How do you keep your head upright / eyes level?

Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 5,750 Mega Baller
edited April 2013 in Advanced Topics
I drop my head toward my inside shoulder in most of my turns -- sometimes even beyond in line with the rest of my body. Thanks to @ShaneH I realized I need to fix this. Started to last year but found the change harder than expected.

My questions for the gurus are:

1) How important is this?

2) How do I fix it? Drills? Vision cues? On-shore exercises? Other?
Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan

Comments

  • HortonHorton Posts: 24,622 Administrator
    To me it is all where you are looking

    Eyes on horizon => head up

    Looking down at ball => head down

    On shore exercises? Really? Seriously? Are you asking for a Panda?

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  • tsixamtsixam Posts: 373 Baller
    I also have a tendency to drop my head, especially on my onside. What I try to do that is a big help is: when I approach the ball and know Im going to make it, I lift my vision and spot the next ball which is in front of tha boat. It is almost impossible to drop the head when looking at the next ball. It will feel awkward in the beginning but you will get used to it after some sets. Holding on with two hands longer might also be a big help if you think that you are falling in too much.
    Tsixam
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 5,750 Mega Baller
    edited April 2013
    @tsixam Thanks. When you say "next" ball do you mean the very next on the opposite side of the course? I thought I was supposed to be looking more straight ahead?

    @Horton I should have been more specific: My head drop is to the (in)side, not forward -- it's like I'm trying to rest it on my shoulder. (Edited OP to clarify.) And I am thinking of starting a Panda collection -- but seriously I have a very strong instinct that I need to break. Willing to try (almost) anything.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MSMS Posts: 4,486 Mega Baller
    I always vision myself looking like @Sethski. I don't think I end up looking like that but it helps me try. I think he has the best level eyes/head form out there.
    Shut up and ski
  • HortonHorton Posts: 24,622 Administrator
    @Than_Bogan
    I suspect that if you are simply more aware of where you are looking out will help a lot.

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  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    It also has a lot to do with what you do with your upper body through and beyond the edge change. If you keep your torso loaded against and behind the handle through the edge change this will result in the "reverse c" (or "c" going into the 246 side) position that gets discussed so thoroughly in here (rightly so), then you are in the early stages of keeping your shoulders level through and beyond the edge change. If you let your shoulders and torso "swap positions" with your legs during the edge change - in other words, let your torso get pulled over toward the boat as your ski and legs move under you during the edge change, then staying level in the shoulders and head and vision is very difficult. You really need to resist the pull from the boat during and beyond the edge change to stay level and be able to control your vision. If you are tilting in with your upper body then leveling your shoulders and vision later while coming into the buoy, that is kind of a band aid fix. Chew on dat.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
    Than_BoganEd_JohnsonA_BWish
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 1,716
    @Than_Bogan

    @jimbrake is 100% correct....It really has a lot to do with upper and lower body separation...Technically it is Angulation vs Inclination, with Inclination being defined as tipping the whole body off the vertical or upright axis. In other words, skiing like a pencil.

    With Angulation, you are "forming" an angle between two body parts..The Reverse C is the perfect example...You need to feel like you have a plate on your head with a glass of water on it, and you don't want to "Spill" the water...Try visualizing going through the Slalom Course in your mind, with your lower body doing all the work, while the upper body stays still and quiet.

    For me the key points I look for in Video Review , are the Rev. C position following the transition/edge change, and the C position at the Apex....With Head and Shoulders Level at the Apex in the C Position, I am looking ahead, down course through the hookup....Then my Eyes Shift (not my head), towards the white water, 1st Wake area, as I advance my COM in the direction of travel...Then Jim Brakes explanation of the Rev. C applies very well for the transition.

    Hope this helps....EJ
    Loving the Reflex Supershell with R Style Rear !!!
    A_BTexas6
  • tsixamtsixam Posts: 373 Baller
    @Than_Bogan when you know you are going to clear 2 ball find 3-ball and keep your eyes on it untill you know you are going to make it.
    Tsixam
  • ralral Posts: 1,677 Mega Baller
    I do the same in my offside (LFF). For some reason, just looking somewhere does nos solve this for me. What has worked for me is, when approaching 2 and 4, try to go "beyond level" line with my shoulders as if someone was pulling my left hand down, and tilt my head all the way left. Wth that, although I feel like my upper body is inclined left, it is much closer to being leveled (but still slightly inclined right).

    Hope what I wrote is understandeable...
    Rodrigo Andai
  • A_BA_B Posts: 3,862 Mega Baller
    One simple thought might be to think of leading with your hips vs. head when you want to turn. This helps me separate my upper and lower body. It may not be 100% technically correct, but it is one my perception vs. reality things. I am much better doing this on my onside, because I have to think about countering on my offside, and I can only think of one thing at a time.. However, when I am rushed, I fall back into leading with my head and putting a crank on the line.
    Ed_Johnson
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    @AB. I think that is technically very correct and not just a perception thing. The trick is to lead with the hips all the way back to the handle, not just into the apex. I was into counter-rotation very early on many years ago because it was an easy thing for me to understand and do from years of ski racing. However, I used to, and still occasionally do, battle with countering to be level in the shoulders, move COM forward, etc., but then throw it all out the window by rotating vision, head, shoulders, hips, knees, feet, and toes from the apex back to the handle. That kind of kills everything I was trying to achieve with the counter in the first place. Your tip is a good one.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
    Ed_JohnsonA_Bcragginshred
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