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So what are the "rules" of skiing you use to teach with?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes... I know the subject line doesn't make sense but bear with me.

I made up 5 "rules" of skiing when I was working with a small group of kids. We chanted it on the chair and told other groups and basically had some fun with it. And at the same time I was using it to help in teaching them.

My rules:

1. Be safe (this includes the skiers responsibility code but is really more an attitude)
2. Have fun. (See Terrapin...)
3. Turn Turn Turn
4. Stay with the team (very important for kids who like to ski off but also for adults who sometimes disappear without telling anyone that they aren't going to continue with the lesson)
5. "yes I can". (This one is for those of us who think we don't have the ability to do something and need to encourage ourselves)

A certain Bob Barnes from WinterPark gave me another set of "rules" a couple of years ago. These are developed from a completely different perspective. I can't remember them exactly but I think I have summary below.
1.fore/aft balance
2. lateral balance
3. skiing or turning using the feet and legs
4. progressive connected movements
5. Positive active pressure transfer (weight transfer)
6. disciplined upper body (pole swing is involved here).
7. Something to do with turning and the inside ski edge......

So my question for the rest of you is ... what paradigm ($50 word) have you developed, what "rules" do you use when you teach?


P.S. I have a couple more "rules" but I'm still working on the wording
post #2 of 28
Great topic starter, AppleSusan. I look forward to seeing what develops....

I am not the Bob Barnes of Winter Park, by the way (although I skied with him today). But I won't argue with his 7 points! (Well, some are worth a little discussion--and that number 7 is probably important!)

What was the occasion that got you skiing with him? As the director of the Winter Park Ski School, he does not get out to teach all that often himself, so I would say you were fortunate!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes (Copper Mountain)
post #3 of 28
Oh good I got to play this one!

You have some really great thoughts AppleSusan.

FUN has got to be number one. If you the instructor has FUN and the class has FUN then all is not lost Rain or shine.

Safe is number two, everyone stays safe. I leave with five in the class I come back with five smiles.

Basics is the third. Stick to the basics, break it down and keep it small, one learning step or segment at a time.

Go with the FLOW is number four for me. IF the team is moving fast lets step up the pace. If the team is slowing down then lets stay with them and keep it simple. Sort of a GUEST Centered concept.

RECAP is number five. I recap, the student RECAPs. During RECAP it may become appearent that we lost something or fogot an iportant part. Also recap give me time with them for individual issues or sticking points.

Well that was fun, who is next. I can not wait to see what there is from the others.

Thanks SUZ!
post #4 of 28

Just one rule

Faster and faster and faster until the thrill of speed has overcome the fear of death.

You should see the looks on parents faces when the kids tell them what they learned.

post #5 of 28

Tell them what the INSTRUCTOR WAS NUTS part or the Overcoming bad teaching part?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 03, 2001 09:47 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Dr.GO ]</font>
post #6 of 28
Doc G,

Read your post several times then I read it backwards. I still don't know what it means.

post #7 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ydnar:
Doc G,

Read your post several times then I read it backwards. I still don't know what it means.

Thanks YD I did the edit to CLEAR things up!

Hope all is well?

Hows the kids?

Any bumps or bruses?

Well, Gotta GO!

Oh and if you do not get it now, well, one word ....

But all is not lost.

At least we are having FUN!
post #8 of 28
My Rules

#1: We are a team, a group, a 'hood. Stickers and a name for US is good.

#2: We are playing with not working on.

#3: We are moving, not standing.

#4: Adventure is key. New terrain, mixed-up runs, at least one in the woods. If we ford a creek, climb over a log, or lose a glove under the chair, that's part of the surprise.

#5: Jolly Ranchers (or, as my tribe calls 'em, Gay Farmers) are great rewards.

(I'm cookin' now...)

#6: We do the gullies, high-side, and jump whatever looks promising.

#7: Joke-time. No boundaries on stupidity but keep it clean. Here's one that slays 'em: What do you get when you drop a grand piano down a mine shaft? A-flat minor.

#8: Fox-tail, tennis balls cut in half for slalom gates, reflective tape, skiboards, boot ski, bum-jumping.

