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What have you got to teach me? - Page 3

post #61 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
As we learn more about what exactly you want, Si, it becomes much easier for any of us to formulate a plan to help address your desires. I have no problem whatsoever with any of the things you said in your last post, because you've actually given some guidelines as to what you really do want. You want to watch a top instructor rip it up and show you just how it can be done?...

....You got the reaction from many people that any thinking person would have to expect!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob, you don't get it. Every time I describe an area I could work on you think I am indicating some kind of preference. My point is that I am open to most areas in terms of developing my skiing. I like Nolo's suggestion which certainly tantalizes. I also like her response to "challenge." Furthermore, her suggestive topic closely matches some of my specific observations of her skiing (which I've commented on a few times here on Epic). Those kind of attributes start to add up to enthusiastic interest in pursuing that concept with her. (Perhpas she chose that area for suggestion because I have commented on her skiing in that respect and she believes that is something she could help me explore further in my skiing - which she has had some limited chances to observe??). On the other hand, if you asked me up front about things I'd like to work on I doubt I would come up with that at all, even with a long list of topics.

In terms of your last comment I didn't at all get the reaction I would have hoped for (guess I'm just not a thinking person). From my point of view I got mostly "reactive" reactions that I found to be rather (negatively) defensive.
post #62 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Why should ski instruction be so much different from that? Why should a ski instructor be offended or react negatively to a question like Si's, particularly if it's posed by a student who is eager and willing to learn?
Said and taken in the correct context it may not be that bad, but there are infinitely better ways to ask that question. One of the most foremost requirements of getting the most out of a teacher/coach, is the coach/teacher understanding that he has a dedicated student or athlete on his hands.

I think of it this way. Many parents and coaches alike send their kids/athletes to me for hitting and/or pitching instruction. If a high school kid has paid for instruction and come to me and asks the question, "What do you have to teach me"? I really only have 2 answers available. One, would be I don't know, since I don't know what your strengths and weaknesses are, or two, everything so pull up a chair. At $50 an hour, the 2nd option is going to get pretty expensive without much effort or gain at all.

Are you really interviewing the instructor or are you trying to get a meaningful lesson? If you're interviewing, hopefully your doing it before you've paid.
post #63 of 106
I didn't say I thought you got the reaction you had hoped for, Si. I said you got the reaction you should have expected, and should expect in the future, in any analogous situation.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #64 of 106
Si: I am trying to understand your position. In the lessons that I have taken, there are normally a group of instructors gathered to teach. One will ask, what do you want to do today and I will tell them, "I would like to ski bumps today" or they will ask what do you want to work on and I will say, "I would like to ski the bowl today" or "I would like to ski the race course today"
or, "something feels strange on my left turns". I will then ask the instructor what do you plan to do in your group etc. The instructor has an opportunity to respond and tell me what he or she is doing and I can go with that instructor or not. I think by giving the instructor a clue as to what my goal might be, he or she can figure out the way to guide me. There are instructors that I have skied with on numerous occasions and those instructors get to know me and I usually will let them decide the lesson plan and how to push me but the point is that they have already passed the introduction phase and know how I ski, what I like, what I don't like and when I need a kick in the pants. I am not sure I understand what you want out of a ski lesson.
post #65 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
I didn't say I thought you got the reaction you had hoped for, Si. I said you got the reaction you should have expected, and should expect in the future, in any analogous situation.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
I view such an expectation to be cynical. Perhpas I had a small touch of that and expected a few responses along those lines. But I truly hoped for and expected a lot more positive reaction.

Skier 31, to respond I think I would only be repeating myself. If I haven't communicated it so far I will jsut accept it as a failure on my part.
post #66 of 106
Quote:
I actually feel that Si's question "What have you got to teach me?" is roughly the equivalent in my business of "Why should I buy from YOU?"
Well, Bob, if turns could actually be bought, and the brand of turns I had for sale were proprietary and unique in some way, and available only from me, then I think your analogy would be quite appropriate. But clearly, there are important differences between selling a proprietary product that all someone has to do is hand over a credit card for, and helping someone learn to ski. Yes, there are similarities too.

Let's say you have a variety of products and services you can sell--maybe even a variety of brands for each product. Or let's say you're the owner of a large department store. If someone comes up to you and says "what have you got to sell me?" I'm SURE your response would be, "What do you want?"

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #67 of 106
I should add to that last post, too. Had Si asked the EpicSki instructors, "Why should I take a lesson from you, in particular?" I am quite sure he would have gotten some very different responses than he got. That is NOT the question he asked!

