MA for Matt

MA for Matt

Postby Matt » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:18 am

I managed to get my 10 year old son to take a video this weekend.


The snow is refrozen crust that is just starting to melt.

PASSWORD = PMTS


PASSWORD=PMTS


This is my self analysis:

Stance:
Is the stance width appropriate for the size of the skier?
>>Could be a bit narrower in loaded part of turn
Tipping:___________
Does LTE tipping lead engagement to the new turn?
>>Yes, but not very much, alignement issue? (see below)
Does LTE tipping continue throughout the turn?
>>Yes
CA/CB:___________
Is there enough CB and CA and is the timing right?
>>Could be more of both but this is a rather flat slope
Strong inside arm?
>>Not really
Is the pelvis included in the CB/CA movement?
>>Yes, but should be more
Is there a pole touch and how is the movement and timing?
>>No pole touch
Is the skier balanced over the outside ski?
>>Yes
Flexing/extending:___________
Does the release start by flexing the outside leg?
>>Yes
Is the inside leg flexed as the turn progresses?
>>Yes
Does the outside leg extend naturally (no pushing) as the turn progresses?
>>Yes
Fore/aft:___________
Are the feet pulled back at transition?
>>Not really it seems
Is the inside foot held back throughout the turn?
>>I'm trying but it seems I don't do a very good job
Alignment:___________
watch the skis and knees carefully - does anything look like it needs go be tipped in or out?
>>Very visible A-frame. I'm quite pronated in normal running/walking. The boot fitter did not build any wedge under the BTE side of the ball, which I thought would be quite natural. He did correct the calcaneous angle but that just makes the BTE ball feel like it is hanging in the air. I think this is what Harald calls adjusting varus angle in ACBAES. I suspect that is why I get such a visible A-frame, because to press the BTE side I really have to twist the foot and the knee follows. It's getting quite frustrating to not have access to a good bootfitter. I tried to discuss these things with several fitters here, but they have not even heard about adjusting varus. The Vacuum boots don't leave much room for experimentation either.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby SkierSynergy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:41 pm

It’s good to see someone post their own skiing for review.
The video shows some good starting points from which you can further develop your skiing.

1. You are definitely motivated to make the skis grip and carve.
2. I also like that you do not show a lot of upper body rotation at the end of the turn (as in an old style pole plant).

You could even get more grip, and better balance with some focused changes. And you could get even more benefit from your lower/upper body coordination.

Because you posted video, it might be useful to focus there .You have a good set of questions to dive into an analysis of your own skiing.

A good follow up for you would be to think about each question you posed and first say how you would know that you are actually achieving success in a movement that you are assessing. Make it so clear that you will say definitively "yes" or "no" whether a movent is present. Then look at your video and assess it on that basis. The success criteria must be an objective (clear to view by all) based on the movement and /or position of two parts of your body. To begin, pick out one or two turns only.

Some starting points.

Tipping: judge your tipping ability by how much the free ski tips more than the stance. A good visual cue is the angle of the shins or position of the knees.

Of course alignment affects the ease with which you tip and balance. However, look to see that the free foot tips first. If it does and you see the free foot knee start to move away from the stance leg then you are starting the turn with tipping. If not, then you are using some other method of getting the skis on edge (driving the stance leg knee, leaning, etc.). Look at what part of the body moves first and how: the stance foot, the head, the shoulders, etc.). This will help you identify the actual mechanism by which you release and engage the new edges.

Flexing/Extending: look at the old inside/new stance leg at the end of the old turn while the skis are still engaged. Draw a line representing the length of that leg. Now frame forward until the skis are between the edges (as best you can). Draw a line representing the length of the same leg. Is the second line longer or shorter? If it is longer then you are extending. Frame forward to about 20 percent into the new turn (edges now engaged). If the leg is longer than the first position you are extending. If it is longer than the second position you are extending .

Additional note:
Balance: In the conditions that you show, if you are in balance then you will be able to lift the inside ski at any time and keep it lifted as long as you want. If you have to have weight on the inside ski to brace on (even a little) then you are not in balance. It may be that one choses to ski with some weight on both skis, but if one cannot simply shorten the inside leg and be OK, then one is not in balance.

Being able to establish balance on the old LTE and tip the feet in the correct sequence is necessary to have continued balance and control. That is why experienced people on the forum put so much emphasis on the LTE balance exercises in ACBES 1 and 2 that lead to a solid super phantom.

