Are You Fit & Ready For The Slopes To Open?

Whether you’re lucky enough to be touring in the mountains or making the most of daily outdoor exercise in the UK with some running, we’re making the most of the lockdown so we’re fit and ready for the slopes to open!

We’ve teamed up with the wonderful Jo Pollard, a Physiotherapist based in Val d’Isere and Tignes who specialises in ski and snowboard injuries and injury prevention.  Jo is currently busy working with the New Zealand women’s World Cup racing team, so we’re thrilled that she’s put together some top tips for activation before you head out running or touring.
If you’d like any more info or some personalised advise, get in touch with Jo at https://jopollardphysio.com/

With the lockdown continuing in many places, a lot more people have taken to running recently.  And those of us who are lucky to live in the mountains are hitting the touring hard.

After hearing some grumbles from clients/friends, I have put together a few pre mountain or pre-running activation tips. 
There are of course many exercises and things you could/should/would do, but here are 5 exercises that should take no longer than 5 minutes (unless you’re enjoying them and want to do more 🙂 )

They are a quick combo of release work and activation to try and encourage the often lazy muscle groups to get going and try to dampen down/switch off some of the overactive ones.

This is, of course, different in people, but the trends are often overactive, tight hip flexors and tensor fascia latae (TFL) (especially when touring long periods with extra weight on your feet).  And sometimes lazy/under-active gluteal muscles.
Try spending 30sec-60secs with foam rolling/trigger point ball releasing the tighter muscle groups, then about the same amount of time ‘waking up’ or ‘activating’ the glut and stability muscles (i.e core and feet muscles).

Here are 5 exercises that should take no longer than 5 minutes…

Jo Pollard

1) TFL or Hip Flexor Release 

Here a small massage trigger ball is ideal, but a tennis or golf ball etc will do.  Depending on where you find the ‘spot’ place the ball against the wall and lean your weight into it.  If trying to target the TFL (the small triangular shape ‘meaty’ bit muscle just over/infront of the hip joint) place the ball here.  To target more the hip flexor at the front, you can lie stomach down and place the ball just below the pelvis (ASIS) and hip.
At first it may feel quite uncomfortable, but try to breathe slow and deep, and the discomfort should ease and release.

TFL or Hip Flexor Release

2) Foam Roller Release

So not the most comfortable thing to try and release, but try and ‘roll’ up and down the whole length of the outer leg (top of hip all the way to the knee). 
Try and keep your core engaged and reap the extra benefit of getting your core going too!
If you really struggle with upper body strength, you can place the roller against the wall (at different heights along your outer leg) – then lean all your body weight into it. 

Move the roller along the leg.

Foam Roller Release

3) Glute Activation 1

If you have some theraband that is ideal, but if not you can still connect and focus on activating your gluts without. 
Start either stood up or as I am here with a slight forward lean (but keeping spine neutral and core engaged). 
Keep the static leg soft and aligned over your second and third toes.
Take the moving leg out sideways, and slightly behind. 
Try to not let the toes turn out and open up – this gives your hip flexors more chance of firing when the aim is to get the gluteus medius working (i.e your pelvic stabiliser).

Glute Activation 1

4) Glute Activation 2

Here we are trying to get the glut max firing, one of the main hip extensors which will help you propel forwards with power and efficiency in both touring and running. 
Start again lined up, with a slight forward lean, but core engaged and spine neutral.  Try not to let the pelvis twist, or allow the lower spine to give into extension, allowing the lower back muscles to over dominante the movement.
It also helps to keep the moving leg relatively straight, to not allow the hamstrings to kick in too much. 
If you’re familiar with pilates this movement is a little bit like single leg kick. 
To really make sure the gluts are the prime mover, think to do a mini ‘butt’ squeeze first before moving into extension.

Glute Activation 2

5a) Runners Reach

a): Try reaching forwards and down, keeping your static leg soft, but relatively straight.  Watch the pelvis doesn’t open up and you keep your core switched on.

Runner Reach a)

5b) Runners reach

b): from the position above, using your core bring your back leg up in front to a balanced single leg position.  Try to use opposite arm to leg, to mimic a running type action that your brain is familiar with.  If you really want to challenge yourself and get your balance system going, try with your eyes closed!!

