MODDS for Skiing Movement Analysis

When you, as a ski instructor, need to determine what a lesson should be about to best insure the success of your student, you need to watch them ski. Watch them from all angles if possible. Watch as many turns as you can. Look at each part of their body starting at the skis/feet and see what observations you can make.

As you do this, use the MODDS method, which I believe was developed by Jennifer Simpson. What you see below is an explanation of it from here along with my additional notes:


MODDS is a simple, easy to use Movement Analysis process that yields accurate repeatable results that will allow instructors to better assess their students movements, identify strengths and weaknesses, share a prescription for change and improvement.

Those changes may build on existing strengths or challenge weaker movements or some combination of both.

  • “M” stands for Motivation – checking the goals of your student and understanding their desires for improvement is key to establishing a relationship and building new movement patterns.
  • “O” stands for Observation – This is understanding where and how to assess the student. Be sure your observation techniques are defined and allow for multiple view points and perspectives of your students movements. For example, watching the student slide toward you, slide past you and slide away from you.
  • “D” stands for Describe – This is the critical phase of the process. Simply describe what the tool is doing in the snow in each phase of a turn as it relates to tipping, twisting, and bending movements of the skis or snowboard.
  • “D” stands for Determine – Once you really understand the way the ski/board moves in the snow, look at the skier and figure out what causes the tool to move the way it does in the snow. What skier input is creating those moments and what are the results of the tool in the snow.
  • “S” stands for Share/Suggest a prescription for change

Once you are able to understand the movements of the ski and the skier in each phase of the turn, create a lesson plan to facilitate positive changes in the student’s movement patterns to achieve their goals and outcomes. Figure out what can be changed in the shortest amount of time and be most effective for them.

Look at tipping movements, twisting movements, and bending movements through each phase of the turn (initiation, shaping, and finish).