Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Don, Jennifer–Day 4

Final day – good all round improvement…

Jennifer is holding together a large number of changes and this is producing a flowing, smooth skiing with well shaped turns. The skis are pivoting nicely where necessary and the dynamics are greatly improved – with good supporting coordination from the feet and legs.

Don is smooth and has great timing – with a good deal of control over speed. Pressure is good and early on the uphill ski, with a slight pivoting action. Sometimes the lower ski is allowed to flatten by releasing the adductors and allowing the knee of the inside leg to move into the new turn (photo) – causing a slight stem. This is linked to a stiffening of the lower leg and leaving the foot too far behind (push it forwards during all the turn). The best way to deal with this is to hold that lower foot on its inside edge all the way – don’t release it at all – ever!


Jennifer asked about how to use angulation to ensure pressure on the front of the skis. We did the static “pulling” exercise – up on the balls of the feet – wedging the body against the front of the lower ski as I pulled her downhill. This was really just to communicate the concept at this stage – in reality there were more than enough other things for Jennifer to be working on!


Some time was spent on pivoting on one ski – standing on the inside edge of the foot and outside edge of the ski. Even five minutes doing this clarifies quite a lot. Skill is all about separating and refining muscle use and more detailed sensations.

Later on when we found some small bumps I demonstrated how the fronts of the skis would be airborne and how this applies to the pivot.


Today’s real effort went into developing the basics and understanding of carving skills. Part of the motive was to help Don to avoid flattening his turning ski (as in the photo) by developing awareness of holding the ski rock solid on the edge. For Jennifer the theme was more about avoiding rushing the start of the turn and letting the ski run. Carving takes time to develop – but like with pivoting, short and frequent efforts brings results.


We did some skating – transitioning into skiing – keeping the skating rhythm. This was so Jennifer would understand what the racers were actually doing and so she could see it correctly. Later on this was useful because I asked Jennifer to think about facing the body downhill as she projected her centre of mass over the skis into the new turn – and this is actually part of the skating action. Don has a very clear and natural skating timing already.

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