Maria and Ivan – first ever attempt at Short Swings….
What’s interesting here is Maria is controlling her rotation better than even due to an improved upper body position – and active use of her legs. Ivan is still retracting his heels when jumping and throwing the tails out to the side instead of pulling the tips into the turn. Sometimes he manages to pull the tips in a little bit. Ivan has no support at all from his poles and he uses a counter rotation of the body to through his heels to the side. There is improvement though.
We had worked on jumping – with full leg extension and a soft landing with flexion. Maria is managing this better.
Short Swings demonstration…
Jump TurnsPrior to working on the linked short Swings we were developing Jump Turns
Here is a demonstration of the practical use of “Jump Turns” on steep terrain…
Today Tatiyana was with us and skiing for the first time so we remained on the blue slopes and revised a little bit about dynamics so that she would be able to catch up with the others who were working on that yesterday.
Despite unsuitable terrain and too many people on the pistes I decided to introduce skating as a skiing technique. There are many reasons for doing this – but mainly, when people skid and rotate their body’s too much then by learning the skating principles of skiing this can help to overcome those problems. Maria and Tatyana were both rotating and skidding, plus Ivan was still doing his two footed heel pushing so skating was the obvious choice of exercise. I explained how the foot had to be rolled over, the muscles on the inside of the leg used and the body (centre of mass) moved towards the inside of the turn – with a stepping and diverging inside ski.
The skating improves the support (grip and movement) for dynamics. Sometimes people can’t create dynamics until they are proficient in skating with skis because the skis always skid outwards for them. The skating coordination changes this.
I also demonstrated how skating straight downhill and then adding dynamics causes skating to automatically change in to skiing – with the same rhythm and leg use. This is important so that good timing and leg function can be developed. I wanted Ivan to understand this to help unblock his hips which are jammed solid due to pushing his skis away al the time. The legs need to be used like an ice skater.
To help both Maria and Tatyana who were still rotating I added “Feet Forward” technique – pushing the outside foot forward in the turn – which allows the outside hip to sink into the turn more easily. This also alters turn radius – tightening it and giving more control and reducing the tendency to rotate. Both the dynamics and the “feet forward” are used together to alter and control turn radius. When it is steeper both need to be used more strongly.
Due to Ivan not understanding how to avoid pushing his skis outwards I rapidly showed him an exercise to develop the skill of “pulling inwards” instead. This is a tricky exercise and once again not much time was spent on it. This is also used as an exercise to develop control over rotation – but on this occasion it was to give a new sensation to Ivan.
“Pulling In” demonstration…
The next stage from “Pulling In” was to introduce carving – just tracking along on two edges – no skidding. This eventually leads to full carved turns and turn transitions with no skidding.
We worked for a while on pivoting – this being mainly to help Maria but also to encourage Ivan to “pull inwards” once again. Later on we returned to pivoting to build up to the “two footed pivot” The basic pivot exercises are found here: http://skiinstruction.blogspot.fr/p/pivot.html
I helped Maria through a few stationary pivots and then she started to get it on her own. It’s not an easy thing to do because it needs good pole use and control over the upper body – but that’s what she needs to develop. Ivan is slowly improving here too.
Two Footed Pivot demonstration…