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Qualities that Inspire Trust & Confidence - Page 3

post #61 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
I wish you would explain to all the instructors that they should stop demoing the bob factor in high level classes then .... because they damn well ALL do it in the demos.... it becomes quite annoying to have someone do demos that are nothing like how they ski normally.... Even more annoying when I have to consciously take it OUT of my skiing repeatedly because the canadians keep putting it in - then the others take it out... (OK maybe it is making me adaptable - but I'm over this adaptability right now)

I got one (the one who can turn it on & off best) to quit it in my privates & when we were in the group classes he would do the demo & I would NOT do the bob ... if he wanted more extension he asked for "more length" & I would try to do as requested rather than the bob thing... greater range of movement - ditto he asked for exactly that & I would translate it into "aussie movement" rather than "bobbing"
It depends alot on the goals of the student/class. Generally, the goals of the Canucks are to teach in such a way that their students may safely have fun on the hill. Teaching the bob does just that in more snow conditions.

It also shows an obvious lengthening to what can be a very unsophisticated group -- they may not see the lengthening at all if done right, but the bob does show it. And really, in a group lesson you are at the mercy of the sophistication of those in the class. Since the instructor must demonstrate so that the whole class can benefit, you will get demonstrations performed to the level of the class.

The issue with the bob highlights some fundamental moves. Can you say that even 50% of all skiers have enough movement? I mean enough flexion/extension? I say not even close....

So, an instructor would have to instill an understanding that movement is good, and somehow has to get the class to move! I suggest that having movements you can refine later is a good thing.

Please note, that I do not mean unsophisticated as an insult. An unsophisticated student is one that has not been taught how to analyse movement, may have trouble seeing the moves in the demonstration, and may have problems in sequencing their actions. Even some "high level" skiers can be very static.

Cheers!
post #62 of 77
Yes - I have trouble with movement generally - because I have no idea if & how much I am moving... relying on the ski feel is my only feedback of same....

unfortunately skiing with a couple of different instructors (or a few last season) means that I was spending a heap of time simply adding & replacing different movements for different instructors rather than consolidating on ONE set of movements....

I find it interesting that ONE out of two of these instructors could adjust to the fact that the local system has NO BOB & teach that way when needed - but the other struggles to do so - even though he does not ski that way at all when he is "just skiing"

Sadly it gives the canadians a "bad" reputation with some - because they learn things with a canadian & then the aussies or austrians tell them it is "wrong"..... generally there is no explanation given of why it might be "wrong" or "right"....

I am pretty lucky - I have a regular aussie who race coaches in canada & am friendly with a few of the canadians becasue I have so many lessons - so they explained to me to simply "translate" the bob factor & ask the guys to stop demonstrating that to me in my privates....

I know at least one stupid italian instructor (from Bormio) told a client that the canadian level 4 she had lessoned with the day before "Skied like crap" .... it is simply untrue - he is a great skier!
post #63 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Sadly it gives the canadians a "bad" reputation with some - because they learn things with a canadian & then the aussies or austrians tell them it is "wrong"..... generally there is no explanation given of why it might be "wrong" or "right"....
There is no right/wrong way to ski.... only consequences.

Cheers!
post #64 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Yiikes! IMO, that's wrong!

I can understand that the instructor may wish to watch you by being further ahead, but IMO "follow me" is purely for the student to have a model to copy. So they should not be so far apart. Hopefully the whole lesson isn't "follow me".

IMO, if the instructor needs to watch the student, they should stop and watch from a vantage point below. This is especially fine after a "follow me" exercise. eg. 5 turns in "follow me" mode, stop the class, instructor moves forward 5 turns, and class resumes to follow the tracks one at a time.

There is no need to rip ahead just to watch the others in the chain -- being that far ahead is of no value, since the students have lost their "copy me" model!
Exactly!!!! An instructor needs to be clear about whether they are doing the "follow my tracks thing," or the "let me watch you thing." But if an instructor clearly states that they want the class to stay more or less in their tracks, and no one even comes class, then, I begin to have my doubts as to whether they are into this for the teaching, or just their own skiing.

