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Standardized tests and ratings for skiers? - Page 2

post #31 of 66

Found one.....

I was confusing the two programs- we offered both the Descente Star Skier program, an dthe PSIA Star Test.
The Descente test was sort of like "NASTAR for Freeskiing", the Star test was more like "Registration" (lev. I, arch.) skiing test without the teaching part

post #32 of 66
Thread Starter 

Cool

I guess that's what I am looking for. Thanks for posting. Program is defunct?
post #33 of 66
I agree that PSIA ski instruction has gone too far toward the touchy feely, and many of the skiing standards have eroded. It is difficult to find a good instructor, so don’t chase an instructor to evaluate your skiing, as they really don’t see MA. Most Level 2 instructors can’t make two good turns on a black bump run. Level 3 instructors have become a fraternity rather than complete instructors who can evaluation.

So that doesn’t leave many options to test your skiing. I agree also that Nastar is not a valid test. The courses are so easy that aggression and weight definitely override good skiing.

If you really want to get evaluated, select a PMTS instructor, as they have to know how the movements are made and they know the difference between quality movements and mixed up movements.

Just as an example, I saw video posted here of two supposed quality PSIA instructors some time ago, PMTS called it very poor skiing, but all the instructors here raved about how good it was, so there are varied opinions and big discrepancies at best, between the evaluation of quality skiing in the skiing industry.
post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jviss
I guess that's what I am looking for. Thanks for posting. Program is defunct?
Uhhhh...why...ummm......NO!
the program is alive and kicking!
contact me to find out where you can take the challenge and earn a pin*.

*for the original, nominal fee, calculated to 2006 standards of cost, excluding taxes, gratuity, entertainment incentives, etc. see vlad for details. some restrictions may apply.
void in HI, FL, and LA. employees and family of vlad not eligible,and frankly, have grown weary of his tiresome antics.
post #35 of 66

vlad's disclaimer ..

Does the LA, refer to Latvia, Lagos or Labrador?
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki
Does the LA, refer to Latvia, Lagos or Labrador?
Lago


I'm a huge fan of "High Plains Drifter"
post #37 of 66
We have a test here in Montana we call the cowboy test. You only flunk if you fall.

Seriously, not falling is one truly standardized test for skiing ability. Keep testing in variable terrain and conditions to find your deficiencies.

In truth jviss, people like you comprise a small percentage of the recreational skiing population and programs such as the one you desire have been tried and folded due to the phenomenal lack of interest demonstrated by most recreational skiers to be standards-ranked. For those who wonder what happened to recreational racing at their home mountain, it's the same thing: not enough demand.
post #38 of 66
Why in the world would the average rec skier even WANT to be "certified"? Are you trying to stroke your ego? Just go out and have fun, isn't that why we are really out there?

EDIT: Yes, I am one of those touchy/feely PSIA types....

L
post #39 of 66
carv_lust,

Thanks for posting a great example of how the PMTS approach makes no pretense of being touchy feely. A PMTS type response from a PSIA type would tell you why your post sucks on so many different levels. Regardless of whether that is true or not, I won't do that. For the same reason, PSIA types find positive elements in even the worst skiing. Criticism is usually accepted far more effectively when it's bundled with praise and sometimes building on a strength is more successful than shoring up a weakness. It's true that brutal honesty can be an effective training technique (our elite military service training programs are a good example), but it's not for everyone. It is interesting to note that our military training programs only offer praise of their competition. There are a lot of great things about the PMTS approach. For some people, brutal honesty is a great thing. Speaking of which, I look forward to seeing your credentials posted in the movement analysis qualifications thread. Please don't forget to include your qualifications for assesing PSIA Movement Analysis training and PSIA skiing standards. In the meantime, can you tell us why PMTS does not have a standard test for skiing ability?
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Why in the world would the average rec skier even WANT to be "certified"? Are you trying to stroke your ego? Just go out and have fun, isn't that why we are really out there?

EDIT: Yes, I am one of those touchy/feely PSIA types....

