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Why We Do It!!!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I don't believe any other ski instructor has been so vocal about the disparity between what the Ski Schools collect for lessons and what we instructors get paid. None of us do it for the money, or we would be doing something else.

So Why do we do it???

I just had a SUPER day with Sugarcube. A one hour private in the morning then I joined her at noon for a couple hours of skiing together as friends (oh yeah a first bear meeting for both of us).

When your student listens, tries, and then applies the information you give them and in one day goes from comfortable on the greens and easy blues to confident and capable on an easy Black (actually TWO different Black Diamonds) and the only thing brighter than the sun, or sweeter than her turns, was the smile on her face.

That is why I do it!!!!!!!!!!!:
post #2 of 6
There are a few things that make it all worthwhile to me (because skiing costs me more than I make on snow every year).

- When you have a situation where you're SSD asks what you did to your group because they refuse to ski with anyone else (I had a class wait 20 minutes for me to get there, rather than ski with another instructor).

- When a parent searches you out to thank you for making their child love skiing (was told it was the last time said parent was forcing their kid into lessons because the kid wasn't having any fun, and now the kid absolutely loves skiing).

- When a student has been struggling, and all the sudden comes down the hill with the "it all just clicked" shit-eating grin.

- When a student comes back from an initial lesson (after skiing elsewhere post initial lesson), and wants to know more because they were now confident skiing trails that previously intimidated them or trails that they would have never before skied.

- When a student says at the end of their lesson, "that's the best lesson I've ever had".

Ultimately, all of the aforementioned things make it worthwhile, but in the long run, I teach because I love to ski, plain and simple, and if I can get someone else to feel that same love of the sport, that is what makes all the stresses of teaching, not making money, exams, certifications, etc all worthwhile.
post #3 of 6

I'm not "teaching" this year as much as I am responsible for giving my guests a great day on snow by guiding them around the mountain and maximizing their fun. Sometimes, that means that they'd like to get some insight into skiing better on specific terrain or in new conditions, and that's fun, too.

My "pay-off" was yesterday. As we stand in line-up, the members align with group levels that they want to join for the day (based on terrain to be skied and pace). As I stood there, a group of five women circled around the rest of the group, and the "spokewoman" said, "We're going with you!" She and I had skied together last week, and she decided that her friends and she were going to have a great time skiing with me. We did have a blast, and they all left thanking me for a great day on-snow. Given that some of these ladies ski 120+ days a season, it is quite gratifying to have them enjoy my guiding so much that they sought me out!

Of course, guiding for OHG is clearly a volunteer role, even though it's an extension of the Copper Ski and Ride School. For some reason, it feel good that way.

I'm back up on Saturday, and even though the Gravity Games will be going on, I'm looking forward to guiding another group this weekend...
post #4 of 6
BTW, I should add that part of the fun was helping some of these ladies feel more of what the skis could do for them (by flexing from the ankle instead of the ball), and exploring tactics and technique for mogul skiing (by using the "Waltz" drill that Nolo introduced to me during ESA). The, "Wow! I can really feel the ski do all the work when I do that! It really helped!" and "Oh, I see what you mean; that makes mogul skiing much easier!" were real pay-offs.
post #5 of 6
So why do we (students-still-learning) do it?

For days like today, that's why!!

Today was one of those "can it get any better?" days! Skiing with Stache today reminded me about the sheer joy that skiing brings. Simple things…things I’ve tried to ‘get’ in other lessons finally clicked! SHAZAM! Better balance! Controlled, shorter radius turns! And yes, I smiled all day long (in spite of the wicked wind!)!

I've still got a l-o-n-g way to go, but as long as there are instructors out there that keep it fun, man, I am ready!!

Thanks for a fab day, Stache: I'm still grinnin'!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
No No,
Thank YOU!
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