Runner Reach b)

As mentioned above, these exercises are in no way prescriptive and ‘one size fits all’. But they are a good starting point. The release work is also very good post run or tour – try working a little longer and combining with some stretches. Have an experiment with the massage ball.

For me personally I get pretty tight in my upper back and shoulders from where I previously broke my back, and where carrying a heavy ABS bag leaves me quite sore.
So I try and get the massage ball into those spots.

Have fun, stay fit and healthy 🙂
And of course get in touch if you are looking for more specific advice.

Jo at https://jopollardphysio.com/

Ski Season NZ Covid-19

How the Ski Season in New Zealand ran with Covid-19 restrictions

Colin Tanner 26th Sept 2020

As many of you may know, I spend my “summers” in New Zealand.
Obviously, summer in Europe is winter in NZ.

So in March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic really kicked in and France, like many other countries, shut down it’s ski resorts, I packed up my bags and headed to my family in New Zealand.

Like many of us we thought that after a few months is was all going to blow over…. how naive were we?

In NZ, about 3 months out from the start of the ski season, it became very apparent that the question about whether or not the 2020 NZ ski season could go-ahead was a very real question.

As I heard one Ski Area boss say – the goal of getting a covid-19 ski season up and running successfully became a bit of a shining light of hope for the whole country…and the global ski world was watching.

NZ’s Government implemented a 4 tier Alert Level system. With Level 4 being “full lockdown” and Level 1 being life as “normal” but with the international borders closed.

In the build-up to the winter season, NZ started dropping down from the initial Level 4, to Level 3. With hard work and collaboration of ski resort management, guidelines and operating protocols were written up that would allow ski resorts to open if, and only if, Alert Level 2 was achieved.

So the goal was clear, get to Level 2 and the lifts could turn!

As it turned out opening dates were delayed because of maintenance delays that were caused by full lockdown in Level 4.

Then the alert levels dropped from 3 to 2 and then to Alert Level 1, all before the revised opening dates of 26th June.

So we opened the season on alert Level 1 – no restrictions, no masks required, no distancing required.

But would there be any customers? The international borders were closed and there are normally a lot of Australians and other overseas visitors who come skiing in NZ.

Ski Coaching in a Mask
Following Protocols On the Mountain

Turns out that New Zealanders, and those that were already inside the borders, couldn’t leave the country, so they came skiing! There were some really busy days during school holidays when the resorts infrastructures (roads, car parks, access etc) reached maximum capacity and therefore naturally limited the number of skiers in each ski resort.

The resorts were short staffed – no international workers – and things were busy.

Then on the 11th August Covid came back! As of the 12th August the whole country was at Alert Level 2 – so all the protocols that were originally written up were rolled out.

Masks were required – interestingly enough a ski buff, or neck tube, or a scarf was considered a suitable mask.
Social distancing was required which meant limited numbers of people on a chairlift at any one time – although if you were in your own “bubble” then you could all get on a chairlift as normal.
Lift line queues became longer as minimum distances between people was required.
Ski School lessons were still OK, but again distancing was adhered to and face masks/covers were encouraged.

So on the snow you were outside, in vast open areas, and things worked well.

Inside buildings and spaces were some of the trickiest areas to make changes.
Tables spaced out, limited numbers of people allowed in any space.
Bad weather was going to pose a problem, the limit to the number of people in an area would still apply. So if a storm or bad weather came in then people would have to head home, they couldn’t just squeeze into a restaurant or cafe and ride it out.
As it turned out the weather was good for the most part and outside tables were popular.

Restaurants and bars were table service only, all payments were cashless.
In fact, whole ski resorts went cashless for the whole ski season – all payments were by contactless card.

After an initial few nervous days, the ski season at Alert Level 2 got into the swing of things, and we all found ways to make ourselves and the people around us feel comfortable and safe.
It was all new, and awkward to start with, but everyone found their comfort zone, and it worked well.

To be honest, the biggest thing was making yourself and those around you feel safe.

Skiing with Covid Restrictions

Patience and kindness was the order of the day.
Things took longer!
Longer to buy a pass, longer to find a table, longer to get on the lift, longer to buy a coffee.
Everything took longer, and everyone knew this, but at first, there were still frustrations, but soon your expectations adjusted to the reality of the situation.

At the end of the day it was better to be skiing, and have to wait in a longer lift queue, than to not be skiing at all.

