MA for Michigan Skier

Re: MA for Michigan Skier

Postby AlpineAnnie » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:26 am

That is definitely something that I need to work on Carve2turn!!! I have "functional tension" grilled into my thinking! I've got to loose that! I didn't realize how stiff I was until I watched my video. I need to loose the stand tall posture and relax a little more!

Thanks for your input!

~Annie~
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Re: MA for Michigan Skier

Postby geoffda » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:49 pm

Hi Annie,

Welcome to the forum! On the technical side, you've gotten great advice--replace your extend and incline mechanism to change edges with flexion and tipping. What this all boils down to is learning about tipping. While the concept of tipping may seem simple, I can tell you from experience, that it is something that experienced skiers have great difficulty with. It isn't that learning how to tip is that hard; the problem is that if you are already an accomplished skier using other movements (as I was) you literally have to start over learning how to ski. I know for myself, it took more than a season before I finally was able to let go of what I thought I knew about skiing enough to really start making true headway in learning PMTS.

The reason I mention this is to try to save you some grief. You probably read the advice you got from Max, Miles, JBotti and others and thought "ok, yeah, that makes sense." If I'm right, the best piece of advice I can give you is to try and approach PMTS training as if you know nothing about skiing. Assume you know nothing about tipping, assume you know nothing about flexion. Now take that attitude of ignorance and read the chapters on Tipping and Flexing/Extending like you are trying to grasp a difficult mathmatical concept. Do the exercises--including the dryland--in your ski boots. Don't do them in a superficial (I'm just checking a box to prove I already know this) sort of way, do them in an exploratory (I'm trying to experiment with these movements and challenge my understanding) way. If you can do that, you will have a much easier time learning what PMTS is all about.

As has been mentioned, Tipping is the starting point and the ending point for PMTS. It enables you to use your skis with absolute precision to make any kind of turn you like. Now repeat after me: "I don't understand tipping" Repeat that as often as necessary until you believe it. Then you are ready to start :D. BTW, while an Indo Board is great for developing balance, it isn't going to help you with tipping. Developing tipping skills is best accomplished in your ski boots actually doing tipping movements. As I said, do the drills in Essentials and challenge your understanding of the movements. Be suspicious if they seem easy. The litmus test for tipping skills is to be able to do a full release to new edges, on a slope, without using your poles for balance. When you can do that, you are allowed to start thinking you know something about tipping. :D

And yes, relaxation is really key to learning tipping. Paradoxically, to "get" tipping, it helps to relax "too much." I had to spend some time skiing around with jello legs in order to truly understand the mechanism of the movement. Only after doing that was I able to bring some "functional tension" back into my skiing. YMMV, but it is instrumental to compare the level of tipping you can get statically versus the level you get when you are moving. Mastery means you can access your full range of movement at all times, not just when you are standing still.
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Re: MA for Michigan Skier

Postby emakarios » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:59 am

As an instructor who was trained through the PSIA system over a number of years and has made the switch to PMTS, here's some thoughts:
Most PSIA trained instructors have been trained to "have a bag of tricks". This reflects an approach that has pulled in lot's of theory from various leaders from within the organization over the years. Unfortunately, the approach is not effective and results in a scatter gun approach to teaching: quite a bit of throw everthing at the wall and see what sticks.

In contrast, PMTS has a disciplined and progressive methadology that consistently produces results. It is a system of skiing and teaching and it works (ie, it is an effective skiing and teaching model!).

Most PSIA instructors (including me) when first exposed to PMTS will begin to relate PMTS to what they have been taught in PSIA. Perhaps because there is an instinct to "justify" all of the effort that has been put into PSIA training over the years. While it seems to be a natural human reaction to relate new information to what we have learned previously, this doesn't work well in this case.

PSIA trained instructors who are able to clear their mental slate and look at PMTS as a fresh approach will have the best results.
The problem with the blending approach is simple: PMTS is so effective at improving a dedicated skiers skills that dilution with other theory becomes another avenue to stall out and not improve. Stalling out at a low to middle intermediate skill level is one of the most prevalent outcomes of PSIA trained instructors and students.
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