Best,
Bob
post #68 of 106
I wish I had time to read all of this, but I don't, so please excuse me if I am repeating previous responses.

I can somewhat agree with Bob's response of "What do you want to learn?", but I can also accept an answer of "I don't know, other than to ski better, be in better control, have more fun, ski more terrain."

However, if you are looking to pick an instructor on some slick crafted response, you are more likely to get someone who will talk your ear off while you freeze to death, standing on the side of a trail on a power day. If you'll accept an answer like "Show you how to be more confident, have more fun, and ski more stuff with better control and less effort.", then there are a number of people (although not a whole lot) who will be able to to that.

I'll also respond by saying "How much are you willing to pay?" As long as ski area management (SAM) continues to treat instrucotrs as expendable, and pay us $10-$15, don't expect there to be enough people who will fill that role for you. We have talked about this quite a bit, but there just won't every be very many instructors that care that much about the role they play and the customer, if SAM continues to treat instructors the way they do. As a matter of fact, I know a small ski area in southern PA that will have one less this year. On the other hand, my daughter will have her own, full time, private instructor that does care .
post #69 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31
I will then ask the instructor what do you plan to do in your group etc.
It sounds like you are asking for an instructor-centered lesson. Generally, we don't do that. I've actually had people ask that quite a bit. My response is "After I see you ski, we'll work on whatever you need or want".

In upper level lessons with 5 people, it's very common for me to be running 5 simultanous, but independent lessons. As long as I can keep people moving at roughly the same pace on the same terrain, each person gets what they need, not what I planned on teaching that day.
post #70 of 106
John H: I am not asking for an instructor centered lesson. If the instructor tells me he or she is going to focus the day on black bump runs and I want to go to the race course, I will choose another group. I am not asking the instructor how he or she is going to teach the lesson. I am simply getting a general idea of what the group is going to do. There may be 3 or 4 level 7 groups, each doing different things. I want to be in the group that is generally doing what I want to do.
post #71 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Well, Bob, if turns could actually be bought, and the brand of turns I had for sale were proprietary and unique in some way, and available only from me, then I think your analogy would be quite appropriate. But clearly, there are important differences between selling a proprietary product that all someone has to do is hand over a credit card for, and helping someone learn to ski. Yes, there are similarities too.

Let's say you have a variety of products and services you can sell--maybe even a variety of brands for each product. Or let's say you're the owner of a large department store. If someone comes up to you and says "what have you got to sell me?" I'm SURE your response would be, "What do you want?"
Hi, Bob.

Very good responses but also somewhat telling.

I do, absolutely, believe that turns can be bought. If you're my ski instructor (and I'm actually engaging you because I want to learn and not just cuz I want a skiing companion or a way to cut liftlines) you really are selling me your ski advice, expertise, analysis ability, experience, and, yes, even reputation. I'm paying you money, you're providing a service, and I'm expecting something - better turns - in return. If turns can't be "bought" through ski instruction, then why in the world does ski instruction even exist?

Second point, I think, goes directly to the heart of Si's question. You say what you have for sale is not proprietary. I disagree completely and I think that's exactly what Si is trying to get at. Your ski instruction is perceived throughout the United States as MORE valuable than the ski instruction an average skier might get from an average ski instructor PRECISELY because of the skill and experience you possess. If that isn't proprietary, as well as the basis for a "brand", I don't know what is. What is ESA but a proprietary brand of ski instruction?

I think that Si is trying to figure out a better way to determine up front, before his money has passed from him to the Ski School, who would be the best instructor for him. He wants to try to make that judgement based on his knowledge of his ski situation, combined with input from some possible instructor "candidates", before he pays.

I find that desire to be extremely logical.

Going back to my sales experience, you speculated about what I might do if I had a whole variety of products available. For much of my sales career, I sold integrated communications networks to multinational corporations. There are literally thousands of ways to configure voice, data, and internet connections to accomplish what a company might want or need. Yes, I had to ask endless questions about where the customer was, where they wanted to go, and how fast they wanted to get there. At the same time, however, the customer was judging my ability and my company's ability to meet their needs. I was being auditioned or interviewed every step of the way before the customer made the decision to go with me rather than some other choice.

The customer evaluated my skills to determine whether I was a good fit for their culture and goals.

To me, that's all Si is asking for, although maybe he could have asked in a slightly more diplomatic way.

