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straw survey on new book

Poll Results: Interested?

Poll expired: Apr 30, 2012  
  • 100% (4)
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4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone.


We are embarking on a new book examining anxiety, cognitive disabilities, and ski instruction.  The plan is to not only inform those who may teach VI/Cog adaptive, but also those who teach regular alpine.  We have found that there is a severe lack of understanding in these two main areas and want to be assistive to help everyone become more adaptable ski instructors.


What we would like to know from you as a group...are you interested in such a publication? I am adding a poll, but would really like to hear your thoughts as well. 



Doc (special ed teacher), Lara (lvl 0/1 adaptive), and Ben (lvl 3 alpine)

post #2 of 10

Cognitive disabilities - I don't understand thisbiggrin.gif


At least you should be able to help me understand why my students can't do a simple trick like a 540 mute grab when I yell that at them after they take off.


But seriously - how big a problem is this?

post #3 of 10

No doubt physcology is a huge part of instruction.  How much?  I dont think it would be unreasonable to suggest it is 30-50%! 


Take the progress of a child vs typical adult.  Children are often quicker simply becuase they dont have the fear.  Students who are scared, dont learn. 




I think it is one of the reasons new older instructors will run cirlces around new young instructors, the older instructors just have greater skills in this regard developed from other areas of life. 


Will this book help?  Dont know enough to know your approach, but for me, I try to install confidence in them by having confidence in me first, so they will try...they then develop confidence in themselves by succeeding.  I set tasks I know they can do...."always set your student up for sucess" is my motto.


Not sure if this was at all what you are getting at...but I have always found this topic interesting and I believe it is somthing that is often overlooked.

post #4 of 10

I'm totally interested. My 'real' job is as a behavioral interventionist at an alternative school, and I absolutely apply behavioral analysis and intervention with my ski students on a regular basis. Creating a resource for instructors who don't happen to be in the field will be invaluable.


I know this ties in to anxiety in a lot of ways, but will traumatic history and trauma responses be explicitly addressed at all?

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

A couple of things I will ad at this point to clarify.  We are approaching this with the understanding that cognitive "disabilities" are due to structural differences in how the brain is "wired".  In a nutshell, autism spectrum and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are due to accelerated neuroplasticity, similar to that of a <4 year old.  This leads to a myriad of social problems (behavioral), but those are secondary (and tertiary) to the "real" problems.  As a teaser, did you know that >90% of those with high-functioning ASD have a vestibular processing disorder? This means that while they may have absolutely awesome balance, they feel like they are constanlty falling over.  Go figure about anxiety at that point!  We have been working with friends, students, and clients for over 5 years to try to find effective ways to reach those with ASD or FASD so they can truly enjoy the feeling of sliding down a snow-covered mountain. We would like to debunk much of what is currently out there in teaching COG.  As one client put it after she read the PSIA adaptive manual regarding teaching cog students, "this is so out of line that it is insulting! Do they actually think this?!"





PS, as to how serious is this...consider that 1 out of ~250 children have full-blown autism. I don't have the statistic of FAS/FASD at my desk right now.  High-functioning autism/Asperger's syndrome are often undiagnosed...


Freeski919, we will be adressing TBI and PTSD as much as we can as well.  Much of the anxiety issues we will discuss because spectrum clients have little control over their anxiety attacks (some even consider them tiny epileptic siezures...).



post #6 of 10



Seems you are talking about a whole different level then just common fear and anxiety.  I think it is great that you are trying to share skiing with more people...but I would be surprised if there was a big market for your book, as important as it maybe for some.

post #7 of 10

I believe a bigger psychological hurdle in teaching skiing is "intent" .  Many beginner, intermediate and above skiers turn with the intent to slow down rather than go and use friction instead of gravity as their method for controlling their descent.  Identifying and changing this psychological intent is key to discovering the joy of expert skiing.


Anxiety seems easily identifiable and treatable to me...?

post #8 of 10

I agree with Skidude that the psychological barriers to all sorts of sports constitute at least 30% to 50% of the whole process. From my perspective, while I'm always buying new ski books, it would be good to read something offering a whole new perspective that would maybe offer solutions to those seemingly insurmountable problems.


I would disagree with Skidude on one point, however. Kids have significantly higher levels of fear than adults. What helps with teaching them to ski is that they don't have too much in the way of preconceptions and therefore the level of anticipation that adults do. As a result they don't perceive danger in what is, until a problem ensues, a fun activity. They are also essentially kinaesthetic learners. 25 years ago when I taught my kids to ski, I didn't stand explaining stuff. I got them sliding and then just said lets go over here, now over here. They sorted out the how by relying on the inate balance and co-ordination skills that adults block with analysis and overexplanation.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

One of the things we have been examining with our cognitively disadvantaged skiers is how to work with/through the uncaused anxiety attacks.  Sometimes their anxiety has no reason, so how do we get through it and keep having fun skiing?  Making skiing still enjoyable to these individuals has huge ramifications for those who are "neurotypical" and how we teach them.

post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

I believe a bigger psychological hurdle in teaching skiing is "intent" .  Many beginner, intermediate and above skiers turn with the intent to slow down rather than go and use friction instead of gravity as their method for controlling their descent.  Identifying and changing this psychological intent is key to discovering the joy of expert skiing.


Anxiety seems easily identifiable and treatable to me...?


Bud, we're not talking about 'normal' psychological issues in teaching skiing. We are talking about people with psychological and/or neurological dysfunctions. They are not simply afraid of getting hurt. The true source of their anxiety may be a traumatic event that happened ten years prior. Or it may have no discernable cause at all. People on the spectrum, with TBI or PTSD, or other dysfunctions, their brains work differently than a 'normal' brain, and therefore their perception of the world is significantly different. Inside their heads, two plus two really DOES equal purple. So when you are talking about intent, the demographic we are talking about isn't thinking about using friction to slow down. They are thinking about using friction to learn how to read. Or how to talk. Doesn't make sense to you, does it? It makes sense to them.


And anxiety is by no means easily identifiable. Yes, there are some who will manifest every sign of anxiety. However, there are others who will not show any outward sign of any anxiety, but will be experiencing a severe anxiety attack internally, and due to that will never step foot on a ski slope again. As far as easily treatable, no. Anxiety treatment usually includes a variety of psychotropic medications combined with ongoing intensive psychotherapy, which will usually last years, if not for the duration of an anxiety patient's life.


While we are not psychiatrists (well, some are in their real lives off the mountain), we should have a solid understanding of where are students are coming from. And part of this is having some kind of basic understanding of the possible mental state of our clients.

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