Dec 18, 2007
Hi Fellow Bears:
Just got back from 2007 ESA Stowe Event so didn't read your responses until now. Thanks for your reply.
Originally Posted by Snowbowler
I think a season long program is great whether it is race, moguls or just all around mountain skiing. Next best thing I think would be week long program such as ski camp type stuff. Problem with any "training" is where the motivation comes from. I'm an instructor at a small mountain. When there is not much terrain open keeping poeple and it is mostly kids motivated is a challenge. I started a program we call Mountain Masters which runs on the holiday weeks for 1/2 day for 5 days. We try to ski the whole mountain and explore and play around with skills to develop a skier who wants to go out and challenge themselves. At the end of the week their skiing is much improved and they work the terrain more aggressively. I think the ability to have day after day of skiing and lessons provides for a quicker learning of skills and better retention.
We also have multi week programs that go for 6 weeks , Sat or Sun. There the learning is not as linear and retention is not even close to what the 1 week program is. I also don't see the guests really skiing as fluid or challenging themselves as much as in the week long program. I am talking about the upper intermeadiate type of skier in these programs and not begginner or novice skiers. As for the motivation I try to provide some part of it thru our exploration of the mountain and tactics we play with while skiing to show guests what is out there in the skiing environment if they aspire to higher levels. Unfortunately very few really want to continually improve their skills to move to those higher levels.
I agree that 5-10 days of continuous training on snow is more effective than a 6 weekend program. When I first started skiing, I went up to Gray Rocks for their ski week for three seasons, followed by another three seasons of skiing Mt Tremblant ski week. A friend who I ski with always remarks that I've got the "Canadian" round turn look (note, NOT rounded back look).
I've never heard of a seaons long program, which I assume is skiing with a coach every day (or most every day) for the whole season, unless it is a program offered by a ski academy. Would you be able to remark on alternative "all season" program?
I also agree that most people are in skiing for the social aspect and not on perfecting skiing skills. Also to many skiing is just a way to get out of the house and into the great outdoors in the cold winter. As long as they are having fun, that is what it is all about.
Originally Posted by Yuki
Let's toss in the down side of any program. The element of competition.
When you look at the numbers of kids in a program there are many at the lower rung .... eight or nine through thirteen years old. Big numbers, lots of fun and learning.
Then the numbers start to drop .... kids quit ... first the low tier ranks thin and finally towards the end of high school the numbers drop even more, and by then many of the kids are toast ... mentally cooked ...
They have either risen to the top or they have hit the "why bother, I suck" phase of competition. They are too young to realize that when they were good enough for state finals, or upper mid packers, anywhere they go ... they will be some of the best on the hill. And they hang up the skis.
I've also seen young skiers drop out of competitive programs (USSA racing program in particular) because of the "I suck" factor. This is a sad commentary on the pressures to excel in modern society. Fortunately, the race program which my daughter belonged to was low key and had enough fun so that the drop out rate was not too severe. I suspect that for the more competitive race programs up north, what you say is reflected more intensively. Even though she was not a top racer, she is now a great skier and until last season a coach for her old race club.
Originally Posted by 911over
Charlie , I think the real question is "What defines "Nirvana" to you ?" I personally love to be in the mountains. I grew up in them, I love them. I just can't plant my butt down on them & sit there forever. So, I ride my horses in them. It snows. So I ski them. The snow melts & it's slippery, so I hike them. I want my child to enjoy them. So, it's all about the mountain for me. I bring that to my child. What it means to him is what he himself will define.
Good on you Charlie ! My goal beyond keeping up with the kid, is to be a white haired lady in her 70's skiing anywhere I want. So, that entails safely making it to 70 !. Gaining the knowledge & skills it takes with consistent instruction that I learn from. As well as having lots of fun & not taking things too seriously & having a stroke over it. Long term plans & the thinking/planning it requires is a good thing. Lots of fun & learning in the process. Friends to made & good times to be had included !
"Nirvana" to me is to be "comfortable/satisfied" in one's self, surrounding, ability but striving to push the envelope to the best of my ability. For example, my other passion is running. However, I have not inherited much natural ability to be a runner. Life is fair in that I am disciplined and determined enough to take what I've got and utilize my abilities to the extent that I can. In all physical activities (skiing, running), I'm a slow understudy with few inherited gifts of natural ability. But in running as well as skiing I do not take a back seat to any for the love and enthusiasm which I show my chosen sports. So that at this point, I've completed 15 marathons as well as achieved an advanced level of skiing.
As you, I hope that I will be skiing/running into my late 70s and even 80s. But more importantly having fun while doing it. Hopefully, we will all achieve our own "Nirvana".