Blueprint for Improvement--Bumped

PMTS Forum

Blueprint for Improvement--Bumped

Postby Vailsteve » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:15 pm

Bumped from 2010.... I have found this post to be one of the best compilations of "problems/solutions" ever posted on this forum. Every issue Todd faced goes double for me.

I have bookmarked this post for over three years now, and have shamelessly and repeatedly tried to incorporate Diana's and Todd's feedback into my own skiing.

It is VERY long, very detailed, and in my opinion, a perfect blueprint to follow to improve ones skiing. Thanks Todd and Diana for posting it!!!

VailSteve

-------------------------------------------------------

An excellent PMTS private lesson experience
Postby ToddW » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:19 pm

This season, there have been several excellent threads describing PMTS learning experiences at camps and in private lessons. They've been skewed towards camps or one day privates, so I'll share my recent experience with 3 days of privates at Loveland to show how significantly you can overhaul your skiing in a short time. The instructor was Diana, but any black level PMTS instructor would be just as effective. And the blue level instructors I've met would come pretty darned close.

Some personal background: I started skiing 3 years ago over Christmas vacation (learning the snowplow and stem christie in the 1980's doesn't count as skiing.) I have previously taken 3 blue/dark-blue camps and 3 days of PMTS private lessons. In the past, I've spent too much of my skiing time fueling my carving addiction, so this year I want to develop a short turn I can trust anywhere. At this December's A-basin blue camp, I switched from X-wave 10's to Speedmachine 130's in a smaller shell size. By February, the liners were beginning to pack out and I was still not as naturally forward as I had been in my old boots ... not good.

Before these lessons, I was feeling frustrated with my skiing and feared that my performance had plateaued. That even with PMTS, I just might not make it much further. After all, I am not an athletic fellow, not even by a generous stretch of the imagination. I'd made a big breakthrough after the December A-basin camp (deeply flexed release in carved turns -- thanks, Max Sherwood, for taking me on a few runs to "clean out the carburetor") and then I hit a wall. I'm afraid that poor Diana got quite an earful of my skiing woes on the first chair up. On the chair, she correctly diagnosed an irregularity in my skis' base bevel -- I'd only told her my different two footed release experience on these skis (awkward) and my other 2 pair of skis (good) -- and she then quickly formulated a 2FR-free lesson strategy for short turns with day 3 in the bumps and got my buy-in before we made it to the top of lift 1. By day 3, my frustration was long forgotten and replaced with a renewed enthusiasm for skiing.

I was so excited that I sent Harald this PM as soon as I got back to the hotel.

Harald,

I just finished a great 3 days of private lessons with Diana. These weren't my first lessons with her, and they certainly won't be my last. PMTS rules and Diana is simply amazing. She got me into the bumps and tweaked the heck out of my boots so that I could reach an entirely different level of fore-aft balance.

I thanked Diana about an hour ago, but I wanted to be sure to thank you too. I am unbelievably grateful to you for creating PMTS and Harb Ski Systems and for training a team of exceptionally able and professional instructors.

Many thanks,

-Todd




As it turns out, there were 3 sources of my frustrations (boots, skis, and skier) and Diana addressed them in parallel. To my mind, this is one of the most amazing things about skiing with a black level PMTS instructor. You are actually skiing with your instructor, your bootfitter, your alignment guru, and your ski tune diagnostician, all at the same time!

Within 2 hours, Diana was tweaking my boots. Through trial and error, she got a fit that was tight, that significantly enhanced my ability to get ultraforward, and that strengthened my right LTE balance ability (changing it from my weak side to my strong side!) She hand tuned my bases that first night, turning a bad 0.5* tune into what she called a good "0.6* tune."

That's 2 down and 1 to go. To improve the skier for short turns, there were two main focus areas: stronger fore-aft balance and thorough ownership of the LTE. I already had some ability in these areas, enough for example to ski confidently in the aftermath of the big January rain event in New England. I had ok balance on my left LTE, but when I would balance on my right LTE, the ski would often flop down before long unless I focused really hard on it. That's enough to help a turn, but not enough to truly own a turn. Especially after freezing rain! I needed to ensure that the super would always be there in my superphantom turns. Diana led a 3 day campaign to completely alter these two aspects of my skiing. Her detailed "summary" of the lessons and my homework assignments are enclosed below. She captured everything so perfectly, that I can't say much to add to it.

