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The Big Mac - Page 4

post #91 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
IMO, the best that anyone can do in a group lesson is to teach the students some drills that they can do on their own, and to make sure they understand that is only what will be happening during the group lesson. This is a great time to tell people that if what they really want a lesson that is specifically tailored to improve their particular skill set, then they should get a refund and upgrade to a private lesson. Tell them that they are otherwise getting a Big Mac -- filling but not what you really want.
I used to agree with the above statement prior to ETU 2003. Not exactly a fair comparison to the typical group instructor at a ski resort, but I received as much benefit being in Todo's group as I have in many private lessons. All of us in the group had very different skiing issues, but he was somehow able to teach us all at the same time leaving no one disappointed. Being with a talented instructor who knows how to teach in a group situation was the best of all worlds. Of course, we're now back to the problem that when I go to a ski resort and sign up for a group lesson, I have no idea what I'm getting. If I knew I could expect Todo (or the equivalent) every time, I'd be signing up right and left for group lessons. Because I can't expect that, I typically take one private lesson with someone I know is good. (My apologies if I embarrassed Todo)
post #92 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo

When I say that people drop out because they stop believing they'll get better, I am thinking that we're naturally drawn to things we have aptitude for rather than things that are a struggle for us. Skiing is a difficult and physically demanding sport and most people find that they are not innately talented enough to master it without dedicating a lot of time, effort, and money, which all but a small percentage decline to do--and this is probably true of all sports, because no matter how silly a sport seems to you, like bowling or beach volleyball, true mastery is going to be exceedingly difficult and time-consuming.
I agree with what you are saying here except that many people are drawn in for reasons other than a natural "aptitude". Think of the non skiing mate of a skier or the kids of a skier. That's how I started. Unfortunately I think we've lost a lot of skiers who had families and realised that they couldn't afford to take a whole family skiing so we lose the initial skier and 3 or 4 potential new skiers. I also want to say again that mastery of skiing is not necessary to really enjoy skiing.

Let me give you an example of somethign that in a sense adddresses this. I live in the middle of Ski country (New York City) :-) In addition to making the weekly trck to Vermont, I would often pick up my kids one day midweek from school and go out for some night skiing at Mountain Creek in NJ. It was 45 minutes classroom to ski slope. Because of that a number of parents started asking me about going skiing. This led to my organizing a school trip. Year 1 was to Tremblant, a simple bus ride, great village etc. Year 2 was Squaw Valley stayed at the base in the new village. This year is Chamonix and we have over 100 people going. These are not skiers, many have never skied but they are into for a couple of reasons:

1. they want their kids to have the expereince
2. they enjoy the camaraderie of the group
3. The costs are kept down because of the size of the group and therefore it ends up to not be anymore expensive then a trip elsewhere
4. It's easy. They can step out their doors and be on a lift and have their kids in ski school. every detail is taken care of.

These are entire families that are being turned into skiers becuase there has been a bit of a fire lit under them and they have been taken step by step.

On the instruction front it was really interesting how they responded to the ski schools at Squaw and at Tremblant. Tremblant won hands down. It's as old school as you can get with the dinners and races and pins and photos. They made memeories for the kids and the parents. Kids even got birthday cards from their instructors during the year. Squaw just couldn't come close and neither can most ski schools in the US.
post #93 of 111
You really want to increase numbers on the slopes? Then stop promoting the sport as an adrenalin rush activity while dipicting skiers skiing narly pitches and launching off big drops, and instead promote it as a low intensity social activity with pictures of easy groomed slopes, sunny skies, pretty lodges and decks with people laughing and drinking slopeside. Remove the performance aspect out of the image and replace it with the experience aspect. Make it appear to be non theatening fun, then create programs at the resort that promote and create fun. Make blue no longer a dirty word.

And you want to draw more students into lesson programs? Forget the quality of instruction crap and worrying about improvement, just make sure the students have fun. Make sure all the instructors are gorgeous with nice bods, big smiles and pretty white teeth, and have the women teach topless, especially on cold days.
post #94 of 111
Absolutely right!
post #95 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Make blue no longer a dirty word.
Very funny.
post #96 of 111
SnowDog, joking, right?

