Originally Posted by Rich666
Joking aside (for real), I do understand where NCski is coming from. It is a reasonable occurrence of thought and natural curiosity for anyone warming up to this type of forum. Actually, Rusty’s contributions, among the others listed and more here at epic are a good example of why there may be value in not seeing the ability behind an instructor’s words so to speak. Over time, his word are self-qualifying to the learning process. Buyer beware. The impression that a great video adds value to an instructor’s words can be very misleading. I have read enough from Rusty that any curiosity regarding how he skis has long been forgotten behind the confidence his consistent words build. Think about it. Who would you rather have for an instructor? A hot skier who can ski great or a competent demonstrator who can teach great? The unfortunate reality is that both top end attributes often fail to reside within the same person. It is my opinion that a need to see the ski ability of an advice giver may be equally representative of an inability or lack of confidence to intellectually discriminate the right words from the wrong. While video may not hurt, good words have their own spine. This kind of thinking also takes credit away from good instructors and coaches whose days of shredding it have long since passed before their ability to train a skier has gone. Conversely, an elite ability to ski may be representative of that skier’s learning process that is not necessarily prone to good teaching. Thankfully, there is no shortage of footage for anything and everything one would like to view for the use for imagery in learning. If we must, we can use Ligety/Maglassan for our imagery and someone like Rusty for our instruction. I learned my lesson from a fist fight I had with old “Mickey”, Rocky’s old and dilapidated trainer. While he still kicked my ass, he did it with karate and not boxing.
Someone knowledgeable can tell who knows their stuff and who doesn’t, so good for you, but what about everyone else? What about the people who come here to learn, because they don’t already know all the answers. How do these people tell the difference between someone who knows and someone who thinks they know? Or, you’re completely clueless, can’t ski, and latch on to those that happen to be clueless in the same way. Unless we happen to agree with you, it might not be obvious which is which.
Originally Posted by Metaphor_
With respect, I have zero interest in "auditioning". Epicski has too many Internet armchair trolls, and an audition is literally of zero benefit to me. (I mean honestly, some of Canada's best instructors get criticized here frequently.) I've posted lots of video over the years. Take it or leave it.
I'd say that in general, certifications are a good proxy for skill. It's also information most of us are proud to share.
None of the above tells you how well an instructor teaches though. And that's arguably the most important ingredient in the learning process. For example, I've never seen therusty ski. But when he does an MA, a few things lend him credibility:
1 - he calls out glaringly obvious issues that line up with biomechanics in skiing.
2 - he demonstrates an understanding of how the physics of skiing in motion work.
3 - he often lays out a development progression
4 - he uses photos, which make the issues and resolutions apparent.
For all I know, therusty only skis green runs in a wedge. It really wouldn't matter in the least because his coaching is accurate and effective.
I'm not saying I ski as well as therusty; rather, it's about the accuracy and quality of feedback. But if you did want to see how I ski, come on out to mount St Louis or blue Mountain on a day trip with my club. I'm on "audition" every weekend when teaching group lessons.
There are credentials that can help, so it may be enough to say you have your PSIA level 3 credential and have some clout for giving advice to someone getting ready to take a test. This doesn’t help though when people with equal credentials from different organizations say opposite things. There’s the racing community, mogul community, HH, PSIA. Not all these people agree, so in cross organizational debates, a particular credential isn’t enough. There’s very little substitute for a visual demonstration. Let’s say someone from the WC mogul circuit is here to argue a point of view. Well, if you’re Nailbender, not just any WC mogul guy will be able to make a compelling case, because Nailbender has picked out some WC guys that ski with a style he appreciates much more than others. Most likely he would discount most WC skiers merely because he assumes they have a style he doesn’t like, and their advice will lead to skiing with that style. Now if you think any particular credential is immune to this…. So, a credential can help give weight to arguments, but only within a limited scope. Many discussions on Epic have moved beyond any particular credential. Another example, a WC mogul skier giving arguments about how to achieve high edge angles can’t merely give his mogul credentials without a video showing the implementation of his ideas. Likewise, it’s not enough for a racer to report his championships when disputing the proper technique in the zipper line. I think most people can accept these types of examples, but maybe struggle to see the limitations in their own credentials, though other people can see it.
Even two people with the exact same credentials will disagree, so as a community how do we move forward with different ideas? We have to see demonstrations of cause and effect to help give more weight to a particular path or make choices about our own direction.
Look, instructors in most fields usually demonstrate. It’s hard to learn without it. Sharing videos is absolutely the best way for this forum to have the most use. The real limitation is that people often act like d**ks when these videos surface. That’s what this is really about. Either people can’t be respectful to those less accomplished. Or, they get too competitive. Or, they’re not respectful about different style choices. Or, they don’t want to release a video, because they’ll lose respect. Or, they don’t want to hear criticism. Or they’re just d**ks. Personally, I think it’s better to work as a community to build guidelines about how to behave when people present their videos, and then encourage an environment of sharing. This is how we’ll all get the most out of an online forum.
This is going to keep coming up, because it’s common sense. It’s so much easier to sort through these discussions when you can see the way people ski. It’s not going to be 100% accurate, you might end up discounting the wrong advice, but it is the most efficient way to sort through the massive amount of noise.