Drill Deconstructing Mikaela Shiffrin slalom turns

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by 1chris5, May 14, 2017.

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  1. 1chris5

    1chris5 Getting on the lift Skier

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    I love the way MS skis. I have taken a couple quick slalom turns and created a video that isolates her turns frame by frame. I think the frame by frame works somewhat like Ron LeMaster's photo montages. I couldn't figure out a way to do a photo montage shot with a moving camera. What is it about these quick turns that are at once powerful, effortless looking and graceful? One thing I notice is the separation. Her upper body is very quiet. If you look at her shoulders, they don't really move laterally or horizontally. What do you see in transition, initiation, control and completion phases (taken from Ron LeMaster's book, "Ultimate Skiing") that can help one ski like MS? I know there is a MS thread but I thought maybe this deserved its own.

     
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  2. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    that's not a slalom turn, that's a flush, i.e. a wiggle. And we can't even see the entry and exit, to have an opinion on line.

    the only interesting thing there is that she's not standing tall even in a wiggle and even so, she's not overturning. she looks like she knows what she's doing!
     
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  3. bawbawbel

    bawbawbel Booting up Pass Pulled

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    There are lots of vids of her early free skiing, I watch them over and over, trying to see where the magic comes from.
    I see her upper body as very quiet when she doesn't have time to engage it. Separation is one thing, TIMING of separation is her forte, IMHO.
    Watch her skiing slightly across the fall line.
    On the uphill side she uses Bob Barnes' classic anticipation , but on the downhill side is a NEGATIVE anticipation move to straighten out an overturn.
    Sorry, clip is in my other computer. (which one? :( )
     
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  4. 1chris5

    1chris5 Getting on the lift Skier

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    Thanks for the clarification of terminology. I see that move and it always catches my eye. Ok then, I love to watch her "wiggle." Cheers
     
  5. 1chris5

    1chris5 Getting on the lift Skier

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    Shoot, I can't find @Bob Barnes encyclopedia but I do have LeMaster (Ultimate Skiing) in front of me. So you are saying that there is a "windup" of the knees and lower legs to create this "flush" turn? Lemaster notes that a pole plant is often used as a "blocking" mechanism to align the upper body for the next turn. I suspect that is the negative anticipation move you describe, LeMaster notes that this move is executed by lower back and hip twist. It seems that BB's move if aligned with LeMaster's explanation aligns with the negative anticipation. I see this move occassionally in good bump skiing. Excellent, another move in to work on in my technical skiing quiver. Cheers
     
  6. 4ster

    4ster Sucking a little less each day Instructor

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    In a word, subtlety!
    The key to skiing a falline "wiggle" combination like this is to not disrupt the downhill flow & maintain as much glisse/glide as possible. Shiffrins accuracy & ability to remain within a narrow balance range is uncanny & something we can all learn from. When she is on a rare occasion forced out of that range, she reels it back in without great penalty. She pays attention to the finest details like the most gifted craftspeople.
    image.jpeg
    Once she has her direction (frame 1), she sucks up any friction with avalement (frame 2 - a retraction move created by engaging the abdominal muscles & pulling the legs up) While she redirects the skis in preparation for... (Frame 3) the exit.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  7. 1chris5

    1chris5 Getting on the lift Skier

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    I think subtlety is a great way to describe the way she performs this maneuver. In the excellent montage above, it seems to me, that her center of mass (COM) does not change much and that allows her to navigate expertly and gracefully around the poles.
     
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  8. 4ster

    4ster Sucking a little less each day Instructor

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    BTW, I doubt if she uses a pole plant at all entering a flush. It is possible she may use a blocking pole plant if the gate after the flush is far offset or she is slightly late & low in the line, not likely with Shiffrin. In your video, she does not.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
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  9. 4ster

    4ster Sucking a little less each day Instructor

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    Yes, she is trying to stay as direct as possible & create minimal friction.

    Also look at the tracks set by the 3 or so previous racers in the third frame. Along with that note the direction of the indentation left by the slalom pole. All of these details map a story. What story will Shiffrin tell?
     
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  10. BGreen

    BGreen Getting on the lift Skier

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    She was the only one training. All the tracks are hers.
     
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  11. 4ster

    4ster Sucking a little less each day Instructor

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    Sorry, I am referring to the montage, not the video. I believe it is from this years WC finals.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
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  12. 1chris5

    1chris5 Getting on the lift Skier

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    You can almost imagine her skiing over a mogul as she performs avalemont (apparently its french for swallowing and first noted in the skiing of Killy in the late '60s). There is an interesting section in LeMaster regarding "the virtual bump". This is the idea that the effects and forces of turns is like skiing through bumps. Avalemont in this pic really drives this point home. As this turn gets dissected, I find it helpful and fascinating how relevant competitive skiing technique can translate to us mere mortals that want to cruze groomers, ski the bumps and trees. Cheers
     
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  13. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    For reference:
     
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  14. 4ster

    4ster Sucking a little less each day Instructor

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    Ha, gotcha to look it up ogwink. Joubert first coined in his books in reference to Killy & Patrick Russel, the Shiffrins of their time. Avalemet being active & Reploiment (pronounced with a VERY French accent :D) being passive. Both movements present in most high level modern skiing... especially bumps.
    Now how bout "glisse"? To me this is one of the main components that makes Shiffrin so good.
    More reference.
     
  15. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    The blocking pole plant is fairly common in slalom due to the rapid changes in angular momentum. It's easy to "lose it" and get the upper body rotating and the role is to block the angular momentum of and help stabilize the upper body. Not to be confused with the pivoting pole plant used to transfer the momentum of the body to the feet.

    The secret to her smoothness is the ability to carve the top of the turn, which creates balance and it's permitted by a mastery of technique, especially the smooth release: watch the entire run and see how many times she is "sitting" between turns, the result of a flexed or retraction release.



    cheers
     
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  16. 1chris5

    1chris5 Getting on the lift Skier

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    Magnificent skiing! Yes, I now understand the concept of glisse (glide) and how important it is in her fast skiing (and ours). At Pugski, we are "la fraternite de la glisse"! Parsing these movements is really helpful. Cheers.
     
  17. 1chris5

    1chris5 Getting on the lift Skier

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    So are you saying, that her sitting back changes COM more aft. This balancing movement allows her the ability to get on a larger edge angle quicker. This aft balances then allowing her to move to transition quickly and in a balanced glide? Cheers
     
  18. Swede

    Swede Out on the slopes Skier

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    And the result from her technique is that she spends less time turning and more time going straight. A SL-turn generates seversl g:s and needless to say it's not only quicker, it puts less stress on your body. There are girls on the WC that run fairly close on the first 1/3, on the last half and especially the last 1/3 she has been in a different legaue.
     
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  19. dj61

    dj61 Booting up Skier

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    She has in interesting rhythm in my view. Pressure late in the turn leading to a fast transition and then slowly into the next turn.
     
  20. Swede

    Swede Out on the slopes Skier

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    Just want to add, seeing that someone already posted a run from the finals (which sort if contradicts what I wrote first), that she didn't really ski as well at the end if this season in SL. Her normal superiority that built up a distance to the competition in turn after turn isn't evident in that particular run.
     
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