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Terminology of the Trade

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Learning the common terminology of a craft is an important part of learning the craft. Do you want to speak as an intelligent enthusiast of the sport, with other intelligent enthusiasts of the sport, in a manner in which you can understand and be understood as you interact? Or would you rather stumble and struggle in your attempts to discuss and comprehend simple technical concepts?

Activity specific terminology is designed to simplify communication and learning, not complicate it. It provides single terms to describe multi elemental concepts that would require repeated long winded explanations each time referred to if not for the existence of a neat and tidy term.

Instructors/coaches should make terminology education part of their on snow teaching. It's not at all hard to sneak in jargon here and there with students when appropriate, then explain what the term means. This type of terminology education will make future learning much easier for a student. It provides valuable knowledge your students will carry and benefit from for the rest of their years of involvement in the sport.

The same thing should happen here at Epic. You professionals, don't shy away from using terminology/jargon when posting as Lars suggests. Use the terms, but always do so with the idea your reading audience consists of neophyte skiers who need to be educated as to what the terms you're using mean. Throw the terms out there where they apply, followed by a detailed explanation of what the term you just used means. And not just once. Remember, we all don't have total recall of what we read. Not everything will sink in the first time it's heard. Second reminders are always nice.

Seem like a lot of effort to go to? It is. But ask yourself; what is your purpose in posting? Are you coming here to educate? Then do so. Don't just throw around terms as though every reader has the technical knowledge and background you do. If you do that, the time you spend here will be less productive than it could, because your message will be lost to all but those who least need to hear it.

Finally,,, inventing new terms to describe old concepts for which terms already exist serves only the inventor.
post #2 of 8
We have decided to copy Rick's post from a recent thread in this forum and post it as a sticky for the instruction section. Rick's post really embodies the true 'spirit' of our instruction forum where ideas can be exchanged freely for the mutual benfit of those involved in the discussion and those reading. I would encourage all who post in this section to read Rick's thoughts and keep them in mind while participating in discussions that will ultimately educate our readers and pariticipants.

This goes out to everyone who participates in this section: Thank you for the great topics and the time and dedication that many of you put into making this forum one of the best resources (if not the best) for skiing technique and instruction on the internet. Keep up the great posts and valuable information.


post #3 of 8
I'm one of those newbies Rick is mentioning. I'm trying to do my homework and increase relevant vocabulary. Bought recently Ron Lemasters '201 Things Every Skier Must Know' that definitely better a chance for joining a discussion and be understood.
post #4 of 8
If you want to know what ski-related words mean, get yourself a copy of Bob Barnes's The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing. While the Third Edition is now out of print, it's available on CD from PSIA-RM. And SOME day, Bob will come out with the long-awaited Fourth Edition.
post #5 of 8
If I have any problem is is too much jargon, not failing to introduce skiing jargon. What I think is more important are quick "how-to" statements. There are lots of ways to introduce a given movement, but often the method doesn't resonate with the student. I need more ways to say the same thing, not precise jargon.
post #6 of 8
Thanks for the input on terminology. I added these books (referenced) to my Level II reading list.
post #7 of 8
I think that knowing terminology is very useful especially for dialogue with other instructors, but just as I would never apply the same advice to each student, here I would caution thatsome of us, inculding me, tend to slip into jargon too easily. In my case it is more useful for me to practice using common terms than jargon so I can do a better job of teaching my students.
post #8 of 8
The hardest part of instructing is taking all the instructional mumbo-jumbo and processing it down to the level of the three year old who only makes parallel turns. Spray snow.
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