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Lito and Harald break bread

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
post #2 of 77
That is a great read. Thanks a ton, Ryan.

It's all right there. Lito and Harald both agree that ski instruction is broken, it sucks. It's not the instructors - there's thousands of good ones and some are right here. It's the system they're teaching.

Please, you guys. Go take a course - get certified. I promise, you'll love it. Then go bitch at your ski school directors. It won't be long before skiers like me will demand a change - WE WON'T LET YOU TEACH US A BROKEN SYSTEM. I WON'T LET YOU TEACH MY SON THIS BS! WE DEMAND THAT YOU TEACH US TECHNIQUE THAT'S UP TO DATE WITH THE EQUIPMENT.

It's clear. The system is broken and is obsolete. Lito agrees and so does Harald. Here's to hoping they merge.

Edit: I'll go learn from Lito too. He looks like he understands. All I know is I'm not learning any of this PSIA BS! <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited May 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 77
Thread Starter 
actually, i'm not sure anything is proven here other than there are voices of dissent, some more educated and eloquent than others, in ANY field.
also, p, i think your summation of the "conclusion" lito and harald reached(?) is highly arguable. it falls quickly into rhetoric.
the link seemed to add a "from the horses' mouths" element, and the addition of lito into the mix MIGHT lend SOME increased listenability to this Other Side.

maybe technique specifics will be referenced, rather than free-floating on-the-box diatribes aimed this way or that.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited May 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 77
did it ever occur to you that it's not so much the teaching system but who is teaching and the experience it takes to get there.
Even your friend SnoKarver admits he uses tactics that are from all his experience to teach Not just PMTS. If you knew the amount of turnover in the ski industry and how many instructors that are teaching have no experience for the beginners lessons you might have a different outlook. But since this seems to fall on deaf ears.....

Let's not get back into that part of the discussion. You have made some good points, and have put some posts up that are quite helpful. Lets keep going that way.
post #5 of 77
We were both typing at the same time. Very well put. I don't think its PSIA that's broken or obsolete. It needs a shake up but not just angry attacks. Maybe being a little slow to move and change too but that's what happens to a large org.
Thanks for the insight.
post #6 of 77
Thread Starter 

yeah. i hoped the easy reference might keep "discussion" a little more aimed and free of bombast.
post #7 of 77
Question: When they train and/or certify you instructor types, do they show you teaching methods (such as how to evaluate people and how to teach, and how to deal with different kind of people) and not just only 'technique' and drills?
post #8 of 77
Ryan and SCSA,

What a bunch of bullshit this conversation between Lito and Harald is! They just have totally forgotten how beginners, in a class of ten for an hour, behave.

Not only can they barely stand up for a hundred feet, but most of them show up in ill-fitting rental equipment or some they have inherited from their great uncle, loose boots, straight skis which are much to long for them, and let's not even talk about the bindings and poles.

SCSA, I want you to put the skis and boots in which you learned as a teenager from your father on your son and send him to Harald harb for an hour's lesson and see how he does.

Lito and Harald converse about the stance in one-footed skiing when most students can't manage on two feet.

I can just imagine a big sign at the Lito or Harb ski school:

>If you are not aligned, with the latest boots, and have shaped skis of the appropriate size for you, don't bother us.
PS..and if you've been putzing around in the self-taught wedge for some time, you are a loser, go take a lesson from PSIA.<

Jeez, such elitist self-engrandizing drivel makes me puke...

post #9 of 77
Thanks Ryan, rather "mucho" thanks!

First that dining experience between Lito and Harald I think there is some serious potential to move on to a new paradigm.

I agree it isn't the PSIA membership but the perpetuation of an outdated "dogma" for whatever reason. Hopefully the thinking has never been to create a system that perpetuates the need for skiing lessons on a continual basis.It should be to get skiers to th highest level of skiing possible, within the limits of their athletic abiltiy and motivation.Of course effective and efficient instruction should create much of that motivation.

