Help me understand the first PMTS lesson

PMTS Forum

Help me understand the first PMTS lesson

Postby suebrown » Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:09 am

Hi,

I've been lurking here for a few days and have a question about PMTS.

First let's get some stuff out of the way: Yes, I'm a PSIA instructor. Yes, I hang out at Epic. No, I'm not biased against PMTS; in fact, I'm for anything that works, no matter whose idea it was in the first place. Yes, I hate the wedge: I hate teaching it, I hate un-teaching it, and I hate trying to un-learn it myself. My goals are to become a better skier and a better instructor, and I'm here to learn! 8)

So here's my question:

What do you teach a non-athletic adult never ever on his first day? Specifically, how do you teach him to control his speed and stop?

Like I said, I hate the wedge, but I don't know how to get around it. Turning to stop is great if there's lots of room. But what about crowded hills where there's not enough room? Or what about controlling speed in a lift line that goes downhill?


Thanks for any help and advice you can give me.
Sue
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PMTS first lesson

Postby Harald » Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:12 pm

Hello SueEllen

I am at Mt Hood coaching US Development skiers so I have limited time to answer. The best way to get the whole picture is from our PMTS Instructor Manual and video. I'd be glad to discuss it with you when I return to COl. next week. Feel free to call me at 303-567-4663.

Ski Area management Magazine did a three day study last season observing PMTS Direct Parallel being taught to beginners. They wrote a very favourable report. Rick Kahl is the editor. You might call him, as he saw the program in action over three days.
Harald
 

Postby Guest » Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:05 pm

Thanks, Harold. When will the video be coming out on DVD?

BTW, it's just Sue, no "Ellen." :)
Guest
 

1st day with newbie

Postby John Mason » Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:47 pm

I worked with my brother in law on his first ski day and we followed the PMTS manual. He was doing blues after a couple of hours comfortably. We tried a different side of the resort and found icey blue slopes that were beyond his 2 hours of experience. So we just worked on side slip drills the whole way down. Never did work on the wedge.

I was also with HH while he was working with a friend of mine that was a wedge stuck person. HH had him parallel in an hour. Unlike my brother in law who had roller blading experience playing street hockey, this friend was way out of alignment and not athletic with no correltating experience. It was an eye opener for me to see that even with bad alignment the PMTS progression still works just fine.

The advice to get the instructor manual is a great one. It's like the books but has much more of the why and wherefor.
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Postby suebrown » Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:08 pm

So what did you do on that first day, John? I'm not asking for testimonials on how great PMTS works, I'm asking a very specific question about how PMTS teaches a never ever to control his speed and stop in tight situations, especially where turning is impractical. What's the progression?

Thanks.
Sue
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what warren did to stop on his first day

Postby John Mason » Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:21 pm

what we worked on was the phantom move. We stayed on the bunny slope till he could do a full hockey stop with it.

My first PMTS lesson with snocarver I asked him about - how to hockey stop since it seemed to me you couldn't do that with PMTS. He then promptly showed me a hockey stop initiated and controlled by the inside lifted leg.

We also worked on side slip drills - not the normal ones I was taught at PSIA race camp, but the PMTS style ones where the downhill leg is the accelerator and th uphill leg is the break with focus only on each legs little toe edges.

We then worked on doing varying turns by controlling tipping of the lte from hockey stop to gentle turns. This includes drifting carved turns where you are still following the normal turn - ie the tails are not washing out - but allowing some sideways motion to bleed and control speed.

Once he was comfortable with these range of turns we hit the blues (moved off the bunny after the 1st 1/2 hour).

Since he could control his turns and his speed by modulating his edging we never did need to use the wedge. He would glide to a sideways stop either gently or directly then push with his poles in the lift line.


On the first day we also went to the other side of the resort what should have been the next slight step up in blues. We found them totally iced over. This was beyond his ability (2 hrs) so I just had him do side slip drills the whole way done and we went back to the other side where it wasn't icey. This is also an example where probably a normal instructor would have a person wedge their way down to get out of a tight spot.
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Re: what warren did to stop on his first day

Postby suebrown » Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:27 pm

John Mason wrote:what we worked on was the phantom move. We stayed on the bunny slope till he could do a full hockey stop with it.
...
Since he could control his turns and his speed by modulating his edging we never did need to use the wedge. He would glide to a sideways stop either gently or directly then push with his poles in the lift line.


OK, so the answer is hockey stops to stop, and standing sideways in the lift line if it is inclined. Have I got that right? Thanks for your detailed response, John!

Could you explain what the phantom move is, please? Or maybe point me to a link? Thanks.
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Phantom Move

Postby John Mason » Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:39 pm

We were at Nubs Nob. They didn't have any lift line issues where inclines were a problem. Obviously you can't stand sideways in most lift lines. I'm not a PMTS cert, so perhaps someone else will answer your wedge in a lift line question. Personally, other that the habits it might reinforce, I don't have a problem with wedges in lift lines.

There are 4 sources that describe the Phantom Move. In all four sources you will find the authors use it as the primary way to make skis turn.

1. All of Harold's Books
2. Craig McNeil's book "How to Ski the Blues and Blacks"
3. Eric and Rob DesLauriers "Ski the Whole Mountain"
and
4. Lito Tejada-Flores "Breakthru on the New Skis"

On my first ski trip March 2003, my Canadian friend that was born with skis on (grew up near searchmont and always had seasons passes) and my son were going to teach me to ski.

Before I went down that scary long wide very easy green slope at Breck I had 2 simple questions for them:

1. how do I turn
and
2. how do I stop

Neither one of them had a clue even though they are both comfortable on blacks.

I took 2 hours to get down that first green. I did one shallow traverse ending with a deft "will fall" just before the trees, take the skies off, turn them, get back in them, traverse the other way, etc.. (thus the 2 hours)

So, I promptly signed up for a private lesson and spent my 2nd day of sking in the normal wedge progression. That got me going down the hill. My knees hurt, my lower legs were wearing out (push the grape under the big toe of the outside ski I was told). I asked about can't I turn with the hip, and was told it must be down with the foot by turning it in. That's how you turn. No wonder retention is only 12 percent. Except for me wanting to ski with my son and Canadian friend I would have easily opted for the 88% of skiers that take a formal lesson that never ski again.

After innumerable cross-tips near death experiences (why people think teaching the wedge has anything to do with safety still boggles me) I started tipping my inside leg first to get it out of the way - so I wouldn't die. All of a sudden I noticed this turned me. I didn't have to do anything with the leg that had my weight on it and turn it like my instructor told me, I could do everything with my lighter inside foot. This was a breakthru for me. The 5th and 6th day at Breck I was doing all the blues with some level of comfort and safety because parallel skiing does not have you in danger of crossing your tips like wedging does.

So, when I got back home I bought all the ski instruction books I could find and devoured them all. I found there are two general schools of thought, one, which base the whole idea of turning the skies on the phantom move and the other which focused on some level of direct leg steering to some degree or another. Now I should mention that early in my ski life that first summer after that first March I went to a PSIA level III cert race camp in August (after having another Breck experience with a PMTS instructor and lesson which helped a lot to clarify what I had been reading). At this race camp, being the rank beginner I was at that time, I was given my own instructor to work on basic skills. The drills were not what were in the normal progression most beginners or intermediates were taught but were right out of HH and Lito's and Eric and Rob's books. As many have pointed out what HH teaches is not new. It's been in the race community for years. Bob Barnes "Perfect Turn" write up on epic has some similarities as well.

What HH teaches in it's organized progression is new and unique. If you go to the back of Eric and Rob's books in their appendix section (they are regular epic contributors) the appendix is verbatim Harold's teachers manual even down to the drill progressions. So people are borrowing HH's stuff but Eric and Rob and Craig McNeil give him credit. Lito, on the other hand, has been teaching similar principles for some time but arrived at much of this independently even though Lito and Harold have the same concerns as regard traditional instruction:

see .....

http://www.breakthroughonskis.com/Pages ... ion05.html

So to learn about the phantom move I would recommend one of Harold's Books and also Lito's book since his is an independent source vs the others that are derivative on Harolds PMTS work. Going to both sources helps in getting a more complete explanation for self teaching. Or, better yet, go to one of Harold's camps! Eric and Rob's book has the best picture sequence of the Phantom Move.

At the PMTS all mountain camp at Big Sky I met a guy from New Zealand that had been to one of Lito's camps. He had studied Lito's material and started to incorporate it into his skiing (with decades of ski experience) and it was really helping his skiing. Imagine making breakthrus in retirement after decades of skiing. So he went to a Lito camp. At the camp he was dissapointed and found he was getting taught the same stuff he had been taught for years by Lito camp underlings and not what was in Lito's book. He complained to people over the instructors and they told him if he really wanted to progress he should go to one of Harold's camps. So he did. When he saw his friends at Aspen they were amazed at how effortless and fluid his skiing had changed to and urged him to enter the Rocky Mountain race being held there. He had never raced before. They insisted, he did, and he won. Bottom line, the books are good, the videos are good, forums helpful, but the camps are the best way to expose yourself to getting a feel for what PMTS is about.

Now I'll be heading back to the PSIA race camp at Hood again. I've skied 72 days so far, which includes 1 day of traditional instruction 2 days of PMTS private instruction, 2 PMTS camps - one dark blue and one all mountain and 1 PSIA race camp (not in that order). It'll be interesting the perspective now that I have more experience attending this camp. I was so green a year ago I was just trying to survive. This time I'll have fun! (I had fun last time, but needless constant adrenaline rushes simply doing some GS gates is silly.) Last year, without knowing as much as I do now I found it very similar - so much so the drills were almost identical. I'll post back my impressions.

Ok, back to your question on the Phantom move. In the interest of perhaps saving you the money on the four author's books here are a couple of links for you: (but get the books too)

Here is a link to HH's site on it:

http://www.harbskisystems.com/lessonindex.htm

This shows the whole progression which includes the phantom move.

Here is a link to Lito's site on it - he calls it phantom edging:

http://www.breakthroughonskis.com/Pages ... ion27.html

Back to hocky stops to stop - no, any turn back up the hill to a hocky stop to a turn that simply becomes a drift sideways and bleeds off speed. We worked on all of them. We just didn't wedge any.
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Postby *SCSA » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:01 am

Holy wedge turns, batman!
Can you believe it? This is great. Really great.

"SCSA, standing on chair screaming -- happy as a hooker with new shoes."

Man. This is great. People are sharing. How cool is that? It's way cool! :D

##############
One day at a time.
*SCSA
 

Phantom move

Postby KISS patrol » Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:29 am

Lots of words, no explanation.

I'm no PMTS authority, but here goes---hopefully in 25 words or less.

Phantom move--- At transition lift and/or lighten new inside ski foot, tip to LTE, transfer some weight to new inside ski.

20 words.

In essence two foot skiing.
KISS patrol
 

Postby suebrown » Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:08 pm

This is turning out to be a great discussion. Thanks, everyone.

John: I do have Eric & Rob's book, "Ski the Whole Mountain." So it turns out that I did know what the Phantom Move was, I just didn't know it by that name. As for buying more books and/or attending more camps, well, I would love nothing more, but money is tight right now.

Next question: I don't see how a phantom move can result in a hockey stop. To me, a hockey stop looks like this: one moment my skis are going straight down the fall line, and the next moment they are perpendicular to the fall line and skidding until I come to a stop. My body does not move across the hill at all, only down the hill in a straight line, so the whole thing can be performed in a corridor about ski-width wide. To get my skis to turn 90 degrees instantaneously like that requires a rotary movement; i.e. my femurs rotate in their hip sockets with the skis flat on the snow, and that makes the skis pivot. Do we have different definitions of a hockey stop?

KISS Patrol: Did you mean to say "transfer some weight to the new outside ski?"
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Phantom Move is a weird thing

Postby John Mason » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:17 pm

In some of the PMTS progressions and drills, when I finally got the action of the Phantom Move working I almost fell the rotary effect was so strong. I had to be more subtle in the tipping of that less weighted inside foot.

To do a hockey stop, you can either flatten the skis so there is no edge and directly twist and then re-edge and cover your buds (or snowboarders) with snow.

or

You can just ride on your outside ski, purposely lift the tail of one ski, then purposely tip that ski to it's little toe edge while keeping the tip of that ski on the snow. This will spin you in place - or you can easily make a hockey stop out of it. It's the darnest thing. Normal views of PMTS carving actions don't explain the level of rotary force created. There are some old posts here where I wanted to "open" the black box a bit to have the action explained fully. Lots of people chimed in many who have played with this action.

I'm not sure it ever got fully explained, but it works. People were going to experiment and try it without the tip of the inside ski touching the snow. Other people thought it was inside leg steering generating the rotary force. The feeling is totally unlike the normal hockey stop in that in a normal hockey stop you consciously kick out the hips or what ever means you want to call it are forcing your skies abrubtly to right angles. In the phantom move hockey stop the skies do it for you in response to the actions of the inside unweighted foot. It's definately a weird sensataion as it's so effortless by comparison.

In the normal phantom move the tipping action is accompanied by a commitment to the turn and the resulting tipping of the stance leg and pressure create the turn.

In the hockey stop, the tip of the lightened ski that is still on the snow probably acts like a rudder and generates the turning force. So the test of if this works if the ski is fully off the snow would narrow it down for sure.

The phantom move is taught in 3 general progessions. What Kiss said may be a variation on the third variation. (or Kiss may have mis-spoke)
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Postby Ott Gangl » Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:38 pm

John, after writing it many times in your post, and after reading his books, you may as well get the spelling of your guru's first name right: it is HarAld not HarOld. :P

....Ott
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Re: Phantom Move is a weird thing

Postby suebrown » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:22 pm

John Mason wrote:You can just ride on your outside ski, purposely lift the tail of one ski, then purposely tip that ski to it's little toe edge while keeping the tip of that ski on the snow. This will spin you in place - or you can easily make a hockey stop out of it. It's the darnest thing.


I think I'm going to need to see a video of that, because I don't understand it. I assume you mean lift the tail of the inside ski.

So you're in the fall line, at the apex of a turn, and you lift the tail of your inside ski and tip it to its LTE (which it should have been on, anyway), and you automatically spin in place?
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Postby *SCSA » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:34 pm

Jeez, John. What kinda PMTS zealot are you? :wink:

Once again, Ott calls it how he/she/it sees it.
*SCSA
 

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