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Do some people not desire/seek lessons?

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 

An interesting can of worms: This season I taught someone who we'll call Berta. On groomed green runs, Berta could ski parallel, balanced well fore-aft and laterally. We eliminated most of Berta's shoulder rotation, and turns were being created through turning of the lower joints and mild tipping movements. Great! Midday, after the lesson we went for some freeskiing, and I noticed that Berta could somehow keep up with me even on blue or black terrain when I was carving rounded turns. The next run I had a chance to glance behind me, and I realized that Berta was basically linking braked sideslips down the mountain. 

 

And so a big question has come to mind: if an individual can "ski" any run and is "happy" with how they ski, what is the value-add for them in taking a lesson?

 

The reasons I see for people to take lessons are: 

  • To improve their balance, enabling them to ski steeper terrain or ski more confidently on current terrain
  • To look like someone on TV
  • Intrinsic motivation (appreciation for the feeling of bettering oneself)
  • A desperation move to get out of a rut (for those attempting to self-teach)

 

We also know there are some motivators which people may not yet be aware of, such as enabling new sensations like rebound, or weightlessness during transition versus big compression during turns, or being airborne during jumps. 

 

But if the client is happy with linking sideslips... none of these motivators may apply... 

 

Do some people simply not have the inclination to improve? Do you see this situation as something to be "remedied", or just as a simple fact? It's quite a brain bender for me!

post #2 of 104

So why did she take the lesson in the first place? I didn't see that in your post. Also absent is what she gave you as feedback about the lesson. Care to share?

post #3 of 104
Thread Starter 

jasp, good point, I may have missed out including a critical detail. Berta loved the lesson and has a lot of intrinsic motivation combined with a desire to be able to ski more difficult terrain. The quality of the lesson is not in question. Berta is simply the archetype for this situation. My interest was in how Berta reverted to high speed skidded sideslips down terrain she could have otherwise skied in control at slower speeds -- a pattern I see a lot of among a variety of skiers after they exit their lessons, regardless of who's teaching. Rather than getting hung up on this one particular skier, my train of thought in a general sense is this:

 

Why does improvement matter if a skier is happy to do a series of linked braking sideslips down any given steep run? 

 

This is an epistemological question rather than a "howto" question...

post #4 of 104
Maybe the wow effect of skiing faster in steeper slopes are greater than the wow effect of the improvements she had? Maybe she's just maximizing her pleasure?
post #5 of 104

"My interest was in how Berta reverted to high speed skidded sideslips down terrain she could have otherwise skied in control at slower speeds."

 

Maybe she was trying to keep up with you.

 

"Why does improvement matter if a skier is happy to do a series of linked braking sideslips down any given steep run?"

 

Unless the run is groomed or packed by skiers, that's not going to work. 

post #6 of 104

 

Quote:
And so a big question has come to mind: if an individual can "ski" any run and is "happy" with how they ski, what is the value-add for them in taking a lesson?

 

My thought is that someone who sees no value in improving their skills will not seek out improvement, either through self-teaching or taking formal lessons.

 

People will only take lessons if they feel it will be worthwhile -- that the lesson will improve their skills (or improve them more quickly), and the improvement will make their skiing more "fun", and the improvement will be worth the cost in time and money.  The same logic applies to self-teaching, but with no financial cost.  Someone who's totally satisfied with the way they ski will not try to get better.

 

"Fun", of course, being in the eye of the beholder.  A racer will want to see improvements in their times in the course, while a more casual skier might just want to look prettier on the greens.  Skill improvements that make your skiing more efficient indirectly make it more "fun" for almost anyone, since either you're less tired afterwards or you can ski longer.

post #7 of 104

When a person cannot do something, they look for information on how to do it.  In skiing this could to to control their speed, manage steeps, ski bumps, ski powder.  For some it might just be to look graceful.

 

In other sports you get coaching to win, to get more points, to get a lower stroke total, etc.  In ski racing to get a faster time.

 

In recreational skiing it's all about feeling comfortable and in control.  Lower the task and you don't need lessons.  Ski Wachusett all the time, stay out of the bumps, and you can have fun forever without improving.  Nothing wrong with that either.


