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FOUNDATIONS: Transitions

 

Coaches break down a turn into three distinct segments, or phases; the initiation (sometimes called the top of the turn), the body (the phase of the turn containing the apex), and the completion (sometimes called the bottom of the turn). They break a turn down this way so that the unique movements that take place in each of these three turn phases can be individually explained and addressed.

But in spite of all the focus that gets placed on the parts of a turn, the movement elements that actually carry the most importance in ensuring quality skiing are widely recognized as those labeled the transition. The transition is the period during which one turn is ended and a new turn begun. It involves all the movements that cause our Center of Mass to cross over the skis, the skis edges to disengage from the old turn, and the skis opposite edges to re-engage for the new turn. What takes place during this transitional period is crucial because the nature and quality of the movements used dictates the type of transition that will be employed, and the efficiency of that chosen transition.

Most people have one transition upon which they almost solely depend, and the quality of that personal default transition is usually not up to par. This type of transition exclusivity is a severe detriment to skiing performance because of the limitations it imposes on the options a skier has at his or her disposal for finishing and starting turns.

Our TRANSITIONS instructional DVD attempts to replace transitional exclusivity with transitional versatility. We present multiple forms of transitions, each designed to serve a unique purpose, and explain in detail the benefits and shortcomings of each type. As students begin to learn and incorporate these various transitions into their technical skill base, they find their ability to adapt and adjust the transition they use to fit the situational need grows rapidly. They also find that they begin to develop an acute awareness of the precise movements they're employing, and can easily distinguish between even subtle movement and transition variations. Often it's an awareness that had prior been vague at best.

TRANSITIONS is a very important technical development area, and those who pursue and perfect the lessons we make available in this DVD will find a new confidence and awareness they've never known emerge in their skiing.