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Building a ski instructor's business - Page 2

post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cole
No one seems to have an answer on how to get this done. In the US we approach skiing much differently than it is approached in other countries because it is a small part of our GNP.
Why not start with basics...adds in ski magazines, have a "tent" at ski shows, have a "tent" at demo days, at your local hill...where-ever people ski or skiers hang-out. Also, when we as instructors meet clients, why not just tell them? I do. This is another basic way of getting the message out. How else do you refer people to instructors across the country? My lessons often end like this....

client: "Wow, what a great day, I cant believe I did that! I wish I could take you back to my home hill."

SkiDude72: "Well, you might not be able to get me...but you can get another level X."

Client: "Level x, what does that mean?"
SkiDude72: "Well it means...blah blah blah"

I think you get the point....

This is not hard....it just needs to be done.

The impediments in the past has been the CSIA and PSIA members. The thought was it wouldnt be kosher to imply that some instructors were better then others, and that level 1's would quit paying dues, if they felt their money was being used to promote full-certs and not them. There may be some truth to that, but I feel it would be worth the price. (For those who dont know, the bulk of the CSIA and I would assume the bulk of the PSIA fees comes from Level 1's hence losing them is a major concern to the executive-however keep in the mind the CSIA executive were hired based on their skiing/teaching prowess, not their business savy). I beleive it wouldnt take long for the newer and less qualifed pros to realise it benefited them too, and the numbers of new pros would increase.

Another reason this has not happened yet, is becuase many of the CSIA exectuive, and again likely PSIA as well, are SSD or worse SAMs. Further the CSIA is heavily influenced by the SIA. As a result, the leaders look after their interests, not that of the membership. Some may feel they are doing the right thing...but I will say it again....I think their actions are very short sighted.
post #32 of 75

Csia, Psia, Sam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
The impediments in the past has been the CSIA and PSIA members. The thought was it wouldnt be kosher to imply that some instructors were better then others, and that level 1's would quit paying dues, if they felt their money was being used to promote full-certs and not them. There may be some truth to that, but I feel it would be worth the price. (For those who dont know, the bulk of the CSIA and I would assume the bulk of the PSIA fees comes from Level 1's hence losing them is a major concern to the executive-however keep in the mind the CSIA executive were hired based on their skiing/teaching prowess, not their business savy). I beleive it wouldnt take long for the newer and less qualifed pros to realise it benefited them too, and the numbers of new pros would increase.

Another reason this has not happened yet, is becuase many of the CSIA exectuive, and again likely PSIA as well, are SSD or worse SAMs. Further the CSIA is heavily influenced by the SIA. As a result, the leaders look after their interests, not that of the membership. Some may feel they are doing the right thing...but I will say it again....I think their actions are very short sighted.
As a past division board member and probably a part of SAM as a supervisor, I believe to much weight is put here. Look to the membership to make this happen and SAM, CSIA, & PSIA will respond. If the members could care less, the value is diminished in everyones eyes. The very members that complain it is someone elses fault are the the members who should look in the mirror. Sorry, kind of harsh but true. In SS where it is permitted, I seldom see members wear their PSIA logos. Why? If not permitted, why?
post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cole
As a past division board member and probably a part of SAM as a supervisor, I believe to much weight is put here. Look to the membership to make this happen and SAM, CSIA, & PSIA will respond. If the members could care less, the value is diminished in everyones eyes. The very members that complain it is someone elses fault are the the members who should look in the mirror. Sorry, kind of harsh but true. In SS where it is permitted, I seldom see members wear their PSIA logos. Why? If not permitted, why?
I tend to agree...however I would suggest the only way to get the 20,000 members of the CSIA on board, is to make a it a top down intiative. It is extremely difficult to do it from the bottom up, I know, I have been trying for years. My ideas are not new either...they have been around for awhile.

The fact that you suggest the membership needs to do somthing for the executive to act, make me feel I am correct in my beliefs. Why don't the executives lead? Isnt that their job? As for your pin comment, I always wear mine. I think many pros dont, becuase they dont understand why it is important.
post #34 of 75
[quote=Skidude72]Why not start with basics...adds in ski magazines, have a "tent" at ski shows, have a "tent" at demo days, at your local hill...where-ever people ski or skiers hang-out. QUOTE]

PSIA has considered an ad campaign. The costs would have a major impact on dues (e.g. 50% - 100% increase). The feedback was that the membership could not support this. IMHO the SKI magazine articles by Stu Campbell are the best opportunity for advertising PSIA. SkiDude-> why not write an article on certification for the ski magazines and work to get it published? Why pay for advertising when you can get the message out for free/get paid for it?

