Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kerim, Alp, Lal day 3 (Introduction to Slalom)

Today we went straight into revising and then practising the skating/timing exercises that we had worked on yesterday. Careful, mindful skiing was the intention because an introduction to slalom was about to follow…



Perhaps only Alp managed to really remain focused in the slalom – because he avoided his sudden “braking” actions. The reference times are as follows:

  1. Alp         35.90 seconds
  2. Kerim    37.20 seconds
  3. Lal         42.16 seconds

Our first job was a course inspection with all of the rules and safety guidelines explained. Impressively, everyone listened and understood without any difficulty. The operation of the timing system was demonstrated and how to manage difficult situations such as falling on the course. From then on the children were on their own while I filmed from the bottom – and it all went without a hitch – each managing two runs and no falls or mistakes – everyone improving their time on the second run. We didn’t spend too long there as slalom can gobble up your time and there were lots of other things to do also.

Now that everyone is familiar with the course we can return there during the week and apply technique to measure the effects of the changes – objectively – against the clock! Depending on size around 22 to 24 seconds is a very good time – so there is a little bit of work to do here! Keeping things in perspective though the times of all three were great for a very first ever attempt at slalom.

Slalom is really just a measure of skiing efficiency and effectiveness. Focusing on the body – on the physical skiing technique – is the key to succeeding in the race course – as it is in all skiing. Now that the distraction of learning how to use the course is over the idea is to return to the course and work on locking the focus onto the body and thinking only about the skiing – not the course! Not only will this improve the movement patterns and the mental approach but issues such as “line” have to be confronted and learned. Nobody can learn an efficient line just by skiing on an empty piste with no physical constraints to deal with.

After the slalom was over it was time to get in some skiing mileage – including off-piste. We managed a wander into the wilds from the top of the Borsat and then retruned to the top of the Bellevarde. Today’s final run was non-stop from the top of the Bellevarde down the Fontaine Froide red run (partly off-piste) then down Santons gully right down to the village at the bottom. Lal said she thought she was going to faint from tiredness when in the Santons. I skied them very actively with tight turns all the way and they all followed this very well (Alp only having one fall today on some ice). Hopefuly they learn from this how to work their skis and bodies and to save outright speed for the race course. There are already too many people who just ski very fast, badly and out of control with no regard for the safety of others, no skill and no awareness.

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