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How to go from good to great?

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
I'd like to get into a training program to take me from being an average skier to being able to keep up with my buds who are expert skiers and get to the next level.

I've been skiing for years, but only on and off and would really like to make this year a breakthrough year. Heard and read about Lito Flores programs but unsure if it really works and will I go from good to great in just a week's time. Other programs out there (I'm in NY/NJ area and mainly skiing out of Mt Snow VT, so anything closer to home better).
post #2 of 104
Do you have any video of your skiing?
How many days can you spend on snow this year?
How much $$$ are you willing to spend on coaching?
post #3 of 104
Find a good instuctor if you haven't already. Then, head out to Camelback, Mountain Creek or where the closest place is to you and build miles on snow putting what you have learned into practice.

Night skiing during the week is better than reading.
post #4 of 104
You don't go from good to great in a week's time. It takes practice, practice, practice and more practice with good coaching along the way. Great skiers get that way over a time frame counted in seasons.
post #5 of 104
paul,

To become a good skier it does take more than a week, eventhough you can improve greatly in a weeks time with the right mix of instruction/coaching, practice and motivation. Becomming proficient with the fundimentals of skiing is the path that takes many people beyond their own expectations in skiing. There are no shortcuts, but having properly fitting boots, the right ski for you and and keeping it waxed and tuned takes some of the bumps out of the road.

Skiing on all conditions (espicially bad conditions) also makes a well rounded skier. A very good instructor can help you learn (and be proficient in) the fundimentals and then apply them to your skiing to form a solid foundation that will allow you to get to your goal.

I am in your neighborhood or you may also want to look into Power Learn. It is a season-long special program that is available where I teach. It can be viewed at the Mountain's website. www.windhammountain.com

Hope this helps.

RW
post #6 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul horowitz View Post
I'd like to get into a training program to take me from being an average skier to being able to keep up with my buds who are expert skiers and get to the next level.
Maybe you can't improve in a short period with leap and bounds, but if you are somewhat proficient as a skier and you like to share your passion, you can probably take up a job as a skiing instructor at a local hill. That is probably the cheapest way to get you closer to that goal. Most PSIA programs offer clinics to fellow instructors throughout the season, especially during down times. It will also allow you to ski with peers that are better than you who can constantly offer you pointers.
post #7 of 104
Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention the ESA events over the course of the season, starting with the ESA in Stowe shortly.

Learning is best when it takes place across a variety of axes: on-snow, visualizing, learning through your best avenue (reading, video, seminars, etc.). I like to surround myself with learners of all levels and keep digging for as much new information as I can find. But, find the methods that work best for you and go after it.
post #8 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention the ESA events over the course of the season, starting with the ESA in Stowe shortly.
go to the ESA Stowe.
post #9 of 104
This a differrent question but somewhat similar: "If I ski at most ten times this season, how do I make the most out of it in terms of improvement. When I go skiing I ski and push myself as hard as I can, while still having an awesome time. What would you guys suggest to get better if there are not a lot of skiing days on the calendar, at least this year?
post #10 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclay2 View Post
This a differrent question but somewhat similar: "If I ski at most ten times this season, how do I make the most out of it in terms of improvement. When I go skiing I ski and push myself as hard as I can, while still having an awesome time. What would you guys suggest to get better if there are not a lot of skiing days on the calendar, at least this year?
Join a ski week program that emphasises things like "guided instruction"....the idea is you ski hard with a group of your ability....and trust me with lift cutting etc, you should ski MORE then on your own...with a pro giving you little tips here and there...Ski Esprit...in Whistler is the idea...or depending on your skill somthing like Extremely Canadian type programs...good balance of skiing/instruction etc...any good instructor really will have you ski lots and keep it fun.....and make you feel like you SKIED rather then "took a lesson".
post #11 of 104
Skidude72: that sounds like a really cool program, especially the lift cutting, howoever, most of my skiing is done in the midwest. This year I will most likely only get 3 days out west and the rest will be day trips to wisconsin.
post #12 of 104
j,

Ten days is a few days short of the critical number which, IMHO, is more like 20. If you ski 20 days with good coaching along the way, say 3-5 days, then you are the path. Ten days you can improve some but it becomes a maintenance challenge...can you maintain the seasonal improvements you've made from year to year?

