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Falling Teachers...okay? - Page 2

post #31 of 49
Teaching first timers, I always demo the best way to fall and then can demo ways to get up.
I have fallen assisting people down a section of hill when they get their skis under mine while skiing backwards, or while helping someone unload from the lift and they grab onto me and pull me down with them. I try to avoid those situations as much as possible.

I have also been hit by reckless skiers while teaching where I was blown out of both skis (ouch!). One class found out how far I could throw a ski into the woods when the jerk who hit me mouthed-off after he hit me from behind (not someone in the class).

I have also released out of a binding a few times and not fallen while leading a clinic, that always gets an "awesome" from the clinic group.

Falling is part of skiing and it happens to everyone. I try not to make a habit of it while teaching.

RW
post #32 of 49
I count myself among the fortunate (read lucky), who have never fallen in a class or a clinic.

At 40 (age), I may have taken this as a point of embarassment. One of the joys of passing the big "50", I really quit caring about loss of face and if it happened .... it would not have been a big deal. Get up with a smile and an ..... ooops .. and keep on going with the class. Sooner or later it will happen to all of us. If you have delivered a good product throughout the lesson, the students will pick up on that and judge you accordingly.

Sometimes, it can be pretty funny. Had a clinic one icy evening with an aging (late 40's), woman who was an ex-racer. Most of the class was way behind her and she never picked up on the fact that she was way over their heads and beyond their understanding. She also taught like a Paris Island drill instructor and was hammering these puppies. While she was delivering an ass chewing to "the troops", she began a backward slide over the hard crust and ended bass ackwards with her skis entangled in a catch fence. Everyone stood there and watched her go, and go and go. Some were kinda' laughing their asses off. Actually she helped me on a few things that night, but overall she lost ..... she was let go a few weeks later.
post #33 of 49
If it happens it happens. Sometimes things happen. But, in general I think it should be a very rare occurence. Its important to instill confidence. Its important to maintain a certain level of respect and confidence of you as the instructor. Falling down generally works against those things. My advice, don't do a demo of anything that you aren't 99% confident you can execute correctly with ease. If an instructor is falilng down a lot, they probably should be teaching lower level students where they can maintain the teacher role with authority and conviction.
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
I specialize in teaching children. I do pratfalls in front of them all the time. Only once have they come skiing up to me to ask, "Are you still alive?"
Low speed tip-over type falls are fine in a lesson, as far as I'm concerned. It's the, "Are you still alive?!" falls I try to avoid in lessons (or in uniform, for that matter).

The best part of these falls is always the other instructor's reactions. They're never as concerned with your well-being as they are with collecting the obligatory drinks for witnessing your faux pas.
post #35 of 49
Drink Kitty Can ...

$1 for a fall in a class

$2 for a fall in a clinic

maybee being a cheap charlie was what kept me on my feet ...
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Drink Kitty Can ...

$1 for a fall in a class

$2 for a fall in a clinic

maybee being a cheap charlie was what kept me on my feet ...
Wow, you guys had it easy! We're hit for a minimum of one drink (their choice) per instance! I had a clinician/ex-girlfriend last season who had us getting off the chair switch (snowboarding, of course!) on Black Friday. Needless to say, we were all a bit rusty. I took one of those slow-motion falls where you have all the time in the world to think about the consequences as you're going down...this is bizarre, but I was thinking of that story about JFK nearly acing a par 3 during his Presidential campaign - his buddies are yelling, "Get in the hole!" while he's yelling, "Stay out of the hole!"

Strange thought, but my brain ain't exactly normal!
post #37 of 49
My views on this topic go hand in hand with my views on Steve's ripping topic.

It is interesting to me that many people here have expressed the idea that a fall that is "freak" in nature is understandable, or one that is used to illustrate a point is ok, but a good and honest fall trying to ski well isn't acceptable.

As I'm in the apparent minority that really wants the instructor to open up and take chances in their teaching and their skiing, I guess I'm also in the minority that doesn't equate "good skiing" with not falling. In my mind, good skiing goes hand in hand with eating snow now and again.

As a naturally analytical and risk averse guy, I'm constantly pushing myself to take more chances on my skis and get some bruises now and again. I find that I don't fall nearly enough. Instructors that can demonstrate that sort of brave skiing inspire me.

