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PSIA & PMTS dichotomy? - Page 2

post #31 of 40
The post by heluva and the post by philpug each sum up what many of us feel. The inane battle of the PMTS/PSIA catechisms seems to have more to do with personalities and power than with skiing.
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
The post by heluva and the post by philpug each sum up what many of us feel. The inane battle of the PMTS/PSIA catechisms seems to have more to do with personalities and power than with skiing.
I think that the posts by heluva and philpug, while having a degree of truth, miss the point. I don't know how much dichotomy there is between these two certification programs but I do know there is, IMHO, a lot of difference between them. PMTS certification is based upon a well specified approach and progressions, PSIA (as far as I can understand from what I read here and elsewhere) is based on the idea that the instructor should be able to develop an approach from their own integrating of varied components. Perhaps, more importantly, as a certification body, PSIA does little to define this approach to the public while PMTS has done quite a bit.

I think this is the basis for a huge difference.
post #33 of 40
Si, if you feel that my post has "missed the point" regarding the division that these two systems cause when discussing ski instruction - I think you have probably "missed the point" of ski instruction. Why do we keep discussing certification prgrams in lieu of discussing skiing technique? The two are not the same thing... Once one realizes that it becomes quite apparent that the 'system' is irrelevant to the skiing and teaching as long as the coach/instructor understands what they are teaching; versus spewing verbatim something they heard in a book, manual, or from a D-Teamer.
Later
GREG
post #34 of 40
Greg, as I said I think there is a lot of truth in what you said. However, the only way we have for the general public to know whether a coach/instructor understands what they are teaching and can use it effectively is through certification. Thus I think that understanding the differences between these two approaches to certification is important.

For someone who knows how to search out and evaluate a coach/instructor for themselves what you say can be very true. For the rest of the skiing public it doesn't do much.
post #35 of 40
Si, what Greg is saying here (I believe) is that any "system" is just an empty shell. For it to have any value, that shell must be filled with the broad technical knowledge of the coach/instructor. That knowledge empowers a great coach/instructor to venture out beyond the confines of that shell and take a student where they need to go along the unique course each particular student needs to take to get there.

Great coaches don't work in the confines of a precise system. They operate from a base of technical knowledge, and a broad understanding of how to turn that knowledge into individual student skill. Credentials don't necessarily indicate possession of such a level of knowledge and skill. They only guarantee the ability to pass a specific test of narrow focus.

If one really wants to develop the base of knowledge Greg is referring to, focus directly on studying the technicals, not the test, not the system. I believe that's Greg's point,,, and it's a good one.
post #36 of 40
Rick is spot-on with his post. These discussions seem to revolve around what PMTS teaches versus what PSIA teaches. Understanding skiing by discerning the differences between what system A teaches versus what system B teaches will limit your understanding (and perspective) to those differences alone. Continually having "system-based" discussions here on Epic (and abroad) really stifles the conversation and the learning that can be done in terms of understanding the topics. Ski technique is not about what system is teaching what. Truely talented coaches do not justify what they teach based on the teaching system that serves as their base. Continually focusing on the system vs. system talks isn't helping anyone understand skiing or how to teach it better.
Later
GREG
post #37 of 40
Rick and Helluva,

To me your comments ring true for higher level segments of the skiing population and as you have called them, "truely talented coaches." Unfortunately such opportunities are not so broadly available to the average skier. On the other hand I believe that there are some basic, simple approaches and concepts that can take a skier from beginner to a pretty advanced skier. Understanding the approach to skiing and ski instruction one will be working with seems pretty important to me and relaying that to the skier is an important function of a skiing system that is worth discussion I think.
post #38 of 40
Consider the following scenarios:

1) Balance on flat skis. ( First timer )
2) Balance on edged skis ( first timer stopping )
3) Balance on skidding skis ( firt timer turning )
4) Balance on fully edged skis. (edging skill dominance)
5) Balance on pivotting skis. (rotary skill dominance)
6) Balance while pivotting to an edge. ( "advanced" skiing, eg. Pivot entry turn, skill blending)

1) the skier is at the mercy of the terrain. Without edging, the skier will eventually fall to stop.

2) to avoid the consequences of (1) they are taught to stop. Yes, it's rotary that positions the skis to do that, and it's a braking wedge -- no problem.

3) to turn, weight shifts are employed, and edge angles are lower than the braking wedge. I don't care it the weight shift is passive or active, that's not relevant. Turn uphill to stop? fine by me, avoid step 2 if you can.

Now you have a choice to make. Do you pursue balance on a fully edged ski or do you pursue balance on pivotting skis? That's the choice you must make between 4 and 5.

4) is proven by reaching critical edge angle
5) is proven by preforming pivot slips/bracquage.

So, given these choices, I say that if you have the balance capability to do 4, you may not have it to do 5. If you can do 5, then 4 is a breeze.

IMO, given a student that is at level 3 in this model PMTS chooses to develop (4), CSIA/PSIA chooses to develop (5).

That is the "crux of the biscuit".

Clearly PMTS would not do this from the beginning. They would avoid the wedge at all costs, as do other DTP progressions. However, the progression through steps 1,2,3 as I've outlined is very common in 'learn to ski' or 'discover skiing' environments, where new skiers form their first opinions about what is important about skiing.

I'm not gonna engage in whether it is right or wrong. It simply is taught like that. Sure you can make moves "almost like real skiing" at the early stages. That's great! But you eventually must choose how to develop the skier standing in front of you.

I've said it many times before: teaching pivoting skills to someone that does not have sufficiently balance is a waste of time. Balance can more easily and safely be developed on a fully edged ski. It does not take a huge amount of terrain to do this. Furthermore, MOVEMENT is simpler to teach on a platform that is sturdy and not moving around.

The skidding skier is reminded of their first time on the hill every time the skiis slide sideways. This lack of control limits their range of movement, yet a wide range of movement is necessary in order to balance effectively given ever increasing terrain demands. The choice of teaching movement on skidding skis vs. movement on stable edged skis to me is obvious - the edged ski wins.

The lessons that are delivered are often for skiers that get out less than 15 times/year. Is that really an adequate time to develop balance and promote movement on skidding skis? Let's hope that a nasty fall does not set back their confidence and ability to move.

IMO, teaching a "skill blend" is nearly impossible. Doing the most simple exercises that require basic co-ordination is very difficult. Simply touching the outside boot can present huge problems. Sideslipping to a pole plant can be incredibly difficult for many. Heck, just getting the side on which to pole can present a problem for skiers! Reaching an arm inside the turn or outside of the turn can be confusing. That is why you can't effectively have both 4 and 5.

If skiing so complicated (so demanding of DIRT, timing/coordication) and lessons target folks that don't have the opportunity for lots of mileage, then why is it better to promote teaching a "skill blend" than teaching skills in isolation, and blending later?

Versatile skiing happens AFTER skills are acquired -- that is what I am after. First acquisition, then inclusion into your skiing.

If each skill were a spice, add the right amount of each to taste. Don't go for the jar of pre-mix and expect the meal you make to be fabulous.


Flame away, I'm sure this post proves that I don't know anything about rotary. Thanks for that.
post #39 of 40
Thread Starter 
To you BigE things may be black and white, to myself and others it is not. HH would like everyone to believe it is black and white, good guys/bad guys, but I don't. Somehow you keep thinking the two camps are at opposite ends and they simply are not. Like I stated somewhere earlier, if we look at a scale from 1-10 with pivoting being at one end and carving at the other, both camps are focusing on a more refined blend between a 6 - 8 on this scale or spectrum. Sure PMTS focuses a bit more on edging maybe but it is not a black and white difference. Some seem to think that PSIA is teaching at the 2-3 end of the spectrum but this just is not true. The two are closer than you may think. The primary difference in the beginning may be what the inside ski is doing not the outside ski.

b
post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Like I stated somewhere earlier, if we look at a scale from 1-10 with pivoting being at one end and carving at the other, both camps are focusing on a more refined blend between a 6 - 8 on this scale or spectrum. Sure PMTS focuses a bit more on edging maybe but it is not a black and white difference. Some seem to think that PSIA is teaching at the 2-3 end of the spectrum but this just is not true. The two are closer than you may think. The primary difference in the beginning may be what the inside ski is doing not the outside ski.

b
Thanks Bud.

CSIA believes as you claim -- all skills are present all the time, teaching any skill at any time can be the appropriate. So my division into the 6 levels is somewhat arbitrary -- we'd say 4+5 = steering.

I see where the differences between these viewpoints are: You're saying that pivoting equivalent to the PSIA pivotting is eventually developed by PMTS. I'm saying it's developed beyond PMTS.

IMO, PMTS stops at 4. All rotary is incidental -- it does happen, but that is not the primary focus of that school.

Again, IMO, PMTS alone won't get me to skiing heaven. One does need to focus on pivotting at some point.

I like to think that once the extent of balance on an edged ski has been explored (4) , the motivation to learn how to pivot will become obvious. As well, there is a greater likelihood of success, since the skier ought to be well balanced by this point.

Now aren't the mechanics of this pivoting very different between the two camps? Doesn't PSIA/CSIA state that this pivoting is driven by active femur rotation, while in PMTS the femurs rotate as a direct consequence of tipping?

I believe this point to be the fundatmental difference between the CSIA/PMTS. I'm assuming that it is true for the PSIA as well.

Please be aware, I'm not suggesting at all that one way is correct and the other is flawed.
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