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What Makes a Good Skier - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
But tell me what you think makes someone a "good" skier in any context you choose.
A good skier stands on their skis, in other words, maintains balance. There are many variations of technique: stance, edging, etc., but it all boils down to maintaining balance, and standing on one's skis.

Not standing on one's skis, and being balanced, is falling down, or attempting to avoid falling down, neither of which are good skiing.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
Conversely, if you're yelping with joy without a lot of refined skills, why bother to learn?
so those yelps don't turn into whimpers when the trail gets steeper or the conditions get worse.
post #33 of 59
Great instructor? You've had some good replies. Let me add this:

A great instructor learns as much as he/she teaches.
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Good balance is necessary, but not sufficient. A great rower or paddler (ever been in a racing shell) who has never skied has potential, but is not yet a good skier. Also required is a knowledge of how skis and human bodies and snow interact, and good coordination, precise body control.
I second this. Too much emphasize is put on balance. We had a ropedancer and circus artist and acrobat in one ski school I worked at. He could balance 10 plates on sticks high up on a ladder riding a bicycle. Balance doesent get much better in ski schools I would say but he was no great skier. In order to be a good skier you need to have proper technique.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
I second this. Too much emphasize is put on balance. We had a ropedancer and circus artist and acrobat in one ski school I worked at. He could balance 10 plates on sticks high up on a ladder riding a bicycle. Balance doesent get much better in ski schools I would say but he was no great skier. In order to be a good skier you need to have proper technique.
not even even close to being the same balance. Thats like saying the guys that beat Lebron James in a game horse is a better basketball player than Lebron because he can play horse better.

Better balance would come from stuff yoga, rock climbing, rollerblading, mountain biking, skateboarding,and soccer. With that said balancing on skis is still an acquired skill over time. If your were a mountain biker who is use to balancing over rough terrain and has strong core, is going be much better than some circus act and there tricks.
post #36 of 59
SG61 said"A great instructor learns as much as he/she teaches."

It's been said B4, I agree and pitty the student/athlete that has a an instructor/coach that is not being instructed/coached.

Ask your instructor about their latest breakthrough or what they are working on in their skiing, if you like the answer, listen and trust that one.

Off to put on snow tires...
Greg
post #37 of 59
Thread Starter 

good skiing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Good balance is necessary, but not sufficient. A great rower or paddler (ever been in a racing shell) who has never skied has potential, but is not yet a good skier. Also required is a knowledge of how skis and human bodies and snow interact, and good coordination, precise body control.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
I second this. Too much emphasize is put on balance. We had a rope-dancer and circus artist and acrobat in one ski school I worked at. He could balance 10 plates on sticks high up on a ladder riding a bicycle. Balance doesn't get much better in ski schools I would say but he was no great skier. In order to be a good skier you need to have proper technique.
Yes, balance is only part of it. Below is the list that most of us agree on:

A good, or even a great skier is:

1. Safe and courteous, with a willingness to help others.
2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious.
3. Shows a sense of fun, and regardless of the setting, has just a little in reserve.

4.
Has good mechanics.
5.
Is smooth and makes it all seem effortless, usually skiing faster than anyone else around them.
6. Usually is in balance or knows the movement patterns to regain balance.
7. Has absolute confidence in themselves.

Number 4. "Has good mechanics", encompasses good technique.

Quote:
As GRT8TRN says: "Balance; simultaneous; shaping their turns; moving down the hill, with the highest pressure above or at the apex of their turns; initiating early; leveled, never leaning in, or in the 'back-seat'; never over-steering or rotating their upper body, and so-on and so-on...has a lot to do with some of the answers we have seen so far. Flow, smooth, effortless, fast, in all conditions."

"I do find that too much technique, and not enough tactic, or to take a page out of Weem's Diamond, too much touch and not enough purpose will make less goodness happen less often."
But...I think a skier needs to have good balance so that he/she can learn good technique. The chicken or the egg?
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
so those yelps don't turn into whimpers when the trail gets steeper or the conditions get worse.
Good point, but no. Not in my personal experience. I enjoy making a fool of myself on any terrain in any conditions at any speed That said, I'm still planning to learn how to ski one of these days.

Sorry for the
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Good balance is necessary, but not sufficient...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
I second this. Too much emphasize is put on balance. In order to be a good skier you need to have proper technique.
+3
Is that which is popularly and easily described as balance but a by-product of sound technique? While balance is a correct observation attributed to great skiers it impresses me as only surface terminology with great instructors looking deeper to express and improve in terms of technique.

Sure, anyone can see and point out good balance in skiing. However, turning back to the question of what makes a great instructor we maybe better served considering separation from the many who can discuss the obvious to those who effectively communicate depth in terms of technique.

