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Group lesson questions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have been to a several group lessons this year. It has been kind of hit and misses. I am going to take a few more group lessons. I am seeking advises on how to handle the following situations:


1.      I don’t want a particular instructor. I have not had repeated instructor but there is one I won’t take lesson from again. Is a credit refund possible so I can take another lesson?

 

 

2.       One student in the class has problem getting down the steeper hill. This student falls repeatedly than the instructor have to go up to rescue the student. It takes up all the class time. I ski away the second time I was in a class like this.  Can I ask instructor to arrange this student to another class assuming there is a lower level class available?

 

I know private lesson will solve both problems but the cost is pretty high if I take it frequently ( I took one so far). I am the kind of student that does not do well in class but improve quickly after class. There is still so much for me to learn so even in a group lesson I always learn something.

 

post #2 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellside View Post

 

I have been to a several group lessons this year. It has been kind of hit and misses. I am going to take a few more group lessons. I am seeking advises on how to handle the following situations:


1.      I don’t want a particular instructor. I have not had repeated instructor but there is one I won’t take lesson from again. Is a credit refund possible so I can take another lesson?

 

 

2.       One student in the class has problem getting down the steeper hill. This student falls repeatedly than the instructor have to go up to rescue the student. It takes up all the class time. I ski away the second time I was in a class like this.  Can I ask instructor to arrange this student to another class assuming there is a lower level class available?

 

I know private lesson will solve both problems but the cost is pretty high if I take it frequently ( I took one so far). I am the kind of student that does not do well in class but improve quickly after class. There is still so much for me to learn so even in a group lesson I always learn something.

 

 

Just to be clear up front, I work as an instructor part-time.

 

If there is a particular instructor you do not want to be with, they should be able to accomodate you.  Ask when you sign up for the lesson.  If it gets to lesson time and they try to stick you with the instructor you don't want, tell them again at that point.  If they can't fix it for some reason, they should give you your money back or a voucher for a lesson another time.  If they refuse, I would recommend (calmly) talking to a supervisor, customer service, etc.; this is not an unreasonable request.

 

If you are unhappy with the quality of your lesson, I would also talk to the ski school supervisor and tell them that you really don't feel like you got your money's worth (and explain why).  Not getting tons of personal attention in a group lesson is somewhat expected.  Spending most of your time waiting while the instructor helps someone who keeps falling down is not (unless you're in a never-ever level 1 lesson, maybe).  If you have a reasonable complaint, you should get a refund or another group lesson.  If this keeps happening, they should do something about it -- or you should take lessons somewhere else.

 

If a student is clearly too low-level (or too high-level) for the group, the instructor should see about moving them if they can.  But sometimes it's difficult, or the problem doesn't become apparent until you actually get to more challenging terrain partway through the lesson.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Matthias99 , Thanks for taking the time to reply. It will help me to handle the situations better next time.

 

I ran into another student who, like me, would not take the same instructor's class again after attended a class taught by the the same instructor yesterday.

 

There are 2 problems with the instructor.  He came 20 minutes late on a smi-private 1 hr lesson because he was teaching elsewhere and finished the lesson on time.

 

The instructor just teach what he wants to teach and ignore what a student can already do. I mean, a better instructor could look at my current skill and help me progress from what I already know to what he thinks I should do. I figure this out before I took next lesson. I told the instructor that I want to make "rounder" turn.  What I am getting at is that I can't do a good C-turn on a blue slop (especially not on a busy Saturday) but I can progresss from making rounder turn and eventually make a good C-turn.

post #4 of 17

hellside,

 

Something else to consider is back to back private lessons; with an instructor you like.  I did this for my kids (11 and 17) and it worked great! They've done group lessons and were doing well but not really progressing after a couple of years. 

 

My daughter in particular seemed stagnated.  She liked skiing fast and could handle almost any trail but wasn't getting on her edges much.  I signed her up for a 2 hour private and the difference was incredible!

