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Ski School Fantasy - Page 2

post #31 of 43
After another great Level III Clinic today at my home mountain, I think that, combining several influences from different ski schools is the answer. I was fortunate enough to teach under Chris Ryman many years ago - that was pretty damn close to perfect. And, regarding tipping, I am in agreement 100% Tipping has gotten OUT OF CONTROL. In our lockerroom, it seems that the instructors rate a successful day by the $$ in their pockets, not what happened on snow. I, on the other hand, have a great day when I come down with a grin on my face - whether it's from getting a first time skier to the chairlift, to snowblading in the trees with a 12 year old level 9. Life doesn't get much better, eh?
post #32 of 43
vsg. Now I know you will pass your level 3. Your heart's in the right place.

That's why you also deserve to be tipped. I love tipping. I love maximizing it in the restaurants when the person does something really special, and I love to minimize it when I am made to feel invisible.

Were I to take ANY sports lesson, I would do the same. The pro who is sincere, authentic and genuine gets huge tips. The one who is just pumpin' gas gets nothing. It's a way of voting!

Interestingly, the truly authentic pro, never counts on the tips--is never disappointed when they don't come and is always humbly delighted when they do.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 07, 2002 07:03 PM: Message edited 1 time, by weems ]</font>
post #33 of 43
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by weems:
No. No. LM.

It's because ski instructors have co-ed locker rooms!

They do? Where can I apply?
post #34 of 43
Thanks, Weems. It took me 10 years away from the profession to come back - and love skiing again, as well as want to share it. Had a tough start to my year, but it has come together - and for me, tipping certainly has changed my life - the railroad track type of tipping!

Had one of those GREAT days today - skied everything working on those old ski maneuvers for my exam this week. We found a new method of judging flexion and extension, however. It's called the "ponytail meter". I was failing it in the crud with too much up and down - ooh, I do love some down unweighting in that stuff - until I was told my ponytail was a dead giveaway. Now I'm back into retraction and my ponytail is behaving itself again!
post #35 of 43
Hey, Epic - of course they're coed! I remember a while back running into a fellow instructor in line while I was in my civvies. He didn't recognize me (mind you, he was with a full class). After a few minutes, he finally made the connection. My response - "Hey, Charlie, you just didn't recognize me with my clothes ON!"

Got a few laughs as well as a few rather odd looks....

Oh, and regarding my stretch pant comment earlier, I have found that the guys who are still wearing those black stretch pants with their uniform jackets are caught in a time warp, and their stretch pants are often very much in sync with their turnshape, if you catch my drift!
post #36 of 43
Find a man under 35 with stretch pants on. Bet you can't.

Speed racing suits don't count. However, it's an interesting connection, because racing was THE MODEL for the skiers appearance, so stretch pants became the required attire for great skiers and wannabe's. Now, guys where baggies. Dave Berry wrote that when he tried snowboarding his pants actually became baggier, and the crotch dropped more toward the knees, as he rode. It is really funny that guys now want pants where no trace of any part of the leg can possibly be detected through the pants--yet no part of the butt remains covered by pants. I guess that's better than old guys in stretch pants--about whom the question may be asked: with bodies like that, why would we show them off? Like, still trolling after all those years!

Welcome back vsg. I'm coming over to Vail for the exam this week. Just to sit in and watch. Hope to say hello. I've got a white beard, black helmet, and no stretch pants.
post #37 of 43
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> 1. Would require to pass a fitness test - trying to teach an overweight couch potato to ski is like trying to teach nuclear physics to someone who failed basic calculus. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That might make your life easier but it's a dreadful idea. I was an overweight couch potato when I started skiing. It was learning to ski that started me going to the gym. Now I've progressed to an overweight but reasonably fit desk jockey.

I wouldn't have thought there was much point making US ski instructors speak 'Alpine' languages (I assume you mean German, French, Italian) cos the alpine Europeans will ski locally. The European ski schools all have to speak English as that's the most common source of custom. Where do your non-English-speaking people come from? That's what you should know (Spanish? Japanese? French?)
post #38 of 43
Weems -

It would be a pleasure to say hi. Your reputation has preceded you (for many years)! See you Thursday!
post #39 of 43
VailSkiGal - I have a friend that used to work in a clean room at IBM. Everybody would be wearing those white paper suits and respirators. The only thing you could see were their eyes. They had seperate locker rooms, so he had no idea what any of his female co-workers looked like. Occasionally, he would meet them outside of work and it was like meeting a whole new person. He thought it was pretty funny to discover that someone he had been working with for a year or two was actually a hottie in disguise.
post #40 of 43
Matteo - what ski areas are in Sud Tirol? Do the people there speak as much English as in Austria? Is the skiing as good as the Arlberg?
post #41 of 43
Ok- I'll add in my 2 cents... I'm new to this site, but not new to the biz.

Many years ago Horst dreamed of this same topic, but I think he was a bit more pragmatic. His thoughts included instructor lounges, hot tubs, etc. I really liked his ideas!

I have read the entire set of responses to this topic, and have to say that I agree with Weems(whom I have known for years) and Bob Barnes(who I also know reasonably well).

But I also think there has been alot of dancing around the subject. One of the key ingredients in any successful organization is RESPECT!
In this case- peer respect, respect of the ski company towards its employees, and most importantly, instructor respect of our guests(clients)!
I have worked in ski schools all over the world during the past 38 winters, and I found that the ones I enjoyed working in the most started with this one quality.
Unfortunately, today I see much selfishness in many of our instructors. As I travel our division,and come in contact with hundreds of instructors, I see it in many schools, not just my own.
Instructors who are intolerant of other instructors (sometimes I have been guilty of this as well), companies who view their long term, experienced instructors as disposable, and worst of all- instructors who believe the guest is there for their convenience and entertainment.
So- until we can reconcile these issues, can there possibly be an "Ultimate Fantasy Ski School"? :
post #42 of 43
Thread Starter 
Welcome, Vail Snopro. Great Post! The respect issue is crucial. Guests can sense it when pros do not respect each other, when management does not respect its pros, and when pros do not respect the guests.

Again, part of the problem I believe comes from the low pay rate. A young kid, who takes the job so that he can ski for free, may not be the most patient instructor for a level 2 ski class.

This all round lack of respect can be the downfall of many "class" operations. A high end fitness center in our area, part of a national "luxury" chain, makes its instructors enter the facility through the loading dock! They are beginning to lose their "status" in the community.
post #43 of 43
LM - I was a young kid (college student) who took the job to ski for free. After about 2 days of teaching, I realized that I wasn't going to be getting a lot of free skiing in. Then about 2 days later, I realized that I didn't care about getting in the free skiing, because I was having so much fun teaching. I was a pretty good instructor for someone with no prior experience. So, just because you get into teaching for the wrong reason, it doesn't mean that you'll turn out to be a bad instructor (at least I don't think I was bad, and my supervisors seemed to agree with me).

On the language issue, there isn't really a single useful language that you could learn as an instructor. In SoCal, we get a lot of spanish speakers (but they're mostly fluent in English too), and a lot of Asians who speak every language on the continent from Hindi to Japanese. So there really aren't enough of any one language to warrnat learning a foreign language. But far more importantly, you really don't need to be able to speak to your students to teach them. If you're talking for more than a minute, you're doing something wrong (except possibly at the very beginning of the first-timers lessons).
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