On the other hand, let's say that it's not crowded, the instructor is not skiing too fast for the class level, but some students still have difficulty staying in the instructors tracks. I am always impressed by instructors who can explain why they may have trouble doing so.
post #65 of 77
If you're following someone then you should be right on them. If I'm at a clinic with a D teamer or an examiner whose actually decent then I'm jumping in right behind everytime until the clinician tells me to let someone else have a chance. Then once that person drops one turn out I right get back in there. And when he's pulling over he better stick a hand up or he'll have wished we were at least married.
post #66 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Yes - I have trouble with movement generally - because I have no idea if & how much I am moving... relying on the ski feel is my only feedback of same....

unfortunately skiing with a couple of different instructors (or a few last season) means that I was spending a heap of time simply adding & replacing different movements for different instructors rather than consolidating on ONE set of movements....
disski,

I was thinking about what this passage meant last night. And that you don't want to be taught "the bob". I was having trouble understanding something.

You write that you spend time adding/replacing movements. Does this indicate that you have a mental image of "the way" to ski? It obviously does not include "the bob"! If I am wrong, then I apologize, but this tangent leads me to this:

"The bob" is a useful technique to get a turn started, and simply one of many. So are situational stems. So are wedges. It's one tool amongst many that can be very very useful.

It then occured to me that the dreaded "wedge progression to parallel" is somewhat of a red herring for the same reasons. Yes, wedges and basic parallel turns employ many similar skills. But, some folks think: "to ski parallel I have to unlearn the wedge". Which IMO, is wrong. To ski parallel, you use and augment skills that were developed using the wedge.

An analogy: If I play a musical instrument must I "unlearn" the last song before proceeding to the next?
post #67 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFRAU
Too Funny!!!!

... The idea of "Ski Instructor Barbie" trying to get me to swallow my fear just doesn't compute. (I'm sure that most of you AREN'T Barbie-ish - I'm just making a point)

I also agree w/ LM's statement that she is more comfortable w/ someone closer to her own age. Me too - not sure why.

I am not woman, but I am a girly man.
I do not like Ski Instructor barbies, but I'd like Barbie ski instructors
I am also more comfortable with a Barbie my own age, but if she happens
to be young I would not hold that against her (as long as she is over 21).:

===
If Nolo comes looking for me, you have not seen me, right? :
She may try to hit me on the head with her poles... or, worse, her boots
and that's serious pain. :
post #68 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
disski,

I was thinking about what this passage meant last night. And that you don't want to be taught "the bob". I was having trouble understanding something.

You write that you spend time adding/replacing movements. Does this indicate that you have a mental image of "the way" to ski? It obviously does not include "the bob"! If I am wrong, then I apologize, but this tangent leads me to this:

"The bob" is a useful technique to get a turn started, and simply one of many. So are situational stems. So are wedges. It's one tool amongst many that can be very very useful.

It then occured to me that the dreaded "wedge progression to parallel" is somewhat of a red herring for the same reasons. Yes, wedges and basic parallel turns employ many similar skills. But, some folks think: "to ski parallel I have to unlearn the wedge". Which IMO, is wrong. To ski parallel, you use and augment skills that were developed using the wedge.

An analogy: If I play a musical instrument must I "unlearn" the last song before proceeding to the next?
No Big E - simply just that my non-canuck instructors have a different idea of what skills I need to learn next than my canuck instructors.... actually they are all probably heading the same way eventually but getting there via different routes..... unfortunately I am not really able to adapt well to changes in movement patterns until i have learnt them (totally completely learnt them)... with only visual & touch to use as feedback I need to build a brain pathway (muscle memory) for each new set of movements... I may appear to do xxxx but it will not be concreted in yet.... if I change the movement sequence at this point all the previous work is lost..... when I am made to "bob" versus "not bob" the feel back from the skis is VERY different - even if the muscle movement is similar..... so I am getting "lost" and confused easily... once the said movement is programmed in solidly adapting can be easier.....
As the non-canucks all want the bob gone (all hate the canuck bob) it will have to stay gone until I ski a lot better (majority rules I'm afraid).....
They all want more movement but they want it LONG not UP like the canucks do...
post #69 of 77
I can sure see why consistency is so important to you! FWIW, long is the new up, even in Canada.....
post #70 of 77
Yeah & long feels "safer" than up.... sort of keeps the skis on snow better so I feel less like I will fall over...