Just a thought,
E
post #13 of 104
It blows me away that you want to have this big jump in ability but think you can do it in a short time period.

Spend a couple of seasons skiing 150 days. You'll get better.
post #14 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ESki View Post
j,

Ten days is a few days short of the critical number which, IMHO, is more like 20. If you ski 20 days with good coaching along the way, say 3-5 days, then you are the path. Ten days you can improve some but it becomes a maintenance challenge...can you maintain the seasonal improvements you've made from year to year?

Just a thought,
E
Eski what I have found is that the better a skier is the more days it takes on snow just to maintain what they have. 10 days might be adequate for an intermediate skier to make fair progress. A expert skier is going to lose some ground at 10 days and probably even at 20 days. I think blending suffers more than anything else without the time on snow.
post #15 of 104
The good thing is that this should be the last year with minimal turns. Next year should be a differnt story! I guess I will just make the most out of this season. Even though I will not be able to ski that much this season I have at least kept myself as fit impossible working out 5 days a week.
post #16 of 104
I don't think I'm "great" but I went from"OK" to "very good" by skiing over 50 days a year for 5 years. Did a lot of reading, took some lessons, PSIA clinics, Instructor clinics. Really focused on not only skiing terrain that's over my head, but on skiing moderately easy terrain and really working on my form.

Ski 3-4 days a week minimum all season for starters. Ski two weeks in a row every day. Mileage!
post #17 of 104
What makes you think your friends are better than you and does it matter? Are they faster? More graceful? Able to leap tall buildings at a....?? If you are judging your proficiency by your peers then maybe you need a better model? If you only walk ten days a year you are not going to be that great a walker but you'll still get around. The big question is, what do you want to do that you can't do now? A week of ski lessons is better than no lessons. Do you want to compete (race) than don't go to a ski school camp. Ski Schools teach people to go slow and race schools teach people to go fast. Once you decide what it is you want.... then you can figure out how to get it.
post #18 of 104
I think over the last 5 years I have gotten better and better each season with minimal ski days. So It is definately possible, but that is most likely because I am an intermidiate to advanced.
post #19 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
It blows me away that you want to have this big jump in ability but think you can do it in a short time period.

Spend a couple of seasons skiing 150 days. You'll get better.
Ok, the self quote is sort of lame, and I apologize. I would have just edited this into my post, but whatever.

Anyways, I just wanted to clarify, this isn't even a skill thing. A little bit of my ability to ski well is confidence, skill, etc, but it seems like the single biggest difference between when I'm ripping and when I'm struggling is strength and conditioning. No matter how much I stay active in the summer and mt bike in the fall, I am not in skiing shape when the season starts. Mt biking works very similar muscles, in similar ways, but still the only way to get in good skiing shape is to ski hard a lot.

I guess it all depends on your current ability, I guess what I am talking about becomes less of a factor the closer to beginer you are.
post #20 of 104
I think the better you get the slower you improve and the improvements will be more like refinments than breakthroughs. Maggot is right about the mental aspect. I have found that I can improve a bit by using visualization (fantasisng) inbetween ski days. Conditioning is also critical for me in my middle age. At some point it will come down to time on snow. I am largely self taught and got pretty good over a number of seasons. I felt like I had plateud for the last five seasons and am excited to be improving again now that I have started teaching and getting trained through the ski school. It has been hard for me to admit that some of my ideas about skiing were wrong or at least not the most accuarate. Coaching becomes important because practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. I spent a lot of time getting good at certain things that I now want to lose or at least use less often. I hope this helps you. If you figure out how to become great fast let me know. I've been chasing that for a while.
post #21 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
I think the better you get the slower you improve and the improvements will be more like refinments than breakthroughs. Maggot is right about the mental aspect. I have found that I can improve a bit by using visualization (fantasisng) inbetween ski days. Conditioning is also critical for me in my middle age. At some point it will come down to time on snow. I am largely self taught and got pretty good over a number of seasons. I felt like I had plateud for the last five seasons and am excited to be improving again now that I have started teaching and getting trained through the ski school. It has been hard for me to admit that some of my ideas about skiing were wrong or at least not the most accuarate. Coaching becomes important because practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. I spent a lot of time getting good at certain things that I now want to lose or at least use less often. I hope this helps you. If you figure out how to become great fast let me know. I've been chasing that for a while.
Boy does this sound familiar to me. Go back 10 years and I could have written this.
post #22 of 104

