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Pro Athlete vs. Weekend Warrior - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Couldn't have said it better myself old chap.
post #32 of 55
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat ?:
Ok, here's a question:
What sort of skier am I?
I am passionate about the sport.
But, because of where I live, I only ski for about 3 weeks a year.

So, the comments you read from me are from my perspective, where I don't have the opportunity to ski every weekend, or every day, so my limited time on the slopes needs to be spent wisely. If I thought a 1 day lesson in 5 days of skiing (i.e. 20% of my time on the slopes) would be a good use of my time, compared to spending it just skiing, then I would consider it. But I also have to think about the timing of the lesson. Not on day 1, cause I need to get my snow-legs back, and recover from jetlag. And not on day 4 or 5, cause I'll be going home shortly after, and it could be 9 weeks, or 9 months before I'm next on the snow. So that leaves day 2 or 3 of the trip. Now if I wake up in the morning, and there's been a massive dump of powder, I want to get up there and make the turns, not stand around in a group watching others get there before me.
I'm not sure about others here, but I think sevreal in the UK that post here would feel the same way.

WTFH - you think you have a problem - I live in the driest continent & it is a HUGE trip to most places with reliable snow (land of sheep excepted). Try $2000 in airfare alone. Meantime I ski over ice & rocks & grass & pretty much any stuff that a northern hemisphere person wouldn't look at - all for a season that lasts a whole 2.5-3months if we are REALLY lucky. (Oh & by lasts - I have had to jump creeks & ski a 2 metre wide strip of snow at the end of season.)

I can whole heartedly recommend off season training such as rollerblading. Makes a HUGE difference at the start of the next season.

Also I may be a bit weird - but I have never found having a lesson while it's dumping to be a waste - just have an off-piste lesson that day. I always ski fresh stuff better with an instructor than without & they will push me to ski tree areas I wouldn't attempt on my own!
post #33 of 55
No, I'm not looking for the sympathy vote! This thread, as I read it, is about different types of skiers (the pro-athelete, the weekend warrior, etc), and how the people marketing instruction (and providing it) should reach their customer base. My attempt was to point out that as well as the fortunate few who ski every day of the season (on a variety of quality of snow & terrain), and those who manage to get to the slopes a few weekends a year, there are also a lot of us who only manage a 1 week trip, or maybe 2 weeks a year, who want to maximise slope time and improve their skiing.
So, what I'm looking for is someone to sell me a lesson that will make the last couple of days skiing for that holiday (and possibly for that season) more enjoyable, and will stick with me until the next time I get near snow, which may be weeks or months later.
I'm not a pro, I'm not a weekend warrior, I guess I'm a holiday skier.

Nolo, Bob, Harald, et al, you've got your target market: Holiday Skiers.
Now, define your service, price it, and market it in such a way that I'll buy it and recommend it to my friends.

post #34 of 55
Thread Starter 
That's a really interesting distinction, Fox. In a way, your needs my be similar to those of a pro athlete. You already know how to free ski comfortably on your own, so you don't need to stay in your "sucess zone". In order to make your lesson worthwhile, you also need someone who can find your weakest link, let you know what it is and how to work on it, so that the little time you have on the slopes is well spent.
post #35 of 55
You have read my mind again, and put it into "Instructor Speak". Well done!
Have you ever considered a career in sales? (I mean this as a compliment, not an insult!)

post #36 of 55
LM said...
But if a pro skier was choosing a coach, my guess is that they would find the most value in someone who can discover their weakest link, and know how to work at it.
I'd have to disagree. The big push now is to focus on a person's strengths, not weaknesses. There is far more to gain from increasing a person's strengths than improving their weaknesses.

A great downhiller focuses on downhill, they don't spend much time on slalom. They'd do much better hiring a downhill coach than a slalom coach.

Babe Ruth gave up pitching, even though he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, to focus on hitting.

Great shooters in basketball work on their shooting, not their rebounding.

Great hitters in baseball spend far more time practicing their hitting than their fielding.

It's the same in business. Great managers help their people excel at their natural abilities, they don't try to take a poor skill and make it mediocre.