Bob
post #72 of 106
Good reply, John. I just want to point out that, when you do get a chance to read the whole thread, you will see that there is no conflict between the question "What do you want?" and the reply, "I don't know, other than to ski better, be in better control, have more fun, ski more terrain." Even something less specific than that is a perfectly reasonable, acceptable answer. ANY honest answer, in fact, is what the instructor is looking for, and what he/she needs to proceed.

But not "I'm not telling you what I want. Guess. It's a test." Or "teach me what you've got, and I'll tell you afterward if it's what I was looking for." Find me an instructor who is willing to play that game, especially for the wages you've quoted, and I'll show you a fool!

To be fair, that's clearly not quite the scenario that Si has presented. After all, he hasn't even bought the lesson yet, so in some ways this remains a legitimate "pre-lesson interview." Nevertheless, the demand, "tell me what you'd teach me if I were to take a lesson from you," CLEARLY requires some followup questions before any decent instructor could answer it. I would have little respect for an instructor who answered that question without at least trying to find more information about the potential student's needs, goals, desires, and motivations, not to mention current skiing ability

The answer to "what have you got to teach me?" absolutely, positively, depends on the student! I am astounded that anyone would argue with that!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #73 of 106
I just saw that PSIA folks in the Rocky Mountain region are now required to have extremely low NASTAR handicaps or something. I also read there was grumbling about it. Now I can relate-I'm sure instructors don't need one more requirement, but actually I like the idea as a consumer. I'm glad to know my instructor can dust me.
post #74 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si
Perhaps I'm wrong but I sense a reaction along that line when you consider what I am suggesting as "testing" as opposed to the concept of interview which is how I think about it. Yes, I termed the title in a such a way that it had a tone of challenge. However, I tried to make it clear in my posts that the challenge was not what it was about. It was about an alternative perspective on matching coach/instructor and client.
Do you still want to take the instructor out for a test drive?
post #75 of 106
Great reply, Bob Peters!

I'd only add one point that I think is significant: what you are buying in a ski lesson, ultimately, is YOUR turns. Not mine! (Instructors might actually get rich quickly if it were otherwise!) I do agree that it makes complete sense to "audition" an instructor, if you have the chance (which you very often don't, unfortunately).

And I agree with your assessment of what Si probably meant to ask, and that, if so, it is reasonable and logical. But it is not what he actually DID ask, is it? And when people tried to clarify, or even verify the reasonable assumption, which is the natural and necessary response when you're not sure what someone means, his responses of "you don't understand me," while certainly true, did not help his case!

Your clarification of your career description is right on--a good analogy:
Quote:
Yes, I had to ask endless questions about where the customer was, where they wanted to go, and how fast they wanted to get there. At the same time, however, the customer was judging my ability and my company's ability to meet their needs. I was being auditioned or interviewed every step of the way before the customer made the decision to go with me rather than some other choice.
You have described a highly cooperative, mutually beneficial, necessary interaction. It is exactly as it should be, in your business, as in a ski lesson. But what would you have done if the customer had refused to answer your "endless questions"? Or if the customer's reply to your honest questions was "I disagree with you"? (What, you disagree with the QUESTION?) Of if he said, "I prefer not to tell you what I want" (Si's words were: "I may not want to start off with telling a potential instructor what I'd like...") My guess is that, if this continued, you might not even want this person as your customer, because it would be virtually impossible to meet his needs--since he refuses to let on what they are.

Perhaps this is not at all what Si's intent was. But his resistance to honest attempts to clarify what his point was hardly help him make his point! And that, in a nutshell, is MY point! If you want to be understood, and have your needs met, you have to cooperate with those who are trying to understand you and help you. Just like you and your customers--if you want to meet their needs, you have to ask "endless questions." And if they want their needs met, they have to answer them!

"What have you got to teach me?" If "What do you want" isn't a reasonable reply to that, deserving of a more relevant response than "we are not in agreement," I don't know what is!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #76 of 106
Quote:
I just saw that PSIA folks in the Rocky Mountain region are now required to have extremely low NASTAR handicaps or something. I also read there was grumbling about it. Now I can relate-I'm sure instructors don't need one more requirement, but actually I like the idea as a consumer. I'm glad to know my instructor can dust me.
It's true, Tiehackburger--sort of. I wouldn't say "extremely low NASTAR handicaps," though. We have added (actually, RETURNED) a "gates component" to our certification process. ONE way to meet the requirement (and there are others) is to earn a NASTAR bronze medal for Level 1, a silver medal for Level 2, and a gold medal for Level 3.

