SKIING LESSONS: Get more for less.

Not a time for gross movements!

Not a time for gross movements!

Skiing lessons are a good example of the need to get more out for less in.

Watch a skilful skier skiing fast – a downhiller in a race for example – and it all looks pretty wild. Arms flailing, legs pumping, skis jumping around like jumping beans.

But in reality it’s a game of subtleties, so you need fine control, and finesse.  And that is what your own skiing is about as well. Read below the fold for more detail.

Skiing is not what it often seems.

Little room. Slow speeds, Big movements.

Little room. Slow speeds, Big movements.

Here is an example of a situation opposite to that of the downhill ski racer.  You have limited room. You need very low speed. High friction between the performer (the tyres) and the surface means you need to apply more force.

In this example, fine subtle movements of the steering wheel simply won’t work.  You need big movements, to gain big angles on the front wheels.  Even sudden braking will not do any great harm, and might even be necessary.  Though admittedly you are best advised to avoid big movements of the throttle pedal.

Get More for Less during your skiing lessons.

But now look at your situation on a motorway at 70 mph.

No gross movements please !

No gross movements please !

Imagine what would happen if you suddenly wound the steering wheel around like you do in the car park.  Disaster.  Only the slightest, finest of well-timed movements are needed to get you from one lane to the other.

Here’s another example from a different world.

Keep those handle-bars nice and steady please - no wild movements!

Keep those handle-bars nice and steady please – no wild movements!

And another.

Skiing Lessons analogy

Looks even wilder, but the driver will appear almost catatonic

Look at a video of the driver taken inside the car, and other than the wide-eyed and blinkless stare the driver could almost be asleep!

These examples illustrate that when an activity looks as if it’s wild and perhaps wildly “out of control”, it seldom is.  So it follows that in all these cases you need a cool head, and calm carefully controlled movements.  The external forces involved will see to it that a small movement gives you plenty enough response.

What matters most in all these instances, is what you feel as a result of the small movements you make.

Less is more in your skiing too.

Therefore what applies above, applies just the same to your own skiing.  You don’t have to be doing what those guys are doing.  You don’t have to be on the limit.  No matter what your skiing, fast or slow, steep or shallow, seek fine movements rather than big ones.  Go for progressive ones rather than staccato ones, patient ones rather than impatient ones.

So, remember, you will not become more skilful as a skier by forcing great big movements.  You get better response from your skis by making small ‘movements in motion’ (courtesy of John Shedden) than by any amount of wild flailing about.

But you’ll find you need to be patient when you make them, so you can feel and appreciate what’s happening. Plus, you get to look so much better !  If you’re taking skiing lessons at the time this is SO important !

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