New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

suggestion box

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I thought the ETU was absolutely wonderful. Perhaps you have a constructive suggestion? Here's mine:

In college, I used to teach at a tennis camp. Each person received group lessons and a half hour private lesson.

If I had a "breakthrough moment" at the etu, it came in the last five minutes when I worked alone with our coach. I wonder if it would make sense to use the half hour private idea from tennis camp? The way it would have worked in our group is that we would have skied together without instructor on sunday morning while each one of us had our private. We could have hooked up at lunch.

just an idea...
post #2 of 24
I'll throw out a couple...I think it would be interesting to have break out sessions either in addition to or in lieu of the general presentation we had after the first day of skiing. It would have been great to have smaller sessions on simple ski care, pre-season conditioning, alignment or other topics. As I recall, the Academy did some of this and I don't see why it couldn't work for the ETU.

Second. Todo was kind enough to give each of us a personal cheat sheet to take home that identifies the areas we need to work on and the drills we should focus on to improve those areas. This was a great take home gift. If ETU could develop a template for all the coaches to use that would include this information, i think it would be well received.

Third. Somehow, more tequila needs to be involved.
post #3 of 24
Great suggestions! I'll second them all.

The half hour private would be awesome. That would also give some time for "free skiing and practice" for what was learned the day before. Rather than a general lesson that might fit person A, but not so much person B, the individual analysis could mean a faster progression.

I like this idea for the Academy too. Are you listening, organizers and coaches?

On the social side, I found it difficult again to just wander up to a person I've never seen and say, "Who are you? What's your screen name and real name so that I can put you with your posts". It may be too "grade school", but I think that after class, during a group dinner, etc, name tags would be a good idea. Perhaps a clip on laminated Official Epicski nametag, like a season pass thang, would alleviate the problem of "Gee, I remember talking to so and so, but who was that? I don't remember her name!" I'll gladly stick out an extra buck or two for that one!
post #4 of 24
Hey Skidmo! I think for ETU, time was essential. While we had some of the things you mention at the academy, it was also 4 days long. I think over a weekend, people would like to get as much snow time as possible.

Since you are another person I don't think I met, even though its a bit corney, it would be fun to have name tags with people's epicski user name at the breakfast and/or dinner.
post #5 of 24
Hey LM. I was thinking, for example, of three 30-45 minute sessions that run concurrently. The participants would just pick which one they wanted to attend. So it would only add 30-45 minutes.

[ December 19, 2003, 06:23 AM: Message edited by: Skidmo ]
post #6 of 24
Bonni and I were writing almost the same thing at the same time.
post #7 of 24
Frug,

Good idea to have a suggestion box.

Off-snow at the Academy we'll be featuring Bob Barnes on the Epic Turn; David Polaner, M.D. on the effects of high altitude on athletic performance; Ric Reiter & The Boot Guy for Ski Tuning and Boot Fitting; and a Q&A with all the coaches.

Stay tuned for the *complete* revised schedule--I hope to have it ready by Christmas.

[ December 20, 2003, 07:25 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #8 of 24
Will there be video at ESA2? I did a clinic one time where viddy was used and at the end of the day, the instructors critiqued the students. It was good to see the viddy and hearing the critique of myself and others gave me a feel for the "big picture". Viddy was also shot of the instructors. This stuff was shot in gates so comparisons were easy to see. This was as useful to me as the time spent on the hill. I guess I'm a visual learner with an ego that needs regular reality checks. I'd rather spend time after skiing doing viddy critique than external non instructional topics.
post #9 of 24
There will be video available for the groups at ESA2. Your coach will schedule the video capture and viewing.
post #10 of 24
Mary actually raises a good point. The only minor, minor, minor critique of the academy was that it was hard to schedule a good time for people to actually watch their videos. Perhaps if we can schedule 10 or 15 minutes prior to the evening presentation, it may work.
In addition, maybe we can have one brave group a day show their video to all the attendees.
But not our group! [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #11 of 24
I think that the snow that came caused quite a few people to leave sooner than they may otherwise have.

Perhaps having some of the workshop type things people mentioned in this thread available to people the night before the ETU begins or adding a 3rd day to the ETU (If we know in advance, many of us can plan accordingly to take a personal or vacation day to attach to either day of the weekend). The 3rd day could be optional and could include the 1:1 time with the instructors and review and critique of our videos, with ski time to be with some of the participants we really didn't get to ski with or even meet that much because we were in our groups. This way, one of the two nights could be used for different related workshops and there would still be time for the banquet.

I think Bonni's idea of the name tags with real name and screen name is great! I'm sure for a slight extra cost some ID badges could be obtained with this info. Not only would these be helpful to get to know some of the others we share messages and posts with, but they would also be a Souvenier(sp?) from the event.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
posted by LM:

Bonni and I were writing almost the same thing at the same time.
Scary, eh?
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Bonni:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />posted by LM:

Bonni and I were writing almost the same thing at the same time.
Scary, eh? </font>[/quote]VERY!
post #14 of 24
Hee Hee hee! You think you are at ski school, but its actually a government plot to get all women of "un age certain" to think the same thoughts at the same time! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #15 of 24
Some interesting thoughts here. Sure sounds like everyone had a great experience at the ETU and is coming back with a resounding: We want more!

Do I hear that right?

frugal_skier:

How many people were in your group? For that matter, how many people were in each of the different groups? Would this have been a practical arrangement? Obviously something clicked for you that last five minutes. Was it because you were one on one? Might it have been possible that the very same thing could have benefitted others in the group had they been present to experience it also? In the end, would you have received more or less instruction overall on Sunday?

This is the second time since returning from ETU that I've heard of a more private type scenario outlined, and I guess I just don't get it. My understanding of the Epic academy concept is to bring the students world class coaches at an inexpensive cost to the student (ie. large bang for the buck), so it doesn't seem that privates would be practical in that sense. Example: Less than a month ago I took a 1/2 day private with such a world class coach and it cost more than ETU tuition - no instruction the first part of the day, no lift tik for the next day, no dinner, no instruction the second day - although I will admit that I did get additional evening follow-up, but it was not a regular part of the resort program. I'm not saying privates are wrong, I'll take more. I just think Epic events are a different animal - different, not better or worse.

I think group lessons cut both ways. When I went to ESA and ETU I expected (and accepted) to be in group setting - knowing this wasn't a one on one lesson exclusively for me. So I traded an individual focused lesson specifically for me, for a group environment that cost me less. Did I learn less because of this? I don't think so. Even when my coach wasn't working with me, I was able to be involved when they were working with the others in the group and I was able to learn from their focus and feedback, as well as receive feedback on my skiing from them as well. In the afternoon Sunday, I broke from my group and shadowed another that my wife and a friend were in, and even the though the coach didn't work with me at all, I was able to learn from them as they worked with the group, or individuals in the group, and from the responses they got back. So I guess when I compare this to the 1/2 day private I had, I don't feel that I received any less coaching, but I don't think that would be the case had we rotated thru our coach doing mini privates.

Geez, sorry, that got longer than I meant it to! Hopefully some of the pro's or organizers will weigh in on this issue.

Quote:
Originally posted by Skidmo:
I'll throw out a couple...I think it would be interesting to have break out sessions either in addition to or in lieu of the general presentation we had after the first day of skiing. It would have been great to have smaller sessions on simple ski care, pre-season conditioning, alignment or other topics. As I recall, the Academy did some of this and I don't see why it couldn't work for the ETU.
Quote:
Originally posted by skierteach:
Perhaps having some of the workshop type things people mentioned in this thread available to people the night before the ETU begins or adding a 3rd day to the ETU (If we know in advance, many of us can plan accordingly to take a personal or vacation day to attach to either day of the weekend). The 3rd day could be optional and could include the 1:1 time with the instructors and review and critique of our videos, with ski time to be with some of the participants we really didn't get to ski with or even meet that much because we were in our groups. This way, one of the two nights could be used for different related workshops and there would still be time for the banquet.
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Hey Skidmo! I think for ETU, time was essential. While we had some of the things you mention at the academy, it was also 4 days long. I think over a weekend, people would like to get as much snow time as possible.
I agree with LM's statement that time was essential .... keep it on the snow! Seems like it would be really tough to squeeze all that into essentially one night. With many arriving late Friday and/or departing immediately at the end of the day Sunday, that pretty much put it all on Saturday.

