Originally Posted by TomB
This is where PMTS has a clear advantage. Nothing is left to interpretation and the student gets that one "path to Rome". The question is: is this right for everyone?
To me this is a HUGE disadvantage of PMTS. I've taught ALOT of beginners in my life. ALOT. If I've learned ANYTHING it's that many folks DON'T get it right away. Most are afraid of speed. Most are afraid of falling down. By having "only one path to Rome", then well I'm afraid many folks just won't make the journey. At these levels, 1-2 and sometimes 3, being flexible IS KEY! Give these folks options that works for them. If PMST was to do direct to parallel, that great, but the PSIA model doesn't exclude that either. Here's an example. A few years ago, I had a guy in level 1 that was extremely pigeon toed due to an injury (motorcycle accident) The farthest he could turn his legs inward was to parallel. Even this was somewhat uncomfortable to him. I knew about 10 mins in, that the wedge was out of the question. My next decision was what to do for the next 1 hour and 50 mins. So we worked on D2P, on low angel terrain. Lot's of fan pattens and stepping. He fell a fair amount, but he had fun. He's the only person I've recommended that snowboarding might be a better choice for him, based on his anatomy. We talked for a bit about different stances on a board and movement patterns you make while boarding. All were easier for him. He left in the PM and headed down to snowbird to do it all over again.
Now the question I pose was what if the guy had the opposite anatomical problem, with his feet turned inward? Would the "one path to Rome" be applicable to this person? Was I effective in my presentation? I dunno. I still wonder about the guy. I guess my point is that without the rigidity of teaching movements, I was able to make the most out of our time together. Some people NEED interpretation.
Many times at the beginner lessons, and I know lots of folks are going to disagree with me on this, I don't really care if folks are doing it 100% correctly. I want to get them moving. Standing around isn't fun and I try to minimize it in my beginner lesson. Experiential learning is HUGE at this point. By having the basics and becoming mobile, most folks learn alot more on their own then I could ever "teach" them. Fortunately, our low level terrain facilitates this type of learning. After we can go and stop and turn a bit, I cut most folks free to practice on their own and work with folks 1 on 1 as needed. I emphasize gliding and speed reduction via turning as opposed to braking in a wedge. This is also the time to move them back towards center. But again, at this level it should be a fun experience more than ANYTHING else. I would also argue, never having a PMTS lesson, that it seems that "leaving nothing to interpretation" would detract from this for many people. Who wants to stand in a line and be called down each time (and told "You're not doing it right"). No wonder 85% of first time skiers never come back....