or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Lenghts of Lessons

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I am curious what instructors and students think the optimal length of a lesson should be. This is excluding all-day lessons or clinics.

I have found 1 hour private lessons to be ideal for me.

At my level(intermediate) anything beyond a 1 hour private interaction tends to be counterproductive as:

Too much information can be presented in a short amount of time, leaving one to digest this information while at the same time trying to go through the drills. I find it best to work on one or two specific drills or scenarios and get feedback from the instructor. One hour seems to be the optimal time to do this. Also, after about an hour I find I am itching to get out and try the new drills and skills on my own and explore. I believe I may have attention deficit when it comes to ski instruction but I believe a lesson can be too long just for this reason.

In a group lessons due to the volume of students it is hard to fit all this in a one hour lesson(even 2 hours) and I tend to not engage in groups.
post #2 of 41
Aside from the variable speed of the lifts, I tend to agree. In the two runs down a hill in an hours lesson ... usually stretches out to a bit longer, focus on the one or two "issues" and then go work on them.

Sometimes, where confidence building is the goal, longer is better where you can relax, get to know them and then trick .... er .... lead them to places where they couldn't go before. When they want to work on getting into steeper terrain ... the transiton from blue to black ... a longer more relaxed approach is better. "Guided Discovery" takes longer than "Task Oriented" stuff.

Generally ... I agree with you ...
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Aside from the variable speed of the lifts, I tend to agree. In the two runs down a hill in an hours lesson ... usually stretches out to a bit longer, focus on the one or two "issues" and then go work on them.

Sometimes, where confidence building is the goal, longer is better where you can relax, get to know them and then trick .... er .... lead them to places where they couldn't go before. When they want to work on getting into steeper terrain ... the transiton from blue to black ... a longer more relaxed approach is better. "Guided Discovery" takes longer than "Task Oriented" stuff.

Generally ... I agree with you ...

yay...someone aggree with me here. I generally feel out of place here due to my skill level and dont have much to add.
post #4 of 41
I really don't like the one hour private. There's time for a coupla runs (if you're lucky), and part of the first run is spent assessing the MUM of the student. Normally, you're working on the single most important movement (can you tell I'm working toward another cert?), but then have to tell the student to go practice on their own................not a bad thing necessarily, but a good way for a student to ski just a little bit off from what was taught, without anyone watching to make the tiny necessary adjustments.

I like two hour privates much more. Many Rocky Mountain resorts don't even sell a private of less than 2 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
...an hours lesson ... usually stretches out to a bit longer...
not where I worked, unless one likes losing a sizable chunk of their a$$. There's always the next private waiting for you to get there.

Generally, a one hour private is a classroom hour (that is, 55 minutes), and the client is told that up front by the instructor, and is supposed to be told that by the sales person when the lesson is booked.
post #5 of 41
My biggest fear (not! ) ... was getting chawed out by the asst. SSD .. and most days we didn't have them stacked and waiting for privates.

Feeder areas are mostly lessons sold by the "truck load".

icanseeformiles(andmiles) ..... remember, you work at a real ski area!
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
I am curious what instructors and students think the optimal length of a lesson should be. This is excluding all-day lessons or clinics.

I have found 1 hour private lessons to be ideal for me.
That doesn't seem fair. Why would you ask a question and then create rules that limit ones answer. A one hour in Vail starting in the village will get you about one run.


I would say a week of all days will do the trick. At least once a year, maybe more.
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vailboarder View Post
That doesn't seem fair. Why would you ask a question and then create rules that limit ones answer. A one hour in Vail starting in the village will get you about one run.


I would say a week of all days will do the trick. At least once a year, maybe more.

It takes 45 minutes at Vail just to figure out where you need to go to get to the lift you want, it takes another 15 to figure out where you are and where youre going once you get off the lift . I am talking small NY resort - 400 feet of vertical and you can walk from one end of the ski area to the other in 5 minutes. At Peak n Peak in NY a one hour private lesson gets you at least 4 runs down Friar Tuck with the instructor and maybe a couple tries at the black run.
post #8 of 41
How about this, take a group lesson. If you like the instructor, ask for a private. The instructor already knows what you want and what you need. He/she can get right to work.

