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What to do - PSIA Poll - Page 3

Poll Results: If it was your decision, what would you do with these instructors?

  • 0% (0)
    These people are a disgrace to PSIA and should be stripped of their pins and membership immediately.
  • 7% (3)
    Their service is commendable, but they should NEVER ski in public wearing PSIA identification.
  • 85% (36)
    I would be honored to ski with these individuals.
  • 7% (3)
42 Total Votes  
post #61 of 72
Do you love teaching?

Are you able to help your students reach their goals & feel that they are having more fun?

Do your supervisors/trainers think that you are directing your students technique in the right direction (Are they learning sound basic skills)?

Do you have sound basic skills?

Are you willing, and do you want to improve your lower level skiing?

I would say your answer to these questions is probably a resounding yes! If so you should definately continue teaching, as long as you can remain passionate about it & continue to grow.
However your coach at the ESA thing made you feel, try and let it role off your shoulder.
I have an aquaintance that has told me I am a s**tty golfer. Does it make me want to quit golfing?
NO, It just makes me want to get better & beat his A**!

post #62 of 72
Bingo MOM, you hit it on the head.

I’m one of those Level II Adaptive guys. I love skiing and I love working with people. I passed the Level II skiing portion of the Alpine exam, however, due to a variety of factors I was not able to take the teaching portion of the exam. Someday maybe I’ll take it again. Right now its not the highest thing on my to do list.

This discussion got me thinking about something I read concerning baseball. (I studied TQM years ago and really took it to heart.) You need a hitting coach. There are two people who are up for the job. The first guy is a top-notch hitter, an absolute natural. He just walks up to the plate, swings, and the ball is out of there. He was on a Major League team for years and was their go to guy when they needed a hit.

The other individual was a Triple A team player. He was in the game for years. Even got to the show once. However, he got bounced back to the minors. He’s a good hitter, but it took years of training and work for him to get it. His hitting average was never that great. However, he was a team player and worked with other guys to help them improve.

You talk to both guys. You ask them how to teach someone to hit a ball. The first guy says, “Walk up, look at the pitch, and swing.” The second guy says, “I need to look at the batter.” I know who I’d hire, the second guy. Not because he’s a better batter, but because he had to take apart his swing and analyze every move he made to hit the ball. He understands the stuff behind the swing.

Tiger Woods is arguably the best golfer on the circuit today. He has a swing coach, Hank Haney. Do you think that Haney can beat him on the course? No way. However, Haney has helped Woods tear down his swing and rebuild it so he is better than ever. Tiger’s done this twice in his career.

Now that’s what a good instructor should be able to do. Coach their students to attain a higher level than the coach will ever be. I know that I will never have the “quick feet” of those young studs I see ripping the hill. I’ll never be able to pound bumps like a young kid. Hell, I don’t want to. In some of the Alpine Clinics I’ve attended, I’ve been the Tail End Charlie coming down the slope. So what, I was there to learn and have fun, not to rip.

To get to the level I am at I’ve had to work, analyze, rebuild my stance, and rethink skiing. I’ve had a variety of coaches all of whom I’m grateful for. Some of my best instruction has been from coaches sitting in monoskis. They couldn’t model leg and foot movement to me, however, they could teach me how to do it, all because they understand how a ski works and biomechanics.

What I’m saying is that you don’t have to be a level 9 skier to be an effective ski teacher. You do have to know the mechanics of skiing, movement analysis, the biomechanics of skiing, and how to effectively present ideas to others. PSIA-E has the Master Teacher Certification. Back when it started, I attended the first set of indoor clinics. The organizers thought that they might get at most 40 people to attend, they had over 150. Most of us were the grey haired types. Most of us knew it wasn’t likely that we would be Level IIIs. However, we wanted to learn more so we could be better teachers. I really like this approach.
post #63 of 72
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
First adaptive exams are way tougher than there alpine counter parts. dont write people off cause they teach "handicapped" people.
Agreed. Do the people that teach the adaptive courses have outside training (beyond skiing) to deal with some of the nuances of 'handicapped' students. School teachers who work with the 'community based' students often have more focused training how to be a care taker as opposed to a full fledged history teacher, for example.

