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Two approaches to ski teaching - Page 3

post #61 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
I know, I'm so ashamed. I'm going to burn all my Jeff Foxworthy records.

Mister Weems
You ski inn jeans
and hunt lawyerz
with u shotgun????

Bolter's no grouch
but no time to vouch
i'm off to the padded room
to burn my couch.
post #62 of 79
I was in on the European discussion Rick refered to and the summary was along the lines that "follow me" is a good tool if if gets students into terrain that challenges them, or, gets them skiing in tight behind and making turns that challenges them, or, ramps up their pace etc...

Providing a "challenge" is the key as opposed to just being a lazy instructor. Same goes with prescribing drills, boring drills that dont challenge are a waste of time neither is getting students to perform a lazy guys favourite drill that doesnt address root problems in the learner.

Some of the examiners over here are very much in the school that pressing students with mileage in terrain that pushes the limits of their abilities works better by the hour than prescribing drill upon drill...
post #63 of 79

Performance vs Execution

So I've been thinking about my teaching/learning and I have some thoughts in 2 areas; one of which is Performance vs Execution.

When learning a new skill there is, in some circles, a tendency to analyse the movement, (bio)mechanics, physics and environment to a greater(!) or lesser extent. This facet of teaching provides an opportunity for the student to understand, at a mental/physical level, what is being discussed and allows them to attempt a mechanical duplication of the movement. This of course is often forced and unnatural.

I suggest that this analysis process leads to 'executing' moves (along with all the negative connotations - I certainly look like I'm murdering some movements when I learn to dance!); they movement is stilted, disjoint and not very pleasant; but it *is* recognisable...

However, repeated execution (with correction and refinement) does lead to a kinesthetic(?) feeling (which will come in later) and muscle memory. This stage is where the student can observe their own bodies; feel the movements and learn to replicate.

So having established a baseline shape for the movement which can now be attacked and executed at will, the next step is to *perform* the movement.

This is where I look for grace, fluidity and harmony. (For those who have seen me ski - No laughing!!)

Forget the specifics, turning the ankle, aligning the hips, keeping the head posture; instead focus on a single concept that embodies the feelings you observed during your execution phase.

Then JFDI.

It won't work the first time

Don't try and correct it as you perform - but, in a corner of your mind, do pay attention (not too closely) to what your body is doing.
Maybe have a little think about it - not too much, just a tweak, and try and *perform* again.
Remember the objective is to be technically excellent *and* fluid and natural - it won't happen the first time out; but you have to work at both sides.
I try to remind myself that performance happens when you do something that you find natural - you have to execute the movement until your body understands it (mere intellectual ability doesn't cut it!) Some people have bodies that are annoyingly good at this, others seem to live inside zombie shells.

So Nolo, I wonder if there is simply a different bias between execution and performance in your example?

As an addendum: movement analysis is hard - when a student watches a demo, they often have no clue what is being demonstrated; what's important and what's not?
Different people have different levels of ability in this regard; could there be a cultural bias whereby a greater proportion of the French population respond well to this approach?

Finally - it seems that the student needs to behave and think differently during the two approaches, yet whilst I've been told "that's enough practising - now just ski/dance it", it's never been made clear how I should mentally approach these two activities differently.
So maybe if I arrive expecting to be 'taught' then I'll have my execution head on; if I arrive expecting to ski then I'll have my perform head on.
post #64 of 79
ltb,

interesting thoughts, there are so many ways to teach and lear that i think it is difficult to section each into its own little box i think you some that up well.

i was recently at a training camp in Landgraaf Holland with a mixed group of race trainees,some adults and some older kids the majority of people on the course were open to the "try this and tell me what you feel" approach where as one person in the group could not accept this and she wanted to be told exactly what she was to do and what effect she should feel, why she would feel it and what beneift it would have on her skiing....... a coaching nightmare as every single thing was over analysed to the point of destruction.

absolutly no persception of what would happen if....... it had to be pre planned so the brain could compute what the desired outcome was...the problem with this is rather than completing the task and feeling what happened she would reach the outcome by whatever means just to reach the outcome

i must say of the 12 trainees on the group she made the least improvement due to this closed minded attitiude, pretty much every one else made a massive improvement over the two days

but at the end of the day there are different learing patterns and methods just as there are different teaching/coaching methods

the skier in question may just all come tgether and it might just click 3 months in the future...who knows

BTW the senior coach on this trip had worked with the skier several times in the past and everything that has been tried comes back to the same outcome what will i feel, why should i feel it and what will it do for my skiing
post #65 of 79
Thread Starter 
lbt, you make a lot of sense. There is a big difference between learning something new and performing it. In the one case, to use a popular example, we're hacking through undergrowth to build a Jeep trail. In the other case, we're continuing to work the trail into a lane, and a road, a highway, and finally a superhighway that the person can zip up and down proficiently at very high speed and in variable conditions.

CEM, I think
Quote:
what will i feel, why should i feel it and what will it do for my skiing
is actually a fine way for a teacher to introduce a new movement to an experienced skier. I think with novice skiers do better being told what to do, why to do it, and what they will get for doing it.

It has to do with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: the novice is primarily interested in survival, but once survival needs are satisfied, the student can begin worrying about belonging, esteem (from others and from oneself), and having a purpose in life and achieving it.

