PSIA wide stance dead end

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PSIA wide stance dead end

Postby Harald » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:18 am

http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/2005- ... -flat.html
Well there goes the wide stance theory!!!
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Postby Harald » Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:30 am

http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/2002- ... 1b-ws.html

Probably the best technical skier with Rocca on the world cup. Compared to most of the woment Kotelic keeps the upper body hinged forward in transition, therefore not losing her feet too far forward so she can stay in Fore/aft balanced for the next turn.
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Postby Max_501 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:43 am

I've also heard many race coaches talking about the benefits of the wide stance and working hard to get the racers to get wider. I wonder when/if they'll give up on that?
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Postby Harald » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:11 am

Coaches have no or little training in biomechanics, physics. They are looking for the quick fix as most don?t have racer or skier development experience. It takes coaches years to accumulate pedagogy experience and capability.

Their misinterpretation still comes from the vertical separation vs. the horizontal separation misunderstanding. Coaches think because they see space between the boots when world cup racers are at high body and edge angles this comes from standing with the feet far apart all the time.

Now, vertical separation of the feet I a high angles turn, can be learned with proper exercises that emphasize short leg, long leg, and you may introduce the short leg, long leg feel and range, by using a wide stance at first, but you won?t achieve what you are after by just widening the stance. The proper balance and stance leg emphasis must be brought into the exercise progression and then leg flexion at the right time to retract the extended leg must be introduced so the skier understands the whole movement order that allows for increased angles and balance to be developed. Few, closer to no coaches know how to develop these progressions and feed them back into a racers technique. Still even after years of development toward the narrower stance, coaches are not clued it, those coaches are out of touch..

A few years ago when shaped skis showed, a few racers did well with a wide stance, everyone in the US jumped on the wide stance band wagon, PSIA was already there. Coaches didn?t understand that the skiers they were watching were not trying to ski with a wide stance, they were actually adapting to such new set ups with boots and skis, that the set up was forcing them to ski wide. Our best skier at the time was Bode, he stayed with a very narrow stance.

A friend of mine who was a world cup coach for many years with the US Team, asked Ollie Fureseth, who won a world cup with his wide stance. Why and how he skied with such a wide stance, Feueseth responded by saying he wasn?t trying to ski wide, in fact he didn?t like it, but he couldn?t change.

Now that the skiers and sets ups with boots and skis have been more refined, skiers have seen the efficiencies of the narrower stance and are back to it. A wide stance coach approach is an easy out, if a coach has nothing else to say to a kid. He can always yell out, ?Hey get your feet wider.?

I had to deal constantly with the PSIA smarty?s on the narrow stance approach. They didn?t want to listen to logic and science, they just knew PSIA was right and I was wrong. Short term flashes in technique variations or experiments like wide stance have to be sniffed out for what they really are, short term gimmicks. Only the experienced, knowledgeable coaches don?t fall into those traps , the followers and lemmings do.
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Postby dewdman42 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:42 am

Very interesting historical perspective. Thanks for sharing that.

I want to say that I too have been put through the whole "you need to widen your stance" machine during CSIA and actually it was CSCF that really emphasized it even more and generally speaking I have a lot more respect for their understanding of skiing than CSIA. But, it never felt right to me. I skied much worse when trying to keep a wide stance for the sake of keeping a wide stance, as opposed to just having a comfortable stance, which for me was maybe boots 8-10 inches apart. Actually, it was more complex than that. I was also criticized because my ski tracks would be wide at the fall line and narrow at the traverse. They would tell me that I needed to focus on having a consistent ski track width left behind in the snow (and not too narrow of course).

When I just said forget it about what they said and ski...my skiis do get quite narrow at times(even narrower in the bumps and pow), but when I look at my track in the snow..its wider at the fall line and narrow at the transition. Personally that just feels like relaxed solid skiing so I gave up on trying to stay wide.

