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I liked being left alone! How about you?

Poll Results: How do you prefer your learning experience to progress?

 
  • 40% (19)
    Alone
  • 12% (6)
    With Friends/Family around
  • 2% (1)
    In a group of strangers
  • 6% (3)
    Group Lesson
  • 31% (15)
    Private Lesson
  • 6% (3)
    Other
47 Total Votes  
post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Before you read on, I'd like to make this disclaimer that I think the best way to start skiing is to "Go with a Pro!" Take a lesson from a qualified instructor!

Now on to my story.................
Picture it: 1984. I was a trying to do things that my boyfriend(now husband) liked to do. He wanted to teach me to ski.:

First lesson:
Master the tow rope - C'mon, do any of us really master the tow rope?
Why would we, after all the chair is our goal........isn't it?

When you're 18 and a 5 year old comes up to you and says, "hey, lady, its easier if you do it like this", you have two choices.
Be embarrassed and keep struggling
or
Thank the young prodigy and find out that you truly aren't smarter than a 5th grader(or 5 year old as it were)

I chose to take the advice of the young prodigy.

Second Step:
The snow plow. For the record, I have no idea how I ever learned to ski on rental equipment.
My boyfriend showed me a few basics of stopping and turning using the pizza wedge. I really don't have recollection of his patience level. I do remember that I had a death grip on my poles.
The other thing I remember is that I ended up yelling at him, "CAN'T YOU SKI SOMEWHERE ELSE AND LET ME PRACTICE?"

We set a time when he would return to check on me, take me in for cocoa, and off he went to join his buddies.

I spent more than an hour of - up the tow rope, down the bunny hill, up the tow rope, down the bunny hill.
By the time he came to get me, I no longer had the death grip on my poles and actually had a huge smile on my face.

Third Point:
I really liked being left alone to practice the few tips I'd learned, with no pressure.

How do you like the learning experience:
Alone?
With friends/family by your side?
With a group of strangers?
Group lesson?
Private Lesson?

Hmmmm, maybe this should be a poll:
post #2 of 26
I'm with you TC, I prefer to be alone to practice or with someone at the same level as me. That can be good also.

I like the camaraderie of group lessons but find some to be a lot more effective than others.

Private lessons are great but who can afford a lot of those?
post #3 of 26
At this stage, I like a pointer then to be ignored unless I suddenly make a huge leap in my ability to do something as a result of the pointer, Then I expect a Bravo. In the meantime, let me work at it.
post #4 of 26
Yes, I agree totally, Trekster. For me, comraderie and winter sports is exactly why I turned down a promising career in bobsledding for the French Polynesian national bob-squad.

Erm ... no?

But I do agree.
post #5 of 26
Private lesson is the most effective for me to learn, but going out to the hill on a weekday morning to get some miles under the feet alone is the best way for me to really build new habits.
post #6 of 26

I liked having a lesson then spending several days

practising on my own then I would have another lesson when I had
made serious progress then another lesson when I had made further
serious progress. Between lessons I watched instructional videos and
read books as well. Loosing the fear of falling over and getting up was
the toughest part in learning to ski for me. The most fun part was achieving successful descents of steep slopes and buying progressivly
better gear as I got better.
post #7 of 26

I'll play...

:

ok TC I'll come out of hibernation and play. Let's get this little BZ going!! The technique forum is such a train wreck I would not recommend any beginners or low intermediates go there at the moment.... heck I won't even go there anymore to lurk - it is a bloody battlefield (IMHO of course)

So I think we really need this little BZ to become a signature forum of peace and harmony and I applaud your efforts to do that.

My self study method for learning new school was 100% watching high end video (see signature for examples) and copying. I also swiped many ideas and movements from the skier who cannot be named, tho to a lesser degree and without the cool aid. Disclaimer tho, I am a former instructor and technique junkie so what works for me might confuse the average bear. In other words, I can see(and feel) what works. A lot of students at a minimum could use someone who understands MA to talk them thru the videos below a bit. I am blessed to no longer need the words. If I see it I can usually copy it. If I was to venture again into super steep terrain or very gnarly conditions even I would seek some coaching...most students who eventually want to ski most of the mountain probably can use some coaching.....I can't afford ESA but many rave reviews tell me that might be a great path for those with the dough to spend.

