Ski Performance Development Program: Class 1

Last year this was called the season long ski school at Mammoth Mountain but this year even though the name was changed the format remained the same. 10 weeks of skiing lessons every sunday with the same instructor and the same group.

Earlier in the season i wasn’t sure about taking it again but then i decided to and i am not regretting it one single bit.

Basics and Short Turns:

Saturday was the first proper day of the season and at the end of the day my legs were simply toast. It wasn’t my first day skiing but i was surprised to be so sore and was hoping that we didn’t do any crazy stuff in the class.

Sunday morning met everyone at main lodge for the class and once we got the groups going we headed out practicing our short turns. The goal was to make easy controlled short radius turns with proper pole planting, hand position etc.

While my hand position has gotten better i still tend to drop it and don’t hold my hands always in front. I also tend to close my shoulder while making my turns, that is something i have to avoid.

Making those short turns was easy but keeping my hands in front of me was lot difficult. We moved to canyon area to ski our favorite mogul run acts and we were going to put into practice short turns there.

I have definitely improved skiing moguls but it still needs a lot of work and the main problem was the timing of my pole plant to initiate a turn. I am initiating a new turn when there is enough pressure on my heels and just by trying to get a new turn going half second earlier it made a huge difference.

Hopefully this rudimentary sketch will explain it better, with practicing the initiation of turn early, it has made a difference.

One other thing i need to work on is the flexion and extension, when i extend my knees out at end of turn i tend to stand up little taller and push my body backwards. I need to extend only a little so that i don’t go back all the way.

After skiing acts we did a fun exercise to practice the positioning of our hands, our hands were bound by tape so that they would in front of us all the time and we were unable to drop them. We did it for one run but i see us using the tape in future, so if anyone saw few people with tape around their arms skiing down to canyon lodge, it would have been our group.

After couple of more runs on acts it was time to end the class and we were given some homework i.e. to practice lunges and try to isolate upper lower body.

After the class as i tried to isolate my upper and lower body while taking turns, i started using muscles in my legs that i didn’t know existed. All i did was to hold my arms out and looking in a straight line, do my ski turns without any pole planting or moving my arms.

It is interesting on how much i had forgotten after taking this class last year and it felt really good to have someone tell me what i was doing wrong.

the things i need to work on going forward is holding my arms out while skiing and not letting them drop specially while making turns. Upper/Lower body isolation and finally improving my weaker side.

Being left handed, my right turns are little weaker, specially when i bring my knees around at the end of turn and it is harder for me to make a hockey stop with my right side downhill so i just need to keep that in mind and practice more on right side stops.

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