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Important Skiing Instruction/coaching methods of the decades

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The Ski Gear Forum has a thread about the important Ski technology of the decades, and in doing some reading about the ski technology, it dawned on me that the there are many teaching/coaching methods that go hand in hand with the advancement in technology.

This is something I already knew but I found some of the articles interesting when they connect the modern teaching systems to the modern equipment.
Here is an article I found that I found interesting
I'm more of a gear junkie than an instruction junkie, so share with me, these advancements in instruction/coaching.

How far back do you go with instruction methods?
What method do you think of when I say 1950's, or 60's?
post #2 of 19
For 1950s, mostly the switch from the Arlberg approach of Down to prepare, up and twist toward the turn to turn the skis, which is what I learned in the late 1940s, to the more "modern" Austrian use of angulation and hip rotation more than total body twists.

In the 1960s, the French down movement came into prevalence for a while as their racers started beating the Austrians. My first ski school boss in 1970 was a former French national team member who stressed down motion turning for advanced maneuvers. Of course, Clif Taylor had his moment of prominence during the 1960s with his twist-the-short-skis GLM (graduated length method) system.

For the equipment junkies, there wasn't really a lot of ski design development during the 1950s and 60s other than the adaption of different materials to improve upon the basic performance of all-wood models. But there was a lot of improvement in both of the interfaces between the skier and the skis, namely boots and bindings.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
The article I linked talks about Taylor and his impact on the skiing world.

Here's a portion of it:
Quote:
Ski Technology History
In the late 1970's ski areas purchased theGraduated Length Method (GLM) franchise founded by Clif Taylor in the early 1960s as the new method to teach alpine skiing.
post #4 of 19
My favourite was the 70's cbc video-learn-to-ski program:
watch these guys....
http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-41-417-..._canucks/clip1
http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-41-417-..._canucks/clip3
Ok. there were some of Podborski too, but that's all I could find at the moment. Ski like that....

not like this.. http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-41-417-..._canucks/clip4
post #5 of 19
Ghost, love the line, "Irwin will pass up tomorrow's run..."
post #6 of 19
trekchick,

With the modern short shaped skis (120, 130 cm), people can learn much faster if instructors allow them to. Too many times I see groups of beginners lined up on the hill standing there waiting for their turn to ski. Too often, instructors teach turns, such wedge turns, wedge christies, etc. What works better is teaching movements such diagional movements on skis. The turns will come as a result of these movements.


Ski instructors need to teach skiing, not turning, standing or listining while standing. Any task that promotes diagional movements on skis (let the task be the teacher) and then related to each person's skiing will help the instruction catch up with the technology in the equipment.

RW
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ghost, cool links.


It was this thread that made me wonder how much the ski teaching/coaching has evolved, through the years


I'm guessing that a lot of the veteran instructors on this board have seen a lot of different methods come and go.
Kneale has certainly seen his fair share.

What a great ride its been over the past 20 years!
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
the veteran instructors on this board have seen a lot of different methods come and go.
Kneale has certainly seen his fair share.
One of the very few benefits of growing old.
post #9 of 19

SKiing and Keeping Up

Chris Fellows presents an interesting question. Are ski instructors and the Ski Mountain industry in general going to keep up with this latest evolution.

Trekchick, it has been interesting to watch myself and the ski world evolve through leather boots to todays euipment and it's ability revolution. I still say "snowplow" in and around the ski school just to see if anyone will notice. [usually they don't]

One of the WC reporters states that the Canucks had been only skiing world class races for one year previous to Reads DH WC win. Now there's a really ingnorant statement.

Sometimes I believe and see ski instructors more caught up in their dogma etc. than in the "fun", "enjoy" factors of skiing.

Chris Fellows is a very interesting and accomplished skier, his question is important.
post #10 of 19
You are absolutely correct, TC, that technology drives our teaching practices--but technology is not the only driver. As a sage ski instructor once said, even when they invent a ski that turns all by itself on telepathic command, there will still be the fear (i.e., the spiritual/emotional component) to keep a few ski instructors in stretch pants (this was said a few years ago). I ask you, is there a greater motivation for learning than how to make something inherently difficult easier, other than how to make something inherently dangerous safer?
post #11 of 19
I remember as a child being battered about in the crossfire between the older advocates of Arlberg (characterised by a rotation of the upper body and torso), and the vicious new school of reverse shoulder (characterised by counter rotation). We were only a few steps away from warfare between Winter Park (reverse shoulder and wedeln) and Arapahoe Basin (Arlberg and sweeping long turns).

For mongrol children who skied at both areas, as I did, life was very confusing and harsh.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am not very knowledgeable about teaching methods, so I'm a bit clueless, but I was wondering if there were specific teaching methods through the years that have defined a decade, or maybe a portion of a decade.

Kneale touched on a few in the beginning.

In the Gear thread a few posts were made that are good examples
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
If you go by influence on rec skiing overall:
60's - Head Standard
70's - Rossi Strato
80's - Rossi 4SK
90's - Volkl Snow Ranger
00's - Salomon Pocket Rocket
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
60s, metal skis, Head 360
70s, fiberglass, Rossi Strato
80s, snowboards and telemark skis, Winterstick, Fischer Europa 99
90s, shaped skis, Elan SCX
00s, fat skis, K2 Pontoon
In the beginning of the gear thread(started in 2001) many said that the Metron would define the 00's, but now you can see that other skis have jumped out front.

What a great ride the ski world has taken in gear, technology, instruction and coaching.
post #13 of 19
Although skis have developed over the years, mostly with the innvation of metal edges and then man made materials in the construction, it is the evolution of the boot that has help make modern skiing what it is today.