None of these involves an extremely low handicap. In fact, those medals actually match the performance levels of the certification standards pretty closely, by coincidence, which is one of the reasons we chose them. In other words, typical "borderline" Level 3 instructors tend to be on the border of attaining a Gold medal as well. Same with L2 and Silver, and L1 and bronze. It's a serendipitous coincidence!

Racing has long been a part of PSIA certification, until recent years when it was deleted for expense, time, and liability reasons. But it is one of the few truly objective measures of performance, and current race technique forms the basis for "good" ski technique at all levels. So we've been looking for a way to get gates back into the picture for some time. I think it's a good move, although you are right--it's not without some controversy!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #77 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
but this whole notion of "testing" your instructor to see if he or she produces specifically what you're looking for, without your clear guidance as to just what that is, is odious. Good luck finding a competent instructor who likes to play that guessing game with you. Good instructors will dig very deep to work with you, with whatever it is you want to work with, within any guidelines you desire--highly specific and restrictive, or very open and unrestrictive. As a "partner" in your learning process, they'll do their very best for you (which still may well not be enough, but that's another story). But this challenge, this "test" that you imply, is hardly the best way to initate or nurture any sort of "partnership."
I know that I, as an instructor, would really not be interested in trying to guess. I'm admittedly a very recent player in the formal instruction world, but I have been skiing a long time and have listened to many people discuss where they want to go in their skiing. Most of them are unwilling or disinterested in getting formal instruction, often because they don't believe it would help (as discussed elsewhere here in EpicSki).

For me, this process as being discussed here is more of an attempt to "catch" someone doing or saying something "wrong". I'm sure that this isn't the intent, but that's how it seems. It feels much like a guessing game in order to win a chance to teach someone.

That said, I do think that there needs to be some interaction between the instructor and the prospective student early in the process to make sure that there's some level of "fit".

I have to wonder, though, if the tendency to push for lessons impacts the willingness of an instructor to say, "No, I don't think I'm right for you. I really think that you should spend some time with Lee." How often does that happen? Or does every instructor rather think that they are ideally suited to teach pretty much anyone?
post #78 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
None of these involves an extremely low handicap. In fact, those medals actually match the performance levels of the certification standards pretty closely, by coincidence, which is one of the reasons we chose them. In other words, typical "borderline" Level 3 instructors tend to be on the border of attaining a Gold medal as well. Same with L2 and Silver, and L1 and bronze. It's a serendipitous coincidence!
Hmmm... I hold NASTAR gold medals, but just barely passed my level 2 skiing... I wonder what that means? :
post #79 of 106
It means you're off to a great start, Steve!
post #80 of 106
Bob Barnes:

Thanks for the reply and I can certainly see your point. Obviously, the ideal situation is that both sides of the transaction are open and honest with each other.

I would like to pose a sort of follow-up question to you and any other Level III (or II's or I's for that matter) instructors out here;

Let's say that you, today, as a Level III PSIA instructor were to decide there was some aspect of your skiing that you felt needed improvement. For the sake of my question, please assume you're going to spend your own hard-earned dollars on a private lesson. How would you go about deciding on the instructor or coach you would go to for the lesson?

I'm honestly not trying to "catch" anyone with this question. Maybe you (generically) wouldn't ever find yourselves in this position. I know that PSIA instructors typically have many training sessions, camps, drills, and so on available to them, but this question would be if you were buying a lesson on your own dime, how would you choose? Would you simply "know" who the best teacher for your specific goal would be, would you watch other instructors as they ski and/or teach, would you talk with them, would you go by someone else's recommendation?

What would you do?

Thanks,

Bob
post #81 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado

And I agree with your assessment of what Si probably meant to ask, and that, if so, it is reasonable and logical. But it is not what he actually DID ask, is it? And when people tried to clarify, or even verify the reasonable assumption, which is the natural and necessary response when you're not sure what someone means, his responses of "you don't understand me," while certainly true, did not help his case!

Of if he said, "I prefer not to tell you what I want" (Si's words were: "I may not want to start off with telling a potential instructor what I'd like...") My guess is that, if this continued, you might not even want this person as your customer, because it would be virtually impossible to meet his needs--since he refuses to let on what they are.