I have volunteered to work at PSIA booths at ski shows. It was a great idea but poorly executed (e.g. there was no "message" being delivered and nothing being sold, the booth staff was not briefed on what the objectives were other than hand the freebies out and answer questions). Poor execution = poor results = not done anymore (as far as I know).
post #35 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
Why not start with basics...adds in ski magazines, have a "tent" at ski shows, have a "tent" at demo days, at your local hill...where-ever people ski or skiers hang-out. QUOTE]

PSIA has considered an ad campaign. The costs would have a major impact on dues (e.g. 50% - 100% increase). The feedback was that the membership could not support this. IMHO the SKI magazine articles by Stu Campbell are the best opportunity for advertising PSIA. SkiDude-> why not write an article on certification for the ski magazines and work to get it published? Why pay for advertising when you can get the message out for free/get paid for it?
Good idea...but I think it needs to be repetitive to get the message home.

[QUOTE/]

I have volunteered to work at PSIA booths at ski shows. It was a great idea but poorly executed (e.g. there was no "message" being delivered and nothing being sold, the booth staff was not briefed on what the objectives were other than hand the freebies out and answer questions). Poor execution = poor results = not done anymore (as far as I know).
We have the same problem in Canada. The CSIA alwasy has a booth, but it is poorly run, no real message other then "Take your level 1!"
post #36 of 75
Thread Starter 
SD,
Marketing premium lessons implies the regular lesson is an inferior product. Since 80% of the lessons sold are not the premium lesson, it is this market that we need to target. Your model does not do that and as you admit could have a negative impact on retaining the instructors you are trying to keep in the industry and it sends the wrong message to the customers. Obviously, we disagree about how to market ski lessons. Probably because my off snow career is marketing and after 28 years I think I understand it differently than you do. I think we need to agree to disagree about this subject.
Additionally, I doubt you understand that the people investing in your resort(s) disagree with your opinion. Not because they undervalue your contributions, they see the resort in a global way. All of the departments need to work together to acheive their goals, so the investors can realize their goals. Compelling them to give you a bigger slice of the pie, means someone else gets less of the pie. I see that as divisive. Again I think we will not agree on this subject and agreeing to disagree is best.
I want to point out the subject of this thread is not how to market, or who gets what percentage of the pie, or who's been at it longer (my 25 years trumps your 20). It is how to help the level 1-2 instuctors develop and grow their business by adopting the work habits and work ethics of the most successful instructors. What do you have to share about that subject?
post #37 of 75
to your point jasp,

Getting involved in the business and networking are ways to develop and grow your business. Participating in online forums, writing articles and getting out in front of the public are all ways to help develop private requests.

One of the things that I do that is not a widespread practice is work as a rep for the resort in the preseason. I go to ski swaps, ski club meetings and festival type events where the resort has a booth. At most resorts, the marketing staff does this. We hand out brochures, answer questions, sign up people for a drawing for a free seasons pass and sell frequent skier cards and season passes. And I handed out my ski instructor business card. Last season I also helped out as a shop rep. This meant visiting the shops and making sure they had enough brochures and letting them know what was happening at the resort. Yet another way to get in front of the public.
post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
SD,
Marketing premium lessons implies the regular lesson is an inferior product. Since 80% of the lessons sold are not the premium lesson, it is this market that we need to target. Your model does not do that and as you admit could have a negative impact on retaining the instructors you are trying to keep in the industry and it sends the wrong message to the customers. Obviously, we disagree about how to market ski lessons. Probably because my off snow career is marketing and after 28 years I think I understand it differently than you do. I think we need to agree to disagree about this subject.
Additionally, I doubt you understand that the people investing in your resort(s) disagree with your opinion. Not because they undervalue your contributions, they see the resort in a global way. All of the departments need to work together to acheive their goals, so the investors can realize their goals. Compelling them to give you a bigger slice of the pie, means someone else gets less of the pie. I see that as divisive. Again I think we will not agree on this subject and agreeing to disagree is best.
I want to point out the subject of this thread is not how to market, or who gets what percentage of the pie, or who's been at it longer (my 25 years trumps your 20). It is how to help the level 1-2 instuctors develop and grow their business by adopting the work habits and work ethics of the most successful instructors. What do you have to share about that subject?
well said jasp!

I have only worked at two ski areas for a mere six seasons fulltime. I can only offer anecdotal evidence.