10 tips for 10 days worth 10 cents

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclay2 View Post
This a differrent question but somewhat similar: "If I ski at most ten times this season, how do I make the most out of it in terms of improvement. When I go skiing I ski and push myself as hard as I can, while still having an awesome time. What would you guys suggest to get better if there are not a lot of skiing days on the calendar, at least this year?
Here's my 10 cents for how you can make the most out of 10 days this year:
1) Get a private lesson from the top pro available on day 1
- Call ahead to make arrangements. Take the time when the pro is available versus.
- Tell the pro you want an assessment of your ability and you want to develop a training plan for the season. You should walk away with drills that you can work on and some idea of how to self evaluate if you are doing the drills correctly.
2) Get video of yourself and post it on Epic for feedback ASAP. Compare and contrast with private lesson advice.
3) Be in shape before you go skiing. Focus on core strength, balance and cardio.
4) Get plenty of rest before ski days. Eat right and hydrate on ski days.
5) Rollerblade or ice skate in between ski days.
6) Allocate a percentage of your ski time to racing.
7) Ski with better skiers as much as you can. Follow better skiers right in their tracks.
8) Make the most out of your time on snow. Be ready to go before the lifts open, but don't worry about pushing to get the last run in. Do slower drills when the lines are longer. Do faster drills when the lines are shorter. Have things to do on every part of the trail - don't waste time going from one good section to another. Take lunch early or late to take advantage of shorter lift lines 12-1. Don't skip lunch. If you can choose at all, go on days that will be less busy (e.g. worse weather means more vertical, mid week vs week end).
9) Spend time skiing the nastiest stuff you can find.
10) Remember to have some fun and spend time not thinking about technique.
post #23 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Here's my 10 cents for how you can make the most out of 10 days this year:
1) Get a private lesson from the top pro available on day 1
- Call ahead to make arrangements. Take the time when the pro is available versus.
- Tell the pro you want an assessment of your ability and you want to develop a training plan for the season. You should walk away with drills that you can work on and some idea of how to self evaluate if you are doing the drills correctly.
2) Get video of yourself and post it on Epic for feedback ASAP. Compare and contrast with private lesson advice.
3) Be in shape before you go skiing. Focus on core strength, balance and cardio.
4) Get plenty of rest before ski days. Eat right and hydrate on ski days.
5) Rollerblade or ice skate in between ski days.
6) Allocate a percentage of your ski time to racing.
7) Ski with better skiers as much as you can. Follow better skiers right in their tracks.
8) Make the most out of your time on snow. Be ready to go before the lifts open, but don't worry about pushing to get the last run in. Do slower drills when the lines are longer. Do faster drills when the lines are shorter. Have things to do on every part of the trail - don't waste time going from one good section to another. Take lunch early or late to take advantage of shorter lift lines 12-1. Don't skip lunch. If you can choose at all, go on days that will be less busy (e.g. worse weather means more vertical, mid week vs week end).
9) Spend time skiing the nastiest stuff you can find.
10) Remember to have some fun and spend time not thinking about technique.
I like those tips. Esp the one about skiing some bad snow
post #24 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
Eski what I have found is that the better a skier is the more days it takes on snow just to maintain what they have. 10 days might be adequate for an intermediate skier to make fair progress. A expert skier is going to lose some ground at 10 days and probably even at 20 days. I think blending suffers more than anything else without the time on snow.