L
So, essentially, Instructors should enjoy little pins which tell the world exactly what level they ski at, buuuuuuuutttt ...
the non-instructing public shouldn't?

little elitist there, aren't we?
post #41 of 66
but otherwise no-one would want to be a PSIA instructor
post #42 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
So, essentially, Instructors should enjoy little pins which tell the world exactly what level they ski at, buuuuuuuutttt ...
the non-instructing public shouldn't?

little elitist there, aren't we?
The pins are supposed to tell the public exactly up to what level lesson a pro is qualified for teaching:
1=beginners
2=intermediates
3=experts

The pins do convey some level of status simply through the level of difficulty involved in obtaining them. But the skiing parts of the exams are primarily to make sure instructors can walk the talk. The skiing ability difference between cert levels does not translate much into anything meaningful to the public:
1=Can comfortably do any blue run.
2=Can comfortably do any black run.
3=Can comfortably do any double black run under any conditions. In simpler terms it means you can ski at least one "level" better than what you are certified to teach.

As Nolo and others have observed, the level of demonstrated public demand for a standard test has been underwhelming. Asking WHY someone is interested is hardly being elitist. Asking WHY NOT would be.
post #43 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Why in the world would the average rec skier even WANT to be "certified"? Are you trying to stroke your ego? Just go out and have fun, isn't that why we are really out there?

EDIT: Yes, I am one of those touchy/feely PSIA types....

L
Measurement is fundamental to improvement. The achievement of measured levels of expertise aid one in improving or perfecting their skiing, and this, in itself may constitute a large degree of the enjoyment one derives from skiing.

Many recreational skiers want to get better. The key to improvement of any skill or process are repeatability and measurement. Form serves repeatability, while measurement and good coaching or teaching drive improvement.
post #44 of 66
oh c'mon jviss... everyone knows you measure your improvement by sitting around pissed as a newt telling everybody how tough you are because you skied xxxx or "every run in yyy resort" or some such measure of stupidity....
post #45 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
As Nolo and others have observed, the level of demonstrated public demand for a standard test has been underwhelming. Asking WHY someone is interested is hardly being elitist. Asking WHY NOT would be.

??? not sure where Nolo got that idea.
the program was wildly successful in our school back in the 80s.
later, the descente star test eclipsed it to an even more enthusiastic public.
frankly, I think enough individula schools simply bungled the handling of it, Rusty.
We did exceptionally well with it in our school, we even had folks applying to become instructors, who pursued and earned their Assoc. and Full, later, because of these initial, civilian forays into pin addiction.
For years and years, after the test was dropped, we had immense requests for it.
Hell- as I'd mentioned before, my Mom had little bronze, silver and gold pins made up, for her school's own program.
THAT was successful!
There are MANY independently-sanctioned ski school student-level pins floating around, out there, from many different schools.
Stratton had one, Tremblant had one, Vail did, etc.
Now that I think of it, rusty...
I distinctly recall some murmurings of legal issues between the psia and descente, which may have been a contributing factor in the star skier demise.
any lurkers out there with any insight into this?
post #46 of 66
Wow, touched a nerve with old Rusty boy. I only stated what I have read on both forums and what I observe as a fully certified PSIA instructor. I’m not here for your pleasure, and who are you anyway to demand or require anything from anyone. Is Rusty the self appointed Epic police?

Last time I checked up on you, your credentials were dismal, level 2 who is working on level 3 for the past 5 years, I don’t think that makes you much of an expert on anything Rusty except your own inflated self importance and ego.
post #47 of 66
On the contrary, that's two whole levels more than I have. How many students has Rusty taught and interacted with? Quite a bit, I bet.
post #48 of 66
Please- Ghost:
let it go, Having these boys going at it over an instructing post, and me not being one of the primary arguaers, is a refreshing threshold moment for me, here at epic....
I wanna enjoy it a little longer.....
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jviss
Measurement is fundamental to improvement. The achievement of measured levels of expertise aid one in improving or perfecting their skiing, and this, in itself may constitute a large degree of the enjoyment one derives from skiing.

Many recreational skiers want to get better. The key to improvement of any skill or process are repeatability and measurement. Form serves repeatability, while measurement and good coaching or teaching drive improvement.
But YOU know if your getting better don't you? You don't, well at least I don't need an "empirical" measure of how I'm skiing. Isn't the feed back you get from your skis the only measurement of success you should need? The thing is this, when you have a "level system" everyone get's hung up on what level this person or that person is without thinking about movement patterns and adaptability. It's like teachers in a high school teaching to a standardized test and not a "real" curriculum. Yeah the students might be able to take the test well, but what real world knowledge are they getting out of it.

