MA request fo

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Smear, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. JESinstr

    JESinstr Lvl 3 1973 Skier

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    IMO, this drill addresses PSIA fundamental #1 . "Control the relationship between the Center of Mass and Base of Support...." To that end, it arguably addresses the main obstacle to improving one's skiing.

    If you just drag the poles as Greg is doing in the above video, the feedback is more of a sensor. If you create tension in the grip and focus on driving the tips of the pole into the surface, it will definitely affect your alignment movement patterns to the skier's benefit.
     
  2. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    Control that relationship, how? Make sure you're in what position? What problem does it correct?

    That type of pole drag is most memorable for me, as I did them for like an hour one day in a lesson. My hands were actually a bit sore. It really seemed to help with being centered (forward), hands in the right place, and some with separation, as I was also trying to keep the pole tips in the right place along the ski (near the boot), and not let them fall backward.
     
  3. JESinstr

    JESinstr Lvl 3 1973 Skier

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    The relationship is one of a controlled and stable alignment of COM and BOS with the predominant force of record. Center of Mass is something I think we all can agree on but base of support is something else so here is my take.

    Off skis, we have multiple bases of support. When we create locomotion (walking, running etc) we use a sequence of heels and toes (plantar flexion) for brief moments as we propel ourselves using the surface between us and the force of gravity. When standing still (static) our base of support is predominantly our skeletal system through the heels. When in an athletic stance we are generally over the balls of the foot supported by the toes, heels light or in the air.

    But on skis, we want the bottom surface of our foot to remain in contact with the footbed so a new way to create a solid, stable base of support is needed. That base of support comes in the form of an arch...Your foot's arch to be specific, with the supporting pillars being the balls of the foot and the heel. This type of BOS is rarely used in our day to day static or dynamic balance activities so it is a totally new dynamic balance construct for many.

    Now, consider that the center of the ski is under the toes and friction pad of the binding. BUT, the center of shape is under the arch of the foot. Therefore, there is a turn shape bias towards the front of the ski. So when when we flex into the tongue of the boot, leverage is directed toward bending the front of the ski supporting turn creation and continuation. This does not mean we are forward, balancing over the balls of the feet. Quite the contrary, our COM to Base of Support relationship remains through the arch. It is the properties of boot design that is implementing pressure management forward and off skis, would be accomplished by balancing over the balls of the feet with support of the toes and plantar flexion.

    As pressure builds up from the snow, and if our COM is aligned with an arch based BOS, the arch collapses and our foot stretches inside the boot creating a tensioned environment which makes for a stronger and stable BOS. For the many whose balance focus is the heel (back seat) the ability flex into the boot and maintain a strong, stable BOS is problematic.
     
  4. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Let me try it more succinctly that @JESinstr. You direct pressure along the length of the skis by adjusting the flex in your joints. If you want the pressure aft, you might open the ankle (plantar flex), flex the knee, and open the hip. If you want the pressure forward, you might close the ankle (dorsiflex), open (extend) the knee, and close the hip. To be in the center, you might look for alignment of body parts, say equal angles of the shins and the spine, with a complimentary angle in the femur (e.g. similar angles in the femur and shins).

    The fundamentals don't "fix" a problem, but describe elements of skills (edging, rotating, pressure) that affect balance and ski performance. They serve as a model to describe ski performance and the body movements that are causing it. Directing pressure along the length of the skis cause the skis to bend in different ways. If we direct pressure forward along the length of the skis, it causes the front of the ski to bend more than the tail. If done early in the shaping or control phase of the turn, this causes the tips of the skis to pull into the turn. If continued through shaping and the finish of the turn, it can cause the tail to take a wider path than the tip of the ski.

    Does this help?
     
  5. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    That's great... your post and @JESinstr ... BUT....

    You guys are explaining what the fundamentals are.. that I get I think. But I still don't see how the pole drag drill as shown directly helps with that. When I've done them, as I mentioned above, keeping the tips aligned with my boots helped with both being forward, and having some separation (when first learning that). Is that the intent here?
     