#9: Never, ever talk down to a kid.

#10: Even middle-aged matrons and serious skiers deep-down consider themselves kids. most of this stuff works with them too.

#11: Bring 'em back MORE alive than when you took off.

#12: Maslow was right: biological needs trump all. Pay attention to the signs.
post #9 of 28

Yes, now I understand.

Parent asks child "How was ski school today."

Child replys "Great, but I think my teacher is crazy, can I ski with him tomorrow."

One of the best compliments I ever received.

post #10 of 28
I'm not a ski instructor but I'd like to squeak a few words in on the students' behalf.

Dr. Go, I like it! You have a great teaching philosophy I'm glad fun is high on the list because there's nothing worse than being excited to take a lesson to learn something new and come out not quite where you thought you'd be and didn't have fun. That has happened to me, but I had a lot of fun during the lesson. I often wonder if that is common in upper level skiing...take a mogul lesson and still end up skiing the moguls not as gracefully as you would like. I had a couple of instructors at Breck a couple of different years, Adam Kuralas and a guy they called Captain Kirk. Those two days, I had almost as much fun as the whole trip. I didn't conquer the moguls, but I had a blast skiing with someone who inspired the heck out of me. I've seen too many instructors look like they are not enjoying what they do, and I feel bad for the people in their group.

It would be nice to hear you instructors touch on #5 (positive active pressure transfer) from Bob Barnes-Winterpark because Bob Barnes-Copper has kind of set off a chicken-egger in my mind with his analogy to a car shifting weight because of the direction of travel and the respective forces acting on the car. Didn't the steering wheel get turned, i.e. release and transfer...cause or effect, active or passive weight transfer?? Maybe a later discussion.
post #11 of 28
Oh--bad news Nolo! I guess you haven't heard--the Jolly Rancher factory in Denver has recently closed after a long history of making the famous little candies.

I guess the rules of skiing DO change after all.....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #12 of 28
Dr. Go--I like your take on the age-old philosophy that SAFETY comes first, FUN comes second, and LEARNING comes third.

My own view of this is that all three are equally important to a successful ski lesson--none takes priority. All must be there, in spades!

Vman--yes we should discuss that "active weight transfer" "rule." But I've got to go to "work" right now--at Breckenridge today! I'll be back.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #13 of 28
My rules,

1)It's not what I want, it's what my guest(s) wants.

2)Balance begins with an area between the ball of the foot and the heel, and light contact on the shin.

3)We use our bones to provide much of the support for staying upright, we use our muscles to move our bones.

4)It's called "Skiing", not "Stopping".

5)Tea breaks and Hot Chocolate breaks are good.

6)Get'em home safe with smiles on their face so they can come back tomorrow.

post #14 of 28

#3 is RIGHT ON!

Ski em, Ski em, Ski em, keep em going Ski em, Smile High!
Through all kinds of weather, get em off the teather, soon we'll be up to level five! (sung to the raw hide tune)

Sorry to hear about Jolly Rancher, but then it was a misnomer from the start. Not too many Jolly Ranchers out in the west.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
When I first started on these "rules", I put "have fun" first on the list. I changed it to "be safe" because too many of the kids on the slope (at all ages) were doing the kamikaze thing.

Having fun in a totally unsafe way (to yourself all the people around you) just doesn't make sense...we can lose as many new skiers to injuries as to boredom (said slightly tongue in cheek).

Skiing, horseback riding, and paddling (my main three sports) are all dangerous activities. My take is to minimize (note, I said minimize not eliminate) the risks. This means using protective gear when possible and and using good judgement on what is okay and what is not okay to do. And to be courteous to others also doing the sport. Kids and newcomers to a sport have little experience to draw on to form good judgement. It is up to us to help them learn what works and not works. Courtesy is a big part of that. When we learn the protocols of skiing (riding, paddling...) with others they know a little more what to expect too and and risks can be minimized.

But minimizing risk doesn't have to mean not having fun. FUN is why we do it.