As for starting out...well I was a wee little pup but I remember a lot of games and "follow me" stuff....I never learned how to really master the arc of the turn until I joined ski school - but I had a lot of fun bombing the hill....especially in high school on my 7' head standards Yep I was a big tuck and run guy:

A lot of my teaching of wee beginners involved the use of games. L Gullion's "ski games" was a great resource I used extensively. I believe if I am not mistaken our Nolo has published a lot of material on this topic...maybe she can chime in....I found adapting a lot of the kids teaching methodology to adults worked great too...point the headlight down the hill, stab the bunny etc....keep em loose and smiling and breakthroughs happen. Of course once a bit of learning sinks in then miles, not talking is needed to dial it in. My "shaddap and ski" actually was my signature phraseology on the hill as an instructor....it really isn't meant to antagonize.

Good thread TC. Maybe the BZ will take off! I sure hope so!

I chose "alone" for the poll....not that I necessarily endorse the choice, but it works for me.

My most profound thought is that this is a fantastic time to be learning (or relearning) to ski. The new technology, both supershape and superwide skis makes it easier than ever before to ski the whole mountain at a high level. Ski fast and ski the steeps - it is all within reach for most reasonably athletic people.

It really is a beautiful thing.....

Oh yeah, buy the best boots you can afford and make sure they fit!!!
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman View Post
Private lesson is the most effective for me to learn, but going out to the hill on a weekday morning to get some miles under the feet alone is the best way for me to really build new habits.
Started latter in life skiing therefore have some catching up to do! I do take lessons, private along with small groups (ESAs). Just as Skiingman and hrstrat57 pointed out, I find my learning takes place during the lesson but the instilling of these new habits come from getting on the slopes first in the morning for at least an hour of intense practice by myself. I really enjoy being alone on the slopes to improve my skiing.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
To this day, I'm shocked that my relationship with my husband survived him teaching me..............Lesson learned........take a lesson from a pro!

To this day, I'm confident that my Practice Time ALONE was the saving grace of our relationship!
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragin' cajun' View Post
Started latter in life skiing therefore have some catching up to do! I do take lessons, private along with small groups (ESAs). Just as Skiingman and hrstrat57 pointed out, I find my learning takes place during the lesson but the instilling of these new habits come from getting on the slopes first in the morning for at least an hour of intense practice by myself. I really enjoy being alone on the slopes to improve my skiing.



Ol' hrstrat57 theme song (think Pete Townshend hot rodded les paul deluxe in the background.....nope he never smashed the les pauls)

I can ski for miles and miles....I can ski for miles and miles....I can ski for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.....

Oh yeah....:

Often sung while leading a group of still smiling 12 year olds down the mighty yawgoo back in the day.... for the 20th time....can't dial in new movements and get better by yappin!!

shaddap and ski does not include singing...singing is allowed Theme song didn't fit in the signature so I went with "how bout we just shaddap and ski" instead...

and I have a 69 LP deluxe too!! Just like Pete: G
Guitars and skiing, life is good for this lucky puppy:
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post

Oh yeah....:



and I have a 69 LP deluxe too!! Just like Pete: G
Guitars and skiing, life is good for this lucky puppy:
It really is good! Isn't it?
post #12 of 26

Learning Alone

Learning Alone is good - for some people.

REMINDER. This is the Beginners forum. Beginners take a lesson lst from a pro then if you want ,ski alone and learn the lesson taught. It may be important however, that after you've learned and practiced alone to take another lesson and check if what you did was correct. Otherwise you may just start youself on a long line of bad habits. Wrong, bad, erroneous habits are hard to correct later - learn the right way first then you don't have to correct anything.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
REMINDER. This is the Beginners forum. Beginners take a lesson lst from a pro then if you want ,ski alone and learn the lesson taught. It may be important however, that after you've learned and practiced alone to take another lesson and check if what you did was correct. Otherwise you may just start youself on a long line of bad habits. Wrong, bad, erroneous habits are hard to correct later - learn the right way first then you don't have to correct anything.

