We Started On The Monday Morning On Snow With Geri Tombasz From Telemark Austria And Their Concepts Of ‘Cross-Functional Engagement’. Geri’s Session Provided A Fascinating Insight Into How Telemark Austria Have Developed A System Or Set Of Activities That Are Specifically Designed To Take Alpine Skiers Onto Freeheel Equipment, Enhance Their Skill Levels Skiing With ‘Heels Down’ Initially And Then Including The Telemark Stance And The Lead Change Movement. In Other Words The Concept Is To Encourage Alpine Skiers To Ski In A Familiar Way Or With A Familiar Technique First, Improve Specific Skills That Will Carry Through To Telemark Skiing, Whilst Skiing The ‘Familiar’, And Then, Once They Are Ready, Adding In Telemark Movements That Can Then Be Taken On Board In A More Efficient, Satisfactory, Successful And Enjoyable Way. Towards The End Of The Session, Geri Was Using A Single Skills Focus And Was Able To Illustrate How The Exact Same Focus Is Evident In Alpine, Telemark – And Snowboard Riding! Truly Cross-Functional Engagement!

Geri’s On Snow Sessions Were Followed Up That Evening At The Lanersbach Tux Centre By Sepp Resch’s Presentation Of The Theoretical Based Fundamentals Of ‘Cross-Functional Engagement’. This Gave Us All The Context And Understanding We Needed To Fully Understand The Thinking Behind This Concept And Sepp Gave Us A Clear Picture Of How Successful This Has Been In ‘Spreading The Word’ About Telemark Amongst Alpine Skiers In Particular. Telemark Austria’s Premise Was That We Need To Be Proactive In Encouraging More People To Telemark Ski And Their Way Is To Engage With Existing Alpine Skiers That Gives These Skiers The Understanding, Skills And Confidence To Ski Telemark And, In So Doing, Develop The Motivation And Enthusiasm To Do More!

Following Sepp’s Talk, John Eames Gave A Short Presentation On The British Association Of Snowpsorts Instructors (BASI) Approach To Teaching And, In Particular, Providing Aspirant Telemark Instructors A Sound Framework As To How They Can Introduce And Develop The Skills Of Their Client Groups And, In Particular, Provide Optional Routes To Developing Specific Telemark Skills Through BASI’s 4 ‘Telemark Progressions’. John Used A PowerPoint Presentation To Illustrate BASI’s Telemark Manual And Also Showed BASI’s Telemark Progressions Video Which Nicely Complements The Words And Still Images Of The Manual. Guiding Principles To BASI’s Approach Include:

Anyone Wanting To Learn Telemark Could Come From A Whole Variety Of ‘Sliding Backgrounds’ With A Whole Range Of Abilities.

Before Introducing Telemark Movements It Is Hugely Advantageous That A Skier Can Ski Alpine Parallel Turns On, Say, A Steeper ‘Blue’ Or Easy ‘Red’ Piste

Following The Introduction Of The Lead Change BASI Suggest 4 Telemark Progressions: ‘Fan Approach’, Plough To Telemark’, ‘Parallel To Telemark’ And The Fascinatingly-Named ‘Tele Worms’.  These Can Be Used Separately Or In Combination With One More Of The Other Progressions. The Instructor Makes The Choice To Suit Available Terrain And Snow, The Background And Abilities Of The Students And The Instructor’s Own Experience Level And Willingness To Be Creative With These Progressions I.E. These Are Not Definitive But Provide A Strong And Versatile Framework For The Aspirant Telemark Instructor.

At The End Of This Process It Is Intended That Students Will Ski Linked, Medium Radius Telemark Turns, With Pole Plant On A ‘Blue’ Piste.

This Provides The Foundation For More Advanced And Faster Skiing On-Piste, Skiing Off-Piste And Variable Snows, Steep Slopes And Mogul Skiing.

Interestingly Both The Austrian And The British Concepts And Approaches Had A Very Similar Fundamental Idea – That Skis Are Designed To Turn (!), We Are All Skiers And Skis Respond To The Same Inputs From The Skier, Whatever The Technique Used. As Telemark Skiers We Do Some Things Different In How We Manage Our Bodies But Our Input To The Ski Or Board Is Exactly The Same As For Alpine Skiers And Snowboarders.

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