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ESA Instruction Fundamentals

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
From the inside ski turn thread WTFH started,

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=29865

Quote:
I think it is laid out as release, transfer, engage in order to emphasis the importance of releasing first (through strong little toe edge tipping of the outside foot), continuing the transfer with a downhill leg retraction, which results in edge engagement proportional to how well the first two are executed.
Curiously, weems or nolo (or any other instructor), are these likely the basic turn mechanics at the ESA? I have heard it mentioned before that PMTS did not invent this sequence of movements, rather grabbed onto it as a basis for a new teaching system. Is this the series of movements PSIA instructors believe should be the basic foundation of turns? If not, can you outline what this should be replaced with?

If we need a context, lets frame it in reference to parallel, carving turns on a typical green run with packed powder (and nobody on it but you). Also, lets not bog the discussion down with any percieved PMTS instruction such as stance width which is not specified in the above RTE progress. I want to focus on the above process as a primary method of turning.

I am not saying this to try and trap anyone with a PSIA cert into some juvenile symantec argument that they are really using PMTS or blah, blah, blah. I am interested because I will be attending the ESA, but spent a good deal of time last winter working of the basics of that above progression with Arcmeister. As a result my skiing improved dramatically. Personal style aside, is it a reasonable assumption all the instructors will be teaching the same fundamental mechanics? With the fantastic body of knowledge all of you will be contributing it does lend to the possibility of a conflict in instruction.

Based on the quality of Arcmeister's instruction, I convinced my father and a friend to attend the ESA as well. I did so with the belief that the entire instructor lineup will be of simillar strength, and based on reviews in the past this sounds accurate. After reading weems e-book this also sounds accurate. They certainly all have the credentials.

So to summarize I am posing two questions really.

1. Does the instruction staff at the ESA believe in the above posted basic turn mechanics? If not what should it be replaced with?

2. Will all the instructors be teaching the same fundamental mechanics, or does the instruction you recieve depend on the luck of the draw and could be susbstantially different?

Please, no one turn this into a PSIA vs PMTS pissing match. That's really not the point.
post #2 of 19
how can you say you're not starting a pissing match, when you cite to Arcmeister and admit he coaches at ESA, yet are asking whether ESA approves of Arcmeister's thoughts?

I'd say your post intends to create a pissing match where there needn't be one, because the answer is obvious on the facts you mention:

ESA includes Arcmeister as a coach.

He was my coach at ESA-2005.

You say you don't want a PSIA/PMTS war, I'll grant you're not starting one here.

Instead, you're trying to start a different kind of war -- one that singles out Arcmeister -- for no good reason. Give it up. Now, please. :
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I had not quite thought of it in that context gonzo.

And in that light you are right, I certainly do not want to bring Arcmeister under fire here. I was citing him as an example of someone whos instruction I benefited from greatly.

However, clearly the ESA does approve of his methods or else he would not have been invited back repeatedly to instruct there. Right? They also approve of the methods used by Eric DesLauriers and he advocates the same things. But note, in my original post I never asked if they approved. I asked if most instructors teach from the same bias or not, and if they differ what the various schools of thought were.

I don't find it particulary inflammatory to say, I have had great experiences with one of the instructors on your camp list. As a result I will be attending the camp. Can I expect more of the same, or something different?

This would be no different if I had said, I took a lesson from weems. I liked weems instruction, will all the instructors be teaching simillar things as weems? You will also notice I mentioned I liked what I read in his e-book.

I would say that your reaction to my post as attempting to start a war indicates as much about your own bias on the subject. My post didn't include a single derogatory statement that anyone would need to defend as a personal attack.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
From the inside ski turn thread WTFH started,

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=29865

are these likely the basic turn mechanics at the ESA?
There are many different ways of turning, suitable to different types of snow & terrain, and suitable to different types of skier. I for one will not be rigourously applying any rigid orthodoxy. The outside ski is a solid place to be on a lot of the Snowbird/Alta terrain, and only if someone is confident enough in that situation would I advocate experimenting with use of the inside ski, pedal turns, etc.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Fair enough Martin.

