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How much should you spend for instruction? - Page 2

post #31 of 33
To your question:

Originally Posted by therusty
What do you think the percentage split is for skiers?

But what are some reasonable guidelines for our sport (time and moneywise)?
I think it's 95/5 to the first. But that's based on a hunch and not data.

I think it's 3 - 7 lessons per season as a basic guideline towards improvement. That's based on what self reflection would warrant for me.

I would also add one more thing. I believe that the cornerstone of what makes a skier dedicated to improving is the skier that takes time out of their "play" ski time to actually train. This can be self training or formal (lesson) training. But it has to be training nonetheless.
post #32 of 33

I'm one of those dreaded resort/vacation skiers. I get to ski an average of 10 days per year, pretty much all at "destination" resorts. I've been skiing for about 15 years and am a mid-level 8 to level 9 skier. I take an average of 1-2 lessons per year usually on my 2nd or 3rd day skiing (either half day group or preferably full day group) and have been doing so since I started skiing regularly. I take lessons mostly to improve my skiing but also to get a local's tour of the mountain so I know where to ski the remainder of my trip. I find that at my current level taking more lessons per year is not always beneficial. After a lesson I find that I need a few miles (sometimes a lot of miles) on the snow to practice those things that were discussed in the lesson. In the years I've taken 3 or even 4 lessons I've found that most of the stuff the instructor discusses in the 3rd and 4th lesson is pretty much the same stuff as in the 1st or 2nd lesson. Sometimes I even get contradictory teaching from different instructors.

Since I am a relatively high level skier and usually get a very small group lesson or private for the price of a group I have a lot of time to talk to the instructor. I usually always ask the instructor how often he or she thinks I should take a lesson. The usual response is to take one either when I've hit a road block or towards the beginning of my ski season (day 1 or 2 on the snow) to refresh the things I need to work on.

In my experience I think that between 10-20% of an advanced recreational skiers on snow time spent in a lesson is probably sufficient. Any more than that probably doesn't allow for enough practice time. If I skied more I'd probably spend, from a percentage standpoint, less time in lessons. It'd probably be closer to 10% to give myself more time to work on the things I need to work on.

As far as what's reasonable from a cost standpoint, from my experience a half day lesson costs about the same as a lift ticket and a full day lesson is probably 150% of a lift ticket. For me it's a pretty good value since I usually get a private or semi-private for the cost of a group. Of cousre I don't get to choose my instructor, but there's usually been a level 3 who is teaching group lessons. Also, it's part of the overall vacation budget. For me that's very reasonable. For someone else, though it might now. Depends on lots of things. Hope that's helpful.
post #33 of 33
Thread Starter 
Wow - the "myth" is real. Prosper - that's exactly the story I would have made up for the typical destination resort advanced level skier. It sounds like you've reached a limit in terms of where lessons add only a little value. Two points that stick and hurt are "pretty much the same stuff" and "contradictory teaching".
"Pretty much the same stuff" is both good news and bad news. If we weren't teaching the same stuff, then we'd get dinged for not talking the same language. Yet there's another "zone" above level 8-9 skiing (e.g. what those level 3 certs are doing) where we start adding power/becoming much more efficient in our movements. It's important for pros teaching level 8-9 lessons to reach for things in the zone in order to make things interesting for the "serial" lesson taker. However, if you are a level 8-9 skier and only skiing 10 days/year, it's very hard to get into the zone and there may not be that much that lessons can do for you other than add to your technical understanding of skiing.

"Contradictory" info has been touched in some other threads. Sometimes it's coming from pros who have not stayed current. Other times pros are coming at the same issue from two different directions. When I'm teaching clinics, I often ask my pros to ski "bad" on purpose so that they can tell guests "This is what I see (while doing the bad skiing - which is an overemphasis of what the student is doing). This is what I want to see (while doing a good demo). Here's how (and introduce a movement or an exercise)." But on top of learning a cool teaching technique, learning how to do bad skiing on purpose creates heightened body awareness and a better understanding of how different movements create different results. So no matter what, getting contradictory info from different lessons can be helpful.

If a see a student who is slightly overcountered, I might tell them to counter even more so they can learn to recognize what "too much" is, while another pro might just work directly on using less counter. Or I might work on getting the lower body to turn more to keep up with the shoulders instead of trying to get the shoulders to turn less. What I see as too much counter, a pro who has not kept current might see as too little. (just making this up to make the point) Over ther last few years, there has been a focus on using "less" counter, but last year I saw a renewed focus on counter from the examiners and the demo team that I understood to be a correction to communicate that "less" counter was not "no counter". So even the demo team is not immune to communicating counterdictory information.

There are lots of easy traps that can cause a pro to give out "contradictory" info to what a student has received in a previous lesson. Student's need to raise the issue to the pro when such info is presented. The response/explanation often is the best part of the lesson because this is where you begin to understand what is going on and why.

Prosper - thanks for the info.
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