Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

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Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby skijim13 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:51 am

Lorie and I started skiing this weekend and took video of our skiing. We both doing short radius turns we hold our CA, but when we move up to higher energy medium radius turns we both square up at the transition before we are on our new set of edges. What would be a good external clue to enable us to feel when we are losing our CA during the transition. For me as the G forces of the turn increases I also have trouble keeping the home base position with my arms.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby jbotti » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:42 am

The hands and arms are the best external cue. I spent all of last season working on keeping my hands and arms in the right position at all times and it paid huge dividends. You can still have your arms and hands in the right place and lack CA in the hips but if you do the Angry Mother drill correctly and enough you will start to feel when your hips have CA and this feeling can guide you. Back to the arms, you can look down and see if they are in the right position at any point in the turn. If you are relentless in attacking this, you will see huge results but it takes huge and consistent effort.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby skijim13 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:11 am

Good suggestion, I will try that clue. I believe CA is a tough one to get right. But without it the turns break down
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby Erik » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:31 am

Have you tried doing some drills with "the stick"? (bamboo stick or garden stake) held horizontally between your hands? Harald demonstrates this in the Harb No-Swing Pole Plant e-Video, and has also used it as a demonstration tool in some of the dryland slant board videos. You may have used it in a camp.

If you only use the stick a few times, it can be a distraction, and not immediately effective. For me, it required a morning of use on every run to really become comfortable with it. As with other drills, working on the flatter slopes before going all in on steeper pitches. If you attach it with rubber bands to one of your ski poles, it will always be available to use during any run.

as the G forces of the turn increases I also have trouble keeping the home base position with my arms

Using the stick will help reinforce the home base position of the hands relative to each other. In this case, an external cue would be if you were letting go of the stick.

- Analysis of your video should show where you are losing your counter (or not getting enough to begin with), but one of the ways to lose it at the bottom of the turn is due to rotational moments with one or both arms. The stick would help prevent an improper arm/pole movement from squaring you up.
- Look at your video and watch your head to see where you are looking at the end of the turn. One of the easiest ways to square up at the bottom of the turn is to try to watch your feet, and the torso follows where the head is looking.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby jbotti » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:48 am

skijim13 wrote:Good suggestion, I will try that clue. I believe CA is a tough one to get right. But without it the turns break down


For me and for most it takes years (not weeks or months) to develop CA strong enough to hold up in challenging off piste conditions. For me doing Angry Mothers non stop (for two seasons) and then having a relentless focus on my hands and arms is what got the result after 2 solid years (hell maybe more).

I have done the stick drill that Erik mentions and I think everyone has to find the drill(s) that click and are getting the result for them. The good part of the stick drill is that your hands and arms act as one unit.

The angry Mother pole plant video is equally as important as Angry Mother because if your pole plant is off you are giving away all your CA. That video is detailed on how to practice it. Its worth working this one hard as well.

BTW, on hands and arms, they move away from the correct position for a reason, because balance is being challenged. This is why it is hard to really develop and nail CA.

Perfect it on groomed terrain at slow speeds, then on groomed terrain in faster, tighter SRT's. Then take it to easy off piste conditions. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If it isn't perfect in tight SRT's on groomed terrain forget about it holding up off piste.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby noobSkier » Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:54 pm

jbotti wrote:...but if you do the Angry Mother drill correctly and enough you will start to feel when your hips have CA and this feeling can guide you.


I know in PMTS we don't go by feelings, but I think this one is pretty objective & universal; for me hip CA feels like a strong resistance or stretch in the hip socket...kind of like it doesn't want to move in that direction. I think it's so difficult because of how alien the movement is. I don't believe there's a single sporting activity (that I know of) that requires use of the hip joint in this way.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby jbotti » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:22 am

Probably best to repeat that the best and only sure fire way to check your hip CA is from video.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby Ken » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:57 pm

The hands and arms are the best external cue.

Yep. Look at jbotti's pic. His inside (forward, high) hand is probably in his range of vision. His outside (lower, back) hand is probably not in his vision. Solid cues.