I asked Diana to keep a tight leash on me ... to be a stern taskmaster. For the most part, she complied. Like Rich Messer, Diana is an expert at giving feedback and mid-course corrections while you're skiing. And after each segment, her photographic memory replays each turn so she can narrate your run. For me, this helps skiing perception converge to reality even faster than video. It's amazing what a tight, flawless feedback loop can do for your skiing. As great as it is in groups of 6 at PMTS camps, the feedback in privates is even more immediate and effective.

Diana did unleash me twice. The first time was learning disguised as fun. The mission: carve from the top down to the bottom of chair 1 in an extreme ultra-forward position. The movements I'd previously been using to get forward relied on the firm support of a carving ski and didn't work well when balancing on one brushing ski. Odds are that I had a bit of a sideways movement mingled into my pullback. I had to rebuild my fore-aft by learning to get way forward on a single, noncarving ski. This fun run was an intermediate checkpoint in the rebuilding process to 1) confirm that my new movements would function in a carved turn and 2) to get yet more forward in the comforting environment of a carve. The second time that she unleashed me was pure fun. The mission: lay down some tracks to show off for a friendly Loveland regular who had stopped a ways below us. At some point during all of this, I asked her if I was getting forward enough to really carve on the old straight skis. It was a nice feeling of accomplishment when she answered yes.

A week later, I went skiing again and my little toe edges obeyed my wishes whether I asked them to hold for an instant or much longer and at a small angle or large. Sweet! My improved fore-aft has paid off everywhere, especially in carving. I also started working on my homework. One of the best ways to maximize your private lesson (or camp) ROI is to ask your instructor for personalized homework assignments to help you follow up on the lesson and take it to the next level. I always ask for homework, and I suggest that you do too.

One lesson I keep learning over again is the importance of starting each day with a warm-up run to reestablish balance on all 4 edges on that day's conditions, to remind my body of each of the essentials, and to give my body permission to get into angled positions and to flex. I heard the HSS shop guys talking about the same issue one morning when I was at Loveland. As one of them put it, you learn to ski all over again each day in the first half run. (One of them had had an interesting first run!) A week ago I relearned this lesson. I was skiing with a group I didn't know on a challenging surface, and I wasn't going to be the one to ask for a slow, easy first run. Without a warm-up run, I found myself shopping for turns, hesitating to release, and then releasing timidly. The mental image in my mind was that if a water buffalo had skis strapped to its feet that it might ski like I was that morning. The next day, I started with a few runs of PMTS drills and it clearly showed in my skiing.

I'd like to close by sharing something that helped me over the past year that I haven't heard anyone else describe before. There's a picture caption in Essentials that reads something like "if you lived on an Alp, you'd walk like this." Well, if I lived on an Alp then I wouldn't be doing one legged squats on a flat foot either, would I? I started doing them on my LTE on an inclined tipping board as well as flat to build up LTE strength and to learn to both flex and extend on my LTE. Later, I also added BTE which was tough for me to do in sneakers, but easy barefoot. I'm convinced this helped my lessons with Diana. During the lessons, I realized that I probably would have gotten even more out of it if I had tipped even more to the LTE while squatting, so that's my project for this summer.

If you've read this far, don't stop. The really good stuff by Diana is just below:

=========== Diana's summary and homework assignments for me =============

Todd W. lesson summary
22-24 February 2010

Here's an overview of what we worked on...

Acronyms
UH - uphill
DH - downhill
BTE - big-toe edge
LTE - little-toe edge

Themes...
Staying forward through the whole turn. Pull the feet/stance foot back at turn transition. Keep the feet back throughout the turn. Press forward with the hips and keep the inside hand forward, especially thru the bottom of the arc.

Better transition thru closer feet and balance on LTE. A clean balance transfer is possible when the feet are close to each other, both fore/aft and laterally. Lots of practice on LTE to gain confidence in that balance.

Short turns. Still patient at beginning of turn with balance on new LTE, but then quick tipping with the free foot and quick CB/CA in order to stay in balance.

