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What are the goals of a lesson

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
For the instructor? For the student? For the resort? What are the goals of a lesson?
post #2 of 19
I think all the parties concerned have the goal of student satisfaction with the lesson. That means the student feels the money was well spent, will consider coming back for more lessons, and will recommend taking lessons to others.
post #3 of 19
The motivation for each student to take a lesson is individual. It all depends on what that student would like to accomplish. Some want to improve in powder or in moguls, while others might want to become more proficient skiing parallel. For a first time skier it might be as simple as learning to stop and/or turn.

As an instructor, I make it a point to ASK my students why they have come to see me. What are they trying to improve? Do they just want a tour of the mountain ? My goal for the lesson is to impart my limited wisdom and help them achieve their goals. (If your instructor/coach does not do this, find a new one....)

Also some goals are short term and some are long term. In 2 hours, we will most likely be able to reach some goals but most definitely will not reach others. That does not mean we can't work towards the long term ones. It's also important to verbalize this with our students.

With this being said, I've had unsuccessful lessons where we've met all of our goals and successful lessons where we've met none of our goals. Goals are only one part of a successful ski lesson.
post #4 of 19
Turns,

At our ski school we have a motto: Safety, fun and learning. That's a good set of prioritized goals for an instructor. Some of us may also be motivated by incentives to get teaching time in or to sell a return visit package to beginning students.

With respect to the goals for learning, unless it's a level 1 lesson, I will usually ask each student what their goals are. I will then assess that against my own assessment of the student's skill level and proceed from there. My goals for a level one lesson are simple. Get em up. Get em down. All still be in one piece at the end. Oh - and one more goal for every student - smiles.


The resort's end goal is profit. To that end, there are a bunch of intermediate goals that may sometimes be contradictory. Lesson safety is still the #1 priority for the resort. Guest satisfaction (lesson quality) is high on the list. Skier development is a goal because more skilled skiers are more likely to keep returning. Minimized expenses is a goal that is low on the priority list. For example, we generally try to max out at 8 per group lesson, but we would split a group of 4 adults and 4 kids in order to improve lesson quality. In addition to goals for program participation (i.e. number of lessons taught for each product), we also track return rates for beginners (what percentage of our first timers take advantage of our return visit discount program and how often they return).

Student goals are all over the map. We have kids who are taking lessons only because their parents force them. We have adults taking lessons in order to make "better turns" (whatever that is). Some take lessons to have someone to ski with. A few actually have specific goals (e.g. bumps, terrain park/half pipe, powder, ice, steeper terrain, rounder turns, equipment advice, etc.).
post #5 of 19
1st goal for all concerned SAFETY

Goals for the instructor (me) : have fun , meet new people, share my love for the sport and the mountains with them

Goals for the guest: have more fun than I am having, big smiles, explore what we can do on skis and where we can go with them. I mostly teach kids 5-14 and #1 goal is to bring them back with smiles on their face to the parents( the parents also like it when I tire them out)

Goals for our ski area ( we are not a resort), give the guest a great time, the area has no pressure to make money either by lift tickets or lessons ( I know this is very rare, but it is one of the reasons I love this place), management wants our guest/ community to enjoy coming up to ski or board.
post #6 of 19
My goal as a student is to feel that I ski better after the lesson than I did before.

Surprisingly, this seems to be more difficult than you would think.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking bear
My goal as a student is to feel that I ski better after the lesson than I did before.

Surprisingly, this seems to be more difficult than you would think.
I am learning to surrender this goal... it does not serve me well....

I now have to be content with skiing better at END OF SEASON.... sometimes skiing appears to regress from a lesson - because you have to rework the skiing...... some days are just not your best days... for whatever reason....

My new lesson goal is to ENJOY.....
......
I am even getting better at teaching instructors to drink bavarian beer (well it is the pouring that is tricky - but it is hard to drink beer that you spread all over the table & floor...)
post #8 of 19
One of the things I learned the first day of ITC is the fundamental goals of a lesson are--

Safety, Fun, Learning

In that order. Keep that in the back of your head all the time and you won't get lost.
post #9 of 19
Safety, Fun, Learning seems to mix-and-match the goals of the participants.

Of course safety is the #1 concern of the mountain and instructor. But as a student, if I were concerned about safety, I wouldn't ski. More simply, I can assure you that no student has ever entered a lesson saying, "I am going to pay $X to have a really safe experience."

Fun? I can see this being a top three priority ... for both the student and (to a lesser extent) the instructor.

But "learning" being the third priority? That's nuts. It has to be -- again from the student's perspective -- the top priority. Why else would you pay extra on top of an already outrageous sport/hobby if not to improve?

I am going to the ETU. The total out-of-pocket cost for me with lodging, lessons and misc. will probably exceed $500. For that $500 I am expecting two things: 1.) To learn (after all, that's why these days are hosted by professionals, otherwise it'd just be a meet-on-the-mountain session with no premium attached); 2.) To have fun (It will be great to meet some of you all, and to ski with some really great talent, but half that price I could ski with my wife or buddies and have equal the amount of fun as I will with the ETU).

Safety? That's Bob Barnes' and Stowe's concern ... not mine. Mine is to leave the weekend a better skier than I entered it ... and have some fun while improving.
post #10 of 19
Then there are those of us who find learning to be the most fun. Hurting yourself is not fun at all. Therefore, I'm all about having fun.
post #11 of 19
The student's motivation has to be satisfied. But what you determine as motivation at the start of the lesson can, and often does change during the course of a lesson. Equally important, the student will need to understand what the movements being taught, are effecting their skiing.

In summary, the student's needs can be summed up as motivation, understanding and movement. If all three of thes elements are determined and fulfilled, you will have a successful lesson and the student will be happy.

Rick H
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Then there are those of us who find learning to be the most fun. Hurting yourself is not fun at all. Therefore, I'm all about having fun.
Then by extension, "safety and fun" are redundant, and therefore should be collapsed into one goal, which, conveniently, I did in my student-perspective two goal breakdown!

All I am saying is that safety, fun, learning is a mish-mash of student, instructor and mountain goals. From a student's perspective, it's like the old Sesame Street song "one of these things isn't like the other/one of these things just doesn't belong" ...
post #13 of 19
As students, are your goals always the same? Mine are not. Recently, I noticed that there was something quirky going on with my left turns, but I couldn't figure out what it was. At the start of the lesson, I told the instructor I wanted to figure out what the heck I was going.wrong. I got what I wanted.

I also find that different instructors will bring out different things in me, and I may adjust my goals according to who I'm working with. Some instructors are good at making my skiing "prettier." There are a rare few who somehow make me feel really safe when I'm going about 3 times my normal speed.

So in answer to your question, it depends on my mood and who is teaching me.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoFury
More simply, I can assure you that no student has ever entered a lesson saying, "I am going to pay $X to have a really safe experience."

.
Actually then you'd be wrong I am a student & I entered my early lessons with exactly that goal....

I had friends who were back country guides and telemark instructors.... but they had no experience teaching people with my physical skills (or lack thereof) ... so they sent me to learn to balance and turn on alpine gear first as they felt this would help me... also they were very athletic people - naturally gifted this way.... so a wife & I thought I would be "safer" with a ski school instructor than with the "boys"

I was quite worried when I first laid eyes on the "surfy dude" that ski school chose for me... but they really did get it right - he was perfect...
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
I am learning to surrender this goal... it does not serve me well....

I now have to be content with skiing better at END OF SEASON.... sometimes skiing appears to regress from a lesson - because you have to rework the skiing...... some days are just not your best days... for whatever reason....
Big step Disski. That's such an important concept to learn. Desiring instant results causes students to become frustrated and instructors to fast track progressions. Niether one of those results are beneficial to the student in the long run.
post #16 of 19
Yes - frustration was the big problem....... it was holding me back a lot....

I have had a couple of lessons with another (ex-racer) instructor who had a good suggestion - he says I should not worry about the "bad" turns when I am trying to learn new stuff.... they can't teach me anything - except how to do bad turns - so I should not dwell on what I don't wish to do & instead remember how the few "good" turns felt.....

It seems to be helping a lot with my lack of confidence....
post #17 of 19
Oh BTW - where did you move to? One day I might just get over there & want a lesson..... can you update your profile so you are not in Florida anymore? or is it temporary relocation.....
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Oh BTW - where did you move to? One day I might just get over there & want a lesson..... can you update your profile so you are not in Florida anymore? or is it temporary relocation.....
Hasn't happened yet Disski, have to get the Florida house sold first. When I do go (hopefully soon here) it will be to Colorado, and it will be a perminant type of move. Good bye sand land, hello snow!

I hope we do get to ski together. Look forward to it.

FASTMAN
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Hasn't happened yet Disski, have to get the Florida house sold first. When I do go (hopefully soon here) it will be to Colorado, and it will be a perminant type of move. Good bye sand land, hello snow!

I hope we do get to ski together. Look forward to it.

FASTMAN
Good luck with house selling... is now a good time to sell? post all those storms?

I am working on getting over there soon... I was a reckless child after my brother died (money sort of seems less important sometimes) & am settling my finances down a bit again..... so hopefully next year I can travel overseas to ski...
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