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Thread: Skiing Technique and Skiing Strategy

  1. #11
    Home Sweet Home Snow Sport Instructor Lars's Avatar
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    I think that good technique will overcome poor tactics, even though those with good technique very rarely choose poor tactics.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post
    Hi HS:

    Would appreciate reading your twist on this subject. Not to put words in your mouth, but are you implying that:

    Technique drives strategy which in turn preordains technique, when you say that "one defines the other"?
    I have always felt that a skier's current technical base - especially the technique that they default to - defines the tactics they can employ well, or are forced to employ, on any given terrain. I don't like to assign any absolutes to it, because it is different for every skier.

    I will say though that even though a skier may have a large technical "tool box" or whatever; that they often have default movement patterns that they use automatically when no one is looking - when they aren't trying to ski a certain way... I consider that to be vastly more important than the toolbox because whatever that default is - determines a lot of what that skier can do from a tactical stand point (whether it be line, timing, turn shape/size, etc). The same can apply in reverse if a skier has no tactical experience - someone with a lot of technique and little knowledge in how to apply it.

    That's just how I think about it though... ever time I make a technical advancement, my mind immediately goes to "how can I apply it". The fun thing about having a very solid technical base is that you constantly find new ways to apply what you know.

  3. #13
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    April 24 2012

    Hi HS:

    Thanks for your detailed, well thought out and well argued comments. Although there may be differences, I think that conceptually, we are not that far apart. Just saying.

    Think snow,

    SCR
    Last edited by CharlieP; April 24th, 2012 at 08:45 PM.
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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post
    Thanks for your detailed, well thought out and well argued comments. Although there may be differences, I think that conceptually, we are not that far apart. Just saying.
    Not an argument at all. Honestly, I think that regardless of your definition of technique, this can probably apply because there should always be a recognition of where you are technically and where you want to go technically... and then how you want to apply whatever you learn. What you put into each bucket is really dependent on how you define technique versus tactics. Some may be more strict in their definition of one or the other...


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
    skier.

    I will say though that even though a skier may have a large technical "tool box" or whatever; that they often have default movement patterns that they use automatically when no one is looking - when they aren't trying to ski a certain way... I consider that to be vastly more important than the toolbox because whatever that default is - determines a lot of what that skier can do from a tactical stand point
    .
    I like this statement a lot. Building good fundamentals that become unconscious operations create positive default movements. An example of this would be one person pivots into each turn another balances over an edged ski. The skier can reduce his edging and still have all his options the pivoteer will have surrendered some in his rush to the fall line

  6. #16
    I have my own seat in the pub Skier Village Coach Coach Rick's Avatar
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    Yeah, pavski, another good thread that's generated many quality posts. Here's my simplistic view:

    Strategy (tactics) is the line and type of turns you choose to employ as you descend a run. Technique is the tool chest you use to make it happen.
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  7. #17
    Know all the neighbours by name Senior Citizen Representative
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
    Not an argument at all. Honestly, I think that regardless of your definition of technique, this can probably apply because there should always be a recognition of where you are technically and where you want to go technically... and then how you want to apply whatever you learn. What you put into each bucket is really dependent on how you define technique versus tactics. Some may be more strict in their definition of one or the other...

    April 25, 2012

    Hi HS:

    I agree, no argument at all. I should have said "well stated comments" instead of "well argued comments". Me bad.

    Think snow,

    SCR
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it ~ George Santayana

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
    Technique versus tactics. It is always fascinating to me what is lumped into each category by different people.

    An argument could be made that suggests that one defines the other.
    I have always felt that a skier's current technical base - especially the technique that they default to - defines the tactics they can employ well, or are forced to employ, on any given terrain. I don't like to assign any absolutes to it, because it is different for every skier.

    I will say though that even though a skier may have a large technical "tool box" or whatever; that they often have default movement patterns that they use automatically when no one is looking - when they aren't trying to ski a certain way... I consider that to be vastly more important than the toolbox because whatever that default is - determines a lot of what that skier can do from a tactical stand point (whether it be line, timing, turn shape/size, etc). The same can apply in reverse if a skier has no tactical experience - someone with a lot of technique and little knowledge in how to apply it.
    I made this argument up until this year. Most of my students are ski instructors and many have made little progress year after year. Not this year, everyone made significant progress. Enough so that the ski school is fired up. The difference for me was fully understanding that tactics and strategies drive technique, not the other way around.

    Adults are at a disadvantage with young children when it comes to learning motor movement patterns because of the way they process information. Adults approach things from a more structured formal approach as opposed to the visual/feel approach used by children. Motor skills come from a part of the brain that does not respond well to audio/thought/reasoning so we as adults conclude; "A movement must be performed a 1000 times before it becomes permenant".

    This year I took the approach that adults just might have an advantage over a young child in learning to improve skiing if the approach to learning motor skills were more in line with how a child learns with a focus on tactics and strategies. Adults have the advantage of a lifetime of movement patterns for everyday life including past sports and a higher order of fine motor skills. The problem then becomes one of transfer of motor skills. The part of the brain responsible for making the right movement patterns simply has to store the information about intent (skiing) along side the other information the brain already has about when it uses the same movement patterns.

    Teaching becomes a matter of finding what intent the movement pattern is currently stored under in the students brain and set up the transfer using that information. Much of the time the movement pattern may not be in the students mind in sequence as it relates to skiing and more than one transfer may need to be set up in sequence.

    As a possible example I will use teaching how to do a decent turn transition. Many people struggle with learning how to do a decent turn transition becasue their approach is more academic about movements and trying to connect those movements together.

    Let's use a right turn transition. What I might do for teaching the setup for a right turn is to get them to imagine they are sitting on the edge of a tall stool with their feet kind of off to the right with the stool positioned to the left side of a closed door. Now mobilize the intent to get up off the stool and reach ahead for the door knob to open the door without acutually taking a step. Most people have no trouble with this and the movement pattern is the same as the turn finish up to when the skis go flat at neutral including arm movements for the pole touch. If the same "reaching for the door scenario" is set up on snow, complete with the mental picture of the door and performed that way the brain usually associates the movement pattern with skiing as well as opening a door.

    The movement pattern needed for the second half of the right turn transition once the skis go flat is more like wipping dog crap of the little toe side of your right foot while looking into a full length mirror to accomplish it. When setup on snow it's very similar to a cross between ****'s Phantom move and his weighted release.

    To sequence we can put the two together. Get up off the stool and reach for the door. The second you touch the door knob the door becomes a full length mirror and you wipe the dog crap off the outside of your right foot. Most people's brains will put this sequence together and quickly store it as a right turn transition as well as a way to get dog crap off your feet before entering the house. When learned this way it does not take 1000 times performed to make it permenant. The reason why is that our brains use movement patterns as slaves to useful intent. All that is really needed is to build new intents for old movement patterns.

    It's the old story about the centipede and the toad. A toad was sitting in a ditch watching a middle aged centipede walk by. The toad asked the centipede "Pray tell me, which foot do you move first in order to walk like that?" The centipede pondered the question an in trying to figure out the answer was soon paralyzed and could not walk at all. The moral of the story was "sometimes we can think to much about things" but the real problem was centered around intent (strategy) and how the body receives the signals to move.

    Just a different way to look at the difference between strategy and technique.

  9. #19
    I have my own seat in the pub Skier Village Coach Coach Rick's Avatar
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    Pierre, excellent!
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  10. #20
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    Pierre,
    Smart smart man!
    Smart smart skier also!
    You have focussed on the essence of the question! Knowing the difference ( technique/ strategies ) as a ski teacher/instructor is what makes a good skier also a great ski instructor!
    Many many young instructors have great technique,,but do not understand how to convey ( teach) ski strategies since they do them unconsciously !

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