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Ski or teach - Page 2

post #31 of 48
While you are teaching this summer, after you have introduced some information to your students and have given them time to assimilate it, ride the lift and ask them to pick out others on the hill who are doing it as you described it.

Now you will be suprised!

These students will soon find that their idea of a good skier may not have been so accurate, and strengthens their desire to improve. They can and will identify those skiers NOT performing as you have suggested.

But I'm warning you- you will have wrecked them for life. They will become like instructors- always analyzing other skiers....

post #32 of 48
That's the point, isn't it? That instructors, especially those who've been doing it for a while, tend to have very high standards. To choose a godlike skiier to instruct is to forget that the less godlike may still be able to demo, and inspire, without necessarily being 100% "correct" in their skiing. But the average punter won't pick it.

Just watch skiiers go past on the hill, stand back and let the group discuss them. I do it all the time with my groups, and it's amazing how the people waggling their backsides around, sliding like crazy and way back on their heels get ooohs and aaahs of admiration!

You can talk about some aspects of "good" skiing vs the other, but it's going to take more than that to have them recognising what's "good" skiing and "bad" skiing. There are so many little components that go into it.

As for the figure skaters, I thought the Yank couple had it in the bag!

And i defy anyone to pick the winning Downhiller, without the timing thingy on the screen. The ones who look the best come nowhere.
post #33 of 48
All I care about is that my instructor is a lot better at skiing than I am. As I get better, I will demand higher standards of skiing. I think I will also be less demanding of teaching ability because I will be able to learn more by watching and following.

I had a very helpful 'lesson' from a guide the other week. He was not a superb skier who had just got his BASI level I qualification. We found ourselves stuck on an ungroomed, mogulled black (we thought it had been groomed so should be straightforward if steep). He could remember clearly the struggles he'd had learning to ski this type of stuff and had lots of helpful suggestions for getting down. He said 'this isn't the way experts will ski down here or even how you will be taught properly when you're a bit more confident on bumps but right now this is what is most useful to get to the bottom in one piece' I think real expert skiers might forget some of the compromises they might have made in the past.
post #34 of 48
Ultimately the answer for me to this question-- as an instructor, a manager, and a student--is that I want both/and, not either/or.

Furthermore, this is attainable through hiring, adequate pay, and training. Furtherfurthermore, I want both competency and authenticity--in the skiing and the teaching and the service and the sales.

This quest is the only reason I allow myself to stay in management and examining.
post #35 of 48
Hey, Robin, have you taken a close look at ski patrollers recently? I had the same general thoughts as you about them as a group for years. But this past season, I was noticing that a fair number of patrollers have improved significantly.
post #36 of 48
I think that one of the reasons for the difference in opinion between Ant and Nolo, about the GP's perception of good skiing, comes from where they ski most often.

Here in the mid Atlantic states, it is much the same as Ant describes. I have, on may occasions, asked intermediate level students, while on the lift, to pick out people they thought were skiing well. They generally pick what we call "Jersey Turners". Basically, lock the feet, sit back a bit, push the heels from side to side like rudders, and have no speed or directional control. Sometimes, a technically superior instructor, racer, etc., will ski by carving arcs, and they will NOT pick them out.

However, if you go out west or up north to some of the bigger mountains, the GP see and hear enough about good skiing to pick out people that we, as instructors, would consider expert.

Weems would like to have Flashy McHuckster be well motivated to teach. And he probably is able to get some people like that in his part of the world. But here, it is a great rarity. I would guess that we have (at the most) one candidate each season that is above an advanced intermediate even show up to the instructor training course. When we do get a hot skier, it is usually a kid (under 25) who is not motivated to teach. We teach 90% beginners here. If he gets hired, he won't last.
post #37 of 48
I understand, John H. It's even difficult here, but that's my aim.

Flashy McHuckster!! I like that.
post #38 of 48
I have just re-read the first post to this thread and wish to comment to the questions posed in the second paragraph as a student.

With very few "lesson" experiences, I may not have a comprehensive scope, but I do know my impressions.
My first instruction several years ago, was with a proficient skier, but little instruction took place. The new skis were all the rage, and perhaps the instructor was caught up in the "new" movement of " Just tip".
I could already tip my old skis, they just didn't respond the same. This left me cold, as I expected transfer and learning. Good skier perhaps, but a bad lesson.

The last two "clinics" were taken with good "teachers" though much different in style.
One, a mature gentleman, demonstrated and instructed methods,exercises and drills for "good skiing". His observations and comments to each person were experienced and beneficial. We each left the lesson with new sensations, ideas and things to work on. My only complaint, is he skied like an instructor all the time. A rather static "demonstration" posture. Lacking fluidity, though very smooth and very controlled. Enviably smooth and controlled.