It cost extra for the group lesson. But if it doubles the actual time you get to work on stuff during the private, you get twice the value of the private for the price of 1 private and 1 group?
post #9 of 41
Its depends alot on who/what I am teaching and if they are ok with freesking with a focus for parts of the day.

We will use adults as example first, evne though I teach kids alot more.

Class one - Never evers not totally un healthy adults.

I teach a very successful level 1 lesson, its a curse I tell you Start slow probably boringly slow for some people who are semi athletic. Build a good solid foundation with no bad habits from the start while you build their dynamic balance(well all balance is dynamic but yeah I mean balance while moving). Teach them to turn, in as few as words as possiable. Get them to link turns and explain that we turn to change direction and that change of directions controlls our speed. These people are really skiing now using offensive and not defensive moves to get down the hill. Heck they are even doing the slow line fast right from the start. At snowbird the shortest group lessons are 2.5 hours. Seriousally they are capable of skiing down by themselves in the first 1.5 hours and having a ball doing it. Your now there playing coach making sure that bad habits dont start to form and keep building confindence. the next hour goes great. The end of the lesson come and everyone is stoked. I am stoked because I just conventer a group of people, and they are stoked becasue of how much fun it is.

You go each lunch come back out to afternoon line up and hold a behold the same class has now purchased afternoon group lessons, they were my students I get them again.

The class skis great for the first day in thier life. You try to keep the good habits going with task game whatever. No matter what though they get bored with you. Well at least bored with the lesson. Realistically all they needed to do was to keep doing what they were doing in the morning. People want things to fast. I can be there for support, for confindence for company. Lets face it, they just need to get out and ski alot in the next day or 2. Then come back to take another lessons.

ok so yeah IMO level lesson most of the time should not be a day long.
post #10 of 41
The only format available in Ohio is the one hour lesson. I really don't like them as most students are expecting more to be covered for their money in one hour. Many students do poorly under the one hour lesson banter.

With much more time you can back off a bit and work on much more steady progress. Most students do well under this setup. half day minimum but more like three days for lasting change.
post #11 of 41
Ideal? All day, but I'm supposed to exclude that so I'd go with 4 hours.

The problem with a one hour lesson is you work with the coach for such a short period that its unlikely that any of the new movements will become ingrained by the time you go off on your own. Then when you do the drills without any feedback the chances of performing them incorrectly (and therefore creating incorrect movement patterns) is quite high.

Even better is to attend a camp so you are with a coach at least 4 hours a day for 3 to 5 days straight.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Ideal? All day, but I'm supposed to exclude that so I'd go with 4 hours.

The problem with a one hour lesson is you work with the coach for such a short period that its unlikely that any of the new movements will become ingrained by the time you go off on your own. Then when you do the drills without any feedback the chances of performing them incorrectly (and therefore creating incorrect movement patterns) is quite high.

Even better is to attend a camp so you are with a coach at least 4 hours a day for 3 to 5 days straight.

This is bang on....if you just take a one hour lesson then "go practice" on your own, chances are it will all be lost...the best lesson is one that focuses on drills and movments for a portion, then working that back into "normal skiing" for a portion, then playing with the new ideas in a variety of different settings, terrain and snow types...the best way to do that is with an all day lesson...but if you cant choose "all day" or multi day clinic then I will pick as close to all day as you can get...
post #13 of 41
I see an hour lesson as a vehicle to meet and establish a learning environment but not much more. Sure I can throw out an MA and a few options but exploring those options takes time. Most people don't learn that quickly.
post #14 of 41
IMO the size of the mountain (or how crowded it might be) can have a big impact on the time required for a good lesson. The more time getting around or waiting on lifts the less time a student has to learn.

At our school at a small mountain (1000' vertical), I have found our "half-day" lessons (2 1/2 hours) to be a really good length. It's long enough to work on establishing goals for the lesson, assessment and skill development, and incorporating what has been worked on into the student's skiing.

