or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Three Steps To Success

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can any of you PSIA ed folks give me a basic explanation. I worked for the first time today. Heard a supervisor talking about the concept at line up and got a little confused.

I trust I'll get the skinny here.

post #2 of 15
It comes from the Rocky Mountain division. You can go to their home page and find some info under the Education and then Alpine links. The web address is PSIA-RM.ORG. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 15

The "Three Steps to Success" is a concept mostly developed by one member of the PSIA-Rocky Mountain Alpine Committee, with substantial input from quite a few others. I am on the committee, but I have pretty much stayed out of the discussion.

I can tell you this much. The intent of the "3 Steps" is to come up with a simpler, more easily accessible and applicable model of technique and teaching.

My personal opinion is that it has a long way to go....

Two summers ago, the committee spent quite a bit of time on the idea, and in our late summer meeting, I expressed serious reservations about the project. The more they added to the "bare bones skeleton," the more there was to question. After much discussion, the "3 Steps" was reduced to a very simple description of skiing movements as "turning the feet and legs," "tipping the feet and legs," and "flexing and extending movements," and introduced as a work in progress at the division's fall trainers' training a year ago. Since that is essentially the idea of the old "Skills Concept," I had no objection, although I didn't really see that we had any earth-shaking new concepts either.

One potential benefit of the "3 Steps" is that it refers to specific body parts and is somewhat more descriptive than the basic Skills Concept. In other words, if we train a new instructor to teach people to "turn their feet and legs, tip their feet and legs, and flex and extend," it is slightly more concrete than to train them to "teach rotary, edging, and pressure control." It is also considerably simpler. "Rotary," for example, includes many types of movements besides "turning the feet and legs," but this is the one we need to focus on, at least at first.

As the concept develops, the intent is to describe a simple, practical, accurate teaching progression that will help new instructors become effective quickly. It will include concepts of "direct parallel" lesson plans. I am all for this evolution.

But as you can probably surmise, I am not yet completely sold on the 3 Steps. I don't yet see it as a major advance. I will say that there are a lot of people for whom I have a great deal of respect continuing to work hard on the project. They are all well aware of the dangers of "reinventing the wheel" and they are trying to strike a balance between simple and TOO simple. And they are experiencing all the drawbacks, as well as the benefits, of trying to develop something as a committee!

For now, Rusty, don't let the idea scare you. It does NOT mean we "can't talk about rotary, edging, and pressure control." It does not negate anything you know now. If you find anything in it to be useful as a tool, then great--use it! If not, don't panic.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I feel MUCH better. I know I'm not the brightest guy in the world but our new supervisor confused the wits out of me in thirty seconds. IT WAS OUR FIRST LINEUP!

Thanks Bob
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Bob- I'm a little embarrassed because I have seen all this material. It was presented last year as tippimg/turning/flexion and extension. Of course it was linked to balance etc., etc., etc..

I guess what confused me was the new guys mention of direct parallel. I understand this may be the end result, however, is it safe to say it has not been adopted by PSIA and that the Centerline methodology remains wedge, wedge christie, parallel, dynamic parallel?
post #6 of 15
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
I guess what confused me was the new guys mention of direct parallel. I understand this may be the end result, however, is it safe to say it has not been adopted by PSIA and that the Centerline methodology remains wedge, wedge christie, parallel, dynamic parallel?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

While that methodology remains a resource from which to draw, other resources are equally important. Soon the PSIA Alpine manual will come out, complete with a 'stepping-stones model' (I hope to GOD people don't start yakking about it being the new 'only way'.) which is merely a visual diagram showing that more than one path for learning exists.

I think it should be the norm to consider direct-to-parallel options as long as all the variables lend themselves to it. Sometimes they won't, if simply because one person is very timid, or they show up with traditional skis.
post #7 of 15
Good post, Roto. I share your hope that no one will construe the "new stuff" as THE WAY. The new manual also has no mention whatsoever of "Center Line"--a great loss, in my opinion, but perhaps a wise move considering the gross misinterpretation and misuse the Center Line Model has seen.

The new manual will describe a couple sample beginner lesson lines, one a "direct parallel" approach, and the other using a wedge stance.

The important thing, as Roto alluded as well, is to remember that PSIA does NOT prescribe a certain way things must be done. It provides tools to use, and hopefully provides the means and foundation to acquire more tools with experience, and to select among them and use them effectively. It will solve nothing if PSIA's description of a "direct parallel" progression is seen as an enormous shift, or an abandonment of the wedge as a potentially useful tool as well.

Rusty--the fact that you found the description of the 3 Steps confusing IS the problem! It's supposed to be simple! Please keep me posted on this one....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #8 of 15
Ah, the travails of terminology.

I remember when my first "new" ski school director arrived on the scene (early 1970's) and talked about skiing being as simple as turning your foot over in your boot and standing on it. That was after two years of training with thorough descriptions of angulations, lead changes, edge changes, weight shifts, leverages and rotational pressures.

In the course of participating in about 40 formal clinics and hundreds of hours of additional training, I've learned, first, that there are numerous ways of saying or intending the same thing, and second, that if I don't understand a term's use, others in the group probably don't either and will thank me for requesting additional clarification. Of course, I'm too old and too dumb-looking to need to worry about expressing a lack of understanding. :~)
post #9 of 15
I think the "Three Steps" idea is the cat's meow, but like anything else, it has it's goods and bads. I really like the use of ACTION words and putting them in place of obscure (to the student/trainee) verbeage like rotary, edge, pressure. Hmmm. Tipping, Turning, Flexing/Extending... Just sounds like you can actually DO those things.

