Let's try this again, since my last post vanished into the bit bucket. Lots of good advice here, what Rick says about building blocks is right on the money, but I think there are two issues: (1) What does "getting better" mean to you (not to someone else)? Let's say, for example, you want to ski bumps better. There's some fundamentals you need to attend to, but a bunch of it is just, you know, skiing a lot of bumps. You want to be as knowledgeable and well prepared as possible when you try to go up a level, but life is short, and my view is that if you start down a path and it doesn't turn out to be the right one, then change the path, but keep moving ahead.
Here, for your inspection, is my own path. After college, I decided I didn't want anything to do with the real world, so I moved to Stowe and ski bummed for two years. You can't ski the Front Four, and survice, without learning something, and I surely did. Then I decided to go West, young man, so I went to Breckenridge and ski bummed there for 3 years. Learned how to ski powder, too.
Then I started teaching at Breck, for four years, and Copper for a year, where I got my L3. Lots and lots of good skiers on both ski school, some excellent trainers, learned a lot more about teaching and skiing. Ran out of money, got a real job and went back to...skiing. I stlll taught, friends and neighbors, I just didn't do it for money or put on a ski school jacket...I just kept doing it because I wanted do. Taking the building blocks I acquired during my teaching career and going out and using them all day long instead of just over lunch was when my skiing really started to pick up.
Then, about 20 years ago, I started Masters alpine racing, and I started all over again. All of a sudden, people were telling me where I had to turn, and expecting me to go fast doing it, and that was a whole new learning experience. Now, at age 62, I'm a much better skier...a better skier, not just a better racer...than I was in my 30s and 40s. The nice thing about racing is that while you still need the building blocks...which are pretty much the same as the ones Rick discusses...there aren't any style points. You either win or you don't. Standing in the starting gate of a downhill where you know you're going to average 65 mph, and the penalties for screwing up aren't just losing the race, is both the toughest and most exhilarating experience I've ever had, bar none, any sport. It's helped make me immeasurably more confident and self-sufficient than anything else I can imagine in my skiing career...
Originally Posted by JaneB
I've been part time instructing for the past four years; before that, taught for seven years in a children's program part time. Am a PSIA member and have been training for L2 exam.
Given the number of days required to teach, the very busy ski school where I work, and the unfortunate necessity of a full time job, I've had little free ski time. Also, not a great deal of coaching at my resort.
I really want to get better before it's too late! I'm in my 50s and don't have forever. I've learned alot from teaching but my personal skiing has not improved as I'd hoped. Would I be better off just free skiing as much as possible ( I sometimes got out 50 days before I started ski school; now it's more like under ten to free ski).?