Welcome to the second edition of Throwback Thursday. This week we jump into a Technique clinic article written by our own Peter Hendel titled “Kick Double Pole” published in the late fall of 1997 here is the article from NENN Vol.3 No.2
KICK DOUBLE POLE – BY Peter Hendel, Holderness Ski Coach
A poorly understood and highly underused classic technique is the kick double pole, or stride double pole. One main reason for this is that most skiers do not weight shift properly and so never benefit from the power of a properly weighted kick. This may be true even if they do weight shift well in their normal diagonal stride.
Why the confusion? I think many skiers are confused in kick double pole because they have an image of the kick leg as sliding or moving backwards during the kick phase. In fact we as coaches may contribute to this misconception by having our skiers kick double pole on dryland or in front of a video by sliding their kicking foot back, which in turn forces them to weight their glide ski! On snow this translates into a premature weight shift and poor kick.
In recent years I’ve tried a sequence of drills to counter this. [see diagrams below] First I have my skiers do #7 and #8 of the Nikolai Anikin drills (falling forward with a step and a kick) and then a double poling with relaxed arms drill. Next I have them tie these three together into the kick double pole.They should pole, weight their right foot and kick off, falling forward onto their (left) glide ski. We repeat this several times to get a feel of the dynamic kick propelling us forward.
Now we move outside and try this on skis. The timing of the arms, kick and weight shift is confusing, so I provide my skiers with verbal cues by skiing behind them and yelling “pole/(weight the)left foot/ kick, pole/(weight the) right foot/ kick,” and so on.Our skiers say that the verbal cues help them get used to the rhythm of the technique and that they really begin to feel the power of a properly weighted kick.
This exercise (No.7)will help you feel the proper motion which should occur as you lean forward and transfer weight from L ski to R ski.Do not push off the opposite leg. Instead just concentrate on letting your weight naturally fall forward. Also, pay attention to your upper body position. In the step position, you should not have excess trunk compression. The rotation happens at the ankle, thus little change will occur to your trunk angle.
(No.8) Is the same exercise as No.7 only now add the kick or push phases which will cause forward rotation of your hips and a relaxed, but straiter upper leg. The kick is very, very important. Pay attention to the strait line of the body from the head to the kicking foot. The support or gliding leg must be relaxed and notice it is relatively straight. The hips must rotate up and over the gliding ski; this is obligatory.
Photo: Nikolai Anikin