Agree Pete, but I am willing to cut TC some slack here....she is just trying to get some buzz going in this forum. Again, I applaud her efforts, thus I came out of lurking to help her out. Our other technique forums have turned me completely off, at least until they get fixed. No further hijack on that topic gonna come from me, frankly I don't care anymore.

Let's get our beginner bears stoked!! That's what this little thread is about. I sure we can agree we have both encountered students who do best with minimum input....a couple of demos, check for understanding and ski em.....

Sounds to me like that's how TC learned(smart hubby)....and from what I have seen she does pretty darn good.....heck she sure is stoked about skiing.

That works for me.....for me it has always been about skiing, and sharing my love of our beautiful sport in any way I can.

Stoked beginners rock...so let's stoke em up
post #14 of 26

Practicing Alone

Sorry if there is a misunderstanding, I was not maligning Trekchick, I agree with her post and am happy theres some action on the Beginner Forum. I was just adding a little.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
Agree .......I sure we can agree we have both encountered students who do best with minimum input....a couple of demos, check for understanding and ski em....

...for me it has always been about skiing, and sharing my love of our beautiful sport in any way I can.

Stoked beginners rock...so let's stoke em up
Beginners Trekchick, hrstrat57, Myself all wish you well, we are here to help you get a good start. Combined there's literally 100's and 100's of days of skiing for you to take notice of. Ask questions, yes get stoked, skiing is a great sport, you will make lifelong friends and challenge yourself on your lst beginner run to later your skiing a chute at Squaw, Mammoth, Jackson Hole or anywhere. Welcome, ask questions, get involved and above all SKI.
post #16 of 26
My first experience on skis was a one hour private lesson, after which I toiled away on the same little run over and over enjoying the hell out of myself, by myself. Though I've seen people say that they're not worth the money, I've found that they're a great way for me to see what I need, practice with the instructor a bit, and then have plenty of time to spend practicing on my own as well as just skiing for fun.

I generally ski on my own, just out of having non ski friends and fam, but I feel that if I were skiing with a companion way ahead of me in terms of skill or preferred terrain, I'd want time alone to practice at my own level, and for them to go and ski how they want to and meet up for a run or a drink here and there, and hook up to exchange stories afterwards.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Gosh you guys I feel the love!

You both have it right.
I do want to see the beginners get the same excitement about learning.

One of the places we lose beginners is if the experience after the initial lesson isn't favorable.
For me, it was best to be left alone to get my bearings.
For another person, it may be best to be part of a bigger social climate.

As I stated in the first line of my first post. I am a believer in lessons.
Back when I learned, I dont' remember lessons being readily available as they are today.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Learning Alone is good - for some people.

REMINDER. This is the Beginners forum. Beginners take a lesson 1st from a pro then if you want ,ski alone and learn the lesson taught. It may be important however, that after you've learned and practiced alone to take another lesson and check if what you did was correct. Otherwise you may just start yourself on a long line of bad habits. Wrong, bad, erroneous habits are hard to correct later - learn the right way first then you don't have to correct anything.
At the end of your lesson your instructor should give you thoughts about your skiing for you to digest.
They should tell you what they feel you accomplished, ask you what you think you accomplished and then give you some homework for you to play with on your own to take you to the next lesson with some miles put on by yourself and in your own thoughts.
If your instructor doesn't give you some stuff to practice or work on then ask him/her for some . They will appreciate your desire to learn and at the same time you will get much more out of your lessons.
post #19 of 26
I avoided teaching my wife for those reasons listed in previous posts. I set her up with a group lesson (two other students) and it was a disaster!

The instructor acted like they were brainless and didn't let them ski. 10 minutes of talking followed by 20 feet of skiing, repeated for an hour. The made it down the bunny hill (could NOT have been longer than 30 yards) twice in 45 minutes and then took the chair to the top of a green run (think about the length of a green run in Minnesota). 30 minutes later, they had made it halfway down the run. My wife doesn't feel like she learned anything and is still too nervous to go bombing around on her own.

I need a new plan.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
To this day, I'm shocked that my relationship with my husband survived him teaching me..............Lesson learned........take a lesson from a pro!

To this day, I'm confident that my Practice Time ALONE was the saving grace of our relationship!
One of the most oft repeated rules of instruction is you never attempt to teach your significant other to ski or snowboard! The stress of learning a new sport is enough...adding relationship dynamics to the equation rarely helps.