Should the tune-up events be longer? Or are they, by definition, a fundamental curriculum limited in scope - geared towards getting you on the right track to start the season?

My recollection of the discussions from last year concerning an event in the east are that many respondents:
-desired an event to include participants that could not make the trek to the west
-wanted a weekend program:
--for educators or students that couldn't take time off during the season
--for those that didn't have/couldn't burn vacation
-wanted coaching relating to the eastern conditions and terrain they deal with (did that ever work out!)
-a lower cost program than the 4 day event

Did I recall these correctly?

Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
In addition, maybe we can have one brave group a day show their video to all the attendees.
But not our group! [img]redface.gif[/img]
Come on LM .... I'll agree if you will :

Guess I see it a bit differently, so fire away ....
post #16 of 24
Given the weather and conditions the almost universally positive responses only underscore the excellence of this event. My biggest criticism of the event was that it was only 2 days and not 4 days (or better, 2 weeks). Of course, had it been 4-days we simply couldn't have attended at this time of year. We'd love to do a longer academy out West, but our schedules mean we can only travel at certain times of the year. As cgeib notes, it was scheduled as a 2-day weekend event so that many with restrictive work schedules could attend. To that end, a terrific success. Yes I'd like more workshops, but hard to fit into a 2-day event with many folks coming in late on Friday after work and many rushing home Sunday evening. As LM says, I wouldn't have wanted to give up snow time for a workshop. I also have mixed feelings about incorporating private sessions -- perhaps something left to the discretion of each group. If you have 6 in a group, you've used nearly half a day on privates, especially when you account for organizing. Instead, I think instructors can kind of work one-on-one with a student to work on specific issues for a few minutes, then students can practice while skiing in a group context. At my level (or pehaps it's my learning paradigm) I seem to learn best if one thing is introduced and then I practice for a while. Indeed, I often find that I ski awful for the first run or two when I'm concentrating on correcting a specific technical problem. It's better for me to work on one thing at a time, rather than a several things simultaneously. In short, I'm not sure I'd really try to change a whole lot. My minor gripes:

We weren't bowled over by the dinner. We were among the last through the lines several things were on the low side or empty. By the time we went for desert all the good stuff was gone. All in all probably a good thing since I didn't have desert to contribute to the development of my "6-pack abs." Though not crazy about the actual meal, we thought the dinner and presentations were a great idea.

I think the organizers need to take a look at how the instructors insurance covers, or fails to cover them, in the event of injury. My understanding was that the instructors weren't covered for things like workman's compensation. It's one thing if I blow a knew and have to hobble to my desk job for a few weeks. It's quite another for an instructor who depends on being on their skis for their livelihood.

Given the constraints of a 2-day weekend event, I think the event was very well done. Hope to do it again next year.
post #17 of 24
cgeib, I do agree with you, I was just offering a way for the idea of the 1/2 hour individual breakout to be implemented if that was what people wanted.

I think the group format was great! As you said, not all skills in the group were directly aimed at me and my skiing skills, but they all helped me. Though I probably could have gone with a more advanced level group I chose to place myself in the group I went with. (with cgeib's wife, her friend, Bonni and LM) because this is the first lesson I have done since I rode 195cm "straight" skis and I felt that I needed technique at this level. I had a GREAT time and did get a lot out of the 1 day that I was able to participate.

