Lal, Delfin, Nil Day 1

We began the first session with skiing on a green run and filming straight away before working on changing anything. I hadn’t realized that Lal and Nil hadn’t skied at all this season or we would have had a complete warm up run before filming. The first series of clips in the video show the skiing as it was at this stage.

The Magic Wall (Dynamics)

Nil was stuck in a snowplough, Lal was unsure of herself and Delfin didn’t have a lot of control – so I chose to try to pull things together for everyone by working first of all on dynamics – using the “Magic Wall”. There is a full explanation of this accessed from the menu at the top of the page. Basically – everyone thinks that “balance” is the goal of skiing – but that’s incorrect. We need to actively fall over in skiing – like falling over sideways on a moving bicycle. Skis are designed to react to this falling over and to bring you back up – so you actually can’t fall over this way. This issue is highly counter intuitive – so the “Magic Wall” is a way to turn it into a game and allow children (and less technical adults) to understand.

We carried out the basic exercises – both static then with speed. The second series of clips is of turning across the hill from a straight run downhill – just by falling actively to the side – there is no attempt to turn anything. Nil lost her snowplough immediately – because dynamics is exactly the key to parallel skiing. Lal became smooth and relaxed and Delfin was easily in control. After this exercise whole turns were made one at a time – then they were linked together and everyone was then skiing with dynamics.

The Feet (Eversion)

The Magic Wall is hard to achieve if the feet are not being used appropriately – I could see problems with everyone in this respect. We went indoors to be able to remove a ski boot each – and it was impossible not to allow the girls to have hot chocolates with cream. If the weather is really bad tomorrow the same thing might happen! What’s most important is the everyone can feel able to concentrate when trying to learn new things.

With the foot out of the ski boot the goal was to stand on the front of the heel just beneath the ankle and rock the foot onto its inside edge – turning the forefoot slightly outwards. This is how the foot is edged so the ski digs in and grips to make the turn – and it allows you to push hard against the Magic Wall – which when static (not actually skiing) is my shoulder usually. The main thing is to understand that you don’t try to twist the foot in the direction of the turn – you just roll it on edge inside the ski boot.

The second series of clips in the video are with both the Magic Wall and the feet being rolled on edge (specifically the outside foot in the turn – rolled onto its inside edge.)


Part of my objective from the beginning was to get Nil skating – to move more rapidly across the flats and to climb. I never mentioned this to anyone but as soon as Nil understood how to use her feet she discovered how to skate naturally. (final clip in the video). Skiing is literally a mix of skating and dynamics.


The girls were told to focus on the body parts as much as possible when skiing and try to avoid being distracted by everything else going on. The way we train the body is to keep attention on it and this usually leads to increased awareness and more new things. Most people do not know what to focus on so they are busy thinking about other things – were the chairlift is, who is skiing at the side, how fast they are gong, etc. Keep the thoughts “centered” and that makes the mind focused and relaxed. All the external issues will be handled without focusing on them directly. It’s important to stay on green and blue runs to work on new things – to avoid all those distractions.

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