Alex 2016 Tignes Slalom Training day 1

First day back on snow and with new skis – so things are a bit fast for Alex to keep up with.
The main goal for today was to begin working on properly developing hip angulation and the use of the whole ski instead of just the backs of the skis. I also needed time to observe Alex to see what he was really doing. Instructions given included using pressure on the front of the boot (shin) with weight on the heel to prevent the ankle collapsing. I asked Alex to begin to start to feel which part of his foot he was using and which part of the ski he was using. Until now he has had no awareness of either. The heel/shin pressure is facilitated by pulling back the hip of that leg – but without pulling back the shoulder or the foot. (Chi Skiing)  This is difficult to learn but extremely powerful as it activates the core muscles and creates hip angulation naturally.
Just trying to face the pelvis more downhill did manage to make Alex more agile from turn to turn – but he didn’t really hold on to this new feeling for long as too many other issues creeped back in. Alex tends to rotate the upper body and pelvis into the turn to the right so the left hip sticks out and he compensates by inclining more. The inclination is effective but not exactly being done for the right reasons! On his left side he does the opposite – facing the upper body outwards and falling onto the inside ski. There is just a lot of work to do to get everything in the right place and organised correctly. Alex needs to take on board more information and realise that progress can only be made rapidly by thinking hard about it – not by trying to race. It takes a great deal of focus to change movements that have already become habits. His dynamics are good – this being why he gets good results – but dynamics alone are not enough if progress is to be made.
Tomorrow I want to see pressure on the fronts of the skis for a change  and a far greater range of motion at the hip joints. I’d like to begin to see a symmetry of movement and not see the left hip stuck out of the turn and the left arm and pole up high in the air as a consequence. We may do some groundwork outside of the poles.

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