Release with ball hold

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Release with ball hold

Postby solitone » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:21 am

Hi, I am new to PMTS, and in my first post I listed Harald's books and videos I am currently studying.

Since I feel I still have a pretty weak transition, my main focus at the moment is improving the release. Chapter 6 on Free Foot Management in Anyone Can Be an Expert Skier 2 introduces an interesting free foot exercise--release with ball hold. The goal is learning to hold the free foot against the stance foot.

What confuses me is that current skies are wider than those popular 20 years ago. I fear that performing that exercise my skis would touch. I have a pair of Head Supershape i.Magnum, with a 131 / 72 / 110 sidecut.

The exercise is demonstrated here, and the demonstrator uses modern skies--they seem Head Supershape i.Speed, which are thinner than the i.Magnum, but still wider than older skies. So it seems feasible...

Anyhow, the basic question is: can you still keep the two foots so close with today's skis, so that the inside ankle rivets of the boots touch together?

Thanks for clearing this up to me!
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby Robert0325 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:32 am

Well I think if you perform the exercise correctly the skis won't hit each other because unless they're super wide (Magnum's are not super wide) then the boots will touch first. In practice skis will hit each other from time to time as do skis hit boots. I have gouges on my skis and boots to prove this.
Maybe I'm just not a very good PMTS skier but I'd wager it happens to most skiers on this forum and personally I wouldn't worry too much about it - All part of the learning process.

Goes without saying, I'm not a coach so just an opinion!
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby sgarrozzo » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:35 am

Do it first than say it.
The function of the exercise is to teach you not to let the downhill ski move away from the uphill one while tilting the ski into the new turn.
So, if you have problem whit a glove take a larger sponge. :D
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby solitone » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:43 am

Robert0325 wrote:Well I think if you perform the exercise correctly the skis won't hit each other because unless they're super wide (Magnum's are not super wide) then the boots will touch first.


If I stand on both feet with skis parallel on a flat, and I narrow my stance so that the boots touch, the tips and tails of my Magnum's will overlap.
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby ErikCO » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:19 am

solitone wrote:If I stand on both feet with skis parallel on a flat, and I narrow my stance so that the boots touch, the tips and tails of my Magnum's will overlap.


In the exercise, your free foot will be held up away from the snow by several inches so any overlap of the tips and tails is not going to be an issue. I have performed similar exercises on Head's REV 80 ski (129-80-111) without significant difficulty.

solitone wrote:Anyhow, the basic question is: can you still keep the two foots so close with today's skis, so that the inside ankle rivets of the boots touch together?


This question represents a fundamental misunderstanding of PMTS technique. The goal in PMTS is NOT to be skiing with ankle rivets touching (and when you look at videos of people like Diana or Helluva free-skiing, they have so much vertical separation that their boots are not anywhere near each other). The goal is to develop a functionally narrow stance with good one-footed balance through the turn. The exercise you are referencing is specifically designed to combat having too wide a stance in transition and it is an exercise that teaches a movement. Repetition of that movement creates muscle memory so you can change your current skiing habits. Outside of times when they are specifically drilling this movement, I doubt there are any good PMTS skiers who worry about the exact amount of distance between their boots.
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby solitone » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:22 pm

ErikCO wrote:In the exercise, your free foot will be held up away from the snow by several inches so any overlap of the tips and tails is not going to be an issue. I have performed similar exercises on Head's REV 80 ski (129-80-111) without significant difficulty.


Ok. So, since the tip of the free ski keeps contact with the snow and can’t overlap, the result is that tails cross as in figure 6.1c of Anyone Can Be an Expert Skier 2.
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby ErikCO » Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:02 pm

solitone wrote:Ok. So, since the tip of the free ski keeps contact with the snow and can’t overlap, the result is that tails cross as in figure 6.1c of Anyone Can Be an Expert Skier 2.


If you look carefully at the photos in question (figures 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3) the free foot is being held away from the snow by at least an inch or two. When you are initially practising these moves, it is important to fully lift the free ski off of the snow to "prove" that you have established balance on the stance ski. However, as has been pointed out in your other thread, you are probably working on movements that are a bit too advanced. You REALLY need video. You will not actually be able to see what you are doing wrong without either it or a PMTS coach. Also, please be aware that Harald does have a camp every year in Hintertux. I'm not sure if there are any spots left for this year, but going to a camp will be by far your fastest way to progress as a skier!
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby solitone » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:41 pm

ErikCO wrote:If you look carefully at the photos in question (figures 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3) the free foot is being held away from the snow by at least an inch or two. When you are initially practising these moves, it is important to fully lift the free ski off of the snow to "prove" that you have established balance on the stance ski.


Ok, I was misled by the video I linked above, from which I extracted the following frame:

Image

as well as by the fact that you lift only the tail when performing a phantom move

ErikCO wrote:However, as has been pointed out in your other thread, you are probably working on movements that are a bit too advanced. You REALLY need video. You will not actually be able to see what you are doing wrong without either it or a PMTS coach.


Yes, you're right, videos are much helpful. I'll ask my son to do some.

Unfortunately, the season here in Italy has just stopped abruptly for the COVID-19 emergency. For the time being I can only read books and watch DVDs. Next season I'll start again from the fundamentals and hope I'll progress.

Thanks & Cheers!
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby Erik » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:26 am

When you don't have video, also learn to stop frequently where you can look back at your tracks. Or if you can ski under the lift when it is not busy, you can see your tracks from the chair on the ride back up. You will be able to see if your tracks are a consistent width during individual turns, how your tracks change turn to turn, differences in your left and right turn, what your stance width is during transition, and how long the transition took.

If you have not yet built a slantboard for dryland practice, make one so you can practice your transitions looking in the mirror. Harald has an entire series of videos on slantboard practice sequences. You could also practice this particular drill with the ball hold on the slantboard.

And also take advantage of down time from skiing to work on one-footed balance with a bosu ball, wobble board, or a simple board with a dowel attached to the bottom.

Each drill is important to not just learn a movement but to learn to sense how your movements impact the response of the skis. Drills become more effective when you can pay careful attention to the failures. Often the failure mode may not be the particular movement you were trying to learn, but addressing that problem will make your skiing better, and you will have to fix that problem to make the particular learning focus of that drill to be effective. Learn to use this drill as a diagnostic of why the gloves or sponge or ball fell out from between the ankles. For example, lack of counterbalance could cause you to lose balance to the inside of the turn, putting weight on the inside ski, and the weighted inside ski starts to track away from the outside ski, your feet come apart, and the sponge falls. In this case, the failure was in counterbalance, not in squeezing your feet.
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Re: Release with ball hold

Postby h.harb » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:19 am

The small football I use in Expert Skier 2 is very difficult to hold between the feet while making turns. I've had expert skiers like Chris Anthony try this and they could not accomplish it. The intent is to learn and use inside foot management. It's not an exercise to develop space between your feet.
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