Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hirscher gets the power!

Many observers including the announcers on Universal Sports TV don't get where the greatness in Hirscher's skiing comes from. Sure they can see he's fast and strong, but so are many others. What does Hirscher have, that the others have less of, or don't have at all.

Notice how his shoulder and chest are turned to the side of the slope, facing his outside ski. 
The first difference in technique that Hirscher brought with him to the world cup was his hip counter-acting. His counteracting is more developed, has a greater range of motion and he holds it longer at the end of the arc and at transition.
 Hirscher's second great strength that gives him earlier angles and power; is his "retraction" at transition, as opposed to extending and pivoting. Hirscher rolls or tips his skis earlier because he flexes his legs in "transition" more often than others,and achieves a closer adn lower position on the snow, and therefore sets up  new angles quicker. "While others are still skidding, Hirscher is carving!"
Here is a common movement we see with Ted Ligety on many turns, he rises or extends much higher than Hirscher in transition, he uses much more pivoting and he stands up longer in transition. This requires time and doesn't develop the, so crucial angles, you need. He creates skid. This amount of extension, puts you much later in the curve around the gate. It also requires that you hit the edges harder.

In regard to the commentary on Universal Sports, they don't see technical skiing and mostly when they do comment, it is incorrect, they constantly refer to "Getting early pressure". Skiing at this level isn't about early pressure, it's actually detrimental. What Hirscher does is develop early angles,  pressure comes and builds after the angles are set-up. The upper part of the arc doesn't need,  require or make speed, if you pressure the ski, it actually slows you down and puts you out of balance.

Technical Evaluation and explanation.

I still don't understand the justification and support for ski-voting or pivoting in the US coaching community. It's slow, it puts your body out of position for the next arc and it disconnects you from the snow. This all takes time and it loses time for the skier who uses it.

The great movement Hirscher has in his skiing is his amount of Counter acting and how long he can hold it and increase it during an arc. This is not taught by PSIA or by USSA. It's actually frowned upon by both organizations . Hirscher takes counteracting to a new level, I have always called it the "Austrian Counter", because the Austrians use it more than any other nation and always have.


Joan Gómez said...

so how to coach tha important moment that the racers have to create correect angles? retraction and even lifting the skis might be valid in SL, but what about GS or speeding?


Μίλτος Χειμωνίδης said...

Thank you Harald, perfect analysis

Μίλτος Χειμωνίδης said...
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