As I said the second guy could change UP to LONG easily in his demos... the other one not so easily (although he never skis UP only LONG) ..... I got told to translate any of the UP I was told to do into LONG & it seemed to work better for me.... because I skied alot better end of season to start of season (at least they could ALL agree on that)....
post #71 of 77
Thread Starter 
In class today, our instructor decided we were ready for Copper bowl. In the morning, we worked on specific skills that would enable us to ski the bowl efficiently. The instructor promised us that he would only take us up there if he felt we were ready for it.

One woman in the class was more than ready for it. She had an excellent stance, and her movements were extremely fluid. Her problem: her confidence level was way out of kilter with her skill level.

When we got to the entrance of the bowl, she started to become agitated, telling the instructor that she did not want to do this. Instead of saying "c'mon, you can do it!' the instructor proceded to her all the skills she had that would indicate that she could in fact ski it. He stayed with her the whole way, cueing her turn by turn.

Not only did she survive it, she skied it as beautifully as we all knew she was capable of!

Great job, Mike!
post #72 of 77
My pleasure; it was a fun day! Good job yourself!!
post #73 of 77
Coming to this thread very late, but it's an interesting one. I'm in a situation where, with my ski club, I get lessons with my membership. The lessons vary enormously in terms of their effectiveness for me, and not one of the instructors is as good as an Epic or Ski Escape instructor -- or the simply superb ski instructor I had at the SuperCamp (not a Super Group) at Whistler, a CSIA Level 4. The overwhelming majority of the instructors are male CSIA Level 2s (for the level of class I take).

Why do I improve so much more with some instructors than others? What are those qualities that, as Lisa puts it, inspire trust (in the instructor) and confidence (in oneself)?

Very personal, of course, but for me:

- Competence. I mentioned ski levels? Well, there is a huge difference between the level of ski instructor I've had, not only in terms of teaching ability, but even in terms of skiing ability.

- Analytical ability. By this, I mean something very specific. I've had 3 instructors who had an near uncanny ability to focus on a particular habit or movement pattern that was the big thing that was blocking me from progressing to the next level. There is a huge difference for me between being told that my turn shape isn't the right shape (well, duh! I can see that!), and being run through a series of exercises that focus on the effects of different speeds of ski edging and/or pivoting (who knew you could affect turn speed that way, and give yourself an extra moment for that "patience" at the top of a turn?) -- thanks, Yd!

- Empathy. Everyone's got different goals (and apparently neuroses) and learning styles. When I have an instructor who gets that I'm a feeler/thinker sort of learner, and responds well to that, that increases my trust in her or him.

- Experience. This is the term I prefer rather than instructor nearer to me in age . But seriously -- although I'm sure there are a ton of young instructors who are great, my best instructors are much closer to me in age, and part of why they are so superb is that they're taught more students.

- As everyone said earlier, a sense of play. Boy, I know I can get too damn serious.

- In terms of building confidence, a ski instructor has to know my skiing better than I know it. My guess is I'll always have a gap between my actual and perceived ability to ski. Ydnar, I loved doing that tiny bit of steepish skiing beside the trees at Alta, but I admit I was scared out of my mind when we started, although I was trying not to be.

Anyway, amusingly enough, LM, by coincidence it turns out that the majority of absolutely outstanding ski instructors I've had (as opposed to good or very good) have actually been women. So I'm keyed more to relax if my instructor happens to be a 35 year old (or up) female Level 3 or 4 with a sense of humour. Which isn't to say that a 25 year old male couldn't change my mind in the first 5 minutes of a lesson. One thing's for sure -- I sure know almost instantly if I'll click with an instructor.
post #74 of 77
Thread Starter 
Great post, Delta! I think that the gender thing is much more complex than I may have made it out to be. Truth be told, I have had some downright awesome female instructors, but there is a certain style of "feminine" instruction I prefer.

At the Academy, I told Carolyn that she is one of the female instructors who I love taking class with, because she's not trying to prove she has balls! Much to Dwight's embarassment, Carolyn's imagery is highly erotic, and her highly physical approach to skiing works well with my learning style. Skiing with Carolyn feels more like dance than an athletic competition. While I have some training in theater, dance and fitness, I was never into competitive sports. Interestingly enough, the one of the women in our group at ESA who was more of a competitive athlete asked to be placed in a different group.

