Monday, June 26, 2017

The PMTS, Harb Ski System leaves nothing to chance.

                                           

                           Skiers learn how to realize ever part of a turn. What to do to end a turn.


What to do while in the turn. How the upper body contributes to balance and ski angles.
How to begin a new turn. This is where understanding how to set up proper balance before the turn begins is so important. The missing link for many skiers. Why would you want to enter a new turn, already out of balance?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Skiing analysis of top world cup slalom skiers.



https://www.facebook.com/130797116984929/videos/1570923782972248/?pnref=


Here in the video link above: You can see how there are  differences between soft and hard angles. Soft angles look like bigger angles, however, they end up taking longer to create, and making the skis take a longer wider line. Hard angles, as I refer to them,  require less inward angulation, less vertical separation of the feet and have less arc distance from the gate and a shorter radius.  This produces more pressure and rebound from the turn.

Differences between the two skiers is stance width, and fore/aft balance. This has an impact on line and time in the arc. Weaker stance, is wider, and has more scissoring between the feet, in both instances this affects ski performance.


There is a distinct pattern of skiing by David Ryding and others on the same equipment, related to the boot brand and alignment set up as well. This article points out how technique is related to equipment.


Big angles are for show, least angles are for go. Both skiers here are great slalom skiers, Hirscher obviously one of the best in history. I've been writing about his skiing for almost a decade now.




Below are comparison photos in the same turn. One turn that can make a difference.!

Coming in above the gate:
David Ryding setting up the angles, not really engaged yet.
Marcel Hirscher in the identical place above the gate, however, a totally different set of angles, early with skis and body ready to carve.

David Ryding leaning away from his outside ski to far, into the hill.

Marcel Hirscher inside ski and boot pulled back, strongly counter balanced and more centered.

Marcel Hirscher completely balanced and ready for the steep section
David Ryding comparatively, caught between skis, unbalanced, will have to step out of the turn to change edges.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Why is Traditional Ski Instruction so convoluted and vague?

      A typical guideline for a traditional ski instruction task.




At first glance, ok, this looks reasonable, until you start trying to use it or produce it.

Here is a direct printout of how Motor Skills are described by a major Traditional Ski Teaching organization.


  1. Motor Skill Development:
    • Choose task for situation;
    • Task is related to skill level of student. 

      And here is what they give you to work with:


      Technique:
      • Use all joints to maintain balance;
      • Lead the turning effort with the lower body;
      • Manage separation for angulation to provide grip;
      • Coordinate movement patterns for efficient turn linking. 


        What is clearly lacking here is the fundamental understanding for teaching human movement. 

         "The emphasis on accuracy, specificity, and economy of movement information is what we strive for, always. Without the understanding of efficient movements in skiing, a coach is basically lost. What I accept as part of this understanding is that movement analysis skills are part of that bigger picture of complete skiing understanding and effective coaching".

        Far more effective would be to describe how to teach and how to convey movements to students. Movements in skiing, like in any other sport are based on a body part and a muscle group. 

        Skilled and effective ski teaching defines the movement, the body part that is to be used and how to move that body part, in a logical sequence. None of the direction or information from traditional teaching systems above doses this. 

        Skinig movements can be broken into a list of basic activities, for example: to start a turn putting the ski on edge produces a ski snow interaction that creates a turn. For this to be effective for a student the instructor must know at what angle on the slope to start, and what the first movement in the sequence of movements is.

        For example: In a logical progression, it requires a simple process of providing information to the student, the instructor must give an attainable first step. 

        For Example: From a very low angle slope, with both skis directly pointed downhill, pick up one ski and transfer all of your balance and stand on the other ski. This is a series of directions to achieve an outcome. This does provide movement information and it is movement teaching. 

        Movement teaching in most cases also includes a detailed description of what body part to focus on. 
      • Example: to transfer balance to your right foot and leg, lift your left knee and bend your left leg enough to clear the snow with the ski. Keep the lifted ski level to the surface. To maintain balance in this simple movement example, the CG or body must also move laterally over or toward the standing foot. 
      • This is the first step in a logical movement progression. Rarely does this simple approach appear in traditional ski lessons or coaching.
      • This type of understanding can be used for every step in a skier's movement development. However you have to understand what movement development entails first.



How to create a successful life!!!


                                                          Other ways to use this idea.

-Creating a business
-Being named to a national ski team
-developing a reputation in coaching

Thursday, April 20, 2017

About Extension: 10 years ago I wrote this on PMTS forum thread.

Here is a link to the 10 year old thread, but I reproduced it here.

http://www.pmts.org/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1785#p17205

The commentators in the US who do the play by play on TV for world cup racing, are constantly telling us, that the racers are late with pressure. "They are not pressuring early in the turn", this is the incorrect understanding about what the racers are actually doing. The comments are  wrong. many of the racers even have their thinking about this wrong. It also sends the wrong message.

In PMTS everything I wrote about reduces or eliminates the need to extend the legs in a way that creates pressure to the snow surface or to the skis. This is an important awareness in one's skiing, but few skiers ever discover it or understand it. Ski instruction obviously doesn't understand the damaging effects of extending and most coaches don't realize what it does to skiers. Sure the leg does get long, but it doesn't get long by pushing on it, it gets long by creating angles properly. Watch the world cup skiers, outside ski, they rarely pound the edge, before the skis are at the apex.

Why are we so adamant about not extending? The answer may not be as obvious as we the insiders of PMTS think. So here is a list of what extending or pushing does to you, for those who are not PMTS aware. At the bottom of this post is a link to a video about extending and how to get the outside leg long, without pushing against the snow.


-Extending disconnects the CG from the skis 
-Extending pushes the CG away from the balancing point 
-Extending eliminates the ability to tip the skis 
-Extending delays the entry to the next turn 
-Extending eliminates the legs from making quick movements 
-Extending or pushing against the snow puts skiers out of balance 
-Extending is tiring 
-Extending interrupts movement to the next turn or downhill 


-Bending makes tipping easier 
-Bending the legs increases tipping range 
-Bending allow for quick edge changes 
-Bending increases terrain absorbing ability 
-Bending keeps you closer to the snow 
-Bending, the inside leg once skis are engaged draws the hip to the snow 
-Bending, the inside leg allows higher tipping and lengthening of the outside leg 
-Bending allows foot pull back 
-Bending allows you to make tighter arcs, shorter turns and therefore gives skiers more control 

When extension is used none of the bending benefits are available. 

So what's the most important Essential, Tipping or Flexing / Bending?.


This video demonstrates tipping and flexing, and shows how extension isn't the answer.


The video below demonstrates a great exercise for increasing you angles with proper building of tipping and transitioning.

PMTS movements with Reilly McGlashan on 28m skis!

Reilly is not only one of the best free skiers in the world, but also a true student of the sport. 
In this series of articles, I'll point out the obvious and the not so obvious movements that make Reilly such an amazing skier to watch.



Early inside foot tipping.


To achieve early inside foot tipping and angles, the proper set up and movements to create early angles, this is dependent on actions achieved just before the previous turn release.  Let's walk through the steps, and point out how this is created, using the "Essentials",  to focus the discussion. Go to heading, "Counter Acting" below.



Different turn, different frame, but identical to the upper photo.




Just prior to the release, notice the hip counter-acted.


Transition, hold the counter-acting so the legs can move under the hips to the new angles without rotation.
A stable counteracted pelvis allows for strong engaging, bending and tipping.

Tipping and flexing into the arc



Counter Acting:



Here you see the results of holding the pelvis stable through transition, with the counter acting from the previous turn changed to the new counter acting for this turn.  
The actual answer to skiing efficiently, it requires movements that occur either at the same time, or in a certain order to produce PMTS quality turns. Flexing, out of the turn, begins and allows the release, which in turn allows for tipping movements that bring the skis flat and also to their new edges. If flexing is the catalyst to releasing, tipping is the action directly following, and creating engagement.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Boot alignment on the world cup

Many women drop out of ski racing after stalling at the top 30.
 One reason for this is their equipment set up, the boots are especially not working for them, as with his skier. The athlete doesn't know it's the boots, the boot rep thinks it's her ski technique, the coach has no idea, he thinks and blames it, " She isn't a good enough athlete." Here is a skier, a perfect example, the top image, outside knee behind the inside knee. That is flat out a boot set up issue.
The reason this is slow and it makes the skier struggle, she can't release the edge, she ends up super wide and stuck in transition. When you see this behavior no amount of coaching or training will fix it.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The best run of 2017 1st run SL WC Kranjska Gora

Stefano Gross, Best Slalom Run of the Year! A true thing of beauty!