 

Without a doubt the initial cost is higher but in the end, it will take several group lessons across several days to get you to the same place so it might end up being cheaper in the long run.  Plus you'll be enjoying your skiing sooner.

 

Or do a one hour private in the morning and then another one later that day with the same instructor.  I really feel having the same instructor is key so they don't have to spend half the class to figure out what you can do and have to work on.

 

Also make sure you tell them what you want to achieve from the lessons.  In my daughters case, she wanted to get on her edges and try NASTAR.  The instructor worked that into the class and at the end of the class, had her going through the gates.  She loved it and couldn't wait to show me what she learned.  Telling them up front what you want to achieve might help them pick the instructor you get. Everyone has their expertise.

post #5 of 17

The difference in price between group and private is worth it.

 

In a group lesson, you are at the mercy of the group.  You will have to wait patiently when someone at a lower level gets instructed on what you don't need to learn, and spend time practicing what you were shown while the instructor addresses his attention to someone else.

post #6 of 17

Hellside--

 

As others have said, a private would, of course, solve your problems. But I can certainly appreciate the cost concerns. They are expensive!

 

Group lessons with groups larger than one will always have a difference ("split") in ability levels, interests, speeds, motivations, goals, learning styles, athleticism, and so on--no getting around it. Ski schools usually do try hard to make those differences not incompatible, and great instructors can deal better than most with "reasonable" splits. It is all skiing, after all, and really, the movements and techniques are fundamentally the same at every level of skill. Great instructors, however, are rare.

 

No matter what you do--private or group--you deserve to get a good lesson. As long as you believe your expectations are realistic, please express your concerns and disappointment to the ski school director, or a supervisor. They'll appreciate the feedback, and I don't know of a ski school that won't go out of its way to make up for an unsatisfactory lesson. At Keystone, we have often offered a private lesson with one of our top instructors to students who expressed honest and reasonable concern about a group lesson gone wrong. And they do go wrong sometimes, no matter who the instructor is, or where the lesson takes place. Please do yourself--and the ski school--a favor by giving them the opportunity to make it right!

 

It sounds like you are a serious student who is eager to improve, hellside. If you have not considered it, I cannot highly enough recommend our own EpicSki Academy. It is a greoup lesson experience--and I hear your concern about doing better one-on-one--but the groups are typically much smaller than most ski school groups, and the coaches--from across the country--are among the most experienced and dedicated in the world. It is the ideal program for serious students looking for some focused instruction in a multi-day program. You'll come out of it a much better skier, with plenty to continue to work on on your own. And I'm sure you'll have a great time, too, hanging out with like-minded skiers at some of the greatest resorts on earth! There's only one Academy remaining this season--at Big Sky, Montana at the end of this month. I don't know if there is still space available, or if the signup deadline has passed. But you can find out all the information by clicking on the link on the right side of this screen, or by clicking here.

 

Disclosure: I am one of the founders of the EpicSki Academy, and one of the current coaches. But don't let that stop you!    Come join us in Big Sky!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #7 of 17

Hmm....that EpicSki Academy link elsewhere on the page comes and goes. Here it is:

 

post #8 of 17

Another ploy is to try and take a group lesson at an off time or less popular location, such as mid-week.  My kids have had basically semi-private lessons for the cost of a group with this strategy.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

L&AirC, Ghost

I finally met a very good instructor that I can take private lessons from. I also plan to buy a multi-pack private lesson package next year to reduce cost.

Bob,

I'll strongly consider EpicSki Academy next year. I have been thinking about going to a clinic or camp after reading a lot about them in the forum.

Pwdrhnd,

I probably will take a couple of Friday off just to do group lesson/semi-private.

Thanks everyone!

post #10 of 17

every group lesson i ever took had someone who was way worse than everyone else. so at best you end up waiting for them or worse, everyone else in the group gets used as an example to teach the worst student.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post

 

every group lesson i ever took had someone who was way worse than everyone else. so at best you end up waiting for them or worse, everyone else in the group gets used as an example to teach the worst student.

