EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › "Inner Skiing" for ski instructors
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Inner Skiing" for ski instructors - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Thread Starter 
Nolo,
In your real life you must be an educator.
I too am a teacher in real life.  I am an artist, and I teach art.
And yes, all these things apply when teaching art, too.

Embarking on a new teaching journey is very exciting for me.
It took years of classroom experience to get to where I am as an art teacher.
I probably don't have that many years of experience ahead of me as a ski instructor
(given my age) but I sure do want to put as much time and thought into it as I can.
  
Thanks for  your encouragement.
post #32 of 58
The best teachers are the best learners. I have a feeling you are a very good teacher, LiquidFeet. (+Love your username.)   
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 I understand and I teach. 
 

Fortunately, this is endlessly cyclical eh? Here's to never reaching perfection...
post #34 of 58
A good teacher is a learning junkie.
post #35 of 58
And the cool thing about learning is the more you know, the more you can simplify.  Great skiers make sliding down a narly mountain look effortless,,, like water flowing through a gentle valley.  Great coaches do the same thing in their teaching. 
post #36 of 58
Well said Rick,
The best are as precise in their teaching as they are in their skiing.
post #37 of 58
I think how you teach has a lot to do with what your goals and the student's goals may be, as well as the goals of other parties to the transaction.  Other parties to the transaction may include the ski area, as represented by the area manager, the parents, should your student be a child, the spouse, should your student come outfitted with one, other members of the student's party, especially true if there is an adaprive aspect to the lesson or the student is part of an organized group.  The student gets a very large voice in setting goals, but not an exclusive one.

In my case I usually teach children who are not serious about competition, but who want to enjoy skiing, and have a minor introduction to competition.  I try to give my students as much reason to want to ski as I can, leaning very heavily on the chapter "Why we Ski" form Horst Abraham's book, the Way to Ski.  The most important ingredient is fun.  I show the students new ways to play on the snow, be it better turns, command of more terain, learning to run gates, doing 360's on the snow, or transiting the simpler features in the terrain park.

I would teach differently were I to have a class of students who wished to become competitive racers.  Likewise, I would teach differently given a group of students who wer told that the focus of the class was "conquering your fear."  Of course there would be common elements to all the classes.  I would still do movement analysis to determine what is going on, and develop plans based on that analysis.  The teaching style to compliment the learning style would have a very different look and feel.  I try to meet and exceed student expectations.  The focus should be on the goals the student states and those he or she exhibits but does not state.
post #38 of 58
Thread Starter 
I think one of the reasons I'm so taken with the Inner Skiing approach is that it describes a new way to connect to students that I hadn't thought of before.  As a new ski instructor, I need all the help I can get.  I search for different perspectives on ski instruction that will offer me new tactics that I can store away in my bag of tricks.  I don't see the "Inner Skiing" method of instruction as the only way to do things, just as another possibility among many.  

Just to put this in perspective, I think I am somewhat handicapped as an instructor.  I did not go through a ski instruction program as a child or as a young adult.  I did not teach my children to ski when they were young, nor watch them being taught by a professional.  During my youth and my childrens' youth, I lived in the south, and had no contact with skiing.  I am the only one in my immediate family who skis.

So, this business of learning to ski has been all new to me.  I learned to ski in the last six years, from scratch, and I've been determined to learn as fast as possible.  I haven't been one to engage in skiing as "fun."  It's been work for me, but I love this "work".  I always ski to get better.  I glory in the triumphs, and ride out the plateaus with patience.  But I know this is not the approach of most people who take lessons, or even of people I skied with before I became an instructor.  It's also not the approach of my comrades in the ski school either, since they know how to ski and have been at it for 20-50 years or so each.   

So I've learned that my personal, serious, goal-oriented, analytical approach is waaaay too serious to match that of my students. Any clues I can get as to how to connect to my students, how to make the lessons fun, and how to give them what they want and need in a lesson, are very much appreciated.  It just doesn't come naturally for me.