First, try to look at the video with just the movements of tipping and flexing/ extending. Avoid any right or wrong about what you see. First just try to see clearly what is actually happening. I know that can be hard when watching your own skiing, but . . .. Be very very precise. One you can see clearly what is happening, then you can make a change, assess the success of the change, and assess what happens as a result and whether you want to make the change. Maybe others will help out by suggesting external, objective criteria for identifying specific movements that they have found useful in their own training.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby HeluvaSkier » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:01 pm

Matt,
It is nice to see you post video of your skiing as you are a regular participant in many of our discussions here. When you are relatively new to PMTS, it takes guts to put your skiing on this site because you know you will receive honest feed back aimed at making you a better skier - but it may not always paint the picture of your current skiing that you were hoping for. I wish more would follow your lead. Jay gave you some great advice above. It was not so-much an MA, but more of a guide on how to MA or "look at" your own skiing. If you want to really get to your potential as a skier, to put it bluntly, you have to be your own worst critic at times. Ask any great skier - they are far more harsh on their own skiing than others are.

A few things before we get to movements:
1) Buckle your boots, or get new boots.
2) Your alignment is a mess (not news to you, I know). You need to get this worked out. You spent a lot of money on those Fischer boots - they should be helping you, not hurting you. I rarely see a skier as knock-kneed as you are. You definitely need to be rolled out several degrees, but from your description of your feet, there is probably a lot more to be done. I'd rather not speculate, but you should see a [good] boot fitter. The time and money is an investment in your skiing. You will get the returns on it.

Now for the MA... I'm going to preface this with the assumption that your alignment is not an issue (it is an issue - get it fixed). Instead of going through the MA list above line by line, I'm just going to be blunt [again] and say that I disagree with most of your assessment of your skiing [from a PMTS point of view]. No doubt you're a clean skier and have some good things going on - but when I really get down to the basics of PMTS - they just aren't there as much as they could or should be. I'm only going to mention tipping and flexing/extending as I think those are the most important for you right now. You need work in the other Essentials, but it is best to start at the beginning.

Tipping & Stance: I think you were correct regarding your stance width. One of the most important changes I made in my skiing was narrowing my stance to the point that it was uncomfortable. In doing this - you FORCE yourself to balance on the stance ski. The Garland drills in the tipping section of Essentials are great combined with this new sensation because for the first time in your life you really learn to balance. Additionally, your edge angles are driven from the stance ski - driving the knee in and hip dumping. Overall you are very outside ski dominant. There is very little tipping being driven by the free foot.

Flexing & Extending: Right now, you are not flexing to release your turns. You may start the soften the stance leg to roll off edge, but you immediately stop flexing and push against the stance ski to get you into the next turn. Look at the length of your inside leg when your edge angles are the highest, compared to when you are switching edges in transition - not even close. The stance leg however, is still fairly long in transition. The leg that made the least amount of change in length is the stance leg. You need to reverse this so that the inside leg is doing the least amount of change in length between the turn and just prior to transferring to the new edges. The trend continues as we watch what happens after your transfer to your new edges - you extend almost immediately. You are at full extension almost as soon as you transfer to your new edges. You cannot tip from this position - all that is left is to drive the knee in or drop the hip in and wait for the ski to catch in the bottom of the turn. No high-C engagement, no tipping of the inside ski.

Aside from the basic tipping drills I mentioned above, I think flexing and extending drills (boot touch, etc) leading up to the power release will be beneficial to you. If you can execute a power release (like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olkPIEbH42w) you will be well on your way to curing your extension & push off, and developing real tipping and high-C engagement.

Cheers.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby Matt » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:35 pm

Thanks a lot for responding Jay, really appreciated.

I have to confess that I answered some of the questions (originally Max's list) by remembering how I skied rather than objectively analysing the video. I'll try to do it again but with no legacy mindset. However, before I do that I have a question regarding the flexing/extending.
You say that if the new outside leg is longer at a position 20% into the new turn, when the ski is engaged, than it was towards the end of the previous turn (when it was the inside leg), then I am extending. I thought that when the ski is engaged the leg should already be extended, otherwise we have to push against the engaged ski to get the leg long again. Maybe we are talking about different parts of the turn but it made me a bit confused.

