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How would you deal with this student? - Page 2

post #31 of 50
Sonja,

I haven't read everything and I'm in a hurry (running out the door to the resort), so this might not be as well thought out as I would like, but here's my first impression. In a situation like this, one might want to re-evaluate the definition of "success". First, as most everyone else has said, take care of the equipment issues first. I'm not sure that it's worth while to our first time skier (monetiarlly speaking) to go through a full alignment/boot fitting. Sorry, that's just my opinion. We can however go and work with the rental shop to make sure our student can at least be comfortable in their equipment. Second, again it's adjusted expectations. If a person is as large as you said (or didn't really say) then this is most likely the most physical activity they've done in a while. Talk with them and ask them what they expect to get out of the lesson. For me, I think I'd try to get them comfortable gliding, with a good stance. It we can do that, the rest will come. Also, don't hike them or walk them too much. Hopefully you have access to a "magic carpet" or similar. Always let them know when they are "successful" in a task, as small as that success might be.

I might write more later, gotta go or I'll be late for work....

L
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Sonja,

First, as most everyone else has said, take care of the equipment issues first. I'm not sure that it's worth while to our first time skier (monetiarlly speaking) to go through a full alignment/boot fitting. Sorry, that's just my opinion.
L
Lonnie,

I am one that suggested that alignment might help in this case. As for a full boot alignment, I'm not suggesting that. We work with small wedges to temporarily help with an alignment issue if needed. We also have rubber foot beds at different degrees that cant the student with noticeable alignment issue. This is just so the student can experience at least some control that they do not have over the skis with a major alignment issue. Most of this folks can’t buy an edge and with out that, they feel that they have no control. I see it day in and day out with folks that are over weight and a bit out of shape.----------Wigs
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe
There are some people - including people in excellent physical condition - who may not have the propreoception, or the will, to do what is needed to slide down a hill.

Can we address the subject, or is it just so incorrect that we just can't, won't admit the truth?
Sure can....

No Will - I'll admit to that... there are plenty with no will for doing all sorts of things in life...

Just Can't - no way jose.... I'm one that was supposedly not suitable for skiing - I ski well enough no-one without adaptive teaching or extensive coaching experience would ever spot it....

My instructor has had clients that include
1) Starlight foundation kid.... this kid had a very short life expectancy.... he had epileptic seizures any time he felt any strong emotion (he also had proprioceptive loss my instructor discovered).... Can you imagine spending weeks learning to ski well enough to get off the bunny hill... & then getting so excited due to riding the "big chairlift" with your skis on (dummy runs without skis had been done to prepare) that you have a seizure & go all limp & sleep through the process of reaching the top?
Will this kid ever be a skier in years to come? - well he won't have many years to come.... Will he be winning any medals at anything? I think not.... Does he LOVE to ski hell yeah!! Should he be able to choose to enjoy his short life as he wishes?

2) Quadraplegic(I think) - very large.... almost no movement - certainly will never be able to control ski himself.... He has been skiing with my instructir for years & still can do ZIP.... but he loves the feeling of sliding around with the wind in his hair & the snow around or falling....
So every year he comes & my instructor takes him around the slope(bunny hill again) ... similar questions to before....

Take care before you decide for someone when or if skiing is worthwhile for them
post #34 of 50
I was skiing at Breck on Thursday with Bonni and Jeff, and we were watching a high level disabled race comp that had participants from around the world. How inspiring watching these guys and gals rip through the course and arcing high G turns under the lift. You can just see the joy and satisfaction in their faces. I was overwhelmed with respect.

After seeing what they could do in spite of their personal challenges it disproves most of that which people consider impossible, as far as I'm concerned. It's not up to instructors to conclude who has the potential to ski. If a student shows up with the desire, it's the instructors job to show him or her the road to reaching their goals, regardless of the obstacles that may lie along that road.

