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Part 2 - The health of the ski instruction profession.... - Page 3

post #61 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post

Skipro1,

I'm glad to receive your assurance that PSIA can produce technically solid skiers. There's a question which puzzles me and perhaps you can answer it: why didn't PSIA send any of them to Ushuaia a few weeks ago for Interski 2015? While I can see the merit in having sent terminal intermediates for comparison purposes, some pros should have been sent too.

So is the assertion that the demo team are not technically solid skiers? They did in fact attend.
post #62 of 117

You know, Sharp's assertion was so pointed, we should just let it speak for itself. You can hear a lot just by listening.

post #63 of 117
The better question is if Sharp Edges was a participant there. I doubt it since most national team members understand they are ambassadors for their national organization and would never make denigrating comments about other teams, or their members on a public forum like Epic. But as long as Epic allows SE to do that sort of stuff it won't stop.
post #64 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

So is the assertion that the demo team are not technically solid skiers? They did in fact attend.

Yes, that's the assertion. And it's backed by strong publicly accessible evidence -- the videos posted by PSIA and others during Interski week.
post #65 of 117

:popcorn

post #66 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post

Yes, that's the assertion. And it's backed by strong publicly accessible evidence -- the videos posted by PSIA and others during Interski week.

Specific links? Just want to see what you're talk'in 'bout, Willis.
post #67 of 117

 

post #68 of 117
The PSIA playlist for Interski 2015 is at

Interski - Improving Skiing and Snowboarding Worldwide: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtmK-g4jQeEaDfqH97w2iGAy_6hTk8DA7
post #69 of 117

^Ambitious name for that playlist.

post #70 of 117
Maybe something to do with the expressed lack of synchronized skiing focus in the US in this video
post #71 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

The better question is if Sharp Edges was a participant there. I doubt it since most national team members understand they are ambassadors for their national organization and would never make denigrating comments about other teams, or their members on a public forum like Epic. But as long as Epic allows SE to do that sort of stuff it won't stop.

Moderator note:

In this country people can say things publicly that are obviously wrong when taken literally (e.g. Donald Trump stating that Mexican immigrants are rapists). In this community we will moderate comments that are made solely for the purpose of trolling. But we also let people express their opinions and let the community judge how right or wrong those opinions may be, Moderators have to apply judgment to assess if an inflammatory comment was made solely for the purpose of generating inane discussion or if it was an expression of an honestly held opinion. Sharpedges' posting history supports the latter assessment. To the extent that the discussion stays civil, the moderator team will let it stand.

post #72 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Maybe something to do with the expressed lack of synchronized skiing focus in the US in this video

 

It's like we're in a timewarp, judging by this 2013 comment... 

 

Quote:
 They've been fairly consistent in their comments that the teams (multiple Interskis) did not value the synchro skiing events and did not spend the time (and our dues money) extensively practicing for these events and as such did not stand out among the teams in these events.

 

I'm sure there were some good skiers among the US demo team members. But when you show up to a ballroom dance and start break dancing, at best it's hard to wow the crowds. 

 

Regardless of my feelings, we know that the US demo team still doesn't value synchro skiing. They still have other events, like the race, to demo their skills. But it sounds like the US demo team perceives the race as "kind of a fun thing that the organizers at Ushuaia put on" (whereas the video footage shows other nations clearly putting their all into the race): (jump to 00:02:10)

 

 

So I have to ask: what does the US demo team feel they're modelling in their skiing that should make the top skiing nations stand up and take notice? 


Edited by Metaphor_ - 9/28/15 at 5:54am
post #73 of 117

Why should anyone sit up and take notice?  They should concentrate on representing their national methodology/style as authentically as possible and then be willing to debate differences with other parties. 

 

I find Interski vids useful for seeing the differences in national style and quirks but the synchro stuff is well into the field of contrived exhibition stuff that has no real application other than to see if the style falls apart under pressure.

post #74 of 117

Interski is an international meeting of ski INSTRUCTORS.  Sure, some nations really are into the synchro stuff, but how does that help the PSIA membership?  The market for selling synchro lessons is even smaller than selling freestyle stuff.

