Keeping in mind that Derin is small and could get cold easily in the high winds with no sunshine we went over to the slalom training area in Val d’Isère where there was shelter. Derin wasn’t too happy about using the button lift all the time but she gradually got used to it. Another big advantage with going there is that there are no idiots hurtling down the hill out of control as there are on the pistes. Normally I try to take Derin slightly off piste to avoid those people but with poor visibility that wasn’t really possible today.
Before going into the slalom we worked on angulation – specifically turning the bottom to face uphill when going across the hill. Derin found this quite difficult to both understand and to do. The morning group worked hard on this subject too and in their blog post it comes under the heading “Chi Skiing”. I won’t repeat all of that here but instead will recommend reading that content too. In the video when working on angulation Derin was clearly trying hard but her body was rotating instead. This will take more work and clarification. When she tried really hard she could turn on the very steep training slope and avoid flying off down the hill – which is what this is all about. Often when she skis behind me she struggles to avoid running into me – which is a symptom of this issue when it goes wrong. Part of the problem is being too far back against the back of the ski boots and not using the fronts of the skis. The first step in correcting this is to develop control of the pelvis and angulation.
Derin has really clearly understood what a slow/high line is in slalom because she almost carried it out to extreme on her first run – which is actually fantastic. For her second run she was to reduce the travel across the hill and hopefully with improved angulation sitll be able to deal with the extra speed she would have. In fact she didn’t quite manage to avoid rotation or to create enough angulation and ended up missing a turn – but otherwise her time would have been great. She dealt with the course ruts (late in the day the course is in a mess) and her high speed without any undue concern. It looks like she has the ideal temperament to be a racer one day!
After the slalom we worked on pivoting for a while but the cold was now affecting Derin and her concentration was not great. The snow was now wet and icy so that didn’t help either. I insisted that before stopping she had to do at least one full pivot while staying on one ski for the whole turn – and she managed that instantly! Clearly, motivation helps!