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challange..........the ultimate instructor

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
the summer is over. fall is fast approaching. winter is just barely around the corner. before you know it the first flakes will be falling. hearts will be racing. you all had a great season last year but want more this. your equipment is the best it can be all turned and ready to go but you scratch your head wondering what you have missed in getting ready fo this season.
slowly the thought creeps in..............that lesson i wanted ,the promise i made to myself to be the best skier this year that i could be.
so hence my question to all you instructors out there, to all you serious skiers that have great instructors and to anyone that has heard a name.
I'm a beginning blue ski'er serious and eager to learn. eager to push the envelope just a little.
i ski in the east will be at hunter the very beginning of the season then moving on to Stowe VT. for a full week at christmas time. would appreciate the names of instructors that you know, have heard of that you yourself would trust and feel confident you were getting the best there is.
also if there is a way of getting in touch with them now before others like me desend down upon them.
thanks for your help appeciate it
friday
post #2 of 20
Why not attend ESA Stowe?
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
Why not attend ESA Stowe?
Agreed--if this fits your calander, it is the best of the best.
post #4 of 20
friday, get thee to Stowe for the ESA! You will not regret it... You will also not find better teachers/coaches anywhere.
post #5 of 20
the staff at esa is indeed very good. what i'm about to say is in no way intended to take anything away from a one week camp experience or from the esa.

there is, however, something to be said for establishing a long term relationship with an instructor in any sport. it's true in golf, tennis, skiing, etc.

someone you can see once a week, once a month, or once a year to work on specific items, or merely for a tune-up.

years ago i went to a ssd at an eastern resort and set up a plan to ski with him for half a day every week. yes it was expensive. it also helped me to achieve my goals.

when i began teaching skiing full time seven years ago i asked several different examiners for help before settling on one teacher. my final decision was simply based upon finding a situation in which communication flowed freely in both directions. the end result? thanks to the help of a seasoned pro i was able to sail through the level one, two and three exams in my first three years. could i have done that alone or via local clinics? nope, not a chance, absolutely not.

so......friday i would start with your local ssd. i would be careful to avoid the recommendations of folks here or from friends. it has to be someone that you will work well with. what has worked in the past for others may not work for you. approach the local ssd and outline your goals. talk to a few different pros and see which one you "click" with.

there are many great clinicians on the ed staff at our resort. all are far better teachers and skiers than i will ever dream of being. having said that, every week a schedule of clinics is posted. some folks i avoid and some folks could post any topic and i will make a point to attend. why? chemistry.

demand a level III cert at the very least and if available seek an ed staff member from your local psia division. budget the funds to take a series of lessons over the course of the next winter. between lessons work hard on following the direction of your teacher.

your skiing will improve.
post #6 of 20
Well said.

Further, superlative conjectures such as ssh's :

"You will also not find better teachers/coaches anywhere."

should be avoided by all but the rare (likely nonexistent) individual who has actually been taught/coached by every teacher/coach in the world, or at least by proven olympic champion trainers.

While I do not doubt the expertise of the group so alluded to, It would be both prudent and credible to suggest that they are top-notch teachers and coaches, as opposed to using such grandiose verbiage.
I do appreciate ssh's enthusiasm, and I do not mean dampen it.

Check with the director at the resort and request a lev. III minimum certified instructor, so as to build an ongoing relationship with a highly trained professional.

If Stowe will be your destinate resort, your choices will be many.
It is an excellent school blessed with fine staff.

Hem
post #7 of 20
friday,

Welcome to Epic. Hunter is in my neck of the woods, but I don't teach there, but I do teach full time at a resort 8 miles away. I am a staff trainer at my resort and could help you if you think I am a good fit for you as an instructor. I also know some other highly qualified instructors at my area if I'm not a good fit for you.

RW
post #8 of 20
I have to come to the rescue of ESA. ESA is an excellent instructional camp. It gives a skier the opportunity to ski with and be taught by some of the best PSIA ski instructors in the country. Very few other places will give you the choice of people like Mike Rogan, Nick Herrin, and the rest of the crew (In fact I would challenge someone to find a camp with a similar roster of coaches - I think the point that ssh was getting at in his post). These coaches can often spot things in your skiing that you may not have thought about before and that your usual coaches may not see or focus on. This is also a great opportunity if you are the skier who does not usually take lessons but is looking for a one-time (once a season) shot that will improve your skiing. Beyond that (although I have not attended one), from what I hear ESA is fun (plus you get the benefit of things like boot fitting, video MA, etc).

