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Let's try to model skiing as a mathematical system and then encode skiing, based on the Domain Encoding Principle. This can provide a unified approach to teaching skiing, to talking about skiing, to communicating about skiing, to evaluating skiers. I can send you my two line evaluation of John Doe and you would understand exactly what I'm saying etc.

Terms like angulation, separation or balance are fuzzy as they can mean different things (hip angulation versus knee angulation for instance).

A more precise system is one that can explain any outcome, good or bad, in terms of the same fundamental unchangeable components, which become coordinates of skiing. Then, we can just exchange coordinates of where we are versus where you want to be, i.e. "more of X" " less of Y" etc...

Another way to look at it is cause and effect. Good balance or pressure on the tips is not a cause, it is a result, an effect of my counterbalancing and being forward. For an effective skiing system, you have to identify the causes, not the effects, see Intent, action and outcome.


We need to identify a base: decompose skiing into a set of unitary components that can then be taught, practiced, and evaluated independently as then re-comined in different patterns and ammounts, to handle any or most skiing situations.

The following is inspired from several systems, including PMTS, CSCF, USSA. The possible values for each dimension are given as well:

S - Stance ('-' too wide, '+' too narrow)
M - Movement ('-' too little, '+' too much)
T - Tipping or edging ('-' too little) ('e' early, 'a' late)
F - Flexing ('-' too little) ('e' early, 'a' late)
CB - Counter balancing (hip angulation) ('-' too little, '+' too much) ('e' early, 'a' late)
CA - Counteracting ('-' too little, '+' too much) ('e' early, 'a' late)
FA - Fore/aft ('-' too back, '+' too forward) ('e' early, 'a' late)
I - Inside ski ('-' too little, '+' too much, 's' shuffled)
P - Pole plant ('-' too little, '+' too much) ('e' early, 'a' late)

In a proper coordinate system, you would always use a tuple of values, one for each dimension or axis, but we can adopt a simpler notation than always the tuple (S,T,F,CB,CA,FA,O,PP) so that we state the axis and the value like F- (too tall, no flexing).

We can add operations like || or && and obvious functions like oneOf(a,b,c)

So for instance hip dumping++ would be encoded as (T-, CA+e , CB+e) too much early counteracting and too much early counterbalancing.

"loosing the outside ski" would be encoded as: someOf(O-, CB-, T-, FA-, CA-,CAa), as it is a symptom/result of one or more of:

  • not enough weight on the outside ski
  • not enough angulation/CB
  • not enough tipping
  • bad timing
  • not forward enough
  • bad counteracting (none or bad timing)

I used this system as my evaluation spreadsheet - columns with the codes above, lines with names and the values as above.

That's good skiing, encoded :) very simple and intuitive evaluation, language, feedback - you name it. it only requires the 9 dimensions above.

Having these universal dimensions can make feedback consistent across instructors, resorts and countries.

I have used this system to teach, evaluate and communicate to 10 year olds and it works pretty well - keeping the talking and the feedback always tied to these 9 elements provides very good and consistent communication with them.

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By: Razie | 2014-04-01 .. 2017-02-01 | Tags: post , coaching , ski

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