Very early boots were not much more than a leather hiking boot with soles that were shaped to fit a binding. Many even had flexible soles to walk in. As boots became more rigid without flexible soles and stiffer uppers, the skier was actually able to to lever the ski on an edge more easily. The next inovation was buckles to make them more consumer friendly, but it was still a two layer leather boot that was cut just above the ankle and lower in the back of the cuff than the toung area.
As plastics were introduced as a shell material, the flex was added by a hinge in the ankle and the boots became higher up the shin area and allowed more lateral stiffness. Canting, flex and forward lean adjustments were introduced so a skiier could be alligned without adjustments to the binding. Soft boots were introduced to allow skiers more ankle flexibility to balance in a neutral stance. Many other improvements have been made to make the boot easier to get on and off.

I don't know which comes first, the technological changes to the skis, or to the boot, but they go hand in hand.

PS:

Quote:
70s, fiberglass, Rossi Strato
The strato, strato 102 and 105 was always a wood core ski with only a fiberglass cosmedic coating.

RW
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ron, I think I am making this more confusing than it should be.

There is a thread about the Ski Gear of the decades with a lot of the same discussion you posted above.

It was that thread that inspired me to ask this question:
How has ski teaching/coaching evolved through the years, and was there any ONE method that you could say defined each decade?

The quoted posts above are only examples of how some of the gear has defined the decades(trust me, they've been debated in that thread)
post #15 of 19
TC,

Sorry for getting off track. Are you asking about technique, styles of teaching or methods/systems?

RW
post #16 of 19
Quote:
there are many teaching/coaching methods that go hand in hand with the advancement in technology.--trekchick
Upon reflection, I don't believe this statement is true. I think innovations in technique are driven by technology improvements, but that innovations in teaching methods are driven by people, many of them ski school or national instructor training school directors and many of whom wrote "self-coaching" books that were moderately popular among recreational skiers. Examples are Hannes Schneider, Emile Allais, Bill Lash, Georges Joubert, Fred Iselin, Horst Abraham, and our friend Weems Westfeldt with his Sports Diamond and Diamond Pros...
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
The article I linked talks about Taylor and his impact on the skiing world.

Here's a portion of it:

"Ski Technology History
In the late 1970's ski areas purchased theGraduated Length Method (GLM) franchise founded by Clif Taylor in the early 1960s as the new method to teach alpine skiing."
May 23, 2007

Dear TC:

My recollection was that the GLM method was first applied at Killington. At that point in time, many complaints by advanced skier were made about people using short skis (which was a crucial part of GLM, although the method did want skiers to graduate to ordinary skis) and ruining the shape of moguls. Since I had just started skiing then, I was unaffected by the shape of the moguls and probably was contributing to the delinquency in the shape of the moguls. I wasn't on "short skis", I was just a lousy skier.

quote from Pete No Idaho

"One of the WC reporters states that the Canucks had been only skiing world class races for one year previous to Reads DH WC win. Now there's a really ingnorant statement."

Two world class racers come to mind, Nancy Greene (1968 Olympic Gold, Silver, 1967, 1968 WC Gold) and Ernie McCulloch (Harriman Cup, 1952 US National Title beating Stein Ericksen and Othmar Schneider, both fresh from Olympic Golds):.

quote from Nolo:

"is there a greater motivation for learning than how to make something inherently difficult easier, other than how to make something inherently dangerous safer?"

This statement is so insightful and is so specifc to this "scaredie pants skier". According to your wise sage, I'm probably one of those who will contribute to keeping stretch pants instructors off the unemployment lines .


quote from Weems:

"Winter Park (reverse shoulder and wedeln) and Arapahoe Basin (Arlberg and sweeping long turns)."

You've got the best of both worlds. The smoothness of a Stein and the strength of a Schneider.

CharlieP
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
TC,

Sorry for getting off track. Are you asking about technique, styles of teaching or methods/systems?

RW
Methods/Systems was what I had in mind, and you should keep in mind, I'm not going to test you on this when you're done

I'm just curious if Teaching methods/systems have defined decades as much as gear has. Now........play with it and smile!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Upon reflection, I don't believe this statement is true. I think innovations in technique are driven by technology improvements, but that innovations in teaching methods are driven by people, many of them ski school or national instructor training school directors and many of whom wrote "self-coaching" books that were moderately popular among recreational skiers. Examples are Hannes Schneider, Emile Allais, Bill Lash, Georges Joubert, Fred Iselin, Horst Abraham, and our friend Weems Westfeldt with his Sports Diamond and Diamond Pros...
DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, we have a winner!
Nolo, I love this way of thinking.
I do, believe that Teaching methods are brought about by "AHA!" moments, and they also have a way of delivering "AHA!" moments.
Build a better mouse trap, kind of thinking, maybe?

Charlie P you are such an observant guy, and I love your take on the other posts in this thread.

At the end of the day, I would hope that the evolution of Ski Teaching never stops moving along! Somehow, I think the brilliant people in our midst won't allow that to happen.
post #19 of 19
TC,

Quote:
Methods/Systems was what I had in mind, and you should keep in mind, I'm not going to test you on this when you're done
I think the changes in equipment technology have changed the methods with the DP method, which is different than GLM. We put beginners on short shaped skis (120 to 130 cm) b/c it is easier for them to manuver. DP (direct parallel) uses gliding, guiding and tipping the skis to turn where GLM was more pivoting or displacing both skis to a new direction using unweighting.

DP uses more natural movement patterns such as directional movements to guide and tip the skis. Hand in hand with this, we recoginise that DP isn't for everyone or every area that doesn't have terrain where DP is usefull, so the gliding wedge approach (on short skis) is a viable option. Gliding wedge turns still use diagional directional movements which lead to open track parallel rather quickly compared to teaching practices in the past.

Hope I have been more on target with this post.

RW
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