“My short turns feel like shit. I’m heel pushing to slow down cos I can’t turn my legs to finish my turn because I’m not crossing over because steeps terrify me.”
That was part of a recent conversation I had with a fellow instructor who was preparing for an exam. In that sentence, she had managed to critically recognise and analyse the problems that were occurring and follow the path to its origin. Few instructors and even fewer skiers do so.
|Skiing steep terrain without adequate training can be a traumatic experience
and may stunt personal ski development.
She’s terrified. Not nervous or scared, terrified. Putting herself more often in that same situation that already terrifies her without doing anything else is going to make things worse not better. Going on a steep black run without adequate training can be incredibly traumatic for some. Even today, there are certain runs that bring about a sense of anxiety and apprehension in me because of previous bad experiences on it. Many consider that strange given that I’m now capable of much steeper runs. I call it emotional scarring. So some people are thinking, it’s an emotional issue rather than a technical issue. Wrong.
|Steep terrain can make a skier defensive (read petrified)
and technique goes out the door.
Her first problem was that she was heel pushing because she wanted to SLOW DOWN. She had no speed control. Now she knows she should be managing her speed by finishing her turn with her legs instead but she can’t because she didn’t crossover properly the turn before. (She’s in the back seat and can’t twist her legs). And it’s not that she doesn’t know how to crossover, she just doesn’t dare to project herself down the hill because she’s terrified. So we work on crossover or speed control then? No, not quite.
|Both cars are capable of getting to 100km/h
but the Porsche (yellow car) would get there a lot quicker.
When turn shape is compressed, we need to perform all the moves in a shorter space and time. Simply put, we need to move quicker. Now this instructor knows how to perform all the moves already at that speed. She now needs to do them quicker in a shorter distance. Then she’ll have speed control and all that other stuff.
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