Moguls. Learning where the skis and feet are going; choosing & controlling the path of the skis; seeing and skiing different lines in the bumps.

Equipment...
We added a 3mm forefoot lift inside the boots and a spoiler after testing them. That seemed to make it easier to stay forward. As well, we added fit shims to the boots to make them snugger: 1/16" on the left, 1/8" on the right.

Exercises we did:
Fore/aft balance...
Sliding the feet fore/aft. Standing still, on either a flat or gentle slope, move the feet fore/aft underneath the torso by pulling them back and pushing them forward. Make it an effort to move the feet relative to the body, not to learn the torso forward and backward.

Pulling the feet back before starting a turn. In medium-size linked turns, pull the heels back before starting each turn.

Staying forward through the whole turn. In linked turns, keep pulling the feet back and pressing the hips forward, especially as you pass through the middle of the arc.

Fore/aft scissor series. Pull stance/DH ski back really far, leading to a fore/aft scissor or separation of the skis. The emphases here are how to pull the stance ski back, how to keep it back, and what it feels like to keep the hips ahead of the stance foot.
Traverse, steady. Slide across the hill in a traverse. Pull the DH ski back until it's 12-18 inches behind the UH foot. Keep it there as you traverse. Practice both directions.
Traverse, bringing UH foot back. Start as above. After traversing a few ski lengths in the scissored position, tap the UH ski to lighten it. With each tap, bring the ski back toward the DH ski. Keep the hips pressed ahead of the DH ski throughout.
Linked turn/traverse. Link medium turns on a medium hill. Between turns, traverse for several seconds. During the traverse, slide the DH ski back to achieve the exaggerated scissoring. Press the hips ahead. Bring the feet back together during the turns.
Scissor during turns. Link medium turns on a medium hill. During the second half of each turn, pull the stance/outside ski back to achieve the exaggerated scissoring. Press the hips ahead and keep the stance ski back through the finish of the turn. Bring the feet back together to start the new turn.
Turns with ultra-forward balance. Link turns. Pull both skis back throughout the arc of the turn so that the hips are pressed forward, just like in the scissored exercises, but without scissoring. Try this in both carving (2-footed) and brushing (1-footed). Note the different effort required to keep the stance ski back when the inside ski is lifted.
Transition ...
Traverse with DH/UH transfer. On medium slope, traverse across the hill. Alternately transfer balance between DH BTE and UH LTE. When you transfer to either ski, land on edge and keep it there. Keep the tracks parallel and equally spaced. Start with short segments; work up to be able to balance on either edge for about one second. Maintain forward balance. Lift each ski by folding that leg like an accordion. Don't lift up the hips or shoulders to lift the ski.

Traverse on UH LTE. On medium slope, traverse across the hill. Once you start sliding, pick up the DH ski and balance on the UH LTE. Leave a groove in the snow with the LTE. Maintain forward balance. Lift the DH ski by folding that leg like an accordion.

Linked turns with DH/UH transfer in traverse. Link medium turns on a medium slope. In between turns, make a traverse and alternately transfer balance between DH BTE and UH LTE. Perform the transfers as in the traverse (above).

Linked turns with traverse on UH LTE. Link medium turns on a medium slope. In between turns, make a traverse and pick up the DH ski and balance on the UH LTE. Perform as in the traverse (above). At first, it's okay to put the ski back down to start the new turn.

Linked turns with traverse on UH LTE; start each turn from UH LTE. As above, but start the new turn directly from the UH LTE traverse by tipping with the lifted ski. Start with a two-second traverse. Cut down to a one-second traverse. Cut down to a half-second traverse. Maintain the patient balance on the LTE even as the traverse time shortens.

Set-scrape-tilt. Set = set new stance ski onto snow on its LTE and transfer balance to that edge. Scrape = lift the new free ski just a few cms, sliding the foot up along the stance boot to keep contact between feet. Tilt = tilt free foot. The quicker you perform the sequence and its components, the quicker the turns will be. It's critical to SET the ski close the the old stance ski, both laterally and fore/aft, in order to facilitate balance transfer.

Extra free-foot tipping at end of turn into transfer. This was a performance-changer for you. No matter how much you have tipped through the turn, tip the free foot another 20 degrees at the finish of the turn. Transfer balance to the UH LTE ("SET") during this additional tipping (at about 15 deg. of the 20). When you do this, you find the LTE and maintain a close stance with great regularity.

Short turns ...
Patience, impatience. Transfer balance onto new LTE and hold for half a second (patience). Tip quickly with the free foot, CB and CA quickly, and keep the hips pressed forwards (impatience) as the skis turn quickly.

Set-scrape-tilt. See above. Alternate this with some of the medium turns so that accuracy of movement is not jeopardized.

Moguls...
Flexion/Extension Traverses. On small to medium sized bumps, traverse across the hill. Flex your ankles, knees, and hips to bring the feet up underneath you. Precede the impact - pull up on the feet just before hitting the bump. at the top of each mogul, pull both feet back before you slide down the far side to keep balance forward and the tips in contact with the snow.

Choosing & controlling the path of the skis #1. On easy groomed terrain, look ahead as you ski and choose different locations for transition. Targets can be snowballs, fluffy areas, whatever you can identify as you look downhill. Plan to transfer balance when your skis hit that location. One ski length ahead of the target, tip the free ski by an additional 20 degrees so that you can transfer onto the LTE of the new stance ski.

Choosing & controlling the path of the skis #2. On easy groomed terrain, look ahead as you ski and choose different curved paths that you'd like your skis to follow. Targets can be other tracks, lines in the snow, a series of snowballs, whatever you can identify as a curve/turn as you look downhill. Modify your tipping (rate and amount) so that your skis follow the desired path.

Different lines in the bumps. Look for and learn to ski a variety of lines in the bumps. This will make you adaptable and versatile. We worked on 4 lines...
Transition on the "up-face". Look for the face or aspect of the mogul that faces uphill. Make this where you transfer balance for the new turn. One ski length ahead of time, perform the additional 20 degrees of tipping with the free foot so that your feet are close and ready for balance transfer when you arrive the the up-face. This line works best on moguls with easily-distinguishable up-faces that act as small plateaus.
Transition on the summit. Same as above, except make your transfer on the highest location of the mogul. This line requires the most range of flexion and extension. This line works best on moguls with broad, not pointy, summits.
Skiing around the perimeter. Ski around the perimeter of a mogul. Transition occurs where the perimeters of adjacent bumps intersect. This line work best on round, wider-spaced bumps.
Skiing on the "outer bank". Ski just outside of the perimeter of the mogul. Bank the skis off the lower flanks of the adjacent moguls. This line is great when the perimeter line is too dirty or rocky, and works best in round bumps.


Homework...

Your two focuses for practice should be short turns and moguls.

Short turns...
Alternate between short turns, where you must transfer quickly, tip quickly, and CB & CA quickly, and longer turns, where you can focus on accuracy of movement and have time to gauge your performance.
Ski short turns on steeper terrain - keep them brushed - and make sure you tip enough to control your speed.
Ski short turns on gentle to moderate terrain - work toward carving. Stay forward and low in transition so that you can get to high edge angles quickly. Check your tracks to see if you are carving and if you have clean transitions.
Moguls...
Traverses. Keep working on the flex/extend traverses. Try them in larger moguls (more amplitude of flexion) and moguls with more vertical sidewalls (quicker flexion, more challenge to fore/aft balance). Ski faster in the traverses, so that you have to move faster and respond more quickly to the fore/aft balance changes.
Garlands. In moderate, well-spaced moguls, work on release/engage garlands. As in skiing, different lines are possible: following the lower perimeter of several adjacent moguls; summit-to-summit; etc. As in any garland, release by flattening the DH ski, engage by tipping the UH ski toward its LTE. Keep the feet close so that the skis follow similar paths. This will make you coordinate tipping of both DH and UH skis with maintaining fore/aft balance; also choosing the path.
More flexion. Try some larger moguls (hopefully still round and well-spaced) that will require more flexion.
Quick bumps. In smaller, gentle moguls, ski short turns down the fall line and make yourself turn at every mogul that you encounter (different paths will all work). This will work on quickness and reaction. Like short turns, however, the quicker pace will tend to encourage "non-optimal" movements. Alternate with runs practicing more accurate movements, making larger turns at a moderate pace so that you have time to self-assess.
This should be enough to get you through the season!

