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to go or not to go (L2 skiing, eastern)

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Late March, Eastern Div., @ Mt. Snow.  Given the thin conditions,, I'm worried about what to expect, whether to sign up.  I've been practicing but it will be presumably v. soft by then...

 

Thoughts?

 

 

JaneB

post #2 of 36

I wouldn't let conditions deter you.  Everyone's skiing on the same stuff and examiners are usually pretty reasonable with conditions (they won't make you do linked vertical side slips in a foot of mank).  I just did my L2 in the central division and skied in mank for most of the weekend and ended up passing.  If you've been practicing and feel like you have a pretty good grasp on what the examiners are looking for, then go for it.  Regardless of pass or fail, it's a beneficial experience.  I learned a lot during the weekend, both about skiing and professional knowledge.  

post #3 of 36
Hey, Jane, I always look at PSIA events as the cheapest lesson you can get. If you know your stuff, it'll work out. If not, maybe you'll learn something that will make it easier. I was at Mt. Snow in March many years ago with temperatures in the Zero range. I went to Mt. Tremblant a couple days later and experienced 25 below zero in brilliant sunshine.
post #4 of 36

What does your SSD and/or head of training think you should do? You need the SSD to sign off when you send in your registration.

 

Soft can be a good thing.

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

Haven't been able to ask yet. New SSD as of last week who is not very aware of my skiing...been too busy with holiday week to go there yet.

 

Miracles happen but don't anticipate a huge blizzard ; never know, though.

 

JaneB

post #6 of 36

 

Quote:
Hey, Jane, I always look at PSIA events as the cheapest lesson you can get. If you know your stuff, it'll work out. If not, maybe you'll learn something that will make it easier.

 

IMO if you're on the borderline, I'd recommend a practice exam (where they can spend time telling you what you're doing wrong and how to fix it), or an actual training/exam prep event.  If you're not sure where you stand, find someone really good and brutally honest who can look at your skiing and tell you what they see.

 

The problem with exams is they watch you for two days, THEN tell you if you passed.  They can't coach you on the hill.  And while the examiners are usually happy to give you feedback at the end, it's harder to apply it if you can't work it on the hill with them.

post #7 of 36

I have no idea if you should go or not, but I will probably be there for DCL Tryouts. Whether it is snow, ice, grass or mud, you can only do your best. So I wouldn't worry too much about the date and location. What mountain do you work at?

post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I have no idea if you should go or not, but I will probably be there for DCL Tryouts. Whether it is snow, ice, grass or mud, you can only do your best. So I wouldn't worry too much about the date and location. What mountain do you work at?



ditto going to DCL. 

 

If you worried about soft snow at your L2 you should not go.  I would kill for spring condidition for DCL, heck I would kill for super sloppy deep slush. 

post #9 of 36

My first suggestion to exam candidates is that if you don't know if you're ready, then you're not ready. If you've prepared sufficiently you should be able to judge your own skiing and teaching to be pass, borderline or fail. There are good reasons to go or not go for each category, but if you don't have a clue which category you fall in, then you have not studied enough to pass. If you've gone to Pro Jams and taken the exam prep track, that alone is a great start for knowing where you stand.

 

Guessing conditions a month from now is a crap shoot. When you plan on taking an exam you should be ready for anything just like you should be ready for anything when you show up to teach. The deep dark secret is that you are judged on your movements and "easy" or "hard" snow makes little difference on whether you pass or fail. No matter the conditions, you'll do best if you are only thinking "just ski". When I took my level 2 one of my tasks was to do a wedge christy on a cat track with a double fall line. If you've prepared for all those kinds of zingers, then you are over prepared. If you have the movements and don't panic, recognizing and adapting to a zinger is no problem. Just remember that the purpose of the zinger is just to make the examiner's job easier vs trying to make you fail.

 

If you decide to go "ready to pass" borrow a L2 pin for luck and keep it inside your jacket to remind yourself to ski like you've already earned it.

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

 

IMO if you're on the borderline, I'd recommend a practice exam (where they can spend time telling you what you're doing wrong and how to fix it), or an actual training/exam prep event.  If you're not sure where you stand, find someone really good and brutally honest who can look at your skiing and tell you what they see.

 

The problem with exams is they watch you for two days, THEN tell you if you passed.  They can't coach you on the hill.  And while the examiners are usually happy to give you feedback at the end, it's harder to apply it if you can't work it on the hill with them.



eh just go. At Level 2 video of youself should be enough to self coach. 

 

Practice exams seems like a waste of money. 

post #11 of 36

JaneB

 

I agree with Rusty.  Too many people go to the exam not fully prepared.  I saw it when I went for both Level II Alpine skiing and Level II Adaptive skiing.  I know from experience.  I was borderline and knew it.  I passed both skiing portions with 2 out of 3 examiners.  Most Level II Ski Exams have around a 50% to 60% pass rate.  I was ecstatic to make it.

 

Take a look at the skiing elements the examiners will be looking at.  See this thread for more information.  Also, download the exam guide from PSIA-E.  If you can do all the tasks comfortably you should stand a good chance of passing.

 

Then make sure your demos are rock solid.  Straight Run, Wedge Turn, Wedge Christi, Open Stance Parallel.  If your movement patterns are correct and solid it will show in your demos.  When you demo, keep relaxed, smile, and above all ski like you love skiing.  You do love skiing, don't you?  wink.gif  Too many people demo like they are robots; stiff, mechanical, unmoving, unthinking, uncaring, uninspiring.

 

Remember, the demo that kills more people at Level II is a Wedge Christi.  They put in negative movements up the hill; the old Stem Christi.  The examiners are looking for a modern Spontaneous Christi where the wedge just opens and closes naturally.  The ski isn't forced out to make the wedge.  If you have a Spontaneous Christi you're set for that one.

 

Go out and ski slow.  Slow down your turns until your movement patterns break.  Speed hides a lot of bad form.  If you can ski good movement patterns slowly, you'll ski them when you speed up.

 

Get with the Level III and Master Teacher instructors at your hill along with your SSD.  Ask them to go out with you and help you evaluate where you stand.  They will be able to help you get ready.  Most of them are itching to help another instructor.

 

Above all remember perfect practice makes perfect.  Go out and ski runs with a focus for each run.  When getting ready I skied lane changes, short radius turns, pain in the S turns, pivot slips, hourglasses, wedges, wedge christis, open stance parallel, etc, every chance I got.  I still go out and practice them.

 

When you are in the exam, remember ski your own turns.  Don't ski the other guy's turns unless that is the task at hand.  You're more comfortable and will ski better when you are skiing your own turns.  Don't blindly follow others, you'll end up matching their turns and you may not look as good.

 

In the bumps the young studs with legs of steel will pound the zipper line.  That's ok for them but it's not the task.  The task is to be able to lead a class through blue bumps.  As long as you are skiing the bumps smoothly and not "bump shopping" that will work.  I skied the shallow bumps along the bailout which is exactly where I would lead a class.

 

Above, enjoy the journey.  The whole process should be enjoyable.  Have fun learning.

post #12 of 36

My experience was somewhat different from what others are saying.  I went into mine not completely knowing what to expect, and with a "borderline" mindset.  I thought I did horrible the first day, then good the last two days, but I ended up passing all 6 sections.  If you're borderline, I say go for it, as even if you fail, you will have a much better idea of where you're at.

post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 

Actually, I like soft snow.  I was wondering whether there would be any but today there's a storm predicted...

 

I already took the L2 prep last year. This year my mtn. has kept me too busy to be able to attend any clinics.  A very kind Bear helped me for two days  (not at my mtn, which starts with an O). 

 

Thanks for some excellent feedback.  I suffer performance anxiety, probably the biggest obstacle, in an exam situation.

 

JaneB

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneB View Post

I suffer performance anxiety, probably the biggest obstacle, in an exam situation.

 


Do lots of video. You don't have to share it with us or anything, but you'll feel pressure when you get filmed.

post #15 of 36

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

eh just go. At Level 2 video of youself should be enough to self coach. 

 

Practice exams seems like a waste of money. 


Well, for me, I felt borderline (but our TD thought I was ready), I failed, and I would have been better off spending the two days doing another event.  For me it's hard to take time off from my day job, and I teach on the weekend, so I can't do a lot of multiday PSIA events.

 

YMMV, of course... just offering my perspective.

