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Anyone Self Taught? - Page 3

post #61 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Based on my experience with a single lesson after over 30 years of self-improvement....no.

I got to take a lesson with Wade Holiday. Great experience, but I flailed all day doing things that in retrospect, are not a big deal. Focusing on drills and movements that intended to correct my decades of self-reinforced bad habits had me hitting the ground hard. I think I need another shot to redeem myself. Its like a dance class. You never know how awkward you really are until someone else defines how you should move. Then, you can't even take the first step without tripping. The pay off comes when the drill turns to muscle memory. The unlearning process seems to be the hardest part. : That said, a series of lessons seems to be the solution to tear down the weaknesses in technique and rebuild a better skier.
Hi Cirq,
I thought your tactics improved. You didn't pick up some things right away, but I'm sorry you don't think a lesson will improve your skiing. You're line choice and flow improved. Yes, you hit the deck a couple of times trying something new. that showed your "old college try" attitude.

I guess i'm a bit dissappointed that after a pretty good day, you don't think you can improve your skiing with a lesson.
Seems i may have missed this one, because with the right instructor you can get better after being self taught. no question in my mind.

cheers,
holiday
post #62 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant View Post
I wonder how many Self Taught people are still skiing into middle age and older? I suspect, very few, and what skiing they do is increasingly occasional.
Actually, I would expect that many hardcore skiers are self-taught. Virtually everyone I ski with is, that's for sure.
post #63 of 76
I have certainly done a lot of self-teaching over the years, but I've also gotten some coaching. I'm far more self-taught then coached, that is for sure.

I think the truly best skiing will come out of an individual with some of both. Any skier that has exclusively taught themselves could benefit from the "right" coach working with him or her. The problem is that the better they get on their own, the harder it is to find the "right" coach that will actually help them. However I also think that the best way to truly reach your own potential is to take responsibility for your own ski education. Yes, you work with coaches/teachers as you find them, but over the years you have to learn how to filter through a lot of the information that is given you, not all of it good either BTW. Go out and experiment. Learn through trial and error. If I pay attention in a clinic I can usually hear at least a tidbit of something that will, if nothing else, serve as a reminder to what I already know but might need to be reminded. And everyone once in a while I hear a golden nugget. Not so much anymore. Yea...being taught is helpful. But by and large, I learned all the best stuff on my own from skiing a million miles.
post #64 of 76
Thread Starter 
No longer self taught... feels odd now, and my coach told me that I ski too much like Bode...
post #65 of 76
You're in NH, and you're coach is telling you how you ski? Where are you skiing?
post #66 of 76
Thread Starter 
^Anywhere that serves Mt Dew...
post #67 of 76
uh huh....


alert... bored kid online... alert...

























































you suck, highway.
post #68 of 76
as bad as I ski, I can only claim self-taught!


But think about it.. is there anything in life you learn thats usable thats not self taught? If you follow others the best you can be is like them
post #69 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
I haven't had a lesson in 30 years, but next season might change that (and no jokes about old dogs, please).

Michael
Ditto.
post #70 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
Hi Cirq,
I thought your tactics improved. You didn't pick up some things right away, but I'm sorry you don't think a lesson will improve your skiing. You're line choice and flow improved. Yes, you hit the deck a couple of times trying something new. that showed your "old college try" attitude.

I guess i'm a bit dissappointed that after a pretty good day, you don't think you can improve your skiing with a lesson.
Seems i may have missed this one, because with the right instructor you can get better after being self taught. no question in my mind.

cheers,
holiday
I really didn't mean to leave you with that impression. The day of working together left me with some things that were very useful, yet unfinished. Its kind of like learning a complex dance step. It feels and looks awkward until you work it though and own the move. I was later able to incorporate the turn transition movement and line tactics into my skiing without hitting the deck and so that worked for me. In fact, Jim and I continued skiing that afternoon and things came easier even then. My disappointment was learning how quickly we found the limitations of my comfort zone and tactics to deal with particularly steep, icy and moguls. Its easy to fake it if you never confront it. I've been getting more accustomed to giving in to rapid acceleration, secure that I can control it, and that was a hurtle.

In my reply you quoted, I was replying to someone who asked whether a lesson can improve your skiing. My sense was that it might take more than one session.
Quote:
I think I need another shot to redeem myself.
So, my comment was not intended to say the day was without benefit, but rather its going to take a few more to arrive where I want to be. Lets continue forward next year.

[edit: wow, you posted this in May! Sorry for the delay.]
post #71 of 76
There are different levels of "self thaught". IMO a person that just skied by himself without giving it that much thaught would never become any good at it but one that read magazines, books, watched videos of own and others skiing and tried his best to excel could very well become level 8 or more. Same rule applies to lessons, if you dont want to learn there is no use taking lessons.
post #72 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
There are different levels of "self thaught". IMO a person that just skied by himself without giving it that much thaught would never become any good at it but one that read magazines, books, watched videos of own and others skiing and tried his best to excel could very well become level 8 or more. Same rule applies to lessons, if you dont want to learn there is no use taking lessons.
The only skiing video I have seen is the Volkl one, and I have never read a ski magazine or book. I developed my style by forming it around the things I wanted to do, ie tree skiing, racing, etc. I dont pay much attention to how other people ski.
post #73 of 76
Everyone who is good is at least partially self-taught, even if they've been in a daily coaching program for the last fifteen years. You always have to bring yourself as the student to the lesson, and you always have to figure out, of all the advice and examples and possible choices out there, which ones make sense to you, which things you can cart away from the experience and apply, and which ones of the things you do apply, you want to keep.