But want to ski steeper, deeper and bumpier and the desire for lessons kicks in.

post #8 of 104

I think most people fit along a sliding scale between almost dying for a lesson and zero desire for a lesson, with almost no one at the extremes. 

For example I would like a mogul lesson, but I would like another day's lift ticket more.  I have almost (hey we can all improve at everything) no desire for a carving lesson, and would have to be pretty picky about the instructor.


 

post #9 of 104

Even the pros take lessons....coaching.

 

As for myself, the little time I have to go skiing, I want to ski, let'er rip.   So although I could certainly use improving, I hesitate to use my time on the hill practicing slow drills and listening to an instructor.   I have done it and will probably do it again, but that is the reason I don't more often.

post #10 of 104

I do believe the right lessons are going to be helpful, but I see no point in having too many lessons, other than the "stroking" you might get from the instructor. As far as I am concerned, you don't "fix" anything in a lesson. At best the student "gets it", but it will take many days, maybe a couple of seasons, to make that improvement an instinctive part of his/her skiing. I am not surprised at all that Berta reverted to her natural instincts to sideslip when terrain or speed became a bit of a challenge.

 

So it is not so much that people do not desire to improve, but rather the effort (physical and mental) that it takes to improve is beyond their capabilities or goals. And then there is that old genetic factor that almost guarantees that NOT EVERYONE CAN BE AN EXPERT.

post #11 of 104

If an individual can ski any run and is truly happy with his skiing, there is no reason for a lesson. If they somehow end up there anyway they either think it's bs or they notice they actually aren't happy with the way they were skiing after all.

 

After childhood I was first "once a year" -skier and then "once every 5 years"-skier, skiing was fun and I never considered taking a lesson until my friend practically booked me one. I noticed how much more fun skiing could be and that ruined my life. I spend thousands of euros/year on gear, trips etc., I'm constantly tired from driving back and forth every weekend or holiday, I have zero time for house work. Horrible. Lessons for "sunday skiers" should be forbidden.

post #12 of 104

Of course some people feel they do not need lessons or they feel a lesson would not do any good or they think they enjoy the terrible way they ski. It is every instructors job to explain why just about anyone could benefit from some time with a pro. 

post #13 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

Even the pros take lessons....coaching.

 

As for myself, the little time I have to go skiing, I want to ski, let'er rip.   So although I could certainly use improving, I hesitate to use my time on the hill practicing slow drills and listening to an instructor.   I have done it and will probably do it again, but that is the reason I don't more often.

If you take a private lesson, you may not be able to just empty your mind and let'er rip, but you can still let'er rip in a sense. It's just you and the instructor, so you can work on whatever you want.  For my second ski lesson, which I took at Jay Peak in the 1980s, the instructor said, go ahead and ski and I'll follow you down just to see how you ski.   About two thirds of the way down, I stopped and waited for him to catch up.  His remarks were that I skied really fast, so fast in fact that he had trouble keeping up (this was on black groomers that I had skied earlier in the day) but maybe I should work on speed control.  I would have none of that, even though he did explain that making a series of smooth turns would be so much more stylish than slamming on the brakes when I needed to slow down (I eventually got around to working on speed control turns about twenty five years later).  After I explained my desire to ski faster, not slower, we worked on improving my carving.  I hadn't realized how much tip slippage was occuring until he pointed it out.  Seems I needed to put more weight on those tips at turn initiation and through the first third of the turn.  I managed to nail down the tips.  The instructor then pointed out that, yes I had put an end to the tip slippage, but in doing so got too much weight off the tails and the tails were slipping a bit at the end of the turn.  We spent the rest of the lesson working on moving weight to where it was needed when it was needed and other means to improve my carving and give me more speed.  Could have been a good SG lesson for you RR. 
 

post #14 of 104

Originally Posted by Metaphor_ 
.... we went for some freeskiing, and I noticed that Berta could somehow keep up with me even on blue or black terrain when I was carving ...

.... Berta was basically linking braked sideslips down the mountain. 