And you notice that I have "rule" #5 "yes, I can". To improve, we have to push our envelope sometimes ....to do things a little past our comfort zone sometimes . An awful lot of kids (and a lot of women) think they can't do something and won't try. (and I know where they are coming from, I've beenthere so many times).

BTW, I'm really enjoying what you are all coming up with.

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Question -- how do you do that reply quote? I mean, the thing where you show the piece of someone else's postingthat you are replying to?????

To reply to Bob Barnes (Copper) about how I got to ski with Bob Barnes (Winter Park).

A couple of years ago I was at the Mt Snow ITC (early December and now called Snow Pro Jam). I was the last one of my clinic to get in line and need to fill in a seat with skiers from another group. I almost joined BB's chair (didn't know who he was at the time) but ended up in the chair in front of him with someone from his ski school. In the end, he (BB) and I had a shouted conversation on the chair lift and I later talked with him about coming out west to ski with him. I was in the process of "studying" for Level II and knew I needed some all around help.

Anyway, I came out in Feb of that year and skied with him as a paying student for four lessons. And my skiing changed radically. I did pass Level II in March of that year.

I also returned last year to ski with him again. He is encouraging me to aim for Level III although we both know I still have a ways to go.

Don't know if I can do it this year because I am unemployed (3 months now) and money is tight and I might get a job which won't give me the time off.

And I would love to ski with other great skiers because each one has something to give. (I skied with Mark Wooley last year at the Pro Jam and his clinic was as if it had been designed with me in mind)

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
My other two "rules" are still in the wording stage and really aren't quite the same kind of "rule" as my first 5.

-- A good instructor also learns something from his/her students.

-- No matter how tough a situation is, look for the opportunity...look for the gift.

A personal experience might explain the last one a little. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to ski with Bob Barnes Winterpark (see my previous post). My life partner (also a Bob) and I were free skiing on the first day and my BOb broke his ribs about 2 hours into the day. We thought they were "just" bruised and he was determined to join me in my semi-private classes with BB. So, after missing the first class, my Bob joined me for the other lessons. Because of his injury we couldn't go ski on the hard stuff and stayed on the green slopes the rest of the week to practice the new ski movements we were learning. This gave us the opportunity to practice practice practice the new movements on the terrain where we needed to practice them. Yes...I know, I wasn't the one in pain but it did force me as well as him to stay on the gentler slopes. And it is amazing to me how much more fun I am having as I continue to improve.

post #18 of 28
Au contraire on the Jolly Ranchers: the parent company (Hersheys?) closed the Colorado factory but will still make them. It is true, the ranchers are not so jolly, but the farmers are still gay! (A small commodities joke, referring to the flip-flop effect of grain and cattle prices, of course...) A word to the wise: Hersheys kisses make a dismal mess in the sweaty pocket of a kids instructor. Been there, done that. Split the tennis balls with a very sharp butcher knife, but watch out or you'll have to visit the Emergency Room. Once split, the balls stack nicely and can augment one's chest while not in use! Wonder balls...
post #19 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AppleSusan:
My other two "rules" are still in the wording stage and really aren't quite the same kind of "rule" as my first 5.

-- A good instructor also learns something from his/her students.

-- No matter how tough a situation is, look for the opportunity...look for the gift.


Right On

That is Rule #5 Recap
At recap YOU the instructor are looking for several things. How well you did, the feeback that the student is getting IT or something like IT. And for your PAYOFF some small peice of the answer to the Universe that you can pick up along the way. Call it Karma, Chi, or GIFT the issue is the same.

Zen Master picks up the tea pot, in front of the student is a cup upside down. "Care for some Tea?" The master proceeds to pour the tea all over the table as the cup is not POSITIONED correctly.

With surprise on his face the student looks to the master.

"You see," the master says, "to recieve the lesson, one must be in the correct POSITION"

Turning the cup upright the master pours the tea until it overflows more that twice its total capacity.

"Now as the vessel become full it can recieve no more"

The master takes the cup and thwors out the tea placing it back on the table and fills it to the proper level.

