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Skiing experience before teaching - Page 3

Poll Results: How many years of skiing before instructing?

 
  • 12% (10)
    1-3 years
  • 7% (6)
    4-7 years
  • 36% (30)
    8-15 years
  • 43% (36)
    16 years or more
82 Total Votes  
post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Was it wrong that I did my driving instructor exam a year after passing my driving test?
If you failed, yes
post #62 of 83
haha, no!
post #63 of 83
Seems my story and points don't make sense to anybody.

For you skeptics, with your hmmmppphhh,

I have buddy who made the psia western demo team after skiing for 5 years!

so, he skied a couple hundred days a year, has talent, is coachable and is a good teacher,

as i said in my story, there are an awfull lot of variables besides how long you've skied,
and how long you've skied surely isn''t high on my list,
how you ski is much higher but not as high as many other things.

hmmpphhh,

Holiday
post #64 of 83
Thread Starter 
Mozart played his first concert as a preschooler. History does not record many Mozarts, but clearly they exist.
post #65 of 83
All most always, the most requested ski instructors on any mountain are NOT the most technically knowledgable, they are the most humanistic, friendly, fun to be with people on the ski school. They make people feel good about wanting to learn. This is why we look at personality first, then skiing skills, teaching knowledge, then skiing knowledge in that order. Skiing skills can be learned quickly when one is constantly exposed to clinics and can ski frequently the same can not be said for personality.

I was one of those 1-3 ers who was passionate about skiing but had to get a job on the mountain so I could afford to ski. That passion for learning and sharing what I had learned with others made me a good teacher relatively quickly. I skied everyday all day and took every clinic I could and read every book I could find on the subject. But I am sure this is not a unique story. Don't judge an instructor by his/her lack of mileage but by the smile they put on your face and the air under your wings.
post #66 of 83
Sorry Bud - I skied with one of those "friendly" instructors for 2 years (about 80 private lessons I guess).....

It was a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME as I discovered later in my skiing life.... I had learnt stuff from her I needed to UNLEARN....

Now I stick to the ones that
a) have experience - skiing or ski instructing
b) know the technical stuff (I like staatliche & engineering type souls)
c) I might want to ski like

(Not necessarily in that order)

even if they are grumpy contrary bastards sometimes I end up advancing more in my skiing....

You can keep "friendly" for bbq's & other such apres activity - I want to ski better (we don't know better than what yet but BETTER )
post #67 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Sorry Bud - I skied with one of those "friendly" instructors for 2 years (about 80 private lessons I guess).....

It was a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME as I discovered later in my skiing life.... I had learnt stuff from her I needed to UNLEARN....

Now I stick to the ones that
a) have experience - skiing or ski instructing
b) know the technical stuff (I like staatliche & engineering type souls)
c) I might want to ski like

(Not necessarily in that order)

even if they are grumpy contrary bastards sometimes I end up advancing more in my skiing....

You can keep "friendly" for bbq's & other such apres activity - I want to ski better (we don't know better than what yet but BETTER )

Damn, I wish there were more like you!!
post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

Damn, I wish there were more like you!!
nah - the instructors would go mad.... I can be a difficult student sometimes too..... teaching a lot of me's at the lower level would cause a huge increase in workers compensation claims due to the stress of trying to work out how to teach me to (for example) flex an ankle....

NOW they generally seem to like teaching me - as I really do like to learn & I do improve every season despite being a total chicken.... I think the compulsory alcohol breaks help

nah seriously - some of the instructors that would never deign to speak to me are now quiet friendly as they have worked out I am a guaranteed regular student & I ski the whole hill (even if I wimper ocassionally) - I still stick to the ones I feel give me value for money - which includes pushing hard when needed - although also allows for beer/coffee stops when needed.... This means I tend to stick with race coaches or trainers that were ex-national racers in younger days etc .... not necessarily the FRIENDLIEST - as in they don't "schmooze" the customers - they SKI the customers...

Ski school like me - I am a skiing advertisement for what decent lessons CAN achieve.... I also tend to tell them what I think of a lesson - sometimes they DON'T like me
post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
OK, so you've made your point a few times...

Was it wrong that I did my driving instructor exam a year after passing my driving test?
the thing there is you had passed a TEST..... ie demonstrated a level of competence (I hope) ..... also how long had you actually been DRIVING??? a year???? were you teaching people to drive a road train??? Once these people are in a uniform they can be teaching anything. Although they say it does not happen there was at least one instructor boasting of teaching high level lessons in his first season - unqualified.... some of the kids come back from working in the USA boast the same.... & then there is the expensive USA resort where high level instructors pass their excess lessons to unqualified instructors rather than higher level certs - presumably because they will look better & the client will return to them - I think if my instructor did that to me & I found out I would never ski with them again....

I actually have no problem with licencing skiers to ride the lifts ...... if you want off the bunny hill you pass a test first... Yeah I can go with that....
post #70 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
So here's a controversial thought. I started skiing at 35, am 52 now. Have skied close to 300 days, and have gotten pretty darn good by now, Level 8 probably. Of course having started at 35 I'll never be as good as someone who started when they were little.

