2004 Pro Jam Handouts

These were handouts from Brian Whatley - manually typed in by Rusty

Skiing - What Really Matters

There are three interdependent areas of performance that enhance balancing flow.

1. In order to use your body effectively in motion sports you have to be in athletic stance balancing over your feet. (Properly lined up with the forces experienced during play.)

2. In most snow conditions direction changes should occur along smooth curved lines with the skis/snowboard moving primarily forward through or along the snow surface. (Round turns.)

3. The connection between turns should be precise and efficient. The flow from turn to turn is seamless - clean with few extra corrective adjustments.


An athletic stance, round turns and smooth turn connection makes balancing predictable. Confidence in predictions encourages proactive movement and flow. This really matters!

This mental model of balancing flow based on stance, turn shape and turn connection should make our teaching easier.

Brian Whatley/Peter Palmer

Kids Movement Patterns - Assessments Made Easy

If we use the Guide for Effective Skiing as a basis for comparison, we can define some of the differences between the movements that adults make and the ones that we see in children. Note that children's movements become more refined, more toward the IDEAL as they grow older, get bigger and have more mileage under their belts.

Balancing Movements
Joints flex evenly together - ankles, knees, hips, spine
Hips centered over feet (side view), ears ahead of center of feet, hands ahead of ears.
Outside ski bends more than the inside ski - primary weight on middle of outside ski

Knee flex in younger children is greater, ankle movements not as coordinated, large muscle groups develop first
Hips slightly behind feet, ears over heels - or ears over knees! -= hands in a variety of places depending on size and speed
Inside ski weighted as much as outside ski, bends towards tail

Rotary Movements
Legs turn underneath the upper body to guide skis through the arc of the turn
Femur turns in the hip socket
Upper body remains stable and strong

Shoulders and torso generate turn - large muscle groups stronger
Articulation of joints not developed
Body used as a whole

Edging Movements
Diagonal movements of feet, legs and hips engage and release edges
Sins contact both boot cuffs on a forward diagonal
Edges are engaged and releases in one smooth movement

Tipping laterally into the hill, away from ski creates edge
Shins have little or no contact with FRONT of boot cuff
Movements are harsh and jerky

Pressure Control Movements
Body and skis flow smoothly over changing conditions and terrain
Joint flexion and extension is determined by changes in terrain and pitch of slope
Skis bend progressively through turn, entire ski is engaged in turn

Bouncing and loss of contact happens
Coordination of even joint flex is lacking - over flex of hip and knee common
Bend in ski comes late in turn - frequently from tail of ski

Directional Movements
Body moves into direction of new turn for edge change
Ski travels along arc - tip and tail through the same path
Pole swings in direction of travel

Movement is up and back to change edges
Tail of ski slides past tip's arc - pivot and skid
Coordination of pole swing and directional guidance rough

Alison Clayton
PSIA Junior Education Team
October 22, 1999

Skill Drills

Rhythm Change - in all skiing, also centerline maneuvers

Lane Change - Smooth transitions

Narrow Corridor - Stay in fall line. Speed management

Funnel - Not two successive turns of same radius

Speed Change - While maintaining rhythm (skidding vs. carved)

1000 Steps - Set skis down on sides

Short turns on a long radius path - i.e. Pain in the Ass turns

Pivoted sideslips - In corridor or linked

Leap to change edges - Short, medium, long radius. Swing, touch, hop , pole timing.

How slowww can you go? - Two skis on snow at all times! Ski it to failure, slow! (Mermer's favorite)

Make the most turns over a given distance

How many turns does it take to ski a given distance? - Same radius

Skate downhill, blend into short turns while cutting speed - Quiet torso

One ski skiing - variety - no poles

Hop turns - variety (two foot, one foot, etc)

Gates - GS/Slalom

Ski a predetermined number of turns to a complete stop. Repeat

Short radius - Sidehill or edge of trail, no poles or blend in swing and touch, carved vs. skidded, note shape, up unweighting vs. down unweighting, accelerating vs. decelerating, look for rebound

Centerline progression/digression in motion (terrain appropriate)

Half and half - medium radius turns - one turn on groomed one turn in bumps; consistent speed and radius

Paired skiing - Cat and mouse, follow the leader, bumps too

Bumps - Long radius, maintain ski/snow contact. No traverses. Rhythmic turns. Ski the tops. Ski th troughs. Ski the sides. Vary speed. No poles. Functional air.

Ski the junk - or be the junk

Skate across hill between turns/skating turn (propel body in turn from positively edged uphill ski)

Uphill Christy - Forward and backward

Linked 360s

Diagonal sideslips

Stem turns - stepped and uphill foot pivoted out

Initiate turn from downhill ski - change support foot in the fall line


Brian Whatley - 1/97