Alp 2020 day 7

Alp’s first run of the day today was all the way from the Col de Fresse down to La Daille in Val d’Isère. This was ramping up the level of control required and he managed fine.

Most of the focus was on keeping the uphill ski down beside the other ski so that it was on its uphill edge and not the downhill edge. The idea was to start the turn on that edge by pressing on the front of the ski while moving the body downhill – so the ski would slip into the turn without the inside edge interfering with the slipping. When focusing on this Alp managed good tight turns and control of his speed – but when not focused his legs would come apart and he’d accelerate off down the hill on that inside edge of the uphill ski. The ultra wide stance also stops the ski from continuing to pivot later in the turn – because it’s jammed on its edge and “railing”.

When skiing behind Alp with the camera I eventually realised when calling instructions to him that he didn’t really understand “push yourself over into the turn” – despite us having done many exercises on it. After re-teaching this in a more forceful and direct manner – making sure he connected with the idea and feeling – he then at last managed to bring dynamics into his turns and this can be seen in the final part of the video today where his body is visibly being moved. Unfortunately we ran out of time to develop this further. His failure to understand this sooner was mostly caused by him auto-discovering that he could push the skis outwards to start a turn – which is the opposite of gripping with the ski and pushing the centre of mass inwards. His outwards pushing also gave him the feeling of security of a small stem/snowplough – but unfortunately hindered the development of correct movements. The important thing is that he was able to grasp the difference and feel it – which should now join the dots with all the work he has been doing since starting skiing.

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