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PSIA Instruction vs Race Coaching - Page 5

post #121 of 149
I just checked out some video of J. Kostelic at the last Olympics. In the GS she's using inside extension as well as some inside pull back to get herself forward.
post #122 of 149
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
Denigrate me all you want. ...........
Lastly, I entered the fray subsequent to what I termed PSIA bashing.
Rusty
I'm not denigrating you at all, except perhaps in jest, thats the point. I'm not interested in doing so. Frankly I find it boring, while I do find the substance of this thread interesting. Incidently I haven';t actually skied at Eldora in almost 40 years. It was really small back then but even so national team stars like Jimmy Heuga, Billy Kidd, Spider Sabich trained there. I liked the place.

Yes I'm curious about the coach but he's right, its none of my business. I'm sure I could come up with an unending list of possible reasons why people live and coach where they do. Really requires nothing more than imagination but the facts are still none of my business and pretty much irrelevant to this thread I would guess. At any rate they are certainly unnercessary to this thread.

PSIA can withstand a little "bashing" as you put it, might even be improved by it. On the other hand it may just amount to a little criticism which we needn't fear.

[ August 21, 2003, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: arcadie ]
post #123 of 149
I'm not sure if the inside leg extension concept is going to take hold in PSIA anytime soon. It requires a lot of commitment from the skier to the turn and is a pretty advanced concept that requires a lot of other things to be in place before it can happen. However, it has been my experience that it works if everything lines up right. Unfortunately, I line up right only once every 50 or so turns, so it will be awhile before I can incorporate it...

Rusty-
I agree with some of what you said. The guest-centered approach does work for PSIA, and students leave better skiers than they arrived. People learn better when they are interested in what is being taught.

However, from a long-term growth standpoint I maintain good race coaching builds a better skier because it is so progression oriented. You're more likely to get a person in a racing program to spend the entire day doing one-foot drills for balance/stance/whatever than you are your average SS student (if that's what is required to improve- I admit it is a stretch). A person who enters a challenging situation with a solid basic skill set will outperform one that jumped in the hard stuff right off the bat and has been practicing what amounts to survival skills.

That said, race coaching is not for everyone, and a traditional ski school is far and away the method for the masses. The average guy doesn't want to spend countless hours WORKING on something that's supposed to be fun. The attitude is, "get me up on skis, let me figure out the rest. If I have a question, I'll ask." For a lot of people, that's enough. For some, that isn't close. Different strokes.

Put it this way- within the ski school path, you and other instructors are unusual. You pursued a systematic path to improvement and sought formalized instruction. In my mind, a race coaching format. How many of your students get or want that same level of detail?

My abbreviated definitions (gross generalizations):
-Race coaching= target turning.
-PSIA instruction= recreational turning.

Disagree?
post #124 of 149
Fastman, I would like to throw my support behind your argument re: inside leg extension. It is indeed cutting edge. The problem is it is hard to detect and hard to learn. Nevertheless, if it done right it raises skiing to a new level.
post #125 of 149
The organization, be it PSIA or USSCA, doesn't make the better teaching method. Guys it boils down to the individual instructor/coach. I know that there are both race coaches and PSIA types that are on the leading edge and their are also both types of players that are well off the pace.

