MA for JohnMoore

MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:56 pm

I've come back from a skiing holiday where I was, on the whole, skiing pretty well (for me), but was singularly unable to get good video, for one reason or another. The only video I managed to get which was of any use was the two samples here. I put them up here for MA, with a great sense of trepidation, because the skiing in them is, frankly, appalling. I won't make any excuses other than that to say that the conditions were quite tough (heavy, wet, chopped up snow in piles) and that I was so rattled by this point from previous failed attempts to get some good video that my skiing was starting to go to pieces. Nonetheless, I hope something can be gleaned from them.

On viewing the videos myself, I was horrified at just how wide apart my legs are (and yes, I know to try to keep them together). It's alarming how video shows up what you're really doing, as opposed to what you think you're doing. I also appear to be twisting my skis around to make the turns on the steeper stuff (the slope in the second video is pretty steep, in fact, the steepest run in the resort).

Here's video #1, where I am trying to make shortish turns on a reasonably steep pitch, with the heavy piles of wet snow I mentioned:

.

Here's video #2, where I'm trying to do the same thing on a much steeper pitch, with the same kind of snow:

.

In the few days prior to this I'd been doing all of the drills I could remember, whenever I could, on the gentler terrain, and a lot of things seemed to have been falling into place. But on these more challenging conditions I seem to have forgotten some of the basics which I thought I'd nailed. Curiously, though, an hour or two after this video session I suddenly hit upon something which enabled me to keep my feet a lot closer, namely concentrating on the feel of one boot sliding up alongside the other (I had previously been too static, keeping my feet together horizontally), and I felt I'd really made something of a breakthrough.

But in reality, I have to accept that the dismal skiing as shown here can't be too far below what I normally do. So what should I do? Urgent help is obviously needed. That stance needs radical attention. Where do I start? Is there anything worth preserving?
Last edited by JohnMoore on Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby MonsterMan » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:08 pm

hi John,

thanks for posting the video.

I'm rushing out now, but I had a quick look and thought I would look for a nice turn in amongst the terrain induced stemming. I love the start of the turn at about 13 seconds in the second video. What did you do differently there? Those Head skis DO work sometimes!

I think you need to work on Super Phantoms on the next trip to get you away from that eager new big toe edge until the turn has been set up.

My guess is that you worked hard on all of the essentials, I see you trying to flex to release, but the timing is sometimes a bit early and I see nice attempts at counter balance. It's now time to really focus on the tipping and staying on that little toe edge a bit longer.

Looking forward to more learned comments.

Gotta fly.

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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby milesb » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:19 pm

What you may be missing on these tougher skiing situations is strong foot pull back. This is not to say it is going to cure everything, but you probably won't be able to get much tipping on that slope without it. And that leads to....what you are doing on the video. Are you able to tip and flex and pull back well on easier stuff?
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:55 am

MonsterMan wrote:I think you need to work on Super Phantoms on the next trip to get you away from that eager new big toe edge until the turn has been set up....It's now time to really focus on the tipping and staying on that little toe edge a bit longer.


Super Phantom drills were one of the things I was doing a lot of on the easier slopes, and I was also working on banana turns on some of the easier pitches, to get the feel of being on the little toe edge. And it was working, I was getting much less hurried turns on the easier slopes, feeling the 'float'. But in stuff like this, especially when a bit flustered, I always seem to end up managing only 3, say, of the 5 essentials. Whatever I concentrate on, something else is dropped.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:12 am

milesb wrote:What you may be missing on these tougher skiing situations is strong foot pull back. This is not to say it is going to cure everything, but you probably won't be able to get much tipping on that slope without it. And that leads to....what you are doing on the video. Are you able to tip and flex and pull back well on easier stuff?


Thanks, Miles. Strong foot pull back is actually one of the things I have been working hard at (that's not to say it doesn't go out the window when the going gets tough). But it has made a huge difference to me in my last couple of ski trips. There was a bump run through the woods under a lift which I did many times this holiday, and I did it far better than I used to do this kind of stuff, largely because concentrating so hard on foot pull back meant that at no point did I find my skis shooting out in front of me, as they can so easily do.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby oggy » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:43 am

JohnMoore wrote:The only video I managed to get which was of any use was the two samples here. I put them up here for MA, with a great sense of trepidation, because the skiing in them is, frankly, appalling.


Eh, a "sense of trepidation"? Ditch it :) I know (from experience, ahm) that videos can be ego-crushing, but come on, it's all about having some good fun on the slopes. If anything, video will help you have *more* fun soon enough.

As far as MA goes, I don't have anything particularly smart to share. Your stance on those vids just seems to be too wide to be functional most of the time, killing your tipping efforts. As you've discovered, keeping your feet closer together is something you'll have to be conscious about for a while - maybe try the sponge exercise to reinforce that?
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:07 am

oggy wrote:As you've discovered, keeping your feet closer together is something you'll have to be conscious about for a while - maybe try the sponge exercise to reinforce that?


I'm sure that's right. Next time I go skiing, I'll be taking a sponge with me. As has been pointed out in another recent thread here, the amount of concentration required to keep your feet together is surprising.

As regards the functionality or otherwise of the wide stance... It certainly doesn't help, and I'm puzzled why it tends to happen most on the slopes where it's most problematic. It's not a complete show-stopper - I'm still getting down steep slopes, with short turns and good speed control - but I sure wish I could get rid of it.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:31 am

Here's another little clip, from 3 days earlier, which I had forgotten about:



This is on a gentler slope (but still a red run, i.e., in European terms of middle difficulty, in the progression blue -> red -> black, or occasionally green -> blue -> red -> black). Snow was as in the other videos - rather heavy and wet, forming mounds.

I've still got that rather hideous A-frame, but not as badly as in the later videos.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby oggy » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:43 am

JohnMoore wrote:I'm sure that's right. Next time I go skiing, I'll be taking a sponge with me. As has been pointed out in another recent thread here, the amount of concentration required to keep your feet together is surprising.


I've been struggling with that myself. But I guess you've got over the first hurdle - it's kind of hard to address a problem if you don't know it's there.

One of the things that have helped me somewhat (but YMMV, obviously), is to change the way I try to tip. I find it helpful to think about "showing" my free foot sole to the other boot, it drags my free foot a bit closer inside.

JohnMoore wrote:As regards the functionality or otherwise of the wide stance... It certainly doesn't help, and I'm puzzled why it tends to happen most on the slopes where it's most problematic. It's not a complete show-stopper - I'm still getting down steep slopes, with short turns and good speed control - but I sure wish I could get rid of it.


Steeper slopes turn our survival instincts on. A wide stance is much more stable from a static point of view, so I suppose that, if you're not comfortable enough with keeping a dynamically balanced narrow stance, you just instinctively switch to a wider one. When I say "not functional", I mean in the PMTS sense - it's really difficult to get any free foot tipping (and heck, it's sometimes difficult even to have a free foot). It's also very difficult to release by flexing.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby ginaliam » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:42 am

You'll have to wait for HH, or Max or Heluva to weigh in to get the quality, PMTS approved MA (who knows, maybe Leopold Bloom will make a guest appearance :D ).

But I've got one bit of advice, that I find myself giving a lot of resort skiers these days...Ditch the oversized backpack!! Seriously, what are you toting around in-bounds at a busy resort that requires a backpack that large?? Did you hike directly there from England? Were you skiining the Hill and foregoing a lift ticket?

It may not be the root cause of the pronounced backseat (aft balanced) skiing in your first two videos--but it sure ain't helping. Check out vids of Max, Heluva, HH...not a backpack in sight. In fact, I never see in-bounds expert skiers with backpacks (yes, I see the occasional hydration pack) but I see a lot of back packs on the intermediates-especially the gaudily dressed teenagers. It's up there with the doo-rag bandana face-mask that completes the new costume of 'rad skier/snowboarder.'

Sometimes, through work I'm required to ski with a backpack--and I can't wait to ditch it as soon as possible.

Your coat and pants come with pockets-plenty of space to hold your coin, food, on-hill tune and wax stuff and a small multi-tool. backpacks are for stepping off the grid-and even there, they compromise your skiing (a necessary compromise, of course).
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby milesb » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:03 am

I have a pack full of charcoal, beer and BBQ fixings that I drop off as soon as I can. It's a good day when the pack is almost weightless for the last run down to the car. :) However, there are days that it's too windy to BBQ, and the beer doesn't get drank, so I do the bottom chutes with the heavy pack. It's not as much fun. :(
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby Max_501 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:28 am

Things to consider when doing the MA:

Does the release start by flexing the outside leg?
Does LTE tipping lead engagement to the new turn?
Are the feet pulled back at transition?
Is the inside foot held back throughout the turn?
Is there enough CB and CA and is the timing right?
Strong inside arm?
Is the pelvis included in the CB/CA movement?
Is the inside leg flexed as the turn progresses?
Does the outside leg extend naturally (no pushing) as the turn progresses?
Does LTE tipping continue throughout the turn?
Is there a pole touch and how is the movement and timing?
Alignment - watch the skis and knees carefully - does anything look like it needs go be tipped in or out?
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:34 am

Max_501 wrote:Things to consider when doing the MA:

Does the release start by flexing the outside leg?
Does LTE tipping lead engagement to the new turn?
Are the feet pulled back at transition?
Is the inside foot held back throughout the turn?
Is there enough CB and CA and is the timing right?
Strong inside arm?
Is the pelvis included in the CB/CA movement?
Is the inside leg flexed as the turn progresses?
Does the outside leg extend naturally (no pushing) as the turn progresses?
Does LTE tipping continue throughout the turn?
Is there a pole touch and how is the movement and timing?
Alignment - watch the skis and knees carefully - does anything look like it needs go be tipped in or out?


You should reorganize the order of those a little bit and make it a sticky in the MA forum.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby Max_501 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:56 am

HeluvaSkier wrote:You should reorganize the order of those a little bit and make it a sticky in the MA forum.


How would you change the order?
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:11 am

Max_501 wrote:
HeluvaSkier wrote:You should reorganize the order of those a little bit and make it a sticky in the MA forum.


How would you change the order?


Lately, I've been trying to look at alignment first instead of last. Then I look at R-T-E [and what happens post engagement], but I move from the lower body to upper body versus jumping back and forth. There is nothing wrong with your list, it just isn't the mental organization that I use when doing MA... maybe personal preference though. Although I thought the process I uses was pretty close to what is in the PMTS instructor manual? Maybe not?
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