You see this in golf,lessons, and lessons, and more lessons, and you don't improve very much for very long. and that is why I sought a better way to deal with this game, and came to "Natural Golf."

So now with the concepts of emphsisizing what happens with the feet, skiing with the feet and "geting off the old stance foot," this could be the beginning of something that could change ski instruction. Lito writes and communicates so well and more importantly is well respected. Harald, surprisingly, does posses an ability to simplify.

So PSIA here is an opportunity to revitalize yourself. It seems waste to be creating a new ski teaching organization which is taking a long time and seems forstalled. Revitalizing a ski teaching organzation that is already in place and dominant seems to make much more sense. The question now is does PSIA they have the courage to recognize their short comings and have the willingness to change ? Hopefully much sooner than later.

Secondly Ryan, revealing the breathroughonskis.com web site.
post #10 of 77
Yea, Ott -- man o' the people! As someone who pretty much began in the scenario you describe (straight 150 Kneissel skis, size 8-9 Men's boots, etc.), you pretty much explain to me why this stuff seems like much ado about nothing. If they cannot relate to how us "regular" folk actually take up the sport (of course, I HAVE seen those folks with new skis, new Bogner, et al, falling down the bunny slope -- would MPK call 'em posers or gapers?), then the advocacy of this brand of instruction ranks right up there with that oxygenated water, eh? What fun that was.


Dante non ha mai immaginato questo cerchio dell'inferno!
post #11 of 77
To Ott,

I have to respond to your post which you were doing when I did mine. First, I don't think you have ever used that language, the BS word in other posts, but the really important thing is that something has really hit your "hot button!" I think you make a point but the Lito-Harald PSIA branch of ski instruction is a way off.

What was amazing is that they both seem to agree that soemthing is broke and needs to be fixed. Whether or not PMTS or a version of same or a compromise or a synthesis of PMTS and present skiing instruction need to be forged, someone or some group needs to explore this. I would hope PSIA would do this as part of a self examination. All viable groups, and businesses that are any good or are truly leaders, scrutinize themselves. They put themselves under the strong light of objectivity , check out the misson to see if it still holds up, and then look at how they are fufilling that mission, or a revisied or even a completely new mission. If they don't like what they see, then I guess it is time for CHANGE ! It's both a process and an objcetive ! Needs to be done. If you don't have the courage to do it, then you start asking why you don't, and you start there ! Not to do anything denies chnage, in a way denies life.

As to your comments about beginners and beginning skiing, I find to be very relevent. But beyond that point how far can they go, and will they be motivated to want to strive to be better skiers so they can truly enjoy the sport ?
post #12 of 77
I am surprised that HH can ski with his boots together while SCSA's head is so far up his ass? Maybe you wouldn't have to shout so loud if you were to remove it, eh' SCSA.
post #13 of 77
Yeah, it's about time!

Finally, you all are starting to see that the system is broke and it's time for a change. That's all I ever wanted!

Nothing more to add, because I ain't qualified. Mission, frickin accomplished!
post #14 of 77
First off Wink, I apologize for the language, I rarely use such words. What got me going is that this dinner conversation over venison and Merlot has nothing to do with the teachers in the trenches who get a dozen new students every hour on the hour and who are concerned, not to make expert skiers, but just to teach them so by the end of the lesson they know a little bit more than at the start.

A good teacher doesn't talk to the student about rotary or pressure or steering, s/he just explains the maneuver, demostrates and then goes about correcting the causes of any errors.

What really got me is that they put down Professor Kruckenhauser and his successor Hopichler who were visionaries who advanced skiing and ski teaching in Austrian sports universities, (they advocated very narrow stance in their time, BTW), and statement like this:

>>> Look, there’s Stenmark, or Tomba, with his feet way apart. But in terms of lateral spread from the center-line of the body–that is to say, measured perpendicular to the body’s main axis–well actually, they’re really still skiing in a narrow stance. Right?”<<<

If they see Tomba as skiing narrow stance, we need not worry then, we all ski narrow stance. How does "way apart" and "still skiing in a narrow stance" creep into the same sentence. Do these guys think we are stupid? Insulting.