PS thanks to Harald for giving me permission to post Diana's great summary and homework. Any typos in it were probably caused by me as I reformatted it from Word to this board's syntax and replaced special characters.
.
ToddW

Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:41 pm
Location: Westchester (NY)
Top
------------------------------------------------------------
An excellent PMTS private lesson experience
Postby ToddW » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:19 pm

This season, there have been several excellent threads describing PMTS learning experiences at camps and in private lessons. They've been skewed towards camps or one day privates, so I'll share my recent experience with 3 days of privates at Loveland to show how significantly you can overhaul your skiing in a short time. The instructor was Diana, but any black level PMTS instructor would be just as effective. And the blue level instructors I've met would come pretty darned close.

Some personal background: I started skiing 3 years ago over Christmas vacation (learning the snowplow and stem christie in the 1980's doesn't count as skiing.) I have previously taken 3 blue/dark-blue camps and 3 days of PMTS private lessons. In the past, I've spent too much of my skiing time fueling my carving addiction, so this year I want to develop a short turn I can trust anywhere. At this December's A-basin blue camp, I switched from X-wave 10's to Speedmachine 130's in a smaller shell size. By February, the liners were beginning to pack out and I was still not as naturally forward as I had been in my old boots ... not good.

Before these lessons, I was feeling frustrated with my skiing and feared that my performance had plateaued. That even with PMTS, I just might not make it much further. After all, I am not an athletic fellow, not even by a generous stretch of the imagination. I'd made a big breakthrough after the December A-basin camp (deeply flexed release in carved turns -- thanks, Max Sherwood, for taking me on a few runs to "clean out the carburetor") and then I hit a wall. I'm afraid that poor Diana got quite an earful of my skiing woes on the first chair up. On the chair, she correctly diagnosed an irregularity in my skis' base bevel -- I'd only told her my different two footed release experience on these skis (awkward) and my other 2 pair of skis (good) -- and she then quickly formulated a 2FR-free lesson strategy for short turns with day 3 in the bumps and got my buy-in before we made it to the top of lift 1. By day 3, my frustration was long forgotten and replaced with a renewed enthusiasm for skiing.

I was so excited that I sent Harald this PM as soon as I got back to the hotel.

Harald,

I just finished a great 3 days of private lessons with Diana. These weren't my first lessons with her, and they certainly won't be my last. PMTS rules and Diana is simply amazing. She got me into the bumps and tweaked the heck out of my boots so that I could reach an entirely different level of fore-aft balance.

I thanked Diana about an hour ago, but I wanted to be sure to thank you too. I am unbelievably grateful to you for creating PMTS and Harb Ski Systems and for training a team of exceptionally able and professional instructors.

Many thanks,

-Todd




As it turns out, there were 3 sources of my frustrations (boots, skis, and skier) and Diana addressed them in parallel. To my mind, this is one of the most amazing things about skiing with a black level PMTS instructor. You are actually skiing with your instructor, your bootfitter, your alignment guru, and your ski tune diagnostician, all at the same time!

Within 2 hours, Diana was tweaking my boots. Through trial and error, she got a fit that was tight, that significantly enhanced my ability to get ultraforward, and that strengthened my right LTE balance ability (changing it from my weak side to my strong side!) She hand tuned my bases that first night, turning a bad 0.5* tune into what she called a good "0.6* tune."

That's 2 down and 1 to go. To improve the skier for short turns, there were two main focus areas: stronger fore-aft balance and thorough ownership of the LTE. I already had some ability in these areas, enough for example to ski confidently in the aftermath of the big January rain event in New England. I had ok balance on my left LTE, but when I would balance on my right LTE, the ski would often flop down before long unless I focused really hard on it. That's enough to help a turn, but not enough to truly own a turn. Especially after freezing rain! I needed to ensure that the super would always be there in my superphantom turns. Diana led a 3 day campaign to completely alter these two aspects of my skiing. Her detailed "summary" of the lessons and my homework assignments are enclosed below. She captured everything so perfectly, that I can't say much to add to it.

