Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin is back on track and showing strong technical ability.

Mikaela had a bad bout with Atomic boots earlier in the season. She is on track now.

Mikaela is the best at the "inside" hand and pole prep, it stabilizes her core and adds counter acting. Counteracting is a movement, not a position. Just like tipping, it is not an angle you stop building. More of this and the other movements Mikaela uses that make her out perform her rivals, explained  below.

One rarely emphasized point, that is unknown and often disregarded in ski coaching, is proper inside half of the body development in turn movements. Inside half movements set up the outside half of the body, more powerfully and efficiently.

In this photo it's clear that Mikaela's inside pole tip, inside hand and inside shoulder are driving forward. The same is happening with her inside hip, she turns her pelvis away from the direction of the turn. This is counteracting.

Mikaela developed more tipping angles in every turn during the race than her rivals. She used a combination of early lower body tipping to create angles and hip dropping,. Hip dropping is achieved by relaxing the pelvic area and flexing the inside leg. Once the hips relaxes it gets lower to the inside of the arc, then, again, more leg tipping after her hip dropped inside could be added.

This requires relaxation and confidence. How does this confidence develop, through proper, "inside half movement development". When "inside half development", takes place the skis hold and confidence for more tipping develops.

This also requires more patience, because turning of the skis doesn't happen immediately at the top of the arc, as most would like to create.  If you watched closely Mikaela's rivals all turned or pivoted their skis at the top of the arc, in an effort to catch up to the course demands. This is a wrong technique.  Also, most of her rivals were pushing and extending in an effort to get the ski pressured, again, incorrect technique. The pushing and extending "stops" all the tipping and angle creation. As a result, the skis don't hold and they do bounce instead. This is lost on the commentators and the coaches.

Remember the "golden rule" of ski racing. Don't turn your skis!! You should tip your skis and change angles and then your skis  turn you. If you are using PSIA/USSA coaching, don't be surprised if you hear the opposite. Remember question everything your coaches tell you!!!!


Unknown said...

"This is lost on the commentators and the coaches." Doug Lewis is the worst announcer ever!!!

jack is back said...

Where did Mikaela learn these skills if not through PSIA/USSA coaching? I'm a big believer in PMTS but just wondering how she acquired these movements.

Lee Stock said...

Can you expand on hip dropping and hip dumping?

Hiroshi Asada said...

I have the same question as "jack is back."