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 

Yes, I feel borderline, but tend to underestimate my skiing abilities (girl thing...).  Am in same position; full time demanding job, can't free ski much, never mind attend PSIA clinics.  I try to practice demos and skills while teaching, of course, with special consciousness to accuracy; my main prep. method.  My SSD has no idea whether or not I'm ready, given he doesn't really know me (he's been on the job for two weeks.)  Our DCL has skiied w/;me, along with 10 others, twice this  year.  My very kind and excellent instructor fellow Bear felt i was L2.  I'd had the excellent advantage of skiing w/him for two days, very relaxed and comfortable coach.  That is not usually what happens to me when I'm anxious, as in a test situation. I would find it v. difficult to fail; the A student type.  But this is not the same as school, however long ago that was....not a pencil and paper challenge (yes, passed, the online test already). 

 

JaneB


Edited by JaneB - 2/24/12 at 9:21am
post #17 of 36

A practice exam is just an exam that you can fail but you can't pass even if do.

I went to all my exams with the idea I was borderline, but I passed them all until I went to DCL, where I was happy they didn't take away my pin.

If you have trained enough that you are somewhat familiar with the tasks, and if you can just ski the without thinking about different body parts, you should go.

Don't worry about the conditions.  Difficult and variable conditions just allow you to show you can adapt.  Adapting means every turn doesn't need to be a pure perfect carved turn.  In wet heavy snow sometimes all you need to do is to keep your skis turning.

Good luck.

 

BK

post #18 of 36
I'll chime in here Jane. I didn't pass my skiing exam after being told in a practice exam that I was a Level 2 skier. There is no video at the exam and I didn't learn much as they give you no feedback as Matthias pointed out until the end and you need to really work to get it.

I will take it again, but as The Rusty said, only when there is no doubt about passing - and I'll know that on my own. I was borderline and still am (sure I could possibly pass this year, but do I want to squeak by or truly be a Level 2?)

Not saying "don't take it" because only you know how well you ski. If you're a strong skier with good movement patterns the way they want them, I wouldn't worry about any one task. imo they're looking at your skiing in a more general fashion, it's not about passing 7 out of 9 tasks, it's about your basic movement patterns and use of the skis.

I did my demos quite well, it was my high level skiing, and thus my basic movement patterns that held me back.
post #19 of 36

 

Quote:
Not saying "don't take it" because only you know how well you ski. If you're a strong skier with good movement patterns the way they want them, I wouldn't worry about any one task. imo they're looking at your skiing in a more general fashion, it's not about passing 7 out of 9 tasks, it's about your basic movement patterns and use of the skis.

I did my demos quite well, it was my high level skiing, and thus my basic movement patterns that held me back.

 

I heard the same feedback at my exam.  In terms of skiing ability it wasn't about any one specific task, but flaws and movement patterns they saw throughout my skiing.

 

I do agree you shouldn't worry too much about the snow conditions.  If the conditions are, uh, "good for you", they'll take that into account.

post #20 of 36

I completely agree with SMJ from the standpoint about your personal skiing.  I feel that my demos were so-so, but I felt my free-skiing was very good, and I almost got the feeling that I passed merely because of my personal skiing.  IMO I was the best skier out of my group of 5, and I was the only one to pass out of the group.  I feel that if you're a good overall skier, your demos only have to be average, while if you're an average skier, ALL your demos need to be very clean.  Just my opinion though.

post #21 of 36

Just curious what are DCL try outs?  Something above level 3?

post #22 of 36

In PSIA-E DCL is the next level above LIII, one level below examiner.

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

Just curious what are DCL try outs?  Something above level 3?



Division Clinic Leader. It is a next step but its not the next level nor is is 'below" examiner because its not on the same path.

 

I should also stress that there is no standard and it is a tryout. I am probably not going to make being I am from stowe. The guys from down south that will make it I would own at any skiing tasks anyways including being able to freeski them into the ground not to mention my creative but effective teaching but they are from an area with fewer DCLs than Northern Vermont. 

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

I should also stress that there is no standard and it is a tryout. I am probably not going to make being I am from stowe. The guys from down south that will make it I would own at any skiing tasks anyways including being able to freeski them into the ground not to mention my creative but effective teaching but they are from an area with fewer DCLs than Northern Vermont. 


For reals? This is why you won't make it! Maybe the other thing too, but mostly this.

 

 


edit to add: if you are sure you won't make it, why spend the money? It's not cheap. $200 plus expenses so you can let the man persecute you?
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post


For reals? This is why you won't make it! Maybe the other thing too, but mostly this.



nah its all part of the plan of thinking I will not make so there for I actually make it. I also hate how I keep hearing to ski as if I was had no balls from every L3 and examiner who truly wants me to make it.  Not doing that, at all. 