The flexion extension patter I use in these turns are quite different to how I used to ski. When I first started with PMTS I flexed my legs in transition so that the CoM was more or less at the same distance from the snow all the time. Lately I have tried to get more float by holding on to the edges and getting a "vaulting effect" and thus more of a float through transition. I found that this improves the ice grip a lot because of the increased downward pressure. My inspiration for this was actually Helluva. I noticed that his CoM goes up and down quite a lot, and at first I could not understand why. I tried very consiously not to extend to get CoM up effect , instead waiting for the pressure increase and then retracting the leg exactly when enough up momentum has been established. Perhaps I did not do a good job of this.
Since I never skied with old skis I don't think I have any ingrained push mechanics that I have to fight, but maybe there is some anyway.

Maybe this is starting to sound like a defense speech, but that was not the intention. I just want to increase my understanding.

Some history about myself, I have been skiing downhill for three years, the last two with the PMTS books. In my younger years I was a cross country skier on competitive level.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby SkierSynergy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:43 pm

There is a different amount of flexion/extension at transition from the beginning of the video to the end.

The first two turns (around 2:00) have a different amint of old stance leg extension than the turns near 21:06.

There is a different result also.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby SkierSynergy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:00 pm

Many peole try to seek pressure too early by extending the new stance leg i n transition or too early in the turn. This disconnects one from the snow and/or disrupts balance. I think of my job during about the first third of the turn as one of developing angles while in balance. I can't do either if I am extending my stance leg.

Many people think that if the new inside ski lifts or gets light that they flexed to release. This is not the case. the new inside leg can also lift because one extends the new stance leg.

*****************************************************

Someone who can develop a lot of force in their turn by lots of angle will rise away from the snow a bit because of the release of pressure. In the extreme of a good racer,they may also have to stretch out to try to keep the foot in contact with the snow and to slow down the rotation of their body that happens because they release.

BUT this is different than the new stance extending being mechanism by which the body rises away from the snow and by which the body is projected across the skis.

If you can generate force and release by flexing the old stance ski then you can float. It is an option as a result of doing efficient movement. If you extend as a mechanism to stat the turn, you are not floating. You are falling.

Hope this helps
Last edited by SkierSynergy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby Matt » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:02 pm

Thanks Helluva, I did not see your response when I wrote the response to Jay.

Thanks for a lot of good input. I have to say that before I watched video of myself I had a whole different idea of how I was skiing. I'll try to get more video in the future.

It seems my desire to get a bit more CoM up/down has caused some bad patterns in my skiing. I have a lot to work on now, unfortunately the season here seems to be ending unusally early due to warm weather and I cannot to any more travel this year.

Regarding the alignement, it is really a mess. When I stand in front of a mirror and lift the bte as hard as I can the knee hardly moves to the outside at all. I can move the knee a lot to the inside on the other hand. Very frustrating. Maybe I have to go to Hintertux next year to get a proper fit, but then I "loose" another season. BIG Sigh.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby BigE » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:30 am

SkierSynergy wrote:I
Some starting points.

Tipping: judge your tipping ability by how much the free ski tips more than the stance. A good visual cue is the angle of the shins or position of the knees.

Of course alignment affects the ease with which you tip and balance. However, look to see that the free foot tips first. If it does and you see the free foot knee start to move away from the stance leg then you are starting the turn with tipping. If not, then you are using some other method of getting the skis on edge (driving the stance leg knee, leaning, etc.). Look at what part of the body moves first and how: the stance foot, the head, the shoulders, etc.). This will help you identify the actual mechanism by which you release and engage the new edges.

Flexing/Extending: look at the old inside/new stance leg at the end of the old turn while the skis are still engaged. Draw a line representing the length of that leg. Now frame forward until the skis are between the edges (as best you can). Draw a line representing the length of the same leg. Is the second line longer or shorter? If it is longer then you are extending. Frame forward to about 20 percent into the new turn (edges now engaged). If the leg is longer than the first position you are extending. If it is longer than the second position you are extending.


I have a question about this flex/extend section. In Harald's skiing, it is clear that the inside leg does extend somewhat prior to the skis going flat. It has to, especially when it is at full flexion.

I thought that the old stance leg should flex to match the flexion of the inside leg when skis are flat? Then continued flexion is necessary to "go upside down" as well as to tip the inside ski. The new stance ski will extend as the turn develops. When I read what you posted, it sounds like one should never extend..... could you please clear that up for me -- when does the new stance leg actually begin extension?
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:13 am

BigE wrote:I have a question about this flex/extend section. In Harald's skiing, it is clear that the inside leg does extend somewhat prior to the skis going flat. It has to, especially when it is at full flexion.

