Yep, good reflections. An additional thought (I always have at least one of those) is that maybe it isn't necessary for us to choose betwen SDI and the Jobs model. There are tons of other models, I'll get to that in a minute. What I was trying to say in my previous post was that teaching skiing is a service job, and you never want to forget that, but it's also a teacher/student scenario. We've been talking, I think about what the student does, or wants, or gets out of ski teaching. To me, any teacher/student relationship is more than that. You'd want to believe that both participants are getting something out of it, maybe something tangible, maybe something esoteric, maybe both. We don't have to teach skiing, we could all go do something else. Yes, it's very important that the student get something out of it...what he or she wants, what he or she needs but doesn't realize he or she needs, something totally unexpected and enlightening...but, just taking the local viewpoint, I'm not gonna continue to be the teacher if there isn't some reward in it for me. And for me, that reward isn't the bucks, because I still teach and coach, I just no longer do it for money, it's in getting skiers to Aim High, as they say in the Air Force, and actually make it happen.
I think what I'm hearing from Nolo is a need to resolve the Jobs philosophy with Nolo's concept of teaching skiing. Maybe that's not necessary. PSIA, and I hate to say it, but as an observer rather than a participant these days, seems to want to come up with the party line du jour, and then the membership either falls into line with that vision, challenges it, morphs it, or whatever, but there seems to be this assumption, but in terms of concept and technical aspects, that there's One Way. To an extent, maybe there is. Forget about what carving is, or whether or not it makes sense. Somebody once asked Stu Campbell to explain the essence of skiing in five words or less, and he said "make the ski bend", doing it in 4. I would have said "Make the edged ski bend." And yep, I know, rockered skis don't necessarily meet that definition, but in the multiplicity of choices we have, I think you have to start somewhere down the path, and maybe the shaped ski is the first building block. And to make the shaped ski do what it's engineered to do...forget about whether that's called carving or not...a good approach is to put it on edge and get the thing to bend. So hopefully we all agree that that's a good image, and maybe we can even agree on how you make that kind of stuff happen, but those aren't the same things as coaching another skier to get that stuff going on.
To an extent, then, whatever conceptual model you use to inform your teaching and get your student and you to achieve your collective and separate goals, then that's the conceptual model that works, no matter how far off the grid it may seem. Wanna know what my conceptual model, as a ski racer, happens to be? I call it the "Tooth Fairy Swap." If you remember, the first time you lost a tooth when you were a kid, it was a scary and disorienting experience, and your folks told you that, Well, life is like that, but sometimes a little rain falls, and then the wheel comes around again. So you put the lost tooth under your pillow, and presto, the next morning, the Tooth Fairy made it all up by dropping off something appropriate like a Mars bar.
Works for me. I have a bunch of teammates who no longer race because they've been so decimated by injuries that they can hardly walk any more, let alone strap on skis and get in the gates yet again. I've been a whole lot luckier than that, but like every racer, I've taken my share of dings. Last half way serious one was, lemme think, three years ago this December, I had to get out of denial and finally admit I couldn't straighten my right knee. Fortunately, it was no big deal...the joint wasn't compromised, the ligaments were as good as could be expected, I just had some damaged cartilage, which a very good surgeon snipped out, and 3 weeks later I was rehabbed and back on skis.
This year, I ended up 8th in DH, 11th in SL in my class at the Masters Nationals. Thank you, Tooth Fairy! Not for handing me those results, but for giving me one more chance to get out and ski and make those results happen. So that's also my philosophy when I coach people. Not that I want them to get hurt, but I want them to understand two things:
- (1) It ain't for free. I can show you some stuff that can help, but you have to make the effort. Be thankful that you can make the effort, and give it your best, always. Every day you get on the hill is a freebie.
- (2) Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you. I'm not talking about getting injured, and I hope you don't. But not all of getting better is going to be fun, but if you really want to be the best you can, you'll take whatever lumps you have to and drive on. The Tooth Fairy is for real, I'm pretty sure of that.
So there it is. Probably sounds nutty, but it works for me...so what's your Tooth Fairy?
Originally Posted by bud heishman
We know what the beginner wants, they want to know how to NOT GO THAT WAY!
We as teachers need to realize this but know what they really want but do not grasp yet! How to use their skis to flirt and play with gravity! We just have to guide them along that path by instilling the right intent in why they turn their skis.
Student centered yes in the sense of teaching to their learning style, yes with respect to being aware of their basic physiological and psychological needs of warmth, potty breaks, etc., yes in the sense of gaining their trust, But NO in assuming they know what the best path or approach or skill to learn is for them.
We hold the secret! That's what they want even though they don't know what it is yet!
How cool would it be to put on a headset and connect some wires to our bodies, stand on a moving platform, looking through special goggles with video input and feel what great skiing feels like without ever getting cold or driving to the mountains?........on second thought, that would suck!