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Skiing style of CSIA vs. PSIA - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Thank you. Let me rephrase my rule: In the final stages of development, all skiers will make the same exact movements according to the same exact principles regardless of the teaching system they may (or may not) have followed to get there. Good skiing is good skiing and there's only one way to get there and it is not a teaching system or technical school at all.
Nolo, this would probably be true if the final goal were the same, but often it is not. I have both CSIA and CSCF certifications and the difference question often comes up. For instructing vs coaching, it can be looked at in terms of the speed goal. We teach that there are 3 possible outcomes in speed when making a ski turn, generate speed, maintain speed, or reduce speed. As ski instructors for the general public, mostly we teach to reduce or maintain speed as that is what most students want. As coaches for the racing side, we are usually teaching to generate speed. Yes the core mechanics are the same as you say, but the approach and tactics differ resulting in what appears to be different styles. For instance the previously mentioned emphasis on flexion at the end of the CSIA turn, it reduces pressure on the ski and reduces the energy coming out of the turn, thus controlling speed. World cup racers on the other hand run pretty straight legged through the bottom of the turn as they to get as much energy out of the turn as possible. The "style" looks different, even though they come from the same principles, because the skier is seeking a different outcome. There are other factors that would have a similar influence, do extreme skiers ski with the same "style" as the average skier on the hill or world cup racers? Their goals (and obstacles) in getting down the hill are different which results in different "style".

Rick
post #32 of 48
great post skirrr!
post #33 of 48
Quote:
The corollary is that if your heart is motivated, then whatever biomechanically sound instruction you receive will be acceptable.

The trick is to ensure that the movements being taught by the instructor are biomechanically sound. I'd rather not to leave that decision up to the individual instructor.
I don't know how you are going to take an instructor's decision-making away and keep the instructor very excited about his/her role. Or perhaps I should ask, what Orwellian future do you envision for members of this profession?

I agree that PURPOSE will dictate technique; within a population of skiers with the same purpose, however, the tendency of the top performers would be to "look a lot alike" one another.
post #34 of 48
I'm not taking decision making away. I'm taking away the need for the instructor to be so well versed in biomechanics that they are capable of creating their own biomechanically sound drills.

Say, Show, Do, Detect, Correct. Repeat as needed. Have good people skills to make it interesting for the student. Care that the student gets it. Do it on a ski hill. Sounds pretty good to me.
post #35 of 48
Nolo,

I'm sure you'll agree that any level of ski instruction requires some thought and personalization. But to say that every rank and file ski instructor should have free liberty to essentially make up their own method of teaching skiing is just begging for problems to arise. Suggesting that anything opposite of that is Orwellian is funny, but not accurate.

It still gets back to what I said earlier. For an extremely well educated and experienced teacher/coach, then flexibility and adaptability is key. But look around you at most of the teachers on the hill. They are simply not equipped with the knowledge and experience to figure those things out on their own without heading into undesirable directions at the expense of the student. They need structure.

To not equip them with this structure is a disservice to the entire industry.
post #36 of 48
They are equipped with a structure which the ski school defines according to its operational idiosyncracies. If the school is PSIA, it will adhere loosely or tightly to the American Teaching System as interpreted by the divisional education committee.

I know what you guys want, but I think it's pyrite. You cannot spoonfeed information and expect anything more than "thintellect." In my experience, especially as one progresses beyond the beginner phase, students need instructors who can go deeper into the tree of knowledge than one branch on a prepared decision tree.

The problems that you want to solve are systemic, and are not going to be solved by providing new instructors with somewhat improved boilerplate. What we need is to restore nobility to the profession so it attracts best and brightest type people who are the kind of self-starters and lifelong learners who can provide the public with outstanding sports education experiences.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
What we need is to restore nobility to the profession so it attracts best and brightest type people who are the kind of self-starters and lifelong learners who can provide the public with outstanding sports education experiences.
Ah yes. You have my vote there. Start doing something about the income issues and better instructors will stick with the trade. Right now instructors make chump change. The real world simply limits many/most from being able to commit the time to get as good as you (and I) would like to see them all become. The best and brightest are also bright enough to know they can make much more money elsewhere, or a few will rise into management roles at ski areas, leaving the teaching job to less skilled individuals.
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
...

The problems that you want to solve are systemic, and are not going to be solved by providing new instructors with somewhat improved boilerplate.
No, boilerplate would be just fine for the ideal student. Anybody ever had the "ideal" student?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
What we need is to restore nobility to the profession so it attracts best and brightest type people who are the kind of self-starters and lifelong learners who can provide the public with outstanding sports education experiences.
post #39 of 48
The ideal student is one that puts forth the effort and really wants to learn. You don't get those?
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
The ideal student is one that puts forth the effort and really wants to learn. You don't get those?
is that a rhetorical question? Or, do you really believe a "boilerplate" progression will work with all students?
post #41 of 48
Well, I for one am not sure how the argument about "boilerplate progression" came into the picture. We have been discussing PSIA and CSIA. I don't think there are any ski instructor orgs ANYWHERE on the planet, including those two aforementioned organizations that still use a so called boilerplate progression. Not for a long time now.