Mike
post #15 of 41
Ever try to change your golf swing or tennis swing? That's the scope of what we're talking about here. Prescriptive advice does not take the place of experience under the watchful eye of a coach, mentor, or teacher. Advice is not the same as helping a student learn, it is just advice. Sort of like here.
So Like Max, I would say a week under the watchful eye of a coach is the most effective and fastest way to make permanent changes. Why?
I attended a seminar on coaching a long time ago. I don't remember the speaker's name but he was a sports pyscologist who helped the Air Force Academy and the Denver Broncos establish coaching and practicing regimines. This was during Elways last three years so IMO his advice is pretty good stuff.
My understanding is that it takes three weeks of conscious focus and practice to replace an old habit with a new one. Then you need to do that activity / movement at least every 72 hours to keep the timing of the pattern right. At that point it can enter into a more subconscious level while still maintaining a high performance level (executing at the desired level). Which is why I think a one hour lesson is not a good value.
post #16 of 41
I think a one-hour private (or 1.5 hour group) lesson is a fine format but the teacher and the student should keep something in mind. The goal should be to leave the student with ONE thing that they know how to do better and can go off and work on. Many students expect their entire skiing to be fixed in one lesson. Some instructors try to dump two or three jumps in skill on a student in one lesson. Both should realize that a lesson works best when it is one fix, even if it's one little fix.

I've always found I get the best outcome when I ask the student(s) what they want and watch the ski for about five minutes. Come up with a plan. Then teach ONE thing with a few different activities and then practice that ONE thing in regular skiing while giving feedback. Sometimes the student gets the ONE thing in 55 minutes of a 60 minute lesson. Sometimes they get it in 20 minutes. If they get it in 20 minutes, do NOT go on to thing two. Resist this temptation. Practice skiing emphasizing thing one while giving feedback, changing the terrain, pace, etc. Then, at the end of the lesson, tell the student how to practice thing one on their own and give a brief intro to what thing two would be and tell them that's what they might attack on the their NEXT lesson.
post #17 of 41
Most group lessons I've been to have been 2 to 2 1/2 hours long. That seems to be enough time to get around....although if it's a large group, you may not get much individual attention.

I have had maybe 4 private lessons - 2 in Park City (really helpful!!!!) and the other two at Tahoe (far more helpful than groups).

I haven't yet tried multiday clinics or privates with one coach but will be doing that this season. And it seems logical that those would be most helpful because there's enough time to assess what you need to work on and enough time to absorb and practice what's being taught and its tailored to you (at least w/privates).

I've seen a number of instructors post that feedback should be provided at the end of a lesson; tell the student how to practice on their own and what they might attack on their next lesson.........this seem like excellent advice but I can remember having this happen after one of the privates and after one or two group lessons........so it doesn't seem to be an established practice. Sometimes I will find myself specifically asking for this information and it feels like pulling teeth...???
post #18 of 41
The best lessons I've ever taught were 5 minutes long. The optimal length of a lesson otherwise depends on the needs of the student(s), the resort and the conditions du jour. I've had a 3 year old first time snowboarder that was a total success after 40 minutes (the kid ran out of gas before I did). I can do most first time learn to ski lessons in an hour for a private and 90 minutes for a group. For experienced skiers I can usually achieve the objectives in a one hour private (two hours for a mogul lesson). Three hours gives you enough practice time to start owning new techniques so you don't revert back as soon as the lesson is over. I've taken 5 day long lessons that I wouldn't trade for the world.
post #19 of 41
The problem here is not what happens in the lesson, but what happens afterwards.

What I'd question is if 1 hour is enough to get the proper movement patterns established. For most students, I'd argue no.

Now that's not to say that we can't get something out of 1 hour. Maybe a mental understanding of what we are doing. But unless you have a natural talent for movement, don't expect any long lasting changes or deeper understanding. In one hour, it will be very hard to engrain a new movement pattern.
post #20 of 41
Well said Lonnie,
I suggested an activity in another thread that should point out the scope of what it takes to change a habitual movement pattern. Sit down and write with your non dominant hand for an hour. Then ask yourself the question; Do I have ownership of this new skill? I doubt anyone will answer yes...
post #21 of 41
The upper level lessons (levels 5-9) are all 5 hour lessons. Typically, the morning is more technique focused with a little more explanation and discussion and the afternoon is mileage based on the information presented in the morning. As a student, the 5 hour lessons are great.

I teach levels 1-4. These students have the option of a 1/2 day class but that goes very fast. A 5 hour lesson gives both the instructor and the student time to bond, absorb information, observe and practice. I like this time frame.
post #22 of 41
Although I've never tried it, I would like a week of 4 hour privates.

