Avni Day 5

Avni bravely surfaced today despite her continuing flu – with fever and all. Regardless of the adverse situation and my promise to take it really easy – we went into hardcore teaching and she skied stronger and faster than ever before – all Avni’s fault of course! She did say to me that she didn’t think she could learn anything new today but I didn’t seem to hear it. In the video Avni is smoothly riding the outside ski from the start of the turn – instead of snatching it around and braking…


The only really new thing we did today was to begin work on upper/lower body separation – or “angluation”. We didn’t go into great depth but it is time for Avni to begin to develop awareness of this major issue.  First thing was to demonstrate how destructive the “face the body down the hill” instruction really is – twisting the base of the spine from the chest down in a manner that brings the weight bearing hip in front of the rib cage. When this unfortunate contortion occurs all the postural reflexes are disactivated and the lower back is rendered extremely vulnerable. When the weight bearing leg is loaded up the hip must be moved in the opposite direction – pulled back relative to the chest and in this case the turn. This is the “Chi” alignment – an action consciously carried out originating from the core – the “centre”. The pelvis only is organised to face downhill – not the chest or shoulders – twisting the spine slightly from the pelvis upwards in a counter rotation to the direction of the turn. Indoors we carried out static loading tests so that Avni could feel the difference when the reflexes kicked in and contracted the lower abdomen spontaneously to protect the back (generating a hydraulic sac to distribute load over the whole cross sectional area of the body instead of just though the spinal column)

Wide Track Dynamics (Independent Leg Action)

We used some wide track dynamics (bent leg extending from uphill) to help Avni re-discover early and solid pressure in her turns – this having worked extremely well for Hanish yesterday. With Avni it was more just awareness of the need to avoid snatching the start of the turn that did the job in the end.

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