Saturday, January 24, 2009

Following through through following

The other day MK and I went skiing. If you've read this blog before, you'll know that skiing has been a real boon for MK and that, though it was a challenge for him to learn how two years ago, once he got it, he really got it.

Nonetheless, by the end of last year we hit a plateau that MK was unwilling to go beyond. He had learned good parallel skiing style, including hockey-stops and all the rest, and he was comfortable with all those moves on the bunny slope or relatively flat parts of the green runs. But as soon as the pitch of the terrain steepened, MK would revert to the snowplow (a technique in which you point the tips of you skis together, making a triangle shape, which lets you move very slowly). That's a sensible thing to do when you fear you might loose control, but to be safe and have fun on steeper terrain, you really have to use parallel techniques. MK and I had quite a few talks about this, and I did a lot of coaching, and while he was willing to do a few parallel turns on the steeper stuff under duress, it seemed we had come to an impasse.

Since I am writing this post, you have probably guessed that something worked, and that we hit on a way of following through. If you paid attention to the title, you will also know that this was done through following.

What happened was simple. We were going done a really flat part of a green run and I was complimenting MK on his nice parallel turns. Then I said that I liked them enough that I was going to try to copy them. So I got behind him and skied exactly in his tracks, going where he went and turning where he turned. Amazingly, MK started making parallel turns all the way down, including the steeper parts, where he had always switched back to the snowplow before. When we got to the bottom, he told me he felt better about his skiing with me behind him. So we did it again, this time he decided to make it tough for me. He started skiing faster and speeding up the turns to try and throw me. On the third run he was actually carving (short fluid turns) and in a couple of places he did, indeed, make it impossible for me to stay in his tracks.

So there it is. He learned something and I learned something.

1 comment:

Niksmom said...

Oh, this gives me such skier's-envy! I haven't skied (sp?) in years.

That is an awesome and fun story. Way to go, MK!