 

 

 

Metaphor, from your description it sounds like your lesson was not teaching Berta to carve the round turns you were making.  She was just following you, trying to keep up, which many people do when skiing with others who ski faster than them.  She chose the best way she knew how to do that, and she succeeded.  Good for her!

 

Teaching for transfer is a tricky task.  Does she know why it's better for her to ski that terrain slowly using her new skiils when she's following faster skiers?  During her next lesson she probably will need some time on blue and black terrain applying her new skills, and some preview of what comes next once she gets comfortable on that terrain with those turns.  If enough time is available, she might benefit from doing her previous skidded turns, then the new round turns, just so she can make a comparison of how they work.  

 

But lessons are too, too short and there's never enough time to teach everything.  Berta's priority was keeping up with her highly-skilled instructor, not working on embedding her new skills into muscle memory on new terrain while following an admired fast skier around the mountain.  Social priorities often trump technical ones.

 

I would not be so fast to speculate that she was "happy" with her skidded turns.  But she may have been happy she was able to keep up.  Let's hope that when she's alone she works on those slower, rounder turns that will give her the control she seeks. 

 


Edited by LiquidFeet - 4/4/11 at 8:03am
post #15 of 104

I'm always looking to improve, but that has to be balanced against time actually skiing and, more importantly, cost. I spend a bundle on skiing already, so lessons or coaching or whatever you want to call it are kind of out of the question. I'd probably be more inclined to pay for guiding than instruction, though if I were rolling in it I'd do both.

post #16 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

 

As for myself, the little time I have to go skiing, I want to ski, let'er rip.   So although I could certainly use improving, I hesitate to use my time on the hill practicing slow drills and listening to an instructor.   I have done it and will probably do it again, but that is the reason I don't more often.



This is pretty much my mindset too.  I could benefit a lot from those "bumps for boomers" lessons, particularly how to survive them in a less physically punishing manner. 

I'm growing my own instructor.  My son is a new level 1.  When he gets more teaching experience I'm going to make him give me a bunch of free private lessonssmile.gif

post #17 of 104

Hard as it is to believe, there are a lot of people who are quite content with just being able to get from top to bottom without falling, even if they never leave the easiest trails. Why? Time, money, this is their crowning athletic achievement in an otherwise unathletic life, they're just happy being out on the snow, they're scared of going fast, afraid of getting hurt, really enjoy the scenery on those long winding trails through the woods, etc. Laugh it you want, but many of these people keep coming back and seem to have just as much fun as us hardcore skiers.

 

Guess they're the equivalent of golfers who only get out a few times every year, never break 120, lose at least half a dozen balls every round, but seem to have fun anyway.

 

 

post #18 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

And so a big question has come to mind: if an individual can "ski" any run and is "happy" with how they ski, what is the value-add for them in taking a lesson?

...

Do some people simply not have the inclination to improve? Do you see this situation as something to be "remedied", or just as a simple fact? It's quite a brain bender for me!

The value add is that they could be happier if they had more options for skiing differently? Many skiers do not sense a need to improve. Unless they are jeopardizing the safety of others, this does not need to be remedied. 

 

 

However, those of us who are part of the industry have an incentive to encourage people to take lessons. Statistics show that skiers who take lessons ski more often.

 

I had a young lady in one of our instructor training courses who said to me in the middle of the course "This is so much easier. I wish I had taken lessons last year! I've got to bring my friends up!". I get a few of those comments every season. So there are some people who don't have much inclination to improve, but get into a lesson, have a good experience and have their perceptions about lessons changed. This is how I prefer to change the popular "myth" about lessons being useless: one student at a time. Alas, it works the other way too.

 

Part of the equation for taking lessons is the perceived value. Some students may change their skiing during a lesson, but quickly revert back to old movements when the lesson is over or when the going gets tough. This is something that drives me nuts because I view this as a failure on my part as an instructor. It certainly makes the lesson experience less valuable for the student. When an instructor is leading a student, it's a fine art to set the speed and turn shape to encourage movements that are being worked on and at the same time observe the student to quickly provide feedback and change things up if necessary. Teaching in the lead is often so effective, it's easy to get stuck there. I often have to remind myself to force students to go first towards the end of the lesson in order to check for "reversion" issues before the lesson ends.
 

There is no doubt that part of the equation is economics. For destination resorts, the costs are often quite high. Before I started teaching, I preferred to spend my money on "skiing" and generally did not perceive value for the few lessons I did take. But there are deals to be had. My resort offers $10 (90 minute) lessons in the early season. I am amazed by how few skiers take advantage of this deal. We also sell a ton of group tickets where the lessons are essentially thrown in for free. If I remember correctly, 30-40% of those go unused. Yet we consistently get great feedback scores on customer satisfaction surveys.  We're not perfect, but we are delivering great value.

 

post #19 of 104

I'm happy with my skiing.  I hated all the coaching it took to get it there. 

Why on earth would I subject myself to more of that?

post #20 of 104

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

And so a big question has come to mind: if an individual can "ski" any run and is "happy" with how they ski, what is the value-add for them in taking a lesson?


Do some people simply not have the inclination to improve? Do you see this situation as something to be "remedied", or just as a simple fact? It's quite a brain bender for me!

While I think there are some people who are happy doing what they're doing, I think a lot of others are just lacking sufficient incentive to improve.

 

If you're already able to keep up with everybody in your crew and ski everything they do, what's your incentive to improve?  Even if you get better, they're not, so you'll still be skiing the same stuff.  Why bother putting time and money into that?

 

I saw an example of that a couple weeks ago, while introducing a snowboarder friend who's at the top of his crew into another one.  He commented half-way through the day that this crew was a whole other level of fast and skilled, and it was all he could do to keep up.  That incentive to improve and a recommendation of a very good snowboard instructor was all he really needed.  I'm pretty sure he's never taken a lesson before, but now he's looking to squirrel away the cash and book one.

 

I don't think you'll ever change the minds of some people, but I think a lot more simply need more incentive.

post #21 of 104

Nice thread that Metaphor started, and some thoughtful responses, too!

 

Metaphor asks: "Why does improvement matter if a skier is happy to do a series of linked braking sideslips down any given steep run? ...This is an epistemological question rather than a "how to" question...."

 

And this question is the basic epistemological question of "What is knowledge?", leavened here with the question "why would someone desire the knowledge of technique  and subsequently experience in using that technique?" Living as we do in a society where credentials (implying training and certification) counts, those who desire knowledge of skiing technique often seek out the credentialed: namely, certified instructors. Berta, by all indications, lacked desire for knowledge and experience of technique, as she appeared happy as Metaphor states doing a "a series of linked braking sideslips down any given steep run."

 

Desire is normally associated with happiness: when the desire is fulfilled, happiness follows (and unhappiness when the desire is not fulfilled). In the case of a skier who desires the knowledge and subsequent application of technique, happiness flows during and after a top notch lesson. Berta, in short, was already happy. Thus no desire.

 

My desire for knowledge and application of technique has changed over the years. Now lessons -- I took several privates this year -- are centered on learning to ski as efficiently as possible so as to conserve energy and extend the ski day. "Slop in the system" that I could overcome ten years ago with greater muscle and energy had to go. Thus I had the desire to know and to apply knowledge of technique. Happiness has followed.

 

Conjecturally, I see desire at the "other end of the pipe" when I ski past a group assembled behind the "Never, Ever Skied" sign waiting for a group lesson. The body language of the assembled group is...uh...tense. Later in the morning I see some of the same bunch skiing down a gentle beginner's slope making stem turns with something that resembles a smile on their face. Happiness is beginning to flow. The next day I see lots of happy skiers, now graduated from the Never Ever School who, much like Berta, delight in simply slip-sliding down a slope in a way that technically is an abomination, but psychologically meets their needs. Their desire has been satisfied. And improvement, to answer Metaphor's question, does not matter to them.

 

Just my two cents, of course. <g>

 

post #22 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post

Nice thread that Metaphor started, and some thoughtful responses, too!

 

Metaphor asks: "Why does improvement matter if a skier is happy to do a series of linked braking sideslips down any given steep run? ...This is an epistemological question rather than a "how to" question...."

