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"Whatever works" vs instruction that won't have to be untaught later? - Page 2

post #31 of 39

Interesting post.  Some thoughts as a race coach and an instructor.

 

In youth racing u14 and down, yes there is pressure to get results - but not as much as you think.  Parents tend to look more at consistency, textbook technique, IMPROVEMENT and BIG SMILES before and after practice and races.  The physical size and athletic abilities of boys and girls this age varies HUGELY.  We have compact little guys who have not grown yet and huge "Clifford the big red dog" types as well.  So podiums are not always an accurate measure of "success."  Clifford will regularly beat the most skilled but still pre-pubescent hot shots in a typical youth GS (flat and short).  

 

As for coaching never-evers or the aforementioned "British School Boys"... Let me add visitors from India, Brazil, Southeast Asia, and Texas to that list.  If your clients are once or twice a year skiers on vaca - teach them to navigate the terrain safely and board the lift.  Keep them smiling.  You are NOT building world cuppers.  You are building REPEAT CUSTOMERS.  

 

None of these clients is going the "get" keeping the COM heading down the fall line.  They WILL "get" pretty views, a fun lift ride, and some laughs.  They WILL get that the hill is only "steep" straight down is is rather MILD horizontally.  IF they want to take up the whole hill making pizza turns with their lift ticket flapping in their face, that is GREAT!  As long as they are safe and smiling and might come back!  

 

Bottom line, you cannot "break" or "spoil" a beginner.  Unless "improper" technique is regularly and consistently drilled into them, AND they ski more than a handful of times per year - what damage can possibly be done?

 

There is one more demographic - Mom and Dad are lifelong skiers and rippers and are impatient to get Jr charging through the woods with them.  These groms take a little more LTC and a smart line-up manager will assign instructors accordingly.    

post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Do you ever ask other instructors how they teach something and they answer "whatever works?"

That is, they consider the lesson a success when it gives the client what they want in the amount of time available in the lesson, even if it will need to be untaught later, so they say "Whatever works!" and laugh.

What do you think of this approach?

 

I'm asking a philosophical question about what counts most in a lesson for you and the people you teach with, or if you're not an instructor, for you as a skier who takes lessons.

Do quick, immediate results trump slower learning with greater long term potential?

 

Or do you think this is a messed up question, and that the two are not in opposition?


LF,

 

Little back on topic I hope.

 

Whatever works.  Dangerous statement! This is one that is on the extremes at both ends of good or bad.

 

My though on this is if you are teaching something to achieve a specific goal, and normal methods aren't working, than a think outside the box is more than acceptable to get a concept across as an intermediate step.

 

Doing something that works without fully taking into the long term effects is very bad and can have long term effects.

 

Our son has brain damage and when learning once patterned is very difficult to undo (patterns set very quickly even if performed incorrectly).  We have learned tp show the entire skill even though it well above him (it is patterned in his mind) and let him try (and usually fail at it).  We then systematically fix one step at a time to adjust the errors as the initial pattern is there.  Takes a lot of work as an instructor.

 

In short,

 

Teach the entire skill (Correct pattern, always full speed.  Whatever works must not go here!).

Let try and analyze.

Tweak and fix (Whatever works fits in here) one portion.

Repeat until all errors fixed.

 

Results are quicker than you think.

 

Learning to teach to someone that has brain injury and memory issues it is very enlightening to see what works and doesn't.  We use these same skills on his younger and high IQ sister and the results are even faster as she now self analyzes and starts adjusting even as suggestions are made.

post #33 of 39
Thread Starter 

Counter rotation according to Bob Barnes' Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing: (oh... it won't let me copy and paste)

 

Well anyway, counter rotation is rotating the upper body in one direction and the lower body in the other.  It can be done in the air, as in aerial tricks.  

It is not a mechanism for turning the skis beneath a stable upper body, although some think it's the same thing.  "Counter roatation is often the turn initiating mechanism for skiers who lean back on their ski tails."  It typically produces "Z-shaped turns linked by traverses."  Quotes from Bob's Encyclopedia.  


If you read Ron LeMaster's book, you'll find the same definition.


Epicski needs a quick reference glossary.

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
 

None of these clients is going the "get" keeping the COM heading down the fall line.  They WILL "get" pretty views, a fun lift ride, and some laughs.  They WILL get that the hill is only "steep" straight down is is rather MILD horizontally.  IF they want to take up the whole hill making pizza turns with their lift ticket flapping in their face, that is GREAT!  As long as they are safe and smiling and might come back!  

 

Bottom line, you cannot "break" or "spoil" a beginner.  Unless "improper" technique is regularly and consistently drilled into them, AND they ski more than a handful of times per year - what damage can possibly be done?