From a teaching standpoint, I agree that too simple would not be good. But as Bob has said, the use of this idea does not negate anything I already know. I've found that when applied in the right context, "Three Steps" can really take both the work and the talking out of the lesson. In the season that I've become familiar with the idea, I've been able to experiment with some really fun lessons!!

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am a huge proponent of "Three Steps" and I look forward to its progress. It does have a ways to go, but from a student's standpoint, I think it is a good beginning.

CAUTION: Instructors, you will still need to know all the things that instructors are supposed to know! "Three Steps" hasn't Replaced anything in my itinerary, just enhanced it. It's just as dogmatic as anything else out there... be it Centerline, PMTS, Perfect Turn, Art of Carving, etc. When we, as teachers, take the simple truths from any "program" and communicate those truths in an understandable way, we can't help but win in the end.

2 cents,
Spag :
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure how clear I've been. I do find the three steps clear. I was confused by the "new guy" coming to line up and essentially telling us to teach direct parallel, or, at the very least, get ready to teach it this year.

I can see that it would work in some cases. In others I would want to have the "gliding wedge" at my disposal.
post #11 of 15
Three seasons ago we began experimenting with the short shaped skiis from Elan for teaching beginer students. That first season we allowed the instructors to just experiment on thier own. As the season progressed in general we found that the more experienced instructors stuck with what had worked for them in the past, the traditional wedge aproach. The less experienced instructors in general were willing to experiment with a direct to parrallel aproach but they were lured into trying to teach a pure carving approach.

Two season ago we attempted to formalized our approach to teaching a direct parallel approach and discoverd that on our hill many students needed a wedge on the narrow steeper portion of the hill. The use of the wedge was viewed as a failure by many students and some instructors. Many instructors pointed to this as a flaw of this approach.

Last season we focused on teaching Movements not tasks. With begining skiers we taught tipping, turning and flexion/extention. As the student advanced we added pressure managment. We found that this allows most students to use parallel movement patterns in most situations yet also allowed for wedging behaviors. Many classes had students moving in and out of a wedge or parallel as dictated by the situation.

As this new era of instruction evolves we need to remain focused on our students needs, not ours.

Using this frame work of action statements gives meaning to ALL of the technical information we've used in the past. It is just a better method of putting this knowlege to use with the customer. By using this approach I've seen new instrucors teaching movements instead of concepts.

Just some quick thoughts. We finally opened today. 1st time in 20 years I haven't gotten on snow some time in Oct.
post #12 of 15

I went to the 3 Steps clinic last January at Copper. One day we went through the direct parallel progression and the next day we worked on personal ski improvement and we spent half a day on the 120cm rental skis which are a part of the direct parallel program. I thought the little buggers were hard to balance on, but of course being instructors we didn't try the beginner progression on them, we went to the top of the mountain and skied them like we would our own skis. After a top to bottom run they felt better, but I still wasn't thrilled by them. Had we tried them at beginner speeds they would probably have been much better.

I have changed my first timer progression to include more time devoted to boot work and scootering before we actually start moving on 2 skis. I do refer to tipping the feet, turning the feet and legs, and flexing and extending during these exercises, but I have always used less technical terminology with guests - never mentioning rotary, pressure, or edge control.

Our adult lessons at Loveland are 2 1/2 hours long, and I don't feel that this is enough time to develop good enough control with parallel turns to turn the first timers loose on the slopes at the end of the lesson. Also I feel that the direct parallel progression requires a lot of space and really gentle terrain not always available at busy times. I still include a gliding wedge (emphasis on gliding). Most of the people seem to gain a lot of confidence in their control with the wedge. Some who are on short skis with a lot of shape do go direcly to parallel, but I think most of the rental skis I see are too long for the direct parallel progression to work as well.

We've had several clinics on this topic at Loveland and I see people using parts of it in their lessons, but very few basing the whole lesson on this concept.
post #13 of 15
I think if those of you who have tried the Elan 123, would try a pair of Head Cyclones, your idea would change. Granted, they are not speed demons, but for a short ski, they are pretty stable.
post #14 of 15
I'm so jealous that you guys are actually skiing and working. Oh well, it's snowin' now, so maybe this week?
Anyway, thought I'd drop my 2 cents as well.
I've been outside of any psia training for awhile now, and hadn't heard of the 3 steps untill this post, but I love the real world lingo. Five or so years back, I was working in a funky little ski school with an older, extremely talented, iconoclastic director. He taught us the four movements to skiing and teaching skiing: turning the feet, tipping the feet, flexing and extending the legs, and upper body involvement/ pole use. We taught this at our school to great success, and only talked about the pure psia skill concept if we were clinicing for exams. (rarely, as I was the only one to get my level 3 working at the mountain, and only a couple other level 2's in the 5 or so years I was there.)
So anyway, as bob stated, reinventing the wheel can be dangerous, but my students always loved the simplicity of these types of communications. And it's not really starting over, it's just working the skills concept into more user friendly lingo.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 24, 2001 08:43 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Holiday ]</font>
post #15 of 15
Rick H
"I think if those of you who have tried the Elan 123, would try a pair of Head Cyclones, your idea would change. Granted, they are not speed demons, but for a short ski, they are pretty stable."
What amazes me about the elan 123 NRT short is the fact that it is extremely versital. It skis well at speed and is great for working on upper level movment patterns. If you use to much rotory at the initiation of the turn You get instant feeback. If you allow the inside foot to move forward(too much lead) the inside ski will feel unstable because the tip is not engaged.

Most better skiers who feel that this ski is unstable feel so due to inacurate skill blend or lack of movement with the feet into the turn.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching