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Why don't upper level adult recreational skiers want more instruction? - Page 3

post #61 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by Kima:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Matteo:
The need/want to free ski (thus a relaxation activity), instead of spending hours receiving instruction, is another.
Right. May I offer a simplistic answer? The number one reason I hear from our visitors that come to ski is: "I have limited number of days to ski and I do not want to WASTE them on lessons"

Why they see a day or even half day as a waste, I have no idea.[/QB]</font>[/quote]From page one of this thread:

Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:

17- #07) Cost is a significant factor in me not taking lessons more frequently
17- #21) Concern that I probably won't learn anything new is a sig factor...
13- #20) Expectation of poor quality instruction is a sig factor...
12- #26) Previous lessons made conflicting recommendations.
11- #24) Previous lessons turned me off
This whole thread has gone the way of a classic marketing mistake, the seller (instructors) of a product insist that their product is just what the customer needs and darnnit we know what they really need more than they do. It's not that the product that you have isn't good, it's how it is percieved by the customer; and the customer's perception is the only reality that matters. You've had several different people suggest programs that would be attractive to higher end skiers but no one has noticed that (except maybe nolo) but is concentrating on how to convince the customer that the way you are doing it is the way it should be done.

Other items:

I would NEVER take a lesson on a powder day, even with a money back guarantee that I would be a world cup contender afterwards.

I learned to telemark by 1) watching 38 seconds of tele skiing on a Warren Miller video in super slo-mo over, and over, and over again 2) I bought Paul Miller's book the next season. $$$$ invested approxiamtely $40.

Think cost/benefit, if the benefit (remember customer perception=reality) doesn't exceed the cost you get no return customers.

This is by far the best forum on the site!!!
post #62 of 101
As a upper intermediate skier who hasn't taken any lessons in a long while, I'll throw in my $0.02.

I agree with others that its a cost($, time)/benefit(incremental help)/risk(instructor quality, conflicting methods) issue.

I find it interesting that the discussions have been around traditional private and group lessons or longer clinics. And instructor quality.

To me, one of the most exciting "lesson" plans offered was by a NE resort a few years ago (I don't remember which). They charged a very small price ($20-$25) and planted instructors around the mountain. You could find them, wave your lesson pass in the air from above and ski down to them and get their advice. Takes up as much time as you want, if you don't like the advice given, go on to the next instructor on the hill, and low cost. If you get advice that works for you, spend a bit more time with that instructor.

I'd happily pay for this service.

One of the big flaws with the traditional methods is that it takes an instructor about 1 minute to see what I'm doing wrong. Another 5-10 minutes to explain it and suggest some drills, corrections, etc. It then takes me hours or days or weeks to work on it.

The big point I'm trying to make is that I think there are solutions out there to get advanced skiers to pay for ski help. I just think the industry needs to be a bit more creative than the traditional private/group lessons.

Gary
post #63 of 101
I have a question. Who (as a group) really takes lessons (in any great amount)for ANY recreational sport?

Water Skiers?Wake Boarders?
Rock Climbers?
Bicycle Riders?
Horseback Riders? (remember RECREATIONAL riders)
Hikers?
Windsurfers?Kite Surfers?

When ou think about it. Ski Schools just may enjoy the largest population of lessons takers for any of the recreational sports. Maybe our cup is Half Full?
post #64 of 101
Kima, I may have perceived lessons as a waste of time back when I was 17 y.o and thought I knew everything (the tuth is that I "plateaued" at the top level that the italian school had to offer then; only racing was next, which is and was a precluded territory for me; and after a couple of season got bored of repeating the same things over and over, and felt ready to unfold my own wings at go explore by myself)
I am not doing it now, in fact I have felt the need to take at least a couple hours lessons every winter since 1993.
Alas, I have to set priorities...
post #65 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by teledave:
You've had several different people suggest programs that would be attractive to higher end skiers but no one has noticed that (except maybe nolo) but is concentrating on how to convince the customer that the way you are doing it is the way it should be done.
Teledave, While your whole post is well stated this comment is one that I too have been trying to make. Tog has interpreted my comments as if I don't believe in instruction. That is not the case at all. It is the commonly found structures of ski lessons and instructional programs (perhaps as well as an overly technical - as in technique, not equipment - bias) that I think are limiting.

