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Why did you become a ski instructor?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Again, there's a lot of talk going on now on EpicSki about what is the real value of a lesson. I say ask the thousands of kids who come from Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas each year to ski at Copper. Many of them take a lesson. My wife sells lesson to those kids. In her words, "they just want to have more fun."

Now ask yourself, why did you become an instructor? Is the answer, because you wanted to help these kids have more fun? Or is the answer more about you wanting to become better skiers yourself.

Sure, there are a few skiers who sign up for lessons because they want to know the secret. But the majority of your clients are those kids and other people just like them who simply want to have more fun.

Do you go to work each day as an instructor with your predominant desire being teaching those kids to have more fun, teaching the the few who really want to know the secret, or teaching yourself to be a better skier.

Remember, there's not much room for the Bob Barnes' in this market. There's lots of room for people who want to make skiing fun for those who ski very infrequently.

If you aspire to the technical expertise that Bob has accumulated then you're probably going to weaken you ability to teach fun.

When I listen to the talk on this forum I hear a lot of ski geeks who's desire to explore the secrets of skiing way outweigh their desire to teach fun to those who don't practice skiing but once a year.

It's no longer about the mystique of an instructor's phenomenal skiing skills; It's about market share. Winter Park's and now RMPSIA GCT hopes to capture more of that share. Is that what you hope to do?

Why did you become a ski instructor?
post #2 of 28
Why did I become a ski instructor? Why quite obviously to become rich.
No the real reason is complicated. For many years I had been an introvert with a brilliant mind. I had become exceedingly eccentric and lived on a pedestal. I drank to much, that made me even more eccentric and lonely. Things had gotten to the point where if I spilled a cup of coffee, everyone would practically panic and demand a hazmat teem to clean it up. I was also very ill most of the time. I knew things had to change or I would be in jail, the CIA or dead in a short time.
I quit drinking first but, was still ill and lonely. Then I found a great diet that cured my ills but I was still lonely. While ripping bumps on telemark, the local telemark instructors convinced my to become and instructor. They said it was the perfect thing to bring me out of my shell (funny, that shell was the perfect sterotypical telemarker personality). Something in the back of my head told me that they were right but I was scared to death to expose my personal self to strangers.
Becoming an instructor, in addition to this forum, has completely changed me as a person. I would no longer consider myself to be an introvert, eccentric, better lock him in the laboratry type. That is why the aspect of the teaching portion of ski instruction has become so important to me. Relating to people has become intoxicating for me. Its something new, exciting and very challenging. Developing my own skiing has not been nearly as challenging or as exciting as the teaching aspect. My focus this year has been almost entirely on teaching.
This forum allowed me enough non personal contact so that I could feel free to develop communication skills and put thoughts into useful purpose. Everything I posted in the early days on this forum was done with great trepidation and uncertainty. One day I found myself comfortable here, willing to meet people and not considered eccentric.
Right now I am not sure what I want to do when I grow up but getting there is gonna be fun.
post #3 of 28
Is this a question or a conclusion, PinHed?

The question might better be phrased, why do you continue to want to be a ski instructor? It's not the initial impulse that matters, it's the continuing motivation, don't you think?

There is a huge market for the Bobs of the ski world. My name isn't Bob, but I have to turn away students each year because I teach for FUN not profit. The other days of the week I am busy trying to earn a LIVING.

Frankly, I resent the implication that "all ski instructors are alike." We are alike in one thing: we really love skiing. That may be our greatest feature. My students tell me that one reason they like to ski with me is because it is so obvious how much I love this sport and how keen I am to share that love.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Wow, Pierre Eh! That was a really thoughtful and inspiring response you gave. Thank you!

Nolobolono, did I offend you? Sorry if I did. Yes, it was a question with a few observations on my part. I make no conclusions since I am constantly surprised by life. I like your twist on the impulse vs. the continuing motivation. Although, I think you're arguing semantics. I would retwist it back to you and say that one should seek their impulse to be an instructor each and every day. Samey same. I think you like to argue.

No, there aren't nearly as many slots in the SS profession that Bob has achieved as a technical writer and trainer as there are slots for people who are good at the meet and greet social skills. And by good, I mean good at it every day.

I'm glad you resent the implication that all instructors are the same. We're on the same page there. Who made that implication?

If I'm going to hear from all the part timers out there how they teach for fun, then that's great. But it won't help cut to the meat of the issue Is SS meeting the needs and desires of their clients.

I like fun too. I taught for 4 seasons and was motivated by fun as well. The people I worked with teaching skiing who were full-timers had a much different attitude than my and Nolobolono's fun attitude. For them, it was a living; the stakes were higher and the rewards greater. We looked to them for leadership. Their attitude was resonated by the part-timers. Their commitment stood as a marker by which part-timers could follow. The enthusiasm a full-time instructor shows toward a student who just paid 100+ bucks for a lesson or the enthusiasm shown towards a prospective student has everthing to do with SS's future success. It's those people who need to keep a pulse on the market and understand their role in SS' vitality within the ski industry.
post #5 of 28
I became an instructor because I was 16 and I could (That's how old you have to be to be certified and insured in Canada).

But now I teach / coach because I love knowing that I play a part in helping a kid to love skiing. I literally am obsessed, I get really excited when I go skiing, and I get a really happy feeling inside from everything that has to do with skiing (As I'm sure many of you do).

I just love seeing the kid's on my J.D team eyes light up, and listen to how keen they are, and to know that I had a lot to do with it. Especially where I'm from, because it seems here every kid wants to play hockey and make it to the NHL. But now, there's at least a handful that want to grow up and make it to the World Cup..

Being an instructor is very rewarding for me. I love everything about it.

post #6 of 28
PinHed, you say: "there aren't nearly as many slots in the SS profession that Bob has achieved as a technical writer and trainer as there are slots for people who are good at the meet and greet social skills."

I would assert that there is room for many, many more people like Bob in this profession. This profession should aim to nurture Bobs of all gender, race, color, and creed. Would it not improve the bottom line to have more TURN DOCTORS on call rather than legions of SMILEY FACES?

PinHed tells us that the point of this thread is not why we instruct but Is ski school meeting client needs?

Is the school system educating students? The answer is the same in either case: the school system and the ski school are only as good as the teachers in them, because teachers meet needs and educate students, not the system. If the system encourages people to become Bobs, it will succeed. If it wastes its Bobs and discourages the development of more Bobs, it will not.

I draw a distinction between what brung me and what keeps me here because they are completely different things. What brung me was self-development and what keeps me is helping others develop.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 08, 2002 01:06 PM: Message edited 2 times, by nolobolono ]</font>
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Would it not improve the bottom line to have more TURN DOCTORS on call rather than legions of SMILEY FACES? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I said:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>. I say ask the thousands of kids who come from Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas each year to ski at Copper. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I find it interesting that Copper's SS doesn't ask their students to critique the SS service. Do other SS's do this?

Ski for yourself.
post #8 of 28
I became an instructor through a mid-life crisis sort of circumstance. I attended a PSIA exam precourse because I figured I'd learn more about improving my own skiing that way than taking several days of lessons. I had so much fun learning about learning that I started looking for an opportunity to become more involved in skiing and instruction. I tried finding similar work to what I'd been doing closer to the ski areas, but that didn't pan out, so I got a full-time instructing job the next winter and have been at it seasonally for more than 30 years. I had a graveyard shift job that allowed me to ski days for the first 20 or so years and then ran my own business for several years. Now, of course, your payments into the Social Security system let me keep at it.
post #9 of 28

I became an instructor to find freedom from a claustrophobic father, to find a life of my own, to find a path that followed my real inner heart, to find an outlet for my athletisism that exposed me to a world of athletes whose playing field is nature itself. In doing so I found an ego that required taming, a heart that needed exposure, an earth connection that needed a place to feel connected and a way of life that enabled me to live without fear.

The connection with people from all walks of life and with all of lifes scenarios as their individual stories is what makes instructing for me a life of freedom.

Ski instruction lays out the whole spectrum of life to immerse ones self in ... it is one world living.


Thanks for asking
post #10 of 28
to feel superior, to inculcate others on my bizarre worldview

...naaah, that's not possible -- I'm not an instructor!!

(HINT: tongue firmly in cheek)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 12, 2002 11:35 PM: Message edited 1 time, by gonzostrike ]</font>
post #11 of 28
"I didn't get into music for the women...but I adjusted!" ...Ted Nugent

I did it for the chicks!
post #12 of 28
I've been "teaching-coaching" my friends and their kids for years just because I wanted them to have a great experience. Then a change in my employment prompted me to see if I had what it takes to do it for real.