It's easier to label a student as hopeless than it is to face the hard fact that the problem may be one's own shortcoming as a teacher.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I was skiing at Breck on Thursday with Bonni and Jeff, and we were watching a high level disabled race comp that had participants from around the world. How inspiring watching these guys and gals rip through the course and arcing high G turns under the lift. You can just see the joy and satisfaction in their faces. I was overwhelmed with respect.

After seeing what they could do in spite of their personal challenges it disproves most of that which people consider impossible, as far as I'm concerned. It's not up to instructors to conclude who has the potential to ski. If a student shows up with the desire, it's the instructors job to show him or her the road to reaching their goals, regardless of the obstacles that may lie along that road.

It's easier to label a student as hopeless than it is to face the hard fact that the problem may be one's own shortcoming as a teacher.
My ex-hubby's younger brother is mentally and developmentally disabled, and he wanted to ski to be like his big brothers he so admired. The local mountains' instructors were at a loss on how to teach him (this was probably 25 years ago), so his brothers worked with him until he could navigate down the easiest slope under his own power. For many reasons, he no longer skis, but at least he experienced the thrill that most of us on this site take for granted. My next-door neighbor here is an adaptive ski instructor and I marvel at his exhuberence in working with his clients. Hats off to all who see the possibilities and help make others' dreams come true.
post #36 of 50
jsp,

Quote:
It will help you understand the importance of finding the correct ramp angle for a skier with limited ankle mobility
.

Very true,
Ranp angle is usually associated with the build of the skier and how they carry their weight. It is also specific to the boot and binding make. Rental shop equipment does not allow us to make the necessary changes for a day tripper. The angle can be measured and then corrected in the boot shellbed first and then with toe or heel lifts on the boot sole if the shell bed adjustment isn't enough. This requires a pro shop to make the alterations to the boot and beyond the scope of the rental shop.
I'm not shure if it would make that much of a difference for a level 1 or 2 skier on gentle terrain, but once the equipment is bought, it should be checked and corrected.

RW
post #37 of 50
Ron,
We see almost half of our nevers having problems that simple alignment tools like heels lifts or insoles correct. Why fight the issue all day and risk losing that student. A five dollar inventment in a few of these sets up the student for a better experience. I'm not suggesting we get heavy into bootfitting because there are so many potential problems we could create. Just getting the shop involved is usually enough. Besides the add on sale helps their bottom line, so they have a good reason to help out.
post #38 of 50
Almost every bunch of beginners I've taught the past week has had in them a person with alignment issues that are seriously affecting their skiing. Foot stuff mainly, and one I just couldn't pinpoint. I've been jotting down what I see and sending them back to their rental shops, and so far it's working, yesterday's beginner who'd pronate, lock and sail down the hill came zooming past yelling "thank you!" in a very happy voice today. We have some good rental shops at our resort, each of which have a Boot Guy who can do what's needed, especially when given the necessary information.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
It's easier to label a student as hopeless than it is to face the hard fact that the problem may be one's own shortcoming as a teacher.

post #40 of 50
jsp,
It's nice that your rental shops have the capibility to address ramp angle issues. Most are lucky to be able to provide one matching left and right ski and boot. Who does the side profile allignment check to decide if changing the ramp angle will get better allignment? Do the customers know if they rent a different boot and binding brand next time, that the lift may be different?
Just curious.

RW
post #41 of 50
Ron,
Do these DIN Spinners of yours understand that without proper equipment that student will never return? The industry as a whole is pushing for better experiences through better customer service. Maybe their pass needs to be tied to job performance. Taking up space and doing half the job reflects negatively on the whole ski area. Even if the next twenty employees are great, the one bad apple chases away business and negates the efforts of the rest of us.
Anyway, as I remember Sonya is working at Park City, which is the last time I checked, known for their Customer Service. So if I remember that right she should have plenty of shops more than willing to help her get the student's equipment fixed.

