or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Instructors: How to overcome the "less than optimal" student?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Instructors: How to overcome the "less than optimal" student? - Page 2

post #31 of 36
A good friend and his wife were skiing with me a few years ago and he asked me to give her some tips. She also solicited some advice about how to ski the newer skis. I tried to shift her focus to just finding the middle of the ski since she had not seen a ski in twenty years. IMO making it inappropriate to be attempting much more than that. Even so, I knew I had to give her something new, so I gave her a few tips which elicited the following response..."they say ____ about ___" every time I said anything.
She is a dear friend but finally I had to confront her by asking who exactly was this "They" she kept mentioning. Obviously she wasn't really open to anything I had to say, so we just skied and enjoyed the scenery. Her husband was probably the source of the idea that she should get some tips from me because he knew she would be so remedial.
My point in this story is that without realistic expectations and an investment from the student nothing positive will happen.
post #32 of 36
IMHO, the worst case scenario is the "less than optimal" student that seriously believes she is better than the rest of the class, and pressures the instructor into taking the class on more challenging terrain. In many cases, the less than optimal student with a superiority complex has only one thing going for him/her: They ski very fast, albeit without finesse.

When the instructor succumbs to this kind of pressure, students who were looking to finesse their skills are often the ones to suffer. In some cases, their skills may actually be better than those of the student who thinks she's the cat's pajamas, even though they refuse to ski at breakneck speeds. It's a classic lose/lose scenario, but unfortunately, time and again, I see instructors fall for the "your class is too easy" guilt trip. In the end, everyone in the class is less than optimal.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
IMHO, the worst case scenario is the "less than optimal" student that seriously believes she is better than the rest of the class, and pressures the instructor into taking the class on more challenging terrain. In many cases, the less than optimal student with a superiority complex has only one thing going for him/her: They ski very fast, albeit without finesse.

When the instructor succumbs to this kind of pressure, students who were looking to finesse their skills are often the ones to suffer. In some cases, their skills may actually be better than those of the student who thinks she's the cat's pajamas, even though they refuse to ski at breakneck speeds. It's a classic lose/lose scenario, but unfortunately, time and again, I see instructors fall for the "your class is too easy" guilt trip. In the end, everyone in the class is less than optimal.
LM,

I (sincerely) believe you're not giving the instructor enough credit. Yes, I could see this happening (easily) with new instructors, but, then, the problem is usually not pushy students, but pushy parents.

FWIW, generally, when the student (or 'rent) says the class is too easy, I have to work mightily to restrain myself from visibly rolling my eyes. If the student was truly in too easy of a class, it's usually quite easy to move them to a more apporpriate class, that's what the on snow split is all about.
post #34 of 36
Lisa,
I usually find a way to accommodate these students while simultaneously working on something else with other students. Rarely do my students progress as a unit, nor do they come to the lesson seeking the same thing. As long as I spend sufficient time with each of them this works well. that being said I agree that a disruptive "better than the rest student" is annoying.

In a worse case example I had a guy who wanted to go too fast all the time except for when when he was stopping to answer his phone. Since it was work related he felt compelled to be available to his customers. Which meant the rest of us were either catching him or waiting for him. Eventually I was forced to take him to the side and explain how the rest of the group was unhappy with what was happening. I gave him back his lesson ticket and suggested a private lesson which could accommodate his needs better.
post #35 of 36
The situation of which I speak involves adults, not kids, so I don't think the parents had much to do with it. Also, the cases I mentioned involved students who were in no way ready for a more challenging class-They just thought they were. However, sometimes I think that moving them up, even if they are not ready for it, is the best thing for everyone. (With the exception of the instructor of the more advanced class!)

At ESA Snowbird, our instructor actually took a guy who was by far the sloppiest skier, albeit the fastest, and moved him up.When the rest of us asked him what the heck he was thinking, he told us that since the guy was so unhappy, he would make the rest of us miserable. In this case, it was probably a good choice. In some cases, moving someone up can mke them realize that they are actually a less than optimal student. You just have to make sure that they don't choke on their humble pie!
post #36 of 36
Lisa,
Attitude and aptitude are both important when it comes to a good group dynamic. Moving a student to another group is just our way of finding the right group for them. Usually it doesn't involve up or down as much as how agressively they want to ski.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Instructors: How to overcome the "less than optimal" student?