 

What the team should focus on is learning from the clinics put on by the other countries.  That's were the value add is for me.  Seeing a bunch of folk "do well" in synchronized ski exhibitions or the races is pretty much worthless to me.  And when other nations have former world cup members on their teams, why would you expect that a bunch of professional ski instructors, who should be focused on TEACHING skiing, would be competitive?

 

That being said, what I've found frustrating from the PSIA Interski effort is the lack of communication of what went on there.  To date, Jonathan Ballou has put up one video of the Austrian teaching carving to kids session.  The rest of the stuff is not focused on the lessons learned or knowledge transfer.  Other countries have done a much better job of communicating what went on at Interski to date.

 

And as to whether the US team has technically competent members, I'd just note that none of the folk apparently denigrating the US team members competence are members of any demo team to the best of my knowledge.

 

All just my opinion.

 

Mike

post #75 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

Interski is an international meeting of ski INSTRUCTORS.  Sure, some nations really are into the synchro stuff, but how does that help the PSIA membership?  The market for selling synchro lessons is even smaller than selling freestyle stuff.

 

What the team should focus on is learning from the clinics put on by the other countries.  That's were the value add is for me.  Seeing a bunch of folk "do well" in synchronized ski exhibitions or the races is pretty much worthless to me.  And when other nations have former world cup members on their teams, why would you expect that a bunch of professional ski instructors, who should be focused on TEACHING skiing, would be competitive?

 

That being said, what I've found frustrating from the PSIA Interski effort is the lack of communication of what went on there.  To date, Jonathan Ballou has put up one video of the Austrian teaching carving to kids session.  The rest of the stuff is not focused on the lessons learned or knowledge transfer.  Other countries have done a much better job of communicating what went on at Interski to date.

 

And as to whether the US team has technically competent members, I'd just note that none of the folk apparently denigrating the US team members competence are members of any demo team to the best of my knowledge.

 

All just my opinion.

 

Mike

 

I agree with Mike. 

 

Whether you agree with their style or not, it is insulting and rude to label the demo team terminal intermediates. 

 

If you want to discuss the actual skiing, I think it would be an interesting discussion but the right/wrong and bad/good gets really old from some of the nameless armchair quarterbacks.

post #76 of 117

TR, I also stand by what I wrote. Code of Conduct rules apply when on any national team and those rules clearly prohibit such behavior. As do most employment and endorsement contracts. It's funny how so many folks lose sight of that and post boneheaded stuff on social media and then are surprised when those comments come back to bite them in the wallet. I doubt anyone on the American team will sue him but my point is free speech isn't all that free, we need to remember that doesn't insure any of us the right to denigrate others publicly.

post #77 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

 

That being said, what I've found frustrating from the PSIA Interski effort is the lack of communication of what went on there.  To date, Jonathan Ballou has put up one video of the Austrian teaching carving to kids session.  The rest of the stuff is not focused on the lessons learned or knowledge transfer.  Other countries have done a much better job of communicating what went on at Interski to date.

 

 

Mike

 

Yep....  I'll say right off the top that I owe the CSIA a big thank you for all the interski 2011 vids they put up on youtube. I have no idea why there hasn't been a more timely release of 'knowledge' unless they figure it's going to be something that we'll sign up for the ed. credits$$$ to hear. Hopefully I'm wrong. 

post #78 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

So I have to ask: what does the US demo team feel they're modelling in their skiing that should make the top skiing nations stand up and take notice? 

 

This is a most pertinent question and it's odd that nowhere in the videos of the event do team members make any attempt to answer it. If, as stated by Rogan, the objective in attending is to discuss, teach and learn from colleagues, what does the demo team believe it brings to the table as food for thought for the others? What does the team feel it learned?