Should PSIA follow behind where the racing world goes, yes definitly. IN my opinion PSIA should wait long enough to ensure that a new technique is just that and not a fad or something that an exceptually gifted athlete can do. The waiting period is something that appears to happens naturally as the result of PSIA's burecratic inertia.
post #126 of 149
Is it true that PSIA is behind the times in their manuels?
Of course it is. Look how long it took and how many people worked their butts off and got frustrated in the process of building a new manuel. Too many egos involved. It was frustrating to me at the other end, knowing what was in process and not seeing it happen. The minute it was printed , it was passe. You know,--------- that is OK.
It changed the base level and started people thinking. I`ve been around for a while, I update clinic every year, don`t need to, only need to clinic every 3rd yr. That will give you guys an idea about how long. I should get my 40n yr. pin at the end of this season. I use my update clinics to keep me abreast with current tech.
The Pro`s that come to the Area from Eastern are extremely well qualified and we soak up all of that knowledge. There is no conflict with USSCA . We have different goals, however we all teach skiing, we are all pros. Good basics will allow a better ability to utilize the efficiency of coaching/recreational tech. This is not a conflict of disciplines IMHO. I utilize skills/tech. from both disciplines. I try to impart to the Pro`s that I have in my clinics all of this info and to do it almost non-verbal--viz. skiing and thru the development of movement patterns based on the basic skills. I don`t feel strongly about E-PSIA, I do feel very happy about the quality of info that I receive. I don`t like the paralysis of analysis of the organization. I do like the fact that they respond to me as an individual and sometimes things do change. Thanks for the opportunity to expound a bit.

[ August 22, 2003, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: Larry C ]
post #127 of 149
Good points Tom [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #128 of 149
Alaska Mike. I was just coming home from work to say almost exactly what you said. The entire idea of "Instruction vs. Race Coaching" is a little weird to me... as the two aren't mutually exclusive. The situations that Race Coaches and Ski Instructors find themselves in are usually vastly different, however. I loved the "target turning vs. recreational turning" statement because it says (with simplicity!) that the outcomes that each of us are looking for are different. A run-of-the-mill instructor may not be the best person to teach an intermediate/advanced skier all the nuances of going FAST (we strive for CONTROL)... and a run-of-the-mill race coach may not be the best person to bring a beginner into the fold. Different training, different goals, different attitudes... hell, different clientele! 1)PSIA looks to create skiers. 2)Racing looks to turn them into racers. 3)PSIA watches the racers to glean more and better information so that we can create sound fundamentals in the new skiers. 4)Racing benefits as the new skiers leave our "clutches" and give coaches and programs money to show them how to turn those fundamentals into speed. The name of this thread should be "PSIA Instruction AND Racing: The two funnest ways to make beer money on the hill."

No one wins by pitting us against each other. The "you aren't doing this right" and "well, You aren't either" is getting a little old. I gotta say to Race Coach, Fastman, Nord, et.al. that I agree with your technical viewpoints, because, after all, good skiing is good skiing. The sharing of these by the many who have posted here has been enlightening as well as frustrating many times over. My only concern is the exclusion of movement patterns. (I won't say it. You know which one I'm talking about) Whether you teach it or not... it's there and it's important to SKIING... and racing is skiing. I'm sure we've all had our successes with our different approaches and most of us know our Sh** when it comes to sliding down a hill.

As for "PSIA could handle a little bashing"... what the hell is that? Mind if I sling a little mud your way? I bet you would! If you don't agree with what is happening, fine. Harb has some great things to say. So does the racing community. If you think things are moving too slowly, fine. Jump in and help out. Write letters. Get on the Alpine Committee in your region. If I were to unload all the things I disagreed with on just my own ski area I could fill the Atlantic, but not all these things are cut and dry and I know that. Asking questions and offering advice is one thing. But opening the door for all who don't like PSIA to turn this forum into the Wild Bunch is quite another.

Where was I? I got lost in there somewhere. Anyway... Good Job Alaska Mike!!!

Sturgis 2003 - over 540,000 bikers in the Black Hills two weeks ago. NUTS!!!

Spag :
post #129 of 149
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Notorious Spag:
... The name of this thread should be "PSIA Instruction AND Racing: The two funnest ways to make beer money on the hill." ...
That's probably true, but when I split this discussion off from its parent thread, harmony between the two groups was definitely not the vibe being emitted.

Tom / PM
post #130 of 149
Spag, Well put!

As for the "bashing", my point, made above, was that I feel we need not fear a little criticism, and that's all I think it was, for the sake of PSIA. "Bashing", in my opinion would be a behavior intended to do harm and this criticism didn't seem to be that. We are free to evaluate it, decide if it rings true or was unreasonable. All of that, including criticism, is appropriate and useful in a polite discussion. Where I differ is when I see the discussion shift to personal attacks which are not only offensive but of no use in evaluating the merits of the argument. They would seem of little use, except to do harm.