I asked Diana to keep a tight leash on me ... to be a stern taskmaster. For the most part, she complied. Like Rich Messer, Diana is an expert at giving feedback and mid-course corrections while you're skiing. And after each segment, her photographic memory replays each turn so she can narrate your run. For me, this helps skiing perception converge to reality even faster than video. It's amazing what a tight, flawless feedback loop can do for your skiing. As great as it is in groups of 6 at PMTS camps, the feedback in privates is even more immediate and effective.

Diana did unleash me twice. The first time was learning disguised as fun. The mission: carve from the top down to the bottom of chair 1 in an extreme ultra-forward position. The movements I'd previously been using to get forward relied on the firm support of a carving ski and didn't work well when balancing on one brushing ski. Odds are that I had a bit of a sideways movement mingled into my pullback. I had to rebuild my fore-aft by learning to get way forward on a single, noncarving ski. This fun run was an intermediate checkpoint in the rebuilding process to 1) confirm that my new movements would function in a carved turn and 2) to get yet more forward in the comforting environment of a carve. The second time that she unleashed me was pure fun. The mission: lay down some tracks to show off for a friendly Loveland regular who had stopped a ways below us. At some point during all of this, I asked her if I was getting forward enough to really carve on the old straight skis. It was a nice feeling of accomplishment when she answered yes.

A week later, I went skiing again and my little toe edges obeyed my wishes whether I asked them to hold for an instant or much longer and at a small angle or large. Sweet! My improved fore-aft has paid off everywhere, especially in carving. I also started working on my homework. One of the best ways to maximize your private lesson (or camp) ROI is to ask your instructor for personalized homework assignments to help you follow up on the lesson and take it to the next level. I always ask for homework, and I suggest that you do too.

One lesson I keep learning over again is the importance of starting each day with a warm-up run to reestablish balance on all 4 edges on that day's conditions, to remind my body of each of the essentials, and to give my body permission to get into angled positions and to flex. I heard the HSS shop guys talking about the same issue one morning when I was at Loveland. As one of them put it, you learn to ski all over again each day in the first half run. (One of them had had an interesting first run!) A week ago I relearned this lesson. I was skiing with a group I didn't know on a challenging surface, and I wasn't going to be the one to ask for a slow, easy first run. Without a warm-up run, I found myself shopping for turns, hesitating to release, and then releasing timidly. The mental image in my mind was that if a water buffalo had skis strapped to its feet that it might ski like I was that morning. The next day, I started with a few runs of PMTS drills and it clearly showed in my skiing.

I'd like to close by sharing something that helped me over the past year that I haven't heard anyone else describe before. There's a picture caption in Essentials that reads something like "if you lived on an Alp, you'd walk like this." Well, if I lived on an Alp then I wouldn't be doing one legged squats on a flat foot either, would I? I started doing them on my LTE on an inclined tipping board as well as flat to build up LTE strength and to learn to both flex and extend on my LTE. Later, I also added BTE which was tough for me to do in sneakers, but easy barefoot. I'm convinced this helped my lessons with Diana. During the lessons, I realized that I probably would have gotten even more out of it if I had tipped even more to the LTE while squatting, so that's my project for this summer.

If you've read this far, don't stop. The really good stuff by Diana is just below:

=========== Diana's summary and homework assignments for me =============

Todd W. lesson summary
22-24 February 2010

Here's an overview of what we worked on...

Acronyms
UH - uphill
DH - downhill
BTE - big-toe edge
LTE - little-toe edge

Themes...
Staying forward through the whole turn. Pull the feet/stance foot back at turn transition. Keep the feet back throughout the turn. Press forward with the hips and keep the inside hand forward, especially thru the bottom of the arc.

Better transition thru closer feet and balance on LTE. A clean balance transfer is possible when the feet are close to each other, both fore/aft and laterally. Lots of practice on LTE to gain confidence in that balance.

Short turns. Still patient at beginning of turn with balance on new LTE, but then quick tipping with the free foot and quick CB/CA in order to stay in balance.

Moguls. Learning where the skis and feet are going; choosing & controlling the path of the skis; seeing and skiing different lines in the bumps.

Equipment...
We added a 3mm forefoot lift inside the boots and a spoiler after testing them. That seemed to make it easier to stay forward. As well, we added fit shims to the boots to make them snugger: 1/16" on the left, 1/8" on the right.

