Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Derin 2016 Day 9

Derin has consolidated her skiing skills amazingly well in the past week. This provides a strong foundation for development of more complicated motor skills and coordination. Each day has been a progressive stretching of her boundaries - but in a way that allowed her to become confident and believe in herself. This requires a stubborn application of good overall mechanics of movement - which primarily means correct movement of the centre of mass. 

If you look carefully you will see that most skiers actually do not control their turning with the centre of mass - they push their feet outwards instead. Derin moves her centre of mass in the direction she wants to go - and pulls her feet and skis inwards. She also falls downwards into each turn at the start - the opposite of those who learn to go "up". This is why she already looks particularly stable. This can be seen clearly in Derin's pivoting exercises; What isn't so obvious to the onlooker is that the jumping she is working on represents the end of a turn (or traverse) and preparation for a turn - using the energy of an existing turn and it is not an "up" movement into a turn. (It's a bounce out of a turn!). We have been using the bumps on the slopes to jump with so that Derin picks up a natural feel for the pressure cycles involved.

Today for the first time I was able to begin to introduce upper/lower body separation (she uses it in her pivot exercise in the video.) 

One thing that has really impressed me is how Derin controls and shapes her turns. She finishes her turns properly and has a sense of purpose and function in her movements. She should do well in slalom when the time is right - because that's what racing is all about. I know that this has developed due to being taught dynamics (and never anything to contradict it) - but it also comes from her excellent ability to follow my line and feel what is happening to her. Most recreational skiers do not have any idea of how to develop and exploit "line" for control of speed and direction.

Derin demonstrating how to carry skis…

Derin climbing again. Last time this year so it had to be done….

Derin after skiing an unpisted black run – with no difficulty…

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