I know in PMTS we don't go by feelings

Subjective emotional feelings--no. Objective physical feelings--yes. I know the feeling of my shin against my boot tongue when I'm balanced. I know the feeling of my ankle to judge how much I'm tipping. I know the (bad) feeling of too much weight on the inside ski when I haven't CB'ed enough and lightened that ski enough. I know the feeling in my pelvis when I'm CA'ing as far as my joints will go.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby Max_501 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:42 pm

Ken wrote:Look at jbotti's pic. His inside (forward, high) hand is probably in his range of vision. His outside (lower, back) hand is probably not in his vision. Solid cues.


They are good cues if the student is including the pelvis in the CA movement. Unfortunately many don't.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby Vailsteve » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:53 pm

For me, learning to use/sense/feel my pelvis to CA was incredibly difficult. And I still don’t have totally have it. But I am getting better at it by delving thru the books and HH videos. Using the “ hip-o-meter” (Geoffda calls it the dork-o-meter), I finally could begin to feel my pelvis counter acting into a turn.

The poles wrapped around my hips magnified subtle pelvic movements — just like in Harald’s slant board videos where he tapes a ruler to the underside of his boot to highlight the tipping movements ( or lack thereof).

Another great exercise for me is Diana’s “Home Base” video on proper pole usage. Using three poles provides a visual clue as to whether I am counteracting or not, and it forces me to flex for the pole tap. I like this drill as I get a “twofer” — flex to realease and CA. And by raising the inside arm, you get decent CB! Ok, this is a “Three-fer!

FWIW, the snow in Vail this season is just awesome. 80 plus percent of the mountain is open. The back bowls are almost completely open. AND, there is almost no one here. You can ski until your legs fall off as there are no lift lines anywhere. That will change, but for now, it is an epic opening.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby skijim13 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:41 am

I agree the 3 pole drill gives great feedback we spent all day Saturday skiing using the drills. We discovered as the conditions got bad on the black diamond runs we wanted to lose our CA and unwind. I now know I have to spend much more time on this drill.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby h.harb » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:34 pm

Check my Blog for the latest posting about CA.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby h.harb » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:23 am

Did someone say, "In PMTS we don't go by feeling?" Yes true, if you are using feelings to self evaluate, it is not valid, however, if you are skiing with a knowledgeable coach and he says you are doing things well, remember the feeling it can help you stay on track.

Not many skiers can feel how to build and release pressure. So feeling it doesn't get you to where you can manage it. Once you have the movements to manage pressure and then can apply the movements to your sense of feel it works. I know in my skiing the more I tip the skis before the falline, the sooner pressure comes to me. If you are pushing your leg out and still not hooking up you don't have angles. The best way to evaluate your skiing is to look back at your tracks, they don't lie. The brain lies all the time.

The reason we don't focus on early pressure is that there are too many ways to get it wrong, while thinking or telling yourself it's right.
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Re: Suggestion for a good external clue for CA

Postby Vailsteve » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:30 pm

So... CA has been a key focus for me this season (along with foot pullback). More specifically, HOLDING my CA as long as possible. In the past I have done Harald's "bend the knees drill" with the knees arcing under crossed poles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEqXCQLMCBg), but this past week the drill moved to a new dimension.

Vail has had over 24" of snow in the past 7 days, and this much powder in off-piste runs has always proven difficult for me. What I thought was " good enough" CA and CB was not even close...yes, maybe good enough for groomed runs, but completely falling apart with this much snow on Vail's back bowl black runs.

So I spent Friday in Tea Cup Bowl doing run after run with my knees bent, poles crossed, and trying to slice my way through the snow. And you know what? IT WORKS!! (yeah, yeah, I know... trust Harald, trust the movements, blah blah...)

The drill absolutely prevents up movements away from the snow-- just like Harald says in the video. it forces LTE tipping and counter acting. I have never felt so connected in conditions like this. There was even a hint of some pop coming out of a turn (speed is your friend.. tnx Max 501..). I am still not good in powder, but Friday was a break thru.

Anyway. just another instance where PMTS really works.
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