Exercises we did:
Fore/aft balance...
Sliding the feet fore/aft. Standing still, on either a flat or gentle slope, move the feet fore/aft underneath the torso by pulling them back and pushing them forward. Make it an effort to move the feet relative to the body, not to learn the torso forward and backward.

Pulling the feet back before starting a turn. In medium-size linked turns, pull the heels back before starting each turn.

Staying forward through the whole turn. In linked turns, keep pulling the feet back and pressing the hips forward, especially as you pass through the middle of the arc.

Fore/aft scissor series. Pull stance/DH ski back really far, leading to a fore/aft scissor or separation of the skis. The emphases here are how to pull the stance ski back, how to keep it back, and what it feels like to keep the hips ahead of the stance foot.
Traverse, steady. Slide across the hill in a traverse. Pull the DH ski back until it's 12-18 inches behind the UH foot. Keep it there as you traverse. Practice both directions.
Traverse, bringing UH foot back. Start as above. After traversing a few ski lengths in the scissored position, tap the UH ski to lighten it. With each tap, bring the ski back toward the DH ski. Keep the hips pressed ahead of the DH ski throughout.
Linked turn/traverse. Link medium turns on a medium hill. Between turns, traverse for several seconds. During the traverse, slide the DH ski back to achieve the exaggerated scissoring. Press the hips ahead. Bring the feet back together during the turns.
Scissor during turns. Link medium turns on a medium hill. During the second half of each turn, pull the stance/outside ski back to achieve the exaggerated scissoring. Press the hips ahead and keep the stance ski back through the finish of the turn. Bring the feet back together to start the new turn.
Turns with ultra-forward balance. Link turns. Pull both skis back throughout the arc of the turn so that the hips are pressed forward, just like in the scissored exercises, but without scissoring. Try this in both carving (2-footed) and brushing (1-footed). Note the different effort required to keep the stance ski back when the inside ski is lifted.
Transition ...
Traverse with DH/UH transfer. On medium slope, traverse across the hill. Alternately transfer balance between DH BTE and UH LTE. When you transfer to either ski, land on edge and keep it there. Keep the tracks parallel and equally spaced. Start with short segments; work up to be able to balance on either edge for about one second. Maintain forward balance. Lift each ski by folding that leg like an accordion. Don't lift up the hips or shoulders to lift the ski.

Traverse on UH LTE. On medium slope, traverse across the hill. Once you start sliding, pick up the DH ski and balance on the UH LTE. Leave a groove in the snow with the LTE. Maintain forward balance. Lift the DH ski by folding that leg like an accordion.

Linked turns with DH/UH transfer in traverse. Link medium turns on a medium slope. In between turns, make a traverse and alternately transfer balance between DH BTE and UH LTE. Perform the transfers as in the traverse (above).

Linked turns with traverse on UH LTE. Link medium turns on a medium slope. In between turns, make a traverse and pick up the DH ski and balance on the UH LTE. Perform as in the traverse (above). At first, it's okay to put the ski back down to start the new turn.

Linked turns with traverse on UH LTE; start each turn from UH LTE. As above, but start the new turn directly from the UH LTE traverse by tipping with the lifted ski. Start with a two-second traverse. Cut down to a one-second traverse. Cut down to a half-second traverse. Maintain the patient balance on the LTE even as the traverse time shortens.

Set-scrape-tilt. Set = set new stance ski onto snow on its LTE and transfer balance to that edge. Scrape = lift the new free ski just a few cms, sliding the foot up along the stance boot to keep contact between feet. Tilt = tilt free foot. The quicker you perform the sequence and its components, the quicker the turns will be. It's critical to SET the ski close the the old stance ski, both laterally and fore/aft, in order to facilitate balance transfer.

Extra free-foot tipping at end of turn into transfer. This was a performance-changer for you. No matter how much you have tipped through the turn, tip the free foot another 20 degrees at the finish of the turn. Transfer balance to the UH LTE ("SET") during this additional tipping (at about 15 deg. of the 20). When you do this, you find the LTE and maintain a close stance with great regularity.

Short turns ...
Patience, impatience. Transfer balance onto new LTE and hold for half a second (patience). Tip quickly with the free foot, CB and CA quickly, and keep the hips pressed forwards (impatience) as the skis turn quickly.