One of the reasons I choose to attend the ESA was for the fact that with so many top instructors there, each one can offer their individual perspective. In the end, I have to take ownership of what works for me as a skier and what doesn't. If I only ever try one path, I have no breadth of experience to make comparison from.

For students that want a pure PMTS camp, that option is certainly available. Choosing to attend the ESA means the student is interested in other options as well.

Hence the question, is there any standard lesson plan for the camp, or is more open to the instructors bias? The ESA website doesn't go into those specifics, and without seeing the individual skier actually ski I suppose it would be folly to suggest what they should focus on.
post #6 of 19
Um, I think that people think that PSIA is waaaay more proscriptive than it is.

Harb with PMTS has laid out a very strong system, with strict do's and don'ts, and not much room for lateral movement. PSIA is the opposite. Remember Centreline? That to me exemplified PSIA (and in fact most national "systems"). They set down the desirable key basics, and then encourage people to explore them as widely as they can.

In PSIA, if you can show that the movement you are advocating is "sound" and appropriate to what it is you are teaching, then it's fine. I don't think there are any absolute no-nos in ATS, especially if you are looking at lessons right across the levels.

The only absolute that I can think of in ATS is BALANCE.
post #7 of 19
Onyxjl, After reading Weems first 5 chapters (gracefully offered and greatfully accepted) and also having signed up for ESA, I suspect that as he stated the group of instructors that have been chosen will all follow the sports diamond concept of balanced "tension" of the four points of the diamond. PSIA as has been previously discussed seems to advocate teaching for the students needs and Weems seems to be giving a framework through the sports diamond concept. What specifically they are going to teach me probably depends on what I show them that I need. Thats enough for me. Oh and the hot tubs, drinks and general laughter.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
Hmm, I had not quite thought of it in that context gonzo. And in that light you are right, I certainly do not want to bring Arcmeister under fire here.

* * *

I would say that your reaction to my post as attempting to start a war indicates as much about your own bias on the subject. My post didn't include a single derogatory statement that anyone would need to defend as a personal attack.
You are entitled to believe what you will. However, I would suggest that you reread your concession in the first statement above, and then tell me how your second statement above remains congruous.

I have no grudge against you. I simply tire of the stupid warring of the sort that MtBakerSkier recently ignited, and wanted to point out that your post could be interpreted as fuel for another war's fires. Perhaps I could have been more temperate in my original reply, and for that I apologize.
post #9 of 19
Well put ant,

Quote:
In PSIA, if you can show that the movement you are advocating is "sound" and appropriate to what it is you are teaching, then it's fine. I don't think there are any absolute no-nos in ATS, especially if you are looking at lessons right across the levels.
Good skiing is good skiing, and efficient movemnet patterns in balance should transgress from one system to another. It is hard to put one system in a box and say it embraces one thing while another system embraces another. There may be some difference in the aproach, but a similar outcome should prevail.

RW
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
I have no grudge against you. I simply tire of the stupid warring of the sort that MtBakerSkier recently ignited, and wanted to point out that your post could be interpreted as fuel for another war's fires. Perhaps I could have been more temperate in my original reply, and for that I apologize.
Thanks, I appreciate the consideration. I am in complete agreement with the desire to avoid fueling wars. I also agree that you are right that the initial post could, despite my intention, be interpreted that way.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkevenson
I suspect that as he stated the group of instructors that have been chosen will all follow the sports diamond concept of balanced "tension" of the four points of the diamond.

....

Oh and the hot tubs, drinks and general laughter.
The sports diamond concept is one I am interested in hearing weems lay out first hand if we get the opportunity. The idea of treating advancement as more than just a series of technical movements is compelling to me. That's a good point to bring up regardless of what mechanics are used to get there.

Right on with the hot tub, drinks, and laughter
post #12 of 19
Onyxjl, I think what Carvemeister worked on with you is fine. I also totally agree with Martin. And that's one of the critical points of the sports diamond, as you have shown you understand very well.

Martin's comment about not rigorously applying any rigid orthodoxy is just perfect, and we haven't even had the discussion among ourselves.

This is the clarity/flexibility polarity. There are some basics: I've reduced it as far as even saying the only really essential piece is that you've gotta change your edges. You can do it in a million different ways with a million different timings.

Martin has said that the outside ski is a solid place to be on a lot of that Alta/Snowbird terrain. Perfect. Notice that he didn't say it's the only place to be and that given certain situations, turns, and skill levels there could be some variance. (A clear idea, flexibly applied.)

I think what you've learned from CM is not different that this. What's happened though is that you've learned a specific sequence. And it's a fine one. You'll learn to vary the timing of that sequence as needed--either through more coaching or more experience.

An interesting side note: The source of the flexibility is simply that you are dealing with change of edges, shifting of loadings, redirecting of flexion/extension, adjustment fore/aft and in/out, and redirecting of the steering/twisting/cranking movements around that transitional moment (which I have arbitrarily called the edge change). All those movements will occur in some sort of sequence in each turn. The game that we're all constanly playing is "what is the sequence?" The answer is that you can develop a basic sequence that will work for you most of the time, but that you need to be really agile, mentally and physically, to vary your sequences and timing as the application demands. This is, for me, what makes the puzzle of skiing so much fun and so fascinating.

You're expressing an interest in whether the sequence you have learned would be the "modus operandi" of ESA. Or whether there will be a different one. The answer, of course, is yes!
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
You're expressing an interest in whether the sequence you have learned would be the "modus operandi" of ESA. Or whether there will be a different one. The answer, of course, is yes!
There you go again, advocating that rigid PSIA method that's klling the sport.
post #14 of 19
I know. I can't help myself. I'm such a tech nazi.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
You're expressing an interest in whether the sequence you have learned would be the "modus operandi" of ESA. Or whether there will be a different one. The answer, of course, is yes!
Thanks weems for the response. I guess deep down thats the answer I always expected and maybe wanted to get.

As I have reflected more on the reason I posted the original question, I have actually drifted away from my orginal intention for doing so. I'm not sure why I was so caught up at the time on a single mechanics being the basis for all skiing. Really, thats why I am comming to the ESA or taking lessons in the first place, to asorb new ideas.

Partially it is also motivated by the fact that my Dad is also a classic Z turner. He never skied enough to adapt to new shaped ski technology. Since I find it much more enjoyable for us to just ski together, I have never really made a big attempt at trying to introduce new movement patterns to him. Since what I learned with Arcmeister helped me so much, it is natural that I would hope he learns the same things. Examining this thought though just leads me to believe I want him to learn to ski better so that he will feel comfortable on the terrain he clearly wants to ski but is very difficult for him. As long as the instructor can provide for him the tools he needs to do, I'm not so sure I care what those tools are. This will be his first real ski instruction.

As you said, learning to be a master of all parts of the skiing sequence can only improve one's enjoyment of the sport. Being resistant to that idea would only make me obtuse.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
There are many different ways of turning, suitable to different types of snow & terrain, and suitable to different types of skier. I for one will not be rigourously applying any rigid orthodoxy. The outside ski is a solid place to be on a lot of the Snowbird/Alta terrain, and only if someone is confident enough in that situation would I advocate experimenting with use of the inside ski, pedal turns, etc.
Oh good

Can I ski with you please
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Oh good

Can I ski with you please
Hands off! I claimed him first!
post #18 of 19

Attaboy Gonzo

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
You are entitled to believe what you will. However, I would suggest that you reread your concession in the first statement above, and then tell me how your second statement above remains congruous.

I have no grudge against you. I simply tire of the stupid warring of the sort that MtBakerSkier recently ignited, and wanted to point out that your post could be interpreted as fuel for another war's fires. Perhaps I could have been more temperate in my original reply, and for that I apologize.

I don't know much about the politics or the real personalities, but I just wanted to congratulate Gonzo on the way he made his point and then gracefully dropped it. Not winning or losing, just expressing his opinion (which is frequently very perceptive) and then letting it drop.

ATTABOY Gonzo. I like this much better than some of the past.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
Hands off! I claimed him first!
You guys can have him. I wanna ski with Squatty. That name is too much.
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