 

And this question is the basic epistemological question of "What is knowledge?", leavened here with the question "why would someone desire the knowledge of technique  and subsequently experience in using that technique?" Living as we do in a society where credentials (implying training and certification) counts, those who desire knowledge of skiing technique often seek out the credentialed: namely, certified instructors. Berta, by all indications, lacked desire for knowledge and experience of technique, as she appeared happy as Metaphor states doing a "a series of linked braking sideslips down any given steep run."

 

Desire is normally associated with happiness: when the desire is fulfilled, happiness follows (and unhappiness when the desire is not fulfilled). In the case of a skier who desires the knowledge and subsequent application of technique, happiness flows during and after a top notch lesson. Berta, in short, was already happy. Thus no desire.

 

My desire for knowledge and application of technique has changed over the years. Now lessons -- I took several privates this year -- are centered on learning to ski as efficiently as possible so as to conserve energy and extend the ski day. "Slop in the system" that I could overcome ten years ago with greater muscle and energy had to go. Thus I had the desire to know and to apply knowledge of technique. Happiness has followed.

 

Conjecturally, I see desire at the "other end of the pipe" when I ski past a group assembled behind the "Never, Ever Skied" sign waiting for a group lesson. The body language of the assembled group is...uh...tense. Later in the morning I see some of the same bunch skiing down a gentle beginner's slope making stem turns with something that resembles a smile on their face. Happiness is beginning to flow. The next day I see lots of happy skiers, now graduated from the Never Ever School who, much like Berta, delight in simply slip-sliding down a slope in a way that technically is an abomination, but psychologically meets their needs. Their desire has been satisfied. And improvement, to answer Metaphor's question, does not matter to them.

 

Just my two cents, of course. <g>

 



 

Very nice post.  It goes a long way towards answering "Why ski in the first place?" and also "Why try to get better at skiing?" 

 

Desire and flow, I think, are at the heart of the question and the answer. 

 

It's one thing to be able to recognize, and objectively assess, the nature of the desire that gets you hooked on skiing in the first place. For some of us, there's a strong competitive component to that initial desire...a desire kindled by ski teams or racing clubs, competitive families, or peer groups of constructive shit-flippers who egg each other on mercilessly. For others, there's a stronger communal aspect...a desire to be with others who enjoy the same sorts of things. And for others, it's primarily sensual: a longing to recreate that first thrilling, terrifying, joyful release from gravity...over and over and over again.

 

It's another thing to be able to recognize and surrender to the flow that, in some cases, can provide the motive force for continual improvement throughout a life of skiing.

 

What a challenge for a ski instructor: to be able to accurately and effectively assess, in the span of one short lesson, why a person is taking that lesson and how best to open the flow-gates of happiness for that person. And what a satisfying thing it must be when the instructor succeeds at the task.

 

post #23 of 104

I'm still struggling with the fact that the instructor set a pace that he was surprised his student could match and then he was surprised that she used whatever means necessary to keep up.

 

I remember chasing my mentor in Telemark and doing almost every turn alpine style to keep up. He was impressed that I could keep up and I knew enough to genuflect when he glanced back. When your instructor is trying to drop you, do whatever you have to do to keep up, and remember to do the nice turn he taught you whenever he glances back. Problem solved.

post #24 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

An interesting can of worms: This season I taught someone who we'll call Berta. On groomed green runs, Berta could ski parallel, balanced well fore-aft and laterally. We eliminated most of Berta's shoulder rotation, and turns were being created through turning of the lower joints and mild tipping movements. Great! Midday, after the lesson we went for some freeskiing, and I noticed that Berta could somehow keep up with me even on blue or black terrain when I was carving rounded turns. The next run I had a chance to glance behind me, and I realized that Berta was basically linking braked sideslips down the mountain. 

Did you ask her to follow you?  Maybe that's the only way she could restrain here speed enough to stay behind you; it's not easy, skiing as slowly as a ski instructorduck.gif
 

 

post #25 of 104

What I have found is that many students feel much more comfortable skiing behind their instructor.  It's a safety net, a comfort zone - it takes their mind off the decision of when to turn, where to go.  Let them ski ahead of me and often things fall apart.  It's not that they're "trying to keep up" (or as Ghost said "trying to ski as slow as a ski instructor smile.gif ) it's just something that seems to help many students.

 

Some prefer to be watched, some like to watch.

 

Many of us have experienced the act of hopping behind a better skier then us and following them.

post #26 of 104

I think the best way is leap frog, half thetime ahead, half the time behind.


 

post #27 of 104

Coming in from a student's perspective here, I for one, am someone who relies on lessons. I signed up this past winter for a multi-week program and couldn't have been happier. Perhaps I'm the odd person out, but I value my lessons and always continue to practice the drills and techniques long after the lesson has ended and come early to the mountain prior to the lesson to warm up and re-engage those techniques/drills (I think my instructor even mentioned that I was a rare student for him). For me, it's about improving, becoming a more confident skier, that can in turn enjoy the sport safely. There's my problem - all mental - terrified of hurting myself and of the darn fall line rolleyes.gif. I will say that I always focus on technique solo, but in a group of people it is much more difficult as you want to keep up with those around you. When that happens, for me, I forget everything and revert back to my old ways and comfort zone. As I'm in the zone, I know clearly what I'm doing wrong and what I should do to fix it, but there's that pack mentality of "keeping up". Perhaps that's what happened with Bertha?

 

For friends who adamantly refuse to take lessons (even beginners), I don't know. Perhaps it's ego? Or they are complacent and are confident in what they do and are happy just plucking along and enjoying themselves.

 

Just my 2 cents from the opposite side of the spectrum! I value instructors and can't wait for another multi-week program next year!

 

Cheers,

Lisa

 

P.S. I prefer the leap-frog method myself. I like to watch my instructor do something and then follow in their footsteps/movements. I also like them to watch me to see if I'm doing it correctly :)

post #28 of 104
On behalf of the ignorant masses, I take exception with your assumption that Berta didn't want to learn. She wants to ski better in order to have more fun, but you didn't show and tell her what the technique was for and how it would make her skiing a better experience. You didn't even pay attention when it was clear that she wasn't able to figure out how to integrate the skill into her skiing, to say nothing of how it would change it. If you never show how adding to what the student already does will increase her pleasure, it appears to her that you want her to devote precious time on skis to an apparently pointless exercise. If you'd made the skill relevant she might have stopped and given it a try. And if you'd just stopped and paid some attention when she didn't even implement the technique during the lesson, you might have found a way to do so.

Here's my boring and oft-repeated story about why you have to teach not just the skill, but the value of the skill. During the rather poor lesson I had in January, the instructor sketched the general movements of an ILE transition and a low angle ski/buttering turn (not the right jargon but whatever) without even telling me what he meant by the "beginning of the turn", told me to follow his pretty round Cs, and proceeded to turned his back on me for several runs except when he heard me skidding and scolded me for braking at the end of my turns, repeating that I should just complete them. This was at a time when I was so far in the back seat that I ran the risk of flying into the trees at his speed if I didn't brake. And while desperately flailing to keep up it was impossible to watch what he was doing.

After three runs I was pissed off with myself and close to tears, but when I expressed my frustration on the lift he just changed the subject back to his childhood in Switzerland. Finally I just stopped him mid-run and demanded some explanation. I got him to just tell me where the top of the turn is (really, how basic is that?) and suggest that I just keep the ski flatter even at the end of the turn (which was easier now that I knew where the beginning was). Then I demanded that he ski past me and down the hill a ways so I could actually stand still and watch him. I was ultimately able to make smooth C's at a much lower speed than he went, and eventually I got a little bit of praise when he looked way back to see how long it would take me to catch up and, once I did, pointed out how I had made more turns on a steeper hill without skidding.

