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New Quality Standards
Here are new "Quality Standards" to measure the result of your beginner lessons. These were created to improve the quality of our teaching, improve safety, and increase return rates. Stance is critical, practice it statically, but students will move back: on a slope, when higher, faster, or changing focus. Keep it simple; weight on toes chest over toes. New Video 8 min
1- Speed- Work on an athletic stance statically and in motion downhill. Do this with hands in the proper position, and chest over toes with slight bouncing on toes. Get "COMFORTABLE WITH SPEED" doing at least 5 runs of gliding wedges: while bouncing, doing wedge changeups, and wedge stops in an athletic stance. Provide a lot of verbal feedback while performing- stand on toes and chest over toes. All this is done before trying to turn.
2- Turning- Work on turning with speed in a gliding wedge, making a very slight turn, then go straight, and slight turn the other way. Students can point big toes or push on one then the other. They may need to combine both. Turning happens "FROM THE GROUND UP" starting with the feet, not turning the shoulders and hips.
Check to be sure they not losing their athletic stance and moving back at the ankles, knees, or waist. Make a specific number of turns, 3 little, 3 big, then combine. Link turns to a stop. Go higher gradually as their turning improves, "TURNING BEFORE TERRAIN".
Here are videos of real beginners starting to find their good stance and are starting to turn from the ground up. These images are what you should be looking for in your beginners near the end of their lesson, or before going higher. They are far from perfect, for some it was their first run trying to turn but they are finding their feet and making turns. Notice how they are just making a slight turn to start to slow down (minimal turning), and then releasing and going with their momentum flowing down the hill in control video 1 2 3 4 5
3- Wrap up- Safety is very important be sure to tell them to ski in control and not run into anyone. Go uphill gradually as their turning improves. Tell them where to practice(i.e. 10 turns from this tower and 20 from the next) and give them suggestions on what to practice. Be sure they know how to get up, reset a binding, and put a ski on. Tell them where the food and bathrooms are. Thank them for taking a lesson and ask if they would like to ski with you again. You can book on Only Sky right then.
If they try to:
1- Turn right away without speed
2- Turn too far
3- Go from one turn to another without letting the skis point downhill
4- Start from a traverse
They will start to turn their shoulders and lean uphill.
If you are so high they lose control and ski straight downhill, crash, or are back on their skis trying to turn with their upper body, you are too high.
If you have to use a traverse or make make very completed turns to control their speed, there are stance and turning problems. This creates defensive rather than offensive skiing.
If you are on a steep part of the hill, make the bottom part of the turn first rather than the top part of the turn. Work with gravity, not against it to develop offensive skiing rather than defensive skiing. The goal is 'MINIMAL TURNING" to slow down just a bit then release and go with the flow staying in a athletic position, not moving back.
After their first turn, the force of a turn can push students back. This is when you have to be watching and verbally coach them to get the chest over the toes. It can be very hard and frustrating to get someone into a good athletic stance, but this is the most basic problem that then makes turning hard. You will often not get them into the proper stance but work on it to make turning easier.
It is cause and effect, leaning back is main problem that causes other natural moves to increase, like turning the upper body and leaning inside the hill. It is very hard to overcome these NATURAL MOVES and replace them with SKI MOVES. Especially when the average skier only skis about 6 times a season, and very few take lessons. Ski MovesTM is the name of our teaching system that gives us a unique competitive advantage.
It is also hard to know how you are moving, so very clear and consistent goals are needed. Instructors provide the feedback. If instructors are regularly creating new ways to ski, then it becomes even harder to replace the natural moves with timeless SKI MOVES.
We are teaching downhill skiing not across the hill skiing. Momentum is mass times velocity, and velocity is speed and direction. In a traverse, or when making very completed turns, the speed is low and the direction is across the hill. This reinforces turning the shoulder rather than working from the ground up.
If you start skiing downhill with speed, your momentum is working with gravity, so you can do a minimal turn, then release and flow like water downhill. Speed reduces friction and increases the forces, so if students try to point their toes or or push on one big toe then the other they will start to feel the response. They are going with the flow and turning from the ground up replacing natural moves with ski moves.
1- Quick push from one big toe to the other for small turns
2- Bounce on the big toe while turning
3- When pushing on the big toe, touch hand to the knee. This is in the second half of the turn, not the first half of the turn.
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