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Yikes zone related thread

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is it December yet?

Okay. So an intermediate skier who's taken lots of lesssons, but none of them the same (because remember, ski instructors can teach anything they want, right?), finds themselves at the top of a run that's way over their ability. There's no backing out, they have to ski down it.

Yikes or not?

In my opinion, it's yikes big time. Why? Because this skier has had so many different lessons. On terrain that they're comfortable on, their lessons seem to be a bargain. But once they get in over their heads, it's time to put those lessons to work.

Here's the skier, at the top of the run, talking to themself:
"Okay. Joe said to do this. But wait. Mike said something different. Then Mary said to do something else, not even close to what Mike and Joe said. What the hell am I supposed to do? How the hell do I make it down this?"!


So here's what the skier does. They end up reverting back to everything that all their instructors tried to break them of. Why? Because in the moment, standing at the top of the run, they freaked. They went back to what they know; stemming, breaking, all the wrong movements. Why? Because in the moment, when it was time to put their lessons to use, they couldn't decide which instructors advice to apply. They got confused and bagged it all. Why didn't they get confused earlier? Because they were on groomed runs. Any instructors advice looks good on groomed runs.

Here's the same skier, standing at the top of the same run, who's been taught one way to ski, one set of movements:
"Okay. This is no different than groomed runs, because I use the exact same movements I've been practicing all along. I'll be fine".

Now are you guys really going to tell me that my paint by numbers ski instruction isn't any good? I think in this case, it buries traditional ski instruction practices - that every lesson can potentially be different.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying there's one way to ski and that's that. But, I am saying that until a skier reaches the "expert level", they should be taught one way to ski - a system. Then, once they "get their wings", let 'em go off and experiment with other systems or coaches.


[ May 29, 2002, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #2 of 15
Actually the intermediate skier would use rotary motion and skidding to keep their speed down. The skier struggles but makes it down.
I take young ski racers on runs above their abilities all the time. As long as they have confidence they make it down fine. The best racers aren't necessarily the best "terrain" skiers. The technique is different. SCSA, I think your way off base again.
post #3 of 15
A non-instructor's opinion - which means I am right, don't even think about arguing.

Shouldn't the skier take the responsibility to hire the same instructor to teach them as often as possible? Don't ski schools take responsibility to teach their instructors their method of teaching so that the entire school teaches the same way? Sure different mountains would teach different methods, but the school would generally be the same. Colleges do this and it seems to work.

Also, I am of the firm belief that a skier must get in over their head from time to time to learn from their mistakes/accomplishments. True with any individual sport.
post #4 of 15
PSIA teaches a "system" We have essentially only four movement patterns that we teach

Tipping, turning, flexion, and extension.

These four movements are blended and the glue that holds this together is balance.
post #5 of 15
Rust Guy - APSI does the same ....

The problem is MOST instructors neglect to explain to the student that that is what they are being taught. That is why the student gets confused - they have no idea that exercise B is to teach edging skills or C for learning/improving rotary etcetc...

I have looked in a puzzled way at a (reasonably) new to me instructor, I was struggling to match what he wanted done with what I understood - I said "Oh - so you want more rotary?" when it started to sort itself into my foggy brain.
He looked bemused & pointed out that my understanding of mechanics was better than his Level 1 instructor group (he is an examiner/trainer).
If these people were teaching then HOW is this the case??????
post #6 of 15
disski- I'm uncomfortable with any statement, about any group of people, that includes the word "most".

I feel fairly certain a PSIA level III is well versed with the four movement patterns taught in our curriculum.

[ May 29, 2002, 06:09 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #7 of 15

There is only one way to ski! Would you accept that knowing this one way enables you to know its 10,000 variations as well?

post #8 of 15
No, only 9,700 of them....and even that only 97% of the time in only 97% of situations.
post #9 of 15
Didn't someone once say something along the lines of "you can give him a fish and postpone starvation one day, or teach him to fish and feed himself forever".