And Vald your point is well taken, but the PSIA pins are there to insure and industry standards and quality across a wide range of teaching situations. In reality to get a pin of a certain color, you only have to be at that level on the day of the exam. Some folks wear theirs proudly and others don't. Some folks use them as a way to put themselves above others and some don't. Frankly there are many other ways that I could test my skiing ability without the certification process, like where I ski on the mountain and what kind of turns I'm making. I don't need somebody to tell me when I'm skiing good or bad, I know. To me that is much more satisfying. Instant gratification/feedback. I know you know what I'm saying. Could I pass the next level of cert? I don't know. Ask Joan, she's got the eye and she's seen me ski (Don't answer that Joan). I guess what I'm saying is that I'm really kinda over that stuff. Yes, it's a goal, but not one I'm actively seeking. Every year I say "maybe next year", but when "next year" get's here, it's never a priority to me.

I guess what I'm saying is there's more to life than burning calories wondering how you stack up against other skiers. No matter how good or how bad we are, there is only 1 best skier in the world (whoever that is) and 1 worst skier in the world (who ever that is (but it might be that guy from Pakistan I had earlier this year )). I know that I am neither (and nobody else here is either). So with that in mind, I am just out to have fun and pass that fun along to others along the way. How's that for some touchy feely PSIA mush....

L
post #50 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie

And Vald your point is well taken, but the PSIA pins are there to insure and industry standards and quality across a wide range of teaching situations. In reality to get a pin of a certain color, you only have to be at that level on the day of the exam.
ummmm...Lonnie- Allow me to reiterate that I'm a recovering ex-level III ("full) E. I am more than aware of the purpose, both actual and purported, of the psia pin. please don't educate me on that point. (i appreciate where you're coming form and all, but....)
and, speaking of ensuring industry standards, etc, that's a whole other ball of wax we don't wanna deal with, at this point.
Awhile back, I mentioned a ski school, being run by an examiner, that's horrific.
every pin and her/his sibling got on board here and bellowed that trhe psia is merely there to train instructors, dev teamers, etc. not to ensure (ie "CERTIFY") the performance of said instructors, clinicians, dev teamers, etc., after the fact.
if you're not going to demand the holders of such pins and titles run their shows according to the demands of the association, ya really shouldn't "certify" them. There's a degree of accountability and guarantee inherent in 'certification'.
I'm prpud of my austrian certification, and my swiss license. They were both hard as hell to earn, and they both, to me, represent that actual guarantee.
while both countries host private schools, often many on each mountain, unlike America where the mountain must own and control the school(I believe Hunter and Sugar bush were the last holdouts of private schools),
Each demands that it's instructors remain up-to-par in their teaching in order to retain their pins/patches....unlike the states......who blame poorly-run schoools on the mountain corp.:
post #51 of 66
Ghost, I’m sorry, but quantity has never made a good instructor nor has Level 2 PSIA.
post #52 of 66
Certification is not training or teaching performance; certification is only a small snippet of jumping through the hoops to satisfy the examiner. In Level 3 you have to at least ski a bump field, and make some kind of PSIA parallel turn, which is not that difficult.
post #53 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by carv_lust
Ghost, I’m sorry, but quantity has never made a good instructor nor has Level 2 PSIA.
actually, BOTH quantity and level II have helped a lot, in many cases,
however, neither actually ENSURES a good instructor....by any means....
and I sincerely hope that carv_lust doesn't opine that level III makes some huge leap forward toward that end.....
I know plenty of level Is and IIs whom are FAR better instructors than many level IIIs I know.
post #54 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by carv_lust
Certification is not training or teaching performance; certification is only a small snippet of jumping through the hoops to satisfy the examiner. In Level 3 you have to at least ski a bump field, and make some kind of PSIA parallel turn, which is not that difficult.
absolutely agreed.
although I hear it became more difficult at or about the time they retermed it "lev. III" as opposed to "full"
post #55 of 66
Vald,

I think we're actually on the same page here (if I'm reading your posts correctly). I think the certification process is useful, but it doesn't make the teacher, nor the skier. It's simply a benchmark of minimum performance. Like my skiing, I don't really need a pin to let me know when I'm on or off in that realm on a particular day. If I truly thought it made a huge difference, don't you think I would have stepped up and gone for it by now?

L
post #56 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
??? not sure where Nolo got that idea.
the program was wildly successful in our school back in the 80s.
Vlad that was what, 20 years ago? Why did these programs fade away in spite of their huge popularity? Where did all this popularity go? In all my years of teaching (tens of students each season- ), I've never once encountered a guest asking for a numerical score for their skiing ability (aside from their lesson level). In my 40 years on snow, I can only vaguely recollect the STAR test. It wasn't popular enough where I skied to allow me first hand exposure to it.

Yet, the absence of an ability scoring system makes it more difficult for skiing to compete against other sports (e.g. golf, team sports). Where we do have non-time scoring in skiing competitions it's not covered in at meaningful depth so that non-competing partcipants can relate (e.g. how much is sticking a landing worth compared to going higher or faster or doing a grab, etc.). An ability scoring system could help breath some life into this sport. Or it could ruin a perfectly relaxing experience by turning it every run into a competition.

Maybe part of the problem is calling skiing a sport. The multiple definitions of the word include:
a) activities governed by rules and involving competition, and
b) recreation
When you compare skiing to other forms of recreation like hiking, climbing, skating, rollerblading, skateboarding, swimming, fishing, flying, etc. the lack of an ability scale seems less of a problem.

Maybe the demise of the STAR test is that the lesson level scale is sufficient. Maybe it isn't and it's time for skiing to go retro and bring the old concept back to life. If any of you feel strongly enough about this idea, then by George, opportunity is knocking. You don't need a resort or a huge organization to get something like this started.
post #57 of 66
Certification of instructors is like getting certified in other professions, it gives you a standard base of what to expect. A certified mechanic may not be any better than your buddy with a box full of tools but at least you know that the certified guy has received some training and passed some basic knowledge tests. I think after that as a person wanting to take lessons may have to try several instructors to find someone who relates to them and knows how they learn and what they want to learn. I have taken lots of lessons, clinics etc over my skiing life and my vote would go to a certified instructor who has passed his level 3. I agree with Lonnie that it is only a benchmark but it is alot better than someone who hasn't committed to the educational process needed to pass a level of certification.
post #58 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridge Hippie
I agree with Lonnie that it is only a benchmark but it is alot better than someone who hasn't committed to the educational process needed to pass a level of certification.
That's not 100% true. What about the Level III pro that passed 20 years ago, and not put in any time other than the 6 hours re-cert required per year and teaching only old school stuff? Compare this to the brand new level I or II that's new to PSIA and has just seem all the most up to date teaching and skiing theories. It's a double edge sword and I can debate on both side of it. In all honesty, I think the best pro's are ones that are in the process of seeking the next level of certification or have just passed....

L
post #59 of 66
Quote:
In all honesty, I think the best pro's are ones that are in the process of seeking the next level of certification or have just passed....
Maybe the best pros are those who are always seeking the next level, whether it is officially recognized or not. This would fit with my belief that Level III is when the most important learning begins--the self-directed learning.
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by carv_lust
Wow, touched a nerve with old Rusty boy. I only stated what I have read on both forums and what I observe as a fully certified PSIA instructor. I’m not here for your pleasure, and who are you anyway to demand or require anything from anyone. Is Rusty the self appointed Epic police?

Last time I checked up on you, your credentials were dismal, level 2 who is working on level 3 for the past 5 years, I don’t think that makes you much of an expert on anything Rusty except your own inflated self importance and ego.
Wonderful observations carv_lust! Touche!

I try to focus on ideas, not people. I try to be accurate and not defamatory. But you did strike a nerve and I did let slip an insult towards PMTS. I screwed up doing that and I apologize to PMTS aficionados. There is simply no justification for insulting a professional organization.

It is true that I am a lowly level 2, I only teach part time, I spend half my time snowboarding, I only teach 250-300 people per season and that HH can kick my butt both on the slopes and leading a lesson. No, my credentials for arguing about the movement analysis skills of PSIA certified instructors are no match for a full cert. And my knowledge of PMTS comes only from this forum, the PMTS forum, book 1 and personal interaction with one green level PMTS cert. So there's nothing there for me to claim significant expertise on the subject of PMTS based Movement Analysis either. Finally, it's also true that I egotistically believe that I have made some positive contributions to this forum. Guilty on all counts - except for demands and requirements.

So I must have also been mistaken when I read your original post to mean that any PMTS instructor could do a better movement analysis assesment than every PSIA certified level 3 instructor. Please forgive me again. My deductive reasoning is also suspect.

Being a PSIA member yourself, I'm surprised that you don't see any value in the movement analysis requirements in the certification standards or the value of the visual cues methodology. Or is it that the PMTS methodology is just far superior? I know just enough about PMTS to respect that opinion even though I disagree with it. Hopefully, a little respect will go a long way.
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