Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ligety Slalom, why it's not working!

Ted ligety's slalom at Modonna

Watching Ted Ligety in the Madonna Di Campiglio slalom, he is starting to get the right idea, (he tried to keep his feet closer together and it worked for awhile in the first run and beginning of the second run) but he's still a ways off. He needs to continue to focus on this to catch up to the top 5 guys. 

 He has a tendency to back off the front of the ski too early in the arc, by dropping his hips. This causes him to spread his feet, because he has to step out, or scissor his feet, to get into the next arc. This type of movement and skiing is too slow, especially when the top guys are rebounding, and using the spring from the bend ski to release with energy. Energy allows you to be early for the next turn, which is what is really hurting Ted, he's not getting enough energy from the ski.

When you watch the slalom video runs again, focus on their feet. Watch how disciplined Hirscher and Neureuther are with the inside foot and holding the inside foot from stepping out (they hold it back so it doesn't slip forward or seperate). This keeps the hips moving forward during the arc, and loads up the front of the ski. This gives the ski rebound energy,  because it's bending. When Ted backs off and squats his hips; his skis go straighter and stop arcing. This makes him late, resulting in turns that don't finish and don't have energy at the release. It's exactly the opposite of what he does so well in GS. In GS, Ted stays forward and he rebounds out of the arc with energy that the others are not matching yet.

When you compare this position to Hirscher or Neureuther in this part of the arc, they are totally different, which tells the whole story. Ted is stepping out of the arc, and rotating his upper body into the arc. This is a frequent occurrence for him. He's not holding his CA at the end of the arc, therefore he has to step and roatate into the turn. His hips are already too square to his skis. 

This is the other issue with Ted's slalom, his feet seperate too early in the arc, and he therefore ends up on his inside ski and leaning.

I did notice an improvement in Ted's use of his feet over the last slalom, so it's possible they are working on the right stuff. It's not that big a issue to change, but if the "movements" that create the right changes are not addressed correctly or developed with the right understanding, immediatly, this could go on for a few more races and possibly the season.

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