The NZ season is nearing the end now, and on reflection I think it will be seen as a successful season, ran under difficult conditions.
But it did run.

As the European and Northern Hemisphere winters approach, I am taken back to those feelings that we had in NZ three months before the season here.
The worry and the fear, the overall uncertainty about going into uncharted waters.

Looking back, those fears were needed as it motivated everyone to rethink and to adjust, once those adjustments were made, and the season got running then it was OK.
It was more than OK, it was good!

a personal reflection on the NZ ski season 2020

Looking to Europe and the Northern Hemisphere winter season I am sure that the next two or three months will be full of fear, and worries, and uncertainty.

But once it has started and we see that it can work, then the passion and love for the mountain and winter sports can shine through.

We will find ways to make ourselves, and those around us, feel comfortable and safe.

Here is hoping that in late spring 2021 we can all look back at what has been a successful season, ran under different circumstances.

Colin Tanner

TDCski Ski School’s Highly Featured in List Of Best Ski Schools In France

Ridestore Magazine Press Release, 29th November 2019

TDCski Ski Schools have been featured as some of the best ski schools in Val d’Isere, Tignes and Meribel by Ridestore Magazine. Ridestore compiled a mega ultimate list of best ski schools in France for the 2019/2020 season, after all, the countdown is on to many of us ski and
snowboard lovers, hitting the slope! The team at Ridestore thought it was about time someone put together a list of all the ski schools in the best and busiest resorts in France to make life a little easier for those frantically googling.

This list was created to try and take a little of the stress out of selecting the right ski school for you.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a first-time skier, an intermediate looking to rid yourself of bad habits or a seasoned rider who loved to learn the latest tricks and tips, it’s vital you find the right fit for you. Brits have been supporting French ski schools for decades and without any signs of stopping, they love backing ski schools both big and small, always looking for the right tuition that offers value for money and quality and experienced instructors.

This ultimate list of the best ski schools rewards the schools who put their best foot (or ski boot) forward at all times and ensure first-time and novice skiers and snowboarders, well riders of all levels have a fantastic experience on and off the slopes! The right instructor and ski school experience can make or break a trip after all and our annual (or if you are lucky, bi-annual) ski trip is sacred and maximising your time is essential.

“Searching for a ski school, particularly in France where there are so many in each resort, can be a little stressful, only adding to the to-do list further when booking a mountain adventure. Then if you want to advance your skills, in off-piste, touring or more specific niches, finding the right fit ski school wise, can be a challenge.”

stated Angelica Sykes from Ridestore Magazine.


“There are lots of things to consider when booking a ski holiday, and choosing the right ski school is one that always proves challenging. Therefore with this list, we wanted to make the booking process that bit easier, so you can get on with planning the rest of your trip”

continued Angelica Sykes.


To read the full entry about TDCski Ski School, please visit Ridestore Magazine.

Making the Most of the Pistes

Except for the hard-core ski tourers, most skiers spend a lot of the time on the pistes. To make the most of your time on the pistes you need equipment in first rate order. Then allow the skis to do what they are designed to do. With rockered skis, fat waists and twin tips, it is easy to forget that carving skis revolutionized skiing and piste skiing is where that happens best.

Can your tools handle the power?
Some of the best feelings in skiing are found on the pistes. The power of a carve turn can be incredible, and generates up to 4G in force. Any ski can carve a turn, but to maximise the experience you need a ski which can handle the power. Dynastar’s WC Master series have serious pedigree, coming from their race factory and the Speedzone series make the carve turn easier to achieve.

Are your skis sharp?
The key to carving is tilting the skis over and balancing against the forces generated by the turn. The more you can tilt (and stay in balance) the greater the forces will be. In order for the skis to grip when tilted over on firm pistes the skis need to be in good condition. Sharp edges and a smooth base is essential to build confidence in your ability to tilt over. Get your skis serviced before heading to the alps and at the minimum take a diamond edge tool to keep the skis in great condition whilst you are out there.

Just tilt
If you want to turn tighter in a carve, tilt over more and allow the skis to move further away from the body. Balance through the outside ski and tilt both skis the same amount. High speeds are the result of carve turns so only practice when and where it is safe to do so. You’ll definitely need goggles (not glasses) to stop your eyes from watering and a helmet completes the racer ready look.

