down…