Therefore as I think of those who have most impressed me with their ability not restating the obvious but to clearly deconstruct my skills and challenge my technique with all its history and associated comfort…the list of great instructors is shortened quite a bit.

BTW, my short list of great instructors also includes those who are not certified per se [and could easily achieve if so inclined] but certainly are scholars of the sport, meet my criteria of a great skier, have tremendous communication skills with maturity and have that quick eye that spots fine detail at any moment of movement.
post #40 of 59

good instructor

Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
Now Sandgroper61, what makes a great instructor?
This question probably should have been posted in a new thread.

Zippy
post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
A great instructor is perceptive, understands their students and supports them in their quest by giving them a small amount of knowledge that is exactly what they need to learn at that moment.

Then helps them to understand that knowledge again while supporting them and their ability to master it. If is the right thing to focus on for that student at that time, then they should be able to learn it. If they can't, it probably wasn't the right thing to teach them at that point.
Exactly right, SkiMangoJazz!

For an instructor, communication is everything.

He (or she) needs to be able to perceive a problem, or understand the student's questions, and then must be able to communicate the answer, either in words, or by demonstrating.

It's all about communications, bith out-going and in-coming.

I think the instructor (or coach) doesn't even need to ski as well as his student, as long as he can still get the student or athlete to progress, who cares about the coach's ability to ski?

That's why some people can teach and some can't.
post #42 of 59
On the subject of balance. A good skier does much more than stay in balance or regain balance when it is lost. A good skier is one who can intentionally move from a balanced/centered state through an imbalanced/but still centered state back to a balanced/centered state. The easiest way to stay balanced is to stand still. Effective motion requires the creation and resolution of imbalance

fom
post #43 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippy View Post
This question probably should have been posted in a new thread.

Zippy

Yes Zippy, you're right...this thread is getting too complicated. I'll start a new thread for "What Makes a Great Instructor?"
post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippy View Post
...I think the instructor (or coach) doesn't even need to ski as well as his student, as long as he can still get the student or athlete to progress, who cares about the coach's ability to ski?..
Interesting comment as my initial thoughts given this thread predicated great instructors being themselves great practitioners of skiing.

I will confess that I would be more inclined to sign up with and listen more intently to a ski instructor who clearly put into practice better skills than me. Although, thinking about it, perhaps I’ve narrowed my opportunities of improvement by such a [shallow?] method of selection
post #45 of 59
Q: What makes a good skier?

Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?







































A: Practice
post #46 of 59

Another thought on balance

Here is a quote from Weems

It’s time you paid attention to balance. You can’t get very far if you fall down, right? Balancing yourself is also the secret to efficiency, and efficiency is the secret to answering that age-old question, How do they make it look so easy?!”

Without balance, technique does nothing; and technique does not necessarily create balance.

A great skier requires both.

Another gem from Weems:

Note that balance is not a position. My rule of thumb is that once you’ve been in a position long enough to recognize it as such, you’ve been there way too long!

[Weems Westfeldt - Brilliant Skiing Every Day]
post #47 of 59
Love Weems' work in Brilliant skiing everyday. Thanks for the quotes. We have so much to draw from in skiing, and I am a fan of Weems for sure
Greg
post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
Okay, here's another question for you all, What makes a GREAT instuctor?
I can't name every quality required to make a great instructor but I have skied with enough to realize a few things that the best ones have in common. Here are three:

1) They delight in teaching and seeing their clients succeed. To put it a different way, they are not instructors primarily because they love to ski (although they almost certainly do), but because they love to teach, and skiing is their medium.

2) They ask early on what the student is looking for, really listen to the answer, and then do their best to provide what was requested (or explain why it may not be such a good idea and suggest alternatives. )

3) They give only honest feedback to the client. Bullsh*t is so easy to detect! Great instructors do not give false praise. Instead, they share constructive ways to improve and give specific positive feedback (small or large ), as appropriate.
post #49 of 59
Efficient X Effective X Versatile=the joyful art (or the dance) of skiing
post #50 of 59

5 Pillars of Good Skiing

1. Natural balance

2. Work the outside ski

3. Use all joints

4. Upper/lower body separation

5. Pole action

CSCF folks will recognize this general but very effective description. Your chosen instructional or coaching methodology will greatly influence how you choose to get to this result, but these characteristics will be evident in good skiers from anywhere in the world.
post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
Yes, balance is only part of it. Below is the list that most of us agree on:

A good, or even a great skier is:

1. Safe and courteous, with a willingness to help others.
2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious.
3. Shows a sense of fun, and regardless of the setting, has just a little in reserve.

4.
Has good mechanics.
5.
Is smooth and makes it all seem effortless, usually skiing faster than anyone else around them.
6. Usually is in balance or knows the movement patterns to regain balance.
7. Has absolute confidence in themselves.