"One must Position himself to recive a gift of knowlege, and one must empty the cup so it may be refilled again"

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 04, 2001 08:08 AM: Message edited 2 times, by Dr.GO ]</font>
post #20 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nolobolono:
Once split, the balls stack nicely and can augment one's chest while not in use! Wonder balls...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As I attempt to move around this LAND MINE, let me just add ... I worked for PLAYBOY. You would be AMAZED what can go into that AUGMENTATION edifice!

Most favored was Panty hose, two pair per!

Man, that just takes something away from the whole experience. Stuff You just do NOT need to know!

Thanks for sharing though, I would have never figured that one out!

Ouch, it has gotta hurt!
post #21 of 28
I like to have the mountain well scoped out so I know exactly where to take my students. We ski much and talk little. If there is a student that would like to talk more or needs some extra help we ride the chair together.
safety, fun, learning.
Set Goal
Teach to the goal
Check for understanding
provide feedback
post #22 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AppleSusan:
..... A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to ski with Bob Barnes Winterpark (see my previous post). My life partner (also a Bob) .......

I tried to warn you about those Bob Barneses, and you should know about those BOB's.

You do not BOB while you ski do you?

We used to call it Hopping but the NEW terminology is BoBbing!

I am in awe of your life simplification though. At least there is only one name to call out ..... BOB!

Hey just for laughs go to GOOGLE and type in Bob Barnes, you will see what I mean!
post #23 of 28
Ms Nolo, as a farmer of native grasses and shrubs, I gotta say that I ain't gay. I like the split tennis ball idea, though.
post #24 of 28
I very much enjoy and appreciate all of the fine guidelines posted on this thread. But I would like to add a (perhaps minority) consideration based on my own personal feelings. These issues mostly relate to higher end adult skiers - but not exclusively.

The (second) most satisfying, enjoyable, and fun feeling I can get out of skiing (and many of the other things in life) is that of learning and accomplishment. The learning that qualifies under this heading can be technique, feel, management of emotions, alignment, avalanche assessment, etc. Given this precept, skiing, talking, watching, listening are all OK if they contribute. The main thing I am looking for is a little bit of "enlightenment".

On the technique side, I don't really expect too much as in my experience the abilities, knowledge, and/or experience of an instructor or coach need to be of an relatively high level to be able to succeed in this regard. While the majority of my experiences with instructors have fallen short, more recently I have better learned how to search out this type of quality environment.

So I guess I'm saying that rules and guidelines are great and help to assure that knowledge is transferred effectively so that learning and enjoyment can occur. However, the quality of knowledge is a primary issue that should we should always pay close attention to.

BTW, what is my most satisfying feeling I get out of skiing? Helping others to a little bit of enlightenment. Interestingly, when I succeed at this I inevitably learn quite a bit for myself.

A final thought. In teaching kids as well, one of the most important things we can do is to guide their experiences to help them experience and appreciate the fun and satisfaction the learning experience has to offer.
post #25 of 28

We farm the ranch too. Grain and cows, flip-flop, win-and-lose: we'd come out even if other prices didn't reflect inflation.

Gay as in jolly. You're putting meaning to these fine words that aren't "intrinsic."

I think you're the greatest banana in the bunch. Now don't go reading anything into that!
post #26 of 28
Jonathan, I simply MUST take a lesson with you someday! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #27 of 28
Nolo & Bananaman!

We brought in an expert to ask the question, IS RICK THE GREATEST BANANA IN THE BUNCH?

Here he is with his report!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 04, 2001 02:54 PM: Message edited 6 times, by Dr.GO ]</font>
post #28 of 28
"The Rules" according to one N. Spag.

1) Be safe.
2) Have Fun.
3) Never take the written or spoken word as law. People are different, (unless you teach in Taos! ha ha).
4) Be willing to take a 30mph digger and get up laughing.
5) Laugh hard at least twice daily.
6) There are no friends on a powder day.
7) Try things with your eyes closed.(see rule #1)
8) Leave your cell phone at home.
9) Be the person you want to be on the mountain, even if you can't ski like him/her.
10) and finally... There is a fine line between telling a good ski story, and telling a bogus one. The difference lies in how many people in the room know you!!!

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