The "consultation model" described by gk is something I have previously suggested in posts on Epic. I found it very interesting that at least one resort had tryed this. Perhaps group or private lessons are the only economically feasible alternatives for most resorts. I for one believe that a richer learning environemnt can be created that utilizes these as well as peer learning, brief/ongoing professional consulations/evaluations, lecture, literature, expert alignment and equipment evaluation, ....

I'm not sure that such a diverse learning environment might cost a resort more to run, but even if it did I believe the marketing and advertisement value potentially far outweighs the downside (if there even is one). Additionally I think it would lead to a far greater number of upper level ski lessons based on skier/instructor interactions from initially short term encounters.

Teledave, you said you'd never take a lesson on a powder day. Would you spend a few extra bucks at a destination resort to be able to ski a few runs behind an expert instructor through some of the "locals" lines and perhaps get lift line priveleges for those runs?
post #66 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
Gonzo, I will take that as an agreement to disagree. Agreed.
indeed! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #67 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by Roto:
I have a question. Who (as a group) really takes lessons (in any great amount)for ANY recreational sport?

Water Skiers?Wake Boarders?
Rock Climbers?
Bicycle Riders?
Horseback Riders? (remember RECREATIONAL riders)
Hikers?
Windsurfers?Kite Surfers?

When ou think about it. Ski Schools just may enjoy the largest population of lessons takers for any of the recreational sports. Maybe our cup is Half Full?
Roto:

That's an excellent point, but I think the sports that have been most frequently mentioned as examples are golf (particularly) and tennis.

I know that many golfers take a lot of instruction. The instruction is not cheap by any means and results in - for the most part - very little in the way of long-term improvement. Any yet, golf instruction and camps are a very big business and people spend a lot of money.

Interestingly, the golfers who seem to take the most lessons/coaching are the very best experts... the touring pros.

Bob
post #68 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by gk:


One of the big flaws with the traditional methods is that it takes an instructor about 1 minute to see what I'm doing wrong. Another 5-10 minutes to explain it and suggest some drills, corrections, etc. It then takes me hours or days or weeks to work on it.

Gary
I have also found this to be true. A lesson longer than an hour is a waste of $$ for me. 1/2 hour would even suffice.
post #69 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by Si:
Teledave, you said you'd never take a lesson on a powder day. Would you spend a few extra bucks at a destination resort to be able to ski a few runs behind an expert instructor through some of the "locals" lines and perhaps get lift line priveleges for those runs?
Now, I think we might be on to something!

Actually the last 2 purchases I made from a ski school for myself were called "Mountain Experiences" led by a member of the mtns ski school. In both instances I signed up as a level 9 skier and was treated to essentially a 4 hr private lesson (since I was the only level 9 skier to sign up) for around $50-60. With line cutting priveleges and secret stashes as well as real expert tips on how to ski some very difficult terrain these were well worth the money, the 2 resorts in question were W/B and Jackson Hole. The instructor/guides pushed me far harder than I would normally have gone. The interesting thing was that at both mountains we would ski very techinical lines at the top of the mountain, and both instructors would them say "OK lets meet at the bottom", and then we would mach down to the base to start all over again. Both days we easily skied 30K vertical in 4 hours, of course I could barely walk the next day but it was well worth it.

Actually I think the instructors enjoyed it almost as much as I did, we did some gnarly skiing, some really fast skiing, and with just a few tips here and there I was able to show marked improvement from run to run. I tipped the guides almost as much as the clinic itself cost; however, I'm sure that the ski school would have considered it a money loser.

Unfortunately, the focus seems to be on group level lessons or private lessons. If I KNEW that I would have another experience like these I would say sign me up, but I can't afford a 4 hr private either. I will say given the right time, place, and other circumstances I would sign up for another "Mountain Experience" type class.
post #70 of 101
What if you combined the expert consultation with the experience of chasing an expert down terrain that stretches your limits in a proportion of about 1 part consultation to 9 parts chasing?

