MA for JohnMoore

Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:36 am

ginaliam wrote: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??


Actually, it was as light as a feather! It only contained a fleece. In fact, I tried a couple of runs without it and couldn't even detect the difference. I could see how it might affect me if I were carrying around any substantial weight in it, though.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby Max_501 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:05 am

HeluvaSkier wrote: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?


Good suggestions. I find that identifying alignment issues from video to be tricky. Is it alignment or movements we are seeing? HH can spot it right away, but I have to watch the movements first and then see what is happening with the skis and knees. If the movements are there but things are out of whack then its likely to be the footbed and/or canting.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:08 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?


I'd appreciate your answers to these questions, from what you can see from the video, as I have difficulty determining what I'm doing right or wrong. For what it's worth, I did feel that I was, in general, starting my releases by flexing my outside leg. I'm a bit dismayed to see how it appears in these videos, though. But I was very conscious of actually pulling the stance ski out of the snow to release on many runs, because I was wary of the heavy snow and didn't want to catch a ski in it.

As regards CA/CB and timing, I'm sure that my timing is out - at least that's what it felt like. Similarly my pole plant timing felt wrong (and looks wrong in the 2nd video). Curiously, though, where these came together best was in what should have been the most difficult run I did, a fast mogul run under the lift where I was trying to take the most direct line I could. Probably because you can instantly tell when you've got it wrong, this was where I got my pole action and counteracting working best.

As regards alignment, I think I desperately need new boots and to be set up properly. I have Head S8 boots, which are medium volume, but I have pretty narrow feet (actually there's nothing pretty about them :)), and the liner has undoubtedly packed out somewhat. I've done various DIY things to make them a closer fit, but there's certainly some degree of slop there. As for alignment, I believe I am somewhat knock kneed and have tried makeshift cants (credit card strips) under the inside sole/heel of my boots, which seem to help a fair bit. The footbeds are some I had made years ago, but on which I have substantially weakened the arch posting (by making cuts in it) allowing my foot to pronate more (this made a big difference to my fore/aft alignment last year). A trip to Dumont is an urgent necessity, although I don't know when I could possibly get there.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby Max_501 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:51 am

JohnMoore wrote:I'd appreciate your answers to these questions, from what you can see from the video, as I have difficulty determining what I'm doing right or wrong.


This video is difficult to MA because of the lack of zoom. On the turn to the left is that a small wedge used to start the turn? On the turn to the right it looks like a lift of the old downhill ski, but the tip of the ski is coming up rather than the tail and it doesn't appear to including the tipping action needed to start the turn. Looks like the upper body is rotating into the turn. For flexing to work the outside leg must be shorter at the transition then it was at the bottom of the arc.

Step 1 is getting into the right boot and getting the foot beds/alignment taken care of. Step 2 is going back to Book 1/2 on easy terrain and working on the fundamentals until they become your new default movement pattern.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:56 am

Max_501 wrote:This video is difficult to MA because of the lack of zoom. On the turn to the left is that a small wedge used to start the turn? On the turn to the right it looks like a lift of the old downhill ski, but the tip of the ski is coming up rather than the tail and it doesn't appear to including the tipping action needed to start the turn. Looks like the upper body is rotating into the turn. For flexing to work the outside leg must be shorter at the transition then it was at the bottom of the arc.


Which video are you looking at here?
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby Max_501 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:04 pm

JohnMoore wrote:Which video are you looking at here?


I looked at all three but was looking at the 3rd one (on the easier terrain) when I wrote that post.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:05 pm

Here's my 2 cents... leaving boot setup out of it for now.

As Max said, the drills in books 1 and 2 are very important for you to master. I'd suggest going to easy terrain and getting video of you performing some of the more simple drills (tipping, releasing and engaging, etc.). If you can't comfortably perform the drills and verify it with video you will nave no chance of replicating those movements in your skiing. Compare your results to Harald going the same drills in the DVD's. Currently, you aren't replicating those movements in your skiing. You are using a lot of pivoting, and running a flat ski with very late pressure in the turn. A focus on tipping will be a good place to start...

More info here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2822
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:27 am

Thanks, guys. Actually, I have been doing many of the drills, at least as much as I can while doing free skiing - I was skiing with my partner, and as I ski rather faster than her I was typically getting a bit ahead and then doing various drills until she caught up. This, obviously, only works for certain kinds of drill, and where I lose out is in things like the TFR, which I know I really need to get the hang of. (Interestingly, the best TFR practice I got, and where I got closest to getting it sorted, was when a thick fog descended on the mountain, meaning we couldn't see more than 30-40 feet ahead, so I took the opportunity to do TFR drills half way down the mountain).

My problem is that I'm finding that I can get a drill working, on easy terrain, while that is all I am focussing on, but that on more difficult terrain (like with the heavy, clumpy snow as in the videos), I can only get a subset of the things right. I'm wondering whether there are some specific drills I should be focussing on more than others (although I don't dispute the fact that I need to practice all of them as much as I can)? I didn't have the books with me this trip, just the ACBAES 2 video, so I was going from memory most of the time. But these are the things I was working on, and feeling I was largely getting right (in as much as I could tell from external cues - as I have found, video can often tell a different story).