I worked for five seasons at a small resort (Eldora) with perhaps 125 full and part-time instructors. There were three full time level III certs and three part time level III certs. The remainder a mix of non-certs, level I and level II.

Who were the non-certs? Primarily CU students. Mention PSIA certification to these folks and the first thing they said was who is going to pay for this? I will say Eldora stepped up and reimbursed instructors for exam cost upon completion.

I can safely say the level II certs consisted of three groups;

1. Folks with no desire/intention of seeking a higher cert level
2. Folks who have tried, failed. and tossed in the towel
3. Folks seeking there level III

The last group consisted of at best three instructors.

If the public demands full certs I don't know where Eldora will get them.

I think SAM has to balance a variety of issues. Pay level III certs a disproportionally higher wage? What do you say to the level II cert that is working just as hard, has attempted to pass their level III, and simply to date has not been sucessful? I think that would cause acrimony.

The only reason that I made the switch to Winter Park was because my wife and I bought a small cabin in Grand County as a retirement spot. Eldora was a great place to work.
post #39 of 75
Thread Starter 
Do you ever hear from Chris Easton? He was such a positive force in that program. Talk about a great motivator and SSD. I am one of his disciples which I assume you are as well. He helped train so many front range instructors and kept so many mid level instructors from throwing in the towel. I try to stay involved in training because of his influence. Pay it forward!
post #40 of 75
I did work for him from 2000 to 2002. I see him every once in a while at Loveland with his son.

Chris is a great skier/examiner/teacher/motivator.
post #41 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
SD,
Marketing premium lessons implies the regular lesson is an inferior product. Since 80% of the lessons sold are not the premium lesson, it is this market that we need to target.

because my off snow career is marketing and after 28 years I think I understand it differently than you do. I think we need to agree to disagree about this subject.

I doubt you understand that the people investing in your resort(s)

(my 25 years trumps your 20).
I didn't want to assume anything about you...as you obviously have about me...so I will throw this out...as you obviously could not knock my argument with any real marketing theory that you learned in your 28 year career, so you went for personal attacks, and tried to trumpet your credentials. As I have mentioned in other threads, I have a good side income that affords me well...I have also said in other threads that in additon to my Level 4, I also hold an MBA from one of the worlds top business schools (a rare combination indeed), so yes I do understand marketing, and I do understand business. Extremely well I might add.

You might want to slow yourself down, really evaluate your position and have a think. Just how much do you really kow? Just how much do you care about the men and women who do this for a living as opposed to part-time? Do you honestly think you efforts are helping the industry? Numerous articles have been published in various ski mags about how the PSIA is old, stuffy and out of touch with the sport, where it is and where it is going....is that you?
post #42 of 75
Thread Starter 
I do not assume anything about you, SD beyond what is obvious to everyone else. You are off topic and have added nothing to this thread. ISKI2FAST4U has a thread that is closer to the subject you want to discuss. Your first post in this thread was laced with personal attacks [stupid thread, laughable...]. I found problems with your ideas and as I though, we do not agree. I did not attack you personally but respected your opinion enough to suggest we agree to disagree (twice in fact). I am not suggesting anywhere in my posts that I have come up with these ideas. The people who came up with the ideas I have suggested are highly respected PHD's and I agree with their opinions. That probably will cause you to again throw out another personal attack (sheep, etc...)
Additionally I want to point out I am not a weekend wanna be, you stated that you are topped out at 450 hours. I work about as much. So your assumption is wrong!
Obviously, you do not value my opinion, or the opinions of others if they do not fall into locked step with your opinion. You have stated that you feel my efforts here are useless, so why continue badgering me and everyone else who chose to participate on this thread?
post #43 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
I do not assume anything about you, SD beyond what is obvious to everyone else. You are off topic and have added nothing to this thread. ISKI2FAST4U has a thread that is closer to the subject you want to discuss. Your first post in this thread was laced with personal attacks [stupid thread, laughable...]. I found problems with your ideas and as I though, we do not agree. I did not attack you personally but respected your opinion enough to suggest we agree to disagree (twice in fact). I am not suggesting anywhere in my posts that I have come up with these ideas. The people who came up with the ideas I have suggested are highly respected PHD's and I agree with their opinions. That probably will cause you to again throw out another personal attack (sheep, etc...)
Additionally I want to point out I am not a weekend wanna be, you stated that you are topped out at 450 hours. I work about as much. So your assumption is wrong!
Obviously, you do not value my opinion, or the opinions of others if they do not fall into locked step with your opinion. You have stated that you feel my efforts here are useless, so why continue badgering me and everyone else who chose to participate on this thread?
Nice diversion...frankly I dont care what you do. If anyone believes that most pros are only a few emails and birthday cards away from a viable career...good for you.
post #44 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
Ok again...real slow this time:

