Thanks. That's a nice addition to a forum where, in MY OPINION, the state of the head is too often left out. (Then again, I don't think it's an instructor's "job" to get into the student's thinking process/mental approach unless solicited and even then, it gets tricky in a hurry.) Still, after all the lessons and fine-tuning have made the skier technically proficient, getting one's game to the next level is not, obviously, about allegiance to the dos and don'ts of getting a ski on edge or the (un)weighting in deep powder, not on a conscious level, not at that point. That stuff is pretty ingrained by then, I would think.
What I'll say now somewhat addresses TAG's post re: the state of skiing today. I personally don't care much whether or not Joe or Jolene skier is "sloppy" on the slopes or not "skiing to his/her potential." My assumption is that this person is or is not content with their skiing and will act, or not, accordingly. Either way, it doesn't matter to me. (Yes, I think I am a "selfish" skier. I care about MY SKIING far beyond and above how anyone else skis, better or worse and more than where skiing is economically, etc.) I'll qualify further by saying I would never judge anyone based on skiing ability or their approach to skiing. One reason - just one - I LOVE this sport is that it IS so geared toward what the individual wants to do with it. If someone is having a great time living on blues or greens or blacks or purples or whatever, great. I say, if you're enjoying it, that's close to being enough. If you're not, I'd ask why are you doing it, but chances are you won't be doing it much longer. And that's cool, too, as far as I'm concerned. I'M thinking about how can I ski better, what do I need to work on, where are my weakest links, what scares me, etc. This approach is not intrinsically "good," it's just mine. I think most instructors here - I could be wrong - would agree that all the technique-teaching in the world is not going to get a skier past a certain point, particularly into demanding, even dangerous, terrain, unless that skier is of that mind, which is probably relatively rare. I'm guessing most skiers ARE content to spend their ski days or vacations, more or less lazily having a good time and generally skiing at the level they've been skiing all the previous years, with improvement coming from sheer mileage more than any conscious attempt to work on things.
Very soon I'm going to have to stop skiing with the people I've been skiing with, and it has nothing to do with whether I like them or not. We just approach skiing in such a dissimilar fashion. And so to continue would be me compromising my passion; it would be me compromising my skiing. That I "out-ski" them has much less to do with inherent ability than sheer desire. I get to the hill, stare at the lines, start salivating. I make them jumpy because I want to ski NOW not stop till it's time to get to the airport or the parking lot. In short, I'm there to ski, not to sample the best restaurant. That's neither good or bad and for what it's worth I'm nice about expressing what I'm there to do. They're not in my way, I'm not in theirs; it's just a matter of different sensibilities re: "what skiing is" to each respective (and respectful?) person.
By the way, I'll take a PSIA lesson when I'm in Colorado in March, because I need one. And I'll need more in the future. I'm really not that close to skiing as technically well as I would like, or will need to be to get my body where my mind wants to go.