Author Topic: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.  (Read 3681 times)

LivingProof

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Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« on: December 20, 2012, 07:01:06 am »
HelluvaSkier wrote:


The cornerstone of good instruction, regardless of where it comes from, is not about teaching everything. Rather, it is about teaching the right things and combining them into a full package that does not include excess, or confusing/conflicting instructions. Individually, most drills and movements don't mean a lot, but how you select certain ones and put them into a finished product is what really matters when you're talking about repeatability in developing skiers/athletes as a coach.
I see very few skiers in a season who are balanced laterally... even fewer who are truly balanced fore/aft. Both can be counted on one hand.

I am totally in agreement with Greg's thinking. Fore/Aft balance, especially, will be the focal point of my skiing this season, as, viewing photo's from past season, it's clear that I am in the dreaded backseat. We have had some discussions about fore/aft when pic's or video have been posted, but, rarely discuss how to get it right. It's called the "backseat" and that translates as a slur on the individual, which is contrary to the intent of good feedback regarding technique. The "backseat" is the dreaded default positon and needs good coaching to get rid of it.

For me, the hips have to get much more forward and over my feet. To this end, I've been working on the series of PMTS dryland tipping board drills that Harald developed this season and shared via Youtube. I started into these exercises just to develop tipping, but, as I do them in front of a full mirror, it was obvious my posture was poor. So, I'm hoping to get a "two for one" benefit from these dryland exercises. Check out the below link for the exercises.

http://harbskisystems.com/web-lessons/slant-board-training/segments-03-04.html?m_id=&cd=32&hyb=1&menu_id=74

I am a little surprised by Helluva's statement that lateral ( side to side ) balance is poor. How is lateral balance defined? PSIA friends coach shared balance between two feet, PMTS commits all weight to a single ski, except in transitions. There also the natural ability to remain in balance, and, most would agree that any exercise that challanges the body to be in balance is beneficial to skiing. Bush makes a strong argument that mountain biking has great carry over benefit to skiing, I would concur.

So, as the season approaches, ( I been shut out due to warm weather ), let's have a discussion about improving balance.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 07:06:33 am by LivingProof »

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jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 08:02:44 am »
From the Mahre training center (first Google hit I came across). The bolded part below has been my biggest bugaboo and focus for the past couple of years.
http://mahretrainingcenter.com/skitips/tip2-foreaftbalance.html
Ski Tip #2: Fore/Aft Balance

The first and most important basic to proper skiing is Fore/Aft balance. By taking the time on your first run of the day to find out where you are balancing on your feet, you'll set the tone for the rest of your ski day. Divide the bottom of your feet into three separate sections: ball, arch and heel. On gentle terrain or in a traverse, skiing at a slow pace, feel where your weight is distributed on the bottom of your feet. To be athletic, in all sports we must be balanced on the balls of our feet, skiing is no different. If you feel the weight on your heels, you're sitting back. If your thighs burn or tire easily, chances are you fall into the sitting back category.To correct the problem, stand taller and move your hips forward (or your feet back). If you feel the weight on your arches or balls of your feet, you're most likely in fairly good balance. Once you find your fore/aft balanced position, it's important that you ski in this position whether traversing the hill or in the fall line. For example, when you are traversing the hill, it is a flat surface just tilted, but when you're in the fall line it is steep. If you are perpendicular to your skis on a flat surface, you must be perpendicular to them on a steep surface. Too often we don't move forward at the start of the turn, so as we move through the middle (fall line) of the turn we are now sitting back. As you're starting a turn, try to feel the weight shift to the balls of your feet; this will put you in a great position as you move through the middle of the turn. Yes, we would all rather fall on our behinds versus our faces, but to ski properly we need to be forward, and besides it's next to impossible to fall over forward because our skis, ski boots and bindings won't let us.Tip # 2: BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE!!!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 11:02:55 am by jim-ratliff »
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bushwacka

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 03:43:22 pm »
your PSIA friend isnt coaching current or right stuff. In Education staff training there was a large focus on how we balance on our outside ski though having a strong and active inside half(what you guys call CA/CB)

We are balanced on outside ski sometimes 100 percent on our our outside ski. anyone who tells you any differently is either a shitty skier and try to balance 50/50 or a good to great ski who has no idea what they are doing.

For and aft balance in straight line is just moving with our skis. I would argue we are never truly in balance in any dynamic balance sport even just going straight but instead we are always striving to remain as much close to in balance as we can. the minute we stop moving to where we need to be we will be outta of balance.

How do we get there?

well first make sure your boots are set up right. Delta/ramp?forward lean get that taken care of so you do not fight your equipment.

Drills I use to find for and aft balance, and like everything it depends on the person I dont ust use blanket drill like helva seemed to imply in the last thread..

basic for and aft balance all done in straight in beginner or near beginner lesson all with a focus on the ankles.

hopping
straight line 1000 steps with a focus on keeping our tips on the snow
shuffles while gliding
pushing your feet out in front and pulling them back underneath you while gliding straight.

FYI mike you are aft but it looked like your boots were just to stiff for you.

lateral balance to me is the ability to be able to balance on our outside ski. and to recover on our inside ski if needed.





bushwacka

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 03:49:25 pm »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHJhY9rgU-Y

LP since I know you have tons of moderately pitched blue groomers to practice on. The above is a great example of way to really dial in slow speed For and aft balance. If you can do your balanced. Most people when there skis get to the fall line do not know how to flex their ankles and extend their knees to remain "normal" aka perpendicular to the hill.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 04:02:12 pm »

.......I don't use blanket drill like helva seemed to imply in the last thread..

Bush:  I didn't hear that as what Heluva was saying.
One of my currently assigned drills is dragging my poles solidly in the snow.  Dragging my poles isn't the objective, it's a cue to remind me of other things that I'm not doing sufficiently or correctly.  That's what I think Heluva was saying .....  the drills are in the context of what the instructor sees relative to the overall objective.
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epic

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 05:53:15 pm »
From the Mahre training center (first Google hit I came across). The bolded part below has been my biggest bugaboo and focus for the past couple of years.
http://mahretrainingcenter.com/skitips/tip2-foreaftbalance.html
Ski Tip #2: Fore/Aft Balance

The first and most important basic to proper skiing is Fore/Aft balance. By taking the time on your first run of the day to find out where you are balancing on your feet, you'll set the tone for the rest of your ski day. Divide the bottom of your feet into three separate sections: ball, arch and heel. On gentle terrain or in a traverse, skiing at a slow pace, feel where your weight is distributed on the bottom of your feet. To be athletic, in all sports we must be balanced on the balls of our feet, skiing is no different. If you feel the weight on your heels, you're sitting back. If your thighs burn or tire easily, chances are you fall into the sitting back category.To correct the problem, stand taller and move your hips forward (or your feet back). If you feel the weight on your arches or balls of your feet, you're most likely in fairly good balance. Once you find your fore/aft balanced position, it's important that you ski in this position whether traversing the hill or in the fall line. For example, when you are traversing the hill, it is a flat surface just tilted, but when you're in the fall line it is steep. If you are perpendicular to your skis on a flat surface, you must be perpendicular to them on a steep surface. Too often we don't move forward at the start of the turn, so as we move through the middle (fall line) of the turn we are now sitting back. As you're starting a turn, try to feel the weight shift to the balls of your feet; this will put you in a great position as you move through the middle of the turn. Yes, we would all rather fall on our behinds versus our faces, but to ski properly we need to be forward, and besides it's next to impossible to fall over forward because our skis, ski boots and bindings won't let us.Tip # 2: BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE!!!

I don't have any Olympic Medals, so far be it for me to disagree, but... I do disagree about balls of feet. When talking about balance I say that you should feel the whole of your foot on the floor of the boot and be able to feel your weight move from front to back of your foot during different parts of the  turn. I think that people often fall into the trap of standing on their toes in an effort to get forward. Really get forward means don't get back.

midwif

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 06:44:25 pm »
Greetings Epic

I think that what you are saying probably has validity.
And this may be the case of language differences.

As has often been stated on Pmts site; trying to use PSIA language describing PMTS technique is like
a Quebecois saying they speak perfect french to a Parisian. (sorry Svend).
I
Lots of  patois differences. In order to understand Pmts Technique; the language must be mastered in its context.

There is a current thread at the HH site regarding Hirscher/Ligety and talking about fore/aft; pulling the feet back and when to do so in the arc.
Good stuff.

But  I am a convert, even though I hate koolaid and would only drink if it starving or on a life raft on the ocean. :)
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bushwacka

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 07:01:20 pm »
there is no language difference on this one Midwif.

midwif

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 07:26:13 pm »
Yeah, right.
Because you are never wrong.

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epic

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 07:29:01 pm »
Yeah, right.
Because you are never wrong.

The Mahres aren't involved in PMTS are they? I think they speak English just like me. I've even coached with one of them and I feel like we are on the same page. Anyway, no biggie.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 07:54:52 pm »
Yeah, right.
Because you are never wrong.
??????

How about those spinning drills Glen showed you that are aimed at feeling the pressure shift to the various parts of the boot?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 07:57:03 pm by jim-ratliff »
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jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2012, 08:31:59 pm »
I don't have any Olympic Medals, so far be it for me to disagree, but... I do disagree about balls of feet. When talking about balance I say that you should feel the whole of your foot on the floor of the boot and be able to feel your weight move from front to back of your foot during different parts of the  turn. I think that people often fall into the trap of standing on their toes in an effort to get forward. Really get forward means don't get back.
Epic: I agree with the need to feel your weight move during varios parts of the turn. And I think Lynn does as well.
What I liked about the Mahre tip is that it voiced a problem I have. I also assumed it was a beginner tip and focused on a fore-aft issue faced by beginners.

I have a follow on question for you consistent with the thread focus. What do you teach to the skier with fixed balance on the ball of the foot throughout the turn?
What about for a skier that slides into the back seat as the skis come into the fall line?
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epic

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2012, 08:39:07 pm »
Epic: I agree with the need to feel your weight move during varios parts of the turn. And I think Lynn does as well.
What I liked about the Mahre tip is that it voiced a problem I have. I also assumed it was a beginner tip and focused on a fore-aft issue faced by beginners.

I have a follow on question for you consistent with the thread focus. What do you teach to the skier with fixed balance on the ball of the foot throughout the turn?
What about for a skier that slides into the back seat as the skis come into the fall line?

I'll start with "Don't do that" and an explanation of why and what to do instead. Since I teach on snow this usually involves a ski-pole drawing/diagram. That's where we start and look for understanding as we go. Then ski and see if they can make a change. Then look for a drill that will effect the desired change from there. There are a  number of drills that might work depending on the skier and how they are described and demoed and what they are focusing on is more important than the drill itself. In other words, success with the drill is less important than getting the client to move more effectively.

jbotti

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 08:41:56 pm »
Big errors in lateral balance usually rseult in the skier going down. I think this is why proper fore aft balance can be hard to achieve, because very simply one can ski with the weight back and get away with (at least in some terrain).

I do think there is a differenece between not being back and being forward. For certain types of skiing not being back is enough, but to tighten the arc of a ski and bend the tips and the whole ski there is only one position that will get this result. You have to be way forward (hips in front of the boots) at the start of the high C. Any other position will produce a wider arc and a ski that will not bend. Few people at resorts know how or are able to do this. Everyone on the WC comes close to doing it on every turn. Some races are won by the guy that manages his fore aft balance the best (is the most forward at the start of every turn).

jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 08:46:53 pm »

john: I always assumed that WC skiing was even more subtle -- that a key was knowing/feeling how much pressure was needed in each turn for the amount of ski bend required for the turn radius desired.  But this is, for sure, way beyond my pay grade.
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