Into the swing of things – Breckenridge Dec 12 & 13 lessons

Many of the local skiers are still in training mode as we prepare for a real snow fall.  We are looking at the upper mtn wishing for a few big dumps.  It will come.  Breckenridge has had the temperatures to make snow.  We have had the winds to blow snow into the bowls. We just need some more snow soon.  Contest Bowl did have a brief opening on monday.

Recent conditions have been good for working on carving, short turns, park skills, etc
Saturday and Sunday I skied with very fun Lvl 8&9 groups.  We slowed things down and did a solid amount of skiing, but we really wanted to make sure our minds were “right”.  We took a little extra time talking about what we pictured a great turn to be.  How did we connect turns, how do we start turns.  And is there a “best” order of movement as the turn progresses?
I must apologize to my students: The videos I shot did not come out in a usable form.  I can’t get the HD video to process properly.  Next time I will use a JPEG format.  However, I have included videos which will offer good models.
When I was training for my exams Level 3 (1993), and Division Trainer Accred (1999) I would watch video TAPES of  Michael Von Grueningen and Thomas Grandi EVERY morning.  And I would try to emulate their moves during the first runs of the morning.  Their flow, intent, and purpose.  It is something I have always aspired to achieve.  I may never get there, but as I watch them ski I think of “Flow” and the way the move in the direction of travel, rather than “against” their ski.  Enjoy the visuals.
On Saturday and Sunday we did a number of drills and shared skiing ideas. Here is a compilation of the two days.  
How do we think of turn shape? C-shape, S-shape, Apex to Apex.  Where do our skis engage  with the snow? What do our notions of turn shape create in the way of subconscious movements and ski-snow interaction?
Main Drills: 
Apex to Apex focus (skiing from outside of the corridor to outside of the corridor)
Hop turns
Leapers
Inside Leg foot arcs (out of skis)
Tele turns
1) We talked a little about the skills concept:
    a) Rotary Movements; specifically how do we start our turn, and how do we maintain our flow through the turn.  We can start low in the foot and ankle or move up the leg to the femurs.  Leg rotation, shoulder, hip, whole body.  Different movements create different results and may require different reactions to change directions
    b) Edge Control Movements – What body parts do we use to control edge angle? Where during the turn to we flatten our skis (neutral)? Where is there the highest edge angle? Opening of the Ankle joint vs closing of the ankle joint (planar flexion vs dorsiflexion) Why? What are we trying to accomplish?
    c)  Pressure Control movement: How do we control pressure between the ski and snow? What joints are involved? How can we keep a constant pressure between the ski and snow?
    d)  Alignment – how do we keep our skis on equal plane?  How do we create parallel/well-aligned leg shafts?  Fore-aft/dynamic balance.  If we have too much “tip lead” it creates a flatter inside ski which opens the ankles and creates less control.  It also can create a divergence from parallel.
    e) Order of movements/Kinetic Chain – i.e. Tip/Flex/Turn, What happens if we change the order?
How can we create acceleration? How can we maintain a constant speed?  How to carve or skid?  We addressed a number of these relationships to help with understanding. As one can see, the coversations were quite varied.  Some took place on the snow as a group, while others were brief chairlift conversations.  
Well, there was an essay.  Consider a specific skill pool as you watch these videos over and over.  You will develop a better understanding of movements as they are applied throughout the turn, and you will become a better skier.
All told, I think everybody had a good time.  We did our best to avoid traffic, came home safely, had fun, and learn a few things.  I look forward to bring in some Jedi skiing in future lesson.
Umbaga!

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