I also agree that if you are looking to give your skiing the most improvement, and if you really want to become "a student of the sport" you should look toward the type of instruction that Rusty has mentioned. I come from a racing background and would not trade my coaching with the same person every night/day of the week for anything. Having the same coach from lesson to lesson gives the coach the opportunity to get to know you and teach in a more personal manner. You will learn to speak each others language and ultimately become a better skier because of it.

Ultimately, I don't think it should be a either/or decision. For certain one will not eliminate the need for the other. I will say that (IMO) ESA type camps are better for those once-a-year lesson takers who do not have any regular coaching. If you are looking into regular coaching (once a week or so) then you have gotten some great advice. Just realize that camp instruction and continual instruction both have their places in the ski instruction world.

Later

GREG
post #9 of 20
This is kind of like the quandry I am in with my son. When i grew up, I skied with a bunch of buddies day in and day out and we pushed each other. But we were limited to 2-3 local mountains. My on on the other hand has skied with me and family, but has skied all over North America. Which is better? Hard to say. You can spend time with your local instructor and get progressive lessons or take a crash course with some of the best instructors the ski world has to offer. Tough choice, IMHO you can't go wrong either way.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Tough choice, IMHO you can't go wrong either way.
Tough choice if one is good at putting possibly disconnected information into a consistent framework on one's own, including going back to basics if necessary. If not, then the local guy is doubly valuable, IMHO.
post #11 of 20
Thanks for seeing through my superlatives, Hemingway. And, Rusty, you know that I agree with you. Greg pretty much hit it on the head: there's a pretty outstanding crew at the ESA events, and you're guaranteed one of the best. That said, some of us like a lot of input from a lot of different folks while others really focus in on one person. It depends on your goals and what you seek to experience.

One interesting possibility is finding that instructor at the ESA and then spending time with them through the rest of the season. There are others, of course, and Rusty provides a great strategy for it.

As an observation, my wife attended the ESA in Snowbird last year. This year, she plans to spend time with one instructor periodically through the season, and then will likely head back to an ESA next year or so.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemingway View Post
Well said.

Further, superlative conjectures such as ssh's :

"You will also not find better teachers/coaches anywhere."

should be avoided by all but the rare (likely nonexistent) individual who has actually been taught/coached by every teacher/coach in the world, or at least by proven olympic champion trainers.

While I do not doubt the expertise of the group so alluded to, It would be both prudent and credible to suggest that they are top-notch teachers and coaches, as opposed to using such grandiose verbiage.
I do appreciate ssh's enthusiasm, and I do not mean dampen it.

Check with the director at the resort and request a lev. III minimum certified instructor, so as to build an ongoing relationship with a highly trained professional.

If Stowe will be your destinate resort, your choices will be many.
It is an excellent school blessed with fine staff.

Hem


steve's superlatives are the type of stuff that suckered me once ... but once only... I WAS dissappointed and I HAVE found better instruction in many places... and at a lesser cost...
post #13 of 20
Friday,

ESA is a great alternative that should be considered. If you're looking for a long term relationship, there are a few bears you could do well by. Stache teaches at Windham and Epic teaches at Stowe. If you PM them, you can either make arrangements with them or get specific instructor recommendations from them. Bears are pretty cool because you can get a good feel for who they are simply by reading their posts.

(We now interrupt this post for a test of the emergency missing thread notification system - WHERE IS THE EPIC INSTRUCTOR LISTING????? If this was a real emergency you'd be getting your answer from a different thread. We now return you to Rusty's usual drivel....)

I think you'll find that the best instructor for you is not the best instructor for anyone. If you provide us with more details about how you like to learn, what kind of personality you are, what kind of personality/style you like most in a lesson, etc. it will help us find a good match for your needs. If you are really determined to get the best of the best, it will take more than money to get them. Dave Merriam is the SSD at Stowe. Now that man has a serious enthusiasm leak! It just flows straight out of him like a gusher. As an ex-coach of the PSIA deam, it's fairly obvious that he also has some serious teaching skills. But you'd proabably have better luck getting a lesson from people he has trained, but it would not hurt to ask.