Thumbs Up

 

This, do what it takes to get them "skiing".  You can bring them to higher levels whenever/however they are ready to go there.  Most importantly, make sure they learn to do some actual skiing on DAY ONE.  If they don't figure out a way to "ski" and have a good time odds are slim to none that they will return to try again.  Get them up and mobile as quickly as possible however it can be done safely.  Worry about bad habits once they are functional on skis and wanting to do more.

post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post


Well anyway, counter rotation is rotating the upper body in one direction and the lower body in the other.  It can be done in the air, as in aerial tricks.  
It is not a mechanism for turning the skis beneath a stable upper body, although some think it's the same thing.  "Counter roatation is often the turn initiating mechanism for skiers who lean back on their ski tails."  It typically produces "Z-shaped turns linked by traverses."  Quotes from Bob's Encyclopedia.  

http://www.epicski.com/a/the-complete-encyclopedia-of-skiing-epicski-skiing-glossary
Anticipation:
countered, “wound-up” arrangement of the upper and lower body prior to a turn; creates tension in the muscles that, when released, helps initiate the turn
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


This, do what it takes to get them "skiing".  You can bring them to higher levels whenever/however they are ready to go there.  Most importantly, make sure they learn to do some actual skiing on DAY ONE.  If they don't figure out a way to "ski" and have a good time odds are slim to none that they will return to try again.  Get them up and mobile as quickly as possible however it can be done safely.  Worry about bad habits once they are functional on skis and wanting to do more.

My feelings exactly. You aren't doing "whatever it takes to teach them to ski", you are doing whatever it takes to make sure day 1 is as much fun as you can make it. There's time later once they are hooked.
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
 

As for coaching never-evers or the aforementioned "British School Boys"... Let me add visitors from India, Brazil, Southeast Asia, and Texas to that list.  If your clients are once or twice a year skiers on vaca - teach them to navigate the terrain safely and board the lift.  Keep them smiling.  You are NOT building world cuppers.  You are building REPEAT CUSTOMERS.  

 

 

This is what I call the pony ride as opposed to the dressage lesson. If it is non-English speaking grandmother visiting from Brazil and they are planning to ski this afternoon only and then driving out to Niagra Falls in the morning before returning to NYC or whatever, OK, then I will "do what it takes". I think if there is any chance at all of them being repeat customers, I want to give them a solid foundation, it seems like that last sentence does not fit with the rest of what you are saying.

post #38 of 39

I can use hip counter rotation to balance over an edged ski.  I can also use counter rotation as a turning force.  Two different things.  Too bad I gave away many of my ski books, John Howe and Georges Joubert.  YM

post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

 

 

Do what it takes to get them "skiing".  You can bring them to higher levels whenever/however they are ready to go there.  Most importantly, make sure they learn to do some actual skiing on DAY ONE.  If they don't figure out a way to "ski" and have a good time odds are slim to none that they will return to try again.  Get them up and mobile as quickly as possible however it can be done safely.  Worry about bad habits once they are functional on skis and wanting to do more.

 

 

The funny thing I see in this whole thread is that to me the fastest, easiest way to get people skiing is to teach them solid fundamentals.  I have yet to see someone being taught, say, an over rotated turn or "Jersey Arm" turn that progressed to any semblance of control faster then when taught, or at least demoed "proper" technique.

 

If people pick up less then ideal form from what I'm trying to teach them then it's on me to get them back on track over time. I will not say we have to perfect any part of the turn if they are in control, and believe me, I've had my share of arm waving, backseat, semi-guided missiles, but not because I've tried to teach a short cut, rather that was how they were best able to first execute my demos. If in my opinion they are in enough control to not be a danger to themselves or others I won't worry about how they look.

 

As far as "perfection" is concerned watch the average first day snowboarder. Because both feet are attached to the same plank you do it right, or you fall over. That means that there really aren't any bad habits they can teach themselves so once they're linking turns on greens they'll be linking turns on blues an hour or so later. Compared to the average fourth day skier the average fourth day snowboarder is a more "finished product", but I would also bet the average skier has been having more fun, every day, rather then two and a half days of pain and frustration.

 

Can I slow things down and demand perfection of my skiing students? You bet, but they will take the same emotional betting the first couple days as the physical beating the average snowboarder takes.

 

In sum, to me "Whatever works" IS instruction that won't have to be untaught later, but without the expectation that my students have to execute level one exam demos to have fun skiing--Just as I have seen boatloads of instructors that are having fun skiing and teaching effectively at lower levels without skiing or teaching at PSIA level three.

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