 

Viewing the skiing in the videos, I don't think the US demonstrators are worse than previous teams - although not really any better either - FWIW.

post #79 of 117

Was it like in the past where teaching presentations were well attended by other teams?

post #80 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Was it like in the past where teaching presentations were well attended by other teams?

I know three people who went. I haven't touched base with them since they've been back, but it'll be interesting to hear their take on things.
post #81 of 117

In any case Mike makes a good point that their focus leaves many of us here scratching our heads. As an aside I am curious about how the posters here stack up when compared to anyone on any of the teams invited to that event. Most are likely not at that level and the few who were and posted things here left pretty quickly. Too much resistance to what they were trying to communicate.

post #82 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

As an aside I am curious about how the posters here stack up when compared to anyone on any of the teams invited to that event.

 

Ah, many have wondered this for years about the membership of this forum. Got video?

post #83 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

Interski is an international meeting of ski INSTRUCTORS.  Sure, some nations really are into the synchro stuff, but how does that help the PSIA membership?  The market for selling synchro lessons is even smaller than selling freestyle stuff.

 

What the team should focus on is learning from the clinics put on by the other countries.  That's were the value add is for me.  Seeing a bunch of folk "do well" in synchronized ski exhibitions or the races is pretty much worthless to me.  And when other nations have former world cup members on their teams, why would you expect that a bunch of professional ski instructors, who should be focused on TEACHING skiing, would be competitive?

 

Mike, to me, synchro is about: 

How well can your national team coordinate among 10+ moving bodies? 

How well does the team members' skiing hold up throughout? 

Is the team limited to synchronizing intermediate parallel turns? Can they incorporate a variety of turn shapes and stay synchronized? 

 

The choreography is, to me, completely of secondary importance. It's not about being good at synchro; it's about the great skiing while in formation. 

 

Regarding the racing component: racing requires high end skiing. And a race course is as objective as it gets in skiing. If you're the top skier in the race course, you're probably a very high end skier. I get that you could be mediocre in gates but a great freeskier. But it seems like teams do get to select which members go on their race program

 

Given that the demo events are synchro skiing and racing disciplines, what would you focus on if you want to wow the world with your technical skiing?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

As an aside I am curious about how the posters here stack up when compared to anyone on any of the teams invited to that event. Most are likely not at that level and the few who were and posted things here left pretty quickly. Too much resistance to what they were trying to communicate.

 

I don't approve of insulting others to make oneself feel better. However, regarding constructive criticism provided by developing instructors: By sticking to your position of "leave this to the experts", you're silencing differences of opinion and perpetuating dogma. The fallacy which you're perpetuating is known as an ad hominem argument. Every time you make an ad hominem argument, you are the person who is resistant to communication. 

 

While I'm not personally criticizing the PSIA demo team, I don't think one needs to be a level 4 to recognize skiers falling out of sync, nearly colliding, almost toppling over, relying on up-unweighting to get off their ski, etc. 

 

If you'd like to speak to how the PSIA demo team is in the top tier, please do so. The forum would welcome your perspective. In fact, this whole discussion probably fits better in a different thread. 

post #84 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

Mike, to me, synchro is about: 

How well can your national team coordinate among 10+ moving bodies? 

How well does the team members' skiing hold up throughout? 

Is the team limited to synchronizing intermediate parallel turns? Can they incorporate a variety of turn shapes and stay synchronized? 

 

The choreography is, to me, completely of secondary importance. It's not about being good at synchro; it's about the great skiing while in formation. 

 

Regarding the racing component: racing requires high end skiing. And a race course is as objective as it gets in skiing. If you're the top skier in the race course, you're probably a very high end skier. I get that you could be mediocre in gates but a great freeskier. But it seems like teams do get to select which members go on their race program

 

Given that the demo events are synchro skiing and racing disciplines, what would you focus on if you want to wow the world with your technical skiing?

