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Establishing a dynamic stance and balancing on the outside ski are fundamental skills for skiing anything anywhere. Here is a coaching plan for that.

Tech talk

The stance on skis should be athletic - in the sense that you should be flexed and have some tension in your body and be prepared to react. The stance is not a static notion, but a dynamic notion and we talk about stability with mobility.

A stance that is too wide will feel stable while standing still but will not help much while skiing on the outside ski. Likewise, too narrow - with the feet glued together.

Elements of a good, balanced stance:

  • feet under hips, neutral... note that this is not hip width, but just naturally letting the feet drop down strait from the hips, see Skiing - the wide stance debugged
  • boots even (top of the turn) or with tip lead (end of the turn)
  • dynamic throughout the turn (narrow-wide-narrow)
  • upper body used for balance: angulated joints, separated lower/upper body
  • fore/aft balance allows tipping and untipping the skis
  • an overall athletic stance (flexed/low) allows movements and balance

Stance, tipping and balance go together, see Tipping in balance.

Drills and progressions

  • braquage sliding sideways down the hill

    • keep torso facing down the slope, Coiling
    • notice the effect of shuffling the uphill ski forward on opening the hips and allowing the Coiling
    • adjust stance while in braquage - leave a boot width between boots
  • see Welcome to braquage and Play with braquage

  • falling leaf

    • from braquage progress to falling leaf
    • move weight fore and aft to cause the skis to go tip down or tail down
  • see Falling leaf

  • 360 clickers

    • from braquage progress to 360s
    • while turning, focus on keeping the boots even (not shuffled) by pulling (keeping) back the inside boot
    • also, progress to lifting the inside boot and touch the heels
    • the turning should be all done on the new downhill ski
    • focus on the stance, vary it and feel the effects
    • two/three turns on either side then switch
    • don't get dizzy
    • see Click your heels
  • railed turns on green and tuck turns

    • squat, low position
    • turn only by tipping the skis on edge from the ankles
    • vary stance width - notice effect on upper body (higher) and tipping (easier)
    • keep poles in the tuck position, handles forward: as the skis tip and you're turning to the right, twist the poles and entire torso the other way to exaggerate separation. Feel the effect this has onto the outside ski
  • phantom turns and Javelin turns on green

    • phantom: lift the inside ski and pull it back and tip it on the inside
    • javelin: lift the inside ski and overlap the tips of the skis
    • balance only on the outside ski
    • progress to blue
    • see The Phantom and The Javelin
  • J turns on blue

    • start down the hill, rail turns on the outside ski, across the hill, to finish facing up the hill
    • start narrow going down the hill, open wide at apex / max pressure and close narrow again at end
    • focus on feeling in balance on the outside ski
    • exaggerate separation and angulation to balance over the outside ski
    • vary the stance, from extremely wide to extremely narrow, fell the effects
    • very effective if turned into a contest: who can stop higher up the hill...
  • stance alignment turns on blue

    • start short skidded turns
    • start with a very wide stance for a few turns, mid-stance then narrow stance for a few turns
    • then settle on a "normal" comfortable stance

Read more

Related articles:

Lesson plans / drills:

References:

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By: Razie | 2014-12-25 .. 2015-11-20 | Tags: post , drill , technique , session , balance , stance , improve-skiing


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