Originally Posted by Si
Sorry Steve, to say that people can't recognize an improvement in their own skiing objectively and that it takes "expert analysis" is going way over board IMHO.
Originally Posted by ssh
I have seen it happen time and time again. A person who I have just observed skiing describes their skiing to me and their description doesn't match what I observed. They watch themselves on video and make verbal comments that do not match their skiing, either.
I have seen people jump on modern skis from their pencil skis and comment on how they are carving--but they aren't. I have seen people watch their own videos and comment on how they are arcing--when they aren't.
I have also observed people think that they see improvement when there isn't any.
I didn't realize how rampant this was until quite recently. It's actually been disappointing for me as a coach for my guests, but it's been helpful to realize that they probably don't really "get" what they think they "get". I have to work to help that not become counter-productive.
I also have to be very aware of my own self-assessment, but usually in my case for the opposite reason: I'm my own worst critic.
Steve, by saying you were overboard doesn't mean that people don't often have an inaccurate assessment of their own skiing.
On the other hand (not trying to be contentious), there are not necessarily many instructors or other experts (both here on epic and elsewhere) that give me great confidence in their ability to analyze and understand the skiing of others. Too often (IMHO) I see people analyzing someones skiing here without being able to get at the root cause(s) of what seems to be happening. In addition I see numerous examples of people seeing what they are looking for, not what appears to be there. This is especially evident when different experts here and elsewhere see totally different things in someones skiing.
Finally, I think your comments belie a very important issue. Sometimes when I hear people describing their skiing improvements what I mostly hear is that they have finally found a conceptual framework that works for them in understanding their current skiing and how to progress from there. When this occurs it often feels like a tremendous improvement. While such improvement might not be immediately evident to some outside observers, it can be one of the most important breakthoughs a skier can experience in terms of opening the door to improvement. I certainly understand this as I have personally felt and described such improved understanding as dramatic improvement in my skiing. The proof of the pudding has been my ability over long periods to use this understanding to change my skiing as evidenced by the ability to continually link turns in increasingly difficult terrain, increased speed with increased control, ability to land and ski in control after jumps, comments of others, etc.
So, while I agree with you that come people may have an inacurrate assessment of their skiing, your comments go way to far and don't consider the limitations of some observers or the long term effects of changes in understanding.