My 2c.
post #131 of 149
Yeah Physicsman. I remember the "vibe" you mentioned. I fell into it hook, line, and sinker (Pole, boat...). Gotta admit, man. Sometimes I don't play well with others.

Arcadie. I agree that we needn't fear a little criticism... it's the TONS of criticism that I see here and hear elsewhere from individuals and groups who realy have no idea what it is we do out there. Are we expected to teach movement patterns and tactics that are beyond most of our clientel's reach? To take a beginner and tell them "the ski has its own arc. All you have to do is tip it and it will turn for you. Enjoy the ride!", seems pretty far-fetched. Rotary is the safety gate for most of our students. (and yes, by God I want them to skid!) If one or two show up who already have pretty good movements and want ot learn how to carve, then I can begin working on the things we've discussed here and get that person laying some trench.

Sure there are areas that need improvement. You'd be blind if you didn't notice. But PSIA is not unlike any other business or organization in the world. It has its leaders, its followers and its indifferent "turn-over members" and wanna-be's. Is it a perfect system? No. But its the system/model that myself and others try to subscribe to and believe in. And I'll defend it. Why? Because if we don't, how can we ever care enough to improve it? I wish I had all the answers. I wish I could snap my fingers and all the problems would be fixed, but I can't. So It's my job as a PSIA member, instructor, and Ski School Director to do my part in my little section of the world to make sure skiing continues to grow and not stagnate.

Anyway, I think this thread has been fascinating on a lot of different levels. I've seen viewpoints that are in alignment with mine, I've seen some that I would like to work on and incorporate, and I've seen some that I will probably avoid. But all in all I've liked it... even the thread that spawned it.

Anybody have any good ski dreams yet? I had a great one the other night. I was in Taos...

Spag :

"Hey me and Wang here just bought property right next to the Great Wall... ON THE GOOD SIDE!"
- Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddyshack" -
post #132 of 149
I haven't skiied Taos in 30 years! Some of my most memorable skiing was there.

Spag, I'm all for PSIA. I don't know exactl'y how this turned into an anti-PSIA thread. It certainly was not the way I saw it. I agree with you completely vis a vis the role of teaching leg rotation and the park and ride concept. I haven't taught in a couple years but when I was last teaching many seemed to be gravitating toward a tip and turn philosophy. A few even boasted that they didn't teach "rotary" at all. Of course there was a lot of rotary movement in their own skiing! They just didn't recognize it or acknowledge the significance of this basic skill in the learning experience. I didn't think this had anything to do with PSIA theory or methodology, just evidence of how little PSIA expertise had reached the majority of instructors I taught with.

I agree that you cannot teach beginners as if they were advanced skiers but I do think you should teach them and can teach them movements which technically correct at all levels. I found the concept of lateral movement noticeably lacking in the teaching profession as I experienced it. In virtually all the many clinics and training sessions I participated in it was absent and noticeably lacking in the skiing of most participants. Most viewed edging as something produced by a movement of the knees to the inside. Perhaps this has all changed in the last few years. I do notice that when I attend PSIA clinics many people indicate that they ski completely different on the newer shaped equipment so perhaps this is an indication that the equipment has taught them some fundamental facts regarding movement patterns and edging skills,or perhaps not. Lateral movement is something which can be taught from the earliest levels, even if it is present only as a very slight movement to the inside at first. Introducing this too early or out of sequence can actually inhibit the development of leg rotation. Nonetheless the movement of the body's center of mass across the skis and to the inside can be developed and enhanced as part of of the fundamental core of a persons ski technique from these early lessons onward. In my experience many beginning skiers develop this pattern but their subsequent development is regressive in this respect. Gradually their center of mass comes to be mainly positioned directly over their skis or very very slightly to the inside as they progress to parallel skiing. Instead of continuing to develop the ability to balance "dynamically", as we like to put it, over the inside edge of the outside ski as they began to do in their developing wedge turns,they ski with an increasingly centered, laterally speaking, stance. Part of this is a quite natural return to a position of comfort, over the skis. Ski instruction, which does not recognize the significance of this aspect of skill development, or which relegates it to a very high level of skiing, encourages this retrograde development of our students and delays their progress or introduces an unnecessary plateau or unlearning/relearning requirement. We are all aware of the drills we see frequently on the hill, particularly those relating to "edging" that inadvertently teach our students to keep their cm over the skis, relegate their edging to those tentative knee movements. This is a flaw in our teaching and it derives from a lack of awareness of what is involved with and the significant to our skiing of some basic concepts.

