Taha Day 10

Really COLD! No way I was taking photographs today.

Racing Skating

We started out very positively with a revision of Racing Skating so that Taha could understand the lesson he missed out on yesterday. Everyone managed to skate in the fall line quite well. Cagatay was still bending too much at the waist so I spent some time trying to get him to understand the difference between bending at the waist and bending at the hips. Gulsum definitely rotated less when skating. I pointed out briefly that the skate can also be done on the uphill edge of the outside ski – keeping the ski below the body on the mountain – just like in the pivoted fall line skiing.


Due to the cold we went directly to the slalom  and Gulsum had no trouble skiing on the groomed slopes of the training piste – her first ever time on a black run. While she continued doing circuits on her own the boys went straight into the slalom. It was difficult keeping tabs on who was ahead because the time margins were so close. 
0.7 seconds separating first and last!

Taha managed the fastest time of the day to re-take his lead (only the most recent day counts) as fastest racer. But Catagay was only two tenths of a second behind Mete for third place. Chatagay is making determined progress now so Mete will have to make a big effort on the final day tomorrow. 
Taha’s skiing is much more secure.  There is more flexibility, less rotation, more movement and generally a good overall function. All of this just needs to be exaggerated more with more dynamics added. Cagatay is being hampered by his bending at the waist and his skis often skid and lose grip and speed because the leg is straight and stiff. Mete tends to rotate his upper body into the turn when he moves his centre of mass into the turn. His rotation is mainly in the last half of the turn when fighting against gravity – his shoulders go into the turn and his hips go out and so the skis lose grip. I physically held Mete in positions for attacking the start of the turn and the end of the turn. The start being done with the body launching itself face first downhill  (I held him and brought his upper body towards me to give the feeling of falling downhill face first). For the end of the turn I held from behind under the arm pits –  lowering him until his bottom was close to the snow – simulating angulation through the end of a turn. 
We also discussed timing and how the apex of the turn needed to be brought from beneath the gate to beside the gate – and how you could imagine a trampoline at the outside of each pole that you would bounce off to cross back over to the other side. When we have higher speeds gravity is no longer the greatest force to deal with so the apex of the turn is no longer directly below the gate.
After slalom I filmed the boys carving on a wide piste – trying to increase their dynamic range and get closer to the snow with the centre of mass. Gulsum made a good effort too but Taha had his skis drifting sideways – not quite catching on! 
Steeps and Fear
Going down the steep race piste back into La Daille, I was preparing Gulsum with technique before getting to the steepest part; Unfortunately she baulked at turning and took a big setback. The steepness was little different from the slalom piste and the conditions were good too so this was a bit of a surprise. Later on we discussed how when fear takes over it’s necessary to “do it anyway” and try to overcome the resistance. Better still, if you know that this sort of scenario is possible – prepare your mind in advance and avoid the fear. Programming the mind is every bit as important as programming the body with coordination.

Bumps and Wind Pack
Despite being cold the boys went back up for a final blast down the black bumps and through the windpack. Taha survived despite a lot of tension and apprehension. Only Mete managed a spectacular head plant. Tomorrow we will try to hit the off-piste sooner and ski harder to stay warm. All the qualities worked on in the slalom are needed to cope with the wind packed snow. In addition the pivoting is required on the steeps for fall line skiing to control speed – the skis being kept below the body. This tactic is what helps Taha to survive the challenging conditions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *