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Or so Mr Morrison told us lo, those many years ago…Fun on the snow was about an empty Bota bag and a nice fat one on the chair ride. These days I don’t even carry a bag-o-booze and the only “fat one” on the chair is me… But, there is no denying the wisdom of keeping your eyes on the road.
I have only a few mantras. Two of them are that, “good turns start with the eyes” and “If you are looking at the next turn, you’re too late”
When you are trying a new drill it is entirely natural to look down at your feet and legs and stuff to see if it looks right. I am not saying don’t EVER look at your feet. What I am saying is that just as soon as you can, STOP That!
The farther out in front of your feet your eyes are, the further in front your mind is.
When conditions and terrain get dicey, you need to free your mind to think tactically, to chose the best initiation and transition types that you can for each turn, and for your feet to execute your choices without conscious thought.
Balance is everything.
Your head weighs 14 pounds. When you look down at your feet, your fat head gets forward of your center of balance. If you have 14 pounds of skull hanging forward, to stay in balance, you must move 14 pounds of backside, to the rear. The next thing you know you are overly folded forward at the hips and backward at the knees and that position will wear you out in a hurry.
The problem with seniors skiing groomers is that the two-dimensional snow, and the lack of surprises let you get away with all sorts of bad habits.
The problem with looking at your feet is that you aren’t thinking about the next turn because you can’t see it. A lot of people have the physical skills to ski moguls or trees but they are constantly being surprised and get out of position in a hurry because their minds aren’t far enough out front.
Turns are everything.
Without them it wouldn’t be called “skiing”. It would be called “Flying thru the Lodge Windows”. When we practice, we are so very focused on the movements of initiation and transition that we forget that where the apex of a turn is placed is what keeps us from crashing into things and sets us up for success with subsequent turns.
Remedy..run some gates.
Even if you have no ambition to race, gates force you to focus on the apex of the turn.
Gates force you to get your eyes and mind out in front of your feet. Gates force you to plan your line.
If where you ski doesn’t have a fun course set up, stop your run every five or six turns and plan the next five or six turns by picking specific spots on the snow to place the apex of your turns. Look at the spot for your last turn and try to ski the line you picked while focused on the last turn. Perform the drill you are working on while running gates.
“Head up, Eyes up, mind out front, have a plan, execute”
…Fat head forward,
Getcha Fat butt back
Fat junk hurts
When you lose your stack