D-chan and ski & golf, thanks for briniging this back on topic.
The problem is with expectancy. I was talking to a fitness student of mine, who told me that she used to love to ski, but does not do it anymore. When I asked her why, she gave me a number of reasons.
Although she had skied for about 4 years, she was never able to break out of a wedge completely. For the most part, she felt comfortable and happy on green trails. She and her husband own a ski condo at Sunday River, so she was able to ski pretty consistantly throughout the season.
This would have been fine, except she was getting pressure from her husband and friends as to why she was not "improving".
But in her mind, she was. Since she was becoming more comfortable with skiing, she was enjoying it more, even if she was not conforming to some else's standards of improvment. The pressure she was recieving from her husband and friends lead to quarrels, and eventually, they sold their condo.
Now, neither she nor her husband ski.
But listening to her talk, she sounded a bit wistful as she made the comment, "if only they would have left me alone to enjoy it my own way".
I was once at Killington, and overheard an instructor say to a student "I thought you would learn this in about 3 days! Its been 3 months! What's going on??"
When people make the decision to learn to ski as adults, they carry with them certain physical and psychological anomolies. Sometimes skiing can make someone aware of these things, and they may decide to work on them.
But this means there is a different time line for different people. And some people repsond very badly if they feel they are expected to make a certian amount of progress at a certain point.
One of the most "dangerous" trails you can ski on at Sunday River, is not the infamous White Heat, but Dreamaker. This trail is marked as green, but it is decidedly not a green.
The problem arises when people take their first ski vacation, and go from levle 1-4 in 4 days. At level 4, they ski Dreamaker, but they are not at all prepared for it.
There is probably more carnage on Dreamaker than any double diamond, not because it is such a difficult trail, but because most of the people skiing it can not do so without causing harm to themselves or others.
But for some reason, they've been lead to believe they are expected too.
There is an inherent ugliness in people who display the kind of arrogance about their skiing that Jamesdeluxe described in his bragadiccio thread. Yes, carving parallel on double black diamonds is imprsessive, but in no way does it indicate that someone is some sort of superior being!
But the ugliness turns disgusting when someone uses it as a meand of ridiculing someone else about their progress. And someone who skis parallel on a black diamonds the first year they learn to ski, but ends up with a torn ACL is not much of an inspiration!
Progress in skiing is like having sex for the first time. It has to be your own decision entirely, and no one can ridicule you into it.
In my industry, I notice fast and slow learners. The fast learners will pick up the superficiality of any acitivity, but will later on show some problems, and have to do remedial work on the basics. The slow learners often get too caught up on details, but when they finally learn something, it is truly learned.
It should be the goal of instructors to make sure fast learners are not missing crucial details, and make sure slow learners are not getting too caught up in them.