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You think you understand skiing? - Page 2

post #31 of 51
This is great stuff VSP. Nice observation,Heluva. Right on Richie Rich!

I am about to begin my 36th season teaching skiing/ski bumming in Aspen.
I owe a debut of gratitude to my early mentor, Curt Chase. He was a founding father of the PSIA, but by the time I began teaching(1972) he had definitely stepped away from the PSIA. I didn't always agree with Curt, whom we lovingly referred to as the Papa Bear, but he turned us on to Georges Joubert. He gave us new ideas each fall, and I learned to think for myself with regard to skiing. We were exposed to a whole world of ideas, not the narrow path of the PSIA. My first 13 years teaching I looked at many styles,doctrines ,and belief systems. I developed a bag of tricks on my own . There was no incentive to be affiliated with the Psia until 1985, so few of us were. I learned to ski/teach by doing.

Since 1987 I have been Full Cert(now called level III). It hasn't been all bad by any means. I do cringe at the blind disciples of any doctrine whether it be PSIA or PMTS. The instructor who regurgitates learned info like an evangelical quoting or misquoting verse from the Bible scares me.

Try it all, question it, keep what works for you. These are definitely the thoughts of a passionate skier/sometimes heretic who has moved to his own beat for a long time.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnyb View Post
We were exposed to a whole world of ideas, not the narrow path of the PSIA. My first 13 years teaching I looked at many styles,doctrines ,and belief systems. I developed a bag of tricks on my own . There was no incentive to be affiliated with the Psia until 1985, so few of us were. I learned to ski/teach by doing.
This is quite interesting (perhaps a topic for another thread...) but doing a comparison between "then" and "now" would you say there is more less investigating of outside ideas going on in the ranks of general US instruction presently? Do those who come up through the "ranks" now have the same broad-view perspective/exposure as you received in the past?

Later

GREG
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

This is all part of total quality. The Deming cycle.


PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT, then back to PLAN. By doing this sort of analysis of yourself you continually improve. There is a choice we make often in life. Most of the time it is done subconsciously, we can choose to be great or we can choose to be mediocre. Without challenging yourself and your thinking you are doomed to mediocrity.

Thanks for posting. TQM is exactly the type of rigid zealot backed system that the OP was talking about.
post #34 of 51
Interesting OP, VSP, and right on, I think. Furthermore, when we assume we understand another person in the context of communication, it's easy to draw false conclusions. It's far better to personally explore, communicate if you want to, but recognize that personal experience, understanding, and semantics often vary.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
What the above post really means:
"Can't we ban PMTS again?"
PMTS
Can somebody explain to me what this is? Many thanks.
post #36 of 51
PMTS = Primary Movment Teaching System

It was created by a guy named Harold Harb for the sole purpose of allowing Harold to make a living in the ski industry.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
PMTS = Primary Movment Teaching System

It was created by a guy named Harold Harb for the sole purpose of allowing Harold to make a living in the ski industry.
VSP's post is interesting and if I look back on my own experiences it is clear that individuals rather than systems were what I gravitated to in terms of receiving coaching.

If we do want to make sure that we are looking at all sides and questioning what we do then perhaps a hypothetical would help:

Let's say you had decades of experience as a racer, coach and instructor. In an effort to understand skiing even better especially from a recreational standpoint you joined the largest instructor group in the US. You rose to the top of that group. All along you have been questioning the status quo and continue to question from inside the organizations you have belonged to, looking for a better way. In essence doing exactly what VSP has described as being a student of the sport. Believing that you have found a better way and unable to change the organization you belong to, you lay it on the line and start from scratch an alternative.

Turns out that this isn't a hypothetical,l it is in fact what Harb did and how PMTS came to be. So if some of you want to continue with trashing he guy that's fine but please don't pretend that he isn't a student of the sport.
post #38 of 51
"Student of the Sport" so to speak is what I do for a living. I am an inventor. That might sound grand and glorious but being an inventor takes a certain kind of person who is without a doubt a perpetual student.

To be an inventor you have to have the attitude of failing forward. Failing forward is being able to accept an extremely high short term failure rate, learning from your mistakes forming a living changing theory. At times you have to be able to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Most importantly though is the ability to approach something with a preconceived idea (theory) with a healthy skepticism about it's true validity. Most people approach a problem by totally moving forward and never looking back "Been there, done that" is this attitude. I look behind to what I have done as much or more than I look forward. Is there something you tried before that had a missing piece that you have now discovered. I have made just as much progress looking backwards as I have made looking forward.

If you want to make money as an inventor, you had better have a truely open mind. The field is small for this reason.

I have been a student of the sport of skiing with this same approach and that approach has served me well.
post #39 of 51
ALL:

This thread isn't about PMTS. Don't make it about PMTS. It is about anyone who has a closed, singled minded view of skiing/coaching and is not willing to investigate and recognize value from any source other than the one they are invested in.

Later

GREG
post #40 of 51
Thread Starter 
Given that the responses to this thread have suddenly quieted down, I must believe either everyone is being introspective about the challenges it proposed, or everyone has gone into hiding, afraid of being found guilty of the charges it makes.

