What vs Why vs Interpretation/Implementation

HortonHorton Posts: 27,225 Administrator
edited May 2017 in Technique & Theory
“What” is the literal move required.

“Why” is the physics of slalom or reason for the What

“Interpretation/Implementation” is the way a skier tries to achieve the “What”.

I bring this up because I think there is some confusion created as conversations jump from What to Why to Interpretation/Implementation.

The “Why” makes for fun conversation but it has NEVER actually changed what I do on the water. The “Why” tells me I need my ski flatter in the water approaching 2 ball (On Side) and for a number of reasons. The “Why” does not offer instructions on “What” I actually need to do.

When we get to “What” things get a lot less quantitative. All I know is I need to get forward. In this case “What” is literally move COM forward.

Interpretation/Implementation is generally totally disconnected from the “Why”. It could be something as simple & obscure has changing where you are looking at a certain point. In the case of moving my mass forward into 2 ball, I made a lot of progress this week by focusing on my right hand at one ball. How this is true does not matter. The point is that I believe skiers need to compartmentalize their thinking into these three buckets or something similar.

I often read advice from one Baller to another that randomly mixes these 3 buckets. Maybe my favorite example is one Baller telling another to get their hips up or more stacked. That is a “What” and for a skier who does not know how to translate it to an “Interpretation/Implementation” it is a useless suggestion.

Another way to put is that "What" is the destination without a map and "Interpretation/Implementation" is the map.

When I watch less skilled skiers I coach or comment with Interpretation/Implementation. The more skilled the skier the more I tend to comment with "What" I see.
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Comments

  • 2tracmind2tracmind Posts: 49 Baller
    I Agree. I find it quite painful to listen to someone giving feedback and coaching when the "Mixing of Buckets" occurs. This frustration is only eclipsed by the coaching the mistake that ends a pass ( i.e. 2 ball ) and not picking up the small changes or mistakes that occurred earlier in the pass vs their successful passes.
    The "Simple & Obscure" in my opinion is linked to "Rhythm and Timing" which is the key to identifying good passes from bad passes or even a brilliant set vs a bad set. A small deviation on your gate pull out intensity at your hardest pass that you can run maybe all it takes to not complete the pass BUT you might get to five ball and identify the mistake as a bad 4 ball turn.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,547 Mega Baller
    I find a lot coaches try to keep things simple and just give the what. For my engineering technical brain I can generally implement better if I can reason through the rest. I've seen others that are very athletic and are very good at taking the what and just making it happen.
    Than_Bogan
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,359 Mega Baller
    Depends so much on the student. I can't do anything without understanding why -- and sometimes I can't do it anyhow.
    But others don't care about the Why and just thrive on the details of what to do. Still others really need "cues" that indirectly help them make desired movements.
    So ya gotta find a matching coach!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Wishski6jones
  • elrelr Posts: 280 Mega Baller
    I am NOT a high end skier/coach. I have driven for and observed many high end skiers. I learned early on that the way I could help high end skiers the most was was to be a set of eyes or butt gauge. At the start of the set I ask "is there anything you want me to look/feel for. Do you want to ask or do you want me to tell."
    Ed Rink - LSF Texas
    Than_Boganski6jones
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,225 Administrator
    edited May 2017
    @Rico and I were talking this morning and I had a bit of an epiphany.

    For me "Light on the Line" is not a "What" or a "Why" it is how I try to “Interpretation/Implementation” load later. I try to put in less and load less. The reality is I most likely am going as hard at center line all the time but when I try to be lighter I am not has heavy off the ball.

    My point to all of this is we as skiers get confused between perception and reality.
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    ricoThan_BoganWish
  • WishWish Posts: 7,724 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited May 2017
    Can't tell you how many times I try something I've been told and it feeeels like it is making a positive diff only to watch the video later and be very disappointed. Confusion is something I think resides in any sport where the top are pushing the envelope and we are just clawing our way along. Thought archery would be easy to grasp from a technical stand point with the what and why as my daughter got into it. Very wrong and I'm confused with all of it and in awe that she can hit a quarter at 20 meters. I think @Than_Bogan is right in that it can all depends on the student. I never cared about the why. Now everything related to slalom has to have the why answered.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,225 Administrator
    edited May 2017
    @wish if you try something random and the impact is clearly positive how would not knowing "the why" hurt your skiing? I understand it would inflame curiosity and drive you crazy but as long as you get more balls....

    I want to know why but I more want to just ski better.
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  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 946 Mega Baller
    The why helps me better understand the what. It's so easy to lose track of all the "what"s I'm supposed to do, especially as time progresses and I begin focusing on different things in my skiing. If I have a why tucked away then it helps me better understand what I might need to do when the wheels start coming off.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 704 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited May 2017
    You don't need to know all the physics behind what you are trying to do, but I do believe you need to have an understanding of what it is you want to achieve.

    A good example of this is swinging on a swing. If your goal is to swing as high as possible, you can get on the swing and make movements that will get you higher and higher. You don't focus on the exact movements, but you will be making very specific movements at specific times.

    Imagine if you tried to only focus on the specific movements on the swing, and ignored how high you were going. Lean back when you're at the top of the back swing, kick your legs out as you come into the bottom of the swing, lean forward just before you apex on the forward swing, pull your legs up, etc.

    You might end up swinging fairly high by focusing on each of these moves, but it will be disjointed, choppy, and you won't go as high as you could. Also you can try changing your timing or your movements, but if you ignore your height you don't really know if it's helping or hurting.

    The same is true in skiing. We want to swing up on the boat as fast and high as we can, and then make a smooth change of direction back the other way. By knowing and paying attention to the overall goal we can change our movements to help reach that goal.

    That's part of why I advocate free skiing, it gets us to stop focusing on buoys and just pay attention to how we are swinging relative to the boat, which is all we're really doing.
    dchristmanBruce_ButterfieldALPJr
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,089 Mega Baller
    edited May 2017
    If only slalom was as easy simple as swinging!
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 704 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @dchristman no kidding
    dchristman
  • WishWish Posts: 7,724 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Horton the one thing that the why has done for me recently is allow me to take a variety of coaching tips and apply them to what I know in the "why" colum and if it seems reasonable and not counter productive, I'll try it. If it sounds counter productive, I won't listen. Much of what I hear coached or suggested here is good. But there's the advice that simply does not fit my belief. But that's just me. If it makes my skiing better, knowing why helps with the next tip.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    Than_Bogan

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