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Random Thoughts - Page 8

post #211 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
In a theoretical setting it might be acceptable to use a term / classification as a shorthand description but it will never be the basis of any of my lesson plans. My clients demand a lot more from me.
Two things: the broad brush of "may pass level1" was to state what is the most skilled novice.

And yes, it's a shorthand that can make for a meaningful discussion.

It's been said by many that 90% of all lessons should just concentrate on balance. It's also been stated that perhaps as many as 80% of all skiers are novices. This makes "stance and balance" the number one skill to work during a lesson for a novice skier. BTW: "Stance and balance" and outside ski dominance are my two leading picks for lower level ski lessons. It leads nicely into the movements of gait mechanics, which takes the familiar and puts them into the more unfamiliar ski environment.

The intermediate will already have a fairly firm grasp on balance, and so other skills could be worked.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for on-hill evaluation, but I think a classification sysytem can help. You have to be honest about what is a novice skier and what is an intermediate skier. And you need reasonable expectations about how effective it is to focus your lessons on a certain skill or skill set.

It makes little sense to work on anything other than stance and balance when stance and balance is deficient. Do we really have a hope in teaching pressure control or pivotting if the student is being limited by their stance/balance? Should we?

That was the whole point of the question. Is there any sort of value to a classification scheme that could point an instructors efforts to "detect and correct" in the right direction?

I think so.
post #212 of 225
I took a racquetball lesson once. Coach said the most fundamental thing was to always keep an eye on the ball. We spent the whole lesson working on this. He was right, but the lesson was still boring and left me without a sense of receiving value. That's the only rball lesson I've taken.

I've taken several series of golf lessons. Some golf coaches say that the grip is the most fundamental element of the golf swing. I've never had any lesson that spent more than a few minutes covering the grip. The only reason I've ever changed pros was that they had moved out of the area, with one exception. This summer I tried out a one day Dave Pelz branded short game school.

Moral of the story: teaching an entire lesson focused on only balance is a potential land mine for a boring lesson. Students expect to take home accomplishments more significant than "I learned how to stand up on skis". I'm not saying it has to be that way. There's a school of thought that says lessons ought to be focused on a single skill. This does not preclude having fun and learning useful skills. But if I had tried to do this for balance in my early days of teaching, the results would have been dismal.
post #213 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Consolidation. What exactly does this term mean when it comes to defining an "intermediate" skier?
A) It depends.

B) What would you like it to mean?

Actually, if you go back to the NCCP model, "intermediate" is not a term that you'll see. Terms like "acquisition" and "consolidation" were used more carefully in the athlete development model to help overcome the ambiguity of very general and very widely used terms like "intermediate."

Consolidation in terms of the sport development model describes a pretty good level of proficiency, with good motor and technical skills in a normal sport environment. Consistency is still being worked on, especially in more open environments (think of a practice vs game day or playoffs for example). Some of the more complex sport-specific skills are still being learned at this level.

In skiing terms, the CSIA would say that someone at the consolidation level does pretty well on blue runs (maybe some blacks) with good conditions, but they'll be challenged on harder terrain (e.g. ice, steeps, bumps). They can show some good turns, but you'll often see one turn radius that they try to use for most conditions. A lot of people would probably be comfortable calling this "intermediate."

The CSCF would expect higher performance, and proficiency with race-oriented skills & tactics to rate a consolidation level assessment. Good K1 racers (11/12 years old) are considered to be at consolidation level. These kids would all be passing the GP intermediates.

As you can see, the base model allows for adaptation to sport-specific contexts and takes into account a skills inventory for the particular sport or branch of the sport (e.g. SL gate clearing is a ski racing skill, not on the list for general ski instruction).
post #214 of 225
E, It's great to get the students near the right class using some sort of rating system. We use a 9 level one here. We also modify those levels according to aptitude and attitude. After that verbal split we ski around for a run or two verifying that their performance matches their stated ability. Moving a student up or down is a common practice here as long as we have sufficient staff to accomodate their desires. It is the job of the pro to assess what they see the student doing and if it will work within the scope of the rest of the class.
I would be quick to point out that while the beginner, intermediate, advanced monikors exist we do not use them to accomplish our class assignments or splits. They are simply too broad to be much use.
post #215 of 225
JASP,

That's true, they are broad terms, in that they are summaries of the I/A/C/R/CV model. So in a split/assignment, you'd need to look a bit deeper into the skill levels of the student. Looking against I/A/C/R/CV makes for a common assesment standard. This can only help the product.