I will be the first to stand up and announce...

"Hi...my name is Ric and I'm a recovering zealot...."

There have been times in my career where I believed what I believed. And that was it. But each time, something would come along and shake things up, and I'd realize how much I didn't know. After a while, I gave up thinking I knew anything at all, and just focused on learning. From just about any source, I collected as much information as I could.

I am still learning, collating, merging, assimilating, and synthesizing information. And each step of the way, performing the same challenge made to all of you...
post #41 of 51

Great News From Science

Fasten down your wigs, fresh out of the continuum, news flash GRAVITY IS NOT A FORCE! Gravity is the warping (bending) of the fabric of local space and time. Mass follows the curvature of space. Therefore the only relavent force is inertia. Ergo the bending (carving) of a ski is also bending (warping) the fabric of local space/time creating a localised graitivc effect (Dynamic Counterbary, alien technology reverse engineered by Nazi scientists). The implications on the second law of thermodynamics are profound. Thank science for the Einstein-Rosen Bridge and Schwartzschield Bridge that allow objects to traverse parallel dimentions and be in two places at once. Can opened!
post #42 of 51
Thread Starter 
Oh, geeez! He's baaaaaack! :::
post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post

Let's say you had decades of experience as a racer, coach and instructor. In an effort to understand skiing even better especially from a recreational standpoint you joined the largest instructor group in the US. You rose to the top of that group. All along you have been questioning the status quo and continue to question from inside the organizations you have belonged to, looking for a better way. In essence doing exactly what VSP has described as being a student of the sport. Believing that you have found a better way and unable to change the organization you belong to, you lay it on the line and start from scratch an alternative.

Turns out that this isn't a hypothetical,l it is in fact what Harb did and how PMTS came to be. So if some of you want to continue with trashing he guy that's fine but please don't pretend that he isn't a student of the sport.
I love this.

Now lets get real....HH is an awesome skier, and knows skiing, and teaching it. He created PMTS for one reason and one reason only....to make money. There is no law that limits how he teaches stuff.....if he only wanted to teach things his way...he could have without all the fuss.

He created the fuss, becuase he needed to create a marketing vehicle so he could set up ski programs and make money. Hence PMTS was born. His strategy is what marketing types call "Differentiation", ie he competes with the PSIA, by well not competing...he basically says, we are not like them...we are different. Which is fine of course.

The issue becomes when he takes the next step and begins to focus on the flaws within the PSIA to make PMTS look better. Anyone with any expierance knows you can drive a freight train through the holes in PMTS, but that is for another thread.

Now back to our regular scheduled programing.
post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
I love this.

Now lets get real....HH is an awesome skier, and knows skiing, and teaching it. He created PMTS for one reason and one reason only....to make money. There is no law that limits how he teaches stuff.....if he only wanted to teach things his way...he could have without all the fuss.

He created the fuss, becuase he needed to create a marketing vehicle so he could set up ski programs and make money. Hence PMTS was born. His strategy is what marketing types call "Differentiation", ie he competes with the PSIA, by well not competing...he basically says, we are not like them...we are different. Which is fine of course.

The issue becomes when he takes the next step and begins to focus on the flaws within the PSIA to make PMTS look better.


Now back to our regular scheduled programing.
I think you should "get real".

1.How do you know what his motivations were?

2. If all he cared about was "making money"...and let's put that in the extremely relative terms of the ski business where no one is making any real money....then it would have been much easier for him to stay within the system. He could have easily worked his way up the management ladder. Going for a start up in the ski business is hardly a sure thing!

The fact is that YOU have ZERO knowledge of the motivation or circumstances that led to the creation of PMTS. I find it unbelievable that in a thread about questioning dogma in the hopes of better understanding and learning that you could say: "he takes the next step and begins to focus on the flaws within the PSIA....". So what, isn't that exactly what VSP is advocating!

Then you go on with: "Anyone with any expierance (sic) knows you can drive a freight train through the holes in PMTS, but that is for another thread."

I eagerly await the thread you start where you drive this freight train. If you don't want to do it on Epic then go over to real skiers.

:::::

The fact remains that whatever one thinks of PMTS or HArb himself, he is undeniably a great student of the sport.
post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Now lets get real....HH is an awesome skier, and knows skiing, and teaching it. He created PMTS for one reason and one reason only....to make money. There is no law that limits how he teaches stuff.....if he only wanted to teach things his way...he could have without all the fuss.
Perhaps this article published in 1999 gives some insight into his motivations.

http://www.breakthroughonskis.com/Pa...ruction05.html

In that article there is this sentence which may give the biggest clue as to why HH is making a fuss as suggested above.

Quote:
He [HH] shakes his head. "I think ideas like that should be exposed...cleansed."
More quotes from the article:

Quote:
We [Lito and HH] both feel that official American ski teaching is on the wrong path. Too many ski teachers are letting their students down, building as many bad habits as good ones, producing terminal intermediates rather than liberated experts. And we’ve come to this conclusion independently, from differing points of view, and from radically different skiing backgrounds.
Quote:
"Maybe a big part of the problem is this crazy three-skills concept," Harald suggests, "you know, that famous diagram of three overlapping circles, pressure, edging and rotary, the Holy Trinity of American ski teaching...."