Why was their whole conversation so negative, just tearing down the world's skiing systems, hardly a word about how to fix it.

post #15 of 77

Edit spelling:
You're wrong! So wrong! Everyone/anyone can learn the way I did. Fat ones, skinny ones, ones with no balance. Do they rent shaped skis where you teach?

Go study this stuff. Talk to Lito, talk to Harald. Talk to John Clendenin, Talk to Rich Messer, a former PSI frickinA examiner, and former ski school director. Talk to a few other former PSIfrickinA examiners that are now advocating what HH and Lito talk about. No one's bitching about the instructors, it's the system they teach!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited May 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #16 of 77
>>>Everyone/anyone can learn the way I did. Fat ones, skinny ones, ones with no balance.<<<

Oh sure, that's why all these ski resorts give up on his system after a season or two

post #17 of 77
Quack quack quack.... let it go.
post #18 of 77
I think everyone should remember that the season is over for the majority of skiers in North America, so they can't blow off steam on the slopes or try new ideas that come up here. Tread lightly.

When I read that Lito/Harb article a few months back, I was struck by how much both of them really want to improve skiing instruction. However, as has been pointed out here, their instruction is geared towards only those who are "serious" about skiing- i.e. those who have the resources and time to spend at the slopes on good equipment. The average 1-week-a-season skier really won't make the kind of progress in that short time to carry from year to year with their systems. Lito starts from the intermediate skier and goes forward, assuming the skier is already comfortable on skis. Harald starts at a lower level and builds from there, but requires a substantial time investment and modern equipment.

Let's face facts- a lot of resorts have worn-out, rear-entry boots because they're more comfortable to get in and out of and they're paid for. They have straight skis that lost their edges years ago and will continue to use them as long as their bindings still pass release checks. This is the equipment 99% of first-time skiers learn on. Why spend upwards of $1000 on equipment for a sport that you might not even enjoy? Should these people be told that they can't ski because they don't have the right equipment for the lessons? I bet your average PMTS instructor falls back on PSIA methods when confronted with students on this equipment.

Lito's/Harb's methods don't work for as wide a spectrum of skiers/equipment as PSIA's does- it doesn't mean that their methods aren't another valid option for some people.

A wedge is a tool, not a dead-end pattern- unless the student allows it to be one. I wasn't taught how to snowplow and then told that I knew everything there was to know about skiing. Unfortunately, a lot of skiers figure they can learn the rest on their own, which is the cause of the "intermediate hump". Any skier that participates in some form of continuing instruction (formal, books, tapes...) will make more progress than one who tries to learn on his own- no matter which method they use.

post #19 of 77

Have you been to Lito's or Harald's clinics?

On equipment, Loveland, ABasin, Copper, all the Vail resorts, have shaped skis. If a resort has shaped skis, there's absolutely no reason why a skier shouldn't be taught what Harald and Lito preach.

From what I know, this organization (PSIA) is an ancien regime.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited May 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #20 of 77
dchan, ryan amd everybody, since I only have good days and better days in my life, today was one of the less good days, in hindsight, I shouldn't even have posted on this forum.

This morning I stubbed my little toe, tearing off most of the nail, but the bleeding has stopped. Then I stepped on the tail of my 22 pound Main Coon cat and he probably doesn't love me anymore, rats...

post #21 of 77
I like it Pierre.
take a peek in on JR's website. I posted a note up there that is getting some interesting responses..
post #22 of 77
Ott.. Oww.
Hope it only gets better today.
Wine class tonight for me. I'll try to get your day tomorrow started better with a wine review.....
post #23 of 77
No, I haven't been to their clinics, although I would love to ski with Lito. He has a rare gift for expressing the pure joy of skiing. From a financial standpoint, it isn't likely that I'll attend a clinic down there. When you add up airfare from Alaska, food/lodging, and the cost of the clinic... well, let's just say I'd rather spend the money on heliskiing or a ski trip to Europe. I'm sure I'd learn a lot, but for the cost of the clinic I can get a lot of private lessons that I'm fairly sure will teach me even more. It all boils down to how much time the instructor has to spend with me.