For the sake of completeness, I would say that this is a very context dependent thing. Skiing hard and falling in front of the never-evers is probably not appropriate, and if the instructor has skill deficits falling probably isn't a good way to make the students confident either.

I knew a race coach once that wasn't respected much, and his personal skill level and propensity to fall in comical ways was often used to further that opinion. (he once took me out trying to stop at a midmountain start shack, he ended up hanging upside down from his skis in the brush.) At the same time, I had a great coach who also wasn't capable of skiing at a very high level and fell quite a bit, but she was widely respected and helped my skiing a ton. She was a great teacher and person and the other guy wasn't. I personally never felt my confidence in either was related to their falls, but I can see why it would be an issue for someone that is insecure in their own skiing or person.
post #38 of 49
Maybe slightly off topic since I am not an instructor, but one of the most bruising falls I ever had was while teaching a friend to do turns on a green!! The trail was a bit icy and I was basically skiing backwards and doing 180s while trying to show him what to do, then turning around to see if he was doing it, when all of a sudden I caught an edge and down I went my hip on to the ice. Hurt like hell and continued to hurt for most of the season; was discolored for some time. He of course was laughing his ass off....but did say that the instruction I gave him was the best he's ever had; this after having had many a certified instuctor. He still makes fun of me about that incident, but I would imagine had he been paying for the lesson, he may have been a bit turned off by it.
post #39 of 49
A fall is no big deal. if a student thinks it is, they are innapropriately placing the instructor on a pedestal or they think once you get good you don't fall which is a fallacy. you don't see people gasp when skiers fall in Warren Miller or TGR movies, why would you gasp at an instructor fall?
post #40 of 49
Thread Starter 
I'm with Martin Bell on falling--if you're the leader, you should not get yourself in trouble.
post #41 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by iskitoofast4u View Post
Wow, you guys had it easy! We're hit for a minimum of one drink (their choice) per instance! I had a clinician/ex-girlfriend last season who had us getting off the chair switch (snowboarding, of course!) on Black Friday. Needless to say, we were all a bit rusty. I took one of those slow-motion falls where you have all the time in the world to think about the consequences as you're going down...this is bizarre, but I was thinking of that story about JFK nearly acing a par 3 during his Presidential campaign - his buddies are yelling, "Get in the hole!" while he's yelling, "Stay out of the hole!"

Strange thought, but my brain ain't exactly normal!
At my ski school, if another instructor tagged you while you were down it cost you a six pack. It made for some funny antics when a passing instructor would dive for a downed commrade just for a free happy hour.

If you can not laugh at yourself when you fall why ski?
post #42 of 49
I guess I'm out of a job!!!!
post #43 of 49
During the Level 3 exam at Heavenly this past winter, we some interesting conditions (day 1: rain, day 2: storm day, day 3: bluebird). Since they are using the new "clinic" format, we were all being encouraged to push our limits, and on the first day got a lecture about not worrying about falls. Over the 3 day exam, pretty much every examiner-type (the examiner and all of the observers) managed to explode at least once. Part of it was the conditions (icy bumps with patches of deep sticky snow are deadly), and part of it was the fact that everyone involved was pushing their limits. It actually made for a really good exam, and no one was the least bit concerned when the examiners went down.
post #44 of 49
Tsavo,

Hope you are all healed up from last year! Don't worry I would hire you even if you fall down once in awhile! Cause you Rippppp! (smiley face)

b
post #45 of 49
Thanks Bud! After 3 surgerys seems like the shoulders are back to normal. Looking forward to the upcoming season!!
post #46 of 49
Sweet, Tsavo! Looking forward to finding some new tree shots with you this year!
post #47 of 49
I fall every lesson intentionally to show students the proper way to get up. Last season I was doing a private lesson on how to ski moguls and I standing on one talking and I just tipped over. It wasn't even like a stumble or a loss of balance, just a steady tip. It was kinda funny...but yea I try not to fall even though I tend to be pretty careless and just try to show my best form while instructing.
post #48 of 49
I've never fallen while teaching a lesson - besides the "how do you get up" demo.

However, I don't think it should be a rule that instructors never fall. I've fallen doing helis off cliffs under chairlifts before. I hear a lot of "Take a lesson" from above, but I also hear a lot of little kids cheering.
post #49 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsavo View Post
Thanks Bud! After 3 surgerys seems like the shoulders are back to normal. Looking forward to the upcoming season!!
Better not see you on the white ribbon tomorrow!!!!
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