1. Super Phantoms: I was practising balancing on the uphill little toe edge on traverses, and then incorporating this into my turns. Worked nicely on the wider, gentler slopes, especially earlier in the week when the snow was firmer, but obviously lost on the trickier stuff.

2. Javelins: On the less challenging slopes I would often make turns holding the tip of the free ski over the stance ski. I didn't feel there was any problem with this, in either direction.

3. Banana Turns (?): There was a gentle and very long ski road down to the base which I skied at the end of every day. This was a perfect opportunity to try out what I think are banana turns, namely riding on one ski making turns both to left and right on the same ski. This is quite tricky, but I managed it on this gentle terrain. Couldn't manage it so well on steeper terrain, though, particularly turns to the little toe side (HH's demo of this in the video still astounds me).

4. Counteracting: I was able to make turns on the gentle terrain mentioned above by simply 'facing the base', as HH does in the video (it amazes me how effective this is). Not so easy to combine this with other things when the going gets tough, though (although, as I mentioned earlier, when I was trying to take the most direct line down a mogul run, I got the counteracting sorted better than at any other time).

5. Counterbalancing: There are some people who can have a movement pattern described to them and who can then immediately reproduce it. I am not one of those people. Often I feel as if my brain-body command chain operates on a Chinese whispers basis. You'd think feeling the side crunch would be easy enough, but I did not find it so. From time to time I got it and could immediately feel the difference it made. But I seem to have found a way of doing the boot touch exercise which doesn't involve a side crunch, goodness knows how, because when I specifically concentrated on feeling the crunch, rather than touching the boot, and got it right, it made a big difference. One thing I concentrated on a lot was trying to pull my free foot up alongside the stance leg. But, somewhat stupidly, I often found myself doing this OR the side crunch. When I combined the two - wow, what a difference that makes!

6. Short leg, long leg: I did this drill from the Essentials quite a few times and found it very interesting. Certainly need to do it a lot more.

7. Free foot pullback: This is something I have concentrated on a lot in the last 2 trips, which has really helped. I think it's one of those things which is coming close to being automatic now, but I still concentrate on it whenever I can. Certainly it's made it possible for me to handle the bumps far better than I ever could before.

8. Tipping: The first, the simplest, and still the best. Whenever I focus on tipping and try to tip more, things improve. Obviously, though, one of the first things to disappear on the more challenging terrain. I get the feeling this is something which will be much more effective for me with the right boots, footbeds, alignment, etc.

9. Free foot management: This is, to me, my weakest area. I have never done the sponge exercise and I think I really have to. The videos show my free foot a long way from where it should be, so I really need to focus on bringing it in close and holding it there. I think I was causing more problems for myself than I should have been by concentrating on keeping my feet, specifically, closer together, because when I concentrated instead on keeping my lower legs closer together, allowing my free foot boot to slide up and down alongside the stance boot, I found it much easier, and much more dynamic.

10. Two-footed release: I mentioned this above. I think if I spent a couple of hours on a gentle slope doing nothing but this drill, I would either go mad or make a worthwhile breakthrough.

Anyway, if there is anything more specific I should concentrate on, I'd be keen to hear!
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby ibMED » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:22 am

John Moore,

There are several PMTS’ers with the common problem of lack of access to ski areas and who ski just a few days per season. I sense a common theme from this group in that reality does not match expectations in advancing technique. I know that while on holiday at a great ski area, my PMTS development very often is placed on hold while I ski difficult terrain. Don’t get me wrong, there is a PMTS thought in each and every turn I make, but, when you get beyond your comfort level, you do what you have to do. That may look the like stemming or overly rotating body in your video. Ingraining poor technique simply makes it more difficult to do the proper movements.

I get to ski 25 days a year and it’s not enough to get where I would like to be. PMTS is not for the weak of spirit and Harald has stated many times there is no magic, just hard work and repetition. There are so many small movements needed to be done in a couple of seconds. Max’s list is comprehensive. Very few of us have the ability to do more than a couple very well. Try to find the single best improvement area and focus on developing that one area. It’s been suggested that you concentrate on improving tipping. Use a tipping board at home and practice in front of a mirror. Consider Harb carvers. Helluvaskier gave me the same advice he gave you, get back to tipping basics.

Reading your posts convinces me that you have too much on your mind. Skis, boots, alignment, working all the essentials in a short period is way too complex. One example is using a GS like the CX80 when a narrower waisted ski like a CS70 would be a better choice. What are your reasonable, achievable goals over a few days skiing? Keep it simple, seek clarity! Read the recent post by ToddW where he describes the basics he went through in private lessons with Diana. She took him one small step at a time.

I’m not trying to discourage you in the pursuit of better PMTS skiing. I submit that no matter how far my skiing has to improve, it is far more advanced than it would have been without the PMTS influence. Enjoy what PMTS has enabled you to do! Elephants are eaten one bite at a time.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby Max_501 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:30 pm

JohnMoore wrote:Anyway, if there is anything more specific I should concentrate on, I'd be keen to hear!


