Monday, 1 January 2018

Try the Coffee Cup drill to improve your classic and skate skiing

By Keith and Heather Nicol

Skiing with no weightshift
We just returned from teaching in the early season Supercamps that are held every year at Silver Star and Sovereign Lake located near Vernon in B.C.’s Interior. Supercamp offers cross country skiers a chance to get on snow early in the season and learn from some of the best instructors and coaches in North America (  As an instructor at the most recent Supercamp I asked my participants what drill they thought improved their skiing the most and they frequently said the “Coffee Cup drill”. 

     We used this drill for skiers who had incomplete weight shift in both classic and skate skiing. By incomplete weight shift I mean that both skis stay in the snow as the skier pushes back. When applied to classic skiing the idea is to get skiers to hold the glide over one ski at a time as shown in the photo below. Bringing your hand up to our mouth as if you are drinking a cup of coffee really helps bring the body over the glide ski.  Once the feeling of solid weight shift is established you can try skiing without bringing your hand to your face. 
The Coffee Cup drill helps improve your weight shift and get over the glide ski
 The beauty of this drill is that it can also be applied to skate skiers who fail to get their body weight over the glide ski as shown here.  If you apply the coffee cup drill to skating you can now commit to each ski much more easily which really improves how long you can glide on each ski. Once the skier has the feeling of committing their body weight to each ski their glide improves immensely. So try the coffee cup drill if you have weak weight shift and it will do wonders for both your classic and skate skiing. Be sure to click on this link for a video which illustrates this drill-   For more cross country ski technique improvement videos see:
The Coffee Cup drill can also be used for improving your skating


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