So..... I have this theory that I (not an instructor) could teach Intermediates with an insight that a "skiing their whole life" instructor can't. I know what it feels like to be an intermediate skier - they don't.
I started later than you have over 300 days on snow & I'm a disabled skier... This season was my eighth on snow.... I am told I ski OK... I don't ski anything like I want to ski yet....

I can agree with the fact that when you learn as an adult it is not the same as learning as a kid & it helps to know how it is....
Most of the instructors I ski with think I should instruct - because I have worked so HARD to learn to ski that I can help others learn better than if it came easily.... I understand this point of view also - I have to help people to help me learn - by trying to help them find ways to teach me knew things - to connect the info I have to the new piece they want to give me...

conversely I would not have liked to have the me skier of 1-2 years ago teach me to ski.... my understanding has changed a LOT in those 1-2 years although my skiing has changed a lot less...

Sort of matches with a discussion I had with a maths lecturer years ago - about how dismal it is that we let those who (generally) are very conceptually poor at mathematics teach our kids maths.... He said he gets annoyed that so many kids maths brains are affected by learning from the maths incompetants ... so the kids learn that maths is 1+1=2 or 2*2=4 rather than the intuitive conceptual mathematics (This started because I can blitz an applied maths class but struggle in pure mathematics.... I have a real hang up on the pure maths because of my early learning style.... Applied maths I learnt at the knees of my big cousins while sailing)
post #71 of 83
Hey disski, like with many things the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't want an instructor who looked awful on a blue run if the conditions weren't ideal. I think to instruct one should at least be able to ski well - just not necessarily great. This is why I'm hesitant to teach, although I think I'm finally good enough now. When it gets real icy, for example, I looked like a total idiot after even 10 years of skiing, but like a pro when it was groomed.

So IMO it's not number of days or years, but ability to ski with some modicum of grace in at least moderately difficult conditions. To me conditions have always been more of a limiting factor than steepness.

That being said, I still agree with others who stress people skills and communication skills. Not just a warm and friendly individual, but one who can explain and demonstrate and show patience and, as nolo said, empathy.

say is it an appropriate question to ask where Oz is?
post #72 of 83
diski, It took you 80 private lessons to decide you didn't like what you where learning? Hmmm fool me once but fool me 80 times? She must have done something right? The human factor...EVERY instructor is different. I know of an instructor
who had taught for over 20 years that was also a full time school teacher and he still really sucked as a ski teacher but go figure.
post #73 of 83
bud - I was making progress but learning BAD movement patterns....

we had a mutual friend who was married to a high level instructor & told me at the end of the first season to find another instructor (I guess they could see me learning this instructors bad movements) ... it took until she repeated this advice MANY times the next season that I followed the advice &another couple of seasons to really understand WHAT exactly was wrong....

I was lucky enough to ski the following season with a staatliche & an ex-racer now race coach - both very technical..... so they took me backwards & rebuilt my skiing.... without that I would have struggled a LOT more to ski as I do
post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Hey disski, like with many things the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't want an instructor who looked awful on a blue run if the conditions weren't ideal. I think to instruct one should at least be able to ski well - just not necessarily great.

....
say is it an appropriate question to ask where Oz is?
OZ= Australia

I agree about the instructing & being able to ski well.... just depends on what you think "well" is....
one of my instructors used to say "when you have good stance & balance on a black run you are ready to START to learn to ski"
The need for experience skiing is to allow time for developing the really fundamental basics....

I tend to compare to fencing as both are technical sports & my coach for fencing (frenchy master of arms)says you are still in nappies after 3 years (no matter how skilled) - your body is just learning the stuff that has to be routine totally solid so you can work on the other stuff...
post #75 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman
All most always, the most requested ski instructors on any mountain are NOT the most technically knowledgable, they are the most humanistic, friendly, fun to be with people on the ski school. They make people feel good about wanting to learn. This is why we look at personality first, then skiing skills, teaching knowledge, then skiing knowledge in that order. Skiing skills can be learned quickly when one is constantly exposed to clinics and can ski frequently the same can not be said for personality.

I was one of those 1-3 ers who was passionate about skiing but had to get a job on the mountain so I could afford to ski. That passion for learning and sharing what I had learned with others made me a good teacher relatively quickly. I skied everyday all day and took every clinic I could and read every book I could find on the subject. But I am sure this is not a unique story. Don't judge an instructor by his/her lack of mileage but by the smile they put on your face and the air under your wings.
Of course when you say "we" you mean USA.... I don't think the Austrians pick by personality first..... certainly they do not come across that way.... & the entrance requirement to the staatliche is a set race speed yes?

& the French have a speed test yes? Is this to keep out the Brits that are not friendly?

I'm sure someone else could think of a few others....

I like my instructors not up themselves - but many are good at "switching on" a certain "ski instructor" friendly face - but they never really connect.... I prefer real people - who can ski & know how to teach skiing - not some kid put in a red suit who thinks he is god's gift to skiing.... or worse still a snowboarder who could not get a job snowboard instructing but got put on skis (first time ever) & made into a ski instructor..... or a kid from overseas who has never taught skiing & is given a job because he is a student & can get a j1 visa & is VERY CHEAP labour....


