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Do you still take lessons? - Page 2

post #31 of 38
I don't get much out of lessons. Post #15 is similar to what I feel. Personally, if I ski with better skiers, I get better. Observe and Mimic. I don't know what it is, but I just don't like it when someone says, "move your left hip 2 inches towards the inside of the turn and you'll feel an amazing sensation." Nope. Doesn't happen. Every clinic I go to, someone has some cutesy stupid way of teaching and it just doesn't work for me. Put me on some challenging terrain and let me check out your line . . .
Watching really good skiers is a really good way for me to see good movement patterns. Some people watch the wrong things (skiers) and practice what they think they see until they can do it perfectally. Good Instruction is not about positioning body parts, or making turns, or cutsey BS, it is about skiing. There are some really good istructors around, so try to hook-up for instruction from one or more of them.
I use "follow me" as part of my teaching, and my students can then understand more of the content of the lesson by doing so. Line, turn shape, timing and rythem are all part of teaching skiing and best done by someone following, feeling, watching, and doing.
There is nothing wrong with taking ski instruction, but bad to mediocre instruction turns a lot of people away from instruction (I can't blame them either).

post #32 of 38
Originally Posted by Si
I have taken a few group lessons in my 13 year skiing career, a ski week in Taos, a few years of early season camp with Harb (mostly for instructors), and a couple of steep skiing camps. I can't remember any of the group lessons being especially great or effective. Mostly they focused on the approach of the time and didn't have what I consider solid backing. The Taos week was great fun and was supported by a philosophy and approach. The Harb instuctor camps were most effective in that there was a solid approach to skiing established and that was used as a basis for development. The steep camps were a lot of fun and really helped to step up to the next level at the time, especially on the "mental" side.

At this point I haven't taken a lesson for a good while. Private lessons are pretty much too expensive, and group lessons don't seem to offer me too much based on what I see, hear, and read. While the camps I have attented were fun and helpful I guess I've been there and done that. I have doubts that I would find such camps to be helpful in moving my skiing forward.

My main source of learning is now skiing with good skiers. I am lucky to know a number of them. Just skiing with them allows me to make many improvements by observation and mimicry. I also feel I have a pretty good conceptualization of numerous things I need to do to improve and continue to make progress in those areas even on my own.

I retain a strong desire to find a coach or coaching environment that I could partcipate in. There is nothing I appreciate more than moving my skiing up to the next level. I would want to be part of a program where there was a shared understanding of approaches to skiing so that feedback was more meaningful. I would also wish for an environement where I could get short stints of coaching and then go work on things on my own or with others. Obviously, living in the midwest and traveling west for skiing is not especially conducive to finding this kind of environment.

Si, your last paragraph sounds like you would benefit from becoming a ski instructor. You could find that environment that would be productive for you as a skier who wants to learn and by teaching others you will find out more about what works in your skiing and what doesn't and have lots of opportunities to work on those things. Best of all you don't have to pay with dollars just your time for the instruction you seek from higher level skiers wheter they would be Level 3's or Dev team or examiners from PSIA or others thgat belong to any particular ski school you might choose. Are there ski areas near your home that could fit the bill for you?
post #33 of 38
Wow! Great ideas about using a follow me approach to learning. Perhaps I can add a perspective by sharing why I would use it during a lesson.
1. Helping a student who is having trouble reading the terrain. By defining the route I temporarily make those strategic choices for them. The eventual goal being to develop their ability to choose an appropriate route for their ability level and attitude (conservative/aggresive). I do this in Bumps, a lot.
2. Helping a student discover speed control through turn shape. Abbreviated turns are quite common among most skiers. Finishing your turns allows you to avoid active braking maneuvers, or stopping every ten turns because you get going too fast.
3. To add a visual a/b demo. I start out doing one method and switch to another. This is especially effective for visual learners because they rarely ski in front of a camera, or a mirror. I show them how they really ski, and how that is different from their stated goal of how they want to ski.
4. As a progression of, Demo in front & coach from the side and rear. I have discovered that if I can coach a verbal/doer as they ski, the stopping to review what we are doing is minimized. No big conceptual stuff, just an action word or two. The groundwork happens earlier in the lesson, like on the chair ride or when the question comes up. However, It is not a stand alone teaching technique by any means. In fact for most people, I must say this is not an effective way to teach them anything, but for the few who learn this way it is usually when their breakthroughs happen.
5. Prove it. For me the hardest student is the one that refuses to approach their lesson with an open mind about my abilities. Yes I can out ski most skiers and no I am not the best skier on our mountain. In Aspen I'm not really sure who would qualify as the best but I would also like to suggest teaching is about more than out skiing my students. I can say without reservation that Bode's coaches cannot out ski him. So why does Bode still uses them?
6. Confidence crutch. Some students lack the confidence to lead others down the hill. Anxiety is hard to overcome but usually by the days end they feel more comfortable going first, especially when they feel no one is judging them.
7. Guiding through terrain. When off the beaten track I know where I am going so I end up leading a lot more.
post #34 of 38
labotomy, You sound like a great candidate for an ESA camp!! great way to enjoy skiing with like minded people and you will definitely pick up a few tidbits to improve your skiing enjoyment! Hope to see you there!

post #35 of 38
I would take more lessons if I could find a good teacher. I am young and still race, but would also like to work on some non-racing aspects of skiing. Everytime I try to explain to the Ski School guys that I am pretty good and want a competent teacher, they just blow me off and say "of course." I've taken lessons where I was more advanced than the instructor! After taking a lesson with the bad instructor I usually go and complain and get a free lesson with one of the higher up teachers. It is just so much of a pain that I've kinda given up. I try to teach myself now by watching videos and reading then applying it.
post #36 of 38
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by bud heishman
labotomy, You sound like a great candidate for an ESA camp!! great way to enjoy skiing with like minded people and you will definitely pick up a few tidbits to improve your skiing enjoyment! Hope to see you there!

ESA camp?
post #37 of 38
Check it out at www.esa.epicski.com.
post #38 of 38
Personally, I love LEARNING.

Thinking in retrospect, All the years I taught skiing I enjoyed helping people ski better and enjoy themselves and the mountain environment BUT what I ENJOYED the most was being in a clinic where I was learning or interacting with other like minded instructors discovering other points of view or experimenting with new sensations. I looked forward to clinic time.

I have to admit even now, in anticipation of ESA in Snowbird, I look forward most to skiing with the coaches and hearing what they have to offer the students and thinking about my skiing while having a ball participating! Ssssh! don't tell nolo. I am supposed to be working....guess I am, I just feel guilty because it's so much fun!
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