The model is applicable regardless of whether or not the student is an intermediate level instructor or an intermediate level rec skier. In the common model, it is perceived that an intermediate instructor would be leagues ahead of the intermediate rec skier. In the I/A/C/R/CV model, the intermdiate instructor would show all at C. The intermediate GP, mostly around A.

Is that all that far away? How can we develop A level skills into C level skills?
post #216 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Moral of the story: teaching an entire lesson focused on only balance is a potential land mine for a boring lesson. Students expect to take home accomplishments more significant than "I learned how to stand up on skis". I'm not saying it has to be that way. There's a school of thought that says lessons ought to be focused on a single skill. This does not preclude having fun and learning useful skills. But if I had tried to do this for balance in my early days of teaching, the results would have been dismal.
Look at it this way... suppose you are a young instructor starting out. The list of drills and the skills they address is quite daunting. Imagine that you are first taught to teach stance and balance -- 90% of the skiing world could use some help there, so why not?

Fore balance, centre balance, aft balance, pivotting the feet under the CM. Hopping, thousand steps, pivot slips. Cossack turns. Short balance, tall balance, flexing, touch your ankles, extending touch the snow. Jumping off tiny bumps. Skiing backwards. Doing 360's. Generally moving as much as possible on skis and not falling down.

It's all balance, and it all can be made fun.

After a year demoing all that, (or two part time) what do you think has happened to YOUR oen skiing? You have a solid foundation and can much more easily pick up the higher skills.

What has happened to the students? They too are in better shape to pick up the next set of skills. Afterall, you cannot teach one skill in isolation, there is always a blend happening. So the MA will tell you which balance drill will give you most bang for the buck. You won't get much bang teaching pressure control if balance is lacking.....

What it boils down to is recognizing that this is a skill heirarchy atop a foundation skill that must be strong enough to support the other skills. IMO, the measurement against I/A/C/R/CV can help do that. The general labels are only general guidelines, just like the numbers 6-7-8-9.

The difference between the I/A/C/R/CV model and the numeric approach is that it is more detailed -- each skill is assigned a letter.
post #217 of 225
BigE,,, BINGO!!
post #218 of 225
Cossack turns? Slava Bogu!

I have not seen anything better than the Skills Model Venn diagram that we learn in PSIA training for simplicity and accuracy in expressing exactly what you are saying, BigE. "It's all balance..."

I like the baking analogy: you've got your flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, which you can put together a myriad of ways to make numerous tasty goods. (Real bakers will note the lack of a leavening agent such as baking soda, baking powder, or yeast. This is the "direction of movement" that was earlier identified, and is a critical additive to the blending of skills on a foundation of balance.)
post #219 of 225
Not sure E but the skills are also evaluated and assessed in our numeric system along with the modifiers for aptitude, attutude. So a 8+ in skills that has a timid approach to skiing would be more comfortable in a high 7, low 8 group. Although I hope that doesn't give a newbie instructor the idea that they need to present a canned lesson to them based on their abilities. They still need to develop a "unique to the student" lesson plan.
post #220 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Look at it this way... suppose you are a young instructor starting out. The list of drills and the skills they address is quite daunting. Imagine that you are first taught to teach stance and balance -- 90% of the skiing world could use some help there, so why not?
Because a 100% focus on balance is more than "some help". A young instructor starting out starts out teaching first timers. Our first time lesson teaches to all skills, not just balance. Strangely enough, our "standard" first time lesson that we teach our new instructors to teach starts with stance and balance after the introduction. So, yes we all agree that balance is a foundation skill. But once that is good enough, we move on and start developing the other skills. We don't spend the whole first time lesson on stance and balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
After a year demoing all that, (or two part time) what do you think has happened to YOUR own skiing?
What's happened is that I've become bored to death or found another coach. That was the point of my racquetball story. I agree that this stuff can be fun. I've yet to find a coach who could make it fun for an entire year. I've skied with a lot of great coaches. They simply don't coach this way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
You won't get much bang teaching pressure control if balance is lacking.....
The key question is the distinction between lacking and enough. That's a distinction that new instructors are going to do more guessing at because of a lack of experience. Sometimes you can fix a balance issue by working on pressure control. How's a new instructor going to know when to do this? Hell, I don't know why I do this when I do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Afterall, you cannot teach one skill in isolation, there is always a blend happening.
This is where things get murky. There's the argument that balance is always a part of the other skills. So teaching the other skills is also teaching balance. Alas, that kind of blows the whole point of focusing on balance. When I was first told to keep my lessons focused on only one skill, I ended up teaching the same drills for different skills and determing the focus of the drill by how it was presented. There are a lot of ways to weasel out of this focus on balance thing. So yeah - I think this means we're on the same page that balance should not be a 100% focus thing, that the other skills come into play. It's just that the way you put it reminds me about a lot of screw ups in my past. My point here is that there is a ton of room here for misinterpretation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
The difference between the I/A/C/R/CV model and the numeric approach is that it is more detailed -- each skill is assigned a letter.
It is more detailed than beginner, intermediate, advanced. One could argue that 1-9 is more detailed than I-CV simply because it's 9 categories versus 5. If we remember that the ultimate goal here is to create similar lesson groups to facilitate productive lessons, my suspicion is that each approach has its plusses and minuses that don't make a lot of difference at the end of the day.


