Monday, November 30, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin made some good changes in her slalom.

Here Mikaela Shiffrin is counter acted just before the release of her edges. Her next movement is to bend or flex the out side leg and tip the skis to the new angles or new edges.

The key here is her counter acting, she is holding it longer, developing more than last season. By holding it longer she develops more snap and rebound from the skis. She also loads the ski faster and has a shorter arc.

If you look further down this page you will see the comparison to her GS skiing. In GS she has not yet developed this same ability. In the PMTS system, we teach Counter Acting, it's one of the Essentials. In "PMTS Racer Development",  we coach counteracting to eight and nine year olds, so they have it down by the time they are 12.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin, the transition, all Super Phantom!!!!

         Why PMTS Direct Parallel is the key to success!

This is the "Super Phantom Move". It is what we teach as the foundation to PMTS Direct Parallel. It is all about a "Narrow Stance", "a Lifted Foot and Ski, moving and standing on the "Little Toe Edge".  Everything traditional instruction rejects that PMTS Direct Parallel embraces. This is being used to win World Cup Slalom races by 3 seconds.


This movement is created by the best skiers in the world, they learn it naturally because it is an essential part of skiing fast and performing at high levels in race situations. It is taught in a modified way to all of our skiers in my PMTS teaching system. It is taught in a way that all skiers can learn it. Why is it important to learn? Because it establishes balance on the new ski before you enter the new turn.

This is explained in detail in my first 2 books, and videos, "Anyone can be an Expert Skier",  1 and 2.

This next photo, is after the tradition, in the early phase of engaging.  The inside foot is pulled back, still lifted. Inside ski is tipped more than outside ski, this means she is setting up her hips to the inside of the arc, before pressure is developed. Skiing is about relaxing into angles, not achieving pressure through forceful pushing or extending. This is highly evolved technique, not seen often at the junior or even development Team level. Only the best figure this out. However it can be taught trained and learned at an early age with correct coaching.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Harald Harb skiing 7 months on a new, total knee replacement.

Am I happy with the new knee, yes, completely, much better in almost every way. Was it easy? Of course not, there were many dark days and dark weeks, but they pass. You keep plugging and working and training. 

                                Am I satisfied, not yet, I will be. I know what has to be done.

My new knee alignment is so much stronger then before. I used to tip that boot out 2 degrees.  This is the first video I've seen of myself skiing on an easy black run in short turns since the new knee. The new knee side alignment, right foot,  feels a little strong. Next time out, I'm moving the cuff away from my leg and tipping the boot in at the bottom of the boot, about 1/2 degree. That should level out my hips and allow me to settle over the right side earlier in the arc. I can see I'm leaning away from the left turn just a bit at the top of some turns, which is a real indicator of an over strong canting set up.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin and Anna Fenninger compared in GS. These differences; sometimes make the difference.

Differences? what are they: For GS what makes a champion!

If you watch carefully you can see Shiffrin squaring up early with her upper body rotating,  not so much her hip rotating. She holds that in counter longer than her shoulders and torso. Although it stands to reason the hip will come with the upper body during and before the release. 

In GS, Fenninger and Hirscher don't show the same rotation of the shoulders, they both hold their counter acting to and at the point of release.  however Fenninger keeps her leg and boot tipping going , while Shiffrin stops an starts to push or extend .

 Mikaela Shiffrin High Speed Slow Motion

Możemy ją oglądać bez końca!
Posted by Snowflake. Never the same 
First let's establish what counter acting is. It's the hips, torso and shoulders turning opposite the direction, the skis are arcing. The act of "Countering",  holds and increases ski grip and aligns the body skeletally to the forces developed in the arc. If you give it up you lose some rebound forces and pressure. Rotating is often used to dissipate energy if the athlete isn't capable of holding the forces. It is also a habit, often used by less proficient or lower level athletes to turn the skis, if they aren't able to create angles such as these two elite skiers shown here.

Both skiers, Anna Fenninger and Mikaela Shiffrin use counter acting and do it well obviously. However they are different in a few ways. This can be due to body proportions, techniques taught and flexibility.

 (Above) Anna shows great flexibility, with her hips and torso, her shoulders are parallel to her skis. If you were standing on the side of the slope you could read her bib number.
(above) This is a Super G photo that shows Anna's versatility and power, she is more square to her skis in this photo, however she doesn't rotate. She keeps her inside half strong and still leading.

                           Mikaela Shiffrin below, also shows strong counter acting, yet different. Her hips are dropped inside, twisted and her shoulders are more forward. You could say she is more folded.

As she comes out and below the gate, she rotates her torso, yet keeps her inside hip low and outside hip back, still counteracting. To some degree.
In this last photo she rotates the torso even further and the hips come with the shoulder rotation, even the uphill hand gets behind. This is squaring up and losing power t and from the ski.

Anna below rarely rotates her shoulders or hips coming out of the arc. She holds her counter of the upper body longer, and she keeps it until she flexes and releases her outside ski. 

 Anna also has less extreme hip turn and drop to the inside of the arc. This results in less extreme movement into and out of the angles for each turn.

 Anna after the gate, at the point where she is releasing, upper body still counter acting,  hips counter acted.

In Summary: I never said one method is superior to the other. Sometimes it's technique, sometimes it's body type, a skier has to do what they have to do to go fast. However, Fenninger was still the best GS skier in the world and overall world cup winner. And Hirscher has won 4 World Cup overall titles in a row, plus the GS Globe. No one has done this before. You can see Hirscher's method and commitments to Counteracting in other posts here. I've referenced this topic about him before. You can scroll down to see them. both Fenninger's and Hirscher's  approach has less twisting into counter acting, which I happen to agree with, and less rotation out of this twisted position, which I also happen to agree with.

When I post my photos on technique on my blog; I get accused by some pundits of using one photo to describe technique or someone's skiing. I assume you, I watch hundreds and thousands of minutes of footage before I post a single photo of a skier and before I comment on their skiing. The photos I post are of the same repeated movements by those skiers. This current article on comparisons between Shiffrin and Fenninger in GS, is based on a year's worth of video and competition. 

When it comes to holding counter acting at transition there is no one better than Marcel Hirscher.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Harald Harb, Skiing after knee replacements surgery.

This is the second day out of this season, and 5 more days after, knee is fine and the legs are getting stronger.

Keeping the inside foot pulled back to assure the hips are moving forward and the tips are pressured. Being forward on your skis, is not about getting the boots softer. It's about how you create movements.

The first few days after skiing the knee tendons will be stiff and need some morning exercise, like a stationary bike or some hot tube therapy. This will really help your flexibility.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bad Alignment can cause some unnatural, awkward and downright ugly looking skiing.

When bad alignment and compensation with poor movements are combined the results are obvious.

Above: The skier in the green jacket has yet to engage his skis and create any angulation, pressure or turn shape. His outside ski tail is sliding.  His upper body is leaning or banking away from the outside ski.
Above: Now the skier in green is attempting to achieve some edge hold, but the tail of his ski is not loaded or pressure, so a hard edge set will have to result.
(Above photo): Clearly another uncomfortable position, little angulation and most of the weight on the inside ski, no balance over the outside skis. This results in a direction change not an arc, this is skiing without an arc, turns shape or balance, and no ski performance is being developed.
(above) Notice the skier has not transferred balance,. He is standing on both feet. This creates a dead zone between turns. He should be already balancing on the new out side foot, (right foot) and actively tipping the inside foot. (Next photo below)
(above) Here you see the result basically a wedge turn. The feet are separating and the upper body is rotating to get some kind of turn action.
(Photo above) Because teh balance was never transferred, the weight is still on the inside ski, and the outside ski is pushed and stemmed.

This sequence shows an obvious inability to increase angulation, balance and parallel skiing. This type of skiing results from two failures, one is movement based, the other is from poor alignment.

Remember these are the golden rules of skiing, they apply here:

Poor movements make poor alignment worst. Good movements can make poor alignment better. Poor movements can make, good alignment look bad.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

No need to aggravate knee damage with poor ski technique.

Comments from Debbie Clyne: Hi Harald. Not sure if you remember me, but I ski at Whistler with Wendell Moore and Bill Armatage - teaching me your skiing method. I had double knee replacements and your skiing method has helped make skiing almost pain-free. It's much smoother and more low impact, easier on the knees. Wendell tells me that you had a knee replacement. How are your knees now?
From Harald: As a side note, we have been recording PMTS student comments for 15 years. This is a common reaction, to both alignment and movements, from our systems, even for skiers without knee replacements..