There were 4 students in a group lesson I took.

We took the lift to go up a blue trail. The instructor instructed us to ski down a slope using a specific technique. 3 students came down fine. It took a while for the 4th student to come down while others waited.  Repeat this on the same run a couple more times. I skied away because of the waiting. I keep making the same run over and over. The group is still on the hill. Eventually I saw two other students came down to the chair lift area without the teacher and the 4th student.  I made another run. I saw the instructor helping the 4th student to stand up when I skied down.  When I got to the lift area, the other 2 students have disappeared.  The only student left in the class is the 4th student.

post #12 of 17

hellside,

 

It sounds like there was a problem with how the groups were split-up.  You didn't mention if there was a "ski-off", or a group split by what the menbers in the class told the supervisor about their ability.  Either way, you should have complained and asked for another lesson.

 

If there is a particular item you want to work on in skiing, a private lesson is a bargan compared to paying for group lessons that arn't helpful.

 

RW

post #13 of 17

Hellside,

 

    As was already stated, I would try to take a group lesson at an off-time.  If you cannot get away mid-week, try an afternoon weekend lesson.  Most people prefer taking a lesson in the morning, because they can work on the instructor's tips the whole day, but if you take an afternoon lesson, you have a better chance of getting a private or a lesson with one other person for the cost of a group lesson.

 

   Another strategy is to take a lesson on a morning when it is raining (or when it's really cold out).  Skiing in the rain really isn't so bad (as long as it's not pouring).  Again you have a greater chance of getting a private or a semi-private for the cost of a group lesson.

 

   Attending a full day or multi-day clinic is also a great experience, worth the money.  The quality of instruction is generally quite high.  Such clinics tend to attract motivated skiers also.

 

   Good luck.

 

Tom

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have two lessons that one of the students fell just by looking down the steeper slope. Most students in these classes are polite and we don't really know what to do. I did not know what specific skills I need to learn until recently. After all the lessons I took, I do learn quite a bit about lesson itself and the instructors.

 

I told the instructor that I practice side slipping in the morning and now I can make skid turns well. When the lesson start, the instructor declare he is going to teach us how to skid.The same skill I told him that I just learned.

 

 

I ride snowboard. I could not perform wedging on steeper blue trails.  I always ended up in a side way wedge, feet twisted in strange position. After some thinking, I decide to treat ski like snowboard to skid/slide. The first thing I try in the morning was side slipping. That got me out of wedge.  After some practice on green and steeper trails, I can ski most trails in control comfortably. I did skid/slide a lot. It seems easier for me to control speed on skis than on snowboard. It took me another bad lesson from the instructor to understand I need to make C turns. I could not make the C turns as asked by instructor. I thought about it after I went home. I realize I don't have to jump to C turn. I'll just make my turns rounder instead. I think I got that and more the next time I went to ski

post #15 of 17
Quote:

Bob,

I'll strongly consider EpicSki Academy next year. I have been thinking about going to a clinic or camp after reading a lot about them in the forum.

I'll look forward to meeting you and skiing with you, Hellside. I guarantee that it will be a great experience, and great for your skiing.

 

In the mean time, don't hesitate to seek advice and ask any questions here at EpicSki. If you're brave, get some video of yourself, and let the EpicSki community have at it for suggestions and critique. Soon, as the new EpicSki platform continues to add features, we should have the unparalleled opportunity for true one-on-one online coaching from some of the world's top instructors here at EpicSki. Stay tuned!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #16 of 17

Dont know about you folks but group skiing lessons at catamount, ny, for kids are excellent. the mountain cats program is well-run, its a small hill but has a lot for everyone and they have that often missing but oh so important facet, the "personal touch" with kids...my son is well-known all throughout the establishment because of his interactions with the instructors, management at catamount

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have noticed that the student skiing ability in the same calls is more even at the end of the season. I get better lesson as a result.

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