Number 4. "Has good mechanics", encompasses good technique.

But...I think a skier needs to have good balance so that he/she can learn good technique. The chicken or the egg?




In regards to balance, of course it is essential. However, I believe it is implied in #s 2 and 4 in the above list:

2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious (You cannot ski any terrain or conditions well with ease and elegance without a developed,ski specific, sense of balance.)

4. Has good mechanics. (Those mechanics won't be good and won't work without fluid, dynamic, developed, again - ski specific balance skills.)

But maybe it does need to be said rather than implied. The balance factor could be incorporated into #2.

2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, in balance, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious.



Also regarding balance: I am no instructor, but I believe that balance is an often overlooked term in teaching people to ski. I have known intermediates who would concentrate very hard on certain technique or form issues that their instructors had them working on, while not realizing the whole key to making it work was balance. I once told my wife, who was a struggling intermediate at the time, it's all about balance. She took a private lesson at Grand Targhee the next day that she came out of with marked improvement, especially on steep terrain. Here's what she told me: " You know what the instructor said?...It's all about balance."

I remember it well because in 19 years of marriage it was the only time I have ever been right!
post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
A good, or even a great skier is:

1. Safe and courteous, with a willingness to help others.
2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious.
3. Shows a sense of fun, and regardless of the setting, has just a little in reserve.

4.
Has good mechanics.
5.
Is smooth and makes it all seem effortless, usually skiing faster than anyone else around them.
6. Usually is in balance or knows the movement patterns to regain balance.
7. Has absolute confidence in themselves.
I's also add:

8. Has a good sense of humor about his/her own skiing.

In this case, I'm trying to talk about confidence without overt ego boasting - just "keepin' it real," y'know.
post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSS View Post
Here is a quote from Weems

It’s time you paid attention to balance. You can’t get very far if you fall down, right? Balancing yourself is also the secret to efficiency, and efficiency is the secret to answering that age-old question, How do they make it look so easy?!”

Without balance, technique does nothing; and technique does not necessarily create balance.

A great skier requires both.

Another gem from Weems:

Note that balance is not a position. My rule of thumb is that once you’ve been in a position long enough to recognize it as such, you’ve been there way too long!

[Weems Westfeldt - Brilliant Skiing Every Day]
Hey I agree with weems not a bad guy to agree with.
post #54 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
In regards to balance, of course it is essential. However, I believe it is implied in #s 2 and 4 in the above list:

2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious (You cannot ski any terrain or conditions well with ease and elegance without a developed,ski specific, sense of balance.)

4. Has good mechanics. (Those mechanics won't be good and won't work without fluid, dynamic, developed, again - ski specific balance skills.)

But maybe it does need to be said rather than implied. The balance factor could be incorporated into #2.

2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, in balance, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious.
I think you have a valid point...let's restate number 2. and 6. See below:

A good, or even a great skier is:

1. Safe and courteous, with a willingness to help others.
2. Skis any terrain or conditions well, in balance, with ease and elegance with an attitude that is positively infectious (You cannot ski any terrain or conditions well with ease and elegance without a developed,ski specific, sense of balance.)
3. Shows a sense of fun, and regardless of the setting, has just a little in reserve.

4.
Has good mechanics and technique.
5.
Is smooth and makes it all seem effortless, usually skiing faster than anyone else around them.
6. Knows the movement patterns to regain balance.
7. Has absolute confidence in themselves.

Everything is dependent-on and interrelated, so it is very difficult to separate each component into a list. Makes us all think.
post #55 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post
I's also add:

8. Has a good sense of humor about his/her own skiing.

In this case, I'm trying to talk about confidence without overt ego boasting - just "keepin' it real," y'know.
Number 8. should be the way we live our lives...we should have a good sense of humor in everything we do, not just in skiing. Afterall, it's just skiing! It's part of having fun...having fun in life.
post #56 of 59
Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
Q: What makes a good skier?

Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?







































A: Practice
post #57 of 59
I like this thread because for years whenever I have been asked what level skier I am my first reply is never, "an expert" or "level 8", I have always said that I consider myself to be "a good skier"


Only problem is now I will have a definition to live up to!
post #58 of 59
I like economy of motion. A calmness, quiet and comfort over the skis.

Ability to ski all conditions and all terrain in all conditions. To ski varying condition, as in deep powder to boiler plate, sudden crust or mashed potato to powder.

A style that shows humility with the ability to release the skills needed to "get the job done" instantly. Willingness to get air and the confidence to linger at the top of the turn. They finish their turns.

Great skiers use the terrian and play with it too.
post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
I remember it well because in 19 years of marriage it was the only time I have ever been right!
O.K., that's ONE. You're ahead of me.



Zippy
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