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What are we working on?

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Basics

Good hands, pole plant, solid stance, well balanced and a clean “arc”.  That’s what we work on 90% of the time.

What is an arc?  Your ski arcs or carves if it “slices” through the snow with minimal skid.  This is fast.  The basics help you do that.

Building on the basics

Once the basics start to take shape, we work on getting a “higher” edge angle by moving further into the turns, long leg/short leg, and parallel angles from the ankles up through the hip and other extensions of the basics.

With J5’s in particular, we try and use “show me” to demonstrate and create setting that allow them to experience new skills and techniques without a lot of talking or complex narrative.  This means going to the right (often gentle) terrain and using guided experiences (drills) to help them learn something new. 

We then back this up be repetition in increasing more aggressive settings until it becomes habit.  There are tons of articles that describe this in more detail.  If you are curious, a few good sites include:

Web Site

Notes

http://www.ronlemaster.com

Great picture sequences and some very current articles.

Also some really nice presentations, to big to print.

http://www.youcanski.com

A number of good articles, photo sequences, etc

http://www.modernskiracing.com

A little unpredictable, but it’s another set of opinions

Tactics

The world’s greatest skier will be faster than your average Joe or Jane if they execute using poor tactics.  Tactics is all about the “line” or path you ski around the gates and timing.  The right line is as straight as possible while allowing the athlete to “arc”.  The right timing means you maximize skeletal strength, muscles and technique in combination with the right “line”. 

If this sounds confusing, it is.  However, there are drills and simple instructions that help an athlete improve both line and timing without understanding the physics and biomechanics.  Once we get in gates, we work on tactics as much or more than we do basic techniques.  It is also hard to learn “skiing” in gates where tactics require a lot of thought.  That is why we don’t spend to much time in gates and why we work on repetition the athletes take what they learn and make it a habit that comes naturally.

Cross blocking/gate contact

Hitting gates is great fun and a lot kids want to do it there first time in gates, even J6’s!!!

However, until have good technique and tactics, hitting gates can do more harm than good.  It can slow you down and introduce new bad habits (leaning in or “reaching” to hit the gates).  We will try and pick the “best time” to introduce your athlete to gate contact, but it is not a science.  If we think your athlete is ready, but doesn’t have or bring the gear, we will give you a heads up in advance.

What about my athlete?

Although the group is working on the “same things”, our athlete should have a particular focus based on their individual needs.  If you ask your athlete, what are coaches having you work on and you get no answer, we are not doing our job.  Let us know.  If your athlete says “lots of stuff”, but they really don’t understand or each coach says something different, we are not doing our job.  Let us know.

Can/should I coach my athlete?

That is up to you.  If you decide to do some 1:1 skiing and coaching with your athlete, start by asking “what are coaches working on with you?”. 

Another option is watching ski races and videos together.  It’s fun and like any sport, watching the pro’s is a great way to connect to the sport and the role models competing on the word cup circuit. 

What if my child wants/needs extra 1:1 time?

If you feel your athlete has a special need that requires extra focus, let us know and we can try and help in that space.  There are also alumni and others folks who might support 1:1 sessions.  If that is important to you and your athlete, we can try and help make that happen.

What is really important?

That your athlete has a good time, that he/she feels good about themselves and that they continue to enjoy the sport and their time together. 

 

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