Sunday, January 27, 2013

Marcel Hirscher, The best slalom skier's little secrets.

Many coaches during the nineties and 2000s were hot on getting their racers to widen their (get a wider stance) stance. There are many still some out there telling their kids exactly that today. Becoming a better racer, never has been about making your stance wider, in fact, the World cup skiers "in slalom" ski with a very narrow stance. To those whom it looks wide, it's vertical distance, not horizontal, that you are after. 

In this upper photo, Hirscher has his feet almost locked. And he has great angles, but not good enough for Hirscher.

(Above) Now he has passed the gate and has increased his angles, how did he get it done? Again here, there is much misunderstanding by coaches. He didn't push harder, he didn't reach for the snow, he didn't steer his leg or ski, he simply used one of the "Essentials of Skiing". One that we teach to skiers in our camps with the PMTS system, all the time. He flexed or bent his inside leg further, that is the only thing that changed. 

His inside hand came forward yes, but that is counter acting, not increasing angles.  
His hip was able to drop inside further because the flexing of the inside leg takes the weight off the ski and allows the hip to drop. You have to be relaxed in your hip and leg and "let yourself" go to achieve this. And you have to be Counter Balanced, another thing Hirscher increased in the second frame. 

Hirscher uses all the "Essentials of Skiing", which I spelled out in my third book. More to come!
Want to know more about how Hirscher skis and the "Essentials of Skiing", click here:


Unknown said...

but how one gets his stance narrow back again after years on the wider stance?

Harald Harb said...

You have to pull the inside foot closer and tip it to the little toe edge before your ski tips get to the gate.

bibou said...

Hi Harb,
i ve been starting this sort of thing only this summer and lately. it´s crazy feeling and yes it is true: after a whole season trying skiing race stock volkl sl skis, it is only just lately (2 days) the skis are popping left and right: the inside knee bends, tips and it all goes popping fast.

I tried this on GS too: it´s scary but it works on bullet proof ice. yet here i have to say the upper boddy is super important to counter to hold the edge no ?