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Can you teach a LTS lesson in your living room?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Should we have an indoor, pre lesson class to teach the fundamentals of skiing before a beginning skier hits the slopes? Such things as terminology, equipment (how it works and what it does), practice in stance and balance, discussion of body and foot movements, edging, falling, getting up, questions and answers, etc., etc. This could relieve the pre ski stresses of some skiers, but could also scare others away. It could enable the LTS instructor to have a much more productive lesson.

This could be a new profit center conducted before the actual on snow lesson. This could also be done in the off season. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #2 of 16
Hi Mel--Welcome to EpicSki!

It think that there's a lot to gain by starting indoors, but very few ski schools are set up to try it. I'd love to see a good indoor orientation, with video, to help people through some of the pre-requisites--fitting, dressing, putting on boots and skis, attaching lift tickets, and so on--and setting some expectations for what's to come. And some good visuals to plant the seeds of the movements and movement patterns they are about to explore. There are also many activities that work great without skis on, in the warmth and familiarity of indoors, that can introduce many of the movements, sensations, and concepts of skiing.

A good physical--and mental--stretch/warmup is always worth doing before skiing!

Like I said, though, starting indoors is a opportunity VERY few ski schools are set up for, unfortunately. Some of the more forward-thinking beginners' programs do it--I think maybe the Beginners' Magic programs at Aspen involve some indoor "work." (Weems? Wigs?) But even just finding the space for something like that is difficult in the world of today's mega-resorts, where "empty" real estate doesn't often last long.

Thanks for joining us Melf. See you in Utah!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 16
I did just that. The local community center had a guy come in with a Skiers's Edge simulator. Class lasted a bit to too long without snow, but I did feel confident once I got there. Note: I was to young to stretch the rubberbands on the simulator.

If only it had been PMTS instruction, I wouldn't have spent my entire youth unlearning the wedge, waiting for permission to go parallel.
post #4 of 16
We actually don't start indoors in Aspen. We have no space at Snowmass. However we used to start indoors at Buttermilk and we now have a simulator in a tent (The Wizard from John Clendenin's Ski & Snowboard Doctor) for an indoor start.

It wasn't chosen by guests very often however. And this has led me to believe something very different about indoor initiation than I believed two years ago. It doesn't work all that well. The reason is that the people who come to learn to ski want to get on snow--now!

I think indoor orientation actually teaches them better, but they've got nothing to compare it too, and they tend to act very disappointed to go indoors. I understand this. I come to Colorado to ski, and some jerk puts me in a classroom!

We're going to start getting them on the Wizard a little later--say, after the first day, so they can see the difference and get the indoor benefits.

Most of the other orientation stuff can be done very well outdoors--it's not that cold. When it is cold, we can do it over chocolate in the restaurant.
post #5 of 16
Melf,
we actually run this program at Breckenridge, specifically the village base area. We do call it LTS (Learn to Ski). We were very fortunate in having a local ski shop donate about 450 sq. ft of space. We have several TV's, fitting benches, etc.
We have not found too much issue with the doer's Weems mentions.

Several major benefits include, restrooms, proper boot fitting, access to sunscreen. We use several basic indoor drills, and self-produced video to highlight the activities of the day.

The many students do derive significant benefits from the brief indoor session. And sitting in the warmth of indoors, beats waiting for the class to form (especially on some of the extremely cold days).

The biggest challenge is to have the instructors understand the reasoning, and changing their philosophy and attitudes. The more I take into accout these changes to individual psychology (Maslow's, etc.), group dynamics (creeper vs leaper, etc.), and overall first skiing experience, the more I enjoy the direction our program is taking. Of course for lasting change, the instructor has to buy into the change on a basic philosophic level.