I'm not even getting close to the more esoteric aspects of these ski coaches technique, like "inside leg extension/retraction". This is just a plea to inform our teaching with an awareness of some of the fundamental aspects of contemporay ski technique, which can be observed in racing technique. WE should be learning, instead we get caught up in this pointless contention........
post #133 of 149
arcadie,

I'm in Cincinnati doing my "other" work and only have a second. I'd love to get a P.M. or hear in a thread about the "old days" at Eldora. No real night skiing. One night a week there is a race program and I think it's more a bout carbonated beverages than serious competition.

It has changed a great deal in my four years. As you stand in the parking lot a great deal of terrain has been expanded towards the Arapahoe glacier and Lost Lake.

Spag came to visit last year to do the Edwin Terrell (sp?) and seemed to have a good time!

As an aside, I visited Steamboat for the first time since 73 last year. It's a fairly long drive from Boulder. Thirty years ago I remember about three condos on Mt Werner. Times have changed the place a little.

Lastly....I suppose any organization should be ready to withstand a little bashing.

P.S. Spag you write pretty well for a SSD from a little obscure ski hill

[ August 23, 2003, 10:56 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #134 of 149
Gee thanks Rust! I didn't always live here. I hung out with Robin for quite a while and you know how verbally gifted he is! Must've rubbed off. How was The "C" town? (Yes I enjoyed my tail off at Eldora. Great little mountain. Sweet half-pipe. Nice steeps. Steep glades. Great cruisers. Couple really fun bump runs. Didn't hurt that the snow was pretty good at the time either. All you out there should go check it out!! It COULD use a high-speeder on the front though.)

Arcadie. Very nice point about teaching patterns of movement that are relevant to all levels. Couldn't agree more. In the Rocky Mountain Region - PSIA (I'm a member of both RM and NRM)there has been a move in the last few years to make that exact thing happen. Information in the PSIA tech. manuals has been changed and updated to bring forth the attitude that we needn't teach the ol' Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and allows the individual instructor the freedom to move around within the teaching system according to the student's needs. You may be familiar with "Stepping Stones" concept? Given this freedom, I've found that the lessons we teach at my home mountain have started to become much more complementary to one another. The instructor who teaches the Level C returners doesn't have to unteach anything form the beginning lesson. There is a flow from level A to level I that wasn't there before my arrival here! (pat, pat) There is still work to do, as I'm only going into my 3rd year as director, but so far I'm happy with the results of this way of thinking.

Yearly clinics such as The Edwin Terrel, (mentioned earlier) run by the likes of Milt Beans, David "Dogger" Hidalgo, and Chris Hegenbaugh (sp?) are at the forefront of making this change. But change comes slowly when you are dealing with the Dogma that has taken root in the minds of instructors who have been at this for years. There are some real dinosaurs out there who have taught their way for sooooo long! That's a whole other thing.