I'm not saying give up. I'm saying understand the scope of the challenge (to tell people to focus more on balance) and understand that when there is enough skill development in one area, it's ok to spend time in other areas. One point we don't want to overlook is that we don't teach skills. We teach movements that help develop skills. It seems that we're pretty good at teaching moves that challenge balance, but not as good at teaching movements that develop balance skills.
post #221 of 225
The I-CV scale is 5 levels OF EACH SKILL. The MA involves slotting those skills. It is never the case that stance and balance lags behind another skill. That is impossible.

That being said, most skiers fall under the mid-level of all skills at Consolidation (CSIA 2 instructor). Our job is to bring up the other skills.

I've found that all other skills are greatly improved through improvements to stance and balance. It is never the other way around -- improving other skills do not improve one's balance. While learing another skill, like pivotting the skis, it is necessary that balance gets better. The pivot slip DRILL won't teach you HOW or WHEN to use this pivotting skill, but it will improve your balance.

IMO, you can get up to the acquisition stage without dedicated focus on stance and balance. To acheive consolidation and beyond, you have to work directly on balance.

I believe that the reason why "terminal intermediate" skiers exist is a fundamental lack of balance training.

NB. The "terminal intermediate" I am referring to would be considered at best to have all skills at the acquisition level, not a "terminal" CSIA 2 instructor. It is the classic TI that we all know -- thinking about every movement, nothing is allowed to happen. Getting stuck on moguls and in variable snow - or are in survival mode. Lack of movment, hugging the hill, confidence is easily shaken.

The notion here is that a terminal intermediate is that way because they are just not comfortable on the hill. This is simply because they are not "in balance" -- it sure is not because the other skills aren't so developed.

Should focus on stance and balance be boring? That is up to the instructor.
post #222 of 225
Isn't that where the imagination in a kids lesson comes in ? Loved your description of a week with my son. He'd so love that! Remembering some famous quote about what's good for kids is good for grownups.

BigE-that brings up another question/thought wandering around loose in my (currently lost) mind. Seems to me, the pictures,feelings, sensations from our imaginations tend to be very solid in our minds, often ready and quicker to react than the intellectual processes we think through. Just my personal impression, whatcha think ?
post #223 of 225
For sure, 911over, those images and feelings are very clear and quick triggers. But in my view, they are the result of the intellectual process -- The images/feelings are just the tip of the iceberg, the rational argument is what's beneath the surface. The subconscious mind has already processed the information in a rational manner, and spat out the images and feelings. It is up to us to slow that subconsious process down so that we can peer beneath the surface and view that intellectual process as it occurs.

Ever wonder why you find yourself saying things like "That's obvious!" but are at a loss for a reason why "that's obvious"? The subconscious has decided for you. You decode the feelings and images into what it has already done. You cannot discover something other than what you've already proved the obvious to be.
Just my 2 cents.
...we now return you to our previously scheduled rant.....
post #224 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
The I-CV scale is 5 levels OF EACH SKILL.
Oh cool. Then can we assume that this classification is not used to divide lesson groups at a lineup?
post #225 of 225
That's a fine assumption.

Since all skills at Consolidation is the minimum requirement for CSIA level 2, that leaves mostly Initiation and Acquistion skiers awaiting lessons -- what you guys call "intermediate".
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