Perhaps this is not at all what Si's intent was. But his resistance to honest attempts to clarify what his point was hardly help him make his point! And that, in a nutshell, is MY point! If you want to be understood, and have your needs met, you have to cooperate with those who are trying to understand you and help you. Just like you and your customers--if you want to meet their needs, you have to ask "endless questions." And if they want their needs met, they have to answer them!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob, usually I try to avoid personal comments but I find it hard in this case. Your efforts to twist what I say in your interpretation astounds me. (It also impresses me as you are quite good at it). One example for the record: I never said I wouldn't tell someone what I want and your creating a quote about that (right before you quote my actual statement where I stated I don't necessarily want to initially start out with any kind of specific statement of desire) seems to me like a purposeful distortion. And my resistance to honest attempts??? I am sorry, but I have responded as directly and honestly without trying to be deceptive in the least. You seem to be trying to paint a picture of me as someone who deceptively tries to convey a message. Perhaps you are transferring a perception of your own behaviors and style unto me?

I think my premise from the beginning was clear. I take a lesson because I want to improve or enhance my skiing experience in some way (and I have no intention or made any statement suggesting I would hide this). I want someone I am going to potentially hire to observe my skiing and give me suggested areas of focus. I am more than willing to interact with them in that process but I don't care to start out with any preconceived notions (either on my part or theirs) in terms of what to consider. The sky is the limit as long as I can find an adequate basis for believing the person I am going to hire can deliver. I've given a few concrete examples of situations where I would be interested in pursuing such suggested areas and some where I would not. I think they demonstrate pretty well where I'm coming from.

I think perhaps you would have made a fine campaigner as a politician.
post #82 of 106
BOB,

As a Lev II instructor I have been trying to decern who can best teach me to achieve my lev III status in my own ski school. The people i have found to be most helpful are the ones that show true care for my progress. They meet you and ask how things are developing and if i have had questions they are there to answer. This is how i best can choose the leadership i need! I need to go outside the ski school this year for examiners to help with my continued refinement as i have reached the point where i need the next step of leadership. i need examiners eyes on me now so i can get to the next level. Every person has an answer. Are they all correct? In their own mind! At that point you need to decipher "for yourself" your true needs.
post #83 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I would like to pose a sort of follow-up question to you and any other Level III (or II's or I's for that matter) instructors out here;

What would you do?
Bob,

After I got my L3, I have taken some lessons. Not a lot (other than PSIA events), but in one case in particular, a L2 friend and I took a half day lesson at Whistler. Basically, we asked for the most experienced instructor they had. Their upper mountain supervisor, who is a CSIA L4 took us out. When I take paid lessons, I really go in with the expectation of just getting a new set of eyes looking at me, and maybe some new tricks and tips. I don't expect anyone to be able to make a real change in my sikking in only 1-3 hours. Even the PSIA D-Teamers that I ski with for a whole week only make slight modifications to my skiing. But if I come away with some new info, or something new to work on, I'm happy. As for the guy from Whistler, while I had some objections to some of the stuff he taught us, especially on the groomers, he taught me a new and interesting way to ski sloppy, deep crud, that I still use to this day when the situation lends itself. So I got what I paid for.
post #84 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
While I think it's important that an instructor asks what a student wants, my best instructors have inspired me to want what I needed.
As it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13
I can relate to not being able to precisely define to an instructor "what I need to work on". Early on, I didn't know enough to know what I needed to know, if that makes any sense.
Makes perfect sense, Coach. The best student is one who's wise enough to know that he doesn't know what he doesn't know.


Si,

I find your approach a very productive one, and I always enjoy when a student comes to me harboring such an attitude.

I watch a skier ski, quickly assess weak skill areas, and develop a plan to address them. If the student comes with an open mind such as yours we can get right down to business. If they come to me with pre conceived notions of what THEY THINK they need and want to work on we might have to waste time redirecting an inappropriate focus.

The most productive lesson plans are formulated by skilled coachs/instuctors, and are not influenced by the unaware whims of the neophyte student. In fact, students who comes to class harboring such specific pre conceived skill development notions can prove to be their own biggest impediment to rapid improvement.
post #85 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si
Ghost, what do you think about this scenario? Instructors are offered the opportunity on their days off, free skiing, to wear an identifier that allows skiers to come up and request an evaluation run for a fee (perhaps something like $10 or $15, enough that the instructor can actually make something reasonable if they ski that well that they attract that many evals). Note, from my perspective all of this could go to the instructor as it would only recruit business for the ski school and they are not getting paid otherwise on their day off. Obviously, the skier then has the opportunity to try and get a private or into a group lesson with that instructor.

Now, some of the people who post here probably do this already without the pay. (From what I know, I think Bob Barnes fits into this category). But, I think this could only be a win/win/win proposition for the ski school, instructors, and potential clients.
Yes, that could work. The situation Si's describing is just a more efficient way of doing it. Compressing as it were half a dozen on the hill evaluations and going with a particular instructor based on the evaluation. It would work for a truly motivated skier.

What about the guy who only skis a couple of times a year, Hasn't been to this resort for a few years and doesn't know a level II instructor from Jack? How is he supposed to pick an instructor?

I've been lucky with my lessons. As bob noted, the instructor I mentioned was obviously good at his craft. He was not an exception. Can one do more than trust to luck and rely on the judgement of the resorts who hire the instructors?
post #86 of 106
I have not responded to this thread but I would see nothing wrong with and interactive system for picking an instructor at the higher levels. A touch screen would ask you a few questions to narrow down what you are kind of looking for and then you could view short video clips of different instructors skiing hot and then telling a short bit about there teaching philosopy and what they feel their specialty or special contribution is. You could then get a feel for and instructor without wasting the instructors time. You might even be able to book the instructor on line. This type of system would certainly have appealed to me before I was an intructor.

I might add though that if I were SAM I would charge a premium for those instructors I used in the interactive system for upper level skiers. People perceive value through price.
post #87 of 106
Thread Starter 
I find it interesting that 2 "coaches," Rick and Coach13 (one who works in skiing and one a skier who has a background coaching other sports), seem to readily identify with what I'm saying. I don't want to suggest they are the only ones, as a number of others (Nolo, Bob Peters, Lisamarie, ??) seem to easily understand where I'm coming from as well.

It does, however, raise a question: Is there a substantial difference in approach, attitude, skill set, and learning style required for a coaching situation than in a lesson? Are the skill sets requried for coaching and instucting the same? Personally I think that while they overlap some they also have considerable differences. That is why I continually say that I much prefer the coaching environment.
post #88 of 106
Quote:
Is there a substantial difference in approach, attitude, skill set, and learning style required for a coaching situation than in a lesson?
I consider myself a coach and not an instructor because I don't do "retail" lessons (at my area we call walk-ins retail). I haven't been to a lineup in a couple of years. All my students buy a book of lessons and recharge that book as the season progresses, or they call me and book a private. Some people just take privates, some just do group, and others do both. I'm able to be flexible because I'm fortunate to have enlightened management that allows me to serve my clientele as they want. I reward the mountain school with a nice profit, but I don't "count at lineup" so a person has to seek me out.

That's a substantially different approach, aptitude, skill set, and (teaching) style from the usual. I'm just shy of being an independent contractor. I'm not depending on the assigning supervisor to feed me (even to prime the pump at the start of the season). I have to make a profit or the area will cut me.

I like this arrangement very much. It's motivated me to carry on after all these years by enabling me to grow in the areas you mention while producing a bit sharper focus on the task of serving my customer.
post #89 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si
It does, however, raise a question: Is there a substantial difference in approach, attitude, skill set, and learning style required for a coaching situation than in a lesson? Are the skill sets requried for coaching and instucting the same? Personally I think that while they overlap some they also have considerable differences. That is why I continually say that I much prefer the coaching environment.
Si

When I hear the word "coach", to me it implies a relationship over a period of time. This obviously allows the coaches and students a distinct advantage in terms learning each others strengths and weaknesses, and working toward a common goal over a period of time.

In terms of ski instruction, outside of race programs, some instructor specialty programs, and a few other instances, much of the instruction is what I'll call "one-shot wonders". That is a skier shows up at random, asks for a lesson, and is assigned an instructor. In this instance the instructor and the student likely have no knowledge of each others strengths and weaknesses. We talk here often about poor ski lessons, but in my experience in the same situation (as the student), I've been pretty impressed with what most instructors have done with me in a short time, with limited knowledge regarding my abilities. To succed in that environment though, you have to trust the instructor and let he or she do their thing to better your awareness in a short period of time.

I agree that I'd like the "coaching" experience for my ski instruction as well if it was possible. If I had to ability to ski with someone of Bob B's talent for a day per week for a season, I'm sure I'd progress at a much higher rate. This obviously assumes that I'd get the required mileage on the snow to practice what I was taught.
post #90 of 106
Nolo

I was typing while you posted, but I like the approach you discussed very much. Under that scenerio, I'd consider you a coach as well.
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