I'm glad people are responding to this thread.  The responses are very helpful.
post #39 of 58
 Learning from scratch as an adult in 6 years may be an asset, not a handicap.  You should have more empathy for your students than someone who has been a great skier for a long time and can't remember their learning process.  You are also learning in the current style.  I know lots of great skiers who ski in the older style.  My wife took a lesson and was looking for the modern 2 footed technique.  She got an instructor who I feel is a great skier, but very old school even though he is young.  She was not happy about what he showed her, because it wasn't what she asked for.  She was the only student in a level 9 group lesson.
post #40 of 58
 I agree that learning as an adult can be an advantage (as well as  a disadvantage!)

I've been skiing over 20 years, but learned as an adult and feel that I have a great deal of understanding in particular of adult learners that they seem to very much appreciate.

Our own Weems book with the Sports Diamond is another great resource for exploring other areas then strictly the technical aspects of skiing.  I highly recommend it.  I btw read Inner Skiing many years ago when I first started learning and loved it.  People like you and I have a tendency to try to "talk ourselves down" a slope.  Sometimes this is a very good exercise, but at other times we need to just shut up and get in the zone.
post #41 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 I agree that learning as an adult can be an advantage (as well as  a disadvantage!)

I've been skiing over 20 years, but learned as an adult and feel that I have a great deal of understanding in particular of adult learners that they seem to very much appreciate.

Our own Weems book with the Sports Diamond is another great resource for exploring other areas then strictly the technical aspects of skiing.  I highly recommend it.  I btw read Inner Skiing many years ago when I first started learning and loved it.  People like you and I have a tendency to try to "talk ourselves down" a slope.  Sometimes this is a very good exercise, but at other times we need to just shut up and get in the zone.


I'm not sure what you mean by "talking ourselves down a slope."  Analysis?  
post #42 of 58
 I mean the inner monologue.  You know, "stay forward,  bend the knees, that's good, more pressure on that inside ski......."  

Doesn't he use that term "inner monologue" in Inner Skiing?
post #43 of 58
As I remember, the goal in the book is to get rid of all that teller stuff!

There is the teller and the doer. You want to get to point where you just have the doer do without the teller telling the doer what to do!

This is termed unconcious competence. Letting the subconcious take over without the concious mind getting in the way and F-ing things up!
Edited by Atomicman - 8/30/09 at 4:39pm
post #44 of 58
A-man, I agree with your sentiment about people who over think their actions and their performance suffers as a consequence, However, I also think the best skiers are very consciously involved in their performance. Their focus may not be on the technical elements of every maneuver but they are consciously involved and thinking about things like their route, their tactical choices, and even controlling their emotional and mental state. Inner skiing was a good concept for it's time and it helped some skiers relax enough to execute technical elements better by eliminating mental distractions. In my world that means learning to focus better on the task at hand. It doesn't mean taking a mental vacation when we ski.

SkiMangoJazz brought Weem's book into this discussion and I cannot agree with her more about it's relevence to this discussion. Brilliant Skiing Everyday is all about things like understanding how to hold polarity and how to consciously shift our mental focus to another part of the sports diamond. Making that determination involves developing a subjective opinion about our performance (a conscious process) and making a conscious choice to shift our focus when we decide it is needed.
post #45 of 58
Excellent JASP. Exactly. We agree completley. Unconcious competence, means exactly what you mentioned. Subconciosuly executing the technical aspects with out conciously thinking about them, freeing your mind to conciously think about the things you mentioned, like route, tactical choices, and controlling your emotional and mental state.

Many folk could give a hoot about anything while they ski and ski for the exact reason you mention.......... to take a mental vacation. It is just not in my make up to do that either. I'm always working on something! Trying to make that elusive next perfect turn I guess!
post #46 of 58
 I think the trick is the balance between not thinking too much and yes JASP thinking a lot.  We do need to focus on our technique at times.  As Charlie Parker once said, "First master your instrument, then forget all that #(*#@ and just play!"

I think that's why the Sport's Diamond in Brilliant Skiing is so cool, because skiing in the Touch or Will or Purpose corners of the diamond are so rewarding, but the Power corner is for sure necessary to spend a lot of time in as well.  I think people like the OP and I spend too much time there, as we started skiing as adults.

By the way, I'm a "he." 
post #47 of 58
SMJ, Sorry for the assumption about your gender...  
post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

SMJ, Sorry for the assumption about your gender...  

Maybe we need to make the profile pics a little bigger. Or get you some glasses!
post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

What I've found really interesting in the Inner Skiing approach is the several-step process the authors outline for guiding the student-skier through self-evaluation to self-discovery.  They do this without any demos or "tips" from the instructor.   As I understand it, the book suggests that the instructor guide the student through the following steps.  (These steps are not outlined in the book, but I found them repeated in the authors' many examples.) 

1.  Student tells instructor what he/she wants to address/accomplish during the lesson.
2.  Instructor watches the student ski, and evaluates (privately, silently) what the skier needs to work on.  It is important that the instructor not reveal his/her evaluations to the student.  
3.  Instructor has the student pay intense, close attention to one movement//skill//body part//sensation//whatever that the instructor thinks needs tweaking if the student is to reach his/her goal.  It is important that the instructor does not explain why.  Skier skis, and just pays attention to this one thing, and reports findings to instructor.  (Only one thing at a time!)
4.  Instructor guides the student to exaggerate that movement, skill, body part, thought, sensation, whatever, in one direction  ---  in order to focus directly on it and its new results.  It is very important that the instructor does not make predictions about what will happen, nor whether it will be better or worse.   Student does this, and reports what he/she notices.  No evaluative response should come from the instructor.  Student makes all the evaluations.
5.  Instructor then has the student tweak that thing in other directions, often numbering those as 1 - 2 -- 3 - 4 according to degree of change.  The instructor may even have the student call out loud the different numbers as she/he skis down the trail as he/she makes the changes.  This focuses the student's attention directly on the one thing he/she is tweaking.  Intense concentration and awareness is the goal here.
6.  Instructor has the student evaluate how the skiing changes as the tweaking changes.  Which satisfies the student more?  Only the student decides what works better - the instructor accepts the student's evaluations.  If further tweakings are in order for the student to make a more insightful evaluation, or if it will take several significant changes for the student to reach her/his goal, the instructor guides the student to do further tweakings  -- all following a similar process. 
7.  Final result:  Student has increased self-awareness of how he/she skis; the student has tweaked some part of this skiing;  the student has noticed and evaluated the results of that tweaking; the student had decided what works best.  
8.  The instructor's role is to do the MA and guide the student to self-discovery that efficiently moves the student's skiing towards the goal the student set.

I am sold on this process.  Where's the snow, so I can go try it out?   

Do others use this or something similar in their teaching?  


 

There are most definitely elements of this style still in use in current ski instruction. I would say that the area where you're going to find this approach used most is in children's program (my specialty). If you are teaching a four year old how to ski, explaining edge pressure and turn shape and things like that are utterly useless. You're not going to get anything out of a technical approach to instruction. You're going to use games, drills and ask for the student's feedback on how they like that. If a kid is having tons of fun playing red light/green light, there's  no need to tell them they're working on speed control. Almost invariably,  you don't tell a young student what they are learning until after they learn it. When I teach adults, I frequently use a similar approach, because there is so much of skiing that is counter-intuitive, and if you explain what you want the end result to be, they will think you've gone off the deep end. I just ask them to focus on one thing, and try to get a certain feel of something... afterwards, I'll explain the why and the what of the task.
post #50 of 58
Where I part company with this is that at some point we need to help our clients develop conscious competence and the ability to repeat their performance at will. The Inner Skiing focus is great in that it forces control freaks to stop micro managing their movements and inhibiting their performance. "Paralysis Through Analysis" is another way to label this tendency. By shifting their focus to a bigger picture they learn to trust their learned responses to handle some of the DIRT.
Beyond that we need to stay mentally engaged and involved in our skiing if we expect to have positive outcomes.
post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

   As Charlie Parker once said, "First master your instrument, then forget all that #(*#@ and just play!"

This really hits it on the head! ! I am a muscian (but this also so applies to skiing) so this really speaks to me! Couldn't have said it better! 
 
post #52 of 58
Does this sound suspiciously zen like to you?  That was my opinion when the books first came out, and listening to this discussion reconfirms it. 

The zen master will work on his art, but when he releases everything it just happens.  The unconscious competence is released. 
When I grow up that is how I want to ski.
post #53 of 58
I,ve said this before in one of my first postings , sorry for repeating myself but I think it applies here also.
"skiing is both art and craft ,you have to put a lot of time in learning how to use your tools so you can forget them and be in the moment while using them. to consistantly do good work you have to practice till knowledge turns
into instinct."
post #54 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Does this sound suspiciously zen like to you?  That was my opinion when the books first came out, and listening to this discussion reconfirms it. 

The zen master will work on his art, but when he releases everything it just happens.  The unconscious competence is released. 
When I grow up that is how I want to ski.

Very like Zen.  A competing book published the same year by Denise McCluggage, The Centered Skier, is consciously indebted to Zen thinking.  One of these two books even mentions Carlos Castaneda (A Separate Reality).  Remember him?  Alternative ways of thinking were in the air in the 1970s.  I'd forgotten how intoxicating that time was until I read Inner Skiing and The Centered Skier this spring.  I guess in the original post I was fishing for reflections by others of a certain age on how this zeitgeist has stood the test of time, at least as far as ski instruction goes.
post #55 of 58
 Galloway's Inner skiing is one of the first books I read as a new instructor in 1998 and used many of the exercises and methods in the book with great success.

I would also add another book to your list of must reads.  "PsychoCybernetics"  can't remember the auther but it was written by a plastic surgeon who discovered amazing changes in clients self images and confidence after corrective cosmetic surgeries for birth defects and other gross body deformations.  

post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

 Galloway's Inner skiing is one of the first books I read as a new instructor in 1998 and used many of the exercises and methods in the book with great success.

Bud are you sure you didn't hit your head in that bike crash?  I think your sense of time has been warped .

Hope your shoulder heals for ski season.
JF
post #57 of 58

I have been a ski instructor for more than 30 years..i have been and still using many of the ideas developed in the book. It can work with top performance skiers and beginners as well. A bit of mental and field experimentation is required anyway. don't be afraid of experimenting without forgetting your self feeling as a beginner.

post #58 of 58

I have three of the Gallwey Inner Game books as well as Skiing Right by Horst Abraham, which also talks about 'right brain" learning.

 

I really got into the Inner Game concepts with my golf game. The basic principal is that you can improve your game by not caring about the results. Somewhat of a Jedi mind trick. I have to be honest and say that it worked very well for me, I went from a mid eighties shooter to the low seventies in about three months. But........I found that by truly not caring about the results, I started to loose my love of the game. The Inner Game produces a kind of detachment that creates great improvements in skill, but lessens your satisfaction. Sometimes you have to feel like you have really fought for your results to appreciate them. I still use some of the Inner Game drills and principals, but have abandoned to general concept of the basis of my mind set whilst playing golf.

 

Gallwey does actually address this phenomenon, but writes it off as becoming a more spiritual person who does not need to gain satisfaction from sporting successes. Very Zen like but not for me. I like to keep score and I like to win!

 

Of course what we really are talking about here is that feeling when you achieve peak performances by being in the "zone". Another great book on skiing in the zone is "Instant Skiing" by Richard Roberts PhD. Ski purists be warned though, Doc Roberts is a Skiboard enthusiast who has also done research in achieving peak performances by breaking down the negative paradigms that hold us back. Although his book primarily focuses on the sport of skiboarding, the principals can applied to many different activities.

 

May the force be with you.

 

BW.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › "Inner Skiing" for ski instructors