Well as I later came to understand about vertical seperation of the feet..now I understand why my track may be wider in certain parts of the turn and narrower at others and not only does it make complete sense, but it makes me feel more confident in my own skiing that I was on the right track to begin with before those guys started shouting "Cowboy turns" at me so much.

Now having said all that, last year I engaged in a few discussions about this on Epic. One argument they made against me and the narrow stance was by showing a lot of photos of WC guys who have a very widestance at the transition. I personally don't think you can justfy a whole ski technique theory on one or two photos.. Any WC skier can make outlandish moves on the course and it can be photographed, so I more or less dismissed it at that time for that reason. But I'm curious, Harald, if you have any insight about why some of these WC guys would come out of the turn and transition with such a wide stance (not counting of course in the flats where the gates or not spaced wide and they are essentially tucking through at that point).

Would you say they were stuck in this wide stance attitude and now the pendilum is swinging back the other way?

its actually amazing to me to hear that coaches of these skiers were caught up in the idea of keeping the skiis wide. Once it was explained to me in terms of biomechanics.....a perma-wide stance makes no sense to me whatsoever and I can't think of anything that would change that..aside from genetic evolution changing the way our joints work. I didn't read anything in LeMaster's book about keeping a wide stance either..nor did I see anything to that effect in his powerpoint slides from a couple years ago, but my impression is that he analyzes what current racers are doing...he doesn't tell them what to do.

I'm just glad I know better. Get a wider stance to me just seems like something that a lot of instructors and low level coaches might latch on to because its easy to observe a narrow stance, tell the skier to use a wider stance and give them easy exercises for it. A status quo lesson, so easy to do. So wrong for the skier, but if the boss thinks its good and the instructor thinks its good because the boss told him so, its like a big machine in motion... crazy..
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Postby Harald » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:30 pm

We can give good specific advice to skiers about how they should stand. First you have to define what event we are talking about and the ability of the skier to generate release energy for a transition move, taking the body across the skis. GS really doesn?t apply here, as the speeds, forces and arcs are not in context with arc a GS ski makes or race course setting these days or speeds regular skiers use.

To use GS as a demonstration of recreational skiing approaches is ridicules and out of context. No PSIA instructor has ever made or tried to make a move at forty miles an hour, like they use now in GS. So what are they talking about? Stand wide and pivot that?s their legacy. They are talking through their hats making things up as usual.

Worst case scenario for wide stance
Intermediate skiers and aspiring experts are held back for eternity, from upper levels of skiing with a wide stance. In their case the wide stance keeps them from developing pressure and rebound for energy transitions. Once they are in the wide stance they begin relying on pushing movements rather then using bending to learn releasing energy for transition.

It takes longer to get across the skis with a wide stance and it?s very difficult to develop an understanding of outside ski balance and pressuring needs. In a wide stance when you move the body away from the outside ski to create big toe edge angles, pressure doesn?t built it moves to the inside ski.

Wide stance skiers are always twisting the skis at initiation especially when High C engagement is needed. This used to be a tactic a few years ago on the world cup, even in slalom, when the shapes first came out, but has lost favor for edge to edge tipping.

Slalom racers can?t ski fast by using too many wide stance turns, as the outside ski loses contact as the body mass moves into the arc. When the skis are wide the body moves into the arc, okay, extending the outside leg, but as it does, it moves away from where pressure needs to build. The skier looses balance to the inside ski, then the body has to be held up from falling over by that leg , the inside ski saves the develping body lean from dumping the skier.

This is a losing battle as ski pressure develops late and is usually a hard hit or edge set. You see that in PSIA instructors skiing steeps or bumps.

The CG has to stay connected with balance to the outside ski in slalom and short turns, (which for every day skiers are regular size arcs), especially in the upper third of the arc.


A narrow stance affords all the good things yet none of the bad, I don?t understand the resistance to it?


You can keep your balance well situated over and on the stance ski in a narrow stance, you can increase angles with inside leg flexing, that can be managed and timed with forces building in the arc, Developing angles while staying balanced with the ski, assures gliding properties rather then gripping..

