Originally Posted by hrstrat57
Describe how the art of teaching skiing has changed assuming a veteran pro and knowledgeable disciple of Centerline and ATS is returning to ski school....after a near 15 year layoff.
What is different, what tricks that worked 15 years ago no longer work etc. etc. What guarantees a positive guest experience in 2013?
Share random thoughts please? No specific agenda, if you are a veteran of 15 + years I would like any thoughts you might have.
Started teaching part time 20+ years ago shortly before shaped skis.
Nothing guarantees a positive guest experience. Any one thing can ruin a guest experience. Creating a positive guest experience is a team effort across the entire resort staff and Mother Nature. There are a hundred+ things instructors can do to help deliver a positive guest experience. One way to summarize those things is "Safety, Fun and Learning". In a simple perspective, nothing has changed here in the last 15 years. At the detailed level, we have gotten a lot better at communicating to new instructors what to do, why to do, how to do, where to do these things. In addition to teachers, we need to be entertainers, leaders, facilitators, psychologists, guides, etc. If our students are not injured, had fun and achieved a sense of accomplishment we've done our job. If we've either created or bolstered a life long love for the sport and a desire to come back again and again, we've really understood the phrase "positive guest experience". One big thing that PSIA has introduced is "Guest Centered Teaching". This is the idea that instruction should be tailored to the needs of the guests.
With regards to what worked 15 years ago that does not work any more, the short answer is nothing. The long answer is that it is more about the subtle adjustments and the options that shaped/fat/rockered skis have brought us. We don't teach "down - up - down" to do parallel turns any more. You could. But there are better options. The simple version of the difference in technique between shaped skis and modern skis is that we turn our feet less and edge our feet more. Some schools start students skip the wedge for first timers and start out directly with parallel turns. Some still start first timers with wedge turns. Some schools will mix approaches for different students. But we don't teach the "Snowplough" any more. The differences between a snowplow and a wedge can be subtle, but the main difference is that a snowplow is a braking maneuver and a wedge is a steering maneuver. At the higher end of the performance scale, we had people doing pure carved turns on straight skis. Mostly this was racers on closed courses. The speeds required to carve were not compatible with "crowded" resort skiing. With shaped skis, carving can be done at resort and crowd friendly speeds. We still need to teach skidding as an option, but now we can teach carving as a more efficient option. Teaching moguls has not changed much - there are dozens of different philosophies. Powder skiing has changed because fatter skis allow more float and the new rockered skis allow more skidding.
It's hard to catch up 15 years via the Internet. I've greatly over simplified lots of stuff.