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Academy: A perspective from an instructor that was a participant

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I attended the Academy for two reasons. The first reason was to improve my skiing and second, to improve my teaching. I did both. Before I continue, I would like to thank Nolo and Ziggy for their expert coaching. I believe all the groups had a coach and an assistant. I’m not sure if this will hold true for the future, it is my hope that it will be the case. At one point Bob Barnes, Nolo, Ziggy and Carolyn, a Brighton Examiner, all demo the ‘White Pass Turn’. How’s that for value!

The two-coach arrangement worked well for me because I found myself at the head of the class. All previous lessons I had when I found myself at the top tended not to do much for me. This time I had a dual perspective and, with two coaches, the Academy met all my hopes. Nolo’s teaching worked for all levels. The skills were basic to both intermediates to experts and worked to improve all our abilities. Her presentation and drills gave me some real insight into what is needed to coach intermediate and advanced skiers, the type of skiers I seldom get to teach. When I felt the need to try more challenging terrain, Ziggy was there to go into the steeps, bumps and trees. Ziggy’s added input and demos were invaluable.

The one fact I learned was that it doesn’t matter the terrain, your strength and weaknesses will be revealed. Nolo pinpointed a flaw of mine on the easiest terrain we skied, an abstem born of failing to complete my turn. This phantom stem often arises to haunt me when the going gets steep and although it was obvious that this was occurring, I had no idea why. I have often been coached to complete my turns and I thought that I was. Now I have a specific link between a flawed movement pattern I was unaware of and a problem that I knew I had. This is only one example of small insights that are adding up to better skiing.

As an instructor, I observed dedicated, enthusiastic participants elevate their skiing from hour to hour. Sno’more, Fox, Bob the Builder, and Oboe should all feel great about the gains they made. Sno’more gained some flexibility in the downhill leg. Both Fox and Oboe achieved a taller stance and Bob’s edging skill took a giant leap. These are only a few little things that have made a big difference.

The best part of the Academy was the camaraderie. Learning was never this much fun. I didn’t get to know all coaches and participants but all I met on hill and off were friendly and interesting, just the type of person you would love to get to know better. Thanks to AC and EpicSki we can continue to do that. Often other skiers would notice our enthusiasm and ask our group what was going on and we’d tell them the details. Hopefully they will log on here and become a part of the family.

Thanks to our Coaches. A special thanks to Lisamarie for keeping us limber with her pre and post ski stretch. Thanks to AC and dchan for the hard work keeping EpicSki up and running. Finally, a tip ‘o the hat to all the participants who took a big leap of faith and really made the Academy a great success. See you all next year.
post #2 of 20
Springhill Crazy,

You deserve a giant pat on the back for your contributions to the group. Others mentioned how great it was to have three instructors all week, and five on Thursday.

I am sure you will be leading the group in due time.

Congrats on your victory over the dreaded abstem.
post #3 of 20
Springhill Crazy, you were obviously the best and smoothest skier among the students in our group, and I think it's great that you, an instructor, signed up as a student - good on ya!

Thank you also for your encouragement and companionship during our learning episodes, not to mention the discussion on the chailift.

Didn't we have the best of the best for instructors? Where else, but at the EpicSki Academy, could we have skied with and learned from Bob Barnes and Joan Rostad [nolo]? I have learned that, if we could have snagged one of these luminaries at a resort for a day on the hill, it would have cost significantly more for the day than we paid for the entire four days of the Academy.

For oboe, the learning didn't stop when the Academy ended. Those exercises and techniques are burned into my mind, and I have practiced them on succeeding days. Remember the "diverging scissor turn"? Remember skiing and turning [or for oboe trying to ski and trying to turn] on one ski, with the other lifted off the snow? To my own amazement, after practice, I CAN DO IT! Most fondly for me is post-Academy improvement in the bumps. . . and also that "one thing" I need most to focus on [you mentioned it above].

Thank you, nolo and Bob Barnes. Thank you, too, Springhill Crazy, and remember, we meet at Jay later in March.
post #4 of 20
So glad the stretch routines worked well! [img]smile.gif[/img]
One of the many high points of the academy was watching Spriinghill come down the hill when Nolo was videoing her group. Talk about smooth!

I think Springhill raises an important issue regarding the success of the academy. Any coach can somehow coerce their students into skiing more challenging terrain. But to find the technical glitches that keep the student from actually ENJOYING challenging terrain, well that's what I call expert coaching!
post #5 of 20
Just read the the posts, and there is this huge drool on my green face !
post #6 of 20
Thanx so much for the attaboy. Yeah I was quote, unquote the assistant, but skiing with the likes of Nolo and Bob was awesome for all of us. (I'm lucky and have skied with Bob here at Copper more than ocassionally.) My skiing improved as did all of yours. I feel that we (you and I) had a lot of fun in the funk and that is what contributed so much to your/our improvement. Attitude is so much of the learning process.

The one undeniable aspect here is that, as an instructor of any level, our thrills are directly related to the students' success. This event surpassed any and all of the cummulative "WINS" I have had over the years. I have yet to come off my high. Every student that I have worked with since coming home has been informed about EPICSKI.COM. Every phone call to friends (Mom too) has been inundated with my zealous enthusiam for this website and all it promises for the future of ski teaching. We are on to something big. As the energy and good kudos build, the industry will change. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]

It was more than a pleasure to be part of this. It was an honor. Thanx to all involved.
post #7 of 20

Your infectous enthusiasim may be what causes the ski industry to "ZIG" in a new direction of real growth, from the old "zag" of contraction!

Well done !
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Oboe, I haven't forgotten about Jay. In fact, we are booked for one of their condos. Marcus should be coming too so we'll have a nice crew to rip with. I think I'll post on the 'Meeting On The Hill' forum later to see if we can scare up some other bears. My pinhead buddies from the Mad River Valley and the 'Live Free and Ski' family from NH will be coming over too.

I think you did really well on the single ski drills. In fact, you nailed a few of them much better then I. I'll be practicing turning on the outside edge of the inside ski, The one Bob Barnes had us doing right before the 'White Pass Turn'. If I can trust my ski and "dive and have faith", that will be another real breakthrough for me.

Yes Ziggy, I'm still on a high over the Academy. I went on with such enthusiasm with my School Director and Group Sales Chief they suggested that I run a clinic for those interested. Isn't that something? I hope it comes off.

I haven't had a real chance to ski since Alta. I spent my one day back on snow teaching so I did have a chance to do some things with stance and building the platform from the foot up. I wish I had the Academy experience at the start of the season. It has given me a fresh perspective and a renewed eagerness to coach. Tomorrow I'll have some time to ski for me and this time I'll spend some time practicing before I turn 'em loose.

Hey, how about another Academy in April? :
post #9 of 20
Did someone say Jay? When?
post #10 of 20
I am still in awe of the Epicski Academy. So much so that I just don't know where to begin writing. I think if I start writing the bubble will burst. To be sure I will be back next year. I get such a charge out of teaching and interacting with people that the academy will be my venue. I get so much more out of giving tips to the likes of Lisamarie while free skiing than I ever do out of "hey guys watch this-can you top it". Give me a few groomers that are longer than one see, good company, good snow and sunshine and I am happy as a clam.
post #11 of 20
Luv, ya, Pierre! [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
LM, arriving march 23 for a week. I'll post details later. Feel like trying the trees?

Pierre, next time I lose my pride in the trees under the Geronimo lift, at least wait 'til I find my skis before you and Marc ski off. On second thought, just move on. It'll be easier on me that way. That way I won't have to explain why I fell. [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #13 of 20
Will be volunteering as a warm-up apres ski stretch coach for the Cranmore Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser on the weekend of March 22, but the following weekend could work. Its the weekend before our anniversary. {April 2nd} Could be fun!
post #14 of 20
Hey Wink,

It's not only my "infectious enthsiasm". I think that what we've got here is going to affect the industry drastically. We are creating a movement. Kinda reminds me of the end of Arlo's "Alice's Resraurant". There are a lot of passionate people involved at this site. Enough to affect a change in the market place over a reasonable period of growth. As stated before, I am happy and proud to be involved.
post #15 of 20
ziggyskier, I can just see you sitin there strumin out Alice's Restaurant on the guitar. You have got the perfect voice for it. The theme transfers nicely to the academy though. You can get anything you want at the academy septin Alice of course.
post #16 of 20
You guys got me infected. Is this Academy for instructors only, or is it OK for a lay skier to attend too?

[ February 14, 2003, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #17 of 20
Definitely for the "lay skier"! Springhill just happened to be an instructor who wanted to improve his skills. Check out the Academy 2 thread, and give us your input!

Springhill, BSSC has a bus trip to Jay the last weekend of March.
Thinkin' about it....
post #18 of 20
definitely a few skiers worth lay... oh, that wasn't the question.
It was for the best instructors to teach some eager students. The only qualification the students need is to buy me a beer.

post #19 of 20
Please bear in mind that I qualified as soon as I could!
post #20 of 20
yeah, oboe, thanks

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