The challenge, the adrenaline rush, the adventure is why people are drawn to snow sports to begin with. Before guys like stump put guys like Plake in front of a camera, and before boarders started jumping and jibbing everywhere gravity would allow, skiing was a shrinking sport and industry. Ski areas were marketing family experience and safety.

Back to Big Mac - Mickey D's knows what they're doing when they market to kids 'cause the kids get their parents to the store. You guys want to keep intermediates in the sport then challenge them. Skiing's not supposed to be easy. Tell them you're going to have them skiing the steepest runs on the hill. Teach them to get some air. Intermediates want to learn and intermediates want to have fun.
post #97 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallLine
Lots of posts re the psychology the achiever or the athlete or the underachiever. Not much about the fear that can hobble the intermediate skiers.

It seems to me, for an intermediate skier to progress into the ranks of expert requires a "pushing of the envelope" that can encompass great pain if executed incorrectly. I've talked to many people, mostly women, who equate expert skiing with risk and their comfortable, intermediate methods as safe. Even though their wedges may be blowing out their knees and taking lessons could enhance their control, it is change and as discussed here, change is frightening.

To beat the Big Mac analogy into the ground, how many people would return to McDonalds after a run-in with food poisoning? Likewise with skiing, an injury or a narrow miss can set back all sorts of mental and physical progress.

How could instructors address this leak? These gals won't be able to fight gravity forever and will eventually decide to opt out... Instead of lumping them into the unmotivated or contentedly mediocre basket, how could the ski schools serve and retain these fearful skiers?
I find it interesting that I bypassed this reply. A few years ago, every thread I posted had some sort of commentary about fear. Now I find it more or less irrelevant. Part of the problem was solved by being choosier about who I take lessons with.

In an intererview of a fellow epic person for an article I was writing, I asked what were his priorities as a ski instructor. He told me that his first priority was to establish trust.

Last night, I was having a ski industry party at my studio. Two instructors were talking about a fellow instructor at their ski school, one who favored female students, and had an overly flirtatious manner when teaching them. I had a "Eureka!" moment. While some male instructors may favor the "Big Mac" stereotype of ski instructor as Stud McMuffin, is this really an effective way to teach a woman with fear issues? If an instructor does not first establish trust, will the emotional cocktail of fear mixed with sex enhance learning, or will it create a "fight or flight" reaction?
post #98 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
Last night, I was having a ski industry party at my studio. Two instructors were talking about a fellow instructor at their ski school, one who favored female students, and had an overly flirtatious manner when teaching them. I had a "Eureka!" moment. While some male instructors may favor the "Big Mac" stereotype of ski instructor as Stud McMuffin, is this really an effective way to teach a woman with fear issues? If an instructor does not first establish trust, will the emotional cocktail of fear mixed with sex enhance learning, or will it create a "fight or flight" reaction?
I don't know if it enhances learning, but it's a fact that women can't distinguish adrenaline from lust. If a woman finds herself in a dangerous situation (even if the danger is only perceived and not real), she will usualy find herself uncontrollably attracted to any man who seems to be in control of the situation. Every instructor I know can tell a story to prove that point. The confusion between adrenaline and lust is also why we take girls to horror movies.

BK
post #99 of 111
You have to market to the entire family, not just the kids, and appeal to the various desires of each member of the family. While the kids might br drawn to the exciting aspects of the sport, often the adults are drawn to the culture and history of skiing.

Tremblant seems to have bridged that gap in marketing/management, and hopefully others will follow. Most people can only sustain high levels of adrenaline for so long before they lose interest or injure themselves to the point they can no longer continue.

Excitement is about perspective. A beginner can get the same sense of pushing the envelope as someone hucking a cliff for the 100th time.
post #100 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
I don't know if it enhances learning, but it's a fact that women can't distinguish adrenaline from lust. If a woman finds herself in a dangerous situation (even if the danger is only perceived and not real), she will usualy find herself uncontrollably attracted to any man who seems to be in control of the situation. Every instructor I know can tell a story to prove that point. The confusion between adrenaline and lust is also why we take girls to horror movies.

