Majd, Emir, Rani

Majd was frightened by the beginner’s slope so he really needed much more time playing with skis on flat terrain and then a very gentle increase in slope with a safe flat runout at the bottom (like we used on day one).

Emir was struggling to get to grips with the little button lift and then when descending he could only turn to the left – because the slope was slightly inclined to the left! However He was staying on his feet and seemed comfortable with the accelerations so I decided to take him to the long Boulevard beginner’s run to see if we could convert this into skiing. Remember – his total time on skis at this point was between 2 and 3 hours and the goal was to get him skiing parallel.

The key to getting the result was that the limited exercises he had been doing were all about moving his centre of mass (never “weight transfer” or “balance”). When skiing down holding my ski pole initially I was pushing his centre of mass laterally – (to the right to turn right etc) and pulling it back to go left. Then he was instructed to push and pull me – which amplifies the pressure and feedback from his skis – yet without loss of stability and security. Next I would reduce my resistance and just let his pushing and pulling turn him with me only holding on lightly – until eventually letting go without him even realising. After that he could ski parallel.

Rani was working mainly on “Pivot” today. The link here giving a full explanation with demonstrations.

Pivoting is about minimising speed – always keeping the skis on their uphill edges. Working on the underlying skills helps to reinforce “dynamics” because the same overall muscles and coordination are required – the motion of the centre of mass always being the key. Both feet must be kept on their inside edges inside the ski boots and the centre of mass must flow into the turns (and back out again at the end).

Rani needs to work on sideslipping with both feet close together and on the inside edges of the feet. Then on hip angulation (pulling back the downhill hip joint so that the upper body can tilt out over the lower ski to place the ski pole in the snow.) The “forcing” used in Rani’s video is just because the ski poles aren’t being used for support – the skis are correctly being pulled inwards. We worked a little on bumps with the ski tips in the air so that they could swing into the pivot even more easily. Generally, Rani’s stance is his skiing is becoming naturally narrower and more stable.

In the video below here’s pivoting on one ski in both directions. Dynamics are controlled by the ski pole when the skis are not sliding forward (they are mainly sideslipping in a pure pivot)

Alex (below) learned from day one on skis exactly the same way as Emir – using dynamics and no “snowplough”.

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