[quote]Originally posted by Lisamarie:
not one thread has been able to come up with a finite, absolute, Webster's Dictionary type definition of what an Expert actually is!
Random House College Dictionary Definition:
1) A person who has special skills or knowledge some particular field.
2) US Mil. The highest rating in rifle marksmanship.
3) possessing special skill or knowledge; trained by practice.
Good point LM, this is the idea I have been attempting to get across each time this thread is started. Expert skiing is not some magical gift possessed only by the rare phenom athlete, it is simply a set of skills that can be clearly identified and are attainable by even the average athletic person. Notice the above definition does not stipulate a need to be the absolute best of the species as some here have attempted to assign to the definition; as maddog points out there is proficiency variance within the category, and of course the more athletically endowed (leave it alone MD!) will tend to excel.
I think if we were to identify the specific skills a skier should possess to be considered an expert skier we could remove the futile subjectivness and give teachers/students/joe public specific skill areas to focus on and encourage the pursuit of higher level skiing, whatever we choose to call it. That would be much better than just saying, "I know it when I see it." Better to know why it looks how it looks and how to go about getting that look. I have a pretty extensive list of very specific skills I focus on to take a student to the expert plateau as I'm sure many others do. Perhaps we should try to compile these into a skill level check list and make this topic result in something constructive.
It has been my experience both as a learner of sport, and as a teacher of other physical activities, that reaching for the Holy Grail of a specific label is the fast road to burnout!
My experience has shown me that upper level skills are developed in incremental steps with multiple micro goals. Done in this manner the student experiences multiple successes on the road to expertsville and the motivation created by those mini successes make burn out a non issue.
Someones who says "I DO black diamonds" may be boasting about their alleged prowess as a skier, but what I HEAR, is that they are, in fact, sort of an a$$hole.
LM, where's the love, where's the joy??
I think what you really meant is THE POOR SOULS SEEM TO BE A WEE BIT INSECURE, right?
You may want to get down off your pedastal
This isn't a pedestal I'm sitting on here LM, it's a mountain top from which I have a pretty good view of the valley below. I don't like what I see down there, it's pretty ugly, so I'm not coming down, but there's plenty of room up here if anyone would care to join me. You just have to find the path.