Romée day 3

Side slipping – Joystick Control
Today we started out by practising side slipping where it was a little bit icy. Romée was better with her right leg lower on the mountain than with the left leg lower. Exercises like this are obviously boring – but necessary as good control over the skis at any level involves a considerable amount of sideways travel.

Slipping was done by moving the centre of mass slightly downhill and stopped by moving it uphill. Slight forward movement of the centre of mass causes forward diagonal side slip and slight backward movement causes backward diagonal side slip. This resembles using the centre of mass like a joystick control.

The reward for putting up with this was a long ski on the empty piste down to La Plagne 1550 (La Roche)

Fronts of Boots
Romée is constantly on the backs of her ski boots so it’s important she is told this so she can be aware of it and how to change it by looking for pressure on the fronts of the boots (shins) – then feel the fronts of the skis cutting in front of her and driving the turn.

We did physically assisted pivots (me supporting Romée) to continue developing the feel for the ski swinging (side slipping at the ski tip) into the turn. The swing weight of a ski becomes important for certain functions off piste! (needs a pole plant support when done unassisted)

When working on the pivot and standing with skis parallel across the hill Romée was asked to turn her bottom to face up the hill (as if to sit on a chair) – without turning her shoulders to face downhill. This helps the pivot and is also an introduction to safe “angulation”. (safe because it protects the lower back)

End of Turn Dynamics
Correct timing for a turn is a “down/up” movement – same as a motorbike going down into a turn and coming back up out of the turn. All skis since the 1960s have been designed for this – yet the ski schools still teach the opposite. With Romée we did a static exercise – once again stood with skis parallel across the hill – Romée with her ski poles held horizontal in front of her and trying to pull me uphill toward her – then moving the body over the tops of the skis to be pushing me downhill (skis not moving). This simulates the way the skier has to come up and over the downhill ski during a turn transition. The aim of the exercise was to induce the correct feeling for linking consecutive turns.

Romée has clearly understood dynamics – the moving of the Centre of Mass. This allows her to ski on any type of snow – slush, ice, deep snow and even in a race course – without any changes. Dynamics is the master key to good skiing and rapid progress. Romée is also very aware physically for her age and has good coordination – so her rapid progress is a combination of this and dynamics.

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