Enjoying the learning process and sharing my limited knowledge with new skiers and guests.. Who could have a better office! on the snow and on the mountain!
post #13 of 28
Short Version:

I lived on cupons that had lift/lesson/lunch for $5. My instructor/coach/head of SS .... it was a very small place .... said one day in his (Austrian) accent ...... "I'm getting tired of feeding you so maybe I got to hire you"

Few days later the bad news .... a very low number from the Slective Service Lottery .... the Draft Board.

Years later came home and pulled up to a weed choked hill and parking lot..... all gone.

In Japan, a samurai that looses his master is called a Ronin .... they just wander without much puropse and that's pretty much what I did till my son started skiing.

This is completing what I started in the 60's ....... and hanging around wasn't very useful.
post #14 of 28
My wife taught elementary school for years and she and her buddies used to joke that the three best reasons to go into teaching were June, July and August.
post #15 of 28
I became an instructor because I thought I would enjoy the teaching challenge and I would be good at it. I then discovered what I really didn’t know and spent several years relearning. Now I continue to teach out of the shear joy of the smiles I see when a simple little break through occurs. It is also kind of nice that every once in a while someone actually appreciates what we do for them. Actually it is pretty hard to put it into words now that you have asked me to think about it.

I know this is not profound but it is real.

post #16 of 28
I became a ski instructor because I wanted the season pass. As awful as that sounds, it's 100% true. Fortunately after my first 2 or 3 weekends teaching, I realized that I was doing it for more than the free skiing (which was good because I was only getting to ski for an hour and a half a day). I discovered how much fun it is to take a crying little brat and turn them into a smiling happy skier. I discovered the satisfaction that comes from taking someone who is pretty much a hopeless skier and taking them up the lift for a few runs on a snowbike (my SS had snowtoys that we used for those people who "just weren't getting it." I should also add that the social experience made me a much better person. At the time I started I was a quiet engineering student who would only talk to people on the chairlift if they started the conversation. Now I'll talk to anyone anywhere with confidence. There was also the benefit of ALWAYS being able to find a ski parter. When I was out freeskiing, I would rarely take more than 2 runs before I found a friend to hook up with for a few runs.

I always tried to have fun when I was out teaching. Even on those crazy days when I was handed an enormous group of clueless Southern Californians with no gloves and their boots on th wrong feet I tried to enjoy my day. Hopefully as a result my students also enjoyed their days.
post #17 of 28
You folks pose a variety of interesting questions. I just sat here for ten minutes trying to come up with some sort of response. I had no answer!

I've got to get my daughter up and get her to her race program. I know I have four hours of teaching to do.

If it clicks for the students and they seem satisfied.....I will have had a good day. If it doesn't click.....I'll feel like I was a flop and I'll be cranky all evening.

Perhaps I have my answer!
post #18 of 28
I became a ski instructor because I absolutely loved the sport of skiing--it was my passion when I was growing up in Maine, and it has continued through today. I became an instructor because I loved the idea of introducing and sharing the sport with others. Before I taught professionally, I always enjoyed both skiing with and helping out friends on skis, both advanced and beginners. (I suspect now that I probably did more damage to their skiing than good, but I meant well!)

I continue to teach for the same reasons--it has never grown stale for me. I continue to learn and improve and experience new heights, both in my own skiing and in my ability to help others enjoy the sport. Both the sport, and the teaching of it, continue to fascinate and challenge me. The moment that stops, I will stop teaching!

I've been fortunate to have skied in a lot of great places, and to have met a lot of really wonderful people through skiing and teaching. I've had more than my share of "epic" days on skis, sometimes with friends, sometimes on my own, sometimes with students.

Yes, sometimes it's hard work. Like any job, teaching skiing has its moments, and its frustrations. It's always rewarding, personally, if not financially. It can be great fun, but it isn't ALWAYS just "fun"--what job is?

I make it a point to have fun in my lessons, whenever I can, and to whatever degree "fun" is important for my students! While most really do want to have "fun," some really do come to lessons strictly to learn something, even at the expense of "fun." They are usually highly goal-oriented, hoping to improve their skiing for any of a variety of reasons--better race times, to impress their friends, to pass an instructor certification exam, or simply to master a move or an understanding to improve their enjoyment of the sport--their "fun"--in the long term.