Any more, and I'm tired. Any less and I'd still have questions.

Some time to practice in between lessons.

Skier31, I always felt ripped off with the lack of teaching in the afternoon with those lessons.
post #23 of 41
I feel that it would be very helpful to mix theory with on snow lessons, say half day, followed by practice. This cycle goes on as long as one wants to progress.

So far private instructions I taken only cares about onsnow lesson. Mostly half day each.
post #24 of 41
You want to learn theory, become a ski instructor.

If you really want the theory, the instructors will know it and be willing to share it with you, but realize that is part of the lesson. I'd be happy to teach a full day private with the first half all inside over coffee going over theory. I'll draw diagrams, make powerpoint presentations, maybe even wear a shirt with a collar.

90% of my full day clients want to ski most of the day, taking a break to either warm up, answer nature's call, or eat some grub. So I tend not to focus on the theory as much as meeting the objectives we've setup, often which directly involve skiing.

I find the best lessons are those that strech over multiple days. A once a week lesson with the same intructor for a couple of hours is great over the course of a season. This way the instructor can give guidance and feedback, while allowing you to have time to practice on your own. Yet your incorrect actions can be spotted before they truly get imbedded into your skiing.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaughtben View Post
You want to learn theory, become a ski instructor.

If you really want the theory, the instructors will know it and be willing to share it with you, but realize that is part of the lesson. I'd be happy to teach a full day private with the first half all inside over coffee going over theory. I'll draw diagrams, make powerpoint presentations, maybe even wear a shirt with a collar.

90% of my full day clients want to ski most of the day, taking a break to either warm up, answer nature's call, or eat some grub. So I tend not to focus on the theory as much as meeting the objectives we've setup, often which directly involve skiing.

I find the best lessons are those that strech over multiple days. A once a week lesson with the same intructor for a couple of hours is great over the course of a season. This way the instructor can give guidance and feedback, while allowing you to have time to practice on your own. Yet your incorrect actions can be spotted before they truly get imbedded into your skiing.
It is exactly like everyday life. If you don't ever go to school you can still communicate with people but may be with a different 'language'. I believe it is true that not many occasional skiers want to sit down and ski with their instructor on papers.
post #26 of 41
I have found that for young children (3 - 4), a half hour private is long enough, an hour is a little too long. For a 5 to 6 year old, only the first 40 minutes is productive out of the hour. For young adults and adults, an hour goes by very quickly and does not seem like it is quite enough time, but the specific goal is ususlly met.

For group lessons, 4 to 8 year olds, an hour and a half is about about what that age can take in each session. For 8 to 12 year olds,2 hours in a session works out pretty well.

For adult groups, 2 hours is what most first time beginners can benefit from in a session. It is reccomended that they take a follow-up lesson after a break. For other groupes, a 2 hour lesson seems a little too short to give enough attention to each individual and explore enough terrain.

Often the lesson times and lengths are set up for staffing legistics rather than what most meets the quests needs. At the mountain where I work, almost 50% of the revenue generated my snow sports school is private lessons and many are multi hour private lessons. I think this says a lot about what people prefer.

RW
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking bear View Post
Skier31, I always felt ripped off with the lack of teaching in the afternoon with those lessons.
Not to hijack this thread, but lurking bear, mileage is a huge part of a lesson. Alot of students complain there is not enough skiing and too much focus on technical aspects. Give yourself a Christmas present and splurge on a private!
post #28 of 41
Skier31
A 5 hr group lesson!? What a joy. I'm curious about how many people avail themselves of this? What does it cost? Most areas here in the west think that longer group lesson sessions are economical suicide. Trying to convince the "Bean Counters" of the merits of extended group lesson and the benefits (ski area/instructor identification, ski better=ski more, opportunity to convert student from groupie to private etc. etc. etc.) usually falls on very deaf ears.
post #29 of 41
A good lesson should be like a skirt.

Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.
post #30 of 41
The Breck lessons are popular and well attended. Breck has an unlimited lesson program for season pass holders which costs $169.00 per year (Thursday - Sunday with some blackout dates). It is a great program. T
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching