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Once an expert, always an expert? - Page 2

post #31 of 65

Have you ever taken a L3 certification? and secondly what in the hell do they make the guys do in other countries?
post #32 of 65
Damn I had no idea, never really thought about it I guess... How do you carve a 360? I want to try a few of these things, interesting ideas to try in clinics, but I'd be hard pressed to try a cross legged carve in a class (liability crap). This gives me a few things to throw at J Bison. next time I take a clinic with em, hehe. he pulled a pretty good worm turn last season for a demo.

on another note: Roto you wouldn't happen to be the tele skier who was skipping and flippin in the pond with us, this last april? if so, the chest waders were a nice touch. Bigger and longer for next year!!!
post #33 of 65
Carving 360's

We have a sixtyish instructor at our place who began teaching in 1962. His name is Skip Kitely. He can make entire groups of instructors marvel at his carved 360's. The question was asked how? Go fast, have wide open terrain, just the right pitch, and lay your skis on their sidewalls! It is neat to see it done. A pair of Elan HRC's help!
post #34 of 65
Roto, Your description of the French certification reminds me of the PGA Club Pro requirements. From what I understand, to be a PGA Club Pro at a golf course, you have to have finished with some # on some amount of tour events. I find this to be really stupid, because they have no clue how to teach. Not to mention that I think Jack Nicklaus would probably be a better coach than a lot of current top pros, but he can't even make the cut on the regular tour these days.

Lisa Marie, I sent you a couple of e-mails. Ignore the first one. Thursday is good.
post #35 of 65

Not so re; PGA membership. I think what you are referring to is the P.A.T. (player ability test). Early in the PGA apprenticeship process, you play 36 holes and must post a score below a number decided for the given venue, weather, course difficulty etc. It's very fair. The PGA does not want guys teachung who "can't play a lick". A typical 36 hole score might be 158,159,160.

Guys "on tour" are obviously competent players and are exempted from the P.A.T.
They still have to take the other course work that club professionals are required to take.
post #36 of 65
It sounds as though you are describing carving a circle in a hill, I can do that already, is that what they mean by a 360?? I was envisioning more something like the way you can do an on snow heli, (easiest way to describe it).
post #37 of 65
I assume carved on snow. The guy I see doing it does it at warp speed and ends up with two perfect carved tracks, no scarving or skidding, about 30 feet in diameter. I can't do it like he can.
post #38 of 65
Got them both, John. Just trying to find the conference schedule, and I'll get back to you.
post #39 of 65
JohnH I don't profess to know the French cert process, just some tidbits from guys who have been there and looked into equivalency testing etc. I personally like the gate running idea to attain top level cert.

A swiss gentleman works in our school and brought in the Swiss manual last year. It is so cool, makes ours look like...(toilet paper?) He is working on getting an English version. The plethora of rowdy, fun, skill developing stuff is amazing. After some exposure (by video also) to the Swiss, their spirit of Glisse rivals that of the French.

Spyder, Nope, wasn't me. It looked like fun tho. I taught all day (after finishing off the KISS funhouse sculpture for the kids, was that cool or what!)e-mail me. Roto@epicski.com.

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #40 of 65
In France you have to run a racecourse with a National Team racer as pacesetter. You have to come within a certain %age(?) or you are out.
I can't even describe some of the SWISS stuff. It is amazing, you'd have to see it(carved turns with legs crossed, carved 360s, etc, etc)

The BASI site has some info on BASI & ISIA certs ISIA has links to other countries.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #41 of 65
You are as "expert" as you feel. Subsitute expert with young.
post #42 of 65
Oh! and Ott:

As long as we were speaking of Sigi, how did you spend those Bavarian summers?
post #43 of 65
Spyder - I passed PSIA Level 3 on the first try, at the end of my third season teaching. This would not be possible in most other countries. I grew up at the beach, and had been a recreational skier.
post #44 of 65

I could understand that, along with the rest of the exam, you should need to be able to attain a gold in 3 tries in a NASTAR course, or something like that (for L3. For L2 maybe silver).

I hope ze French exam is more than just a run through the gates, though. Is the race course just one part of their exam? I would imagine so. It just wasn't mentioned in your post.

At my L3 exam, we were required to teach gates to level 6-9 skiers.

But to pass the L3 exam, you need to have the moves. So by default, you'd be able to run gates fairly well. The only thing missing might be tactics for gates, but since we had to teach gates, we needed to understand the tactics also. I doubt there are too many current L3s (as opposed to pin polishers) that couldn't get a NASTAR gold.
post #45 of 65
It is just a part, but it is a standard that must be attained. A pretty non-subjective one as well. Most "Skiing Countries'" Instructors' Alliances/Associations are more closely involved with the racing end than ours is. I believe the skiing/knowledge standards are generally much higher than ours. We certainly have a very different angle on ski instruction here, not that it is necessarily bad.

I read about an American instructor who was teaching in Austria. Every morning the director would 'prescribe' what was to be taught for the day. All instructors had to teach that prescription. The American deviated from the prescription for what he saw as the good of the student and was immediately fired. I don't know if it is still like that, it was in the early 80's.

