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"Do you approach skiing as performance or experience?"

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
"Do you approach skiing as performance or experience?"
post #2 of 30
1) Both
2) Both
3) Both
4) Both

Sorry, CalG! They are good questions, but when I answer any one of them one way or the other, a little voice screams out "NO!"

Skiing, like its participants, is too individual, too variable, too subject to mood swings and whim, for any of those answers to seem "right" to me. And you CAN have it both ways!

I am fascinated, though, by those who ARE able to reply to the poll. Seeds of an interesting discussion here....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 

I see both sides in me at times as well. Since I am never wrong, there must be no wrong answers! Except for question 4.

This poll, sprung from the "Yikes" topic, is in fact a continuation of a brief but firey discussion about how to best nurture our children in the fine art of activity.

Bottom line is the plan afoot to do demographic e-marketing based on the information gathered from these polls. (SCSA MUST have something to do with it! ( joke))

Reflection and perhaps discussion is more than I could expect. As typical of your nature, You have done both. Thank you

post #4 of 30
I don't understand question #1? : How do you "approach" something as experience?
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 

When on holiday, I plan to not make plans. I will accept what I will do when and as I do it.
I have an experiential approach to my vaction.

post #6 of 30
Um, yeah--question #4--you left it out, but I'm sure it was the most important question of all! And my answer is still "both."

Please kick me in the future any time I try to answer a question that wasn't even asked!


Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 

If I knew which question to ask , I would already have the answer.

post #8 of 30
CalG, that happened to me once. While those of us in the viewing audience were on a commercial break, before Alex asked the Final Jeopardy question, I said, "What is the Magna Carta?" (The topic was "Laws.") I sure impressed the family when Alex came back and said, "This English law was signed by King John at Runnymede in 1215."

But that was the only time it happened...

You guys are driving me nuts with the either-or stuff. How can you take the experience out of the performance? How can you take the performance out of the experience--are you having a skiing experience while standing still?

The experience is the emotional content--the sense of achievement, the relationships you made, the fun you had, the excitement you felt.

Performance is "how you did." Compared to what? Compared to the performance standard.

An experience can be good, bad, or indifferent, but it can't be accurately evaluated by anyone but the subject.

A performance can also be good, bad, or indifferent, and can be evaluated both by the subject and an observer.

Can you imagine having a terrible performance and yet an enjoyable experience? Sure! You should see me bowl, play golf, etc.

Can you imagine having a fabulous performance and a terrible experience? The guy who comes in second might feel this way.

However you approach skiing, you perform the act and you experience it. There's no way to have either-or.

[ June 20, 2002, 07:14 PM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 

If you are in it for the experience, coming in second place with a great performance is rewarding.

This Is exactly the question. "Expectations are the source of all disapointment."

Some people seem to thrive on constant diet of challenge.

Is a personality type so driven to perform that the experience is secondary? Or the contrary? If performance expectations are preset, do you then impede other, perhaps more rewarding experiences? Why should ones "performance" at golf be " terrible"? If it is not the best you have done, or that some others have done, is the action "terrible"? Do babies perform "terribly"?

In the same way that Bob B. was suprised that some people could answer the poll one way or the other, I am caught off that everyone does not already "grock" the difference between the two attitudes.

The comments regarding this poll have been enlightening for me.

post #10 of 30
Because I think you have made a distinction between performance and experience when I think the distinction should be made between learning and performance.

Both are "experiences."

But performance is very different from learning. And I do think people approach skiing from a learning or a performance basis.

Performance becomes a learning activity if one is competing against personal best, but as soon as performance becomes the focus, learning (as I define it, that is, intuitive, intrinsic, and self-motivated) ceases. When I stop comparing myself with myself, and I start comparing myself to others, I have entered the "standards zone" and am now reliant on outside input to determine "how am I doing?" That's not growth, but conformance.

[ June 21, 2002, 09:09 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 

Perhaps we should go back to the author on this one. Have you got MB's book near by?

I may have bentthe meaning to suit my 'druthers.

post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 

Sometimes I go to the mountain and It is just a beautiful place to be!

Even with my skis on!

Learning nothing, Doing nothing. A very enjoyable experience.

A true story:
Several winters ago, at the time when the children were doing "winter sports" and going to the mountain to ski, there was a snow storm sufficient to close school, and so, cancel the sports program that day.
I didn't feel that a bit of snow should be too much to overcome, so I left work and picked up my children, going up to the mountain on our own.
The snow was pleantiful, but it was a bit of a storm, with the lifts shutting down on occasion due to wind. My youngest could make no headway into the breeze, so we selected runs that put us in the lee. We had the mountain to ourselves.
Sitting on the windward side of the chair to provide some shelter , I opend my jacket to offer a bit of extra. In the relative stillness of the coat, there was an opportunity to speak gently to the kids, and I thought a few words might distract them from the raw ride up the lift. I offered that the weather was bad and how most people would be looking for indoor shelter on a day like this. I commented that instead, we were out in it. In the thick of it! My youngest son, 5 or 6 at the time, showed his smiling face straight at me and with an undeniable enthusiasm voiced "AND HAVING FUN N N!".

post #13 of 30

Please don't mind me. I am just poking around.