As with everything in skiing, deliberate practice in a suitable environment will see you improve your performance, and carving is still one of the great unused techniques in skiing. For more help book yourself some lessons on your next trip.

Giles Lewis is an ambassador for Dynastar skis and Lange boots. He is a ski Instructor with the development centre, who operate in val d’isère Tignes and the Three Valleys, France. He is a trainer and examiner of Instructors for BASI and a member of the British Demo team.

www.tdcski.com #tdcski #basi #valdisere #dynastar #lange

Jan 27th 2017 Snow Conditions Val d’Isere Tignes

This week Clare is telling us all about the current snow conditions in Val d’Isere and Tignes…

Conditions On Piste Are Fantastic…Again

TDCski Coach Clare
Clare’s Report

Dustings of snow, Off Piste is good, can be wind effected, some good snow in the gullys.

Things are looking good for February.

Watch a honest and open summary of the current snow conditions.

If you are keen to see this seasons reports then be sure to watch out for them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo.

Keep Watching!!!

TDCski The Development CentreSki Lessons Val d’IsereSki Lessons Tignes

Surviving Winter

OK, “surviving” might be a bit strong, but keeping warm on the slopes in the middle of winter can be a challenge. As well as the main clothing like jackets and trousers, there are other things that can make a big difference for people who struggle to stay warm:

Wear Thermals

Extremities get cold first. It is what the body does to protect itself from cold. So, if your hands or feet get cold, it might not be down to the gloves or boots, but because you haven’t got enough layers on. Wear good thermals, and if your hands and feet are still cold, wear another jumper.

Wear Thermals TDCski
Wear Good Thermals

Helmet and Hat

Helmets can expose the neck to cold mountain air. Neck warmers, thin balaclavas or multipurpose tubes keep you toasty warm. Like scarves, but better.

Get your feet out

Particularly for skiers: if your feet have been cold and numb for more than an hour, you need to warm them up. Get inside, take off the boots and get the feet warm again. This will allow you to ski again afterwards, rather than developing serious cold injuries.

Lange Boots
Get Your Feet Out

Dry your boots

Damp or wet boots are bad news. You need to dry your boots overnight, so if the hotel or apartment doesn’t have specific boot heaters, you need to make your own arrangements. Portable boot dryers work really well and are easier than balancing boots on radiators.

Giles Lewis Dynastar
Dynastar Skis

Giles Lewis is an ambassador for Dynastar skis and Lange boots. He is a ski Instructor with the development centre, who operate in val d’isere Tignes and the Three Valleys, FranceHe is a trainer and examiner of Instructors for BASI and a member of the British Demo team.

 

www.tdcski.com

#tdcski #basi #valdisere #dynastar #lange

What’s New in the 3 Valleys?

This Summer sees a lot of work going on around the 3 Valleys with 3 new lifts going in.

In Mottaret the old fixed chairs of Arolles & Table Verte are removed along with the Combes 4-man chair. A new Combes 6-seater routed to the right of where it is now and with a mid-station exit to a new floodlit green run is being constructed. A new beginners area with a short Arolles drag lift are also being built.

Over in the Belleville Valley the occasional bottleneck of St Martin 2 is to be relieved with an upgrade to a 6 seater hi-speed detachable hooded chair with the old 4-man being moved to replace the old Bettex 2-man chair to now give access to the bottom of the Gros Tougne piste for direct access in to Les Menuires.

Watch La Société des 3 Vallées video animating some of the new upgrades

Are you Skiing in Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Motteret, St.Martin or Les Menuires?

Why not try a Private Development with TDCski in the 3 valleys this winter ?
There’s no better way to hone old and new skills than to take a 3 hour private development lesson with one of our BASI 4 coaches.
We can tailor each lesson specifically to your requirements and concentrate on your strengths and weaknesses to produce a better performance all over the mountain.
Lessons start at 9am or 1pm and are available at just 250€ for 1-4 people.
We can meet you in Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Motteret, St.Martin or Les Menuires.
To book contact [email protected] or call +33 6 85 88 05 91

TDCski Meribel
Hone Your Ski Skills with TDCski coaching

The Development Centre coaches tell us what they love about skiing.

