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What's taught where

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Many years ago I moved from a small local hill to a large destination resort. At the time I noticed that there seemed to be a slight difference in the things that were emphasized in clinics. Thinking about that brought a question to mind.

Is there a bias in just what gets emphasized in lessons that might vary from resort to resort or from region to region?

I know that at my resort there seems to be a leaning toward the idea of moving the CM into the turn to lead the feet and legs. One way I have heard this described to a student was "First the body then the feet.", another was an instructor who tapped their chest and said, "I direct where I am going from here."

Because this is the leaning in the teaching of many of the senior instructors it seems to filter down through the ranks to become an emphasis in the teaching of developing instructors.

Now, I don't really want to talk about what the strengths or weaknesses of this or any other emphasis might be I'm more curious to find out if different resorts also tend to develop "leanings" toward enphasizing a particular aspect of the broad range of possibilities for teaching skiing.

This question isn't just for instructors. Have you lesson takers notices different emphasises when you take lessons at different resorts.

Hope the question makes sense,
post #2 of 4
I notice completely different teaching styles amongst instructors of the SAME resort. That's why I never bought into the concept of "PSIA" being a teaching methodology.

The only big difference I have seen is an International one. But I worked my Bormio topic to death last year, so we don't need to dwell on that again.

Some schools seem to have an inherent philosophy. At Sugarloaf, the goal seems to be to bring students into harder terrain, not by teaching them new skills, but by making them aware of what skills they already have in order to accomplish this.
post #3 of 4
In Oz it is all about getting to the top and back without a lesson. (on ice, sugar and crud)

In Suisse it is all about the best place for lunch.

In Japan it is all about who can have the best wipe out (and lie still the longest).

In US it is all about skiing around chatting.

"you will never, never know if you never, never go"
post #4 of 4
I think what happens from resort ot resort is new and younger instructors tend to take their trainer's word as LAW. A senior instructor may have a system that works for them and introduces it into training. Eager newbies (who will be looking to said senior instructor for advice) often take the spoken word and declare to themselves "Wow! That was pretty neato. This must be the best way to ski in the world." It would only take a few years under this scenario for an idea to invade an entire ski school... good or bad.

Don't get me wrong here, I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, nor do I think there is any way to avoid it. The differences arise when an in-house training system supercedes the regional or even national advances and an antiquated or inaccurate movement pattern/word moves from the realm of the "idea" to the realm of "Dogma"... and eventually to the land of "LAW". (run-on sentence)

There are a ton of good teaching systems and ideas out there, but ideas need to be recognized as such and systems need to support innovation and efficiency, not suppress them. With the wide range of personalities and abilities out there doing the training, it's no surprise that we have 15 different definitions for INCLINATION. It's no surprise that one ski area teaches movement of the CM and another teaches kinetic chain (start at the ankle and move up).

The real challenge is this:
Are we open-minded enough to accept "proper" skiing systems as only ideas upon which to build our own personal skiing and mental "toughness"??

Spag's quote of the day:
"...I need two of those, three of these, get me a dozen of those orange balls and some naked lady tees... oh, and set my friend Wang here up with the works!!"
- Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddyshack" -
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