John, that is a long list of drills you worked on. How do you know you are doing the movements correctly?
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:09 am

ibMED,

Thanks for your very thoughtful post. I'm sure you are right when you say I have too much on my mind. I definitely make the most progress when I'm able to just stop and concentrate on one or two things at a time, to the exclusion of everything else. That's not always easy to do within the context of a normal, social skiing holiday, though. My total days on snow this year will be 14, which doesn't give me a massive amount of time to focus purely on drills. Last year I managed to squeeze in a few days when I was totally focussed on learning, but this year that has not been possible and my main focus has been on having a good skiing holiday (and, more importantly, enabling my partner to have one, too, because it's not a lot of fun skiing with someone who is doing drills all the time...). You're right about the CX80s as well, in that if my focus had been entirely on PMTS learning then the CS70s would have been a better choice. But actually in Champoluc I wanted to ski as much of the mountain as I could, in as much soft snow as I could find, and there is no doubt in my mind that the wider waist of the CX80s made this easier, without making it impossible to carve good turns on the piste when I wanted to.

Next time I ski, though, I think I will just try to master one or two of the drills in the time I can do drills, and then just keep the others in the back of my mind while free skiing.

------------------

Max,

Yes, probably too long a list of drills. How do I know I'm doing the movements correctly? Well, my understanding of PMTS is that one of its main benefits is that it gives you external cues which let you know when you're doing something right or wrong. Some of them don't leave a lot of scope for error as well, do they? The drill where you turn to either side while balanced on the one ski is an example - if you can do it, it's working. Similarly with the javelin. Others, like the counteracting, possibly have more scope for self-delusion, which is where the video is helpful. And others, like free foot pull back, are undoubtedly a question of degree - I'm doing it, but I could be doing it a lot more.

In the absence of PMTS instruction, by far the best thing for me is to look at video of myself (I've watched the DVDs and read the books enough to know what proper PMTS skiing looks like), and I will make a point next time of trying to get some video early on of myself doing drills.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby jbotti » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:38 am

John, Max's question list is a great place for you to start. The first question: Does the release start by flexing the outside leg?
The answer is rarely. You are skiing in a somewhat flexed position, but you rarely flex the stance leg more at release.

The next question is especially pertinent: Does LTE tipping lead engagement to the new turn?

The answer is (looking at the second video where I can see you from the front better) no. You are almost always going to your big toe edge first, and getting your weight on your new stabce ski before you start your tipping movements. Notice the A frame that is occuring in almost every turn. This can also be caused by poor alignment when a skier is doing the movemenst correctlly, but your A frame is at least partially caused by the fact that you are not tipping to initiate the truns.

How to progress:

Go to easier groomed terrain and work on these two things. I reccomend this drill for tipping. Traverse on the little toe edge in each turn (with the stance ski lifted) at each transition, tip the old stance ski (which is already lifetd) and tip it until the old free ski moves from the little toe edge to the big toe edge. In general what you want to work on is Super Phnatom releases in each turn until they are perfect on groomed terrain. This will require much earlier and much more agressive tipping that you are doing in the video. The concept of an O frame is a good one for you to be working with. Try to actually have both skis on their little toe edge at the same time even if it is very briefly. BTW, I am currently working on the same thing. This will take your skiing to new levels. Work it until it is second nature on easy terrain!!

I hope that helps.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:52 am

jbotti wrote:Go to easier groomed terrain and work on these two things. I reccomend this drill for tipping. Traverse on the little toe edge in each turn (with the stance ski lifted) at each transition, tip the old stance ski (which is already lifetd) and tip it until the old free ski moves from the little toe edge to the big toe edge. In general what you want to work on is Super Phnatom releases in each turn until they are perfect on groomed terrain. This will require much earlier and much more agressive tipping that you are doing in the video. The concept of an O frame is a good one for you to be working with. Try to actually have both skis on their little toe edge at the same time even if it is very briefly. BTW, I am currently working on the same thing. This will take your skiing to new levels. Work it until it is second nature on easy terrain!!


Thanks a lot for the suggestions, it's good to have something very specific to work on. This trip was the first where I had done much playing with the super phantom move, and I could definitely feel that a lot more work was needed for it to be at all instinctive.

I must say, though, I'm a little puzzled by the O frame idea. Am I not supposed to be keeping the same edge angles? My understanding was that you led the edge change with the new free foot but that the uphill (new stance) foot naturally followed immediately afterwards, thereby maintaining edge angles, yet you seem to be suggesting that I deliberately delay this.
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby jbotti » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:59 am

The O frame is a drill concept (although it will never hurt you in your skiing). The point of the O frame is that it is impossible to lead with the BTE when you are creating an O frame. Really working this and actually getting both LTE's engagement in each turn will help your skiing immensely (and everyone elses).
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Re: MA for JohnMoore

Postby JohnMoore » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:01 am

jbotti wrote:The O frame is a drill concept (although it will never hurt you in your skiing). The point of the O frame is that it is impossible to lead with the BTE when you are creating an O frame. Really working this and actually getting both LTE's engagement in each turn will help your skiing immensely (and everyone elses).


Thanks for the explanation. I must get to it, as I'd love to be able to help everyone else's skiing as well as mine :D .
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