Personally, I think the format was just fine. In order to add some of the things that frugal-skier and some of the others have mentioned, so they are available to people on the East coast that can not make it to the academy because of scheduling issues, would IMO require an additional day. I don't feel that the schedule that was followed for the ETU should be messed with.
post #18 of 24
Great thoughts, all. Thank you very, very much for sharing them, and yes, the coaches and organizers are definitely listening!

CGeib--excellent thoughts on the advisability and practicality of the private lesson thing. Everyone should remember that the ETU, and the ESA as well, are designed primarily by you, the participants. Privates are expensive, but if that's what everyone wants, we can certainly arrange them.

My first reaction to the "schedule a half-hour private with each participant" idea is that it would probably not prove as beneficial as one might think. Major breakthroughs happen usually when they're ready to happen--not necessarily when they're scheduled! While your breakthrough, Skidmo, [edit--correction: Frugal_Skier] may well have come during that little one-on-one session with your coach, it is quite possible that the coach saw that you were ripe for it, and that that triggered his timing for the one-on-one. That happens often in group lessons--the instructor sees that someone is close to a breakthrough, and needs only a little personal input right at that moment. Had you scheduled some private time with the instructor at another time, the moment might not have been ripe.

The ETU was intentionally scheduled, by request, as a two-day weekend event, allowing people to take advantage of all that we could do without having to schedule time off from work. Clearly 3, 4, or 5 (or more!) days would be even better, and quieter week days are always better than busy weekends, but that was not what this event was designed to be. If there's interest in a longer event next time, or at least the option of a longer event, or a different timing, just let us know!

Food for thought:

1) I suspect we could arrange private instruction with an EpicSki coach at an EpicSki Academy event for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 per day. That is not inexpensive, but it is less than the cost of such instruction through most major ski schools. Do not hold me to this, please--it will take a lot more research and planning before we could consider this option, and it might not prove feasible at all, for a variety of reasons.

Our current model has been to create small groups, much smaller than "competitive" programs with which I'm familiar. As Todo noted, most of the groups he's worked with outside the ESA run to 10 or even more. We have averaged less than 5 participants per instructor in each of the ESA events so far, and we plan for an average of 6 or less.

2) I am a big fan of video analysis, and would love to incorporate more of it into our events. But remember that video is very time-consuming, both in shooting and viewing, especially as group sizes grow. It becomes even moreso, and arguably less beneficial, if we use the typical model of scheduling a shooting time and location, and a viewing time and location, for each group. Like the one-on-one private instruction moments, video is most effective when it's used at the opportune moment and location, rather than just when it's scheduled. It's also most effective when you can view it immediately after shooting, when the sensations and memories of the run remain fresh, and when you can then go right back out and ski again.

For these reasons, I recommend that we continue--and enhance--our current video model, in which coaches carry their own personal video cameras, pulling them out when the moment is right, and viewing informally on the camera's built-in little screens (doesn't work for large groups, but it's fine with our little groups). If need be, perhaps we could even purchase a camera or two for those coaches who don't have one, or make it a requirement that coaches procure a personal camera. (All costs, of course, we must incorporate into the event fee.) We can also use assistant coaches, as available, to help with the shooting, as we did with Mike_M at the ETU. The alternative model, typical of most ski programs that use video, is to schedule a slot on a particular hill at a particular time with a videographer. Then the viewing is scheduled at a television setup somewhere, at some other time--often at the end of the day. It's far less effective, from my experience, and generally more expensive because we have to pay for the videographer and the viewing space and setup.

Keep the ideas coming, everyone. These are your events, and while I and the other coaches and organizers will add our thoughts and recommendations based on our experience, ultimately we want to customize the events the way you want. That's the unique beauty of the EpicSki Academy!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ December 20, 2003, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Bob,

It was me that might have had the "breakthrough moment. Perhaps, as you say, I was ready for it but it wasn't initiated by my coach. In the last five minutes, I just asked the coach for some things to work on. He spent five minutes with me and I was carving at initiation instead of later in the turn.

I don't understand why the cost would be different? Same amount of time for the coaches. Still, if you wanted to charge more, I wouldn't mind. Although my handle is frugal_skier, I'm always willing to pay up for quality. The instruction at the ETU was all about quality.

Based on my experience as a tennis pro at tennis camp, I'd coach four players for 1-4 days. While we were doing the group coach, I'd be thinking about what I wanted to work on with each student and how I could correct their strokes (or footwork, or strategy or...). Many of the students made more progress in those 30 minutes than the other 2-4 days. As you say, not everyone was ready for a "breakthrough" but I was able to make some progress with just about everyone.

I don't know if you've had similar experiences with privates in skiing. Perhaps it's just a different animal. My ability to setup a ball machine and adjust strokes has no real analogy in skiing.

By the way Bob, your comment about thinking about "your intent during a turn" resonated with me. When a player I was coaching hit a ball out, I'd ask them where they were aiming. More often than not, they'd say they weren't aiming. My reply was "well, you really didn't miss then, did you?"

best,
jeff davidson
post #20 of 24
Quote:
posted December 20, 2003 03:37 PM
By frugal_skier----------------------------------------------
I don't understand why the cost would be different? Same amount of time for the coaches. Still, if you wanted to charge more, I wouldn't mind. Although my handle is frugal_skier, I'm always willing to pay up for quality. The instruction at the ETU was all about quality.
This is an easy one. When there is a group part of the cost to compensate the instructors comes from each participant in the group. When it is an individual that person must pay the entire cost.
post #21 of 24
Assuming that the coach gets paid X dollars for a morning, it's supposedly all the same to the instructor, even though the entire amount is being paid by one guest rather than five guests. However, in actual practice, I am compensated more for a private than for a group - and the mountain encourages us to get as many privates as we can.

[ December 20, 2003, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #22 of 24
While we don't have prior ESA or ETU experience, two of the things that swayed us to attend ESA2 was the small group lessons with the reputation for quality of coaches associated with EpicSki and the video approach Bonni described to me back in August. The current model that Bob describes would seem to provide flexibility and be a lot more practical than a scheduled time/place.

While I would appreciate the opportunity for a private lesson, perhaps it could be an option in addition to/separate from the groups if it organizationally makes sense.

Chris
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by oboe:
Assuming that the coach gets paid X dollars for a morning, it's supposedly all the same to the instructor, even though the entire amount is being paid by one guest rather than five guests. However, in actual practice, I am compensated more for a private than for a group - and the mountain encourages us to get as many privates as we can.
My area differs here. We get the same amount private or group, it doesn't matter. We do get more per class than some neighboring areas though.
post #24 of 24
we all have learning preferences. that's natural and normal.

ETU scores a 10+ in VALUE. the calibre of instruction and the quantity of ski time was SUPERB!

I went to ETU knowing I'd be in a group lesson. I like group lessons:

- you have moments to THINK and/or decompress... you have more time to work on concepts and less pressure on you (individually) to perform...
- there is good commraderie in a group
- you can listen... other people ask questions and discuss things that sometimes don't occur to you because you are too focused on ONE thing

I wanted to ski *ALOT*. And, we did. My group did at least 18-22 runs each day.

I like 2 days - it was the right "dosage" for me.

Upon reading Cgeib's post, and largely agreeing with it, and reading other's posts - it made me wonder: do we need/want different things from instruction because of our "learning styles" or is it attributed to our level of competence?

my 2 cents in terms of "feedback on ETU"
1. need a written agenda with dates/times/locations
2. need evaluations
3. sat night "talk" was a great idea - breaking out into 3 groups with the discussion tailored to that specific group might make it even better (beginner/novice, intermediates, advanced/expert)

I will be at next year's ETU. [img]smile.gif[/img]

kiersten
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Epicski Academy