Remember that old question about whether you learn more from your failures or your successes? I've always answered that by saying your successes. You will NEVER know what excellence or greatness looks like by studying failures.

Now, that's not to say that people should focus exclusively on their strengths. Obviously, there needs to be performance at some acceptable level for the areas they are weak. But, I would argue that in searching for a coach that you'd do better finding someone who could help you become excellent.

post #37 of 55
While I understand what you're saying, I don't believe that it is correct in the context of instruction (OK, you were talking about professional racers, etc).

As you say, a downhill skier will not practice his slalom, but that is because it is not relevant for his sport.
But if a downhiller is bad at pushing out of the start gates, then he'll practice that, rather than ignore it. The idea is to focus on the areas that need improvement, and improve them. It's not a negative thing, in fact quite the opposite, it is very positive, because it is bringing the the whole person up to a higher level, rather than having peaks and troughs. If I want to be an all round "good" skier, and yet I can only cope with groomed runs, I'm not exactly an all-round skier. I may be excellent on piste, but that doesn't mean I can call myself "good" all round, maybe arguing that (excellent on piste + poor off piste)/2 = Good all round. No, to me, a good all round skier is one who can ski all the mountain well, and the only way to get to that level is to improve the weak areas.
But, I agree with you, it is only within the relevance of the skiers requirements.

post #38 of 55

I happen to think your skiing will grow by leaps and bounds with your time in Utah. That, for me anyway, is a HUGE block of ski time. You'll be skiing in most likely favorable conditions with groups of your choosing, either with skiers close to your own level, giving you the chance to work some fundamentals; or with a group a little ahead of you, which can push you a little, with beneficial results. And you will have had valuable brush-up time at the clinic. You'll also have had your Whistler trip by then.
You'll be gettin' it done.

EDIT: RE the above, i almost ALWAYS work on my weaknesses. I DO subscribe to the theory of the weakest link in the chain being the link you'd better tend to. Also, DH'ers (to stick with that example) DO work slalom when they're working on refining their "technical." When I wanted to improve my skiing I took a short turn lesson last year. Short turns were/are definitely my weakness. I don't see how I'd serve my skiing by focusing on what I do well (enough), like GS turns, etc. How will I ski bumps and steeps unless I focus on the weak points that keep me from executing in those conditions?

[ August 28, 2002, 08:40 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #39 of 55
How about golfers, WV Skier?

How about tennis players?

Your examples are of team players or specialists in certain events, not for instances where a whole game is played by one.

Anyway, I used to share your view until I learned the stuff on that link I posted: www.pib.net
post #40 of 55
Thread Starter 
ARGGHH!!! I posted a long reply to this earlier, but it didn't print!

WV. I would agree that for a new skier, finding the strengths is important. At my second attempt at learning, I told the instructor I had poor balance skills. He showed me how some of the aerobic moves I teach are in fact an indictaion of good dynamic balance.

The rest, as they say, is history, for here I am!

But when a year later, I noticed a proclivity towards reverting to gracefully executed linked wedge turns, I needed to see what was up. One private lesson with a fellow BEAR indicated an extreme differentiation in balance between my right and left leg, which resulted in a tendency to edge sequentially as opposed to simultaneously. This prompted me to not only change equipment, but to totally change my approach to conditioning.

An instructor, coach or trainer is at the height of their professionalism, when they can not only spot errors, but determine {in a private lesson} WHY they are happening!

An example would be the lazy instructor who attributes being in the back seat to fear, and nothing else but fear.

The true professional can figure out what is not functioning correctly, either body or equipment wise, that is making the skier feel unstable, thus precipitating fear.

Once again, I reitereate that the comments made by this conditioning coach had to do with FIRST CONTACT with a student. Obviously, people need to be brought out of their comfort zone, eventually.

Since others have expressed my same thoughts about the pro athlete, I don't need to repeat .
post #41 of 55
With regard to Bob's issue with the marketers, I feel similarly in that those of us who have made it a life long passion and challenge are driven to participate no matter what the costs are. On the opposing fence I clearly see the other side of the cost factors having raised my family on skis / boards.