& if skiing skills can be taught so quickly how come there are so many instructors that ski like crap? I have skied with a PSIA 2 who is TERRIBLE.... after 2 exams & all that training?
I shudder at the skiing I see on the hill each year... from uniformed people... & I am NO GREAT SKIER....
post #76 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Of course when you say "we" you mean USA.
When he said "we" I took it to mean the ski school where he works.
post #77 of 83
then why did he start with "almost always" rather than "at our ski school" ....
post #78 of 83
Hoorah for Disski! I wish there were many more like you.

Elsewhere in a thread on ski teaching someone brought up the dichotomy between "goal oriented" instruction and "entertainment". I think the former gets short shrift at many ski schools. Its been my experience as an instructor that ski schools regard instruction largely as entertainment. If they can keep you happy (even by providing bogus instruction) they're satisfied with their product. If they got you to come back for 80 private lessons, they are overjoyed!

Sorry, I don't mean to applaud their attitude, I think it misses the mark! Skiing moves beyond mere dilatory entertainment when the passion for skiing is engaged and the object becomes SKIING! How this escapes the management of the ski industry mystifies me but it does. When I was teaching we received lectures from corporate management emphasizing their philosophy that what we were there for was to provide our students with a good time first and foremost. "Of course", you might say but they clearly took this to reinforce the approach that produced Disski's ultimately disappointing experience.
post #79 of 83
Oisin - I have to say that in this particular case I don't think it was mainly the ski school..... (Thredbo)

Note that I am a disabled skier & would have taken the privates anyway.... I skied from 1997 until 2003 before having a lessonless ski day....

The ski school was in fact very supportive of my need to change & have been pretty supportive overall.... They give me discounts on ALL products they provide - unlike Perisher over the hill who will only discount private lessons as originally negotiated by Disabled WinterSport Australia (our national body)....

They can see that in order to "progress" I may need to learn to ski with others & without my favourite instructor to hold my hand & they are generally very helpful.... (Yes DWA never thought about those that may have that particular need - my disability is a little uncommon to say the least)

I think this instructor just thinks that is what instructing is about - she was obviously taught that at some ski school....as she is PSIA2 I guess in the USA....

I think many people really want value for money in a lesson.... & when they don't get it - they stop taking lessons.... if it were easier to guarantee a good lesson more higher level skiers might take lessons... but even for me now there are not a lot of instructors for me to use.... I ski better than a heap of the instructors they have.... a few more fail dismally in the "wanting to teach" area ... they are "wanting to flaunt my ego" types....

So I have a fairly small group left - strangely they are mostly OLD & race coaches & not at all the picture one would have of the desirable "ski instructor" from the brochure...
post #80 of 83
fastman, where and how would you suggest instructors gain this experience? Realize that ski schools now days unfortunatly need warm bodies and standards are compromised when there are not highly skilled skiers applying for the available positions. It's not ideal but it is the reality.

A surgeon has to make his first incision on somebody. He has lots of training and spent lots of money on his educaton prior to this event. Skiers, for the most part are not going to do the same. It has always been an "on the job training" process. I agree with others that want a skilled skier and teacher. I suggest asking around for reccommendations and credentials before enlisting a teacher to get the best results.

All our lives we learn from people who we believe know something we do not, our parents, school teachers, coaches, etc.. We tend not to question every bit of information that we receive but learn to evaluate what we should digest as fact. Perhaps when taking ski lessons we should try different teachers until we find the one that clicks with our learning style and psyche as well as our mechanical needs? Then keep searching for other points of view and evaluate for ourselves what we will absorb.
post #81 of 83
I skied today with a very diverse group.

A level III teli cert
A level III alpine cert/Trainer Accred
An examiner/former boss/former SSD
A level I cert
My eleven year old daughter

I asked five different folks to help me with my skiing at different points in the day. I picked up a great deal of help/knowledge/ideas from each and every person. I have enough sense to never teach my kid. I did, however, get her to give me a one hour lesson. I told her if she did okay....$5.00, well-$7.00, superb-$10.00

I honestly picked up things that were helpful from a wide variety of sources.

I think two things need to be in place to improve;

1. Be open to criticism and leave any ego in the car
2. Have a burning desire to improve

Right now my skiing sucks because I'm tearing it apart and rebuilding. It's fun and I know the final product will be an improvement.
post #82 of 83
Rusty,

How much did you end up paying your kid?

I think if you use your sense of humor as the foundation (you should always start with a strong foundation) of your skiiing, you should be fine.
post #83 of 83
I meant "we" as in my particular ski schools I worked for.

An interesting point you made diski about the Austrians and French, etal. I believe there is a substantial difference between the way ski instruction in our Country (by that I mean USA ha ha) is viewed vs. European countries. There it is viewed and paid as a respected career which many National team skiers aspire to after their competitive years. Here in the US this is not the case and consiquently makes it much more difficult to find new instructors with the backgrounds or credentials of our friends in Europe. If I am not mistaken some of those European ski schools even have nice retirement programs! Could you imagine that?
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