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What would you do for this lady?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've been feeling like my teaching is piecemeal and fragmented this season, and some times almost automatic. Epicski helps me to widen the mind a bit, but sometimes...

Today I had a lady, who put herself at level 2. She said she had a half hour lesson at some little local hill a while back this season. When she tried to ski our greens, she was falling constantly and had bruises, and was scared of our main green.

I watched her on an almost flat little slope, and she was very stiff, locked in a half sitting down position, and not moving.

so for most of the lesson, before we did anything else, we did lots of dynamic balance stuff. I wanted to improve her balance and confidence on the skis, loosen her up and get her making fine adjustments while sliding. So we did a bunch of stuff, including gentle ankle bouncing, shuffling while gliding, and big/small wedges (with the object of not slowing down appreciably, not edged or defensive). After that, we moved on to turns etc.

It worked well and she was happy BUT, I wanted to check with you guys. When you get a very low level, stiff, scared person who locks themselves up when they start to slide, what do you do?

btw, she didn't fall again today!
post #2 of 19
The first thing that I would do is check her fore and aft stance to make sure that she fit right in the boots. I would question her to find out what she perceived as her problem and how she wanted it to change. That would be my starting point. I have found that people who lock up usually have some type of boot problem and how they perceive it can be the clue to the fix.
post #3 of 19
I think you did great. It's about patience with her, letting her find her way bit by bit. Lots of slow TLC guided miles. Keep off the pressure to perform. She is working at max thrills already.

Nice job. I think your just being there for her is the key.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks! We chatted and gossiped rather a lot too, it goes without saying! Often while I was getting her to do something, we'd continue chatting, and that seemed to do the trick too.

Sometimes I wonder if there's other approaches though...and Pierre, yes we did check the boots (I always go for them with low level people to get all the stuff they've packed down there out!) and yes, her feet were moving in the boots. So we chatted about that.

I wrote down the essentials for her at the end, too, on one of those PSIA Tip of the Day cards. I try to do that with most people. So she can remember the "right" way next time she comes out skiing.
post #5 of 19
ant, it sounds to me as though you hit a home run. The key that I try to focus on is to remember that it's skiing that we're discussing, not the re-entry of the Space Shuttle. It's about peace and joy, not perfection. It seems that your approach got her off the idea of performance and more focused on the aesthetics of the experience.

Well done!
post #6 of 19
I agree with weems and ssh. My first post is in addition to what you already did.
post #7 of 19
Sounds like a resounding successful lesson. distraction is often a great relaxer.

Was she smiling? then good job.. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 19

Problems, problems?? I don't see that you had any problems. I think you did a great job! From your discription of the day, the balance issue was right where I would have started. Posture, or ones stance on skis,IMHO, is the first thing the guest needs to get right. Without it, the guest is in for a long day. Great Job!---------Wigs
post #9 of 19
There is a great lesson in this for all of us. Sometimes, the lesson is not as much about ski movements as it is about the affective part of the experience-how does the guest feel. Ant did a good job of addressing that, resulting in what sounds like a successful event.

Regardless of the skier level, if we're aware of how the guest is feeling about the time spent together, we're more likely to have success.

post #10 of 19
RJR, agreed! For me, this maps into the GCT grid and focusing on the Understanding and Motivation parts first, and even using Movements to address the Understanding and Motivation needs. Given that you're from WP, is this how you see it, too?
post #11 of 19
I like everything in this thread so far; the exercises; the distraction, etc.

One thing I'd might add is doing lot's of stepping . I've had success with stepping even with people how don't get gliding wedge, breaking wedge, or wedge turn. It's very natural. We all know how to walk. Have the student follow you and walk like you. Emphasize getting the whole ski off the snow level in your movements. Do figure eights sideways across the bottom of the learning slope where it is completely flat. Gradually work the the figure out sideways so part of it is on now on the slope. The guest should start an itty-bitty of sliding during there steps. Work it very slowwwwly up the slope. After a while, they may be stepping through turns while going down hill without even knowing you tought them to turn. All you taught them was to walk and they already knew how to do that.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks guys! I guess, when I can so easily slip into this stuff, I start to question whether I'm doing it right...whether I'm in a rut. I'm always looking at balance, especially with nervous people. And yes Ken, after I hit "send", I remembered at the bottom of the easy hill, we did some stepping through a few turns. I like that, as it gets them to move their feet and use feet for balance, rather than gross body movements.

I'm delighted at all the support! I kind of make-up the lesson after I listen to them talking about why they're here, and see them ski. I'm so glad to hear from you all that you feel I'm not on the wrong track!

I had another similar lady today, and felt more confident in my approach (she was a 4 though). So now she's booked me for 2 more days.
post #13 of 19
Fine effort Ant. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
To be honest, I get a lot of folks like this. It was just yesterday, as I taught, I wondered, am I getting this right? Am I doing so much of this that I'm in a rut? Is there a whole bunch of approaches I'm missing? I guess that it's got much easier, and that raises the suspicion that one is coasting.
post #15 of 19
If by the end of the lesson her look of terror has been replaced by a smile then you have done everything right, at the beginner level it is about making it enjoyable more than anything else and it sounds like you achieved that and more if she has booked further lessons.
post #16 of 19
I agree that a good job was done and can relate after watching a forty eight year old man that was stiff scarred and total body flexion to the point it had to be painful. I asked him his other hobbies and weight lifting was stated. He had very little rotary motion and was very afraid of two things 1 speed 2 looking bad in front of his family. Tried all of the usual stuff and really didn’t work. I placed an edgy wedgy on his skis and the rest of the day he skied with his family, turned, and was comfortable. I know that this might be conceived as not a correct fix to his problems but the customer met his goals and was happy. I may be all wet but I feel this is guest centered teaching. With more time a different result could be reached I am sure, but with the average ski vacation shrinking each year we are expected to solve all problems in three hours. Sometimes a small battle helps win the war!!!
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Larry, those big strong men are sometimes such a challenge! I'm building a profile of them mentally, and physically. I had a bunch of them from Denver when I was in Colorado, they were some gridiron team, and evidentally were famous going by all the autograph hunters hanging around. It was the lesson from hell, YOU CAN'T TURN SKIS WITH YOUR SHOULDERS DAMMIT! NO REALLY! I still have nightmares.
Give me a bunch of apprehensive 75 year old ladies any time, any time.
post #18 of 19
PS, I didn't blame all problems on alignment issues!!
post #19 of 19
Originally posted by ant:
...I had a bunch of them from Denver when I was in Colorado, they were some gridiron team, and evidentally were famous going by all the autograph hunters hanging around. It was the lesson from hell, YOU CAN'T TURN SKIS WITH YOUR SHOULDERS DAMMIT! ...
I had a slight varaint on the same situation. Under the terms of his contract to a US pro football team, my 275+ pound football player apparently wasn't supposed to be skiing at all, and wanted to avoid people that might recognize him. His only problem was that he wasn't ready to progress off the bunny slopes because every time he attempted a turn, he just about augered himself into the snow with the massive amounts of over-rotation he seemed to think was necessary to ski. ... OK, now pretend there is a bowl of soup on the imaginary tray that you are carrying, and you don't want to spill it...

Tom / PM
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