Now comes my real question. Help me understand how golf has been able to explode exponentially, while skiing as we all know has seen declining skier days for many years??? You must be aware that I don't play golf nor do I know anything about it technically or otherwise. However, from all that I continue to hear(I'm surrounded by golfers at work), I understand that it is by no means inexpensive to play continuously, so that one improves their game.

: Whtmt :
post #42 of 55
Wow, from a fitness trainer’s workshop to ski area marketing to golf, all in one thread. Here are my thoughts.

Golf is going great guns because it is challenging, it is close by, it can be played by all ages, it does not have to cost a lot (but can be exclusive), it is social. How much does it really cost to start golfing? A few hundred $ for used clubs or new beginner clubs and $30 for greens fees at the local public course. Shoes and those nifty plaid pants come later. It may take the golfer a few years to become proficient, but the driving range is cheap and lessons don’t cost too much.

Skiing is another story. Rental skis, ticket and a 90-minute lesson cost about $80 per day per person. If you like skiing, you will need to purchase skis, boots, bindings, and poles for somewhere around $500 to $1000. Plus, you need to drive usually one to two hours to the mountain each day. This makes it hard to drop by for a “tune-up” like you can on the driving range. Plus skiing is very physically demanding and America is the land of the FAT (previously free). Also, it is common knowledge that skiing takes place when it is COLD and requires lots of special clothing to be comfortable (add on another $400 to $1000).

So, skiing is expensive, far away, cold, and difficult, also Americans are FAT with over developed hand muscles (remotes and video games). No wonder the growth rate is flat!

But even so, the marketing put out by the industry is so poor as to be laughable. 18 – 28 year old males are the target market. You can tell because ski ads drip testosterone. (Yeah these guys buy stuff, but it is like preaching to the choir. They are already converted. Preach to the next most receptive audience: younger kids and young middle age adults with children. Every other marketer understands that it is these pre teens and young teens who control vacations and activities to a great extent.) The result is the industry cannot grow or expand. The brilliant MBA’s behind this status quo are thus required to up ticket and food prices on an annual basis to increase revenue. Note to MBA’s: this just keeps the number of new skiers to a minimum and institutes a monstrous and vicious no growth cycle.

Could it change? Sure but not until the Ski area owners fire the knuckleheads now in charge and make some thoughtful changes like: 1. Sell learn to ski packages that are at least 8 days/lessons long and include two lessons each day for two or more hours each. The price should be at or below cost to the skier (i.e. $250 for rentals, lifts and a sandwich lunch FOR EIGHT DAYS OF SKIING). 2. The full cost of the lesson would be recoverable at the beginning of the next season if the skier purchased a package of skies, poles, boots, and bindings (i.e. the $1000 package would only cost $750). Free is a very good price and people do respond to free offers. 3. The ski area would offer the skier an unlimited season pass on the first year (after the end of the lessons) for a highly reduced rate perhaps $250. 4. The ski area would make guarantees about the skier’s ability to progress under the lessons, say guaranteeing the skier would progress from level 2 to level 5 during the first year (tailored to each skiers needs and progress rate). 5. The ski area would offer the skier a season pass for the following year at a reduced rate and offer a similar lesson package and guarantee of progress. The goal of the ski school should not be to turn a profit, but to break even and make proficient and happy skiers who will come back week after week, year after year.

Why would the ski area do this? Because even crack dealers know that when you have an addictive product (step up if you think skiing is NOT addictive) the best way to gain customers is to sell them on the benefits and then provide free samples until they are sufficiently addicted so you know they will come back. So, what I am saying is that the local 5th grade drop out crack dealer is smarter than your local ski area admin. If the ski areas would hook more people (really families) with lower prices they would have more skiers, if they provided incentives to buy at their ski shops (which would have to have competitive prices) they would make more sales, they would also make loyal customers. Remember, skiers who ski for about ten days are likely to become avid skiers, and the better the skier the more likely they are to be life long skiers who bring their spouse, children, friends, etc skiing.