We need to educate the public about our respective certification systems. We need to let the public know what a Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 are.
I believe that the result of this will be, in general, that people when going to the SS counter will say, I will pay the $xxx dollars for a lesson, BUT I want a level 3. The SS will then be required to keep/obtain higher cert pros to meet this demand. More demand by the public, more money for us.
First of all unless I'm mistaken, slow or not, this is the first time I can find any concrete plan.

Second. At the two resorts where I have been employed, a vast majority of the lessons that we give are to first time skiers in group settings.

You cite customers for economy vehicles.

Do you really think first time skiers in group settings are going to demand higher level certs?

There seems to be a market for economy cars and there also seems to be a healthy market for inexpensive group lessons. Here is a quote from the SSD at Winter Park in our July newsletter;

" Overall first timer class lesson students increased for kids and adults by 5,559, or 30%. Our Easy Start promotion drove 11,762 first timers to Winter Park in 04/05! We received the National Ski Area Association North American Marketing Award for: “Best Program to Increase Trial by New Participants” (in the category of 500,000+ visit resorts)."

How did WP do this? It was a $39.00 LTS product. Can a well trained level I cert handle this lesson? You bet. Customers can demand all they want, however, it doesn't demand a level III cert and if I owned the resort I would use a resource that was the least expensive for the product.

Lastly, can you cite the numerous articles that you reference that are critical of PSIA? I'm not saying they don't exist. I'm merely saying I'm a fairly voracious reader of periodicals and I have not seen any such articles.

I'd like to read them.
post #45 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
As I have mentioned in other threads, I have a good side income that affords me well...I have also said in other threads that in additon to my Level 4, I also hold an MBA from one of the worlds top business schools (a rare combination indeed), so yes I do understand marketing, and I do understand business. Extremely well I might add.
An MBA. A level IV cert, oh my goodness now that's a different matter. I throw myself prostrate at your feet sir. All hail.

Bet this guys a barrel of monkies to clinic with.

bet it's a canadian b school

so.......if you have the MBA from McGill why are you complaining about pay?

FYI- You're Canadian MBA doesn't impress a whole heck of a lot of academics or HR folks south of the border!

No that wasn't a personal attack.........that was online sarcasm in response to your whiny, pretentious post!

P.S. I'm a post doctoral rocket scientist.

P. P. S. Not really but I stayed at a Holiiday Inn Express last night.

I lived in Canada for three years while my MBA wife ran a division of a US company. I guess they couldn't find a qualified canadian. Now I realize why I was so anxious to get the heck home.
post #46 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
First of all unless I'm mistaken, slow or not, this is the first time I can find any concrete plan.

Second. At the two resorts where I have been employed, a vast majority of the lessons that we give are to first time skiers in group settings.

You cite customers for economy vehicles.

Do you really think first time skiers in group settings are going to demand higher level certs?

There seems to be a market for economy cars and there also seems to be a healthy market for inexpensive group lessons. Here is a quote from the SSD at Winter Park in our July newsletter;

" Overall first timer class lesson students increased for kids and adults by 5,559, or 30%. Our Easy Start promotion drove 11,762 first timers to Winter Park in 04/05! We received the National Ski Area Association North American Marketing Award for: “Best Program to Increase Trial by New Participants” (in the category of 500,000+ visit resorts)."

How did WP do this? It was a $39.00 LTS product. Can a well trained level I cert handle this lesson? You bet. Customers can demand all they want, however, it doesn't demand a level III cert and if I owned the resort I would use a resource that was the least expensive for the product.

Lastly, can you cite the numerous articles that you reference that are critical of PSIA? I'm not saying they don't exist. I'm merely saying I'm a fairly voracious reader of periodicals and I have not seen any such articles.

I'd like to read them.
I tried to spell out the same plan in the other thread on "What is an Instructor Worth". You are correct that no beginer is going to demand a Level 3. Nor should they. I think I mentioned that young level 1's are great with kids, and older level 1's are great with older beginers. I think low priced introductory packages are great. My ideas wont change or make these programs invalid. What about the other market segments ( for you marketing experts...Moore's Chasm? might be one PHD theory to look at), intermediate and above? Most of these people look at the "typical" pro and see a level 1, and say...I ski as well as they do...what can they teach me? Truthfully probably not much...

We need to "grow the pie" and try to attract all segments of the skiing market with a well rounded mix of lesson types and packages. Right now we only market the lowest common denominator. Some people get lucky, most dont.

As for references I cant give you any...but I read the articles in SKI, SKIING, POWDER and SNOWCOUNTRY. I wouldnt say that there were entire ariticles dedicated to dumping on the PSIA, but pick up any of these and there are lots of in-uendos (sp?) putting down ski teachers throughout various articles. Two articles that come to mind were "Too cool for school" and "Is there a right way to ski?".
post #47 of 75
Hey!!!
Y'all are gonna meet up and ski together next winter?? RIGHT?

MTT
Be nice
post #48 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
bet it's a canadian b school

so.......if you have the MBA from McGill why are you complaining about pay?
McGill? Please I will agree here...Canadian B-schools suck! I wouldn't get out of bed for what the McGill guys get. And as mentioned before, I personally dont need the cash....I am doing this for no reason other then to benefit the skiing public, my friends and fellow instructors.

And finally since we like getting personal here....

psst Rusty: you stink.
post #49 of 75

Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
One of my surf instructors had an interesting angle on this....
He has surfed pretty much all his life - because his dad was asurfer he started very young.... So he really does not REMEMBER learning to surf.... & as he says so much of it is second nature too him now because he has done it for years....

He went & did a course in guiding mountain biking - but before that he had to get BETTER at biking - something he has not done much of.....
he swears the learning made him understand MUCH better how beginner surfers are....

It is interesting seeing what it is like to be the learner...
Great story, Disski! Your surf instructor is me, to a T, on skis (I'm not actually YOUR surf instructor...but you get the point!). It wasn't until I learned how to snowboard after skiing the better part of 2 decades that I came to understand the beginner mentality. Given my skiing background, learning to snowboard was not nearly as hard as learning an entirely new sport/hobby/pursuit would have been, but it gave me valuable insight into certain aspects of learning to ski, such as how scary that blue cruiser really looks to a first-timer!
post #50 of 75
Thread Starter 
Nuke em!
post #51 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy

P.S. I'm a post doctoral rocket scientist.

P. P. S. Not really but I stayed at a Holiiday Inn Express last night.
LOL Rusty you get the award for the funniest thing said since the mock-Tai Chi Skiing thread in the humor forum!
post #52 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
McGill? Please I will agree here...Canadian B-schools suck! I wouldn't get out of bed for what the McGill guys get. And as mentioned before, I personally dont need the cash....I am doing this for no reason other then to benefit the skiing public, my friends and fellow instructors.

And finally since we like getting personal here....

psst Rusty: you stink.
I wish I had time to really respond to this, but I do need the cash and have to go to work. But it really is starting to make sense now. You don't need the cash and just do this for the benefit of the ski public and other Ski Pros, hummmm???? I'm not so sure it's a benefit, but more like a pain in the ass having you around I'll bet. But that's okay, just stay North of the boarder if you please.----------Wigs
post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigs
I'm not so sure it's a benefit, but more like a pain in the ass having you around I'll bet. But that's okay, just stay North of the boarder if you please.----------Wigs
Well...you're the only one that said it, but I doubt you're the only one that had that thought.
post #54 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
And finally since we like getting personal here....

psst Rusty: you stink.
he cut me to the quick:

like I said I bet instructors line up to clinic with the guy.

I bet it starts with him passing out copies of income statements and a c.v.
post #55 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
I personally dont need the cash....I am doing this for no reason other then to benefit the skiing public, my friends and fellow instructors.
That's the problem right there. There's no way for an instructor to make a reasonable living because none of us need the cash, and we're all doing it "to benefit" someone.
If I wanted to make a real business of it, the first thing I would do would be to start a summer only business to pay the bills and keep my winter time free. Then I'd think of some way to differentiate my product, probably some kind of premium group coaching, and I'd market over the internet. That's starting to sound like Epicski.
The idea of PSIA promoting certified instructors can't work. It's just too hard to reach skiers by mass marketing. Even the readers of Ski and Skiing take very few lessons. If PSIA tried internet marketing, it would just attract more complaints from its own disgruntled members.
I'm not interested in building up a book of private lesson clients. At best, private lessons are less effective than a well organized group program, and at worst are just a lot of @$$ kissing for the instructor. In the East, the maximum potential for that is around $3000/year. Why bother?
I stay with it because I enjoy coaching kids who have made a commitment to ski their best, and because it requires me to ski my best, but if I needed the money I'd become a bartender.