I think the author would have us focus on becoming more aware and perceptive and let the gains come as self-knowledge rather than conformance. She is saying that intrinsic motivation and rewards are ten times more powerful and long-lasting than extrinsic ones.

What did your 5 year old learn from the experience you gave him that day?
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 

He was "schooled", to use the jargon of the young set.

"When life gives you snow.

Go skiing!"


"Even a bad snow day is better than school?"

In my all too few years, I have noted one thing. It is a certain kind of person who really appreciates Winter!

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

Also, I gave him no experience, he was there himself.

Are you reporting that MB has made a case that a good personal experience is a better motivator than a good "comparative" performance? I strongly agree.


If the above is true, could half of us (poll data) as "performance" motivated, do ourselves a favor to alter our perspective? Or, are there just different kinds of people?

post #16 of 30
I think MB has cornered a part of the market, but not all of the market, CalG. Skiing that is for external stakes is not inherently worse or better than skiing for intrinsic rewards. It's just a different flavor.

I think the same person can enjoy both, and also that some people would shy away from any competitive situation and others would not find skiing fun unless competition was involved.

MB calls the dichotomy experience and performance. I call it learning and performance, because I think experience is there regardless of the motivation or the goal. There are, however, learning goals (concerning what I don't know, a new skill, or something I am not yet able to do) and performance goals (improvement of an existing knowledge, skill, or ability).

What MB calls experience, I call learning. Her descriptors of experience are: singularity, discovery, adventure, sensation, newness, emotion, relatedness, other-orientation, internal gift...

It's just another way of looking at the yin-yang. For an example of someone with a learning orientation, I give you disski (and a large percentage of the Epic community). For an example of people with a performance orientation, I give you the PowderMaggots.

MB wrote her book for people who have been soured by performance anxiety (judgment and doubt) and plain old fear. I think she has written a great book for instructors and that it pertains to 97% of the clients who show up for adult ski school.

I was just exercising my bias against making experience a special case, when I see it as the universal case.
post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 

Stop trying to hijack this thead!!

Three simple questions with yes or no answers.

The lead in sentence was plagiarized with cut and paste.

I also find that MB addresses an audience not me.

For me, experience is to APPRECIATE what is rea! Nothing need be added.

post #18 of 30
OK, this is not allowed Nolo!

According to AC, I am the only one allowed to hijack a topic.

I'll leave ski instruction to you pros, and you leave thread hijacking to us pros.

Now, let's get back to filling out the poll...

post #19 of 30
Hm-m-m--interesting trend appearing, now that there have been 28 replies to the poll. 68% checked "experience" over "performance," yet 61%, nearly the same majority, checked "competitive" over "participant."

What does this mean? It would seem to me that competitors would most certainly value performance--it IS what wins races!

Intersting.... Love to hear comments from anyone who voted in the majority for both of the first two questions.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #20 of 30
I have voted. My apologies to CalG for hijacking his thread and to ol' Bananarama for getting in his area of expertise.
post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 

I noted that trend as well. Curious.

"I love to play, but I don't like to lose." So, I try not to set myself up.

The appreciation for solo sports is not suprising.

Nolo, Feel free to post what you will. These topics are very organic. WTFH will come to rescue any real problems.

post #22 of 30

I noticed the conflict as I was answering the questions. I marked experience and competitive and could feel the conflict as I did so.

My view was that "competitive" does not imply a race course, judged or organized event, etc. As my partner and I are playing follow the leader through tight trees connecting the glades on Tango in the Monashees the situation is definately competitive although I'm really only competing with myself, trying to keep up my end of the partnership. And we're so wrapped up in the experience, reacting to the glade immediately in front of us while hunting for an opening wide enough to fit through to connect to another glade, that "performance" is not an issue. I guess there is a certain amount of "performance" that goes into being able to have the experience at the level we have it but at that particular instant in time there is zero thought about the "how". It's all in the "do".

Wow! Thanks for that little break to a winter playground on a hot summer day!

[ June 24, 2002, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: PowderJunkie ]
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 

"Competitive" is often with one's self.
Those "unspoken" challenges with your partners can be a bit insidious as well. It depends on how important they are to you whether that is your character or not. Some people are driven to have a better lawn than the neighbor!

I have been noticing that the hand shakes and cordialities at the end of the world cup soccer games shows a suprising amount of indifference to meaningful exchange of appreciation. Few of the players offer, or give any eye contact. (some do, I thought the US Team did) These guys just might be performance driven.

post #24 of 30
CalG / Nolo -- I just got back from a trip & noticed this story by CalG about an experience with his son:

Originally posted by CalG on June 21, 2002 09:47 AM: ...The snow was pleantiful, but it was a bit of a storm...Sitting on the windward side of the chair to provide some shelter...I offered that the weather was bad and how most people would be looking for indoor shelter on a day like this. I commented that instead, we were out in it...My youngest son, 5 or 6 at the time, showed his smiling face straight at me and with an undeniable enthusiasm voiced "AND HAVING FUN N N!".
I realize that the topic of the thread is officially "performance or experience", but I don't feel that the importance of incidents like this to kids was fully noted in subsequent posts, so at the risk of causing some thread drift I'm going to add my $0.02.