This doesn’t even touch on the fact that ski areas could recoup some of their “losses” by enlisting product mfgs. to help defray costs by limiting the packages to specific name brands who are willing to make a kick back or offer other incentives to the ski area, and by linking local ski areas to select resort areas through discounts to gain leverages, skier recruitment and retention.

The goal of ski areas today seems to be to milk the cash cow (the existing cadre of skiers). It seems that it should be to systematically recruit and retain new skiers, link the industry together and build markets and profits through integration, linkage and volume.

I gotta get off the hobbyhorse now, my butt hurts.

post #43 of 55
Originally posted by nolo:
You can't please all of the people all of the time, Lisa. There's a saying in the profession that I used to subscribe to, and that is, "The student's failure to learn is always the teacher's fault." That is simply untrue! Sometimes it's the student's fault; sometimes it's the rental shop's fault; sometimes the incident that spoiled the lesson occurred before the lesson began. There are too many variables to locate consistent causes of lesson failure.
Oh gosh I hate to jump into this but what the hey I might as well.

LM – Your post is a great observation! Why! The post for some reason reminds me of the instructor, I really hope it isn’t me, that shows one heck of a lot of exercises for the student to do that even God would have trouble with and then says “Hey gang lets do it and improve our skiing”. There is an old saying in golf “Even God can’t hit a one iron.” If you are not a golfer you wouldn’t really appreciate the joke but think of it as “Even God can’t make perfect hop turns.” Yeah right and how many hours did the instructor practice to impress or might I say un-impress the students with an exercise that has little value except to make the instructor look good. However if we back down on the balance board and work with it there is a lot of value we can gain. LM helped that happen!

Nolo – I will not accept as an instructor the student’s failure is not mine too. I can’t and I won’t or I set myself and my student up for failure going in! While I may not be able to change the students culture I CAN and I WILL do everything I can to make it happen. After that I have done all I can and then I am no longer in control and I can walk away feeling a little better. I can take the student to rental, I can take the student to management, I can discuss learning with the student, I can understand my student better, and yes you can read the latest PSIA magazine that brought tears to my eyes. Possibly we could find a way to share the article here and let everyone read what a REAL instructor is all about? I would bet the instructor writing the article for Pro Skier would never say a student’s failure was not hers.

Sorry everyone for the rant! My job is to find a way you can SUCCEED and have a GREAT time doing it! Then I am a happy camper too!

Have a GREAT day!

post #44 of 55
Rant coming!!!!

Skiing is no more and probably less expensive than golf!

If a beginner can spend a few hundred for clubs, he can spend a few hundred for skis, or rent them for even less. I don't golf but where I have been the green fees and cart are way more expensive thatn a lift ticket.

The golf pros I know also make more than almost every ski instructor that I Know.

Have you priced a cruise lately, or taken a summer drive across our great land? The money spent doing this is often higher than hwat one spends on lodging, transportation and meals if he is concientious in the winter.

end rant
post #45 of 55

That was said so long ago I had to go back and read what I said. I think I was making a point about student responsibility. If not, I'll make it now, only I'll expand the concept to the role of the teacher. Excuse me: what I think about the role of the teacher.

I think that teachers who shoulder all of the responsibility are like parents who don't let their kids screw up. In either case, I suspect they're more interested in appearances than in the student/kid learning/growing.

Teachers who feel overly responsible will be afraid to take risks with students--not safety risks, but maybe to risk challenging their thinking, pushing them to work harder, or allowing them to experience the discomfort of having to think, choose, decide for themselves.

Teachers like that answer their own questions because they can't stand the painful silence while waiting for a student to arrive there on their own. Growth is painful. You have to allow nature to take its course.

In that post I also said, "However, given reasonable willingness on the part of the student, only an incompetent teacher can fail to make the experience one that the student will want to repeat."

I feel that we are touching on a matter of ethics, that is, the difference between the student-teacher relationship that is codependent and one that is a partnership. Teachers can create codependent relationships with their students by amplifying their neediness, in effect teaching them that they are basically incompetent and can't do anything without the teacher being there for support and counsel. Partnerships are collaborative, involve teamwork, and presume that all players are competent and able individuals who can fulfill their roles as teacher/coach and student/athlete.