You know, if every ski school in the country suddenly adopted Harb's system, I think he'd find out what PSIA already knows- ski schools are run by resorts, and they have all the power. Besides, systems don't teach skiers, instructors do. A bad "certified" PMTS instructor is no better or worse than a bad "certified" PSIA instructor. When the resorts don't pay instructors what they're worth, it becomes harder to convince exceptional instructors the joy of skiing is enough to feed their families.

Dogma aside- an exceptional instructor is an exceptional instructor.

post #24 of 77
Thread Starter 
for your toe, try a manhattan (or two). <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited May 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #25 of 77
>>>as for your toe, try a manhattan (or two).<<<

I'm way ahead of you. After stubbing my toe early in the morning, Ann said "Some alcohol will make it feel better" so I made myself a manhatten. It felt better right away

post #26 of 77
What about your poor sweet little Maine Coon? Dosen't he get a manhattan?
post #27 of 77

I'm not picking on instructors. I know it can be tough. It's the system. Man, it just seems like it's so broke. Everything I've heard about PSIA just makes me gag. It just sounds like such a good old boys network. A bunch of white guys sitting around in turtle necks, sneering at everyone.

Sorry about your cat. This is gonna kill ya.

The last cat I had left me for someone with better cat food. On the flip side, none of my dogs have ever done this. This lead me to arrive at my now famous observation.
"I need a woman who's more like a dog then a cat".
post #28 of 77
Give kitty some shrimp; if the Maine Coon is anything like this Abyssinian I know, all will be forgiven.

post #29 of 77
Ott, sorry about the toe and your cat. Maybe a little fish for the cat?

Don't back down though! Some good can come of this injury. Stick with your guns and let us hear more of the indignation.

Let's take one of the statements that pissed you off. Now I don't know Kruckenhauser and Hopplicher from a hole in the wall. Neither I suspect does 99.5% of people who would read this. It's thrown in there to make them look good. Whatever they're talking about must be right because they refer to 2 people with important sounding names. Hey that's what they do in academia! They make references! These guys must be smart! Typical Harb trash talk. All his materials allude to science but don't use it.

>>Totally. When I was on the demo team in Japan for the Interski, one of the ideas that kept surfacing in discussions with other instructors was this notion of Kruckenhauser’s and Hopplicher’s that the real importance of teaching a wedge christy was that it would force people to come back to ski school to someday learn to ski parallel”

“But, Harald,” I protest, “that’s really old-fashioned thinking.”

He shakes his head. “I think ideas like that should be exposed…cleansed. It’s kind of the ‘keeper-of-the-flame’ syndrome, forcing people to come back to the temple again and again, so that the priests can dribble out the truth.”<<

I love this "forcing people to come back...". What a joke! He's implying that they'll teach you to ski in what one lesson? You mean you never have to come back for another one? (Here comes wacko with his 115 days in 2 years,Harb camp, and informal private all day lessons with snokarver to say "yeah that's true")
What's the point of even having instructors? You just teach people one lesson and they're done. Only need a handful for that.

Then there's the whole rotary, edging, pressure. It's been my experience that you don't use those terms except edge. And that's rarely used as "edging". They're there for instructor's own knowledge as pierre points out above.
post #30 of 77
>>A bunch of white guys sitting around in turtle necks, sneering at everyone.<< -Scsa

Add some wild mushrooms and some wine and you've just described Lito and Harald's dinner!

Thanks for the description...
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