(Search for discussions of counter in high level skiing around here if you want an example of divergent opinions, mirroring an actual substantial diversity of technique on that front from high level World Cup skiers.)

That said, how fast do you want to improve and how good do you want to get? Lots of skiers are very happy with how they ski now, whether they're carving or skidding (and whether they think they're carving but actually are skidding.) A few of the rest of us want to get MUCH better, MUCH faster than most people have reason to expect. The best way to do that is to get some help to identify your bad habits, to discover the limitations holding you back, and to try some of the variety of technical improvements out there to see what helps you. If you already knew, yourself, what was holding you back and how to get beyond it, it probably wouldn't still be holding you back, no?

I got into racing as a grown up, and my best learning has been from analyzing still pictures of me in the course compared with the top guys at the same turn. (The timer doesn't lie, and the still frame typically exposes the technical flaws behind that ugly numeric truth...) But how to get more like those fast guys is also helped by getting individual coaching. And you've got to be willing to listen, to try, and to experience the discomfort of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in an effort to expand it.

There are 60 year old racers in daily masters programs who just practice the same sub-optimal technique rut, over and over. And there are skiers who are not in lessons who can experience a breakthrough. But your chances of improving more rapidly increase if you get some outside help from someone good.

Me, I've probably got to improve my times this year by a full second just to avoid getting passed up by my teenaged son, so--subject to snow availability--there's definitely a Thanksgiving one-week racing camp in Colorado in my Fall future and some Masters drop in training through the rest of the year.*

SfDean.


*Though the writing may be on the wall on this one anyway. My son is much bigger and stronger every year--especially this year--and in one year he went from getting beat by my brother by three seconds to beating my brother by four seconds. Given that last season in one race he was only four tenths of a second slower than dad, my time may be up. On the other hand, I still have, er, substantial room for technical improvement, so we'll see.
post #74 of 76
Self taught with, at most 2 or 3 lessons sprinkled in throughout the years. Did the lessons help? Yes. Will I take more? I am considering attending ESA Stowe this coming season or possible on of the western steeps camps mentioned earlier in this thread.

I learned by watching and following better skiers. And also by being a ski bum and just putting a lot of days and miles in on skis. The hardcore skiers I hang with learned the same way. Some are better some worse. I have some bad habits that I am aware of and am trying to correct. I am sure that I have bad habits that I am blissfully unaware of as well. Doesn't matter because I love to ski and I ski well enough to enjoy the whole mountain. I am not one to analyize the movements and motions of proper form. In fact, I often eschew proper form for fun. For example, I love banking a turn. angulation is fine and all, but, sometimes you just want to go with the gravity. And sitting back ala HS can also be fun when done in short bursts.

I guess this is just a long-winded way of saying that skiing can be fun even if you are a hack.
post #75 of 76
Around 1969 my stepdad, who was 70 years old and an average skier, rented me and my brother some skis and we went to Ski Idlewild near Winter Park. He showed us the basic moves-snowplow, sideslip, sidestep, herringbone, etc and turned us loose. The week after, we had a 1-hour lesson on a plastic covered hill out behind a ski and boat shop in a Denver suburb. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know, except for refining my snowplow a little bit. My stepdad showed me stem turns the next time up, and pretty much left me to my own devices from there on out. I skied with, and watched, others who I thought were good skiers and tried to imitate them.

I have a hatful of Silver NASTAR pins to show for my efforts, all acquired in the mid-70's. Probably not that impressive to someone who is "really good", but I'm satisfied with most of what I am able to do.

I got to where I could handle most conditions likely to be found in Colorado or Utah. Extreme moguls and deep powder were a problem. I was not athletic enough to really handle the big moguls and Kneissl Red Stars were not helpful for skiing powder deeper than about six inches.

About 1974 the hot-dog thing was in full swing, and I had the opportunity to frequently watch flicks of Wayne Wong and friends doing the whirly-twirly stuff. Then I'd go up to the mountains the next day and try to replicate what I saw the night before. "If you can't ski, do tricks" someone once said, so I did. That seemed to improve my skiing more than anything else. It taught me more about edge control than anything else I'd done before that.

Here, too, less than optimum fitness and athletic ability kept me from being able to execute some of the more complicated moves, but I had lots of fun doing what I was able to learn.

I'm not so worried about technique these days. I just go out and enjoy myself. I don't need to win any races or contests. I'm good enough to get compliments from my skiing companions and I feel comfortable with myself on nearly every run. Many of you folks could probably ski circles around me, but that's okay. I have fun. What else matters?
post #76 of 76
I'm with you... except for one thing: I find that the improving I've done means that I can ski more. I can ski for more hours in a day and more days in a season. I don't work as hard. And for someone like me who spends much of the off-season at my computer or on an airplane, that's a real benefit.

It adds up to more fun.

But, it's not essential for having joy in your snow-covered days, for sure. :
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