Originally Posted by beyond
Hmmm. I grew up taking lessons from instructors who would say, "Here do it like this," or "Don't do it like this." (Variants of the very old very bad joke, "Bend zee knees, ten dollars pleez.") And to my eye - untrained in MA, and my body full of bad habits compensating for other bad habits, both examples looked roughly the same. Or if not, I couldn't much see how to get from A to B. I've gotten very similar feedback from others who watch instructors glide along in front of them and feel progressively more frustrated and hopeless.
So I wonder if your students, or hers, would get as much out of watching as you do. You're trained in MA as part of becoming an instructor; you can watch anyone and break down their issues in a hurry, figure out a correction based on retraining muscle reflex arcs. The head of the school where I ski pretty much had me down perfectly after watching me glide casually 20 yards on the flats from the gathering area to the lift while I was fiddling with my poles. So if you want to give Shiffrin a pin because she's an amazing skier, and can do all kinds of team drills impeccably, and you can watch her and learn a bunch, all good. But doesn't mean she could teach an average skier much of anything except how cool World Cup skiers look. Anymore than I could teach my students how to do what I do by having them gather round and watch.
Beyond, ( and Tog )
First, let me say that I heavily truncate and simplify what I write in response to something in most threads. I just don't have time to outline everything I do in a lesson with every thread. My teaching is focused, situationally fluid, and we keep things moving. I believe strongly in fewer words and more mileage. It seems you're questioning my basic understanding of what makes strong teaching. I'll use my multiweek groups as a quick example. Yes. I know exactly what my students do and what changes I'd like to see made. They get individual feedback... sometimes on the hill, sometimes on the lift, sometimes in the lift line, sometimes over lunch, often all four. I debrief the parents. Matter of fact, I'm happy to have a parent follow us for a lap. We team teach and have them for 5 hours each session for 6 weeks. I tailor my individual coaching to how a particular student seems to best respond. When we introduce a focus for the day, I keep it brief, do and have them do a static demo, then we get into the demo... one of us shows, one of us tails. We work over a lot of varied terrain, and eventually into very steep off piste terrain in the final 2-3 weeks. Safety is paramount. We also teach them to make good tactical choices and have reasons for going where they want to ski... temps, weather, snow conditions, etc... we walk'em through this. We have a popular program and I feel very fortunate to be asked to participate. I'm always open to other/better ideas, and as such, I think both my skiing and teaching/coaching continue to improve, but we're all works in progress. I teach a adult group and privates as well. Yes, I use the teaching model. My approach to teaching in a clinic is similar. When we talk and aren't skiing, we're just talking. When we're skiing and not talking, we're still skiing. It's why we got up in the morning. And to reiterate, I do in fact talk when I teach/coach, but probably much less than I would have in the past, and certainly less than others. Based on the feedback from students/clients, parents, colleagues, bosses, etc... I think I'm working in the right direction.
Now, on to Mikaela, etc... I guess I'll just never quite understand the angst about USST members getting a pin, but that's ok. I realize I'm an outlier on all of this. As I said before, the solution might be to treat it like an honorary degree, but the truth is these guys/gals will never be teaching beginners. They'll be coaching camps, getting involved in race clubs, doing demos with clinic groups, etc... and yes, sometimes they'll just be figure heads. That's just the way the world works. I'm not looking for fairness. I'm looking for the exchange of ideas at the top and flat out inspiration. I've seen Ron Kipp do a two day clinic... it was great. Wish I could have participated. If he's ok with these sessions, then I am as well. Again, while it seems to breed resentment, I feel just the opposite. I just don't understand how this diminishes my jouney for a moment. IMHO, great skiing has to be at the foundation of high level instruction. Until it is across the board, we're limiting ourselves from being able to inspire the skiing public at large and give them any reason at all to sign up for lessons beyond beginner's ranks. The public, and instuctors as well, have to see it on the hill and get fired up enough to ask, "Holy hell! How do I do that? Sign me up, I want some! " Anyhow, that's only my opinion. I don't ask or demand anyone else subscribe to my views on the matter at all. As I said, I think yours are legitimate questions even if I don't see eye to eye.
( are we on page 4 yet?)
Edited by markojp - 4/30/15 at 6:43am