In-Depth 2022 Post 5
By Julianne Moseley
My mentor has given me several learning opportunities over the course of this project. He has forwarded me many sources and useful websites to read about carving, alpine skiing, and a website that gives me several drills. He has taught me a lot about carving, and this learning opportunity has opened me up to be more confident with my speed. Over the past few times I have skied, both I, and my mom have noticed that I seem to be skiing a lot faster and getting more comfortable with these higher speeds. I think my new knowledge on carving, has led to new learning and I am beginning to experiment with speed more often. By him teaching me about carving, and ski racing in general, he has opened me up to new learning.
Over the past few weeks, I have gotten the chance to ski three times. During the first time, we had great weather conditions and I took several videos. In my last post, I made a goal for myself to maximize the amount of time I practice when I am on the hill. So, I made sure to do this. I took many carving videos, videos of me lifting my inside foot (drill), and videos of me keeping my chest inside the pole gates I created for myself (drill). I maxed out the time I had on the hill by practicing many times throughout the day. On the second day, the weather conditions were not very good. It had not snowed in Whistler for a week, there were clouds, it was cold, conditions were extremely icy, and visibility was not the greatest in certain areas. I noticed that the icy conditions affected my ability to carve. Usually, I can use my edges to dig into the snow and turn. But icy hills kept me from digging my edges into the snow and instead, I kept slipping. I found it very difficult to practice carving in these conditions. At one point, my ski flew over a large ice chunk, and I almost fell. Another time, I relied on my edges too much and instead of digging into the ice, my skis just slipped, and I fell over. It turns out that icy conditions make ski racing much harder. This is not something I had thought about before. It has opened me up to new questions. I asked my mentor many questions about how to race in these icy conditions. Is there a slight change in form, a different type of ski, freshly sharpened edges, or do you just have to deal with it as best you can? This is another example of how he provided me with learning opportunities that opened me up to new questions and learning. After asking him, he explained to me that it is very important to get freshly sharpened edges, and in these conditions, I should focus extra hard on really digging my edges into the ice as I turn. Leaning forward in my ski boots will also help with this. The third time I went skiing, I didn’t practice any of my drills, because I strictly wanted to focus on carving. I have been working on it for weeks, and my mentor says he can see my improvement. But I still have a ways to go. I think it will take me years to perfect my carving, but I want to get this skill under my belt as soon as possible so I can start to focus on some of the smaller things I wanted to learn about ski racing. My mom took many carving videos for me, and I can see the improvement too. I really tried to focus on leaning as much as possible to get my angle closer to those of professionals.
I am still working on improving my carving skills to become faster and have better form. I have been looking at photos to compare the angle I am skiing at, to the angle of the professionals in the photos. The angle the professionals have almost makes it look like they are sitting down! This has shown me that I have a ways to go. I still need to get more comfortable with committing and trusting my edges to hold me. A video I watched online explains how I should trust myself to topple into my turns and for my skis to catch me every time I finish my curve.
Professional carving angle:
Compared to a video of my carving: 70d54ba8-14b8-4d83-87da-3472c8090450
One helpful learning opportunity that has both helped me to reinforce new learning, and accelerate my learning, is the internet. I have used the internet to look at several carving videos, websites, and other resources. The internet has helped me accelerate my learning with carving videos. I have watched a few carving videos that I believe have helped me grasp the concept faster. When I am practicing, I think about what one of the videos told me. It told me to topple on each turn and catch myself with my edges at the end of the turn. It stated that in order to do this, I need to trust my edges more, and get more comfortable with letting my skis catch me at the bottom of each turn. Another learning opportunity that has accelerated my learning is the GMC Race Centre. It has helped me to practice in a real racing situation, and this puts me in the mindset I need to improve my time. I have also been able to use the internet to reinforce new learning. One of the drills he gave me included putting my upper body in between two pole gates I create for myself. The purpose of this is to have separation between my upper and lower body. But I was unsure why separation was necessary, so I researched on the internet. Ski Technique 101 says that body separation is necessary to be able to balance on your edges more effectively and create larger edge angles. The internet has helped me to learn more about what my mentor explained to me; therefore, it has reinforced new learning.
Below is the video of the drill involving body separation:
When my uncle and I get together and discuss my project, we often talk about carving, as this is my most dominant task at the moment. Last time I talked to him, I was able to see him in person, so he did a visual representation of what I should do when carving. When I am on my edges, my legs are going to be at an angle, so he says I need to counter that weight to prevent falling over. While the lower body is creating a carving angle, the upper body is leaning back towards the skis, almost in a letter C shape, as he showed me. After he told me this, I thought about body separation again, and how it is transferred into ski racing.
One thing that is going well in our mentoring relationship, is that we are talking to one another more frequently. I recently talked to him, and I will be seeing him again next week, so I will be able to talk to him again about my progress and feedback. I think if I can talk to him more often, I will be able to improve at a faster rate, and our relationship as a mentor and mentee will continue to grow. Though I think our mentor and mentee relationship will grow stronger, my mentor is my uncle, so we already have a solid relationship. Because of this, I don’t know if I have learned anything new about him. Although, during our last meeting, I noticed how he showed me a visual representation. This shows me that he is a visual learner, or that he likes to represent or teach in visual ways. Or, he has learned that I am a visual learner, and is trying to meet my learning preferences. I can’t be certain, but I can guess that he likes learning and teaching with visual representations.