Originally Posted by catskills
All good comments. Yes subjective. That said, I think the Senior S&T evaluators and trainers really try their best to improve the S&T skills of the patrollers. I agree it can be rather amusing when you hear the evaluators discuss if Joe passed because he was out of position during the tail rope and the tail rope was a little tight. Especially when their is no doubt that Joe can out ski and can handle a toboggan better than everyone of the evaluators.
If Joe was such a super toboggan handler, then why did Joe hang on to the tail rope like he was water skiing? Was that an isolated instance, or did Joe water skied with his tail rope time and time again? These are the questions being discussed among the evaluators. And indeed they are valid questions. True, many Senior candidates have skills superior to some on the evaluation staff. However, can the candidate harness his superlative skills to meet a stated and reasonable objective? I have seen many candidates with great free skiing skills completely fall apart taking toboggans through the moguls. Seems they assumed their super skiing skills will translate directly into braking wedge, transitions, sideslipping tactics necessary to negotiate toboggans through moguls. Their skills don't translate directly, not without some guidance and coaching. To assume otherwise is usually their downfall.
On the upper levels of any sport, the skills of the trainees surpassing those of the coaches is not uncommon. That fact does not diminish the ability of evaluators to evaluate performance, or for trainers to coach their candidates.
On another subject, TE's do not want to flunk people. In every clinic I have ever participated in, TEs bend over backwards trying to give marginal candidates the benefit of the doubt, and give them second and sometimes third chances to show what they've got.
The best advice I can give candidates is to go in with a good idea of the performance level expected, and a good idea of how your own skills stack up to that level. Solid candidates can pass even on a bad day with a hang over. Marginal candidates will need to have a good day. Inadequate candidates should go with a view of the clinic being a learning experience. The second advice I can give candidates is to pay attention to the evaluator instructions, and do exactly as you are told. If you are asked to make 2 transitions between pole A and pole B, make 2 transitions. Don't hotdog and try 3 or 4. If you are asked to show controlled skiing through bumps, don't zipperline at warp speed with an iron cross thrown in. Show them controlled skiing through bumps. Lastly, and most importantly, stay loose. Remember the TEs want to pass you. Work with them so they feel good about passing you.