 

Well, as a dues paying member of PSIA, I'm not particularly interested in paying to send the demo team to Interski to wow other countries about the technical powress of our demo team.  I'm interested in sending the team there to discuss how to teach skiing, methods that work, learning models, and business aspects as well.  And as far as whether the technical competence of the US team members measures up, I guess we will have more evidence of that when the CSIA puts out its compare and contrast of the top members of the selected teams, and that includes members from the US.

 

If you want to see great examples of PSIA demo team skiing, you can easily find them.  Many of JF Beaulieu's videos include skiing of Jonathan Ballou.  You can also find the demo team selection videos for the PSIA team, including the skiing of Eric Lipton. But our selection of a demo team isn't simply about the best technical skiers, it is also about teaching competence and the ability to contribute to the membership in advancing skiing education.  In fact, technically superior skiers have not made the team because of deficiencies or emphasis on teaching and outreach to the membership.

 

Perhaps many of you see Interski as a national competition.  I don't think that PSIA sees it that way, nor would our members support sending a large team to an international meeting to do so.  Frankly, synchro is interesting, visually stunning, but perhaps also limiting in terms of what PSIA believes.  We don't believe in final forms.  We believe there are different ways to accomplish the same task.  We also embrace different types of riding/skiing, including freestyle, freeride, racing, and recreational skiing.  Synchro, executed at its highest level (say Austria, for example), requires the team to ski in the same movement patterns and styles.  That's not what we are about.

 

So, to put it bluntly, look at the individual skiing of the demo team members in situations other than the contrived mechanisms of synchro.  You wouldn't evaluate Michael Phelps by how well he did in synchronized swimming.  Similarly, don't evaluate technical competence of any of the demo team members by their performance in synchro.

 

BTW, Ballou had a respectable outcome in the GS.  Especially when you consider he has no racing background but many of the Euro teams include former WC competitors.

 

Mike

post #85 of 117

Jonathan Ballou is an excellent skier. 

 

post #86 of 117

I have not been a member of PSIA for at least 2 decades and do not take much interest in interski however, in defense of the PSIA demo team,  The US is a huge country compared to the European countries.  Therefore it's most likely way more expensive for PSIA's national demo team to train together as easily as say the European teams.  Austria is about the size of the state of Maine,  and Switzerland is smaller than the combined area of NH and Vt.   As for not believing in final forms,  that's definitely not the feeling I get in training clinics at my mountain when we demonstrate lower level turns.   YM

post #87 of 117
My point Met was that anonomous sniping is in my opinion cowardly. A second thought was a derisive opinion shared in private is totally different than doing so in public and you cannot get more public than posting it on the web.
I remember a story about a thief bragging on a social media site about a robbery. It didn't take the police long to arrest him.
post #88 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

Jonathan Ballou is an excellent skier. 

 

Beautiful gs turns! His long turns are clean, clean, clean. Optimally and ultimately, I believe that a technical free skier's finest turn is going to be the big and fast one. That such a well rounded skier manages to shine just a touch more in his gs technique places him far up the scale in my book of intelligent opinions. Feel free to order a copy. The only problem I have with all these dudes is that you almost always see them only skiing diva snow. I'm far more impressed when I see technique like that carry over to skiing fast on randomly undulating hard pack. Watching a good gs turner rail a series of highly disturbing deflections together in a full series of turns on "real" terrain makes me pay full attention every time.

post #89 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich666 View Post
 

 

Beautiful gs turns! His long turns are clean, clean, clean. Optimally and ultimately, I believe that a technical free skier's finest turn is going to be the big and fast one. That such a well rounded skier manages to shine just a touch more in his gs technique places him far up the scale in my book of intelligent opinions. Feel free to order a copy. The only problem I have with all these dudes is that you almost always see them only skiing diva snow. I'm far more impressed when I see technique like that carry over to skiing fast on randomly undulating hard pack. Watching a good gs turner rail a series of highly disturbing deflections together in a full series of turns on "real" terrain makes me pay full attention every time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGNNGihezqU

post #90 of 117
Terminal intermediate. smile.gif
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