That's how I interpret the upper level lesson. I would really like to conduct these lessons in combination with helicopter transport to virgin slopes in the BC backcountry. Any takers?
post #71 of 101
Thread Starter 
>...I would really like to conduct these lessons in combination with helicopter transport to virgin slopes in the BC backcountry...

Now, you wouldn't happen to have any ulterior motives, would you?

Tom / PM
post #72 of 101
OK - as the person who DOES see the value & shells out for privates all the time I suppose I had better defend the instructors I have....

1) we spend little time talking - all on lifts pretty much...
2) any good snow days are 'just ski it' days - work on technical hitches is done on subsequent days - or on the lower section of hill on run down to lifts... Suggestions made - but DRILLS are out generally
3) I KNOW our level 3 instructors are expected to keep the students skiing.... I have sat on the chair with my instructor(examiner) while watching these guys taking level 3 exams & had to sit through a 'no get them moving' 'shut up & get them skiing' blah blah - for the trip - a candidate from our ski school was 'farting around' talking to class & having them ski down 1 at a time etc etc... MY instructor tells me this is FAIL type material... It is not considered suitable for a high level instructor
4) Ummmm - if I WANT to ski with a bunch of buddies we can book a group lesson with our group (private group)
5) I have been skied out of resort in ski lessons (we took ski patrol to balance the safety aspects for ski school)
6) I have made constant improvements in my skiing - then again - I don't take the instructors words as 'instant fix' I am prepared to spend TIME & energy implementing the required moves... even when it requires scaring myself shitless..
7) Instructors have ALWAYS adapted to my learning style - those that don't - I simply tell ski school are unsuitable for me - funny how I have a bunch of fairly high level instructors as a result
8) for those pushing the 'learn by watch' barrow - I have a heap of ski buddies that won't take lessons IF they think are going to get that sort of instruction - they want an INTELLIGENT person not some athletic kid as their instructor - we have a trade in instructor names running amongst the bunch - 'so & so is USELESS' 'so & so knows his stuff' etc
post #73 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
What if you combined the expert consultation with the experience of chasing an expert down terrain that stretches your limits in a proportion of about 1 part consultation to 9 parts chasing?

That's how I interpret the upper level lesson. I would really like to conduct these lessons in combination with helicopter transport to virgin slopes in the BC backcountry. Any takers?
Nolo,

What an offer :

I'm in! Need the dates to put on my calendar, please. Also, I trust if my density resists accepting 1/9, you'd let me fall back to 1/11 or just swat me with a pole!

Looking forward to it [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Chris

PS Somebody had to go first! Any other takers?
post #74 of 101
Nolo:

In addition .... how may I be of help in planning/co-ordinating?

At your service.

Chris
post #75 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob.Peters:
Roto:

That's an excellent point, but I think the sports that have been most frequently mentioned as examples are golf (particularly) and tennis.

I know that many golfers take a lot of instruction. The instruction is not cheap by any means and results in - for the most part - very little in the way of long-term improvement. Any yet, golf instruction and camps are a very big business and people spend a lot of money.

Interestingly, the golfers who seem to take the most lessons/coaching are the very best experts... the touring pros.

Bob
ok. golfers, now there is a good comparison. But do golfers as a group take more lessons than skiers? or is it simply comparable. I'd bet golf lessons (with the recreational group) follow a pretty similar pattern as ski lessons. I'd even be willing to bet skiers still (as a group) take more lessons than golfers.

Tennis, well maybe here is a sport that more (%age wise) people might take lessons and continue them, but I don't know, or know how to find out either.

I think people just want to recreate. And those of us involved in this as a profession, like pro golfers, see more value in time and money invested on improving, plus, we, or any pros, get access to the industry from the inside and get deals etc. Bottom line is that it is about fun. Most people just don't ski enough to warrant spending time and money on getting better at a recreation. they just wanna go do it.

[ May 02, 2003, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #76 of 101
[quote]Originally posted by teledave:
Quote:
Originally posted by Si:
[qb] If I KNEW that I would have another experience like these I would say sign me up, but I can't afford a 4 hr private either. I will say given the right time, place, and other circumstances I would sign up for another "Mountain Experience" type class.
Sounds like the kind of lesson every instructor dreams of teaching. In my own experience, most lessons were an hour or two with, if a group, usually including a student or two who didn't belong at that level thrown in by the supervisor so the SS would not have to add another instructor. If a private, there was usually the guy's 14 year old son, and maybe his friend, included because the SS had given them a great deal and convinced them that this would be a better value. Lots of fun trying to adrress the issues of level 4 while somehow giving shrift to an impatient arrogant, typical teenager, probably level 7, in an hour.

Seriously, what instructor doesn't want to ski, ski,ski with his students and see to it that they improve their skiing and have a great time? Usually you have a class of varying skill levels and interests and preferred learning styles that you somehow have to provide value to in a time frame that is barely sufficient to learn their names and get down the hill, nevermind accomplish anything significant.

Odds are that, at the average resort, if you sign up for an upper level lesson, you might get a virtual private since so few people take upper level lessons. Beware of the ski school trick of throwing say the person standing at the level 6 sign in with your level 9 class so they can save themselves the cost of an additional instructor. Some schools sell books of lesson tickets that you can use when you choose. Sometimes canny folks who have learned this game will purchase a book of tickets and show up at the meeting place at the appropriate time and look around at the other students, if any, and the imstructor and decide for themselves whether to use a lesson ticket for that particular lesson. This is probably the best approach I have heard of. For some reason fewer people take lessons in the afternoon, so probably the afternoon lesson is your best bet but you never can tell. One thing I could suggest is to be out going to your instructor in trying to express your enthusiasm for skiing. Most instructors do what they do for the love of it and you stand a good chance of engaging their passion for what they do and getting your best value from them if you can get across to them your own interest and receptivity early in the game.
post #77 of 101
Thanks for offering to help organize the trip, Chris. Shall we shoot for the last week in March/first week in April 2005? If we can get 11 (compatible) skiers total we'll have our own group. Level 8-9 skiers have a blast, guaranteed.

I have brochures and price lists if anyone wants more information.
post #78 of 101
Here are my ramblings on this topic. I am probably a good representative of an upper level adult recreational skier who takes lessons regularly. I am realistically a level 8 to 8 1/2 skier, skied a total of 14 days this year but probably average 10 days a year. Being a flatlander, I am the dreaded vacation skier that a few Bears abhor. I usually take 1-2 lessons per year but since my regular ski partner was not able to ski this year I consciously decided to take more lessons this year partly just to have someone to ski with and show me around but mainly to try to improve my skiing.

I took 4 lessons this year, 1 at Squaw Valley, 2 at Crested Butte and 1 at Vail. I signed up for a group lesson each time. Each lesson was a "private" since I was the only one at my level signed up to take a group lesson. Each time I explained to the SS splitter what kind of skier I was and what I wanted to get out of the lesson. I also requested a PSIA Level 3 instructor every time and got one for 3 of the 4 lessons. For the other lesson I got a PSIA Level 2 instructor who was as good as the other L3 instructors.

At Squaw they turned my 2 hour group lesson into a 1 hour private but at CB (2 hour lesson) and Vail (all day lesson) they did not shorten the lesson. I have heard it is not uncommon for this type of "private" lesson to be shortened to half as long as the scheduled group lesson. In either case, it's still quite a bargain. An all day group lesson at Vail is $100 but an all day private is $550. Since, for all practical purposes, this is a private lesson there is much less talking and much more time skiing.

Each lesson was both excellent in content and fun. I learned something new with each lesson and really enjoyed skiing with some great skiers. Since I told each instructor what I worked on in the previous lessons I felt as though every subsequent lesson built upon the previous ones. Also, it was good to get a different point of view on certain concepts I was having a hard time getting a hold of. My goal with every lesson I take is to try get only 1-2 main take home concepts and 1-2 practical ways to practice that concept. I tell the instructor this at the beginning of the lesson to try to not get overloaded with "analysis paralysis." I asked each instructor how often they thought someone like me should take lessons given my level and how many days I ski. I received virtually the same answer from each instructor: about 2 lessons a season or when I hit a roadblock.