Just about everyone has adopted more of a skills-based approach. However, different organizations do have different degrees of precision with which they describe what exactly the skills are. In my view, CSIA has more precise terms of what exactly the skills are or should be(in their opinion) than PSIA does. However many PSIA instructors have formed their own precise terms for desirable skills where PSIA has not provided them. Never mind that most instructors are simply not qualified to be making up these precise definitions.

The interesting thing here is that while PSIA has not provided these precise explanations for what represents good execution of skills, they end up with more of a structured approach than they were shooting for anyway since that is the natural tendency for most instructors or ski school directors to define whatever has not been defined already, except no consistency from instructor to instructor, school to school or perhaps region to region. And PSIA has essentially skated out of the responsibility of defining these precise terms.

It is a catch-22 though. I mean, the concept of skill blending and that there exists a constant continuum of different situations requiring different blending of skills is not wrong. That is where more precise definitions of skills can get instructors into trouble because in order to keep the definitions reasonably simple, they simply can't account for all situations. But what I have observed is that where PSIA has not defined precise definitions for certain skills, instructors or schools or regions have enforced their own in a kind of kaotic attempt to bring more structure into place, thus being no less structured than say CSIA, but lacking the vocabulary, consistency and organizational momentum to sink it in on a national level.
post #42 of 48
I don't know, BTS, I haven't yet had a professor of linguistics show up for one of my lessons, but I know (because students tell me this) that my analogies and explanations (definitions?) are very amusing and therefore memorable. The ski school has never imposed any kind of restrictions on my free range of expression nor demanded I retool to fit their cast, so long as I generated return business. Creativity is part of what makes ski teaching FUN, intellecually engaging, and "noble" if you will--whereas I must say your insistence on "defining precise terms" for the betterment of ski students does indeed seem a bit lockstep if not Orwellian.
post #43 of 48
Actually, I haven't demanded anything. I have tried to present the pros and cons to both sides if you read my posts more carefully. Also if you diminish what I have been saying to a mere matter of vocabulary then you have once again missed the point entirely. cheers.
post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
is that a rhetorical question? Or, do you really believe a "boilerplate" progression will work with all students?
I don't know where Boilerplate came from. I just want a collection of approved drills, and a suggested sequence. Sure it'll be taken as boilerplate by the masses of instructors. Why? Because that is the limit of their understanding. And THOSE are the instructors that ought to define their own biomechanically sound teaching techniques? You are asking for far too much.

BTW: nolo said the "only way" to get good is through the heart. Which means that you are ready to learn. Boilerplate would work fine for those students.

PS. Any instructor that REALLY knows their stuff could add to it.

PPS. Those are few and far between.
post #45 of 48
If it's any consolation, BigE, I believe people involved in ski instructor education all over the world stay up nights trying to figure out how to change ski enthusiasts into exciting teachers in the most expeditious way possible. This quest isn't confined to ski instruction, but all education. Since the dawning of education, I suspect this has been a major bullet point on the agenda. If anyone had figured it out, I am sure we would have heard.

I'm with Weems: it's not the ability to supply correct answers but the ability to ask good questions that makes learning happen for people (the little epiphanies like breadcrumbs marking their way, so they can retrace their steps later on). As it is with the retail customer, so it should be with instructor trainees.
post #46 of 48
Good questions (the socratic method) do not always work.

Regardless, I am a believer that a "centreline" model that includes the basic "if you can do these well, you've got it" drills is critical. The instructor can dress it up all they want, but if in the end, the student is incapable of performing the standard "centreline" drills, then their instructor has not done their job.

Using standard progressions have tangible benefits:

- they provide consistent metrics
- they help direct the instructor
- the protect the student from outrageously bad instruction
- they provide a background ontop of which good instruction can take place
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Good questions (the socratic method) do not always work.

Regardless, I am a believer that a "centreline" model that includes the basic "if you can do these well, you've got it" drills is critical. The instructor can dress it up all they want, but if in the end, the student is incapable of performing the standard "centreline" drills, then their instructor has not done their job.

Using standard progressions have tangible benefits:

- they provide consistent metrics
- they help direct the instructor
- the protect the student from outrageously bad instruction
- they provide a background ontop of which good instruction can take place
Well BigE you are partly right and partly wrong when it comes to (psia) centerline.
It is designed to provide consistent metrics or standards.
It is designed to guide the instructor.
It should help the student by providing integrity in the lesson from a pedagogy perspective.
It does provide milestones of progression from which good instruction draws from.

But,,,,the student does not need to perform the centerline "drills" to be successful, only to learn the skills that centerline lays out for instructors. Centerline is not for the student, it is for the instructors understanding. A student may blend the skills in many different ways depending on the intended outcome, which may or may not directly mirror the centerline milestones.
post #48 of 48
Even better.
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