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Teaching the Basics - Page 3

post #61 of 81
I'm back.

The northern Colorado mountains are getting hammered. Rabbit Ears Pass is reporting 30"!

Ishull did a masterful job and I will leave it at that! He knew right where I was going with my red flag comment.

Breck has a great many very good instructors. My first choice would be Rick Herwehe. He is a great guy, great skier, and an examiner in our division.

Go to any resort in Colorado and ask to talk to the SSD or to a supervisor. Those folks know who their ace is. Ask if they have an examiner, DCL, or Trainer on staff.

Resorts want you to have a good experience.

P.S. I have always said the next time I go to Utah I want to take a lesson from Ydnar. Now I'm going to have to add Ishull to the list!
post #62 of 81

Thanks, RG!

I think I have something worked out.

skier31 contacted me and offered to help. With her kind assistance, I think I may be able to put together a plan to get the new skiers with a qualified instructor when we come out there.

I am amazed what an innocent word-of-mouth can do to derail interest! And I am referring to my wife's comments describing her experience at the dinner where we finalized our travel plans.

It is not about getting the best instructor on the mountain, the hottest skier, etc. It's simply about matching enthusiastic new students with competent, caring folks to help them step through their first brush with skiing safely and progressing reasonably.

I appreciate all the thoughful responses and kind help!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
I'm back.

The northern Colorado mountains are getting hammered. Rabbit Ears Pass is reporting 30"!

Ishull did a masterful job and I will leave it at that! He knew right where I was going with my red flag comment.

Breck has a great many very good instructors. My first choice would be Rick Herwehe. He is a great guy, great skier, and an examiner in our division.

Go to any resort in Colorado and ask to talk to the SSD or to a supervisor. Those folks know who their ace is. Ask if they have an examiner, DCL, or Trainer on staff.

Resorts want you to have a good experience.

P.S. I have always said the next time I go to Utah I want to take a lesson from Ydnar. Now I'm going to have to add Ishull to the list!
post #63 of 81
Onyxjl, quite a fertile area you have raked up. Nice question and a lot of very thoughtful responses. My two cents.......

I am a PSIA Level I going for Level II in a couple of months. I have taught for 7 years, with scores of never-evers. Many years previous to getting into ski teaching, I took on the task of "coaching" my girlfriend-morphed-into-wife, basing my advice on what I had picked up in ski magazines and my own male jock-speak. Unlike your GF, she had been skiing since the age of 12, but had severe resistance to holding appropriate stance, movements, etc, when she became unnerved by speed or pitch. I am speaking of keeping her CM out over her skis, reducing skidding early in the turn, hands in front, etc, etc. I bravely thought I could coach her through this fear. However, 25 years later, she still skis the same way. If I had it to do over again, I would persuade her to get herself into a private lesson with a WOMAN instructor who could recognize (and validate, to use a very helpful shrink term) her fears and proceed to teach her in a way that helps her to punch through those habits in a thoughtful, safe and understanding environment. Guys, especially athletic guys, tend to say: "Hey, meathead, get your upper body out over the slope!" I wasn't that crude, but the mind set was the same: listen to what you need to do and, well, hey, just do it. Anyhow, fast-forward 25 years, and she is still in the same ruts. The moral to this tale? Well, here's what I want you to do:
Every time you go skiing, get her in a private lesson in the AM and again in the PM with the SAME WOMAN instructor. While that is going on, you jump on the summit chair, carve some nasty high-speed arcs in the corduroy, crank a few turns on the steeps, and hit the bumps. In between her AM and PM lessons, you join her for a few low-pressure runs on some green stuff (you will have gotten your thrills out of the way, so this will be a nice cool-down for you). You ask her what she has learned and would she please demo her results to you, etc. You will, as the gentlemen I know you are, allow yourself to hear her new knowledge and be visibly enlightened by it, possibly emulating her newfound skills alongside her, showing your support and enthusiasm, etc. ("Whoa, I never heard that business about the little toe edge--guess I've got a few things to brush up on, too.") You wind up the day by taking a few runs together, maybe moving up to some easy blue stuff, taking great care not to try to catch the last chair ride of the day. Believe me and so many others in this thread: Do not, repeat, do not, try to teach your lovely GF to ski! The above approach, with your own creative variations, will accomplish what you want in the most efficient and tranquil manner.
post #64 of 81
Thread Starter 
Thanks JoeB, I knew I was stirring the pot with this topic...

I did eventually decide to take a simillar route to the one you describe, and if we ever get any snow I will let you guys know how it went.

I admit that the list of topics I posted at the beginning warrants a lot of the negative responses recieved. In the interest of saving time I posted a few highlights of things she would want to learn, and it does look like a very meathead list of things to do.

