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Why do you take lessons?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
This question is for our "Professional Students" out there. (Hi. how'ya doin'?)

What, would you say, is the larger motivation for taking a lesson on any given day... just to "get better"? or do you have a specific problem in mind? Was this motivation the same when you were a beginner?

I'm just curious since I'm working on some "new" programs (I haven't invented anything) at my area and I thought maybe I could get some ideas from students. No offense instructors!!! I want to hear from the students.

- ...the sign said that long-haired creepy people, need not apply. -
post #2 of 17
expand my horizons! get better. learn.
It really depends. sometimes I'll take one just so I can have a "trained set of eyes" since I can't see myself ski and it's real hard to get good video taper's that are willing to stop and video me.

Oh, one other thing, now I'm trying to learn more about MA..
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[This message has been edited by dchan (edited July 27, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 17
Ski faster.... duh



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Speed does not kill, the difference in it does...
post #4 of 17
Hey!!! You talkin' to ME??????

To cut lift lines!

You KNOW I'm kidding, I hope.

Why do I take lessons. First of all, I despise mediocrity. Why do it at all, if you cannot do it well?

Second, you've all heard me say a gazillion times that my biggest issue is fear. Well the Ski Gods have this special kind of magic that makes all the Danger Demons run and hide when they take a group or a private down a trail.

That's of course very silly. But seriously, I am infinitely more confident when I'm with an instructor.

I can also learn something by watching my classmates ski. I tend to have a better eye, than I have skill. So if I see something on someone else that is not quite correct, I may be able to figure out a way to correct it in myself.

And ski instructors are so cool!

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Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice.
post #6 of 17
Same reason I participate in this forum...im in "sponge" mode, and want to learn everything i can from as many sources as possible...

Ususally when I feel I cant get anymore from "playing around" on my own I enlist the help of a pro, ususally with a specific goal in mind. (ex. what do i do with these poles?)

I am "terminally technical" I cant do anything half way and am always striving for technical perfection. It would seem to take out the whole "recreational" aspect of things, but its how I work...(if your not going to do it right, dont do it at all...)

I tend to pick the instructors who Ive seen skiing on the hill and want to emulate an aspect of their skiing...(teach me how to bump like that!!)(How to get that smooth at speed?)
post #7 of 17
Het, interesting that you said that its impossible NOT to learn something from a lesson, no matter what the style.

You have definitely come to the right forum, because only us "Professional Students" can really make that claim.

Bob Barnes and others have pointed out that I have the ability to learn something even from taking a really bad lesson. I have found that to be true.


Some background on the Professional Student concept. I was lurking on a board called Hyperchangecafe. It is mostly frequented by instructors and upper level PSIA types. At one point I replied to a thread, making the distinction not I am not a ski instructor but a PERPETUAL student, implying that my learning process is never ending , and it certainly does not end directly after a ski lesson.
Somehow, that got changed to Professional Student, which also conveys the same idea.

For instructors reading this thread, one thing that you should keep in mind is that students such as myself, D-chan and Het are atypical, just as instructors such as yourselves are equally unique.
How many ski students or instructors do you think are hanging out on ski forums in the middle of the summer? How many even bother during the ski season?

But if you look at the way we sometimes have trouble sticking to the topic of skiing, and will go off on tangents that inspire us with an equal amount of passion, one could say that an international "Culture of Learning" resides right here on EpicSki.



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Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #8 of 17
Yep, I agree with Lisamarie - it's a confidence thing. I find it really difficult to push myself beyond comfortable limits when I ski alone. When I'm taking a lesson I'll try almost anything because I feel sort of protected by the fact that I'm with a professional.
There's also an element of approval seeking I think - almost like when you're a kid and you try to show your parents how good you are at a particular sport.

The best instructors I've had are able to use humour and their personality to create a group dynamic amongst a bunch of people who have only just met and possibly only have skiing in common. When the group comes together and trusts the instructor they can really start to push their limits and make real progress.

Having said that, I think it's pretty difficult not to learn anything from a lesson no matter what the style. For example I've had a private lesson in France and the instructor could hardly speak english. But I still improved my skiing as I had to ski faster than felt comfortable to keep up with him (he was in obscenely tight pants with 2m GS skis!)
I've also had a week of group lessons which were taught entirely in French because I was the only English person. I skied steeper off-piste terrain than ever before and just learnt by following the instructor. The language barrier wasn't a problem because most of the time we were just grinning and couldn't speak anyway!
post #9 of 17
One more thing, then I'll stop hogging this topic. LEARNING to ski is about empowerment, and triumph over fear. Perhaps not for others, but for me.

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Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #10 of 17
Lisamarie - I hear what you're saying. I learned late in life too.

After you deal with the fear, there's always the adrenaline rush!
post #11 of 17
I never really thought of myself as a Pro student before but everything you said made sense to me Lisamarie! I like to know the specific technique of a skill right down to the biomechanics of it all, then put it out of my mind and just go for it. I seem to remember doing something about that at uni about reinvestment - breaking down a skill into it's component parts, rehearsing them until they become second nature and then putting the conscious thoughts away and just doing it.

I guess living in England I have to spend a lot more time thinking about skiing rather than doing it! Check out my local ski resort sheffieldskivillage.co.uk . You've got to be crazy about skiing to go down the same 200metres of plastic snow over and over for 2 hours! I have managed to get 13 weeks on snow but maximum of 2 weeks per year so there is such a long gap in between that this forum could become an addiction!
post #12 of 17
The obvious would be to get better. But could I get better by watching videos, reading books or practicing? I know I get better by skiing with the people I usually ski with. The people I ski with regularly are all better than I am. I take lessons because I take INSTRUCTION better from an Instructor. I can work on what I want to work on. Ski terrain that is better suited to my ability. When an Instructor pushes me beyond my comfort zone I know it’s not just because the Instructor wants to ski that terrain.

And I will admit to you all that sometimes I take a lesson because I am tired of dealing with our out of town guests. They never seem to take a lesson.
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[This message has been edited by Kima (edited July 30, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Kima (edited July 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #13 of 17
I will be taking at least two two-day programs this year.

The first one will be a return to an instructor I had last year. Why have more lessons? Technique. Sure. But having an instructor take me to places I wouldn't otherwise ski is a rush not to be discounted.

The second lesson will come on my first two days at Whistler in January. My main goal there is to get a handle on that mountain while paying Canadian dollars.
post #14 of 17
I skied for the first time ever in january of this year.
I went to a little hill in NY called Mt. Peter and every single saturday I took a private lesson.

By march I was able to ski mad river glen.
(greens and milder blues)

This year I intend to do the same thing. I want to see what the top of the single chair looks like at MRG.

Next year I'm going to Jackson Hole, come hell or high water.

That's why I take lessons.
post #15 of 17
Kewl nakona, welcome to the sport! It's blast isn't it? Keep taking lessons, and enjoy yourself...

And of course, welcome to the epicski forum...

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Visit me here &gt;&gt;&gt;SnoKarver
post #16 of 17
Yeah, it's a blast, but with my addictive personality....
I may need some sort of skiing equivilant of methadone maintenence if I'm going to make it to winter.
post #17 of 17
A pre-season discount pass is the only known maintenance method that is approved by the "AMA".
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