I define maintaining balance on the outside ski this way;
"The ability to lift the inside ski at any point in the turn.. If you can?t lift it, you?re not with it. You are using the inside ski to lean on. This is out of balance." Harald


It?s also slow, creates drag, and keeps the out side ski only partly pressured.

Don?t worry you need not make it clear to me at least, that CSIA is no better then PSIA. My experience with CSIA methodology doesn?t give me any more respect for their system than PSIA?s. They are versions of each other, using the same biomechanics. Canadian coaches association doesn?t get it, either, one of our PMTS coaches was a trainer / examiner for CSCA and after he learned PMTS, and only then did he begin to realize how much understanding of technique and movement development he was missing .

That's why I have so much respect for people who are open and at least give new ideas a try!! The Epic gang unfortunately has the PSIA glasses on so tight that they can't even read PMTS and get it, let alone educate themselves with PMTS trainers. I think they are terrified, because deep down they know we are right. Isn't it amazing that they will sacrifice their own skiing to be true blue to PSIA?

Later I'll get into the wide at transition issue.
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Postby dewdman42 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:56 am

Harald wrote:Don?t worry you need not make it clear to me at least, that CSIA is no better then PSIA. My experience with CSIA methodology doesn?t give me any more respect for their system than PSIA?s. They are versions of each other, using the same biomechanics.


A lot of similar wrongness, but they have a few unique ones of their own. Like their obsession over a 90 degree ankle and hips behing the heels. But don't get me started.... ;-)

Canadian coaches association doesn?t get it, either, one of our PMTS coaches was a trainer / examiner for CSCA and after he learned PMTS, and only then did he begin to realize how much understanding of technique and movement development he was missing .


That's very interesting to hear.

That's why I have so much respect for people who are open and at least give new ideas a try!!


My experience so far has been that every single so called expert that I have worked with directly has had some good things to say and some things that later turned out to be flat out wrong and a waste of my time and energy...in some cases even forming some bad habits I later had to break. (or still am trying to break0. I have not worked you you guys directly yet, so I'm reseving my jugement, but so far, I feel your understanding of Biomechanics makes more sense to me than anyone else I have come across. You seem more inclined to really break it down and analyze it, as opposed to all the others who seemed more like they followed a mantra using what they consider to be "the tried and true" without really understanding WHY or thinking about it that deeply. So in pretty much every case they all have one thing or another that they have been doing or continue to do without thinking deeply about it...blindly following the herd they were led into. If I am now skeptical about every coach or trainer I come across, that is why. I will not allow myself to just follow anyone blindly and do whatever they say. Every word that comes out of their mouth has to pass my litmus test...which hopefully is getting better and better as I come to understand things better.

And as I have said before...you guys here in PMTS keep passing!!...... and always having a sound explanation for why something works is why.


Later I'll get into the wide at transition issue.



I'm curious about anything you might have say about it. Me personally I don't have any desire to ski that way or feel I need to...but I would like to understand the purpose anyway.
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Postby Ott Gangl » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:00 pm

dewdman42 said:>>> But, it never felt right to me. I skied much worse when trying to keep a wide stance for the sake of keeping a wide stance, as opposed to just having a comfortable stance, which for me was maybe boots 8-10 inches apart. <<<

Any stance that isn't natural or comfortable for an advanced skier is forced and will hinder his god skiing, by the way, 8-10 inches between boots is pretty wide in my book, but forcing it either narrower or wider, if that is your comfortable skiing stance, will only distract from your skiing performance.

Though I no longer instruct, all my skiing friends are instructors, most with top certification and many years experience, and they ALL advocate a comfortable stance, which varies widely among student, and will only mention a stance correction if the present stance interferes with skiing advancement.

I do think the artifially wide stance is out, it served as a crutch for beginners and as skiers advance they naturally find their own most efficient stance. (Mine is about 4 inches between boots, but not constant, it goes wherever it needs to go at any moment and I would never put my own on anyone else since everyone varies by fittness, age and ability.)

Harald said:>>>To use GS as a demonstration of recreational skiing approaches is ridicules and out of context.<<<<

I applaud that, yet I see it constantly, here and on Epicski, talking about race coaches and/or instructors, and applying it to what is a daily on-snow lesson. With dewdman42 I don't klnow if he is a racer or a recreational skier since he mentions having coaches tell him this and instructors telling him something else, and then getting answers here showing high speed racing turns in gates, something most recreational skiers only see in movies.

Which, in my opinion, just shows the glaring shortcoming of trying to impart precise skiing knowledge by words alone.

...Ott
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Postby dewdman42 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:36 pm

Ott Gangl wrote:
Any stance that isn't natural or comfortable for an advanced skier is forced and will hinder his god skiing, by the way, 8-10 inches between boots is pretty wide in my book,

I am only guestimating. Its been some months since I've been on snow. The track width on the snow is constantly changing acording to my edge angle. When I say 8-10 I might mean less? dunno. not wide. People usually tell me I'm too narrow. My boots are not locked together though, The only photos I have seen of myself are usually at the fall line with edge angles and a wide track on the snow..in which case the 4 inche or 8 inch figure we're talking about has no meaning. What we really should be talking about is the amount of whitespace between by thighs. And there is little or none in my case.


but forcing it either narrower or wider, if that is your comfortable skiing stance, will only distract from your skiing performance.


exactly

I applaud that, yet I see it constantly, here and on Epicski, talking about race coaches and/or instructors, and applying it to what is a daily on-snow lesson.


I don't know if I agree with you completely. I do happen to think that a huge percentage of what WC guys are doing is applicable to recreational skiers. Almost all of it. However, the problem on Epic is that they will espouse some theory and then show a collection of WC photos to back up their theory with an obvious lack of understanding about both actual biomechanics as well as insider knowledge to know what and why WC guys look like they do in videos or even worse, in random still photos found on the internet.

Perhaps there are a few cases where WC guys are doing elite moves of high athleticism which are pointless for non-competitive skiers of any level, but there are also oodles of photos out there showing WC guys in non-ideal poses just trying to be competitive on a difficult race course, recovering from errors, staying on course at all costs, etc.. So while its nice to look at photos online of WC racers...the reality is that if you don't understand what you're looking at, then you can completely mis-interpret what the heck it means, which is exactly what I see on Epic all the time. The only reason it works when HH shows us images is because we trust him implicitly to know what he is talking about, he has had and contiues to have insider knowledge about what and why racers may be doing things on the race course, and he makes sure to hand pick photos which exemplifies what he believes to be good skiing. I can trust those photos ONLY because of the words HH has used to back up his understanding. It still comes down to listening to HH, trying what he says, experiencing results and constantly analyzing.

If I cease to trust his analysis, then the photos cease have much useful information. I feel that many many many people do themselves a diservice to try to anaylze photos and videos of WC racers without having a true expert to involved to make sure it is correct MA.

With dewdman42 I don't klnow if he is a racer or a recreational skier since he mentions having coaches tell him this and instructors telling him something else, and then getting answers here showing high speed racing turns in gates, something most recreational skiers only see in movies.

Dewdman does not race, but he does ski fast! ;-)

Which, in my opinion, just shows the glaring shortcoming of trying to impart precise skiing knowledge by words alone.

...Ott


Or pictures alone.
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Postby Ott Gangl » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:19 pm

Dewdman, epicski has 12,000 registered members and about 11,900 differing opinions, and the ones to 'trust' are the ones with a good track record.

There is a stellar bunch of ski teachers/coaches with experience, look at the link http://esa.epicski.com/people/index.shtml . This is not an advertisement for the epicski camps, just to show you that there are other heavyweights around.