I do think one interesting thing has emerged from the discussion though. It seems as though a good many of certified instructors also fail to have a positive experience teaching thier spouses or significant others. I'll admit I find this a bit surprising. The two greatest challenges I see here are poor learn-to-ski instruction or poor communication with the student. A certified ski instructor should be giving a good lesson, so that only leaves a lack of effective communication with the student. I don't place the blame on the instructor here, as often as not I suspect it is the student who is struggling with change in roles. You will notice that most of the threads place a very strong emphasis on not being critical in any way. This would make it impossible to teach.

This highlights what I see to be the real topic in teaching your spouse/SO to ski. Can the two of you effectively transition to the roles of teacher/student or is someone bringing along emotional baggage that is going to hinder the result. I think anyone committed to learning enough about skiing (and perfecting these movements in themselves) could probably aquire the knowledge to teach someone to ski green terrain. That is in no way meant to undermine the ability of certified instructors, as they are capable of taking one much further with a much broader range of students.

In the end, it seems most people decide it is just much more hassle than it is worth and decide the money/time is better spent on an instructor. If it achieved the result they were looking for, then who is to argue with that?
post #65 of 81
JoeB,

>>Guys, especially athletic guys, tend to say: "Hey, meathead, get your upper body out over the slope!" <<

Are you refering to athletic instructors? If so, then you are stereotyping. I know a lot of athletic instructors that don't use that tone of voice. This includes yours truely.--Wigs
post #66 of 81
Thread Starter 
Wigs,

I think he was referring to Joe average meathead turned temporary instructor.
post #67 of 81
hope you enjoy the couch
post #68 of 81
Hey, Wigs: sorry, I wasn't clear. I can see how you might have misinterpreted my point re "meathead." Onyxjl is right: I was trying to convey a clueless state of mind more than anything else. I just meant jocko young guy #1 trying to teach jocko young guy #2 how to ski, but has no idea how to do it. Back when I was trying to help my wife get better, I was jocko young guy #1, although I most certainly used more civilized language with my GF/wife.
post #69 of 81
Onyxjl,

This has been a great thread for me, and I imagine for a lot of others. One reason in my opinion is that it introduces the significance of the emotional relationship between the teacher and the student. I think that in skiing, and I imagine in a few other sports, the potential for physical collisions, or at any rate embarrassment, may elevate this trust/emotional issue to a higher level. Examining the prospect of teaching someone with whom we already have an emotional history is, in my opinion, an interesting way to remind ourselves of this issue. So, thanks for a great thread.
post #70 of 81
JoeB,

I have to echo Wigs concerns about steryotypes. Over 80% of my clients are women. They return, as well as refer, hence, have to assume they don't object to a male instructor.
post #71 of 81
I too need to take a stand against gender stereotypes. I've had excellent and godawful instructors of both genders.

While it's not a "politically correct" reaction, some women feel safer around male instructors. If that works for them, they shouldn't be judged. It's a sport, for heaven's sake, not a consciousness raising session!

In some cases, I am not comfortable taking class with a very young instructor. Sometimes I feel that they are more interested in skking the gnarly stuuf, and are unhappy if they get an intermediate student. Again, this is not always the case.

On a different point, what do you think of instructors who have their current girlfriends as regular as regular students in their group classes?
post #72 of 81

Wife is not impressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
I too need to take a stand against gender stereotypes. I've had excellent and godawful instructors of both genders.

While it's not a "politically correct" reaction, some women feel safer around male instructors. If that works for them, they shouldn't be judged. It's a sport, for heaven's sake, not a consciousness raising session!
For what it's worth, my wife cannot stand those sessions proffered to be "by women, for women." The title of such gatherings is normally followed by descriptions such as, "a [insert activity here] that has been designed by women to meet the unique needs of women to empower ourselves in the otherwise male-dominated [insert activity here]."

My wife just laughs when she reads this stuff. Of course, she is horribly politically incorrect. I mean, isn't she supposed to be all for these segregated activities? No...wait...I thought segregation is bad. Except, well, in some cases it's Ok. But that seems to contradict, no, yes, I am supposed to do what is best for me to be really empowered, but if I don't support the "correct" thing, then the group empowerment suffers, so I should be willing to give up what's good for me for the group, so we can eventually not be forced by the evils of [insert traditional politically incorrect group here] to have to segregate to become equal and feel supported... :

Ah, screw it. Go ski!
post #73 of 81
LOL!!! Sounds like I'd get along well with your wife! We should meet when you come out here.
post #74 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
For what it's worth, my wife cannot stand those sessions proffered to be "by women, for women." The title of such gatherings is normally followed by descriptions such as, "a [insert activity here] that has been designed by women to meet the unique needs of women to empower ourselves in the otherwise male-dominated [insert activity here]."
While I think the "woman to woman" approach is great from the standpoint of custom fitting gear/instruction to address the difference in anatomy, I think the idea of a bonding session to fight back against the "male-dominated activity" is a bunch of crap when it comes to skiing. All that does is empower an us vs them perception that has absolutely no relevance to a sport where it's you vs environment. The U.S. Mens ski team doesn't make the Women's team ski on a different mountain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvardTiger
Ah, screw it. Go ski!
Amen! Let the mountain sort them out.
post #75 of 81
A couple of thoughts:

I did not start skiing until my early 30's. I had a knee injury from
playing basketball so I had some fear issues that were not connected
to skiing. I took quite a few lessons thanks to Breck's $99 unlimited
lesson plan and noticed some interesting dynamics in the classes.
*There will be some stereotyping here but bear with me* There were
many women who were techically better than many of the men.
Many of the men would ski faster and ski steeper terrain without
worrying about whether they could do it. I saw many women who had
better skills than some of the men who would not ski certain areas until
they were more comfortable.

I am one of those women who ski with my boyfriend, an instructor.
I have been in his classes on multiple occasions. When I am in his classes,
I don't let the other people know that we are a couple. I love skiing with him outside of classes because it is like having a private lesson all the time.
He has been extremely patient with my learning curve and has spent numerous hours helping me. It is a blast.

Scott and I have had numerous discussions about my fear level. He has never taken me on a run that I do not have the technical skills to do.
I have freaked out on some of the runs he has taken me on. I have tried to explain why I have freaked out or the nature of my fear and he tells me that he really does not understand because he sees me ski and knows I can do it.
The important point is that he respects my fear and he will stay close to me or talk me down one turn at a time. It works. My point is that the instructor must at least be cognizant of the pscyhological issues going on and not focus soley on the student's physical skiing skills.

With respect to the all women's groups, I say NO THANKS. I have been
in a couple of all women clinics, including one last weekend at Vail.
I cannot believe some of the pettiness, rudeness, lack of respect for the clinician and the ME attitude. I would rather ski with guys any day!

Nancy
post #76 of 81
I think Nancy raises an important point when she says "I don't let the other people know that we are a couple."

IMHO, I think that in most cases, only instructors can do that in another instructor's class. This is probabaly true due to the fact that instructors understand the level of professionalism associated with teaching a ski lesson, and would never allow their instructor to appear to be unprofessional.

Also, if I may once again be politically incorrect, with skiers who are far less serious about the sport than the average Epic member, I think there is always at least the fantasy of her instructor being "available." It matters little if he acts on it or not. In some cases, she may just be buying the fantasy, and her tip may reflect this. Having a jealous, neurotic, possesive girlfriend in a class can be pretty disruptive.

I think that it's important to consider are the dynamics of the relationship. If the woman is clingy, she'll be jealous of any attention he gives another female student. If she's a competitive person, can she handle being less proficient than another female student. Supposing she's more proficient, but she hates the way her guy keeps helping the pretty blond after she falls?

Also, is she really serious about the sport, or does she just want to "ski by her man?"
This should probably be a separate thread. We've discussed ad infinatum whether lay people should teach their SOs, but we've never discussed the idea of professionals having their SO in a class that they're teaching.
post #77 of 81
Onyxjl. I'm no ski instructor, just a dedicated skier who has been involved in the sport for almost 40 years. May I make a humble suggestion. What I do with my scardycat wife is put her into a private class for 2 hours, then spend 2 hours teaching her, reinforcing what she has learn't in class. Then it's off to the canteen for lunch and talk, then she tells me what she wants to do for the rest of the day. eg. I'd like to spend an hour sorting things out myself, or can we go over "such & such", or do you know a drill that can help me with "such & such", or how about we forget the lessons and ski for fun (that one gets the best results) and allows me to forget teaching, take notes on what she is doing, so we can talk about it later that night. The following morning she goes to her private, after which I can go over yesterday's good & bad points and I'm into my second class with her.
Three or 4 days later and she is virtually on her own. he is still a scardy cat, still frightened of black runs, will never be able to do steeps. But she is doing her second PMTS class at Fernie in Feb 05.

My way gets the best of both worlds, I'd like to read comments from Sidecut & Arcmaster

NeilT
post #78 of 81
Neil, I think that's basically a good idea, but sometimes, you may want to let her just ski for fun. With new skiers, sometimes there is just too much information overload , and they don't get time to just enjoy the sport.

One more thing: Try not to take it personally if she can eventually ski down a Black Diamond with her instructor, but not with you. Her instructor may be able to give her just the right cues she needs, turn by turn. Non instructors sometimes don't know what needs to be said. When someone is terrified, "C'mon you can do it!" just does not work too well!
post #79 of 81
Re woman only groups; Have been in two; with former demo team and current dev team women. The clinics were the most valuable instruction I've ever had.
post #80 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
Mens ski team doesn't make the Women's team ski on a different mountain.
But not the same course and not on the same equipment.

Re woman only groups; Have been in two; with former demo team and current dev team women. The clinics were the most valuable instruction I've ever had.
post #81 of 81
I taught an all womans group once!----Wigs
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