There ARE some people who come to lessons prepared to SACRIFICE a little short-term "fun" to work hard for long-term gain, or to achieve a personal goal. These people would be annoyed and angry with an instructor who failed to recognize their needs and goals, who assumed that they were just there to "have fun." They'd rather work on their skiing than listen to a joke or just take unfocused free runs, no matter how much fresh powder has just fallen. Yes, some of these people may lack a sense of humor. We may think that they ought to "lighten up" and "just have a little fun"--and sometimes that might even be the best thing for their skiing, technically. But who are WE to be judgemental about their wants and goals?

It is just as much a failure to assume that "everyone" wants to have "fun" in every lesson as it is to assume that everyone wants to learn to make a technically perfect turn, and is willing to work at it.

So I don't agree that "all lessons MUST be fun." That would be an insulting assumption for those "serious" students of the sport whose idea of "fun" is to deepen their understanding, or to achieve a technical breakthrough. Yes, all else being equal, and providing the individual student's needs are all addressed, I think every lesson should be as much fun as possible. But I would never sacrifice or ignore someone's "needs" just for the sake of what I, personally, consider "fun." They pay way too much for that!

If a student's needs and goals are met in a lesson, the lesson cannot fail. That is the "prime directive" of student-centered teaching. If--and only if--those needs include entertainment and maximal short-term "fun," then that is where the lesson should go. But if they want to learn a stem christie or something, who am I to insist that they ought to "have fun" instead?? If their goal is to challenge themselves on a new run that may be a little over their heads, where we both know that they may experience more frustration than "fun," who am I to say NO? If bragging rights or a sense of personal accomplishment are worth a little frustration on their part, who am I to prevent it, in the name of "fun"?

The profession of ski instruction as a whole has been criticized--and rightly so--for taking the "fun" out of the sport for some people by assuming that they all want to, or ought to, work diligently on the "perfect turn." But it would be equally inexcusable to assume that they DON'T want to work on the perfect turn, and that they "should" just be entertained and "have fun." Even the esoteric is fun for those who are into it.

Anyway, it's an interesting notion, Pinhed--your proposition that "good skiing" and "fun" must somehow be mutually exclusive. I am very curious what would cause you to think that!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
I said... <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If you aspire to the technical expertise that Bob has accumulated then you're probably going to weaken your ability to teach fun.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think this statement was a little 'bit of a troll on my part. But it wasn't without good intentions. I wanted to highlight the idea of discarding some of our propensity towards techno-babble while teaching and replacing some of that time with fun. I'm not accusing anyone of not being a fun teacher. I just wanted to point out two ideals that live on opposite ends of the teaching spectrum.

Bob said... <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Anyway, it's an interesting notion, Pinhed--your proposition that "good skiing" and "fun" must somehow be mutually exclusive. I am very curious what would cause you to think that!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, that's a good call on your part, Bob. I do infer that notion in what I said. I although, don't buy into that which I said about fun being more important to good lessons than teaching good skiing. I am the person who would come to a lesson with my mind spinning in every technical direction it knows. I'm probably the student who needs to be less serious and have more fun. I find that to be true of myself in many aspects of my life.

The post wouldn't of had as much impact if I didn't pit one ideal against the other. Please read on...

Fun has merit when considering the prospect of a break-through in skiing's technical realm. Fun will ease fear. Fun will allow us to ski "stupid" (don't think, just do.) Fun is more than just an element providing a well rounded lesson experience. Fun will facilitate break-through skiing instruction.

When you consider why you are a skiing instructor today and tomorrow. Think about your quest for better turns. And, maybe more importantly, think about the fun you will have getting to better turns. Try to share that fun when you have your instructor's hats on. Bring both ends of good teaching's spectrum together.

Just one student's opinion.

Have fun.
post #20 of 28

You know what I consider FUN?

LEARNING something. This is true of my students too. If they don't learn something, they don't have as much fun.

Wherever did fun get translated as silly, purposeless, or brainless?

My work is play! The harder the challenge, the more it keeps me up nights and the earlier it entices me out of bed in the morning, the more fun I have.

