This is probably one the hardest and most important skills that needs to be developed in skiers. If they are not in an athletic stance then they just will not be able to keep up with their skis. In other words their center of mass (their balance) will be behind their base of support (their feet). They’ll be in the back seat, and use all kinds of weird moves to try to get their skis to turn and be under control.
An exercise that I just heard in a PSIA podcast is to get people to side slip on one ski. Can’t wait to go out and experiment with it. We have a number of instructors that I think could benefit from this. We also have an instructor that doesn’t believe in the one ski exercises at the beginner level. The speaker suggested that doing more one ski exercises with never-evers will help them be more successful in finding an athletic stance. She said we should all work harder at teaching and finding a good stance.
I’m interested in finding more techniques that will help me help people develop a good stance on skis.
Lately (since being introduced to it at RM Fall Training), I’ve been working with the idea of having engaged ankles through neutral. I think it’s helping me in my own skiing and helping others that I’m trying to share it with. One of the things I’ve noticed is that it helps maintain a good stance while sliding forward on skis. In other words helps a skier keep their center of mass over their sliding/moving base of support.
When we allow our ankles to open too much, like what you might feel using up-unweighting or extending a leg to direct pressure to the outside ski (standing up on it), it tends to allow our center of mass get behind our feet and skis. Keeping our ankles engaged through transition helps us to be set up (in a good stance) for the upcoming turn.