Either way, the work is commendable.

Of course I would ski with these folks. There is more to skiing then lapping the hill as fast as possible. Except a pow day, no friends on a....
Apparently the instructors won't be skiin' the pow anyways

Instructors that can't ski pow is still hilarious.
post #64 of 72

Oh yes. Good adaptive organizations have training on many facets of working with disabilities. We have experts (Doctors, Nurses, Therapists, OTs, PTs, other health professionals, Special Needs Teachers) come in to teach us about working with various disabilities, how to cope with inappropriate behavior and anger in students, etc. etc. Our pre-season clinics span a multitude of subjects beyond skiing.

Further, we have a large number of volunteer instructors that work in medicine and as special needs teachers to ask questions and get advice from. Also, we have the parents and students themselves. Many people with disabilities are more than willing to tell you what's going on if you ask. The more good information we have the better we can serve our students.

I've always been amazed at the knowledge base and expertise that most adaptive organization have available.
post #65 of 72
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
This thread started out describing adaptive instructors. I teach adaptive as a volunteer.
I taught adaptive as a volunteer at the Winter Park National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) for 12 years. And I was a wimp. Some people had been doing it for 20 years or more.

Originally Posted by Mom View Post
I want you to know that physically and emotionally, this is waaay beyond a pack of bratty kids. To be a level II adaptive instructor means you have to pass in all disciplines. this includes cognitive stand up, blind, and sit down skiers. Anyone who tethers a bi-ski is a powerful, controlled skier. Maybe they won't keep up in powder or bumps, but i assure you they are strong skiers in the way that a ski patroller who maybe can't do poodle turns is a strong skier.
All true. And, as Mom mentions, some of the clients coming to a disabled skiing program can be extremely challenging for everyone. The methods to maintain control of a bi-ski without pulling it over are not all intuitively obvious. Many clients do not communicate normally; some do not communicate at all. Some, indeed, communicate but have a very poor concept of reality.

At NSCD, many volunteers are part of a regular "program" and will work with the same client every week. Others, once they've demonstrated the necessary skill and obtained the necessary credentials, may be asked to be part of the private lesson program, which means they get a different client, and a different challenge, every week.

In training, I've had the dubious pleasure of piloting a bi-ski for my first time (I didn't know how to drive the thing yet!) with a new volunteer who didn't know how to tether it. Fortunately, we both survived.

I've also tethered a mono-ski being piloted by our SSD, who was, at the time, a National Demo Team member. He had a lot of enthusiasm, a willingness to take risks, and very little idea how to control the mono. This is not necessarily a good combination!: We survived that one, too.

Originally Posted by Mom View Post
Many of us are PSIA certified. Not all of us are awesome skiers. but we bring a lot to the ranks nevertheless. Also, at many resorts, the adaptive instructors do NOT have access to all those wonderful clinics described above that are available to the rank and file instructors. We have to pay retail for our ski lessons - or clinics, if we're lucky enough to be certified. Most have full time day jobs and spend most of our free ski time volunteering. Many of us are darn lucky if we ever get our student up the lift, never mid off the bunny slope. So mileage in powder and steeps, etc is minimal.
NSCD is affiliated with PSIA. All volunteers who choose to do so can join. It's not required. Those who join PSIA and pursue skill enhancement have access to the in-house clinics provided by both NSCD (which has some good trainers, as you might imagine) and the Winter Park Ski School. Strangely, very few take advantage of the latter, at least while I was there. As a PSIA member, they have access to PSIA clinics and discounts.

Still, Mom is correct regarding the working environment. Most volunteers spend most of their time in very flat places skiing very slowly. (Of course, you can still work on skill development. How many people can actually achieve a clean release into a turn with almost no slope and no speed?)

Originally Posted by Mom View Post
I mostly train our new instructors now.
I was on this path until my wife stepped in and pointed out that she was entitled to some time, too. You see, I was also teaching in the "regular" Ski School, I spent a lot of time in clinics to obtain my L3 Alpine (not Adaptive - see, I told you I was a wimp), and I was volunteering with NSCD. She had a point. Instead of doing more teaching, I needed to make time to ski with her!