Good luck!
post #14 of 20
Sure thing, ssh.
I implicitly ken the spirit of your statement.
I am sure I would agree with the spirit and base ethos.

Disski: Under whom has your skiing been tutored?

Whose tutelage will you prevail upon in this upcoming season?

Thank You

Hem
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemingway View Post
Disski: Under whom has your skiing been tutored?

Whose tutelage will you prevail upon in this upcoming season?
you want that in public?
or a PM?
post #16 of 20
Quote:
steve's superlatives are the type of stuff that suckered me once
Our return rate on ESA events is actually rather phenomenal. I worked on the registration databases yesterday. So far, approximately 95% of those registered are returning or attending on a friend's or family member's recommendation. So don't worry about superlatives, ssh, people are receiving the good word closer to home.

We have had very few unhappy campers in our years of operation and we regret that despite our very best efforts they were unable to enjoy themselves at the same events where so many others had such a terrific time.

ESA is a group learning experience led by an international, nondenominational roster of instructors personally selected by our four head coaches (Stowe ESA is led by Stu Campbell and Jeb Boyd, Aspen by Weems Westfeldt, and Tahoe by Michael Rogan). It's not a private lesson. If you do not enjoy learning in groups, or have issues that preclude learning in a group situation, then ESA is not for you.

Anyone else may be assured of an outstanding ski instructional camp in a friendly atmosphere of people who are intensely passionate about skiing.
post #17 of 20
Terry (my wife and an ESA attendee for the first time last year at Snowbird) has now watched the ESA 2006 Montage a number of times as I've shown it to friends. She had been very unsure about attending last year, thinking that everything would be over her head, too intense, and so on. Her comments to others when watching the Montage are telling: She has rarely if ever been around such a happy, energetic, and positive group of people. Both the coaches and the campers have such great attitudes. She had a wonderful time and learned a lot. In fact, so much that she's going to take this year to work on it and wait to go back.

I have a bias towards superlatives due to my optimism. Thanks for the factual backup, nolo!
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Anyone else may be assured of an outstanding ski instructional camp in a friendly atmosphere of people who are intensely passionate about skiing.
I'll second that!
post #19 of 20
My wife, who has only taken woman specific instruction is excited about coming this year. I am curious to see how she compares the two.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by friday View Post
the summer is over. fall is fast approaching. winter is just barely around the corner. before you know it the first flakes will be falling. hearts will be racing. you all had a great season last year but want more this. your equipment is the best it can be all turned and ready to go but you scratch your head wondering what you have missed in getting ready fo this season.
slowly the thought creeps in..............that lesson i wanted ,the promise i made to myself to be the best skier this year that i could be.
so hence my question to all you instructors out there, to all you serious skiers that have great instructors and to anyone that has heard a name.
I'm a beginning blue ski'er serious and eager to learn. eager to push the envelope just a little.
i ski in the east will be at hunter the very beginning of the season then moving on to Stowe VT. for a full week at christmas time. would appreciate the names of instructors that you know, have heard of that you yourself would trust and feel confident you were getting the best there is.
also if there is a way of getting in touch with them now before others like me desend down upon them.
thanks for your help appeciate it
friday
Friday, I'm not sure if I read your post right but if you are spending winter in the Stowe area for Xmas and beyond? maybe coming up earlier and getting in on the ESA instruction could be a good START to your skiing season. If you have lots of time and money to spend going with a plan like Rusty suggested is the way to go after the ESA. Others have suggested trying to get Dave Merriam up at Stowe but that's probably next to impossible but you could go down the road about an hour to Mad River Glen (check their web site Madriverglen.com )and book up Terry Barbour possibly once a week every week for 1/2 day. He is the ssd there and he was on PSIA demo team for I believe 3 straight terms. He has a great teaching style and amazing skiing ability. The other plus is the terrain, there is not many areas that blue square intermediate level terrain is allowed to bump up to let you practice bumps. Most places if you are learning bumps you are on black diamonds right off the bat. Go mid week there is nobody there. Spend a season once or twice a week there and your skiing will go thru the roof. P.S. no matter which way you go, get something out of a lesson, then focus on that particular thing, you have to make a concious effort to change. These top pros ESA,etc. will find little things that when worked upon over time will dramatically change your skiing. Good Luck and have fun this year
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