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Lessons and Gender - Does it Matter?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
How is the ski instruction process affected by gender?

In a PC world, the acceptable answer is: "only the skill of the teacher matters".

My wife, however, purchases a private lesson about once per month. She maintains that male instructors, while skilled, don't relate as well to a woman's needs.

I haven't taken lessons for years, but likely would gravitate towards a male (esp. for a private lesson).

For the purpose of instruction, is gender a factor?
post #2 of 20
not really. my unscientific experience, one femal two male have been best instructors. although my guess is gender of the other students mgiht play a bigger role than gener or instructor.... just a guess.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
For the purpose of instruction, is gender a factor?
It depends on the STUDENT, not the instructor. If it is a factor for the student, then it is a factor. Some learn better from one gender than from another - so if you had two equally capable and enthusiastic instructors, one male, one female, some students will progress quicker with one than the other.

It's probably similar with age of instructor too - some students won't like learning off an old instructor, some won't like learning off one younger than them.

It might be un-PC, but it's just that some students learn easier off one person than off another.
post #4 of 20
My best ski lessons were with female instructors, while climbing an surfing were better with male instructors. It felt to me like the female instructors better understood my motion pattern. I am fairly athletic but my legs have little explosive power (i am a long distance runner, not a sprinter) and the drills and advice i got from female instructors suited me better. Having said that, female climbing and surfing instructors concentrated on using minimal upper body strength, which is not what i wanted.So i guess that is VERY dependant on client preferences
post #5 of 20
I think it's the desire to learn that really matters.i dont think gender really matters.But most of the time Men are the one can learn easily.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
How is the ski instruction process affected by gender?

For the purpose of instruction, is gender a factor?
Captain,

I suspect this thread will be moved to the instruction forum....

It depends on both the instructor and the student. There are some students who prefer to have instructors of a specific gender. There are some pros who are especially good at serving gender specific needs of one gender or both and there are some who are especially bad too.

When a private lesson guest specifically requests an instructor of a specific gender that's what they get. When a group lesson student makes such a request they are usually accomodated if it's possible. As a part time supervisor (I only do it in emergencies), if I see a group of women has formed and I have a woman pro available and all other needs can be met, I will assign the woman pro to the group of women. Similarly, if I see a group of rowdy guys in a group, I will endeavor to assign a "tough" pro (but we do have some women who fall into this category).
post #7 of 20
As an instructor, I found it much easier to teach women .... that is women who wanted to learn to ski.

They tend to listen .... no ego wall ...

Gimmie' a class of 30 to 40'ish women any day ...

and keep your minds out of the gutter on this one ..
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Fox Hat: Interesting that you equated this issue to age. A valid comparison, methinks.

I suspect the ideal is to find someone, male-female, old-young, who can relate to your point of view. Similarities in age and gender may be indications of "rapport", but no guarantee.

In the end, the student-teacher relationship is one of giving and receiving between people who respect and comprehend each other. No simple task.

I've also noticed that some people are "born" to teach, while others couldn't teach a snow-plow, regardless of skiing skills.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I've also noticed that some people are "born" to teach, while others couldn't teach a snow-plow, regardless of skiing skills.
But there are a lot more people in the middle; who can learn to teach and become quite good at it if they put in the work that it requires.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki
As an instructor, I found it much easier to teach women .... that is women who wanted to learn to ski.

They tend to listen .... no ego wall ...

Gimmie' a class of 30 to 40'ish women any day ...

and keep your minds out of the gutter on this one ..
I agree. I usually prefer women because they seem more open, less competitive, and more willing to learn the finesse parts of the game.

It's a big generalization, though.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato

For the purpose of instruction, is gender a factor?
Gosh, I wish I lived in a perfect world where it didn't really matter, but this is not the case, and maybe not always bad. I don't know.