I thought that the old stance leg should flex to match the flexion of the inside leg when skis are flat? Then continued flexion is necessary to "go upside down" as well as to tip the inside ski. The new stance ski will extend as the turn develops. When I read what you posted, it sounds like one should never extend..... could you please clear that up for me -- when does the new stance leg actually begin extension?


You need to take Harald's tipping into consideration here. When your hip is only a few inches off the snow, it is hard to not allow the hips to rise slightly as you transfer. Watch the turns in the Free Skiing DVD where the camera is following Harald from behind on a fairly flat groomer. There is almost no vertical displacement of the hips.

The big key here is that if the hips do rise, as Jay mentions above, it is not the result of an up movement or push-off transition.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby Matt » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:53 am

In this thread http://pmts.org/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3599 I expressed a concern that my bootfitter would not correct my stance problem, and at least the video proves that I was right :wink:

I'm going to start experimenting with my old boots now. If I find something interesting I'll post about it.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby SkierSynergy » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:01 am

Matt wrote:In this thread http://pmts.org/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3599 I expressed a concern that my bootfitter would not correct my stance problem, and at least the video proves that I was right :wink:

I'm going to start experimenting with my old boots now. If I find something interesting I'll post about it.



To start with
1. Make sure that the cuff alignment is set at a correct baseline (even distance between each side of the leg).
2. Add temp shims about a 2 degrees out on each boot and see if it improves things. if it does experiment with the amounts out.

use these alignment tasks and keep experimenting. One thing that I have learned from Harald when it comes to alignment, try something. If it doesn't work try something else. Systematically make a change and observe the results until you observe (not just feel) a positive change.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby Matt » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:16 am

Thanks Jay, I'll definitely try that. I also have on my todo list to read the fitting articles you have on your site. It's a great resource.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:32 am

This thread has gone in quite a good direction – thanks for starting it Matt. It is a really great example of perception versus reality, and also points out some of the misconceptions about allowing pressure to build (good) versus creating pressure (bad).

I’m going to share some excerpts from a PM conversation that Matt and I had about his skiing, my skiing, and PMTS in general…

Per the discussion above, Matt, you are trying to “create” float and release energy that is so high that you would have to fight to keep the skis in contact with the snow (what you’re seeing in my skiing). This kind of float cannot be artificially created. You have it, or you don’t. If you’re pushing on the stance ski to get it, then that isn’t float – you’re just trying to fake it. Given the pitch and speed of the skiing you were doing in your video, there isn’t going to be a lot of float in transition because you aren’t generating the power ad momentum that is required to get the level of float that a racer can get (see Jay’s comments above). Float is achieved by timing proper movements in order to release the turn energy in the direction of the new turn (not up).

Another note about extension is that you should only be extending as you tip in an effort to keep the stance ski engaged – so the stance ski “skis” out and away from your body. Pressure on that ski will build as a result of the TURN (tipping), not as a result of pushing (extending) the ski. You have to wait for pressure to build – not create it artificially.

When I ski, I actually try to never brace against the stance ski. I know that if I feel myself bracing against the ski that I have released too late, or not flexed enough. The result is I get propelled upward against my will and the High-C of my next turn suffers. For more pure “demo-quality” PMTS to emulate, I’d recommend having a look at jbotti, Geoff, or Max’s skiing… and of course Harald’s demos on the DVDs. Deriving precise movements from their skiing will be much easier than doing it from mine.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby Matt » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:46 pm

For anyone interested in alignment and footbeds I found this excellent article at Jay's site: http://skiersynergy.com/blog-ski-instruction-pmts-harb-carvers/documents-research/doc_download/5-clinical-biomechanics-of-skiing.html

I'm more sure than ever now that I need a significant adjustment of forefoot varus alignment.
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Re: MA for Matt

Postby Matt » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:26 am

After reading a few more articles at skiersynergy I have come to the following diagnosis for my feet.

Rear foot varus (calcaneus)
Forefoot varus
Forefoot equinus and very high arches (equinus basically means that the forefoot is plantar flexed more than the rear foot)

All of these are known to cause excessive pronation and knee drive.

I think my feet are quite unusual, most people with pronation have flat arches, but I have a lot of pronation and extremely high arches.

My plan is to put wedges under the sole in the front and back until I can lift heavy weights without knee travel.
Then I also plan to experiment with heel lifts to compensate for equinus

Although this is kind of bad news I'm looking forward to see what this can do with my skiing. If only I could find a bootfitter who understands these things.
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