Originally Posted by JohnH
Although I do like Vlad's definition that a coach is someone who just tells you what to do and an instructor is someone who shows you how to do it (my paraphrasing) I think this is due to the fact that a lot of coaches of top atheletes are not able to perform anywhere near the top athelete's level, so all they can do is give direction. More importantly, I think a coach is someone you seek out and have a continuing relationship with, and an instructor is someone you are with purely by chance and you do not have a continuing relationship with. I coaches are chosen,,,, instructors are given to a student by a line-up supervisor or a reservation desk clerk.
good point, but theres' more to it. the caoch has to assume, at the elite level the athlete's performing at, that the athlete can understand the verbal cues, and is only seeking 'tweaking'.
further, for a coach to keep running through a course would be time-consuming and wasteful. the athlete might not have quite a keen and subtle enough eye to see the wildly subtle variations in tech and tac that are being broached at that level.
also, the coach typically has an entire team to deal with, and can example other riders/skiers coming down the course, while conferring with the athlete.
my coach did this constantly. as absolutely peerless as he was, my biggest improvements came from spending 9 hour days in practice courses with 8 the very top 15 riders in the worldcup.
every liftride, alongside the training course, watching the best alpine snowboarders the world had to offer, for 9 hours a day, gave each of us a synergistically accelerated version of "cyber vision (tm)" to visualize during our own runs.
there is no substitute for that experience, anywhere, anytime.
this is why elite-level coaches often 'scholarship' some of the world's best- it gives them free models for their paying athletes to improve from, and further notoriety.
imagine any one of us bears spending 9 hours a day in practice courses alongside bode miller, our lift alongside the gates as we head back up to the top of the course, watching bode and his peers coming through the course.
this is anopther element which instruction classes lack.