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Sequential learning . . .

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I took an end-of-the-season easy-going group lesson yesterday--advanced parallel per the PSIA Level III instructor--with two other guys, one a little stronger than me, the other a little weaker, but all three of us close enough together to make up a teachable group.
The intructor had me focusing on the rhythm of touch-and-turn, use the inside knee, but with a patient little lag, which was simple enough that hopefully I'll be able to remember it for next season. She had the more advanced guy addressing what I'll call keeping your body headed down the fall line, with your legs crossing over under the torso as you turn.
In a small group lesson (at three people, almost a semi-private) you pick up from what the others are being taught, of course, and when I asked her about the leg-crossing-under business, she very politely advised me to stay fixed on the rhythm of poll plant/turn for the time being. The other stuff could wait.
This got me thinking.
For the last year I've taken a lesson every fourth or fifth time I've gone skiing and reasonably dutifully worked on whatever the last lesson focused on (not obsesively, but using the BBarnes 20% easy/60%fun/20%challenging approach). In the course of those half-dozen lessons, there seemed to be a progression in what you should focus on.
It's not so much that you unlearn what you've already learned, as that there is new stuff.
In other sports and games I have pursued, at some point I've generally found myself trapped in terminal mediocrity by a collection of bad habits that preclude further progress without first a bit of performance degradation. The hideous experience of golf comes to mind.
So far this skiing business is different.
What gives?
post #2 of 6

No there's not really a fixed progression. At least there shouldn't be. In general, we teach to the skier's weakes skill, or biggest problem area. A good instructor will try to not give you too much info at any one time. In the 1-3 hours that you have for a lesson, it's hard enough to learn one thing, much less, having a bunch of stuff thrown at you. That would just get you all confused, and not sure what you sould be concentrating on. Once you are comfortable skiing with what you learn in one lesson, then you go back for something new. Your instructor was doing the right thing by not letting you try to work on too much stuff at once.
post #3 of 6
In short... JohnH is saying, "Don't water the flower more than it can take."

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #4 of 6
In short... JohnH is saying, "Don't water the flower more than it can take."

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #5 of 6
Actually, Sno'more, the PSIA approach is that we do best if we build on established skills. There should be things we learn for turning at the snowplow stage that apply to how we ski in the bumps. The goal is to get better and better at employing the same basic skills. Sounds like the folks you've been working with on the ski slopes are more in tune with their teaching system than those you've encountered in the other activities. Of course, I don't know how anybody can hit a little ball with a skinny club and put it where they intended.
post #6 of 6
Sure, we build on established skills, but we don't work (for example) more and more edging skills, when edging is already their strong skill, and they have weaker rotary (or pick one) skills. We use the strength of the edging skills they have as a tactical means of building the weaker skills. The best skiers have a most well rounded mix of skills.
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