Monday, October 6, 2014

Skier and Racer Alignment, it's not art, it's science.

Here are some examples of skiers 13 years old, with good alignment. There are 6 different skiers here, how lucky I am to have 6 different skiers with perfect alignment????? 

People think this is normal, they are all naturally talented and perfectly aligned. I have coached this group for 6 years and everyone of them has some adjustments under their boots. Every time they change boots we have to find the new optimal set up. This is done by on snow analysis and indoor measurements. Indoors to keep track of the norms, outdoors to test the skiers movements and ski angles. We sometimes change the alignment after each run, to test what works best. 
Every leg here is lined up perfectly with the forces. There is no undue stress on the knees or joints when alignment is correct. Skiing can be rough on the joints. At this age you would never realize it. One of my goals as a coach is to reduce as close to eliminating any opportunity for injury with every possible technical innovation. Alignment is one of those that is always addressed in our training.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

How the body changes with higher angles.

High Angles
Comparing subtle differences in how refinements can help your skiing. This is high level skiing, intermediate skiers may think this is nit-picking , however all of this applies even at the learning levels. And remember we never stop learning, wherever your level is now.

The most obvious difference to me is the outside arm, which effects the counter-acting, counter-balance slightly, and the angular momentum of the body. In the end, I think it affects the amount of adjustment you have to make at transition. If some don't see it, look at where the bottom of the ski pole is (the pointed end) in the different frames on the outside arm.

                                                                      Free Skiing (below photo)
                                                                   High Angles
The difference between free skiing and high angle skiing is inside leg bending or flexing and relaxation of the mid body to allow the hips to drop inside. Of course you have to feel like your skis are really hooked up to let go, and get down this far.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ski Better, Learn faster, Find Success and know what you are doing, with PMTS tutorials.

Everyone wants to ski better, or eliminate your wedge in all ski situations, or link those turns smoothy. It's now available, not just tips that last for 5 minutes, true complete step by step video tutorials by the pros who are expert teachers, that invented "Direct Parallel",  "Anyone can be an Expert Skier" and the "Essentials of Skiing". Check out this page.
Ski better learn more, find success! Click on this link below:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Get my Blog updates in your E-Mail.

This feature is cool, just enter your e-mail, it will not be used for anything else, no spam, mainly because I don't know how. Just kidding, it's private. The only thing that will happen is you will get a notice of new posts whenever I put them here, immediately. 

PMTS Skier Development: The Transition in Skiing

 The transition is the most important part of the ski connection from turn to turn. It involves the biggest body change and movements in skiing. The transition takes you from one side to the other, a complete reversal of body line up. Once you understand this has to happen you can make it successful.  
In PMTS skiing,  the change happens before you enter the new turn and new falline. This is designed to make sure you are in balance and well organized for every new turn. Traditional ski instruction is different , they tell you to steer your legs and stand up, which forces you to struggle through the whole next turn to survive.

                          (below)  Setting up for the last bit of inside leg flexing(bend or shorten)  and tipping (add more angle).

  Now the arc is complete, I start to bend the stance leg (Shorten the outside leg) and transfer balance (weight) to the upper ski.

  The transfer to the LTE, upper ski, this is the "Super Phantom", it's clear that this is happening in this frame.

    (below) Here you see the balance transfer to the uphill ski.                          
     Hold your countered upper body through transition. If you give it up at this point, you will pivot the skis as they come flat to the snow. Pivoting loses the transition and the High C engagement is lost and the tipping can't continue. This is why a steering approach doesn't work to create high level skiing, it kills the transitions.
Release your stance leg to change edges, let both legs change edges, the new LTE, (new inside ski outside edge) for the new turn leads the way to develop new ski angles , not your upper body.
New inside foot pullback should already be happening, don't panic, by twisting your legs or steering.

 Both skis come flat at the same time. The upper body still has not moved, and it's still in the same relationship as it was at the end of the previous turn. If you square up here, you will not be able to get back over your skis without extending.
                             Hirscher uses exactly the same technique in slalom, as this demonstration.

Transition continued

The second part of a Transition is the engagement phase. Many instructors and coaches will say, "He's sitting back on his skis here."  

I'm just flexed from the previous turn. No panic, this will develop into a high "C" arc and a centered stance on my skis by the time I'm at the falline , where I need tip pressure. 

The Upper body still holds the Counter-acting from the previous arc.
I am still flexed, yet still tipping to the new edges. I'm light on my skis not extending no pushing against the snow to get grip. My outside ski has almost no pressure on it. I'm not driving my big toe edge or steering to get big toe edge grip. I'm letting my Cg cross into the next arc instead.

This is the point in the arc where traditional ski teaching totally screws you up. They want you to steer the ski here. All that does is, it keeps you Cg from crossing into the new angles. Steering keeps you hips over the top of your skis, it delays engagement, and doesn't develop angles.

Now my CG is across my skis and my outside leg is getting longer.  Now pressure is beginning to develop on the outside ski, no snow spray yet. My inside arm starts to move forward and down hill, my upper body begins to turn to face the outside of the arc.
Inside ski tipping increases, my inside foot and leg pull and hold my ski back, (from moving forward) my boot toes are lined up almost even throughout this phase. This allows my hips to move down and into the arc.
Below, obvious inside foot and leg tipping increased, still pulling the free foot back. My outside arm is helping to develop the Counter acting, as it prepares for the no-swing pole tap.

I'm centered and over my skis, completely Counter-acted with my hips and shoulders. All this without extension or up movements. Inside foot management and counter-acting develop efficiency and no need for drama. No push-off or wedge ski relationships, knee drive or steering needed. A completely different picture from traditional skiing.

                                           "Different movements create different outcomes."
There are two "Different" ways to ski, the PMTS way, which is the world cup way, or the ski instructor's way, which is the Demo Team skiing you see in the MA on this Blog, which I posted earlier this month.

Important summary note: As you read my last two Blog posts, and study the images, there is a key point in the "engagement phase", of the transition to note. I prefer to call the "High C" point, the "Engagement phase of a transition", because it's not really a new turn yet. This is a critical time and as I have pointed this out to numerous skiers and in numerous publications and videos, "If you square up at the release, you are doomed to pivot your skis in your "engagement phase". Why? 

If you look closely at the images and study the stability of my upper body, you notice that my legs change angles, under my hips, as do my skis and boots, my upper body doesn't move. 

In fact, if it does anything, it makes counter acting become stronger. The legs can release and you can transition more easily when the upper body stays facing the outside ski. 

If the upper body rotates toward the tips, faces the tips and the outside arm swings toward the tips, you can't release the legs. 

This is evident and demonstrated in the post I put up describing the skiing of the 4 Demo Team skiers from different nations. They all square up. And they all step or wedge out of the bottom of the arc. This is unavoidable, if you square up your shoulders at the end or during your arc, and use leg steering in the arc.
It forces the skier to step or wedge out of the arc, because when you rotate, a flexing release can't happen. 

Once you square up your hips and shoulders, the "force vector" changes from linear, to a rotational angular one, at the end or the arc. The rotational movement of squaring, creates angular momentum and reduces the outside ski's rebound and hold. When this happens a push is needed to get out of the turn. Any push at this point messes up the next turn.