BK
post #56 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
I stay with it because I enjoy coaching kids who have made a commitment to ski their best, and because it requires me to ski my best, but if I needed the money I'd become a bartender.

BK
or wait tables.
post #57 of 75
Disski, thanks for the compliment! Do you ever do group lessons?
post #58 of 75
Thread Starter 
BK, Good point, there are a lot of people out West that have an off snow business that allows them to teach full time during the winter. It is impossible to survive otherwise.
At my area, return clients include group clinics as well as one on one privates. I'm surprized that demand back East is so low because many of my privates and group privates are from there. The maximum potential here is somewhere around 600-700 hours.
Using the web and finding your niche are also great suggestions. My niche tend to be the ability to be plugged in where ever needed. However, my focus is developing my book and in the past I relied on word of mouth and referrals but I am using the web more and more. I tend to promote more than just events because as you point out demand is so low. Working with a family for a week and taking out different combinations of family members on different days is another way I increase my private group business. Sort of like the elective days at the PSIA academy.
Working with other instuctors is another way to leverage you efforts. It sounds counter intuitive to give business away but if I am booked, I help my clients connect with a pro that I feel will fit their needs. Some of that business stays with that pro but some comes back to me because even though I am booked, I still demonstrate how much I care about my client's needs. The other pros do the same, so we all end up with more business.
post #59 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Working with other instuctors is another way to leverage you efforts. It sounds counter intuitive to give business away but if I am booked, I help my clients connect with a pro that I feel will fit their needs. Some of that business stays with that pro but some comes back to me because even though I am booked, I still demonstrate how much I care about my client's needs. The other pros do the same, so we all end up with more business.
I send a lot of kids to peers whom I know will suit their needs better than I can. This has become evident with "freestyle".

Last year I worked with two boys on a weekly basis. Eventually they wanted to delve into "the park". I referred them to a pro who has an intermediate freestyle accred. There isn't much I can do on a rail!
post #60 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Disski, thanks for the compliment! Do you ever do group lessons?
Yes - I had a few two seasons ago & a string of them last season. Part of my "disconnect disski from instructor dependance" project (as mapped out by Man from Oz & Ant & Disski's regular instructor). The thing with the group lessons is I cannot choose the instructor. (snarl)

I think the instructor issue is the BIG one for me on the group lessons.... If I get an instructor who refuses to LISTEN it makes it hell for me to be in that lesson. Conversely I have had GREAT lessons from instructors where the group mismatch was HUGE (i later got banned from those lessons by my regular instructor - the group ski level is WAY too low & ski school refuses to split & put the few higher level students in a small group - group sizes are kept at about >10 students to instructor).

The instructor in the GREAT lesson was SMART. he listened! (good start) then simply let me ski behind the group (much better for me rather than wondering if one will fall on me or being seen as a show off for going first all the time). he would ride the T-bar with me ( or if he could not then he would simply give me a quick feedback & next instruction before the next run) - I need only to KNOW what I need to work on (FEEDBACK) - I understand well. he simply used the fact that I am a VERY experienced student & used my knowledge to allow him to "dispense" with me for sections of time.
ie he individualised the lesson for the student I skied the same terrain as the group. I skied at the same general speed (well apart from talking some scared females down the hill & picking them up a few times)

The only really BIG problem I had in a group with the GROUP was in a group of TWO. the other student was a 6'5" ex basketball player & was all MOUTH! he could not do a simple edge-roll (in fact he really struggled to edge the skis) & he fell on every bump run we did. However whenever the instructor told him why he fell it was WRONG - the instructor had simply looked at the wrong moment (sure : ) This idiot decided to get behind me when I was standing on the edge of a cornice & to all intensive purposes it appeared he thought that shoving me off was going to help me. the instructor standing below me was of course irrelevant. This resulted in me in tears skiing AROUND said cornice while bozzo brains promptly jumped off the one spot the instructor had said to avoid - & lost his ski in the hole under that spot.... Instructor then spent the following 5 minutes while he retrieved the ski settling me down - BAD for instructor (as nice young german)
This guy just INSISTED on telling me HOW I should be skiing - the whole damn lesson! I kept trying to get him to go first so he could follow (& maybe copy?) the instructor but he insisted on hanging back. Then if I took off after the instructor he would straightline a flat ski past us congratulating himself on how fast he skied! (we spent a bit of time on long turns trying to teach him to edge the skis)
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