Set-scrape-tilt. See above. Alternate this with some of the medium turns so that accuracy of movement is not jeopardized.

Moguls...
Flexion/Extension Traverses. On small to medium sized bumps, traverse across the hill. Flex your ankles, knees, and hips to bring the feet up underneath you. Precede the impact - pull up on the feet just before hitting the bump. at the top of each mogul, pull both feet back before you slide down the far side to keep balance forward and the tips in contact with the snow.

Choosing & controlling the path of the skis #1. On easy groomed terrain, look ahead as you ski and choose different locations for transition. Targets can be snowballs, fluffy areas, whatever you can identify as you look downhill. Plan to transfer balance when your skis hit that location. One ski length ahead of the target, tip the free ski by an additional 20 degrees so that you can transfer onto the LTE of the new stance ski.

Choosing & controlling the path of the skis #2. On easy groomed terrain, look ahead as you ski and choose different curved paths that you'd like your skis to follow. Targets can be other tracks, lines in the snow, a series of snowballs, whatever you can identify as a curve/turn as you look downhill. Modify your tipping (rate and amount) so that your skis follow the desired path.

Different lines in the bumps. Look for and learn to ski a variety of lines in the bumps. This will make you adaptable and versatile. We worked on 4 lines...
Transition on the "up-face". Look for the face or aspect of the mogul that faces uphill. Make this where you transfer balance for the new turn. One ski length ahead of time, perform the additional 20 degrees of tipping with the free foot so that your feet are close and ready for balance transfer when you arrive the the up-face. This line works best on moguls with easily-distinguishable up-faces that act as small plateaus.
Transition on the summit. Same as above, except make your transfer on the highest location of the mogul. This line requires the most range of flexion and extension. This line works best on moguls with broad, not pointy, summits.
Skiing around the perimeter. Ski around the perimeter of a mogul. Transition occurs where the perimeters of adjacent bumps intersect. This line work best on round, wider-spaced bumps.
Skiing on the "outer bank". Ski just outside of the perimeter of the mogul. Bank the skis off the lower flanks of the adjacent moguls. This line is great when the perimeter line is too dirty or rocky, and works best in round bumps.


Homework...

Your two focuses for practice should be short turns and moguls.

Short turns...
Alternate between short turns, where you must transfer quickly, tip quickly, and CB & CA quickly, and longer turns, where you can focus on accuracy of movement and have time to gauge your performance.
Ski short turns on steeper terrain - keep them brushed - and make sure you tip enough to control your speed.
Ski short turns on gentle to moderate terrain - work toward carving. Stay forward and low in transition so that you can get to high edge angles quickly. Check your tracks to see if you are carving and if you have clean transitions.
Moguls...
Traverses. Keep working on the flex/extend traverses. Try them in larger moguls (more amplitude of flexion) and moguls with more vertical sidewalls (quicker flexion, more challenge to fore/aft balance). Ski faster in the traverses, so that you have to move faster and respond more quickly to the fore/aft balance changes.
Garlands. In moderate, well-spaced moguls, work on release/engage garlands. As in skiing, different lines are possible: following the lower perimeter of several adjacent moguls; summit-to-summit; etc. As in any garland, release by flattening the DH ski, engage by tipping the UH ski toward its LTE. Keep the feet close so that the skis follow similar paths. This will make you coordinate tipping of both DH and UH skis with maintaining fore/aft balance; also choosing the path.
More flexion. Try some larger moguls (hopefully still round and well-spaced) that will require more flexion.
Quick bumps. In smaller, gentle moguls, ski short turns down the fall line and make yourself turn at every mogul that you encounter (different paths will all work). This will work on quickness and reaction. Like short turns, however, the quicker pace will tend to encourage "non-optimal" movements. Alternate with runs practicing more accurate movements, making larger turns at a moderate pace so that you have time to self-assess.
This should be enough to get you through the season!

PS thanks to Harald for giving me permission to post Diana's great summary and homework. Any typos in it were probably caused by me as I reformatted it from Word to this board's syntax and replaced special characters.
.
ToddW

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Last edited by Vailsteve on Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blueprint for Improvement

Postby Doghouse » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:14 pm

Great post. Thank you for bumping it!
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