A partnership requires that BOTH partners put skin in the game.
post #46 of 55
Thread Starter 
"Teachers can create codependent relationships with their students by amplifying their neediness, in effect teaching them that they are basically incompetent and can't do anything without the teacher being there for support and counsel."

Exactly. I was once in a level 5 class, where everyone was skiing more or less parallel, and wanted to explore more challenging terrain. The instructor had us doing wedge turns on a bunny hill for the whole lesson, and then said he was available for private lessons to improve on them! :

I think this is the middle ground that is pertinent to this thread. A brand new skier needs something that is exciting enough to challenge them, without seeming impossible. A pro, who skis for money and needs to win races, needs to be taken to what we call the balance threshold, the point where they begin to lose good form. From there, you figure out what the reasons are, and work on improving.

Although intermediate skiers need to occaisionally review the basics, they do need to be continually challenged, and not overly nurttured.
post #47 of 55
Originally posted by Tom Burch:
Rant coming!!!!

Skiing is no more and probably less expensive than golf!

If a beginner can spend a few hundred for clubs, he can spend a few hundred for skis, or rent them for even less. I don't golf but where I have been the green fees and cart are way more expensive that a lift ticket.

The golf pros I know also make more than almost every ski instructor that I Know.

Have you priced a cruise lately, or taken a summer drive across our great land? The money spent doing this is often higher than what one spends on lodging, transportation and meals if he is conscientious in the winter.

end rant
(spelling correction in text are by maddog1959)


I agree, at least for you, most EpicSkiers, and me but not for the newby. Both skiing and golf have financial barriers to entry. Skiing just has more and they are more expensive. Gear and clothing are more expensive, but since you and I have a plethora of each they are an asset keeping us in the sport.

The newby looks at these costs and questions whether the cost is worth it. After all he doesn’t know what skiing is like or whether he will enjoy it. Daily costs, travel time and limited free time exacerbate this. Add on that the fact that he has a family and there is the additional problem that he now has this high barrier of entry costs to spread over an entire family of four.

So, for a family of four to ski ten times this year with lessons it will cost $80 x 2x 10 and 60 x 2 x 10 (lessons, rental and lift) $60 x10 (lunch/drinks/snacks for four), $20 x 10 (travel), $1600 (clothing/goggles/gloves/etc for four). The grand total is $5200 for 10 days of skiing the first year. Yes it is likely that they will get by for less by packing some lunches and using some existing cloths and only taking one or two lessons, and that is precisely why they will not be back in year two. The costs are still high, they do not own their gear, they were cold and uncomfortable, and they didn’t last long enough to become addicts.

Or he can go golfing with a few friends (no family) for $300 in clubs and $125 in shoes and greens fees $30 x 10 for a grand total of $725. The plus is he has his own gear and now only has to pay greens fees for a forward cost of $300 each year.

The comparison is not apples to apples because in the real world that is not how decisions are made. If we want skiing to grow we need to make the first 10 to 15 days more affordable than sports like golf and make sure that people understand that skiing is fun and social as well as a challenging physical activity.

But for you and me skiing is very cheap. Last year I bought 10 packs of tickets to Mt. Hood Meadows for $270. The tickets are good for all day all night skiing on any day. The result is I can ski from 8:00 am to about 11:00 pm for $27, or about 15 hours of skiing for $1.80 per hour. The only additional expense is travel at about $20 per day. Skiing is cheap, it just has barriers to entry that the ski area admins have never adequately addressed. For the sport to grow these areas must be addressed. For new ski areas to be sited or existing areas to expand these areas must be addressed. I am not hopeful.