I had an experience almost identical to Cal's a couple of years ago with my (then) 7 y.o. daughter. She and I were skiing with a close family friend, a cert Nordic instructor, on a very snowy, blustery (but not very cold) day that kept *everyone* else inside the lodge. We had the mountain totally to ourselves on what would have otherwise been a very crowded weekend. Like Cal, we shielded my daughter between us on the chairs, and picked runs where her she wouldn't be blown back uphill.

The three of us coming down the runs in a tight little group must have made quite a sight - me in front on Alpine gear, a little 50 lb willowy girl in the middle, and this giant 6'7" telemarker taking up the rear, all of us obviously having the time of our lives in the excellent conditions.

Nolo then asked CalG a superb question:

>"What did your 5 year old learn from the experience you gave him that day? "

Nolo - I can't speak for Cal, but I can tell you that this was one of the most significant days (skiing or otherwise) in my kid's life. She often recalls it with the fondest of memories and a tremendous degree of pride.

First, I'll try to put down some of the general things that I think she learned that day:

1) Self-confidence, particularly in her own outdoor / athletic abilities, especially relative to other kids. She came away with a "field of expertise" that she can call her own: "None of the other kids in school could have ever done that".

2) Not following "the herd" (ie, in the lodge) is sometimes better.

3) Trust trustworthy adults (both immediate and extended family). Listen to, respond courteously, but don't implicitly trust random adults (eg, gapers who made comments like, "Why are you out in weather like this?", "Your little girl is going to freeze!", etc.). I was very pleased when (after one of the gaper comments) she asked, "What in the world was she talking about? I'm not cold, and this is the best day of skiing in my entire life!".

4) Setting a good example for her by letting her see adults *really* enjoying themselves having good wholesome fun.

5) She realized that she can fit perfectly well into an adult situation, and wasn't treated "like a kid".

There were obviously many more general lessons she learned, and, in addition, she obviously learned a whole bunch of skiing / technical lessons including:

1) Skiing highly variable snow (eg, slab to powder pockets).

2) Her first couple of pow-8 loops.

3) How to keep warm and pace yourself under rigorous conditions (eg, occasional stops).

4) The importance of keeping together in low-viz conditions (eg, "Your job is to look behind you every few hundred feet to make sure that TeleGuy is OK and hasn't plowed into a tree.").

5) Handling wind, particularly bursts of wind.

6) Selection of appropriate terrain (eg, narrow trails so you can see the trees and they give you some protection from the wind).

Nolo, if you are a parent yourself, or through your role as a teacher of children, I suspect that you know full well the incredible importance of moments like this to kids, and, in your usual way, that the real intent of your question was to stimulate discussion of it. Good on ya.

Obligatory "performance vs experience" comment:

This was definitely an "experience" day for her. No technical pointers for her, no incidents of her showing off for the camera on that day. All I did was a bit of facilitation and getting her in the right place at the right time.

Tom / PM

[ June 24, 2002, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #25 of 30
Nice post Tom, I would say that skiing has brought my kids (and I) to each of these realizations on numerous occasions over the years (all of which we readily recount to anyone who'll listen). Nice thing is that they're still coming (season's end climb up Fantasy Ridge at Solitude and a run down one of the chutes)! I am also a firm believer in the concept that if you don't carry some (a lot) of what you learn by participation in a sport into your daily life then you are missing out.
post #26 of 30

All I did was a bit of facilitation and getting her in the right place at the right time.
You have shared the essence of good teaching. Bravo!

I have two hotblooded teenage daughters who ski beautifully, but who are more interested in other aspects of life at the moment. I am waiting for them to come out the other side, maybe in a few years...

From the ages of 5-12 they skied every free day they had. They were on the development team that I coached. Now it's a good year if they go 4-5 times with the ski club at school. The main reason they don't ski is because their friends don't ski. The locals in ski towns often snowmobile for fun. They think it's cheaper (!).
post #27 of 30
Can't you make them ski, *chuckle*? My parents "made" me ski. Wouldn't take no for an answer. EVERY weekend from November to April we would be at Mt. Snow. No excuses, no exceptions, until I was 18. I hated it, of course. Looking back, I thank them. Still remember the day I was skiing out some teenage angst, alone, and suddenly my skiing just "clicked" and became sublime.

[ June 25, 2002, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: WhosThatGirl ]
post #28 of 30
I know when I'm whupped. The girls play varsity basketball. They get more esteem from their peers/community by that route. I don't ski weekends either...

I like midweek skiing. It's pretty laid back. When I do go up on a weekend I get overstimulated.
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
I have heard it said that every year of parental overbearance is good for 3 years of "PAYBACK"!

I'm not sure how bribery might work it'self out.

post #30 of 30

We did the best we could with the skills available to us at the time...

--The Parent's Universal Disclaimer
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