What I do know is that I really like teaching our thursday womens program. I wouldn't want to give that up. Oh, I also really like teaching our wednesday men's program. Don't want to give that up either. But I also really like teaching our MSU classes, even the one we sell as "Extreme". And then there are the kids ski PE program. don't take that away from either. So I guess I would have to say that for me, neither age nor gender matter much, and if it does matter to a student, then as a paying customer they need to exspress this.

I have only one woman express to me that she though I would be a woman in our womens program. I politely asked if it mattered and she politely said no, but I think it really did. Her question did seem to make the other women who heard her a little uncomfortable judging from their body language, especially as some of them were my returning students. This one particular gal ended up in another group, based solely on skill level. so who knows if I could have influenced her perceptions. later, Ricb.
post #12 of 20
I had a lesson from a woman instructor at Mt. Snow this year. I really didn't learn a lot, I don't this it was because she was a woman, I just think I was better than her.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I had a lesson from a woman instructor at Mt. Snow this year. I really didn't learn a lot, I don't this it was because she was a woman, I just think I was better than her.
I hope you aren't implying that you were better because she was a woman...

In all seriousness though... I prefer lessons from male coaches over female coaches. If I were teaching I don't think it would matter which gender I prefered to give a lesson to; but then again I am not teaching. I do always like coming across a fit young lady (say between the ages of 21 and 25) who is an excellent skier though...

Later

GREG
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I had a lesson from a woman instructor at Mt. Snow this year. I really didn't learn a lot, I don't this it was because she was a woman, I just think I was better than her.
I remember your thread about this, earlier in the year. She was an L3, if I remember correctly, and it was a lesson you had won or gotten for free. The words "helmet camera" also stand out in memory...
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
I remember your thread about this, earlier in the year. She was an L3, if I remember correctly, and it was a lesson you had won or gotten for free. The words "helmet camera" also stand out in memory...
I think she was a II not a III, I will have to go back and find the thread.
post #16 of 20
Just this past winter, I took clinics where four different women were the trainers. I learned things from every single one and really enjoyed every session.

When I'm on the teaching side, I actually prefer giving lessons to women. Generalizing wildly, they seem to be more open to change and experimentation than men.

A higher percentage of the males I've taught or guided seem to watch a demo, nodd their heads, agree with the concept, and then go right on doing what they've always done. (Which I'm totally guilty of myself, of course .)
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
A higher percentage of the males I've taught or guided seem to watch a demo, nodd their heads, agree with the concept, and then go right on doing what they've always done. (Which I'm totally guilty of myself, of course .)
Guessing wildly: That's because in general, males spend more time on snow , and therefore have more practice. Which means they can't get the ingrained neural firing patterns to change very readily. Something about old dogs and new tricks?
post #18 of 20
More than 50% of the adult lessons I teach are women, both group and private. I have a very high return request ratio from these lessons. I think some of it has to do how I relate to my lessons. A lot has to do with women want to take instruction to improve, where men try to fix things themselves. It is much like putting something together, if all else fails, read the directions (you guys know what I mean)

RW.
post #19 of 20
I've never had a skiing lesson from a woman. I've always relied on the luck of the draw. My first two lessons were really good, and I learned a lot. My third (and last lesson) didn't really teach me anything, but I was still able to make something out of it.

It seems to me that if the ski instruction is at the same level it boils down to a question of who would you rather spend an pleasant hour or two with? Do you prefer girls or guys?
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
It depends on the STUDENT, not the instructor. If it is a factor for the student, then it is a factor.
I think this pretty much says it all. As an instructor it doesn't matter to me one way or the other, I've had great experiences and results in lessons with both and I've had some challenging lessons with both. I don't think that I've adjusted my approach just because they're male or female but I know that I've adjusted my approach based on their individual wants and needs.

This being said, I do remember a ski week way back in the day at Sunshine Village where my all female group suggested that if I wanted a nice tip at the end of the week I had better wear my stretch pants while teaching them! Just going that extra mile for the guest!
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