Have you ever seen interski footage? The Austrian National Team puts on some thrilling demos. HIGH-SPEED-close-quarters-GS-serpentines-crossing-paths. The demos are amazing to watch, but look very instructor centered.

As far as teaching goes our student-centeredness is very good. There is merit to good teachers not needing to be the best skiers. at some point though, lack of skill does limit teaching effectiveness. It would be nice if there were some level of certification available in PSIA to reflect mastery in all categories. I find it frustrating that many people cry and whine and challenge our standards instead of stepping up and attaining them. I also find it frustrating that the process allows people to be certified at level three without putting enough time in to really be professionals. In the long run, relaxing standards to accomodate the lower end is a dissservice to the guests, membership and the industry at large. This is likely one of the bones that other industry members have to pick with us.

I found spinheli's comments about being able to pass LI, II, III back-to-back in three years to be on the mark. It wouldn't happen in a "Skiing Country."
post #46 of 65
>> It wouldn't happen in a "Skiing Country."<<

That's the big difference right there. The US is not an alpine country. I would hope, that in alpine countries, where it is normal to be able to make a fair living as a ski instructor, that the standards for the highest certification levels are higher.

After 7 years of teaching full time, and another 11 of teaching part time, I doubt I would (or should) be able to pass the highest levels of Swiss certification. But if I lived there, and was able to make a career out of teaching, I would have at least 18 years of full time teaching and probably would be good enough to have passed their highest cert.

To achive those levels of proficiency in the US, you need to be bankrolled because it would cost you a lot more money to live than you'd ever make.
post #47 of 65
don't know about my skiing. so I can't say for sure. I'll let you know if I ever get there. then I'll have to see what it takes to stay an expert. ...Sigh.. someday.
post #48 of 65
I got in on the tail end of the standards/process the way they were. It was curious. Suddenly it was like someone turned off a switch and the standards I had been working toward disappeared. While I noticed this, I have never deviated from working to the standards I cut my teeth on. In the circles I run in it is a sort of tongue-in-cheek-but-not-really badge of honor to be Full Cert(as opposed to level three, a lower, less comprehensive standard).

Somehow, in the application of a new process, the baby got thrown out and we are only now thinking about approaching the standards once upheld. Unfortunately, we have a generation of instructors who have cut their teeth on unclear, subjective standards and processes.
post #49 of 65
O.K. So I exaggerated the case in that last paragraph. I was in a hurry and finished it off too quickly. Where people teach and who they learn from has a large bearing on their development. There are plenty of teachers, trainers, ski schools and programs who do tow the line.

I think there are plenty of people around who do function at the highest levels of cert anywhere in the world, there are also people who are billed(on paper)as having the same standard of performance who aren't "all terrain, all condition" skiers, much less teachers. People from any country ought to be able to expect a comaparable product here as well as there.

If people aren't willing to put in the time, effort and sacrifices to be the best, they shouldn't be recognised as such, much less have a system that supports and rewards such behavior. It shoots the credibility of ski teaching as a profession (in the U.S.)right down the tubes.

So many people who teach a handful of lessons per year and ski a handful more have this goal of being certified level III instructors. Somewhere the circuit is a short. Either the standards are being misrepresented or the standards are too low for 'hobbyists' to consider it a realistic goal.

I would never expect to attain an M.D. on my own doing occasional training and work, or my commercial pilot's license without fulfilling the criteria. I do not wonder at PSIA's lack of credibility at large. It is frustrating to know so many qualified professionals who get short-shrift because somebody took a lesson from a Level III instructor who can't back the pin up. A level III instructor who never will have the inkling that they cannot and will never make any attempt to remedy their shortcomings. AAARGH!
post #50 of 65
Roto, I share your frustration. There are alot of
achievers" out there, simply looking for another shingle for the wall. It always kills me when urban professionals part-time and back line it, seemingly always training! The full time trench warriors seem to be the ones shorted on the training (although, what better training than teaching)!
I got my "FULL" after my ASSOCIATE in a blood bath called "the great Santa Fe massacre" in 85?, one of only 4 to pass out of over 45.
The whole process seems somewhat diminished now. Not that low pass rates should prevail. Just to much fast track without the work. There is no there, there!
I support JR's efforts with the portfolio, enabling us to show a body of work before validation.
post #51 of 65
Guess what? There are plenty of "full certs" out there teaching the same crap that they learned back in '75 when they got promoted from "associate". Once they got the "pin" , they assumed they were top dogs and today still walk up to lineup with the "atittude". I like to hear them tell how passing cert 3 is easy now, anyone can do it. Bullshit! If anything, passing any level ( even 1- which you didn't used to have to test for ) is harder. A lot of these "full cert" guys are not 'experts' in my opinion and they ought to have to retake the (now "level 3")exam, which they would not be able to pass. You know who you are and you're giving SCSA ammunition for his cannon. We should support level 1 and level 2 instructors by skiing with them and helping them advance. All you 'full certs ' out there - get off your ego trip and remember what it took to get that gold pin ( figure eights, wasn't it? ). Jeez, Bob, How could we go back to that? SCSA - you don't have a clue , most PSIA level 1s have more knowledge about this sport than you ever will.
post #52 of 65
Snowdancer. You are correct. There are plenty of people who haven't changed with the times and still didn't die on the vine. Having experienced first hand the change in skiing standards(Assoc. 1985 Full-Cert 1988) I can say with certainty that the process is more subjective than it used to be.