Two seasons ago I featured Stefano Gross in this blog (you can go back and look)  as a possible Slalom Globe winner. Why? Because he evolved slalom skiing to the new level. It's not Henrik Kristoffersen, not even Hirscher. Earlier Gross Post!

http://harbskisysems.blogspot.com/2015/08/gross-could-be-best-slalom-skier-in-2016.html

Why did "Gross" get the nod from me as the guy to watch even 2 years ago? Because his technique is the future for slalom winners. I don't mean slalom skiers, there are many of those, I mean slalom winners. 

First and most obvious: Gross has one of the 2 narrowest stances on the World Cup. What does this do for him?
It allows him to be closer to the gate, have less distance to travel, and  keep more pressure on the outside ski.

This makes for a much quicker, explosive transition, change of edges, from foot to foot, turn to turn; however, it has its risks. He explodes out of the arc like no one else, which means he must be able to control that energy and momentum. Most of Gross's inconsistency comes from his explosiveness, which he has not always been able to control. 

The narrow stance also gives him higher inside ski angles relative to anyone else at certain points of the turn. This allows him to tip the skis faster and earlier because the skis are not so far away from each other.  It also keeps his core stronger because he doesn't bend his torso over his skis to set up the arc. This is a stronger, more ergonomic/skeletal body alignment. His narrow stance requires earlier counter balance, so he doesn't fall inside the turn. You will notice Gross rarely steps or lurches to his inside ski before the outside ski is ready to release.






Tactics:

Gross has two types of turns: one is for bigger off set and distance between gates where he has time to use and develop early hip-to-the- ground angles. This isn't necessarily hip closer to ground, it's a more acute angle of the inside leg and ski. A wider stance doesn't allow this because the legs stay more bent. With a skier whose feet are farther apart, the transitions require bigger movements, therefore making him later. This leaves little or no time to develop early angles above the gate.

His second technical tactic, is the shorter and quicker round arc. Here he doesn't stretch out his body above the gate, and he doesn't drop inside as far with his hips (because he has less time). Instead he stays more bent with his legs from one side to the other. This is what I call retracting, or flexing out of the arc and staying flexed while tipping the skis and feet to create a new arc. Bend to release and bend to increase your lower body angles.


Gross is also a master counter-actor! He develops more CA into the apex, and holds his hips countered through the release while building  pressure through tipping and angle development with his feet and skis.

In this run he is able to pull his feet back to allow his CG to move down the hill before he needed pressure on the skis. This is his biggest problem in his regular races through the season. He gets caught back. This is a matter of timing , and in this run, his timing was perfect. His pressure-loading and feet pull-back with his retraction were perfect.

This run at Kranjska Gora is complete skiing genus! No one skis exactly like this. This is the future of slalom winning, not slalom skiing perhaps. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

US men's tech Ski Team doesn't qualify for the World Cup finals in Aspen!




It was more than a rough day for Choudomsky, it was a rough year for the US Men's Ski Team.

No US slalom skiers in the World Cup finals. The coaching staff has to take responsibility and resign or the USSA board of directors needs to make them go away, with the executive staff right behind them. 

There are answers and solutions to these problems, but the US Team doesn't have them, and no one is asking the questions. 

I pointed the problems out to Tiger Shaw, at his request, I came to Park City, 3 years ago. He did nothing. Only excuses are available now. 

Guess what, there are no excuses for this type of dismal performances, only the fact that this US Ski Team coaching and management team is a total failure. 

In addition, many of the skier's on the team have serious boot issues and set up issues that absolutely no one is addressing. That's just one of the problems. Reminds me of the Trump administration! Lots of bluster no performance.