Very interesting discussion.
|Gymnastics, diving, and bowling are examples of "closed" skill sports, while skiing, and tennis, motocross, white water kayaking are examples of "open" skill sports.
The coaches in closed skill sports, which are done in a controlled environment where the goal is to reproduce a specific movement, with repetition, can use verbal direction more effectively to direct a desired movement pattern the athlete has more than likely seen a few times before.
An open skill sport takes place in a changing environment where the goal is to make something happen, requiring anticipation and decision making. In an open skill sport, the visual (especially in the acquisition and developmental phase vs. refinement phase) is very important to help the observer/student better understand the goal.
Even in an "open" sport, there are a lot of "closed" situations that could be drilled/taught/demonstrated in a more controlled manner.
A coach might not be able to go out and demonstrate playing a better game of tennis than Venus Williams (or a better single volley, or even a better backhand stroke). But a good coach could offer specific tactical advice on different facets of her game and how to put them together, and/or point out (and hopefully try to correct) flaws in execution of specific skills.
I'm not sure where else this line of discussion really goes. If you want to learn to perform physical skills at a very high level, and you want to learn by direct observation, your only choice is to find someone who can perform the skills at that level and is willing to teach you. If someone like that is not available, then you'd better find some other way to improve.
At that point an instructor/coach can try to describe techniques and offer feedback. Or they can work with you on more fundamental skills that they can
demonstrate (or can demonstrate in isolation, or in an easier situation than what you are trying to do.)
|Bella Corolli (sp?) is not working with beginners.
Presumably an experienced ski instructor/coach put into this position would not be either. I would hope that a skier who is technically better than every instructor at a reasonably-sized ski area is more on the "refinement" side of skill-building than the "acquisition and development" one.
If an athlete is still trying to learn certain fundamental skills, I think it would be a mistake to have them with an instructor that couldn't demonstrate those specific skills. At the very least it's going to be slow going. That seems like a major distinction between "instruction" and "coaching".