One of the first things little 4 yo Tallulah said to me today was “You look like a parrot” referring to the colours of my clothing. Let’s say that it was pretty clear that it was going to be an interesting session. My objective was to do the most possible to prise Tallulah away from her recently acquired Canadian snowplough. We worked on four main things – Sideslipping, Rolling the feet for better grip, Pivoting and The Magic Wall. She liked the Magic Wall best so watch out Alex you will soon have some very determined competition! (Congratulations to Alex today getting the Gold in the main Bonnevie GS course – by two hundreths of a second.)
Tallulah held onto my ski pole while we used a steep slope to develop sideslipping with the skis held parallel and close together. She had to work hard to stop the uphill ski from stemming out and pointing downhill on the lower edge. later on she worked at this on her won but was less successful. Supporting her helps her to get it right at the moment.
Inside edges of the Feet
I showed Tallulah how to rock a foot onto its inside edge – by removing one of my boots in a dry location. When I rolled both feet inwards she rolled both of hers outwards – but she got it in the end. One remaining problem is that she can’t separate the actions in the feet from the rest of her body. Rolling her feet inwards caused her to pull her knees in and her elbows too! We had to abandon that for the moment and only make use of it for skating uphill – to stop her skis sliding away. In my “pivoting” fixed page (tab at top of blog) I expalin why both feet need to be kept on their inside edges regardless of which edge a ski is on – and this surprisingly applies even to carving. When she was holding my pole skiing alongside me she could keep her skis parallel, close together and very smoothly enter a turn. Seeing this encouraged me to teach her a little about the pivot.
I used my standard static exercise to hold Tallulah though several pivots from the uphill edge of her uphill ski. She was good at standing on one leg to achieve this. The only goal here was to show her there is an alternative to snowplough and it comes with the skis parallel and close together. All the time in sideslipping I had to encourage her to put the skis close together to stop the uphill ski catching its inside edge.
The Magic Wall (Dynamics)
Tallulah now knows that the snowplough stop magic from working. Only if the skis are held parallel and close together – then if you move forwards – an invisible magic wall appears either side of you. You push against that wall with your body and you can’t fall over – instead you just turn. She liked the Magic Wall. (She practised pushing against me first) She’ll be told the physics in about 12 years time.