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Better Student

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This may have been asked before. As a student taking a lesson, are there things you can do to get the most out of the session. Some things seem obvious, look for small groups, less busy times, keep an open mind. Morning better than afternoon? Other considerations? This might be a chance for instructors to help educate prospective students.
post #2 of 6

Slower times are good. At some areas afternoon group lesons are a way to get a cheap private, at other areas they are not available, and at still others the afternoon lesson is merely a contiuation of morning lessons. Ask questions at the ticket window. Tell them you mant a certified instructor and ask them for recommendations if yo don't know anyone. listen closely for the one from the list that they really do like. Many ticket windows are required to recommend at least three instructors.

When you get to line up, get there early and talk to the instructors. Let him know where you are and what you are looking for. Answer his questions with your answers, NOT the ones you think he is looking for. After you have have talked ask him questions, is he willing to get you where you want to go, does his aproach seem compatible to you goals. If it appears they are not compatible question deeper, he may have reasons or he may not have paid attention or he may not care. FIND OUT, if he teaches the same lesson the same way every day RUN don't walk to a supervisor. If there is anything that you didn't like during your hiring interview see a supervisor, they really do want you to have a successful fun lesson.

While standing around waiting for the group to form talk to the other students. Are they returns? What was the prior days content and presentation like? Was the terrain what you are looking for? Are you really standng in the proper place or should you be at different level? If you get a chance watch the interaction between you potential instructor and the other instructors, is he respected or sneared at. Discretely ask them questions.

Treat picking an instructor just like any other hiring process. FInd out as mushc as you can through all available means in advance. Then during the lesson provide the instructor with lots of feedback. If a suggestion works great, if not tell him and he will approach the issue from a different angle. If his passion causes him to get side tracked or run at the mouth a little tell him, it won't hurt is feelings. He knows that he is there for you and will probably sincerely apologize. Most importantly remember to play during the lesson. Many students will start to pose and not ski. This reduces active movement. PLAY PLAY and PLAY. Keep in mind that the lesson will present the concepts and skills that you seek. Rarely will a lesson improve your skiing without post lesson awareness and/or practice, stay focused in your skiing and don't allow yourself to revert.

After the lesson if something troubles you seek out the instructor and ask him for a quick clarification. He will be around at line up or somewhere else during the day.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Would it be better to take a full morning session so it's pretty intensive, or is it wiser to take say three 1 hour lessons on consecutive days? I appreciate you suggestions. Thanks
post #4 of 6
I think Tom Burch's comments are right on the money. I would only like to add two things:

1. If the lesson was not satisfactory, let the school managers/supervisors know. I won't speak for other schools, (but I may be), but we guarantee satisfaction. We will refund or reteach (within reason).

2. Having done all that Tom says, make sure that you take some responsibility for yourself as a learner. Be ready, be a sponge, be fully present and relatively ego-less, be open, be empty, be in a beginner frame of mind. Realize that failures are part of the process and you will have failures AND successes in order to move forward.

One hour? Half day? All day? Full week? It depends on your preferences. I can get a lot in fifteen minutes, if I'm ready to learn. As an overall rule of thumb, though, I would say that some multi-day lessons are probably the best as you can develop a nice cyclical rhythm of new info, guided practice, solitary practice, consolidation, forgetting about it, and then back to new info. Use your intuition on this. It will work for you because you even asked the question.
post #5 of 6
Have a good think about what it is you really want to work on before enrolling. Often we have a set of vague things happening in our heads, but you'll have a better time if you apply some thought to it.
What's frustrating you? What do you really *like* about your skiing? That way you can let your instructor know what it is you really want.

I remember before I did Masters, I only infrequently bought lessons, and was always a bit disappointed, because I somehow expected the instructor to magically guess everything I was feeling about my skiing, but of course, instructors focus on different things. Often what they are tackling is very relevant to what's driven you to buy a lesson in teh first place, but you have to let them relate it to what's important to you. That way you'll feel more committed to what they're trying to teach you, and enjoy the lesson more.
post #6 of 6

If it makes no sense or doesn't feel right.....speak
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