But that is another post.

jlaw
breck

[ November 01, 2002, 01:33 PM: Message edited by: Jonathan ]
post #6 of 16
Weems
Can you please mention some of the benefits from the indoor simulator that you alluded to in your last post?
Thanks
post #7 of 16
Absolutely, it should be done. From working in the fitness industry for close to 30 years, I can tell you that even some of the fittest people in the world have no awareness whatsoever of the biomechanics of their feet! Many people also have rather interesting postural distortions, which can have ssome side effects to their biomotor abilities. On the hill, the instructor can clearly see the RESULTS of these misalignments, but if they see the person in socks, without 5 layers of clothing, they can perhaps anticipate them.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine has a protocol for postural analysis, that helps determine which muscles are weak, which muscles are tight, and what the effects on sports performance maay be. We will be discussing this at the Epicski Academy.
post #8 of 16
Some of the things I've done with beginner privates or semi-privates, when I do get them indoors first, is to do some balancing and foot/ankle flexing and tipping feet up on edges in sox and then again in boots. Intent is to create focus on moving feet first and understanding how the feet transmit movements thru our boots to our skis. I've found that this sets a cornerstone for how we will move to skis. These movements are then re-inforced again on snow in just boots, then on skis and consistantly referanced in everything we do there after.

I think that years ago someplace (Vail?) tried an indoor intro that may have included some video. Wonder what was learned (by ski school mgmt) from that experiment.

All this is good stuff tried out as a little here, a little there that has largely untapped potential for providing an:

"Ultimatly Potentialized Learning Indoctrination For Training In New Games".
Aka: The "U.P.L.I.F.T.I.N.G." System.

:
(sorry, I couldn't resist)

[ November 01, 2002, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Many people also have rather interesting postural distortions, which can have ssome side effects to their biomotor abilities. On the hill, the instructor can clearly see the RESULTS of these misalignments, but if they see the person in socks, without 5 layers of clothing, they can perhaps anticipate them.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine has a protocol for postural analysis, that helps determine which muscles are weak, which muscles are tight, and what the effects on sports performance maay be. We will be discussing this at the Epicski Academy.
Please don't leave everything to the few who are teaching and the few that are participating in 'THE PRIVILIGED ACADEMY'.
It seems to be a catchall for defering discussions nowadays.
I can't go as I will be working (yipee) at Copper if my soon to be ex stops being a PITA.

I was just about to post requesting peoples thoughts (Including yours) regarding the effects of students previous injuries which almost always seem to affect their posture/movement patterns/mental state whether they are aware of it or not.

Often the ski instructor has to cope with this and just adds another layer of squiff to an already squiffy body. Any idea how many instructors suggest bodywork as a prelude to ski improvement, Lisa?
post #10 of 16
Sorry Nettie! What I meant was that we will be doing it "up close and personal" at the Academy, which is unique, in that it is happening in conjunction with ski instruction. That seemed to be related to Melf's question.

In answer to YOUR question [img]smile.gif[/img] , I will try to write up something cohesive. I am often hesitant to do these things, since I have posted aabout this issue in so many threads in health and fitness, as well as a few in technique, that I'm always afraid of getting a chorus of "oh no, there she goes again".

For starters, do a search for the ACL summary in health and fitness. Read the part about "are you susceptible". It speaks of certain alignments of the feet and knees that may make you more susceptible to skiing in a way that may cause an ACL injury.
Also, look for a thread entitled "Ski Fitnes update, a few surprises". {Sorry, I am at work and do not have time to di the searches myself] It also speaks of how certain foot biomechanics can cause static skiing.

As far as past injuries go, any ankle injury can impede proprioception. Some research says that injuries that happen on one side of the body can cause less innervation to go to the transverse abdominal muscle on that side, which would in turn effect balance on that side.

Some back injuries cause a separation between the multifidus and the transverse abdominal muscle. This person may be a bit immobile in their lumbar region, which in turn can effect their skiing.

Although one legged balance exercise with eyes closed is good diagnostic work, eventually, you need to develop the exercise into sonmething more dynamic, otherwise its benefits for skiing will be minimal.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Sorry Nettie! What I meant was that we will be doing it "up close and personal" at the Academy, which is unique, in that it is happening in conjunction with ski instruction. That seemed to be related to Melf's question.
Thanks for the time Lisa.
I think I will open a new thread to make it specific. I have searched on a few topics but they deal quite a lot with muscles and movements with respect to injuries: strengthen this, improve that, rather than releasing the body tensions.
post #12 of 16
Quite often, the bodies tensions are a result of muscular imbalances. A certain muscle group is weak, which causes the others to work overtime. That's why programs that involve flexibility exclusively are really not that beneficial, and for some people, can be extremely harmful.
One of the concepts that is being explored in sports medicne nowadys is the idea of myofascial release. This utilizes devices such as styrofoam rollers, or special body rolling balls to release tension before athletic particpation, without significantly altering muscle length. Don't forget, a muscle that is overly lengthened is WEAKER, and will not provide much stabilization for skiing.

Another major way to release tension, is by using a breathing pattern with skiing. Remember the physiology of fear, pain and anxiety thread? Dysfunctional breathing can, in some cases, put someone into an anxious state on a BUNNY SLOPE!!

But here's the thing: WHY IS THE BREATHING DYSFUNCTIONAL????

Once again, it may possibly stem from a misalignment in the upper body, where one muscle group is overdeveloped, and the other underworked.

And then again, how should you breath? the Yoga people use these big Buddah Belly breaths, allowing the abdominal muscle to become huge and flabby on the inhalation. That is highly effective for a YOGA class. Allowing the belly to sag while doing anything that requires DYNAMIC balance while deactivate the transverse abdominal muacle and thus destabilize the body!
When the body feels itself destabilizing, it tightens other muscle groups to regain equilibrium, and thus renders any of the " new age relaxation practices" virtually void.
post #13 of 16
I have often wondered about running the basics of an intro lesson on monitors in the rental areas. A dedicated room means $$$$ however and smaller hills never have enough space or money when it comes to a SS budget.

"Dry" topics from the shape to the safety code could be covered and then brought home on the hill during the actual lesson.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by Nettie:
[QB][It seems to be a catchall for defering discussions nowadays.
I can't go as I will be working (yipee) at Copper if my soon to be ex stops being a PITA.
QB]
Nettie, we opened today at noon. Speaking for all the Bears at Copper, hope it works out and we see you there soon!
post #15 of 16
When PSIA published Child-Centered Skiing by Rosemary Peterson, Diane Bode, and Carol Workman (1987), I developed a children's program for a ski area based on principles explained in the book, including indoor pre-ski. There was no question that the indoor activities transferred beneficially to the snow.

But the problems others have mentioned came into play almost immediately. The indoor classroom was not conveniently located to the outdoor classroom. The instructors weren't particularly dedicated to the program--they were high school kids mainly motivated by the pass. The parents wanted their kids to ski, not pre-ski.

The indoor program lasted one season. The children's manual was derided for advising impractical methods and almost immediately demands for a new children's manual were heard throughout the land. In terms of sheer thud factor (543 pages), Child-Centered Skiing is certainly the biggest publication PSIA has ever issued. It's a great manual, but it tended to reinforce PSIA's image as wonky.
post #16 of 16
In the event I meet a lesson at our ski school desk I try to spend five or so minutes indoors.

I try to ask permission first. In the event I sense someone is chomping at the bit I head outdoors.

I use a set of steps, placing each foot on different steps to demonstrate flexion and extension and how terrain dictates the adjustment. I sit on the rental counter and demonstrate independant leg steering. I'll go back to the steps and make well rounded "turns" and then demo a few "z" shaped turns as opposed to well rounded turns. I demonstrate how natural it is to flow down a set of stairs and how we "allow" ourselves to fall down the steps.

Sometimes it works and other times I get a blank stare!

On a busy day the five minutes inside gives me a chance to thaw out.
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