Teach the skier simple efficient movements and how to adjust, re-blend, and adapt them to create their "best" turn for the present situation (ability, terrain, snow, or attitude (yikes)).

One tool (or turn) does not provide the options that a full tool box offers.

"When all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail" - Abraham Maslow
post #10 of 15
Until ones skiing becomes "automatic" then there may be many lineal thought processes to deal with terrain and conditions. (this depends on the individual)

Basic ski instruction teaches the lineal thought process based on a series of basic movements. This is the binding key for all PROFESSIONAL ski instruction training.

Breakthroughs come when the thought process moves from taught movement steps to seamless body\mind terrain adaptation.

Does one think "trees .. I will miss them if I look in the direction of travel, steer from the ski, flex in the right place, feel my foot tipping etc, etc" or does one think "trees ... ski between them".

The defining process between these two ways of partaking in sport is the grey area between instruction methodology and student commitment. No one learning doctrine has a monopoly on this grey area. Some learning doctrines may benefit from a smaller spread of their teaching basics and so appears a “tighter” “more focussed” method of learning but the key for both teacher and student is to absorb all doctrines and challenge the inner “voices\ego” to create a rounded and complete athlete.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ May 30, 2002, 01:49 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #11 of 15
I didn't say they don't know it - just they don't seem to tell the students WHAT they are teaching them (or trying to).
"Do this".....

My instructors WILL tell me what they are trying to teach me - OR else will say - 'I want you to try this & see what happens - then we will discuss it'

I am going by the people who I chat to at nights, over 4 weeks each August, after they return from ski lessons. & the rest of the season the ones I chat to over lunch. I can tell you that they will say they have NO IDEA why they did exercise A.
The ones I drag along in my lessons from time to time are all AMAZED at the info they get about what is happening in their skiing & why they are doing an exercise.

I have only had APSI & some CSIA people. The only PSIA person I had (PSIA 2, APSI 1) didn't really explain things that much - she liked lots of funky similies - I just don't get them - skiing does not feel like riding a bike to me!
post #12 of 15
Skiing lessons for us part-time Brits work totally differently. I go on holiday for a week at a time, and deliberately pick different places to go to (there are long weekends as well if I can afford them, but they don't usually include lessons). So no way am I going to go back to the same instructor time after time.

I've been told things by different people that seem contradictory. Sometimes I get confused. When I ask, I am always told that this way is the modern way and that what I was told before is old-fashioned. There are some things EVERYBODY says so these must be very important.

I'm starting to see that other things are merely different ways of trying to achieve the same end result. By working with different instructors I have a better chance that something will 'click' for me. There have been other threads on the 'aha' moment. I've had 'aha' moments with different instructors in different areas of technique.

I may be learning a little more slowly than I would if I had one person teach me one 'system', but I think at the end of it I will be a better skier because I will have tried and understood alternative approaches of getting to the end result.

I should add that I've never had an instructor I thought was brilliant - they have varied from competent to good. If I did, I imagine I would want to go back to them as much as possible/necessary.
post #13 of 15
Man From Oz


Skiing starts when thinking stops. At least the fun starts then.

When confronted with difficult situations, (fearful), I can not imagine a thought process directing the mechanics of ones movements. Such an ability would be able to displace the fear emotion with reason. Fear and reason my be mutualy exclusive.
Familiar movement patterns will most likely prevail, something that comes from any "teaching method". Panic can wash away all learning and result in chaos however.

post #14 of 15
It all comes back to balance. The rest is adapting to the conditions with whatever skills you have. Teaching is the foundation but practice is the key to a strong skier.
post #15 of 15
SCSA does make a valid point. While instructors my base their teaching on the same system, their interpretation is all over the map.

Just look at any thread on movement analysis. Everyone has a different idea and would give different advice. When riding the chair I often listen to instructors explain to students various concepts. Everyone seems to give different advice. Even when we had video of a top Canadian pro, the advice and criticism was strong and all over the map.

Can one blame SCSA for maintaining that ski instruction needs to be more generic and less open to interpretation?
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