Pronoun error. Make that
Her. She. She.
I did not know that. Shows that gender assumptions work in both directions.
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.
It seems you're questioning my basic understanding of what makes strong teaching. Not in a million years. I suspect you're a strong teacher, and understand what a strong teacher needs to get done. My comments are more about assuming that great skiers make great teachers.
...I'm not looking for fairness. I'm looking for the exchange of ideas at the top and flat out inspiration...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?)
You've been really careful - more than most here tend to be - to emphasize this is your opinion. All good. Actually, I think it's an interesting take. Not sure to what degree it's about different ways of picking up skill sets and to what degree it's about level; teachers teaching other teachers. You can get a whole lot out of purely visual information. We'll have to agree to disagree about whether the average intermediate can.
As far as limiting the sport, hmmm. That again assumes that from high intermediate up, watching really good skiers is the key. Not sure I'd buy into that. I'd say that the real limitations are as follows: 1) Too few people actually taking lessons systematically, like racers do from a coach, rather than as an occasional quick bandaid for a specific problem. 2) Too many large group lessons where the instructor doesn't have the time to deal with individuals very much, more about diagnosing generic shared problems and providing a drill or three. 3) Too little modern tech like video. You'd see a sea change if students could watch themselves make a few turns, while you made a quick MA. Instructors, try as they may, don't do a very good job of imitating most mediocre skiers, and my hunch is that a very different part of the brain gets engaged when we're watching ourselves. Curious how much video of yourself you've watched.
Anyway, really interesting debate, but unless someone gets rude soon, it'll be very un-Epic.