I agree with this assessment. A never-ever will improve with one day on the snow. I've been 6 days this season (I know, a weak start around here) and I'm just getting my game on. Talk to me to in another 20 days, and hopefully I'll be hitting it the way I need to.
post #25 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Here's my 10 cents for how you can make the most out of 10 days this year:
1) Get a private lesson from the top pro available on day 1
- Call ahead to make arrangements. Take the time when the pro is available versus.
- Tell the pro you want an assessment of your ability and you want to develop a training plan for the season. You should walk away with drills that you can work on and some idea of how to self evaluate if you are doing the drills correctly.
2) Get video of yourself and post it on Epic for feedback ASAP. Compare and contrast with private lesson advice.
3) Be in shape before you go skiing. Focus on core strength, balance and cardio.
4) Get plenty of rest before ski days. Eat right and hydrate on ski days.
5) Rollerblade or ice skate in between ski days.
6) Allocate a percentage of your ski time to racing.
7) Ski with better skiers as much as you can. Follow better skiers right in their tracks.
8) Make the most out of your time on snow. Be ready to go before the lifts open, but don't worry about pushing to get the last run in. Do slower drills when the lines are longer. Do faster drills when the lines are shorter. Have things to do on every part of the trail - don't waste time going from one good section to another. Take lunch early or late to take advantage of shorter lift lines 12-1. Don't skip lunch. If you can choose at all, go on days that will be less busy (e.g. worse weather means more vertical, mid week vs week end).
9) Spend time skiing the nastiest stuff you can find.
10) Remember to have some fun and spend time not thinking about technique.

Finally A response that I liked.

To add I'd also say..

1) Buy some ski Tip videos and watch them the night before you head out..video's like "Steep and Deep" etc.. Personally I like "IN deep" and "In Deeper" they show great tips in that series of videos..

2)Dedicate a portion of each ski day to practing the things you saw online, on videos or wherever... I say like 1 hour at most.. the rest of the day just ski and enjoy ur self, you don't want to skip the most important part of skiing "having fun"

3) Strenght/Endurance Exercises, Balance Exercises and Mental Preperation.. meaning...Hit the Gym, stand on one leg when you get dressesed(just an example), watch videos and of course read this forum ..hehe

4)Don't listen to any of us including me.. 80% of the people on here are NOT experts, hell they might be at a lower level than you for all you know..so take everything we say with a grain of salt..

5) SKI, you can't get good at something without doing it as often as you can....
post #26 of 104
Surprised this has not been mentioned yet?

The ultimate path to skiing success should include evaluation and modification of your boots to place you in the optimum position over your skis both in the fore/aft and lateral planes. All the coaching in the world will be wasted until your equipment allows you to stand correctly! Sure you can ski in poorly aligned and fitted boots but your are making compensations for these issues in your skiing that all detract from other movements you should be making! In my mind any good coaching or instruction should include addressing this issue in short order before wasting time trying to change what can not be changed without balancing the boots!

I guess it depends how serious you are about getting better? If you are serious, do not waste your money on lessons until your boots are fitted and balanced properly! Then jump in with both feet and find a good coach/instructor!
post #27 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
If you are serious, do not waste your money on lessons until your boots are fitted and balanced properly!
I agree that boot alignment is huge - but this is a little over the top to me.

Lots to learn in lessons even before you've gotten your boots fitted and balanced.
post #28 of 104
Aggressive skating on hockey skates (hockey stops ,sharp truly carved turns ,upper body stable while edges work, balance point right over the feet because it is impossible to sit back) has it all. Most people have year round access to ice.. Take advantage of it and it will transfer tremendously to your skiing.
post #29 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I agree that boot alignment is huge - but this is a little over the top to me.

Lots to learn in lessons even before you've gotten your boots fitted and balanced.

You mean kinda like learning to play tennis with one arm tied behind your back?
post #30 of 104
No I don't mean that, but you seem to mean that.

Making my point for me Bud. No disrespect meant, but it is not a waste of money to learn technique if your boots aren't perfect.

Misaligned boots = one handed tennis? Wow!

Until bootfitting became such a big thing, I believe there were quite a few excellent skiers in the world, but not a lot of great one-handed tennis players.
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