Zoe – Alex 2

Zoe decided that today wasn’t going to be for learning anything new. That’s a bit unfortunate, but when you’re not ready then you’re not ready. The worst thing to do is to force things – it has to be enjoyable – so we let her get the most enjoyment that fairly harsh conditions permitted.

Alex however was in good form once again and he continued his improvement. Most of the time he was singing to himself.

During the session we worked (as much as we could) on three separate things – skating turns, improving dynamics and pivoting. There was no way to explain this in detail for Alex in the middle of a blizzard – hence the usefulness of this blog to fill in the gaps.

Skating turns
Below is a demo of a skating turn. For Alex the goal is to do this at very low speed (shallow gradient) – each step being used to push the body into the turn – eventually completing the turn across the hill and coming to a stop. The act of skating keeps the legs active and also prevents leaning back in the ski boots.

Each step in the skating turn is a small example of “dynamics” – using the centre of mass to drive the turn. The skating (stepping) itself tightens the turn radius and compliments dynamics and the overall development of control and skills. http://madeinmountains.com/beginners/

When skiing with Alex holding onto my pole we were developing the sensation of the “pivot” where the ski enters the turn on its outside (uphill) edge – keeping speed down (opposite from a snowplough – which only uses the inside edges of the skis). We descended the steepest slope sideslipping together – an extremely important skill to develop and an integral part of pivoting.
The idea here is to assist Alex building up the skill through “feeling” so he can recognise how to tighten his turns – even without really understanding how it’s done at the moment. http://madeinmountains.com/pivo/

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