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One part technique thought, many more parts inspiration.

sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
edited December 2017 in Other Stuff
My daughter showed me this TED talk tonight from a Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Team member on their Nordic team. It is largely about women in sport. And is truly inspirational in that regard IMO. But in addition, it is inspirational in the technique discussion regarding "learning how to fall" forward that she addresses in her talk. I find it very worthy of thought and consideration for myself, though I am not female, in terms of an approach to moving/falling forward to become more efficient on my ski, and a mental approach to get there. I hope some of you others might also enjoy it.

Published on Dec 13, 2017
Every wonder why you just can't get the right technique down? Former professional athlete Annie Pokorny considers what barriers exist to free movement for female athletes, and how identifying those barriers can change the way we experience the world well beyond sport. Annie Pokorny is a writer, blogger, and former professional athlete living in Ketchum. She spent her life moving between Utah, Colorado, Washington, Vermont, and Idaho in search of cross-country ski glory, eventually making her home in the Wood River Valley. She graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College, where she fostered her entrepreneurial spirit, love for philosophy, and affection for fermented beverages. In 2015, she became a grantee of the Women's Sports Foundation, whose mission of introducing healthy, active lifestyles to women has become a driving passion in her writing, travel, and speaking. In fact, she has just launched women's style and adventure web mag designed to do just that! Her big dreams include running a successful internet business and being able to comfortably afford organic strawberries. If you want to avoid an hours-long conversation, probably don't ask her about her truck. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    In addition to the challenges faced by female athletes addressed by this young woman, I was really impressed with her concepts in terms of "Falling Forward" in order to be efficient, and her consideration of what held her back from that. In the last minutes of the talk, she reveals that it boils down to fear of failure, fear to move into "unsafe" space. I attempting to learn how to move my mass toward the new ball to create that speed, but it is a hard thing mentally to do, and thinking about it in a disjointed way holds me back. Thinking about it from a whole body moving into space you want to occupy approach makes sense to me. And fear of failure, injury, etc. are barriers to overcome in getting there. Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool and applies to waterskiing and being efficient and fast on the ski, as well as applying to being efficient on a nordic ski.
  • SheSkisStrongSheSkisStrong Posts: 7 Baller
    This was such a great talk, thank you for sharing this!
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,019 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Great talk, thanks for posting
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,658 Administrator
    I am certainly not a sexist or a misogynist but I must be a neanderthal because I don't get it.

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  • thagerthager Posts: 4,295 Mega Baller
    No, but you are a M-a-n!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • braindamagebraindamage Posts: 132 Baller
    edited January 6
    I get the “occupy the space in front of you”. I used to do triathlons and the mass of people at the swim start freaks out most people. The solution is to swim as if you occupy the space in front of you and swim like you are alone in the water. If you hit someone else, most likely they will move by the time you return to that stroke side. Most people recoil, short stroke, swim inefficiently, and get in the way of people behind them. Its the natural reaction.

    There are tons of things in life where your natural reaction is the opposite of what will breaking at the waist with a flat ski to absorb the shock (natural reaction) vs holding your stacked position and slicing across the wake (what works best).
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 806 Crazy Baller
    edited January 6
    Not sure about the entire story line she's presenting, but if any part is true good for her. Will help many women. And moving forward into the space is awesome for us neanderthals. Sent this to my daughter.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 797 Mega Baller
    Kinda agree with @Horton reminds me of this to some degree:

  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    edited January 6
    Well, I am not sure what to say. Glad some really like it. Glad some see the more general points for all of us, and are willing to consider the more women's specific points. As far as her trying to "sound smart", I don't know. Graduating summa cum laude from Middlebury (see bio quoted above) shows me she has that sewn up.

    I can say that I used some of her concepts in overcoming fear of moving into space during a private lesson with a relatively young woman who had been spooked on her snow skis after falling at SV, and it really helped her. After also finding her base of support and feeling the support of the surface, the skis and her feet in her boots, so that she could then move forward, seeing that space and taking it. Worked great for her and she had tears of joy and hugs to share with me. It was one of the most rewarding lessons I had had in a long time. Thanks, Annie. I had never considered things in that way before.

    Certainly not trying to start some sort of argument. Please take what you like (or are willing to consider) and leave the rest. Peace.
  • lcarneslcarnes Posts: 111 Solid Baller
    I've been going to Women's Week at Coble Ski School for 9 years. April gets such great results with that group because she understands the differences in physiology between men and women, so she can coach to how a female body can gain leverage. She also embodies confidence, which is contagious.

    Annie had some insights in her talk that I am still trying to understand. I will say this - the very day I watched the talk, I happened to open a pickle jar later in the day. Using her technique, that sucker opened right up. Can't wait for ski season!
  • phskiphski Posts: 2 Baller
    great talk! its a little eye opening because I always thought the reason the good women water skiers especially the elite skiers were so good was because they were more aware of their bodies. The women seem a lot better at using their whole body, a lot more in control. You see guys hanging on to all kinds of crap, terrible body position, etc. guys will just huck themselves out there a lot of times and scrap it out.
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