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INSTRUCTION 101


Think of gravity as a door to move through while skiing. American VNL FKDPSLRQ 0LNDHOD 6KLffULQ VOLGHV WKURXJK Zith ease.


STEVEN EARL


HOW TO USE NATURAL MOVEMENTS WHEN TEACHING BEGINNERS


by Mac Jackson A


good friend and instructor once told me that there is noth- ing natural about skiing. He was so wrong. For about two decades, instead of using static positions – such as a wedge or parallel stance – when demonstrating skiing technique, I have


been teaching skiing using natural move- ments. I liken skiing to walking through a door. The door in this case is gravity. The biggest difference – well, besides the equip- ment and snow-covered mountain – is that gravity allows us to slide through the door instead of lifting our feet to walk. Using natural movements with first-time


skiers will help them throughout their skiing lives. And these same moves can be useful to the most proficient skier as well. Here is the process I use to teach natural movements


44 | 32 DEGREES • SPRING 2019


to first-timers. Use your expertise, imagina- tion, and creativity to make this work for all skiers, no matter what age or ability level.


1. AT FIRST, JUST JUMP AND LAND TO TEACH ATHLETIC STANCE At Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort, where I teach, we have the luxury of meeting first- time skiers (both kids and adults) indoors. This is helpful because we can teach the movements with no ski boots on. If this option isn’t available, it’s fine to do these


movements in the snow (with boots on). The first activity is to jump and land. When landing, the joints bend to absorb


the shock, from the ankles to the spine. By doing this, students automatically land in a jumping position; an athletic, ready stance. This is the only static position we use. Soccer goalies use this athletic stance, linebackers use it, tennis players use it – all athletes use it.


2. USE NATURAL MOVEMENTS TO SIMULATE SKIING Once everyone has achieved an athletic stance, start using leg and foot movements on the carpet to simulate what will happen on the snow. Most folks stand a little duck- footed naturally. Demonstrate tipping the


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