 

post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 

Well, what if your really have no balls? 

 

JaneB

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

nah its all part of the plan of thinking I will not make so there for I actually make it. I also hate how I keep hearing to ski as if I was had no balls from every L3 and examiner who truly wants me to make it.  Not doing that, at all. 


More Matta mind games...  It may actually work ;)

I thought the same thing way back when, as I was the underdog from the small, lesser known mountain but in reality I was judged purely on performance.  When you are #2, you try harder.

 

DCL & Examiner are not actual levels, they are jobs same as being an Alpine team member.  The tryout is simply part of the job interview, similar to when you got a job as a Ski Instructor.  In the Intermountain division it is DECL (Divisional Education Clinic Leader), in the west where I came from, we had ETS (Examiner Training Squad), now I think they have a Tech team which is separate from the Examiner squad, but not totally sure about that.

 

Although a high level of skiing is expected, remember that there is more to it to get the job.    To put it subtly, if you are not willing to play the game & the roll of job interviewee, you will not succeed in getting your foot in the door.

 

Good luck to all in this thread who are seeking to expand their horizons & make a bigger contribution to the profession & sport.

 

JF

 

Jane, get some balls & go for it wink.gif !

 

post #28 of 36

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post



Division Clinic Leader. It is a next step but its not the next level nor is is 'below" examiner because its not on the same path.

 

I should also stress that there is no standard and it is a tryout. I am probably not going to make being I am from stowe. The guys from down south that will make it I would own at any skiing tasks anyways including being able to freeski them into the ground not to mention my creative but effective teaching but they are from an area with fewer DCLs than Northern Vermont. 


 

I've seen a few posts by you about PSIA stuff (you used to be BWPA right, what happened to that name?), and you never seem very into it, why bother trying to play their games? And if you do really want to do it, but you feel that location is such a barrier, why not move mountains?  

post #29 of 36


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post



Division Clinic Leader. It is a next step but its not the next level nor is is 'below" examiner because its not on the same path.

 

I should also stress that there is no standard and it is a tryout. I am probably not going to make being I am from stowe. The guys from down south that will make it I would own at any skiing tasks anyways including being able to freeski them into the ground not to mention my creative but effective teaching but they are from an area with fewer DCLs than Northern Vermont. 


In fact there are fewer DCL's in Northern New England than there are in the Western New York/Pennsylvania area. The battle you fight is that there is not as much need for a DCL up here because of all the Dev/ETS/Examiners up here. The DCL role, in PSIA-E, is about disseminating information from the BOE to your ski school. Due to New York employment rules and the cost of training, PSIA-E rebuilt the squad 4 years ago to reduce the number of people on DCL and also elevate the level. I was fortunate enough to make that first DCL tryout and have now moved on to Dev so I'm definitely speaking from experience. 

The DCL tryout, much like the L3 tryout, is about showing accurate movements for a variety of low and high level tasks. Part of the difference is that at DCL we expect a higher performance then L3 and you only get one-time per task to show it. A put up or shut up tryout for sure.

I have complete respect for every person who decides to give it a try, it is not easy and is a great accomplishment if picked. Even if not picked, you show that you have an interest past getting a pin and calling it good. I enjoyed my years spent on DCL, it was a great learning experience.

Each person has there own way of mentally preparing for the exam. I have always believed I would be successful. That has lead to some heart-breaking moments, but just as many joyous moments.

One more thing, I wouldn't go bad mouthing DCL if you had asked a former team member to write one of your letters of recommendation.

 

post #30 of 36


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post



nah its all part of the plan of thinking I will not make so there for I actually make it. I also hate how I keep hearing to ski as if I was had no balls from every L3 and examiner who truly wants me to make it.  Not doing that, at all. 

 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneB View Post

Well, what if your really have no balls? 

 

JaneB


Having the perspective of skiing with you both. Josh dial it down to 8 you don't need an amp that goes to 11, you only have to to this for what maybe 15-20 runs over 2 days? You can't make changes in a system unless you are part of it, go get in it. I do truly want you to make it. If you could have some of JaneB's reserve and humbleness you make it every time. JaneB if you could have some of Josh's exuberance and confidence you'll get it also. I think you both have the skiing for your respective exams now you both need to overcome what your brain is telling you.

JaneB possible MRG this Fri? I think I can free up the day.

 

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