Fortunately I was muleheaded enough that I couldn't stand feeling like a boneheaded idiot, found epicski and this forum, and right there amidst an argument about ILE vs. whatever the opposite is, I learned what ILE is intended to do, how I was using my ski's shape to turn and its base to slow my speed, what and where the transition from one edge to another is, and, oh by the way, what it was good for. After a lot of work I was ecstatic to find that suddenly I could ski all the blue runs (and a few accidental blacks) in control, even though I was still in the back seat and pretty out of balance. But learning to use these turns in different terrain and conditions to control my speed--and really strictly control it, even on terrain I used to happily cruise on--wasn't hugely entertaining because it meant going pretty slow, looking like a beginner, getting in the way of other skiers with my wide turns, and generally feeling awkward. But I persisted because you guys gave me the idea how it might be useful, and it helped that I know that learning a physical skill involves a lot of practice and failure and, sometimes, embarrassment. Eventually I was absolutely delighted to find that I'd could control my speed on difficult terrain, which I hadn't believed was possible. I am now mixing these techniques with other kinds of turns to match turns to terrain while keeping my rhythm, though I sometimes have to rein myself in to refresh my muscle memory.

But the instructor didn't tell me any of that. He just had me do this strange, mysterious, and tedious exercise, as though the ideal skiing career should consist of slow painstaking C shaped turns. We, the uneducated students, rely on you to teach us how to ski. Most of us don't understand or have the patience to figure out that backing off and picking up a little bit of skill could made a huge difference in our enjoyment. Unless you teach that alongside the skill, your normal, un-obsessed student will justifiably write it off, much as Berta did.
post #29 of 104
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, 

 

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Lots of good ideas here on why people would take ski lessons. OlderThanDirt, I particularly appreciate the broader commentary! I think I'm having an existential crisis. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I'm still struggling with the fact that the instructor set a pace that he was surprised his student could match and then he was surprised that she used whatever means necessary to keep up.

 


Hi tele. Perhaps I should clarify that the lesson ended by lunch and I was out of uniform. The high speed braked sideslips started in the afternoon during free skiing. When I first witnessed the linked braked sideslips, I suggested she not worry about trying to ski as fast as me and instead focus on completing the turn and balancing over the outside ski like we did in the morning. Her response was "I'd just rather go fast." (As in it's more fun to go fast without thinking about technique.)

 

Developmentally, a low intermediate who's doing a series of braking rotated sideslips down the hill is reinforcing a lot of bad habits until they slow their movements down and focus on building effective patterns (at least on the pitch we were skiing). But as DanBoisVert, CarlR, TomB and RR comment, the investment in developing at this level may take a backseat to the immediate fun of going fast, particularly for an occasional skier. And, like music gal hinted at, perhaps there was an element of wanting to "keep up" - even though it was totally unnecessary. It's an interesting contrast as I've skied with other friends who really aren't concerned with trying to keep up. 

 

litterbug, I'm sorry that you had a poor lesson experience. That said, I feel that you're jumping to conclusions about how exercises were approached in this particular lesson. In order to motivate learners, it's critical to identify why we're doing any given exercise and what we're looking to improve.

 

post #30 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Hi folks, 

 

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Lots of good ideas here on why people would take ski lessons. OlderThanDirt, I particularly appreciate the broader commentary! I think I'm having an existential crisis. 
 

 


Hi tele. Perhaps I should clarify that the lesson ended by lunch and I was out of uniform. The high speed braked sideslips started in the afternoon during free skiing. When I first witnessed the linked braked sideslips, I suggested she not worry about trying to ski as fast as me and instead focus on completing the turn and balancing over the outside ski like we did in the morning. Her response was "I'd just rather go fast." (As in it's more fun to go fast without thinking about technique.)

 

Developmentally, a low intermediate who's doing a series of braking rotated sideslips down the hill is reinforcing a lot of bad habits until they slow their movements down and focus on building effective patterns (at least on the pitch we were skiing). But as DanBoisVert, CarlR, TomB and RR comment, the investment in developing at this level may take a backseat to the immediate fun of going fast, particularly for an occasional skier. And, like music gal hinted at, perhaps there was an element of wanting to "keep up" - even though it was totally unnecessary. It's an interesting contrast as I've skied with other friends who really aren't concerned with trying to keep up. 

 

litterbug, I'm sorry that you had a poor lesson experience. That said, I feel that you're jumping to conclusions about how exercises were approached in this particular lesson. In order to motivate learners, it's critical to identify why we're doing any given exercise and what we're looking to improve.

 

Curiouser and curiouser.   If she would rather go fast, why is she brakingconfused.gif.
 

 

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