Originally Posted by Mom View Post
I am glad that most who responded to the poll agree that we should all be proud to have people like her in our company. Most ski instructors are, by nature giving people. some get burned out, some get tired, some get stale. But not in numbers exceeding any other profession. We should all be careful not to be too quick to judge, even each other.
We should be proud of such people, and we should indeed avoid judging too quickly. I reserve the right to judge myself, however, and I usually find myself unworthy, because I didn't do enough long enough for NSCD, and because I still don't ski well enough!
post #66 of 72
JH, you are, sir, what's known as a mensch.
post #67 of 72
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
JH, you are, sir, what's known as a mensch.
post #68 of 72
adapative instructor rock, mom and Jhcooley pointed out the reason why.

this coming from someone who misses doing it and has loaded his fair share of Biskis, taught lessons, and tether too many 200lb biskis to the point my young back ached. I only did it about 15 times a year and although I dont miss the pain I miss teaching adapative.

I am wimp too the guys that have been doing it for as long as I have been alive I cant believe they are still doing it. I have nearly killed myself and my student doing this. Its a rough sport.

I also wimped out and didnt take the adaptive exams while my ex girlfriend killed it and was the youngest certified Adapative on the east coast last year(still might be in fact). she rocks I wimped out.
post #69 of 72
Thread Starter 
Now those are the type of pin-thumpin', self-serving, I'm-an-instructor-give-me-a-pro-form-deal kind of stories I was talking about.

In the real world case of the L2 instructor I mentioned originally - he is one of the 20+ year guys. He may not float like a butterfly in the soft stuff, but he stings like a bee in his world. Mom, jhcooley, and all of you who unselfishly work in that arena - you rock! Kids duty too - the worst backaches I've ever had... actually the only backaches I've ever really had.

Oboe, I'm sure you know the limits of your skills and when it's time to "graduate" your students to higher learning with the "college professors". The last thing you want to do is leave clients feeling like they should hang it up (as happened to you). Sometimes, skiing is the easy part - knowledge transfer and inspiration is what counts. You've obviously inspired a lot of people.

Not a high number of survey participants, but I suspected the results would be as they are when all of the facts are considered. Thank you for everyone's comments.
post #70 of 72
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
I have an aquaintance that has told me I am a s**tty golfer. Does it make me want to quit golfing?
NO, It just makes me want to get better & beat his A**!

but did it make you think you could teach golf?
post #71 of 72
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
but did it make you think you could teach golf?
Definately! There's a few things in that guys swing & attitude I would change.
Even though I am about a 15 handicap golfer, I have a great eye & have helped a lot of friends up to a certain level without screwing up their game.

Many years ago a group of instructors from my area went to take a prep clinic for our level III cert. At the end of the day, I was nicely told that I probably wasn't ready for the exam & should wait another year. Admitadley, I probably wasn't having my greatest day. The rest of my group was somewhat shocked, as they had always considered me to be one of the better skiers. With their encouragement, I decided to take the exam anyway. I ended up having the same clinician as one of my examiners (I don't think he remembered me), I passed with flying colors & he even offered me a job in his Ski School.
Did his analysis at the clinic deflate me? You bet, but it made me focus a little harder to try & prove him wrong!
post #72 of 72
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
They should not be allowed to freeski in uniform, besides who freeskis in uniform anyways?
I freeski in uniform, rather than take the time to go back down and change. I prefer not to wear the uniform, but if it's a choice between that and missing good turns, screw it.

Our uniform policy is a little different. Here, any instructor can freeski in uniform, but woe to you if you're caught breaking any rules. Fortunately, we have the fewest rules of any almost ski area in the country...1) Don't go out of bounds in uniform unless you have your avi gear and a partner, and 2) Don't go in Gunner's Bowl or the Canyon from the Pan Dome side when closed.

We have a few instructors who fit the descripton posted earlier, but for the most part, the instructors all rip (certainly better than the instructors I have seen at many other areas) and the area is fine with letting people see them rip in uniform. Or not.
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