Discover Skills, and Apply them Elsewhere
While taking a free run with me, an inquisitive and aspiring instructor asked what I thought he could do to make his short turns better. I looked over his short turns on smooth and bumpy terrain. I saw this instructor thrust the outside ski onto an edge and then pressure that ski. I used to do this and probably still do once in a while, but even using shaped skis, I try to blend the skills in my turns. I suggested this instructor be lighter on his edges and turn his feet more than he was doing. He followed me and did not quite get it right away. I then suggested some slippy falling leafs. He said he could do that, and that he was really good at 360's with his skis on the snow. These full circles while skiing are second nature for most instructors. It enables them to see their guests behind them. This instructor could do 360's smoothly and seamlessly. We did a bunch in both directions, then I said just stop doing the 360 half way through, and start one in the other direction. I drew a little sketch in the snow. At the point where the skis would be perpendicular to the fall line, I said, the next move of pointing your tips downhill is exactly what I'd like to see you do to start the turn. The next thing that happened was this guy skiing light, linked short turns.
The point of this story is not to prescribe how to enter short turns, but to re-emphasize the skill model. Often the recipients of our instruction have the skill they need to ski as we would like them to. Sometimes all we have to do is find out how and when a person performs a particular skill, - turning the feet, bending the knees, looking and moving ahead - whether in skiing or in some other activity, and help them transfer that movement skill in a helpful way at the most helpful time. Then comes the practice time.