Autumn arrives in the northern hemisphere and this means one thing: it’s nearly time to go sliding around on the snow! The anticipation is really exciting, but nothing beats those moments when you’re doing it, enjoying the mountains in the best way we know how. Here at the development centre we’ve been sharing our passion for skiing since 2002 and we’re pumped up for the coming season. These are some of the things that we’re looking forwards to the most –

The Corduroy

cordorouy
Heading down a freshly groomed piste allows you to feel how smoothly and precisely you are skiing. Less interference from the snow, it’s about enjoying your best turns.

Feel of the carve

carve
Make like a racer, feel the forces driving the turn and appreciate what modern skis can do on the piste. The deeper you go, the bigger the rush.

Air Time

jumpIt’s not the size that counts.

Jumps of any size are exhilarating, whether in the park or in the backcountry, jumping is one of those things some people (us) never quite grow out of.

The Quiet of the Powder

Sometimes, after some deep powder turns,the only noise is your own breathing

pow

 

Sharing it

share (2) share3

Wshare the lovee love skiing for ourselves , but we also love it when we can share our passion, knowledge and enthusiasm with others. We love making a real difference to people’s
holidays.

The Development Centre run ski schools in Val d’Isere, Tignes and the Three Valleys. Our team of highly qualified, experienced and motivated instructors are there to help you to achieve your goals, whatever they might be.

www.tdcski.com

Ski, Play, Love it!

Do You Love to Ski? We do!

Ski, Play and Love it with TDCski, Val d’Isere, Tignes and Meribel

bumps 28 - Copy (1024x681)
Ski…

2002 was a great year – it was the year we started TDC The Development Centre.
14 seasons later we still have the passion and the drive which allows us to create amazing ski lessons and experiences.

We love skiing and we love to pass on that passion – why do we love it? Read on…

Why not take a week and come join us on a TDCski Coaching Clinic this January?

What does We Love Skiing really Mean?

We all say that we love skiing, and we have a passion for the sport, and have a passion for teaching people to take part in the sport. But what does that really mean?
We decided that we needed to ask a few of the TDCski coaches to see what they said.

What the Coaches said…do you agree?

Here is a summary of some very common reason about why we love skiing…

Being Outdoors – There is for sure a definite feeling of freedom in the mountains. When you are skiing, that perfect day with the ridiculously blue sky, the white snow, the fresh air. Nothing can beat it. Being outside was a big factor for all the coaches.
But we realise that it is not always a perfect day. Skiing allows us to get out there even when the weather is challenging, and then at the end of the challenge there is the feeling that you have done something to “deserve your lunch.”

Play...
Play…

Exhilaration – release the child inside. At the end of the day we are all sliding down a hill on two planks. The worlds trouble are forgotten and for that fleeting second or two (which lasts for minutes and hours) we are released. We are flying, we are going fast but with control, we are all big kids again. Love it!

You can alway get better – no matter what level you are. Each individual can set the level of their own challenge, there is always something to work on. Every turn is different. It is as if we are always searching for the “perfect turn” but we know we will never find it, it is the searching that is fun. Your personal goal might be technical, it might be in the mind, it might be a physical thing, but everyone can have their own little goal, and achieving that goal is a lot of fun.

It is an individual sport done in a group! – Whatever your own personal objectives are when skiing you can be working on your own things, enjoying it your way, while everyone else does their thing, and then every now and again we all get back together and ride a chairlift, or stop for a hot chocolate or lunch. The group element of skiing (apart from just safety) gives every day a purpose, but the pleasure of skiing comes from the individual.
Skiing has to be one of the few sports that all the family can do together, where each member of the family might be doing their best – what other sport do you find dad doing his very best to keep up with his 8 year old daughter?

love_it
Love it!

Apart from the above reasons to Love Skiing, the TDC coaches had a few more “unusual” reasons to love it…

“I like being able to come home and wear my thermal underwear around the house for hours at the end of the day.”

“On a beach I once got asked by a stranger “are you a ski instructor?” – I replied “yes, but how did you know?” The stranger said “because you are wear ridiculous looking sunglasses, and you have a Match Stick Tan – a red head on top of a skinny white body!”

“I am yet to see a hollywood movie that doesn’t make skiing look really cheesey. I don’t think filmmakers can capture what it is that makes skiing so much fun.”

We would love to share our passion for skiing this season.
We hope we can.

To Enquire or book simply Book Online, email [email protected] or call +33615553156.