I nod in agreement. "It certainly isn’t the gospel it’s made out to be, just one way of talking about skiing among many, and not a very effective way at that."
Quote:
Harald goes one step farther. "Sure, Lito, if ski schools had a program that produced expert skiers, they’d be packed. But official ski instruction today isn’t merely confusing, it’s counter-productive, it creates skiing problems and hangups."
Quote:
"So how are we going to change this state of affairs, Harald?"

"I’m not really sure, Lito. It’s like...if your dogma controls your karma, you’re in real trouble. And PSIA’s dogmas are very entrenched. I know, from experience. I finally just had to do my own thing. Like you."
post #46 of 51
Thread Starter 
Max- Thanks for the link to the article by Lito... I had the pleasure of having Lito as one of my formative mentors when I first began ski teaching. He was the Technical Director at the Bear Valley Ski School when I was hired in 1975. Until he left for Telluride in about 1977/78, Lito played a huge role in my development, along side others such as Peter Shelton, Jon Reveal, and John Wagnon (et al).

To read his version of the conversation with HH, I heard echoes of many things he said during those training sessions so long ago.
post #47 of 51
How did this thread degrade into another ra ra HH promotion?
post #48 of 51
It feels just like being trapped in a subway car as someone who is born again spreads the word.

Oh, right, if I don't like it I can leave.....
post #49 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72
Now lets get real....HH is an awesome skier, and knows skiing, and teaching it. He created PMTS for one reason and one reason only....to make money. There is no law that limits how he teaches stuff.....if he only wanted to teach things his way...he could have without all the fuss.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max
Perhaps this article published in 1999 gives some insight into his motivations.
Or perhaps this exchange from a couple days ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
To compare CSIA with PMTS is absurd. The mission of the two organizations are completely different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HH
Not so Big E, the missions are exactly the same, low productive value, high on the hype.
Hey, who am I to disagree with him?
post #50 of 51
LOL. Ok, I actually really did laugh out loud to that one.
post #51 of 51
Back to our originally scheduled thread:

1. Skiing is great, because it is one of the few places in life where there are huge numbers of enthusiastic teachers and enthusiastic learners experiencing bliss. Think about it. For many of us, skiing is absolutely the greatest thing you can do while wearing clothes. (And, for us racers, the suits don't even hardly count as clothes.) What a cool thing to be able to transmit the skills to someone else to give them a way to experience that same thing. (That little moment of the virtual bump between turns or catching micro air off a bump--you're completely weightless, like an astronaut. The closest thing the the old effortless flying dreams when you were a kid...) And the basic struggle is the struggle with self, with fear, with our own limitations as skiers as we try to get better.

2. Not coincidentally, skiers (at least ski racers) are the most generous people I've ever met, in person or on line. They've struggled with the same issues. A little further down the road of that struggle, they're happy to share with you how they got over the hump of what you're struggling with now. Their approach might not work for you. But if not, someone else's might.

3. And, it turns out, there are several different approaches that work quite well for high level skiing. (And, outside of racing, several different views of what high level skiing really is, even if you leave the ramblings of one known by the initials of TCS outside the canon of sentient life...) Benni Raich skis differently from Aksel Lund Svindal who is different than Hermann Maier who is different than Bode Miller. They all ski damn fine, thank you, and part of style--what we're drawn to and what speaks to us--is a product of our personality. Bode Miller goes for it because he's Bode Miller. Benni Raich skis a more conservative line because he's not. It may be that several others on the World Cup who could ski that Bode Miller hips back cross from behind don't--because they don't actually want to. (Rahlves used to turn his torso sideways going off jumps, perhaps to cut wind resistance. I never saw anyone else ever try it. The sheer size of the balls of the move at 80mph off a jump probably created offsetting wind resistance.)

4. In the past, I've had some firm ideas. (We afficionados, we obsessives, we zealots, do--not because we're dogmatic, but because we care so much and because we think a lot about it and we like to organize our ideas into systems--it makes them easier to use.) Some of my past ideas were wrong, were limited, were mistaken. Some of the past ideas I now consider wrong were nevertheless useful for the level I was skiing at when I had them. I now have some slightly different semi-firm ideas. They may also be wrong, but I think they're a little more useful, anyway, than the previous misconceptions.

5. The key, to keep learning, is to have a somewhat open mind and to keep trying, keep testing, keep finding things that work--really, by application of the scientific method. Test it, see if it works for you. Debate it on line with those who have more experience. Try to understand the underlying theory and the practice that follows. An open mind, within limits, is good if it's not so open that it doesn't screen out the complete nonsense. There are good reasons submarines are not equipped with screen doors...

Anyway, my 2cents. By next year I may have 3 cents worth, if we ever get any snow...

SfDean.
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