Originally Posted by BillyRay
Sadly, this is a common problem, even in clincs: the instructor fails to adress everyone's needs and only concentrate on either:
a) the best skiers
b) the worse skiers
Individual coaching should be the cornerstone of every lesson, wether there are 2 students or 30. You can ALWAYS tell someone to practice something, think about a movement pattern, make them question their skiing, etc. Since I have more experience with kids in a race course, let's take this example:
You have 5 students. 4 of them are just starting to grasp the tactical element of "line" through an easy gs course. One of them is a provincial all-star team member who is way ahead of the curve. What do you do? Set a gnarly, steep course and risk having the 4 students stagnate, or do you set an easy course, wich means the all-star will get bored, or do you go the middle route and everyone loses? No, what you do, at least in my opinion, is up the level of difficulty of a task in a setting where every student is comfortable. Have the beginners focus on line, and have the best student focus on improving other tactical elements that need to be improved in an easy setting first, such as seeking the fall line, clearing gates, etc. Have him ski his speed skis to teach him to be quicker at transition. Have him ski without poles in order to increase separation and better the footwork. Have him ski the lowest, straightest line possible. Many teaching situations are not optimal and pleasing everybody is difficult...
But using one of your students as an "example" of great skiing is risky because it will infatuate said student or it will send him the message that there's nothing to improve for now, wich is bad.
Another situation wich is tricky for beginners or advanced skiers is when instructors start to point out every mistake at once. This has never worked for me and I oubt that ti works well for anyone. Sure you may be banking and following your skis at the same time, but will trying to fix both push you out of the comfort zone enough that nothing will be accomplished?
I guess a solution to the non equal ability in lessons problem could be avoided by having a pre lesson assessment of ability by an instructor.
One thing I have found with 2 lessons I have had is that some ski instructors overlook the possibility that ski gear may be affecting the students ability. I have had 2 lessons at intermediate and advanced levels
where this has been the case.
My intermediate lesson was a case of me not pressing my shins hard enough into the tounge of the very new boots I had, which I found out after looking at the boot forward flex adjustor was that it was set too stiff.
My advanced lesson was to find out what skiing ability I would need to have to ski to instructor level. My perception at the start of the lesson was that I would have to have high speed carving ability and had no trouble demonstrating that on my Volkl P10 205cm skis but when the instructor asked me to try a low speed beginner slope carved turn I could not do it and 2 years ago when I bought a pair of Volkl P60 SL Race 155cm for the purpose of recreational racing I found out that I could carve on these on a beginners slope. So I would be interested to take
another instructor level assessment lesson on these. I have tried a high speed carve on these and they are ok on a well groomed slope so if I was
to be told my high speed carves on these were too unstable I guess I would have to look at another pair of skis again if I wished to enrol in an instructors course. A lot is spoken about winning race skis. I wonder what the best skis for an instructor examination would be?