Anyway what Stepping Stones also does is allow trainers and DCL/DCE's to put information out into the masses of instructors that normally would have gotten lost in semantics. Information just like what we are talking about here with the inside leg! When I first started teaching 13 years ago, I was given only the information that fell within the confines of the ATS... which had been re-vamped was pretty "new" at the time. I, being the impressionable 18 year old, wanting to keep his job, took all these things as law and taught only what I had seen in the books and heard from the trainers. We were never encouraged to innovate. Just to teach people how to do "this" and get them going. Get ready for the next group. That happened in a lot of places to a lot of instructors! I was fortunate enough to have gone to work for our very own Robin (Where the hell is he lately?), who gave me the opportunity to learn more about skiing than I ever had hoped. Were there more SSD's out there like him, there'd be some things happening in our little world. (For instance, stretch pants would be outlawed for male instructors!)

The tirade about PSIA bashing was just something that was on my mind, and your statement simply spilled it. I realize this thread in't about that. So I'd better get back to work on my fence before the love of my life strangles me with a piano cord. I'll be around!\

MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm. Taos. I think I'll get myself back down there once this winter. Is there a cooler ski area? I mean... honestly.

Spag :

"Did you know my neighbor has 3 rabbits?"
- Little kid on "Jerry MacGuire" -

[ August 23, 2003, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: Notorious Spag ]
post #135 of 149
Quote:
When I first started teaching 13 years ago, I was given only the information that fell within the confines of the ATS.
Spag, I think that's quite common, especially since Level I came along. The good ones, though, aren't going to wait for information to be given to them, they take it whenever and wherever and from whomever they can. The great thing about information is it is generally free, if you don't mind lurking, eavesdropping and doing a bit of research.

That's how I got my training as a coach--from lurking, eavesdropping and observing. Whoever said you don't learn how to teach from hanging around great teachers is plumb wrong, in my opinion. I think it may be the only way to learn how to teach, coach or be any type of leader.
post #136 of 149
Right on Nolo. That's how I made my hay too! The problem was, at that particular area, we weren't encouraged, maybe even ALLOWED to move around outside that particular box. It sucked, in retrospect, but then I was too young and stupid to care. All I knew was that 1) I was a ski instructor and girls loved ski instructors, 2) I could afford to buy beer and girls loved guys who could afford beer, and 3) I got to ski for free.

Spag :
post #137 of 149
[quote]Originally posted by nolo:
Quote:
The good ones, though, aren't going to wait for information to be given to them, they take it whenever and wherever and from whomever they can. The great thing about information is it is generally free, if you don't mind lurking, eavesdropping and doing a bit of research.

That's how I got my training as a coach--from lurking, eavesdropping and observing. Whoever said you don't learn how to teach from hanging around great teachers is plumb wrong, in my opinion. I think it may be the only way to learn how to teach, coach or be any type of leader.
Superbly said nolo. No one has mentioned the role of mentoring. Spag mentioned Robin. He is a superb SSD, wonderful guy to hang around with, and in my mind brilliant. We all enjoy the writings of Bob Barnes. He has obviously helped a great many instructors in the Rocky Mountain division and has always been very giving of his time.

The art of mentoring has wained. I think a great way to learn is to find a DCL, examiner, or SSD who makes a little sense and simply create a mentor/student relationship.
post #138 of 149
Quote:
Originally posted by Notorious Spag:
[QB] (Yes I enjoyed my tail off at Eldora. Great little mountain. Sweet half-pipe. Nice steeps. Steep glades. Great cruisers. Couple really fun bump runs. Didn't hurt that the snow was pretty good at the time either. All you out there should go check it out!! It COULD use a high-speeder on the front though.)
There someone goes again calling it little.

The rational that I have heard for the old lifts on the front is that anything faster would.......bring too many skiers! I swear thats what I've been told. We basically max out on parking and room to feed folks on the weekends. At least we never have lift lines!
post #139 of 149
So would you rather have too many snowboarders? [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

I say "little" because it just isn't as big as say, Big Sky or Vail. But it has a lot of heart. "The Old Man's Blue Ball" has to be one of the greatest names for a party that I have ever heard. And I've been to a lot of parties! Would it help if I said Eldora was "Good-sized"? Cuz I caught a 43 inch Northern Pike last year and that's how my Brother described it, and I took it as a compliment.