What I fear more than anything is the flat-line.

And skiing stupid is an exaggeration, surely! Zen is not stupid, and yet it means a meditative state, a quiet mind. To me that's what Scott Hamilton meant.

Just another point of view from a student.
post #21 of 28
Why I became a ski instructor.

Success without college, friends. Make hundreds of dollars a year!

Karen Harris. That's why I became a ski instructor.

When I was just wee, my family ran a gas station on the edge of town. I was, like, 10. We had this girl working part time at the gas station, and I had a wicked crush on her. Her name was Karen, and she was 19, I think. And, on the weekends, she worked at one of Banff's local hills as a ski instructor.

I never did see her ski, but I was just awestruck when she was around.... "Oh my God, she's a SKI INSTRUCTOR!!!" I always dreamed of meeting a girl like Karen and spending the winters skiing, and all summer thinking about it together.

Well, life went on and I took the lessons through my school and I skied quite a lot. My poor mom would drive me to the mighty Mt. Norquay in all kinds of weather. One day I forgot my pass at home and I cried so much that she turned around and we went all the way back home in a blizzard to get it so I could ski that day. She would bring her book and sit in the lodge and read while I played in the snow all day.

Despite all of this, I never was really very good at skiing. I was intimidated by the older kids I saw performing all manner of crazy manuveres in the bumps on Lone Pine, or jumping off the "C" jump, a 15m nordic jump that used to be quite popular before progress saw the Stoney Squaw T-bar abandoned in favor of a shiny new base lodge. I went off the "C" jump a few times, but by then, the older kids had graduated to the big jumps over by the "Big Chair". There used to be a 55m and a 65m jump over there. I went off the 55m once, barely flew past the flats before the outrun, shit my pants and remained inferior to the local talent from Banff.

As I evolved into a chubby, geeky kid with my head wedged firmly in my ass, I shelved my dreams of being a ski instructor. I was just not good enough. Karen moved away to go to university and I haven't seen her since. After high school I pretty much quit skiing altogether. 3 days in 5 years.

I became a golf pro instead. I work at a pretty nice golf course in the Canadian Rockies.

Any golf pros out there? You may know the life of a young fledgling golf pro isn't filled with bags of money. Here in Canada, we can play the game for maybe 6 or 7 months of the year. The rest of the time, you gotta flip burgers or something.

And flip burgers I did. Loved every minute of it. Yeah right....

So my first season as a golf pro came to an end and I had about 17 bucks in the bank and no place to live. So I went to an ugly city 350 km from the mountains I grew up in and lived with my girlfriend... sort of. It was her parent's house, so we couldn't even ummmmm... you know. At least not as often as the 20-something hormonal drive would like. She was no Karen Harris, but she did manage to get me a job at the restaurant where she worked. Cooking french fries.

On my commute to this fine dining establishment I had to pass through the river valley and there on the banks of the river was a small collection of rope tows and 1 T-bar. I thought, "why not" and went for a ski one night to ease the boredom. For a mountain boy, the city was like prison, but there on that 121 feet of vertical, I rediscovered my freedom. I saw a poster offering a Level I ski instructors course, so I signed up. I wasn't getting many hours at the restaurant and could use another job.

A week later, I taught my first ski lesson. Within a month, I was weekend children's program supervisor. Maybe because I could relate to the fear and intimidation many of the kids felt, I don't know, I just seemed to be pretty good at the job.

Still, I looked at it as just something to fill the long, golfless winters. Never really aspired to be more than a Level I, never thought it could be a real job. 3 winters I toiled in this fashion, returning to the mountains each spring.

A co-worker at the golf course worked in the ski school at the neighboring ski area during the winter, and she urged me to come work up there. By then I had 3 seasons of burger flipping and weekend/evening ski teaching under my belt, and I was prepared to move back to the nasty city and do it again. On the other hand, I was getting a little tired of packing up and moving every 6 months. So I stayed. Didn't know it at the time, but it was the best move I ever made. Thanks, Traci.

I was appointed children's supervisor, passed Level II, then Level III, became a full supervisor, then assistant director. This past fall, the area manager offered me the director's job and now I run around all day like a chicken with it's head cut off, hiring staff, solving problems, teaching lessons, training instructors, developing programs, doing the payroll, going to meetings.... learning something new every single day and having the time of my life! I feel like Tom Hanks in "Big".

