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The more things stay the same

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
This thread is inspired by Rick H.'s explanation of the sequence of events in the turn according to HH.

Some time ago I attended a clinic led by Max Lundberg, who at the time was Education Director of PSIA. Max was a disciple of Alf Engen, his boss at Alta for many years. Max told us that Alf, who apparently was a man of few words, described the parallel turn as made up of three key changes: 1) change weight; 2) change edges; 3) change lead.

Wasn't that fundamentally what Rick H. said in his post (in the EpicSki Academy thread)?

I have had lots of fun over the years playing with Alf's Recipe. What happens if you do it in a different sequence, say, by changing your weight last instead of first? Ahhh, we have HH's weighted release, Mahre's White Pass Turn, and the PSIA's delayed weight transfer. What happens if your lead change is before you change weight? Ooh, that works beautifully. Etc.

This makes me wonder if any of our modern ski gurus really invents anything new. I think the ingenuity is in how it is packaged and served, and the proof is in how satisfied its consumers say they are.

All of us instructors attempt to add value to the fundamental truths about skiing through how we package our spiel, our engaging delivery methods, and the resulting change for the better in students' skiing. Our problem has always been that we work in an essentially socialistic system, where our leaders represent to consumers that all instructors on staff are equally good, at least within a category of certification. Of course, this is absurd, and each instructor in the school adds a different value to the basic information or facts about skiing. Those who add the most value to an advanced skier may not be the ones who add the most value to a beginning skier, but that's a topic for another thread...

Obviously, HH got to the point where he was adding so much value that he was able to clone a staff and go into business on the same level as ski schools and PSIA. Conclusion: the value added by the individual instructor is similar to the value added by a fabricator to a set of components, or a manufacturer to a natural raw material. The great ones are those who turn out the best finished product.
post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
Obviously, HH got to the point where he was adding so much value that he was able to clone a staff and go into business on the same level as ski schools and PSIA. Conclusion: the value added by the individual instructor is similar to the value added by a fabricator to a set of components, or a manufacturer to a natural raw material. The great ones are those who turn out the best finished product.
I think what HH realized is two things. The market became a Seven Eleven and he could not count on dedicated instructors. HH developed a system to cover both up to a point. I am not supporting or insulting HH in any way, this is just an observation. The system for a lot of students gives instant gratification and if the instructor understands and can teach A-Z of the system ONLY they can teach the system and give the student what? Instant gratification!

Always things that change stay the same. It is the little things we tend to miss that change forever. Do we not approach teaching ski sports today better than we have ever? Is our equipment not more user friendly? Isn't our new education materials promoting more direct methods. Yet skiing is till "Going downhill & turning your feet!"

Have a GREAT day!
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