Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mistakes are from ski coaches, not kids.

 Many observers would like to say that skiers or racers aren't skilled or don't have it when they stop progressing and lose their edge. It's called "Plateauing"! A not so nice word for, "You have stopped getting better and everyone is passing you."

The original color photos were removed, to protect the the individuals. These skiers are in an extra ordinary wide stance, weight on both skis,leaning into the turn and never bending the ski, a sure formula for stagnation and pleateauing.

Leaning on the side cut of a ski isn't bending it. 
The blame for this should not be with the kids, it's with the coaching. Here are some common technical deficiencies that should have been cleared up well before the kids even got to this level, at this age.

 Stance too wide, lost balance on the outside ski, using the inside ski to support the turn. This makes for a grinding turn with half the weight on the inside ski. Cause? Developing a stance that is too wide to keep the skier in balance. This kid's skis are wider than most world cup racers' stances and with about a fraction of the compared hip size.
 Leaning in and trying to push off the outside ski.  This should be an easy technical deficiency to correct at a young age. It comes from a lack of upper body awareness and discipline. The combination of upper body rotation and leaning forces the skier to step off the ski prematurely. This habit will continue and get worst, causing  "Plateauing",  before the skier has reached their potential.
This is typical of coaching; not paying attention to basic balance. This skier is squared up, which means body rotation occurred. The inside ski is forward and weighted, balance is lost, or probably never achieved. 

The examples above are not special, they occur in every race program. the coaches know that something is wrong and they start to give up on these kids. They have little or no remedies for these problems and therefore concentrate more on the kids that are racing faster, not necessarily skiing better. Racing faster at this age, is not a sign of a possible child protégé, it's just a sign of more natural, better instincts. All of the kids in these photos have a much higher potential level then they are demonstrating here or that they will ever achieve, skiing the way they are. The sorry state of affairs in ski racing is, this is far too common and it's a results of poor coach's education..

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