post #48 of 55
Maddog, it seems like the business model of ski areas is built on getting as many new skiers as they can for a few days each, as they spend as much for those days as alot of us do all season! With the business model you propose, there would not be enough money for high speed quads, grooming equipment, and the biggie, snowmaking. So the only way they can make money on the habitual skier is to sell them real estate.
Of course, the irony of it all is that there are many places where (depending on where you live of course) the new skier CAN make their first few days inexpensive. But they have old slow lifts, generally terrible grooming equipment (you know, it leaves a 6 foot wide swath of ruts and death cookies!), little or no snowmaking equipment and a dearth of natural snow, ancient rental equipment, and frequently poor instruction. Making it an even harder to learn the sport than it already is. I guess you get what you pay for...
A notable exception is the hill Robin so thoughtlessly abandoned after leading them to record attendence in his 1 year there... Mtn. High. Check out the 3-peat (go Lakers!) program.
You can even upgrade your lift ticket on the second and third day if you don't suck. I bet alot of them were given as gifts last year. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] to Robin for this.

[ September 20, 2002, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: milesb ]
post #49 of 55
Codependent relationships


Identifying Codependent Behavior.

* Do you feel responsible for other peoples problems?

* Do you feel responsible to help people solve thier problems?

* Do you feel Guilt or anger when your help isn't effective?

* Do you find yourself saying Yes when you mean NO, and doing things you really don't want to do?

* Do you try to Please other's instead of yourself?

* Do you feel bored or worthless when you don't have a crisis in your life, or a problem to solve, or someone to help?

I really never thought of codependency in the light of a ski instructor student relationship. I can see where a trainer such as LM would really need to be careful and probably nolo with her classes that return year after year. In our midwestern lessons usually we have an hour with a private semi and beginner intermediate groups or with our programs ninety minutes on a four-week cycle and a set goal to accomplish. Yes there are lessons that I have every week but that group is so spread I spend a lot of time bouncing off the walls just to impart a little sense in skiing. Fifteen kids by yourself for ninety minutes can be joy. Personally I would think ski instruction as we see here it would minimize the tendencies. Of course everyone has codependency tendencies and I would hope that because I have strong feelings when a student does not succeed it would not mean there is transference to my student. I will need to consult my John Bradshaw or John & Linda Friel to see if these tendencies are always destructive but as I remember from my education they are not.

Back to an attempt to explain my original statement. If a student fails an instructor should have the ability to determine if the student was “dumb as rocks” or if the failure is in some way due to their effort, lack of effort, or something ancillary such as equipment. Once they have made a determination they should attempt find a means to correct the failure i.e. find an instructor that can connect with the student or if it is equipment as an example then change it. (Dumb as a rock take up snow boarding!)I agree instructors are not always the problem but they can be the solution if they recognize the power they have and have the desire to use it! Is this my inner child or my codependency showing? I believe the intent to not always fault yourself for a student’s failure does have merit if your tendency is to always blame your self while not recognizing the student also has responsibilities. However always blaming the student in itself can do a disservice to a student if the student then becomes the scapegoat everytime. I choose to look inward first I guess. Now maybe I am simply insecure!?

So have we determined snow sports instructors should become therapists allowing them to recognize their codependent tendencies and correct them at least when teaching? Personally I would think not but it might make an interesting thread. By the way if you have never had a child leave home for good talk to me when it happens. It is kind of one of those things you must experience for yourself before you can really say what it is like. We have two pof ours ten plus hours away and when they need your help it is not being codependent it is parenting. Well maybe it is a little a little of both. Yep parents are a little codependent now aren't we?

Have a GREAT day! (If you do am I controlling you?)

post #50 of 55
When one goes golfing they do not take the family .... just a minor point in the cost equation ....

Skiing can cost a bomb up front BUT it is one of the most "inclusive" family holidays that is available. Think about it, natural environment, speed, freedom, weather, all ages catered for etc, etc .... golf is a pleasant way to explore a paddock with ya mates BUT a family holiday ... BORING!!!

Have a look at surfing these days. I can walk down to the beach and use equipment that costs all up under $1000 inc. wax and lasts for years, no entry fees and just a healthy combination of human and nature power OR I can sign up for a trip on a yacht in some exotic location for about $2000 a week.

Skiing is the same, ya choose the expense and the experience to suit your adventure threshhold and budget ....

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #51 of 55
Last year when I first visited the site I was working on developing a national marketing campaign to get new skiers in the sport. We have had many discussions about the wisdom of that approach on this site and I have taken hits from Gonzo, milesb, and others for advocating opening a wider access to the sport.

