Friday, January 8, 2016

Power, Versatility, Simplicity

I just got back from PSIA Eastern Telemark Team training at Killington, and I wanted to write this down before I forget. I was asked to teach a segment, and it didn't really go well. I started out with too broad of a topic, threw out too wide of a net, and had a hard time reeling everything in at the end. I need to refocus and figure out what I want my skiing and teaching segments to be like.

So, to that end, I wanted to come up with some things that I want to be known for - some things that I can put into every teaching segment that will represent what skiing means to me. I've come up with 3 little points that I want to keep in mind when brainstorming ideas for drills and tasks: Power, Versatility, and Simplicity.

Power is good for me because I like to ski strong. I have this idea that the Telemark position is a position of strength, and I want to move from position of strength to position of strength. Power means that I'll be able to overcome obstacles, and I won't be thrown aside when something unexpected happens (and something unexpected always happens).

Versatility means that I want everything that I teach to be applicable everywhere on the hill. We did a lot of race/groomer/carving focuses during training, and it was great to visit, but I don't want to live there. I want to have a style that is useful on groomers, useful on bumps, useful in the trees, and useful in the terrain park. I want to be able to transfer between those zones using the same general movements (but tweaking slightly to add a little more dynamism for carving, a little more pivot for bumps, etc.).

Finally, I want my moves, drills, and explanations to be simple. I've found that in golf, the simplest swings are the most effective, and I feel like skiing (and teaching) is similar. There shouldn't be a lot of extraneous movements or unnecessary words. I feel like I need to polish all of my stuff so that I can describe the specific movements in a few precise sentences. And I want those movements to be easy to accomplish for anyone.

So that's what'll be going through my head for the next couple of months. I'm probably going to use this space to expound on these ideas in a little more detail. I have a nice idea of power, and I wrote about it in the Eastern division newsletter, but I need to come up with a couple of other drills and precision descriptions of movements so that I can be ready to teach my style of skiing right on the spot, to a group of really amazing skiers.


  1. Just on a chance I checked your blog, nice to see a new post, and I enjoyed it! When your Grandfather tried to "improve" my golf game he only focused on one or two things, didn't fill my head with overload. It's all about basics.

  2. Great stuff Matt; keep it up. You're my hero.