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Thread: Question for Kaylin Richardson - Free Skiing & Gate Drills

  1. #1
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    Free Skiing & Gate Drills

    What are your favorite free skiing drills (thousand steps, one ski - which variation, unbuckled boots, Schlopy/Heisman, javelin, etc.) and gate drills (Wagner, Rosee, etc.) Why are these drills your favorites?


  2. #2
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    Favorite skiing drills-- "Poles across the shoulder" (sliding the turn to maintain speed and also carving). I like this dril because the focus is to keep the poles level to the hill eliminating dropping your inside shoulder (leaning in). It helps me feel that pinch between my upper and lower body giving me the stable position that is key to fast skiing. I also like it because I think about keeping the pole square to the hill eliminating rotation. I tend to sometimes rotate at the end of the turn and this drill gets the right movement patterns to fire before I get into a course. I also like to ski with my hands on my knees. I push my inside knee in when I am turning to make a nice parallel edge with my legs/skis. I sometimes have an "A" frame stance (slightly knock kneed), especially at beginning of my tuck turns, and this helps me be conscious of what my knees are doing.

    Favorite gate drills- Skiing gates with different hand/arm postions. In a rhythmical GS course starting with poles, then with no poles, then hands folded across your chest, then finally with your hands behind your back. This progression gets harder and harder and when you take away a big component of balance (your poles and arms) all your little flaws come out immediately. With my arms crossed at the top of the turn I often have to put my arms out for balance because I do inside too early and need to "catch" myself, sacrificing my hand position. It is a good drill because it shows you what you need to work on; it makes it glaringly apparent. I also like putting brush gates in the transisiton to help me with my patience. When there is a brush gate you have to pass it makes it impossible to start the turn too early (one of my all-time flaws) removing my chance to double turn.

    I know these are simple, but, even now on the World Cup I come back to these drills on a very regular basis. There is no secret to ski racing; it is just mastering the basics.

    Thanks,
    Kaylin

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