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Clicker training for skiers

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've just gotten a 9 week old golden retriever pup and have dedicated myself to trying the positive dog training methods first. A big part of this is clicker training. Here is a link to get up to speed on clicker training if you aren't aware of what it is yet...

http://www.clickertraining.com/whatis

Rather than a discussion about where or not this is effective for training dogs, I'd like to see if anyone has used this to train with skiers. I know other athletes have used similar training methods, but how would you implement this with a skier?

I noticed on a recent video of my skiing that I still have some A-framing on steeper terrain. My inside foot is leading the turn but only until it goes flat, at which point I am using an outside leg push off to get into the turn and it is blocking my inside foot momentarily from rolling over. One thing I have had difficulty connecting to is when I have fully completed the edge change with the inside ski. A nice big "Click! (And a treat )" would be awesome for letting me know right then and there what physical sensation was accurate.

This device seems like it is working on the same principle and from many of the reviews I have read people seem to love it. http://www.theskicoach.com/
post #2 of 18
SkiCoach only tells you if your shoulders stay level. Doesn't tell you anything about your feet/legs.
post #3 of 18
When I read that I thought about the Ski Coach, too, but as Kneale says, it has a different focus. However, it won't surprise me if advances in biomechanical monitoring gives us an ability to do this kind of thing in the relatively near future.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
The SkiCoach is a different focus, so I wouldn't use it for feedback on my legs, but it seems to validate the idea at least.

I was thinking of maybe having an instructor with a good eye for movement analysis follow me down a slope and click when I got the motions right. Just not sure how that would actually work out in reality. Maybe a 2-way radio with a morse code beep would work...

I'm sure someone can come up with a creative solution for how to get a marker for real-time feedback.
post #5 of 18
My coach used to hit me with a ski pole. Or a bamboo gate.

:

post #6 of 18
Why use treats or a clicker to train your dog? What happens when you run out of treats or lose your clicker?? You should train your dog using voice commands. Go to the library and get the book "The Koehler Method of Dog Training." I have used this to train my dog and it is the most effective method. Forget the clicker...it's irritating!
post #7 of 18
I always preferred the "clickers" that delivered a short electric shock - for training skiers of course.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
However, it won't surprise me if advances in biomechanical monitoring gives us an ability to do this kind of thing in the relatively near future.
Steve,

The PGA Learning Center uses a very cool balance machine that measures both your fore/aft as well as lateral balance during your swing while you are hitting balls indoors onto a projected picture of a golf hole. They can set up the parameters that if you move too far fore or aft as well as laterally the machine will give you immediate audible feedback. Very annoying to have a machine tell you just screwed up in the middle of a shot!!!


Additionally the computer that governs the system can generate a graphic model of your movements during the swing.


Now if we could just get that sucker outdoors and on a mountain
post #9 of 18
I was hoping to see some cute pup pics.
post #10 of 18
I'm with heluva,,, go with the shock collar instead. Electrodes on the inside of the knees. When they touch - ZZZZZZZAP! That'll learn ya. :
post #11 of 18
I have used clicker training extensively and exclusively with my dog. If I neglect a trick for months, he still remembers it perfectly. BECAUSE HE CHOSE THE BEHAVIOR IN ORDER TRY TO GET ME TO CLICK.

Clicker training is
1. A super method of classical conditioning through immediate marking and shaping of behaviors.
2. It is collaborative--you AND the dog decide and learn together.

I nearly always use these principles in ski teaching. When I'm skiing near or in front of a person and she approaches the desired (useful, effective, efficient, whatever) behavior, I actually do the skier's pole click applause. They very quickly learn the meaning of that and it reinforces the behavior and increases the odds of it being repeated.

Great stuff.
post #12 of 18

Cute pup

Merlin, the clicker dog
525x525px-LL-vbattach2442.jpg
post #13 of 18

More cute pup

Motorcycle mutt. Clicker trained to ride.
525x525px-LL-vbattach2443.jpg
post #14 of 18
That is a pretty cool puppy cockpit! But.....how do you find him in a snow storm?

Instant, positive, feedback, however we do it, is important to anchoring a new movement. I tell students, recognizing the correct movement or sensation, is half the battle. Once they have felt it and I mark or reinforce the desired sensation, repeating the behavior becomes easier. Ignoring the negative or undesireable movements and reinforcing the positive ones instantly, we more efficiently ingrain the new neuro pathways into good habits!

I like the pole clicking idea! Probably better than hollering, YES YES THAT'S IT, REMEMBER HOW THAT FELT! and looking and sounding like an idiot to passers by!
post #15 of 18
We use the same principal with horse training. The key is to know when to stop asking. Most novices/instructors want to see to much of the movement/desired outcome to large and too quickly. With horses if they will give you just a tiny bit of what you want than it is time for reward (whatever the trainer deems appropriate). The more experience the trainer has, the more developed the eye is (read, movement analysis)the more success the student/instructor will have.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Now we need some equestrian analogies too......
.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrangler View Post
We use the same principal with horse training. The key is to know when to stop asking. Most novices/instructors want to see to much of the movement/desired outcome to large and too quickly. With horses if they will give you just a tiny bit of what you want than it is time for reward (whatever the trainer deems appropriate). The more experience the trainer has, the more developed the eye is (read, movement analysis)the more success the student/instructor will have.
The short & sweet of it is you can "click" faster than speak & give immedidate feedback/reward. Marking exactly within a split second what was right before another move is completed. That physical action of pushing a clicker comes out quicker than words do & before another move/action is started or completed. With horses, you can complete that physical reward faster than words(usually). What I find fascinating is how each individual, be it a horse,dog, or human reacts to the reward. Or what each individual considers a reward. It's part of the differences how an individual learns.
I have 1 horse that has to think & think,he thinks in big circles before he clues in to the one point you are trying to teach. Once he gets it just a little, he's done. I have to move on to something else he already knows & then let him think about it overnight in his stall. The other one is a horse of action & little thought. Ton's of enthusiasm, lets just go will ya ?! He try's & try's & when he gets it he doesn't want to stop. He loves the way it feels. But I have to quit before he overloads & loses self control altogether out of enthusiasm.
The whippet pup will only work on a clicker (or any word) if it means a food reward in the end. Then he's done. The G.S. will do anything for a "good girl!" and enthusiastic pet/play. She has no interest in food. She'll go on forever with anything you ask.

People often take rewards/acknoweledgement in far too many unproductive ways instead of what it really is. We easily over think/over criticize our accomplishments & this gets in the way of learning. How we take or think of feed back determines how coachable we are. I think the mental & emotional games are the parts of what can make learning cumbersome. With animals, they just respond in their individual way, people tend to add too many things to simple.
post #18 of 18
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