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The Journey of a new Ski Instructor - Page 5

post #121 of 133

Gosh, I learned old-school straight decades ago and skied bumps a lot.  IEvery turn started an up-weight.  When I became a ski instructor and was learning on skiing right, I fought that pop for years.  I'd get it to go away for a while but then under stress go back to it.  I've think I've pretty much cured it about five years ago, unless I need it on purpose to get over some junk.

 

I like the add something good thing.  I sometimes have luck with instructing a client to take the bad movement away but it's better to add something good.

 

One thing to try after switching the edges is to then slow the extension way down.  I was in a Master Series clinic a couple years ago and the clinician had us working on extending very slowly through the turn until we reached maximum extension maybe 65-70% through the turn.  When I got it right, it was like magic; the skis steered themselves.

 

-l2t

 

post #122 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post

One thing to try after switching the edges is to then slow the extension way down.  I was in a Master Series clinic a couple years ago and the clinician had us working on extending very slowly through the turn until we reached maximum extension maybe 65-70% through the turn.  When I got it right, it was like magic; the skis steered themselves.

 

-l2t

 

 

+1!  Examiners stress storing up the energy, not using it all at once, but gradually throughout the turn.  Gotta focus on this when I get back on snow!
 

post #123 of 133
Thread Starter 

Sometimes you do get rewarded in this "job."

 

2 years ago I was assigned two 4 year old twins.  Father is a serious skier, former racer.  Had a good lesson.  I've seen the guy on the hill since and he's told me it was a breakthrough day for them.  So he wanted to hire me to do this again this year with the twins at 6.  Due to my shoulder injury we wondered how I'd do getting the two of them on the lift and I suggested a second instructor.  So my fiance Linda and I team taught these two kids.

 

They both could ski, but still used the wedge a bit too much and of course had other "issues."  So we worked on corresponding edge things.  We got them to hold their hands in front of them like a steering wheel of a car.  I kept telling him to "stand up" and pointed out people from the lift in the backseat and how they looked like they were sitting down while they were skiing.  They were great students and picked things up really well.  Linda seeing that the girl just couldn't keep her hands in front of her started doing some short turns with active polling, and the little girl started poll planting right behind her.  The little boy, not to be outdone by his sister, started doing it too.  It was a sight to behold these two kids making short turns and planting their polls actively.

 

That evening the father (who is now on epic) PM'd me to tell me how much they improved and that it was well worth it.  (This being a significant thing, because hiring 2 private instructors for 2 hours is not cheap.)

 

These kids are so lucky to have a father who is teaching them to ski at an early age, they will be eternally grateful for that gift.  I wish I was given that.

 

Linda and I are lucky to have had the opportunity to do this.  To work together  I'd never seen her teach before, she's been teaching for 19 years and was one of the owner's kids instructor.  She knows how to work with kids, had three of them.   I learned a lot watching her.

post #124 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post

Congrats, SkiMangoJazz. You'll always remember your first year as a ski instructor. It's a great experience.

My first year was spent on a small hill called Snow Valley teaching 5 year old kids. Certainly memorable but not necessarily in a positive light. 


I find the most satisfying part of teaching is achieving through the student. What I mean by this is you really do feel satisfaction when you get a level 4-5 skier to level 6 or 7 over the course of a few weekends. Not only have they succeeded, but you feel really great because you helped make that happen.

post #125 of 133

Bump for TBT! 

post #126 of 133
Cool read. I have a few friends say I should go for level 1 and teach with them, but I know I suck too much to be teaching anyone else. biggrin.gif
post #127 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

Cool read. I have a few friends say I should go for level 1 and teach with them, but I know I suck too much to be teaching anyone else. biggrin.gif


Join and learn, butterfly.

 

Maybe you do suck now, but the CSIA clinics that you will have to take will teach you to allow the Force to flow through you. And you may discover motivation. Few instructors are true masters, but they have all taken steps in that direction.

post #128 of 133
Thread Starter 

This is my 10th season teaching and the magic gets stronger and stronger.

 

Teaching an adult and making huge changes in her skiing by saying just the right thing at the right time.

 

Teaching an 8 week program of 7-12 year old girls.  Week 4 today and they are getting so much better and it's pretty obvious to me they like being with me.  Two different parents told me that their kids said what a great instructor I was.

 

Not blowing my own horn here, just saying to any of you who consider teaching, it's worth it.  It's fun, it's satisfying and it also makes it really clear what the key competencies are in skiing.

 

It's all about love.  

post #129 of 133
Thread Starter 

End of my 10th season teaching. 

 

I had an 8 week program with the same 6 girls, ages 9-12.  Most had been skiing for about 1-2 years and were still beginners.  We started on the easiest slope on the mountain.  All skiing in a wedge, some with a very powerful braking wedge when it got a little bit steeper.

 

Today was the last day.  The skiing this season was challenging, a few of the days were slushy spring skiing, some were icy.  Today was pretty bad conditions, slush, mud, rocks, puddles.  We finally made it back downhill to the easy slope (not the easiest but close) and spent the balance of the 2 hours there.  They all have gotten so much better.  They'd progressed to blue squares last week, but the conditions today didn't allow us to be on those slopes.

 

So I had them focus on their feet, on feeling the center of their feet.  Pulling them back, pushing them forward, adjusting to the changing terrain.  They kind of got it, a little.  One suggested I teach her to ski backwards.  Bingo!  The rest of the lesson we were all skiing backwards and using that as the way to get them to feel their balance point.   Backwards you have to be on your heels more but moving fore/aft has the same impact, just in reverse.

 

At the end of the day the ski school had a little celebration and we gave out certificates of completion to all the groups.  A few of the parents came up to me and complimented me.  I know the kids liked me , but hearing things like "the first week my kid had a different coach and said, "I'd rather be at school than do this."  After changing to your group she looked forward to it every week.  I don't know what you did, but it worked - she loved it."

 

This was needless to say wonderful to hear.  Much of what I do with these kids isn't about skiing, it's about life.  Conquering fear, pushing yourself, NOT going faster when your father says you should "It's your choice what to do.  Don't let anyone ever tell you to go faster if you don't want to.  It's YOUR decision."  (This to a 9 year old girl.)

 

The trip down from the summit was awful, no one enjoyed the mud and puddles.  I asked two of the girls at the end of the day if it was fun.  They said "no."  I said "it wasn't for me either."  "But looking back on it, it was pretty cool that we did it, wasn't it?"  "Yeah" they said.  "Sometimes things that aren't fun while you're doing them are a lot better looking back on them."

 

Damn I love doing this.  Sad that it's over for the year.

post #130 of 133
Thread Starter 

Each week I had a word of the day.

 

"Glide" was the first word.  "Go ahead and use your brakes (the wedge) when you need to, use it to come around the corner (the transition) but glide across the hill."

 

Two weeks later it was spring skiing in some piles of snow.

"Patience" was the word of the day.  "Don't rush your turns,  don't push the snow around, start the turn and be patient."

 

 

One week it was "feet."   Feel your feet.  Feel where you're standing on your feet.

 

Today it was "balance" but I didn't come up with the word until the lesson was over.  See the previous post about skiing backwards to understand.

 

When I gave them their certificates I mentioned the word of the day and 4 little voices started yelling out all the words.  

 

I can't think of another moment this season that brought me such happiness.

post #131 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

This is my 10th season teaching and the magic gets stronger and stronger.

 

Teaching an adult and making huge changes in her skiing by saying just the right thing at the right time.

 

Teaching an 8 week program of 7-12 year old girls.  Week 4 today and they are getting so much better and it's pretty obvious to me they like being with me.  Two different parents told me that their kids said what a great instructor I was.

 

Not blowing my own horn here, just saying to any of you who consider teaching, it's worth it.  It's fun, it's satisfying and it also makes it really clear what the key competencies are in skiing.

 

It's all about love.  


Thanks for the updates since you started this thread in 2007.  The dedication of all the ski instructors I or my daughter have worked with in the last ten years has always impressed me, whether at a small ski area or a destination resort.

post #132 of 133
Thread Starter 

Bumping this thread for one reason.  If any of you are considering teaching this season it's not too late at many resorts.  Give a look through this tread and see why it may be worth your time and energy.

 

I think I can safely say that all of us who do teach are looking forward to it starting up again soon - and only a few of that group because of the money!  I make my living in another way.

 

I make my loving this way.

post #133 of 133
Thread Starter 

I started this thread 10 years ago.  January of 2007.

 

Over this time I've developed into a respected instructor at my home mountain.  It's nice being at a place without hundreds of other instructors I guess.

 

My weekends go something like this.

 

Saturdays - often I'm on Privates, sometimes get a Private Request.  I teach a lot of kids of course and sometimes adults.   From time to time I'm on Groups on Saturdays, which is often a group of never-evers.

 

Sundays - morning I have a Private Request, second year with this now 5 year old who's doing great.  Mother always tips too.

 

Afternoons I have a group of about eight 7-11 year olds in an 8 week program.  So there will be progress to be seen.  I have a weekly word of the day and progression through basic skills that I'm planning out for these kids.  It's a wonderful opportunity for me (a former College Professor) to use my lesson planning skills.

 

So I make a bit over $1,000 a season, pays for my lift tickets at other places and more.  It has limited the amount of free-skiing I get at my home mountain, but I make up for that on weekday mornings elsewhere.  I still get a bunch of runs in on the weekends, just not a lot.  I love meeting new people and teaching them, and I love developing long-term relationships with people and coaching them.

 

When I'm in a lesson I feel like a ski-god, as I'm skiing such easy terrain I can ski it really well lol.

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