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Anybody heard of SITS?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I know that two of the more well known "schools" of ski instruction are PSIA and PMTS, but what about SITS?

http://www.weekendwarriorsguide.com/...FQYVhgodZWfrNw

I mean how can you not dig a school of thought that employs the "Disco Nights Move" into its program?
post #2 of 22
I am the lead person on the development team that created SITS (Simple Imagery Teaching System). What question(s) might you have?
post #3 of 22
I can't wait to see where this is going.....
post #4 of 22
I thought SITS would be those wierd shock-absorber things.
post #5 of 22
SITS=Rotator cuff. Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Subscapularis.:
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
I am the lead person on the development team that created SITS (Simple Imagery Teaching System). What question(s) might you have?
Just did a quick read of the website. I didn't see any discussion about skiing from the feet. Focus seemed to be on knees and hips. What's the theory of focusing higher up?
post #7 of 22
Great question Max 501. Here is my spiel on the basics of SITS™, Please remember that we developed this Simple Imagery Teaching System to help the everyday recreational skier become more confident on a variety of snow conditions. Our approach to carving turns (even in the bumps) is pretty simple. First we teach a person to relax their upper body by using a relaxed 2-3 fingered grip. Next we share our philosophy on arm position, and then we work on applying more pressure down on the skis throughout the turn. It goes like this:
The teacup grip uses mainly the thumb and index finger to grip the pole, with the ring finger and little finger pointed out, as if holding a teacup. This allows the arms and shoulders to relax, as opposed to being tense when you grab your pole with all your fingers, and always hold on in this static position. The teacup grip allows you to flick the pole out to the next plant using mainly your wrist, while avoiding gross arm movement. We pull the pole back from the plant using all our fingers and then immediately relax into the teacup grip again. Combine this grip with beach ball arms and you will be able to ski in a much more relaxed stance. This combination of hands and arms also enables a skier to adjust to terrain changes, initiating turns more quickly, when and where needed.
Beach Ball Arms: Keep your arms held high and wide, with your elbows up and your palms facing each other, as if you are holding a large beach ball against your chest. This allows you to stay in balance over varying terrain (like when you are getting bumped around) and you avoid turn blocking, which occurs when your arms come in too close to your body or swing across the front of your body. When you turn-block with your arms it locks up the free flowing kinetic chain within your body and knocks you out of your rhythm. Think about it this way; when a person is trying to stay balanced on a tight rope, a balance beam, or in ski racing, the first thing they do is spread their arms wide. For skiing we suggest your elbows be held approximately 8 -10 inches out from each side of your body and up high, not down below chest level. This distance can vary a little depending on the arm length of the individual.
With the hands and arms doing the right stuff the next step is to learn to flex the ankles forward to get the knees bent. When you focus on flexing forward at the ankles it keeps your hips over your boots (out of the back seat). This requires a soft forward-flexing boot. We believe many skiers don’t push hard enough on the front of their boots throughout the entire turn. This allows the skis to get out ahead of them (especially true in difficult and steep terrain).
To help skiers understand the concept of pushing on the front of their skis for control, we ask them to imagine a coil spring connected to each knee and running out to the tip of each ski. Imagine compressing these springs as you start the turn and keep them compressed right up until you end the turn. This is especially difficult to do if you ski in a boot that is too stiff. At the end of the turn allow these imaginary springs to push you back to an upright position using the compressed energy in them. Soft flexing boots really help when you are trying to keep pressure on the front of your skis through the whole turn. We ski in boots with free-floating upper cuffs (not pinned or bolted at the spine), usually three or even four models down from the top of-the-line offerings. It takes less energy to continually push, while loading the ski.
As I am sure you know, loading the ski with energy gives you control over the terrain. Then you simply rebound up and into the next turn. I realize a lot of skiers don’t talk about turning by using up and down motions these days, but until gravity goes away this the only way you can control your speed and line of descent. Tipping alone just won’t get you there. Too many skiers allow the terrain to dictate their path through the snow. With an energized ski you dictate direction.
By communicating ski technique through common everyday objects, we feel it is much easier for an aspiring skier to create memorable images, in their mind, of correct body position and movement when skiing. That is why we create these images using beach balls, springs, and teacups, just to name a few.
The hips are yet another story of imagery, for another time, or I run the risk of putting you to sleep.
This is only a “brief” overview of one phase of our SITS 4-part system.
post #8 of 22
I could definitely nitpick the approach to skiing, but on the whole it sounds liike it would work. The interesting question for a self-study program is how does the skier know when he or she is "getting it." Awareness of what one is doing is difficult enough with a coach and video. Do you have any thoughts on this self-awareness issue?
post #9 of 22

SITS: VME and Bedtime Visualization

Hey Fog,
Thanks for asking a great question. I am not sure I can exactly answer it. But, here goes. Several other components of SITS help skiers gain self-awareness and push them toward improved skiing. First, we use VME to help a person develop the correct upper body position engrams or muscle memories if you will. VME stands for Visualize, Mimic, and Evaluate. The student studies an illustration while standing in front of a mirror and then mimics it with eyes closed. Next, they simply open their eyes without moving and evaluated their upper body position for correctness. The exercise uses simple everyday objects, in the illustrations, to create a memorable image of the correct body positions for skiing. This makes it easy to remember what to practice when you are on the hill. We also share with people a process they can use to do bedtime visualizations of themselves skiing down a slope, using our techniques. This is done just before you sleep and right after you wake up, while still in bed. It sounds a bit weird, but works quite well if you apply the technique correctly. All this leads to specific on-snow drills. There you have it, a less-than-detailed description of two more pieces of the puzzle called SITS. I won't swear our system guarantees you will know when you are getting it, but you will feel different on your skis. Our experience is, different is good.

P.S. We also use video analysis, which is part of a self-study application we call V,V,V, and C. We can discuss it another time - don't want to be too verbose in just one post.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
First we teach a person to relax their upper body by using a relaxed 2-3 fingered grip. Next we share our philosophy on arm position, and then we work on applying more pressure down on the skis throughout the turn. It goes like this:
The teacup grip uses mainly the thumb and index finger to grip the pole, with the ring finger and little finger pointed out, as if holding a teacup. This allows the arms and shoulders to relax, as opposed to being tense when you grab your pole with all your fingers, and always hold on in this static position. The teacup grip allows you to flick the pole out to the next plant using mainly your wrist, while avoiding gross arm movement. We pull the pole back from the plant using all our fingers and then immediately relax into the teacup grip again. Combine this grip with beach ball arms and you will be able to ski in a much more relaxed stance. This combination of hands and arms also enables a skier to adjust to terrain changes, initiating turns more quickly, when and where needed.
Beach Ball Arms: Keep your arms held high and wide, with your elbows up and your palms facing each other, as if you are holding a large beach ball against your chest. This allows you to stay in balance over varying terrain (like when you are getting bumped around) and you avoid turn blocking, which occurs when your arms come in too close to your body or swing across the front of your body. When you turn-block with your arms it locks up the free flowing kinetic chain within your body and knocks you out of your rhythm. Think about it this way; when a person is trying to stay balanced on a tight rope, a balance beam, or in ski racing, the first thing they do is spread their arms wide. For skiing we suggest your elbows be held approximately 8 -10 inches out from each side of your body and up high, not down below chest level. This distance can vary a little depending on the arm length of the individual. only a “brief” overview of one phase of our SITS 4-part system.
Gee , & I just thought I was breaking the rules of form & just being sloppy last Spring. I was really just SITSing. A day of spring skiing, lollygagging down the groomers midweek, enjoying the scenery, wondering if I'd lose my poles cause my lower fingers werent gripping & I'm just way too relaxed. Arms spread wide gathering the California sunrays on a 50 + degree day. Checking out the scenery & just generally checking out. Way off in nahnah land with an empty mind. Hmm, can't wait to read the hip imagery. :
post #11 of 22
911over,

I appreciate your humor, but don't think you are quite ready for late-night Jay. A little more relaxation and a little less static body position is always a good thing. In about a week you will want to check in on the thread titled The SVMM Approach to Mogul Skiing where I will post a video. You will enjoy watching our loosey-goosey grip and relaxed style of skiing in the moguls. I have to say, it works really well. Look forward to your comments. Should be plenty of fun for both of us.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
I thought SITS would be those wierd shock-absorber things.
yeah, I also thought this thread would be about these:

http://www.cads.com/mechanic.htm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
Hey Fog,
Thanks for asking a great question. I am not sure I can exactly answer it. But, here goes. Several other components of SITS help skiers gain self-awareness and push them toward improved skiing. First, we use VME to help a person develop the correct upper body position engrams or muscle memories if you will. VME stands for Visualize, Mimic, and Evaluate. The student studies an illustration while standing in front of a mirror and then mimics it with eyes closed. Next, they simply open their eyes without moving and evaluated their upper body position for correctness. The exercise uses simple everyday objects, in the illustrations, to create a memorable image of the correct body positions for skiing. This makes it easy to remember what to practice when you are on the hill. We also share with people a process they can use to do bedtime visualizations of themselves skiing down a slope, using our techniques. This is done just before you sleep and right after you wake up, while still in bed. It sounds a bit weird, but works quite well if you apply the technique correctly. All this leads to specific on-snow drills. There you have it, a less-than-detailed description of two more pieces of the puzzle called SITS. I won't swear our system guarantees you will know when you are getting it, but you will feel different on your skis. Our experience is, different is good.

P.S. We also use video analysis, which is part of a self-study application we call V,V,V, and C. We can discuss it another time - don't want to be too verbose in just one post.
Shipps,
How much ski teaching or coaching have you done, and in what contexts? Are you certified in any teaching system, such as PSIA? Have youever compared the results of the visualiztion method to other methods? How does your system work for learning styles other than watchers? How does your system work for kids? Do you have any results which might indicate a gender diffference in how well your system works? How many students have you observed who have used your system? What percentage really got it? How athletic were they, and did they use lateral transfer from other sports?
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
911over,

I appreciate your humor, but don't think you are quite ready for late-night Jay. A little more relaxation and a little less static body position is always a good thing. In about a week you will want to check in on the thread titled The SVMM Approach to Mogul Skiing where I will post a video. You will enjoy watching our loosey-goosey grip and relaxed style of skiing in the moguls. I have to say, it works really well. Look forward to your comments. Should be plenty of fun for both of us.
Shipps,
I do hope you didn't think I was poking fun at SITS. I was totally serious. As I read your description of the teacup & beach ball imagery, it took me back to that spring day where my imagery & relaxed feeling was the same position but with arms open wide gathering in the rays & drawing them to me & holding onto the warmth. I truly was just floating down the slopes, nice relaxed turns & all. SITS makes me wonder if possibly our muscles & bodies will naturally work well & do the right things if we are not all tensed up with expectations & trying too hard to get things right. Not allowing our bodies to get it right on their own without the mental interference. I know this isn't always an appropriate thing to do, but can be a good thing to try at times. Still looking forward to the hip part.
post #15 of 22
911over,

I enjoyed your humor and thanks for the update.
post #16 of 22
I quess I should have said I enjoyed your humorous approach to telling a serious story about your experience. No worries, it's all good.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
I quess I should have said I enjoyed your humorous approach to telling a serious story about your experience. No worries, it's all good.
Okay Shipps,
I'm totallly serious now,it's hard to do but I am. Admittedly I had to read this whole thread because of Dookeys orig. post. SITS & the disco nights moves. I was looking for the hip gyrating instruction. Considering our pelvis contains the Sits/Sitz bones (aka-ischial tuberosity) I was wondering how SITS employed these sits bones of our pelvis in skiing. (Very important to correctly use our sits bones in dressage (horse training)).
SITS use of imagery is a very effective sports training tool that has been utilized for many years in other sports endeavors. Not as much as it could be though. Might I suggest a way of removing more static position from your teacup & beach ball description. Once the desired move/position is described & demonstrated, the student be encouraged to find their own imagery to put them there. This is much more powerful, removes the effort of holding a static position with imagery that has less meaning to a student than their own. When it's your own imagery, it evokes a much greater reaction in one's own mind & body than someone else's imagery. Try it out & let me know. Still awaiting the next installment. (hips)
post #18 of 22
Do you remember the old man in karatekid: aaah, learning karate from a book! On the other hand, tarzan learned to read and speak all by himselfe from the books he found in the tree house.....
post #19 of 22
911over,
That is a great idea. May I have it? A beachball, a bear hug, a bus steering wheel, a tree (hugger) or? I will try it. Thanks.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
911over,
That is a great idea. May I have it? A beachball, a bear hug, a bus steering wheel, a tree (hugger) or? I will try it. Thanks.
It's yours.

But I'm not sharing my imagery for the hip thing(still waiting).
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG View Post
Shipps,
How much ski teaching or coaching have you done, and in what contexts? Are you certified in any teaching system, such as PSIA? Have youever compared the results of the visualiztion method to other methods? How does your system work for learning styles other than watchers? How does your system work for kids? Do you have any results which might indicate a gender diffference in how well your system works? How many students have you observed who have used your system? What percentage really got it? How athletic were they, and did they use lateral transfer from other sports?

The following is a brief look into my qualifications:
1. 2 years as a USSA freestyle competitor
2. 4 years Pro freestyle competitor. My Mentor and Sponsor was Bob Lange. I was also sponsored by Major Ski Manufacturers and paid to ski.
3. I placed 3rd overall, two years in a row, on the Dearborn Cup, a professional freestyle skiing series out of Aspen.
4. Competed in various other events from time to time. Chevy, Hottest Skier in the Rockies, Saab Tour.
5. I was filmed in a ski movie, did a HBO and ESPN segment.
6. I was a sponsored Extreme Skier. In 1981, I set the verified record for the steepest backcountry descent in North America - 60-degrees. Mentor: Paul Ramer
7. Coached freestyle in Idaho and Colorado.
8. I attended the World Extreme Ski Camp in Jackson Hole. Skied on "A" team (only 3 skiers out of 55 made the cut).

I am not certified in any ski teaching system, but I was a teaching facilitator for a major corporation and I have engaged other ski professionals in discussions about technique for thirty years.

In SITS, we use teaching methods that address Visual, Verbal, and Tactile/Kinesthetic Learning Styles.

We have not entered into the arena of teaching children as yet.

We have had good success with both genders. We do address gender difference, because it does exist. We are supporters of Jeannie Thoren's approach to women's skiing and ski equipment.

I have observed quite a few students; especially the skiers we tested in a blind study before releasing SITS. This was a multi-year process. A panel of coaches, instructors, and high level skiers reviewed our system before we released it. We estimate that almost all skiers exposed to SITS improve. Because SITS has only been out for one year, we do not have significant long term data to support our claims.

Early indications suggest if participants stay with the program, asking for help and taking direction from us, the improvement is more signifcant than if they just read our book. Feedback tells us a large percentage of participants improve. We have early accepters we are continuing to watch. Among them are several that had no lateral transfer and some that did have lateral transfer of skills from other sports. One of our beta students had no skills from other sports, yet quickly became a competent back country skier, after being new to skiing just several years before. This student appears to have average athletic skills.

We have a process in place that helps enable us to stay in touch with the people that have been exposed to SITS. It is focused on helping them continue their progress toward becoming a better skier far into the future.
post #22 of 22
I'd really like to see some interaction between PSIA and the SITS folks. I know PSIA is develping something called a matrix to address better the various kinds of skiing and snow one might encounter, but the underlying PSIA skiing model, IMO, at its core is a GS turn, which implies a debt to racers and racing. I have often posed the hypothetical question, what would our skiing model look like if the basis were freestyle turns rather than racing turns, and I think your skiing model (even if you do not choose to call it such) seems like a model based on freestyle, and may provide exactly what I had been asking about.

PSIA also has two other models which you will cover in the course of instruction, whether or not you specifically choose to embrace their titles, a teaching model and a customer service model. Clearly your visualization-based approach is a kind of teaching model. You have extensive teaching experience in other areas, so I believe you are likely aware of various learning styles. It is my opinion that you could enhance your teaching model by planning for other learning styles. I also believe that you have very much to offer, but so also does PSIA. I urge you to become involved in PSIA, if it all practical.

In part this goes to your customer service model, again whether or not you call it that, you are developing a customer base. If someone attends, or plans to attend your course, then you can sell the book easily. I think your customer service model could be enhanced by having more instructors available nationwide to help your students implement their visualization. That way more people who buy your book would have access to compatible instruction. To that end, your costomer service might be enhance if you found a way to disseminate your concept throughout PSIA. I know at least one competing education system has been led by individuals who seem to show disdain for PSIA, but I think the market is such that saying nice things about other instruction methods, and in turn receiving praise for your method, is more likely in the end to yield a successful business than sniping at other schools whose customers you may wish to attract in the future. You do not seem yet to have made a choice to ally with or take issue with PSIA. I hope you consider what I wrote here.
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