Perhaps my experience this past season is not the norm. I feel that since I am relatively anal when talking to the SS splitter and my instructor about what kind of skier I am, what I am trying to learn and what I want out of the lesson I am doing everything I can to get the best lesson possible from the best instructor available that day. Personally, from a selfish standpoint I guess I don't really want more advanced skiers taking lessons since that would decrease the likelihood that I get my "private." Besides, the real money for ski schools is not in getting more advanced skiers to take lessons since the proportion of advanced skiers to beginner and intermediate skiers is much smaller. Ski schools should be trying to figure out how to get more of these beginner and intermediate skiers to take lessons. Wow, that's 4-5 cents worth long but probably less than 1 cent in actual value.

Edit: I forgot to recap why I do take lessons. First and foremost is to improve my skiing. A tie for 2nd and 3rd are to have fun (yes, I actually enjoy myself in a lesson) and to ski parts of the mountain that I wouldn't be able to find or wouldn't want to ski by myself. A 4th reason, especially this year, was just to have someone to ski with. While cost certainly is an important factor for me in the decision whether to take or lesson or not, the fact that I usually get a private lesson for the price of a group lesson makes my it quite a good value.

[ May 03, 2003, 07:18 AM: Message edited by: Prosper ]
post #79 of 101
[quote]Originally posted by nolo:
Thanks for offering to help organize the trip, Chris. Shall we shoot for the last week in March/first week in April 2005? If we can get 11 (compatible) skiers total we'll have our own group. Level 8-9 skiers have a blast, guaranteed.

I have brochures and price lists if anyone wants more information.
[/QUOTE

Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
What if you combined the expert consultation with the experience of chasing an expert down terrain that stretches your limits in a proportion of about 1 part consultation to 9 parts chasing?

That's how I interpret the upper level lesson. I would really like to conduct these lessons in combination with helicopter transport to virgin slopes in the BC backcountry. Any takers?
Oh no, thank you .... opportunity to Heli-ski WITH your consultant : Even for a Friday night, I would have expected more takers :

Last week of March has typically been springbreak for the munchin, so the first week in April (or even the one after) would be preferrable to my calendar .... but I'll make it work, whatever date makes the most sense/is available.

As I get ready to post "Hijacking" comes to mind ...

Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
This poll was inspired .... staffed by some of the technically best and most dedicated ski instructors in the world.
By my reckoning, this topic only meets the last criteria of the basis of the current thread! Should we start a new?

Chris
post #80 of 101
I thought we were helping upper level skiers want instruction, Chris. I guarantee the learning experience would outshine and outlast any other, though it takes two years to book. On the expense side, it hurts going in but coming out nearly everyone wants to sign up for next year. The return rate is 85%, hence the two year wait for a booking.

Prosper, I believe ski schools lasso most entry level skiers with their marketing deals. I don't see the problem being penetration, but keeping that market once they gain intermediate skills. I see it as a problem because that's where we lose skiers: the Intermediate Plateau is a Buffalo Jump, at the bottom of which lie the scattered bones of former skiers.

Of course, your remarks were colored by self-interest. You might consider this: if you had another skier of your general ability in the group, you would have increased the potential learning from that opportunity by 50%.
post #81 of 101
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
I thought we were helping upper level skiers want instruction, Chris. ......
[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #82 of 101
Don't know if I'll be level 8/9 by 2005, but I think you should post this as a separate topic. You can even work on related skills in Academy 2004!
post #83 of 101
Lisa, I beg to differ about the appropriateness of this content in this thread. From what I have learned from people writing here, the desire of upper level skiers is for association with expert skiers without the overt teaching (or shall we say over-teaching?) of a traditional lesson. Further, the association needs to be in a context of target terrain. Heli-skiing is just one of many options that are tailor-made for these skiers. In fact, on my last trip, I skied in three different groups and got to spend at least one day with 23 of the 44 people on the trip. I left with a pile of email addresses and business cards from people wanting me to help them or their loved ones become better skiers so they can get more out of their heli-trips. I didn't bring it up. They did.

It's a small sample, but they are qualified buyers and they did make their wishes known about the kind of instruction they would like.