I have not one, but two dream careers on the go. A little time to travel and explore between seasons. A decent car and darn near decent money. What's left?

SWM, 36, never married, loves skiing, golf, mountain biking, yoga, occasional cosmic journeys and simple pleasures. Seeks SWF with similar interests to come along for the ride...

Karen Harris, where are you?

If you read this far, I thank you for letting me wander down memory lane. It was fun.

[img]smile.gif[/img] : [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #22 of 28
: [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #23 of 28
Pinhead said:
If you aspire to the technical expertise that Bob has accumulated then you're probably going to weaken your ability to teach fun.

>>I think this statement was a little 'bit of a troll on my part. But it wasn't without good intentions. <<<

You're revisit of this post got me to thinking about what you said. Does technical take away from fun? I would say in my case definitely not.
In these forums we sit behind a computer without snow or body language and are reduced to spewing technobabble. Technobabble is fun with the absence of snow, especially in the summer but when I am on snow the technobabble goes out the window unless I know the person that I am with, is also a technobabbling nut.

What does achieving a high level of technical knowledge do for the lesson and the fun? Well, I can look at someones skiing who is blending inefficient movements to a high degree and reduce those movements down in my head too one place in the kenetic chain, where they start. I can be quite certain in my analysis and therefore quite confident. My student does not have to know any of this. My brain is not whirling for answers, I am free to approach the lesson from a fun dynamic perspective. I will formulate a very simple correction that is right at the source of the kenetic chain problem. I don't need to confuse the student with treating symptoms or wasting time. I am free to package my correction in an incredibly simple presentation that seems almost too simple from the students perception. Now me and the student are free to have fun and make real progress. Simplicity and lack of confusion is the key to starting a fun lesson. In my opinion, real simplicity comes with a high level of understanding.
post #24 of 28
ihavethesecret, that is a great story that flows well. Sooo, how do I become a golf pro. I have swatted at the ball about five times without lessons. My score was about 70 on 9. I couldn't hit the damn ball to get it to the green but I could read the green like a mogul field and sink the putt within two every time. North East Ohio is loaded with golf courses.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 18, 2002 06:18 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #25 of 28
Pierre, I don't know much about much, but I do know: Head down, swing slow, keep your eye on the ball.

I'm an amateur at most things.

post #26 of 28
ihavethesecret, that's really a nice story!
The better since it's real!
post #27 of 28
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>...real simplicity comes with a high level of understanding. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes. Or, a high level of understanding is the only way to arrive at simplicity.

Nicely said, either way.
post #28 of 28
Great story, well told, IHTS!

Pinhed--I THOUGHT I felt a little tug on the line.... But I'll accept your good intentions!


I completely agree with others that the only possible way to make a lesson--in anything--truly simple is to attain a very thorough understanding of the subject matter. Without this, we may express--albeit in simple terms--things that are contradictory, or over-simplified to the point of being untrue.

Some people's ideas of "fun" may well be attaining more understanding, sometimes even of the "insignificant" details. For others, this would be the antithesis of fun. As instructors, we must not assume that people either want, or do not want, technical details. We must never assume that OUR idea of "fun" is the same as theirs!

And again, while many people really do want to have maximum "fun" in a lesson, many really do not! A lesson must be WORTHWHILE for the students. It must address their wants and needs. Is every worthwhile experience always "fun"? Many of my most valued and memorable learning experiences in life were anything but "fun," at least at the time!

I would have serious problems with an instructor who said something like, "I know you said that you took this lesson to learn more about how to perfect your carved turns, but hey--let's have a little 'fun' first and ski a few free runs...." That would be to completely ignore the stated desires of the student. It would be an "instructor-centered lesson," as opposed to a "guest-centered lesson."

Anyway, I'm not sure that this discussion really hits the point still. I contend that better skiing--better technique--is simply MORE FUN on a purely physical and emotional level. Good turns produce that incredible flying, floating, free-falling, gliding sensation that seems universally enticing to us humans. If you liked jumping on your bed as a kid (or maybe still....), then you will find good, offensive turns more gratifying to the senses--more FUN--than the braking movements of "hacks."

Good technique IS fun. So much so that it is even worth sacrificing some fun now and then in order to develop it!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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