  6. JESinstr

    JESinstr Lvl 3 1973 Skier

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    YES! The tips of the poles are an extension of your upper body. It not only helps you maintain fore and aft positioning over your BOS (you call it forward) but it helps laterally with the creation of angles. BTW it is laterally where most have problems executing the pole drag.... Many find it difficult to maintain pole tip contact with the outside/downhill surface especially deep into the turn.
     
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  7. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    Thanks! And yes, I should have said "balanced", or correct fore and aft, rather than "forward"... but I'm coming from many years of being very backseat, so for me it was forward.
     
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  8. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Thanks. Tried that and liked it as a focus. I guess the idea to have a focus that incorporates flexing and tipping at the same time? Especially good for lifting the big toe edge of the outside ski toward the end of the turn and then into next turn as the inside ski?

    Tried this drill the other day. Was skiing with the kids in the afternoon and went out again after putting them to bed. Had one hour and 15 min left before closing time. It was raining and the rain was freezing on the ground and on cables and lifts, causing the resort to close down everything but the green slope. I can gladly ski only the green slope in the preseason, but after the other slopes have been open it's hard to go back to just skiing the green slope. So this was not go to be fun. But if it was not going to be fun, at least I should do something productive, so I challenged my self to do 1 h and 15 min of continuous double pole drag.

    I liked it. It really makes me remember to flex in the transition. And I was able to combine it with other focuses like keeping the stance collected fore/aft and sideways, tipping the inside ski, etc and still remember to ditch the UP movement in the transition.

    But after 45 min of continuous pole drag it was getting a bit boring. To up the difficulty for the last 30 min I took of one ski. Double pole dragging is kind strenuous because of the always flexing. Doing it one-legged gives that one leg absolutely no rest. So it goes from strenuous to almost painful. The resulting leg soreness lasted for two days. I liked how it kept the body positions during the one-ski skiing more similar to normal skiing, especially when on little toe edge where I have a tendency to get into funky positions. And constantly flexing in the transition while skiing on one ski was a cool sensation. But it worked a lot better on the right leg than on the left leg. Wish I had two right legs...
     
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  9. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Have been skiing more than ever before in the early season. Been doing lots of drills like Schlopys, hands on hips, white pass turns, javelins, tuck turns with counter, double pole poledrag and skiing with focus. Have felt improvment and been satisfied with the effort I have been able to put in to get better.

    But then GS-training started after New year. The first week of training had lot of ice and ruts. So a hard start and felt like nothing was working.

    Last week the conditons were a lot better and the confidence came back. And we had video :)



    Hmm.... Still lacking a lot in rotational separation (skiing very square), at times massive A-frame, excessive tip lead, divergence, extending in the transitions and beeing too
    stiff and tall in general.

    This week we had the seasons first training with timing. Last year I was conistently ~15% behind the best recorded time on all timed trainings. But this week I was 18 % behind. So the speed has not improved compared to the best. I'm hoping the competition improved, and I did mess up on the flats in all the timed runs...

    Getting better at skiing ain't easy.

    :philgoat:
     
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  10. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    Not bad though, what skis were you on?

    The biggest thing jumping at me (quite literally) ;) is that huge up and down movement which makes you so late, you should not be able to make the turn - hence wondering what skis you're on... that looks like a 22-25m set so I'm going to guess you're on a 17-18m ski?

    That big push is also partially responsible for squaring you up and also, look how late you get the pressure back, well past the apex!!

    I would go back to working on a smoother release and transfer, one that would allow you to not square up and to get back on a decent line and then you could start working on improving the other things!

    The reason you need that up push to get off the ski? Good question! But there are a lot of drills to work on that. Also, when you do the drills, don't just do them. Make sure you understand exactly how to do it and what you get out of it and also, focus on carrying the skills you learn in the drill into your skiing!!

    Cheers

    Checkout this transition and where the ski engages and where it bends

     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  11. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    In the video I'm on a 178 cm 18.5 m radius Volkl Race Carver from 2006. It was the first time I have used those in a course. Sent my regular GS-skis for a grind after beeing frustrated with grip during the first week and had to use the old Race Carvers as backup.

    In the set in the video on those skis I felt like I had to be careful not to overturn. It was a very wide and open set. You are probably rigth that the short radius skis is why I'm getting away with the UP extensions and late pressure. Used the Race Carvers a second day when we took over a U14 set. Large snowfall during the day, so to much work to make a completly new course. Think bobsled track with ice in the turns and lots of snow everywhere else. I had a great time on the Race Carvers and other more competent people where struggeling on their proper GS-skis. Should keep them in the car for when that happens.

    My regular GS-skis are Volkl 185 cm >23 from 2013. The minimum length was 183 at that time and they also made a 183 modell that year. So I guess they are some kind of a womens plus model...When freeskiing on those on normally loose groomers they feel more like SG than GS. But on a normal wide set and a well scraped down course I feel like they are working for me somehow. They are probably to stiff for my skills currently. I guess somthing like a rossi master in 176 would be more suited, but that is a lot of $$$. Hope to grow into the 185 Volkl's eventually. Skill and strengthwise that is, not weigthwise ;-)

    Feels like I'm on the rigth track with the focus on untipping and releasing the outside ski toward the end of the turn, the 1,5 deg stronger alignment and drills like white pass/weigthed release. I think it's working freesking in easy conditions but obviously not able to implement it in the course yet. Haven't seen myself freeski on video since november so working a bit in the blind...
     
  12. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    18m are a blast. They give you more time between gates, so you can work on other things - not a bad idea to use them more often. The 23m are fun as well.

    So focus on putting those release skills in the course. Forget the racing part of it for a few runs and just "sit down" at the end of the turn, while focusing on switching the edges - blunt but effective. You will get flak for being back, but you're back anyways... that way you won't be back and late ;)

    The other thing to work on is line - stop aiming for the gate, simply aim two ski lengths above the gate. That Is where you start the turn. Ask the coaches to throw in some brushes there (on the riseline, 2m above the gate) so you have a focus.

    Have fun
     
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  13. Skisailor

    Skisailor Laziest Skier on the Mountain Team Gathermeister

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    The huge "up" move is what jumped out to me as well. Watch your (new) inside leg in the video. In every turn you extend that leg at transition - mainly an unbending of the knee. It would be so much more efficient and fast if you were shortening that leg WHILE lengthening the new outside leg - launching your COM down the hill. Try making some practice turns where you fix your eyes on an object farther downslope and you keep your head absolutely level. Instead of being fixated on the exact movements needed - leg extension/flexion and the timing issues - just figure out what your legs have to do to keep your head in the same vertical plane. Then take that feeling back to the gates. It's my understanding that Alberto Tomba's success came from this type of long leg/short leg turn INITIATION, where he crossed over with a level head while his competitors were still going up and over (what you do).
     
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  14. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    @Smear, the skiing in this video is better than that from Mt. Hood last summer, but there are still some fundamental mechanics that are not working to your advantage. To me, it looks like you are trying to create counter by turning the pelvis over the feet, and it is all done at once in the initiation of the turn. What's missing is that counter should be an outcome of the legs turning under a stable upper body. It's likely related to your push off move to change edges.

    What I would suggest you do is to work on your edging skills. Specifically, you need to lear how to tip the lower legs to create and increase edge. So, how do you think you can tip the lower legs? I'll give you a hint -- it's related to another skill.

    Mike
     
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  15. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Mt. Hood? Tux:)
    I think some of what you see is me experimenting with early counter. Back of shoulder against gate and stuff. Sometimes it ends up wrong.Like at 34s where I also clearly see the ugly dysfunctional face left,.... face right..., all-at-once-and-stay-there upper body initiation without corresponding lower body tipping.

    I really hate early counter for those reasons. I have been to "hip dumping" hole in the early years of my alpine skiing and get the creeps whenever I feel myself doing motions that remind me of that. Heck I hate counter in general, I actually love skiing square. But..... Things have to change....

    Often I'm arriving at the gate with the inside half already lagging behind. That has to stop. I think the early counter experiments at times are working so I'll continue. Like in the two left turns after 17s. But I'm aware of the complications, remember to ski from the feet, and stay in motion, not all at once. Counter below the gate is a difficult focus for me (more on that later). Below the gate is often a nasty rutted place and there is not much "optional space" for me to do anything that has to do with aligning of body parts. So I'm thinking that I at least have to have some counter when I get to the gate.

    Feedback from the coach this week:
    -sees the early counter. Good. But I'm still squaring up right after so not holding the counter long enough into the transition.
    -sometimes the early counter stuff goes weird. OK and needed as an drill at this point, not a way to ski in the excessive and wrong timed form. But need to dare to fail to get a change.

    Perhaps this also applies to the flexing. At times it will bring me aft, like when other things are not in place. Actually tried to save a late line by flexing on Monday. Ended up aft and even later, and slammed the brakes in the rutted part. Outside ski fell off, I rotated around and the last thing I could see over my shoulder was that I was heading straight at a gate with the back first. Just like this:
    :philgoat: GATE

    Waiting for impact. Ohh this is going hurt. But it didn't hurt at all. Glad I started skiing with at back protector this year :)

    Hmm... Hard to get much angles out of a stiff extended leg?

    Yes, it was nice to have time to do more than to survive. Lately I'have been skiing like crap on Wednesdays and OK on Mondays. So crap that it's feels like I'm not getting anywhere. Some of it is related to variations in typical set and conditions between the days. Going to start ski the 18m on Wednesday and >23m on Mondays and see if that helps.
     
  16. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Had a week without skiing due to bronchitis. That's the first week without skiing since end of November so serious symptoms of withdrawal and starting to question purpose in life. So I had to go to training even if I wasn't feeling particularly well ;-) We only have two video trainings this season and the conditions where perfect with rain and refreeze. Hard but not icy, best conditions so far this winter. But that did backfire badly, pneumonia.... :(

    Back on the long radius 185 cm and not the 178 cm cheaters used in the previous video.



    Flexing and tipping and holding counter: Pretty much the same issues as before. Skied the track after the gates had been taken away. Feels like I'm doing a lot better with the transitions skiing the same line when the gates are not there. So if I can just pretend that the gates are not there even when they are, then things would probably get a bit better. I think paradoxically some of that means skiing closer to the gates. But of course without aiming the turn at gate, but typically higher.

    MA GS2bilde.jpg

    Alignment. There is still some A-framing going on. And I still typically get out of these situations by forceful rude ILE pop. Alignment still too soft or impossible to say form video? It's 1.5 degrees stronger than in the two first freeski videos MA1 and MA2.

    My first GS-race ever is coming up in 10 days. Scary. But first winter holiday if the drugs work, and hopefully lot of opportunities to ski without gates and perhaps even a freeski video :)
     
  17. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Another video. Getting late and slow at the end.
     
  18. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    You need a lot more separation, both counterbalance and counteracting!! In your still shot with A-frame above you are already rotated... This Rob's the glide from the ski and you get later and later in the line.
     
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  19. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Luckily the first choice of antibiotics took care of the pneumonia, but took a while to get the "energy" back. So a bit of a compromised winter holiday

    Entered my first GS-race ever just after. Went OK, no huge mistakes other the feeling of skiing too cautiously. Ended up ~16% behind the winner. Had a second race last week, ~17% behind the winner. Flat light and ruts in the first round made it difficult for me to commit. Felt better in second round when the lamps had more impact. But no improvement to last year according to the clock. I think the clock is a bit wrong and that I'm at least more consistent in not looking like a total clutz ;) And the feedback from the coaches has been positive...

    The last GS-video of the season. Somewhat same same as before.



    My focus for the last week of training will be to be more brave in the top part of the steep section. Stop sliding sideways and start committing. I think I can ski a good bit faster if I just dare to do so...
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  20. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    I think it looks a little better than before. You're holding a better line. You're struggling because you're not tipping the feet and you are rotating a fair bit into the turns: your hips kind'a point to where the skis are pointing. You're kind'a trying to drag the ski around the turn, with the body - it's familiar :) but it doesn't work. Time to work on some separation and counter-acting, too. So remember these cues:
    - Keep aiming high above the gates
    - focus on foot tipping and counter strong as soon as you're on a flat ski
    - lean and rotate away from the gates (counter) to touch the gate with the butt! Not the front of the shoulder...

    Not a bad idea to do some drills in gates now, like dragging your outside pole.

    cheers
     
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