Savvy skiers not only want to get to where the food is, they kind of like the gourmet stuff. What do skiers want? Ask them and put it on the table. CMH has done it. Aspen has done it. Lito and ESKI and Kim have done it. I look at their success and I figure it works.
post #84 of 101
OH! I did'nt that it should not be discussed in this thread. I think you should have an additional thread specifically to throw around ideas about planning it. Sometimes, when a specific thread gets too long, people stop reading it. You guys are onto a great idea, so you should make sure that the largest number of people possible get to be in on it! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #85 of 101
Hey, no problem, Lisa. The heli-skiing story helps me make a point: I am suggesting to the people who asked for future assistance to attend EpicSki Academy 2004. The two are highly complementary. ESA can insure a person's "investment" at places like CMH. In turn, the experience at CMH can convince people to improve their skiing before they return again.
post #86 of 101
So, whether you intended to or not, the academy people have basically created a university of skiing, so to speak, where there is always another level to be reached. The motivation to learn more and keep attending is sparked by the promise of the ability to attend the heli skiing academy. That is pretty cool!
post #87 of 101
Thread Starter 
Here's the final tally. With 67 participants, the top gripes (sorted by fraction of people either agreeing or strongly agreeing with each gripe) are:

0.69 - #21) Concern that I probably won't learn anything new is a sig factor...
0.62 - #07) Cost is a significant factor in me not taking lessons more frequently
0.54 - #20) Expectation of poor quality instruction is a sig factor...
0.46 - #26) Previous lessons made conflicting recommendations.
0.44 - #12) Too much time spent at the lineup, doing splits, other non-skiing things
0.43 - #27) Instructors say the exact same thing in every lesson
0.42 - #13) Too much time taken away from free skiing...
0.41 - #22) I learn better by reading and practicing on my own
0.39 - #24) Previous lessons turned me off
0.37 - #14) The actual skiing in lessons is too slow and boring
0.34 - #41) Instructors aren’t all that great themselves
0.31 - #16) I always wind up in too low of a group
0.22 - #18) There is always a trouble maker in every group lesson
0.22 - #29) Lessons are like school - too confining & rigid
0.21 - #25) Previous lessons used confusing terminology
0.20 - #15) You always stand around in lessons being “lectured-to”
0.18 - #08) Concerns about being the worst in a group lesson is a sig factor ...
0.17 - #40) You can’t learn park tricks from PSIA types
0.17 - #34) I never seem to learn anything in skiing lessons
0.16 - #19) My shyness in groups is a sig factor…
0.12 - #36) I’m too experienced of a skier for lessons
0.11 - #31) I don’t like to be told how to ski
0.11 - #30) Instructors are like Nazi’s / drill sergeants / etc.
0.10 - #09) Concern about poor physical conditioning is a sig factor ...
0.10 - #33) Lessons aren't cool in the eyes of my friends
0.09 - #37) I just want to ski, not become an expert
0.06 - #11) Other potential sources of embarrassment are sig factors...
0.06 - #17) I always wind up in too high of a group
0.06 - #28) Skiing is like learning to ride a bike - most people don't need lessons
0.06 - #38) I’m as good as I can get
0.06 - #39) I’m as good as I want to be
0.03 - #10) Concerns about falling in class is a sig factor...
0.03 - #32) Lessons are mostly for beginners and wimps
0.03 - #35) I’m too old for lessons

Notice that almost 70% (!) of the participants were concerned that they probably won't learn anything new in a lesson, while 62% said that cost is a significant factor in not taking lessons more frequently.

At this point, the rate of new people taking this survey is very slow, so I'm going to declare this poll closed, and this will be my final analysis of the data.

Tom / PM

[ May 04, 2003, 07:41 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #88 of 101
Thread Starter 
Participants in the survey seemed to be answering with only normal ski instruction in mind (ie, not the Academy), and the survey results seem to closely match the discussions on Epic about why advanced skiers don't take more instruction.

However, the results still do not explain why, in another poll, something like 43% of the participants (last time I looked) said they might not come to a hypothetical "next-door" Academy, ie, ultra-convenient with respect to location & scheduling, extremely low cost, superb instructors, etc.

One hint at why people responded this way is to identify in the above list those gripes that could reasonably be expected to be not valid for the hypothetical Academy, remove them from the list, and see what is left. So, I removed:

0.69 - #21) Concern that I probably won't learn anything new is a sig factor...
0.62 - #07) Cost is a significant factor in me not taking lessons more frequently
0.54 - #20) Expectation of poor quality instruction is a sig factor...
0.46 - #26) Previous lessons made conflicting recommendations.
0.44 - #12) Too much time spent at the lineup, doing splits, other non-skiing things
0.34 - #41) Instructors aren’t all that great themselves
0.31 - #16) I always wind up in too low of a group

I included #26 because I think it could be reasonably believed that one of the benefits of the Academy would be to resolve issues of conflicting previous recommendations.

I removed #12 bacause these issues are negligible in a situation where you stick with one instructor for several days.

I removed #16 because there is plenty of time at the Academy to sort out group assignments.

This then leaves us with:

0.43 - #27) Instructors say the exact same thing in every lesson
0.42 - #13) Too much time taken away from free skiing...
0.41 - #22) I learn better by reading and practicing on my own
0.39 - #24) Previous lessons turned me off
0.37 - #14) The actual skiing in lessons is too slow and boring
0.22 - #18) There is always a trouble maker in every group lesson
0.22 - #29) Lessons are like school - too confining & rigid
0.21 - #25) Previous lessons used confusing terminology
0.20 - #15) You always stand around in lessons being "lectured-to"
0.18 - #08) Concerns about being the worst in a group lesson is a sig factor ...
0.17 - #40) You can’t learn park tricks from PSIA types
0.17 - #34) I never seem to learn anything in skiing lessons
0.16 - #19) My shyness in groups is a sig factor
0.12 - #36) I’m too experienced of a skier for lessons
0.11 - #31) I don’t like to be told how to ski

Are the top items in this shortened list indeed *the* important reasons holding people back from saying they would attend the hypothetical "next-door" academy, or are other factors present?

One thought ... I removed #21 thinking that there is no way people could NOT help but learn new things at this hypothesized idyllic Academy, but maybe I was wrong, and people having low expectations about learning at it is not the fault of the hypothetical Academy, but just they way prospective attendees feel about themselves. For example, could this be reflective of one statement I saw to the effect that, "I only need a half hour lesson to get one good tip, and I then have to practice it for a long time (ie, similar to my #22).

Thoughts?

Tom / PM

[ May 04, 2003, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #89 of 101
OK, I'd like to offer a thought. Yes, I do think that some of the answers reflect the respondent's feelings about themselves. I, for example, have found skiing at times to be profoundly frustrating - something that more talented people might find even comical. I truly believe that I do and every other human does have limits to our talent. My limits happen to be lower than most, by which I mean to say, I just doen't have the neuro-muscular material to do all that well. Obviously, I must have some belief that there's the possibility for improvement, or else I wouldn't bother trying. However, there have been times when my frustration has nearly caused me to quit altogether.

My son skis circles around me and looks good, and relaxed, while doing so. Everything he does he learned by watching videos of John and Dan Egan, Rob and Eric DesLauriers, Nelson Carmichael, John Smart, Mike Douglas - well, you get the point. I watched those same videos with markedly different results. My son has never had lessons except when he was four they taught him the "pizza wedge" - and that was the end of lessons.

Perhaps some people would be more interestecd in instruction if the instructor accepted them for the short-on-talent people they are. Rather than teach them to "be better", teach them how to enjoy the sport as the people they really are. If you're a talented skier, that's a tall order, because it's impossible to comprehend the feeling of someone whose muscles and nerves just don't "get it". This is like a smart mathemetician teaching algebra to someone who just doesn't "get" math.

This is really it. This is why some people are cynical about instruction. However, this is not the paradigm in which they believe instruction operates. It's not the way the profession really likes to see students - after all, we all MUST "GET BETTER". And I don't expect a whole raft of real support for this post or the paradigm it sets forth, because some folks would call this "admitting defeat". I don't. I call it allowing the customer/student to define success, rather than imposing upon them a definition they don't want and can't use.

[ May 04, 2003, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #90 of 101
P.S. This above all else, to me, has distinguished the EpicSki Academy from most other instruction. I always felt that I was appropriately placed in my group, and I always felt that nolo and Bob Barnes were thinking of me, the real person, and I felt educated and encouraged. If only all students could enjoy that level an quality of instructional talent.
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