Spag :

[ August 23, 2003, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: Notorious Spag ]
post #140 of 149
Quote:
The good ones, though, aren't going to wait for information to be given to them, they take it whenever and wherever and from whomever they can.
Well said Nolo. Best thing to teach ya kid. Pity so many adults forget so quick. There are no limits to learning and those that only follow the "celebrity speaker" trail learn less not more.

Be a small hill guy with a big mountain attitude. Contrary to current popular belief you will make friends and money along the way.

45cm in the last two days. The Oz season lives on a little longer.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ August 25, 2003, 08:39 PM: Message edited by: man from Oz ]
post #141 of 149
finally got to read this behemoth! you guys definitely need dates! Rusty, you did mean brilliant in a " 10 Watt" kinda way, right?
post #142 of 149
>>> blah!!! Just ski : <<<

The neighbor guy reading over my shoulder asks: "I'd like to but HOW?"

....Ott
post #143 of 149
Ott,
It's quite easy, just reach.......



S
post #144 of 149
Rusty
You can't judge a coach's competence by their ski area. For example, Erich Sailer is probably the most successful american ski coach ever he coaches at Buck Hill Minnesota. A friend of mine was the Head coach at Bridger bowl and left to be a assistant coach at Team Gilboa (Hyland hills Minnesota), he made more money at the smaller hill. Likewise the Bridger Bowl Freestyle/moguls coach left to make double his pay at a small ski area outside Buffalo NY.
post #145 of 149
PSIA bashing. I've just experienced the better part of a season of it down here. The hill I worked for actually downgraded US (and Canadian) qualifications. So US level 2 was paid at the Australian level 1. Now, I was watching the training groups for Aus level 1 (and joined a few of them) and I saw a lot of people whose skiing would not get them a pass in RM division of PSIA!

I'll argue til the cows come home that PSIA's teaching focus makes better teachers. I certainly seemed to do OK in the request private lesson department, and returning students. I seemed to have more things in my bag, more options for teaching various things, and more flexibility in what I taught (according to to the students, the terrain, the conditions etc).

Yet PSIA still cops a bucketing. Out of 160 instructors, there was only one American. Lots of Austrians though.
A very frustrating season, and a growing disgust at how PSIA gets bagged with no acknowledgment that it has anything to offer. Yet so many of the baggers happily head to the US every northern season to teach. I really wonder sometimes.
post #146 of 149
Quote:
Originally posted by ant:


Yet PSIA still cops a bucketing.
Could I get a translation?
post #147 of 149
Quote:
Originally posted by NordtheBarbarian:
Rusty
You can't judge a coach's competence by their ski area. For example, Erich Sailer is probably the most successful american ski coach ever he coaches at Buck Hill Minnesota. A friend of mine was the Head coach at Bridger bowl and left to be a assistant coach at Team Gilboa (Hyland hills Minnesota), he made more money at the smaller hill. Likewise the Bridger Bowl Freestyle/moguls coach left to make double his pay at a small ski area outside Buffalo NY.
Rusty
I know I've kidded you about Eldora but, have you ever seen Buck Hill? The place is so small they had to build a fence because the snomaking would sometimes get on the freeway! Nevertheless they have an extremely competive race program that puts out national team level competitors.
post #148 of 149
bucketing: emptying a bucket of the substance of your choice over the head of something/someone.
It must come as a horrible shock to Americans who've worked hard for their certs to come here (and, I suspect, Europe) and discover that their system is considered 2nd rate. Yet every reason I've heard given for this attitude doesn't match with what I know of PSIA. Maybe it's based on 10 years ago, I don't know.
post #149 of 149
Those National team members from Buck Hill include Kristina Koznik(Central license)and Sarah Schleper. There have been quite a few before them. Also Kaylin Richardson(Nor-Am SL champion I believe) is from Gilboa at Hyland Hills(even smaller than Buck Hill)
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