The second was with a well experienced, though more youthfull person. Glimpses left no doubt that he skied well. Though to be honest, I didn't watched him, except as he moved downhill to better observe each member of our group ski to him, or as he skied to us after sending us ahead. The one "demonstration run" he performed I was opposite several trees in the gladed bumps and didn't see much at all. I certainly didn't analyse his motions and try to apply them to myself. In the "huddles", his instruction to each of us was individualized and encouraging. I gained insight into my skiing through his eyes.
On reflection, I would describe my attitude as trusting. Something about his teaching style satisfied. He did not need to impress me with his personal skills. He functioned more a a member of our group than an "instructor". My only compaint was that the afternoon passed so quickly. Also that on the lifts, he spoke too much of the wonderful private lesson committments some of his peers had.


Finding an instructor right for an individule must be a real lottery adventure.
post #39 of 48
Weems and BB. If I understand you correctly you need to have an instructor ski better than you, or at least (as I understand you are both great skiers) extremely well, for you to respect and get anything from them. Nothing wrong with that, as I said, to each their own. That being the case, is it impossible for you to get anything of value from printed material such as books, or this forum, as you cannot see how the writer skis? Have you ever gained anything by way of tips, technique, and so on from a source other than an instructor/ski partner that rips before your eyes?

We all learn most effectively by different means, but personally I have made great advances from reading things and trying them on skis to see how they feel. Indeed it was a one liner from Ott that I feel took me to the next level of skiing.

Regarding “good” skiers. To me the definition of somebody who is good at their task is somebody who makes a very difficult job look easy. One of the best skiers I saw last (northern) season in Switzerland was an older gentleman who made skiing down some reasonably steep terrain look like we was just walking through a park. Did he “rip”? Well there was no flying snow or high energy turns, instead absolute grace and control; great to watch. I guess the converse is somebody who makes an easy job look difficult. Trust me when I say I have to restrain myself when I see bar staff throw bottles around as they’re pouring me a drink, “For God’s sake man. Bottle + contents + glass. Not a difficult task to bring all three together for a moment!!” Needless to say that Tom Cruise movie wasn’t one of my faves
post #40 of 48
Great thread.
As a professional lesson taker I would like to make some end user observations as I'm certainly not qualified to comment on the different teaching systems in the USA, only my experiences as a student.

A quick bio, I started sking 8 years ago and am now 52 years old so always have lessons when I hit the slopes as I want to constantly improve (read make up for lost time). I have had lessons in Australia, Canada and this year in Austria and am a hard core intermediate.

As a student I personally learn from a detailed technical explanation of what we are trying to achieve, a demo from the instructor and finally exercises, critique and practice. So, in my case, I don't learn, nor am I particulary impressed by an instructor who utters a few thoughts, dives down a black run in a racing tuck and expects the group to follow. This actually happened in one place in Austria and was probably my worst lesson experience although I obviously survived. That was followed up by my best lesson experience, and a personal break through, with another Austrain instructor who had the attributes of maturity, patience, sking ability and teaching knowledge.

And that in my humble opinion is the nexus between sking and teaching ability. It really comes down to maturity and patience.

BTW I must try and get over to the Barking Bears camp next year. It sounds like a fantastic learning opportunity with a great bunch of like minded folks.
post #41 of 48
Welcome to EPICSKI, T-S,
I agree. It's the maturity to balance one's skiing ability and teaching ability to the benefit of the student that is paramount!

Hope you will be able to join us. Like you, I'm new to the BBF/ EPICSKI, but old to the ski biz. I'm looking forward to meeting 'da BEARS....

post #42 of 48
Welcome Tony! Awesome post! I'm always glad to hear about other 40 something starters! And do try to make it to the camp next year! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #43 of 48
It's all about love.

The outdoors,improvement,helping others,seeing improvements, smiles, happiness,hard work,falls,help gettig up.

An instructor who loves what they are doing and loves others will always succeed.
post #44 of 48
While I was reading Rusty's post, a ski school contract came through on the fax. It's for a tiny little hill, flat as a tack. It's so flat, they changed their name from Mount S... to S.... Snowfields! Their only black run is a green run with ice on it. The guests are mainly country people in jeans from the Riverina farming district.

It's small and friendly, no egos, no nonsense.

Soon as I finish typing, I'm gonna sign it and fax it back.
post #45 of 48
post #46 of 48
Yeah, anyone who wants a lesson with me down here is going to have to SUFFER! These guys have a toboggan tow! The car park is the highest point in the resort. They have 80% snowmaking covereage because natural falls are too unreliable. It's near a ghost town (Kiandra). Need I go on?! I shall work on my XC, terrain park-ing, and possibly even snowboarding. I'm trying to get them to let me be a trainee snowmaker.

(This in response to SS director of a bigger hill still wanting me to do their hiring clinic, because in his words, the US level 2 didn't mean I could ski or teach. Charming, eh?).
post #47 of 48
>>>Indeed it was a one liner from Ott that I feel took me to the next level of skiing.<<<

Pete, would you mind telling me which of my utterances connected with you?

post #48 of 48
Ott, PM coming at you
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