Here in Aspen we do this in house as welll as through affiliations with the other on the hill shops. Several of us who work TLC students train to do the simple stuff but leave the majority of this to the bootfitters working in the area. The cooperative efforts cross department line and if you are not up to standard you will not work here long. Mistakes are made (we're humans) but a willingness to give the extra effort needed, and determination to do thing right the first time are traits they look for in the employee selection process.
post #42 of 50

sad reality ..

The "pressure cooker" environment of group lessons, at least here in the NYC/Philly corridor would never allow for such individual attention.

At best, these issues could be dealt with in a half day private lesson.

Sorting our "hypothetical" student out in an hour and a half in group ... or even in a one hour private would be a challenge even for the best of the best.
post #43 of 50
JSP,

Quote:
Sorting our "hypothetical" student out in an hour and a half in group ... or even in a one hour private would be a challenge even for the best of the best.
__________________
I agree with you completely, but when there are 5 busses of beginners going through the rental shop at once, which will assemble for hour and fifty minute lessons with 8 in each class, addressing each boot issue is impossible. Getting the best fit is a more realistic goal.
Oooh, and guess what? 10 minutes after the lesson is done, the next wave is comming out of the shop for their lesson.

RW
post #44 of 50
Ron,

I feel your pain and I do understand that there are times like you have described in your post that wouldn't allow the Pro to deal with boot issue. Our classes are I'm sure much smaller, and we are able to devote more time to individual needs. But I assure you, when we do devote the time, we see nothing but smiles afterwards.-----Wigs
post #45 of 50
Ron,
I would agree that the production line approach happens all too often when things get busy. What I was suggesting to Sonya was to take her diagnostic skill to the next level by learning to recognize the difference between movement related issues and equipment related issues.
All too often we ignore the equipment issues and inhibit the performance of our students. I call this the "deal with it" approach to lesson planning. My suggestion is that in a lot of circumstances a five minute fix by the shop (or an unassigned ski pro) eliminates these issues and provides all of our guests with a better lesson.
Why? Because the slower students require more of the group pro's attention which creates more splits (higher labor cost per student), or the faster students get less attention and leave the lesson feeling less satisfied and less likely to buy another lesson (unsatisfactory customer service).
So while I probably sound like an evangelist, lowering overhead costs mean higher profit for the school, better matches in the groups mean higher satisfaction and more value to the consumer. Not to mention the add on sales for the shop.
The key to all of this is the on snow pro who accurately diagnoses equipment related problems. They need to be the ones to initiate corrective solutions to performance problems. Both in technique and in equipment.
post #46 of 50
JSP,
I'm not disagreeing with you one bit, and I really wish I could instruct at Aspen where my experience and skill as a pro could be better utilized. Teaching at a mid-sized mountain in the east (2 1/2 hours from NYC) is frustrating in many respects, but we still try to offer the best experience for the new skiier we can. For the returning skiier who continues to take lessons, we do reccomend custom boot fitting by some of the local pro shops, and in private beginner lessons we can do the same.

RW
post #47 of 50
Simplify.

1) Check the equipment and do your best under your conditions.

2) Do whatever works to keep a smile on her face. If it is nothing but wedge turns on the beginner hill, and she's still smiling, get her doing the world's best wedge turns.


Ken
post #48 of 50
Ron, I know I am lucky to work here but nothing we do is all that special or unique. IMO if PSIA focussed on more training in this area, more awareness would also happen. Our customer expectations are pretty high and IMO that is what ultimately drives our SOP's. They simply expect it.
post #49 of 50
SSG,
I agree at some point we need to move on to teaching movements. However, settling for poor fitting equipment severely limits our ability to keep that smile happening.
Do you have custom bootwork done? Why? It helps you acheive a higher level of performance. Same goes for our students. Talk about the ultimate quick fix!
post #50 of 50

Probably the Boots!!

During my first ski lesson in boots I purchased, I was hunched over. Luckily, it was a private lesson. The instructor (female) told me to stand up. I actually could not, because it was too painful. Once I went to the bootfitter and had them adjusted (I have wide calves), everything went much better. Most likely bad bootfitting, especially in rental boots.:
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