As the attached PSIA/AASI advertisement says, "Friends don't let friends teach friends!"
525x525px-LL-vbattach2143.jpg
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviations View Post
I avoided teaching my wife for those reasons listed in previous posts. I set her up with a group lesson (two other students) and it was a disaster!

The instructor acted like they were brainless and didn't let them ski. 10 minutes of talking followed by 20 feet of skiing, repeated for an hour. The made it down the bunny hill (could NOT have been longer than 30 yards) twice in 45 minutes and then took the chair to the top of a green run (think about the length of a green run in Minnesota). 30 minutes later, they had made it halfway down the run. My wife doesn't feel like she learned anything and is still too nervous to go bombing around on her own.

I need a new plan.
I've seen this happen too many times. Best advice I ever got was, "Shut up and ski the kid." After all its a sport and sports are best learned by doing. (As is most everything else.)

I recommend that you try again, this time tell the ski school desk what happened the last time and request a "qualified" instructor that will meet your expectations. If need be ask to talk the the Ski School Director. Most of those guys and gals will be more than helpful in getting you with the right instructor to fill your needs.
post #22 of 26
Well, my preferred way of learning new skills is a bit different than the way I actually acquired many of my skills. I'd imagine that a lot of people fall into that category.

Now, my preferred method of learning is a private. I tasted one once, and it was rather nice. I learn by doing. I get frustrated if I don't get alot of attention in a lesson, so end up getting pi$$y during group lessons due to different people being able to pick things up at different speeds (and who likes to be the slow kid, really?).

That being said, I don't always have the $ to get a private, so more often than not I don't take lessons, and learn by observing. Which is pretty much how I learned to ski, and I'd like to think that by being observant and trying to 'keep up' with the better skiiers, I progressed rather quickly.

I did take a beginner lesson to get the basics, and really I don't remember learning much other than basic wedge turns and how to get on the lift. From there I just skiied. Alot. By myself and with a group. When I followed my friends I tried to do what they did, look like they did. Not sure if I got bad habits, but you can tell a good skiier from a bad one (you look at their grace and fluidity as they ski) and by emulating the form and movement of a good skiier, you can learn quite a bit. So by following the big kids I think I learned a bit more. I definitely got rid of that wedge pretty fast, after watching the better skiiers!

But some things I wouldn't have learned without a private, and I'm sure I'll be saving up for some more privates in the future if I want to get better. Because at this stage, I think I've gained the basics but now need more specialized knowledge and instruction to really understand what I'm doing and why, you know?
post #23 of 26
A group lesson can be OK if the instructor has the ability to give an individual lesson concurrently to each person in the group. Of course, a huge group is a waste of time and money. A good group lesson gives one the experience of seeing others make mistakes and learn the corrections for those mistakes. Maybe I'm making those same mistakes and can see myself somewhat, and see what it takes for correction. Or maybe I see someone else make mistakes and know to never begin making those erroneous movements.

And, a private lesson from a poor instructor, either poorly trained or uninterested is a waste of time and money.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
To this day, I'm shocked that my relationship with my husband survived him teaching me..............Lesson learned........take a lesson from a pro!

To this day, I'm confident that my Practice Time ALONE was the saving grace of our relationship!
I think you should be a little more appreciative of his willingness to bestow upon you his wisdom of skiing. Don't you think?
post #25 of 26
I prefer private lessons from instructors I know. Groups are ok if small, but I get impatient if there are a lot of holdups waiting for people to gather or get on the lifts etc. It seems like in group 1-2 hour lessons we spend more time getting on and riding the lifts, then gathering up at the top, than we do skiing ! It is annoying.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post
I've seen this happen too many times. Best advice I ever got was, "Shut up and ski the kid." After all its a sport and sports are best learned by doing. (As is most everything else.)

I recommend that you try again, this time tell the ski school desk what happened the last time and request a "qualified" instructor that will meet your expectations. If need be ask to talk the the Ski School Director. Most of those guys and gals will be more than helpful in getting you with the right instructor to fill your needs.
Absolutely, ask for an instructor that is a skier, not a talker. The Director knows who that is. Talking is for on the lift.
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