Perhaps the problem student in your example was simply exhibiting the very common learning disorder of taking oneself too seriously, and perhaps her coach(es) was (were) exhibiting a learning disorder not to recognize how this student wanted (demanded) to be treated.
post #66 of 79
Nolo

Quote:
Perhaps the problem student in your example was simply exhibiting the very common learning disorder of taking oneself too seriously
very true, this client has been through more coaches than i care to count

this coach is the one she works best with and he is ripping his hair out
post #67 of 79
Thread Starter 
CEM, some people need to (re)learn how to learn. Our formal education can make us lose the learning skills we came with at birth. Who cares about exploring questions, just tell me the right answers.

In truth, working with that client would be an excellent learning opportunity for the right coach. How good is the coach who only works with people who are excellent learners?
post #68 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
In truth, working with that client would be an excellent learning opportunity for the right coach. How good is the coach who only works with people who are excellent learners?
So true.

I have vivid and humerous memories of one particular nightmare student we had at KB. Wanted to learn to race, and all my coaches would run for the hills when he came in for yet another private. He went through quite a few coaches, and I ended up working with him quite a bit. I actually did enjoy the challenge.

Oh yeah,,, and the college racer I coached who would break into to hysterical crying at least a couple times a day. Coaches were terrified to critique her. "Oh, sh*t, here comes Ginger (not real name) again. I talked to here last time, you do it this time". Then: "Oh, sorry Ginger, didn't see your run"". OR "Gee, really nice run Ginger". "But I missed 3 gates"? "Yeah,,, but Crystal missed 5,,, and did I mention how nice that new parka looks"?

I guess my summation of working with severely learning challenged students would be,,, work within the structure of what you're presented. Adapt to it, and improvise,,, and along the way try to also (subtly as you need to be) nudge them into more productive learning habits.
post #69 of 79
i think in this case it is an over complication of simple drills, she is an academic with a specialty in neucular physics so has to have every thing explained and broken down to her level [way above the level which it needs to be]

the coach i was with is the one person who has had some success, but there are several others who refuse to take her or even have her in their group as she takes all their time and other students don't get what they deserve

it really comes to somthing when a parent of one of the kids in the group (15YO) complained that their son wasn't getting good value for what they had paid as she was taking up too much of the coaches time.

i guess there are just some people who as has be said are not conventional learners but this is one real tough one...the only solution i could see would be for her to be one to one with a coach that che can work with BTW she is in her late 40's
post #70 of 79
Thread Starter 
Without a doubt, some people do not belong in group lessons and should be diverted to private coaching.
post #71 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Without a doubt, some people do not belong in group lessons and should be diverted to private coaching.
so so true... i just pity the poor soul wh is the coach::
post #72 of 79
Is it september yet?
post #73 of 79
I like "We learn by doing." It is the feeling of skiing ('er whatever) "right" that makes one want to do it again and again. For some students, rhetoric may be the essential impetus to try.
With my students I talk to get the student to understand how movements affect their "feelings". We ski to memorize those feeling(s).
post #74 of 79
Lonnie - you're being very hemispherist...
post #75 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Without a doubt, some people do not belong in group lessons and should be diverted to private coaching.
While that is very true sometimes it is a challenge to the instructor to give each the attention they deserve and tailor the group lesson to group needs while adding or altering tasks to keep every one in the game.
It's a challenge but it's a common theme and it's up to us to deliver.
post #76 of 79
GarryZ,

the problem in this case is the trainee is oblivious to the needs of anyone else in the group she thinks she is the only important figure there and will do everything to keep the coach explaining to her rather than giving any time to the group...when he does addres the group she will always ask the most basic questions [all of which have been covered previously] and bring the discussion round to how this affects HER whatever the coach does he is compromising give her the info she wants and the rest of the group complain pay attention to the rest of the group and she gets upset.

Nolo is 100% right in this case private coaching is IMO the only way to go with this one

beleive me [i was there as an observer] this is one high maintainence trainee
post #77 of 79
This person was never laughed at in middle school.


Much.
post #78 of 79
Please keep in mind when working with a person like this you are not dealing as much with a learning style as an emotional need. People want attention and have learned how to get it. The method that works best for them becomes automatic behavior. I find that directly confronting the behavior, positively, and providing an alternate method to get attention often works wonders, but not always of course.

Figureing out how to get people outside their normal behavior can open the door to learning opprotunities they had no idea existed.

I learned this from a concept offered to parents:
Children crave your attention. They perfer to be praised but will accept being punished over being ignored.
post #79 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRN View Post
Please keep in mind when working with a person like this you are not dealing as much with a learning style as an emotional need. People want attention and have learned how to get it. The method that works best for them becomes automatic behavior. I find that directly confronting the behavior, positively, and providing an alternate method to get attention often works wonders, but not always of course..
That's essentially where I was going with my comment, mostly in response to nolo's 'formal education' post above. Somehow, somewhere, somewhen, there was an emotional environment that encouraged this woman to shut off feeling-response-exploration.

The unathletic middle school geek with fast reasoned learning but slow developing, unconfident motion skills is enough of a television trope that I thought it would carry the entire message.
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