BK
Interesting, perceptive, and very true, for the most part. I was brought up in a "Soprano like" neighborhood in NYC, that would have been an extremely dangerous area for teenage girls, if it wasn't for the Villa Avenue Assumption Society, who "controlled" the area. Those guys never lacked for girlfriends.

We see it in film, too. One of my favorite scenes is Katie Hepburn and Bogart in African Queen. They're going down the rapids, and she says,

I never dreamed a mere physical experience could be so exhilirating!

But on the ski hill, I really think the key is establishing trust first. If that's already there, the instructor can use whatever his student may be feeling to enhance learning. If she finds herself attracted to him under the circumstances, and she trusts him, she'll be attentively listening to everything he says, and she'll ski better. Hey! Whatever works!

Personally, I find Stud McMuffin instructors repulsive. I would no sooner want to ski "scarier" terrain with an overly flirtatous instructor who I found repulsive, than I would watch Eyes Wide Shut while sitting next to a pervert!
post #101 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
it's a fact that women can't distinguish adrenaline from lust
This statement is ridiculous, Herr Klammer. It ranks right up there with the one about women's bodies being unfit for sports. A lot of people fell for that one too.

Men and women can't tell adrenaline from lust is more like it...But I've found the most powerful aphrodisiac is covetousness: wanting what you have. It makes people very friendly. This covetousness is truly the foundation on which we build our clientele, for who wants to take lessons from someone whose skiing is not admirable enough to want to emulate?

In response to Fallline's comments, a great instructor* once told me, after the advent of parabolic skis, "Soon they'll come up with a ski that only requires us to think about turning and it'll turn. What'll will instructors do when that happens? The only thing that will remain for them to teach is how to deal with their fear..."

*Gonzo's Yoda
post #102 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
Interesting, perceptive, and very true, for the most part. I was brought up in a "Soprano like" neighborhood in NYC, that would have been an extremely dangerous area for teenage girls, if it wasn't for the Villa Avenue Assumption Society, who "controlled" the area. Those guys never lacked for girlfriends.


That's not the response I expected. It must be the Bronx influence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
This statement is ridiculous, Herr Klammer. It ranks right up there with the one about women's bodies being unfit for sports. A lot of people fell for that one too.
That's what I expected.

BK
post #103 of 111
Well, aren't we all attracted to those who "SEEM" to be in control? It's just that when us guy's do it we call it being smart, but if a woman does it we call em Security Moms. I don't know about this stuff gang.

I'd like to think that I know the difference between addreniline and Lust. If I didn't then I could simply satisfy myself with just the one!

On another note maybe I've been missing out all these years. Where can a guy find one of these Stud Muffin clinics? Maybe I need to expand my Bag O Tricks, or maybe I'm too old, and tricks really are just for kids. Later, RicB.
post #104 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
I don't know if it enhances learning, but it's a fact that women can't distinguish adrenaline from lust. If a woman finds herself in a dangerous situation (even if the danger is only perceived and not real), she will usualy find herself uncontrollably attracted to any man who seems to be in control of the situation. Every instructor I know can tell a story to prove that point. The confusion between adrenaline and lust is also why we take girls to horror movies.
BK
Bode, what if the table was turned and your instructor was a very attractive and flirtatious woman? How "in control" would you be then? Would you put yourself in a dangerous situation to impress her with your perceived skiing prowess? I suspect the ego would take over -- would it be adrenaline or lust?
post #105 of 111
Bode said "That's not the response I expected. It must be the Bronx influence."

Oh wow, Bode, I didn't think anyone on this forum would know where Villa Avenue was! I know you did not expect that response. I'm a woman of many paradoxes!

RicB., without even meeting you, I know I'd choose you over an Stud McMuffin instructor anyday!

I think that somewhere between what Bode and Nolo is saying lies the the truth, and that truth differs from person to person. I would suspect that much of it relates to what experiences you had when you were growing up.

I do agree completely with Nolo's comment about coveting what the instructor has. being an aphrodisiac. This applies to just about everything in life. When I was younger, and travelled to countries that I had a "love affair' with, such as Ireland and Italy, I would find myself very drawn to the people who lived there.

This would also explain the gals from the city who "fall for" their ski instructor on their one week vacation.

Is it the man or the mountain that they covet?
post #106 of 111
Women just tend to get slutty on vacations. Hence "Girls Gone Wild".
post #107 of 111
Quote:
In response to Fallline's comments, a great instructor* once told me, after the advent of parabolic skis, "Soon they'll come up with a ski that only requires us to think about turning and it'll turn. What'll will instructors do when that happens? The only thing that will remain for them to teach is how to deal with their fear..." *Gonzo's Yoda
hey I have heard that same remark... which reminds me to call Yoda. thanks nolo!
post #108 of 111
Anytime the subject of fear is brought up, I think of this excellent article in Outside Mag: http://outside.away.com/outside/body...odywork_1.html

We had a long discussion on this forum awhile ago. The author makes a distinction between fear and anxiety. To oversimplify, anxiety produces cortisone, which is a stress hormone, without adrenaline So by that definition, fear can be associated with lust, but anxiety cannot.

In an ideal teaching situation, an instructor could keep his student in a high adrenaline state, without crossing over to the point of inducing anxiety.
post #109 of 111
>>> "Soon they'll come up with a ski that only requires us to think about turning and it'll turn.<<<

I'm waiting for the fully automatic model, so I can send my skis out on the hill while I can stay in the lodge and have a drink and watch them out the window.

....Ott
post #110 of 111
1. Many people eat at MDs because it's all they can afford, and they have to eat.

Many people don't take ski lessons once they are in a position to get a lot of enjoyment out of their day skiing. Beginners see people skiing much better than them, and not falling all over the place, and it's obvious beginners would get more enjoyment after a few lessons, so they can see the cost/benefit ratio.

Once people aren't falling on their butts, many can no longer justify the expense, not only in $, but in TIME. This is their one of but a few ski days, an escape from a busy work schedule and hectic life. They don't want to spend it working on technique, lining up and waiting for thier turn.

Solution: You need to make the lessons into fun games. Have 1 hour private or semi-private lessons that people can afford. How cheap a lesson can a ski-instructor afford to give?

2. People don't like to be told they are doing something wrong. They don't like criticism. If you have your mind set on a goal, like say winning the world cup, you will subject youself to lots of it in order to improve, but if you just want to perfect your tecnique, you may prefer to avoid being disillusioned by having your flaws pointed out.

Solution: Don't tell people what they are doing wrong. Just set a goal for them and teach them some drills to help them achieve that goal that they can do while they are enjoying the rest of the day.

3. Why should they take lessons? They are happy with who they are and how they ski.

Soluton: Convince them they would be happier, less-tired, safer, more able to access excitement, etc. with better technique. Show them the benefits of more lessons.
post #111 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Many people don't take ski lessons once they are in a position to get a lot of enjoyment out of their day skiing. Beginners see people skiing much better than them, and not falling all over the place, and it's obvious beginners would get more enjoyment after a few lessons, so they can see the cost/benefit ratio.

Once people aren't falling on their butts, many can no longer justify the expense, not only in $, but in TIME. This is their one of but a few ski days, an escape from a busy work schedule and hectic life. They don't want to spend it working on technique, lining up and waiting for thier turn.

Solution: You need to make the lessons into fun games. Have 1 hour private or semi-private lessons that people can afford. How cheap a lesson can a ski-instructor afford to give?
Hmmm... I didn't take lessons at all. Just learned to slide down the hill. I got some coaching in high school when I was on the ski team. Then, took a week in Taos years ago so took lessons. That was it until all the clinics I took last season. I'm not sure the falling down convinces people they need lessons.

In fact, I think that most people think you can just go ski. Moreso than golf or basically any other sport. And we haven't done a very good job of telling them why lessons can make a difference. I know I didn't think a typical lesson at a typical ski area could help me much until I took the clinics last season.
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