19 May 2004 20:19:52
Erik Brooks
Re: measuring speed loss from Quiet-Upper-Body skate

Zach C wrote:
> I've seen
> many descriptions of technique that outline the various steps and
motions in
> the right order. I'm always left thinking that the whole description
is
> useless because it doesn't address the sensation of doing it right.
When I
> read what you're writing, Ken, I get the sense that you've parsed
your
> technique to a degree that goes far beyond my ability to make sense
of it.
> I'd just encourage you to play with the "big picture" - your ability
to
> visualize the way YOU ski and your ability to emulate the way other
people
> ski as a whole package rather than a bunch of discrete motions.
>
> Good luck!
> Zach

Thanks, Zach, for this and all of the other super useful posts you've
shared.

I've also read SOME of Ken's descriptions, but skimmed them mostly.
I'm a skier that learns by feel, and by listening to the counsel of
skiers and coaches that can actually see me ski and offer tips on the
spot. I've had doubts about Ken's methods of trying to learn by
watching videos and reading and asking here. I know it wouldn't work
well for me, but maybe it works for Ken....

Ken, I'm glad that you seem to be taking the positive view of the
good stuff that Zach shared. You've clearly got lots of time and
energy to devote to our sport. I'm sure you'll reach expert level
pretty soon. I'd like to see you go to one of the established camps
and share your impressions with the group.

Erik







20 May 2004 14:48:05
Ken Roberts
experiences with coaches and camps

Erik Brooks wrote
> I'd like to see you go to one of the established camps
> and share your impressions with the group.

Actually I've already been to two different camps, and I've taken lessons
from all kinds of coaches in the U.S. and Canada.

-- I've benefited greatly from it, and I highly recommend it.

-- They all said different things, many of them contradictory. (That's what
drove me to study World Cup videos)

-- I've found that there are lots of mediocre coaches around (including at
established camps), who are mostly pointing out the easily visible movements
and positions, rather than the subtle hard-to-spot things that are really
critical. They teach over-simplified principles -- exactly which ones
depends on which year they last went to a coaching camp. (Actually it was
fun to try out new motions and feelings, even if when I later figured that
they were not effective for me.)

-- There are a few gifted coaches, and small handful of geniuses. It was
worth trying out all those mediocre coaches in order to find the them.

The most important reason to study World Cup videos is to have an objective
basis for figuring which coaches don't know what they're talking about, so
you can move on and hope the next coach you try is one of the gifted. The
most important justification for all these technique discussions on this
newsgroup is so we can "compare notes" across different regions and coaching
styles, so each of us can figure out if we should be looking for a new
coach -- or at least generate new questions for our current gifted coach.

Ken




20 May 2004 18:15:26
Gene Goldenfeld
Re: experiences with coaches and camps

I think I suggested to you, or maybe it was someone else, to look up the
PSIA Level 3 instructors (including Nordic demo team members) in your
region, check if any of them race (and/or or coach a team), and see
about forming an ongoing relationship. With any instructor, it's a
matter of seeing if you develop confidence in their ability to help you,
and then sticking with them (ever notice how pro golfers and tennis
players don't bounce coach to coach, but have longterm serial
relationships?). Dan Clausen of Minocqua is just such a person in the
midwest, and I wish he was closer to the Twin Cities. I know of a name
or two back east, but don't know if they exactly fit the bill. If
interested, you could call Dan and ask him for some names, since he's
been around (in both senses) a long time. Or call the PSIA Eastern
office. In any event, no instructional relationship can be successful if
the student doesn't accept that the teacher knows more than they do, at
least until proven otherwise.

Gene


Ken Roberts wrote:
>
> -- I've found that there are lots of mediocre coaches around (including at
> established camps), who are mostly pointing out the easily visible movements
> and positions, rather than the subtle hard-to-spot things that are really
> critical. They teach over-simplified principles -- exactly which ones
> depends on which year they last went to a coaching camp. (Actually it was
> fun to try out new motions and feelings, even if when I later figured that
> they were not effective for me.)
>
> -- There are a few gifted coaches, and small handful of geniuses. It was
> worth trying out all those mediocre coaches in order to find the them.


20 May 2004 11:19:13
revyakin
Re: experiences with coaches and camps

> -- There are a few gifted coaches, and small handful of geniuses. It was
> worth trying out all those mediocre coaches in order to find the them.


Ken, can you post names of the geniuses?


20 May 2004 15:47:21
Pete Vordenberg
Re: experiences with coaches and camps

For some great clinics try www.nschultz.com

Also, Andrew Johnson and I are planning a camp (through Gear West) in
Minneapolis this September. Still in the planning phase.

Genius? You betcha.


20 May 2004 15:51:00
Pete Vordenberg
Re: experiences with coaches and camps

Correction: great camps at www.nsavage.com


Genius? Umm, maybe not.


21 May 2004 13:23:09
Ken Roberts
Re: experiences with coaches and camps

The word "genius" takes me in a different direction. Because genius-level
innovators are usually not available for coaching you and me -- and some
might not even good at coaching you or me.

Andrey asked:
> Ken, can you post names of the geniuses?

Limiting to the American scene:

Carl Swenson -- absorbed the best of the "new skate" and then worked out
where to go next, and showed it to us.

Chad Hedrick -- redefined the possibilities of leg-motion in skating.

the New England matrix -- there's a special energy there of several
individuals in passionate innovation of cross-country skiing: from
refinement of base-grinds to totally new ways to glide+grip on snow, from
learning-progression to event-organization. I don't live in New England and
I don't ski there much, but I try to connect with that energy.

Ken