What about the crowds we already contend with? they asked. What about degrading the experience for core skiers with this influx of novices? What about LUNCH?

I've listened to those objections and looked again at the statistics and find that there is good recharging of the novice base for the past few years, but there remains no overall growth in the composite numbers.

Where is the loss occurring? Somewhere between the introduction and the committed core: the vast intermediate wasteland, where lessons could be the answer to progressing this group from ugly ducklings into swans (who, as we know, ocupy the top levels of the sport and are known in the biz as the "committed core").

That's my conclusion. Create lesson products for intermediates and we might stanch the bleeding, create a safer environment, and bring more skiers into the core, where you can't beat 'em back with a stick.

John C., Your sarcasm has registered loudly, but you miss my point. I was attempting to explain my understanding of the roles of teacher and learner in a partnership, and contrast this with a co-dependent teacher-student relationship, in which the teacher enables the student to make excuses, evade self-knowledge, and not change.

It's amazing how many of these teachers get repeat business--well, maybe not, since the student has found a foil and so has the teacher: as in all co-dependent relationships, both parties are having their needs met. One gets to be weak and the other gets to be strong.

There is a difference between helping and serving. If I may, I will pass along an excellent essay on the subject (of which I am not the author): http://www.hyperchangecafe.com/whitepapers/service.htm

[ September 22, 2002, 07:56 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #52 of 55
Originally posted by nolo:
John C., Your sarcasm has registered loudly, but you miss my point. I was attempting to explain my understanding of the roles of teacher and learner in a partnership, and contrast this with a co-dependent teacher-student relationship, in which the teacher enables the student to make excuses, evade self-knowledge, and not change.
Actually none intended! I was agreeing with a topic I had never thought of before. I truly thought more discussion might be warranted. (Yes I do have a pretty extensive library.)

I have a lady friend and student my wife and I discussed after your very post. She is the very type of person, frail and wants to be very safe with an agressive significant other, that any instructor might be co-dependent with. I asked my wife if she thought I could be holding her back. It is important to know I also have three daughters in this equation. My friend had taken a lesson last year when I wasn't available and related to me at a party she had a major break-through. She told me she can't remember what it was and wants me to work with her this year to re-discover the break through. She says something just clicked. Your post made me wonder if the click was something else or was it truly a break through click like so many students have!

Have a GREAT day!

post #53 of 55
I apologize for mis-reading your post, John. It's a liability of the medium that leads to misunderstanding the tone of a cyber communication and my tendency to jump to conclusions is a personal liability that I hope to overcome.
post #54 of 55
nolo sez: I have taken hits from Gonzo, milesb, and others for advocating opening a wider access to the sport.

I'm not sure why you put me in that category, but I'm sure you have your reasons. I realize the benefits of a larger market.
And I don't think that increasing the number of hardcore skiers would be a bad thing. Maybe then the areas wouldn't have to groom so much, which would mean more challenging terrain to spread the better skiers out. And there wouldn't be such a panic to constantly get new skiers.
The tradeoff might be that you would actually have more areas going out of business, as the ones without much challenging terrain wouldn't be able to compete for these skiers. Also, since 80% (or something like that) of lessons are for beginners, there might be less work for instructors. Because it's unlikely that the increase in intermediate and advanced lessons would take up that slack. Hard to say for sure.
post #55 of 55
Sorry Miles, I thought you'd objected to doing a beginner drive for skiing.

As you say, it doesn't appear to be necessary.

Already 80% of the beginner lessons are done at 20% of the areas or less, most in the midwest and the east and southeast.

I'm not too confident that 80% of the ski lessons are given to beginners, but they may be to children.

The ski school business model is not homogeneous across the country, that much is for sure. The researchers tend to group them by skier days so they don't compare apples to oranges.

I think there are a lot of members of EpicSki who don't live near the big mountains, but they still manage to have a good time locally.

One of the stars of Ski Bums explained that the heap of recycled tires that he skied on as a kid wasn't really so bad--"There were places to ski."
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