SHIFFRIN DEMYSTIFIED


Whenever ski racers like Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety and or more recently, Mikaela Shiffrin (who is being hailed as a female Ingemar Stenmark) dominate their competition they are typically viewed with mystique in the context of having some  unidentifiable athletic quality that is unique to them. While athletic ability definitely plays a role, arguably the single greatest factor working in their favour is the ability to develop a dynamically balanced base of support with which to exert superior control of their skis and to move from ski to ski; ergo from a dynamically balanced base of support on one foot to a dynamically balanced base of support on the other foot. The underlying process playing out unseen in the background is commonly referred to as ‘good balance’. But being able to recognize ‘good balance’ does not impart the ability to explain the mechanisms at work or, more important, to be able to teach or coach a racer how to have ‘good balance’. In a series of posts I will use the rising World Cup star, Mikaela Shiffrin, to explain how the best world’s skiers develop a dynamically balanced base of support and use it to make the Ski Move.

In the annotated photo below Shiffrin is about to make the transition from a dynamically balanced base of support on her right foot to a dynamically balanced base of support on her left foot. I have flagged 9 metrics for discussion that relate to Shiffrins ability to use her dynamically balanced base of support to advantage.

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In a series of posts I will show the progression of Shiffrin’s transition from a dynamically balanced base of support on her right (current) foot to a dynamically balanced base of support on her left foot and explain how each of the 9 metrics is affected.