And it may be simpler to have it come down from PMTS/HH than have so many other people help you by bits and pieces. PMTS has a structured regimen that makes sense and work for many folks, while PSIA only certifies instructors after testing them for their skiing and teaching knowledge and leave it up to their versatility and teaching prowess to teach the students. So you will have Pierre teaching direct to parallel in his area and the neighboring area teaching the wedge, etc.

And in my past teaching, and in my active instructor friends' teaching, we adapted a paraphrase of the hypocritic oath, "Primarily, do no harm", take them from where they are to the next step.

A lot has been made about having to unlearn deadend moves. Actually by learning new moves that are farther along in skiing skill, the old habits just are supplanted by new ones, and it is impossible to do both the old and the new moves that replaced them.

.....Ott
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Postby dewdman42 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:31 pm

I don't waste time on Epic anymore for many reasons I have posted already so I won't repeat. There are only a couple of people on Epic that I remember thinking they have a good grasp. However most of Epic is swimming in mis-information and ego-maniacs.
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Postby Ott Gangl » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:34 pm

OK, dewdman, so you don't want to read through 11,900 opinions, huh? :lol:

...Ott
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Postby dewdman42 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:44 pm

I guess you've missed my points about all the so called trainers and experts that have given me misinformation over the years. No..I do not have any interest in reading through piles of nonsense nor debating the points, particular with ski instructors, who in my experience are in general confused about a great many topics related to how to turn skis.

Harald has indeed created a nice framework and system with PMTS, but frankly that is not my main interest in PMTS. I am already an expert skier. I don't need to step up to it through a system. However, HH has backed up PMTS with many explanations that have transcended every other ski instructor I have ever met in terms of having it correct, aligning with what other experts such as LeMaster have said and what the WC racers are doing, etc... I have spoke with a lot of instructors over the years, not just on Epic. I really can't remember a single one that didn't spew out some nonsense.

Eventually I may adopt the PMTS system as a way to teach skiers, but at this juncture I am just enjoying the deep analsys that Harald has provided on many occasions to back-up his system..which has opened my eyes to a few very important concepts. For me, the exposure to this forum has pointed a couple of subtle points which when I went and applied them had a huge effect on my skiing. This has a lot more to with the fact that PMTS is based on sound principles, then the system itself which you are downplaying as merely another man's approach of arriving at the same thing. Perhaps there are indeed many ways to skin a cat, but in my experience there are an awful lot of instructors out there that think they're skinning a fish, and hence doing things wrong.
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Postby Ott Gangl » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:56 pm

Dewd, you get no argument on this, just like in golf instruction, sailing, fishing, hunting, etc. there are no 'one-fits-all' formulae. And it isn't always the best that succeeds (beta-VHS, etc) each individual must decide for themslves if in the few visits to their local hill they will forgo a lesson because no superior teaching system is available at hand.

Serious skiers are few and far between...

....Ott
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there is some coach overlap

Postby John Mason » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:54 pm

Arcmeister (Roger Kane) on Epic coaches sometimes at the epicski events and at PMTS camps.

Then there are other coaches at the Epicski events I personally would view as from a different fundemental viewpoint. I would not be comfortable knowing where my dollar was going ahead of time based on some of the videos I've seen and the writings I've read with those coaches (or some of the rather shocking articles I've seen by some of them in Ski magazine). With PMTS I know I'm in a compatible approach and no matter which coach I get at a camp I'm going to be progressing within the same philosophical approach.

Like many here in the PMTS fold I've had weeks of non-pmts camp instruction as well as other coaches outside of PMTS. Luckilly in my case they were somewhat kindred spirits. I have had one standard PSIA lesson that was not even close to the same stuff. Most of the people here have picked PMTS at the end of lots of other approaches and are here because they see themselves making real progress for their dollar. That, and the koolaid here just plain tastes better.

And I guess that's one of the issues. Here you know what you're going to get. At an Epicski event it will vary a lot depending on to whom you are assigned. That's not to say you might not have a wonderful experience either. Just a different type of environment altogether.

Welcome back from the summer Ott.
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