Speaking of competitiveness, the way an instructor deals with this group dynamic can have a strong influence on a students trust and confidence. I have this theory that there are two types of students in any physical activity group.

Competitors:
These are the people who always have to be right behind the instructor, if not ahead of them. In a fitness class, they always have to be in the front line.

Supporters/Nuturers:
These are the people who thrive on team spirit. They will encourage their fellow students and compliment them. They accept compliments humbly and graciously.

While I am of the later type, ironically, I am often up front when skiing with my regular Sunday class. This is not because I'm so good. Since I live at altitude, I am sometimes the only person in class who is breathing properly. If another student expresses any envy whatsoever of my speed {which, btw, I still find hilarious!} I will explain this to them. Then I will try to stay at the back of the group.

If I'm in a group where the other participants are more competitive and jockish, I can get traumatized if the instructor allows this to go too far. This is where the confidence/trust issue comes in. Competitors are usually capable of taking care of themselves. They are, for the most part, less concerned with how much they trust the instructor, because they have a reasonable degree of self-trust.

Nurturers are so busy being supportive to other class mates that they often forget to take care of themselves. In a mixed group, these are the people who may need ressurance from the instructor that their skill level is in fact on the par with the their more competive classmates.

Group dynamics is a large part of why people return to a particular class. I know of some students who adore a certain instructor, but will not return to their regular group lessons because they do not like the learning style of the other students.

Sounds like a whole new topic!
post #75 of 77
I think that is a great question, because trust and confidence are essential in this kind of relationship.

I don't trust teachers who seem to have the lesson planned before they meet me. I need to feel that an instructor is listening to my questions and concerns, and is addressing the lesson to my specific situation and issues. It also helps with the trust issue if I believe that the instructor really understands my ability level.

Another barrier to trust is when I believe that the instructor has a lot of their own ego invested in how much I improve during their lesson. This puts a lot of pressure on me, and limits how much I will learn from the lesson. I consider a lesson successful if I can learn even one new helpful thing, understand it, and remember it after the lesson is over.

I don't have a preference between male and female instructors, although when I took a couple of snowboarding lessons I was glad the instructors were big and burly because they could lift me back up from my constant falls with no trouble. Since I don't fall as much on skis (anymore), physical strength is not a consideration in choosing a ski instructor.

Also, a genuine, kind, laid-back attitude goes a long way in establishing trust.
post #76 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonja_sonja
Another barrier to trust is when I believe that the instructor has a lot of their own ego invested in how much I improve during their lesson. This puts a lot of pressure on me, and limits how much I will learn from the lesson. I consider a lesson successful if I can learn even one new helpful thing, understand it, and remember it after the lesson is over.

.
This is one reason I love our system where the adaptive skiers ski through the regular ski school.... & instructors need at least 2 strings to bow.... so many have adaptive & alpine..... they learn to let go of the need for the client to improve.....

I asked one of my guys how he went with a certain adaptive client who appeared to have little function available for skiing... the reply "oh he simply enjoys the feeling of sliding around the hill - so we do"

These guys make much better instructors for the less athletic - they know to count all the little gains for you.... to set the bar at an attainable feat you can gain & consolidate on....
post #77 of 77
Many posters here have indicated a preference for older instructors. I can see this at my mountain when I approach a student and they aren’t really excited about a 26 year old female being their instructor. They would much prefer a more mature instructor, but instead they get a young punk.

When I have a student who is hesitant about me, I have to work to develop a trusting relationship. A big part of that is talking about my own issues with fear. Prepping for the level 3 exam in March has really made me face my fears and pushed me way beyond my comfort zone. I also tell them how I frequently eat it getting on the lift on a snowboard.

I would also add that being able to ski difficult terrain with an instructor is great, but the next step is to develop your own methods for dealing with fear. That can be a mindset, an attitude, having a focus, visualization whatever works for you. Me, I just swear, heavily and internally of course.

By the way, I am not a Barbie and I don’t care about impressing the boys, I can ski better then most of them anyways
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