This subjectiveness is largely related to the use of Centerline References as the exam tasks. The four references are blends of skills and can be completed in a myriad of styles yet still meet the standards. They are not skill-specific maneuvers and it is hard to communicate why or why not they do or do not measure up to standards.

It is also difficult to train for skill development by simply skiing these maneuvers. For the period of time the references were the exam tasks a lot of the membership practised the C-Line maneuvers exclusively...Four Turns! The idea of skill development became clouded, somewhat lost on a portion of a generation of instructors.

The art of task selection for specific skills outcomes was missed by a significant portion of people as it was not something they experienced in their own development. Thus professional knowledge, M.A., a number of teaching/knowledge factors also fell victim.

I will qualify much of the above by quoting one of my previoius posts:

"Where people teach and who they learn from has a large bearing on their development. There are plenty of teachers, trainers, ski schools and programs who do tow the line."

Prior to C-Line exam tasks there were a number of skill specific tasks to be completed in a specific manner..final-form if you will.. It was simple to tell if someone did or did not complete a task. It was simple to communicate performance in relation to standards. The tasks were skill specific. Learning to perform the tasks well brought about skill/skiing improvement.

The lack of specificity of the Centerline "tasks" gave a lot of leeway for personal interpretation on the examiners' parts leading to confusing exam results in which it was not clear why some skiing measured up and some did not. There was much confusion and tooth gnashing among the membership on this count. It became hard for examiners to back up results with non-specific tasks as measuring sticks. Thus the standards fell victim.

Then the National Standards were adopted. Exam tasks are once again skill specific and demand specific performances. This is hard for people who have grown up without specificity as an example.

We are almost through the gauntlet. What we have is a legacy of great ideas poorly implemented. It is almost over. The fault lies not with the membership who is/was confused, but the leadership. It is wrong for me to point fingers at people who are angry and confused for good reason.

I am not worried about giving anyone 'ammo.' History is what it is and we must face up and accept it to learn and grow. The option is to live in denial and never improve, fail to change with the times yet remain alive on the vine, souring the harvests of the future.

One more qualifier. My personal experiences are largely relegated to the Pacific Northwest. I cannot speak specifically of ALL exam tasks or processes of other divisions. Through conversations with professionals of other divisions I have heard similar opinions of what has gone on in some other places.
post #53 of 65
Sure, there are some fossilized pin polishers out there...and it is always nostalgic to assert how difficult or arduous the process was. The snow was harder, I had to lace my boots, BLah, blah, blah!
To reinforce what Roto said, there are plenty out there who more than tow the line. And I would be a liar to say I am not a better pro than in '85.
Since then I have kept up...and trained over 50 "now" full certs. Some of us do in fact not get older....we get better! And we do get to take our ego out for a walk occasionally.
post #54 of 65
snowdancer....nice post....let's hear it for the level I's....hopefully II by January!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Rusty Guy (edited July 26, 2001).]</FONT>
post #55 of 65
Roto and Robin,

Nice job.
post #56 of 65
Very interesting reading. I had the pleasure of attending the 32o Tropheo Topolino as an assistant US coach. My Italian is limited to words used in Fiat and Alfa shop manuals. At least I got the wine right(rosso, rosa and bianco). Unfortunatly I didn't see any of the ski school at Monte Bondoni.
As a fanatical Ferrari fan and a specialist(expert?)in Italian car repair, it's very interesting to hear how that system is operated.
post #57 of 65
Matteo, That was simply fascinating reading. Thank you for the story..it read as less of a rant than my previous posts I believe. My interest in ski teaching around the world has piqued over the last couple years. I sincerely hope I can orchestrate the opportunities to experience it first hand.(tho I did get yelled at by some instructors in Norway as a kid for skiing too fast near their classes.)

It is risky to say our certification is easy, though in relation to what you described it could be considered so. I do believe we are moving away from so much subjectivity, though some amount will always be inherent as it involves people evaluating other people. I hope if you do come over and do it you find it to be an understandable and accountable test with clearly delineated results.

post #58 of 65

Very interesting. Thanks.
post #59 of 65
>>I got my "FULL" after my ASSOCIATE in a blood bath called "the great Santa Fe massacre" in 85?, one of only 4 to pass out of over 45.<<

Sounds like a **good** one, Robin. Here in the NW we have had some very low pass rates in recent years. They are on the way up, but we have had a couple exams in which not a single level III has passed (both modules). Those are tough on everyone involved.

Our exam process has changed (to modular), the skiing tasks and criteria have been undergoing changes. The teaching tasks and evaluations have been changing. what we have right now seems really good, but the past 5 or 6 years have been tough on candidates, examiners and VPs alike.

A couple years ago the Divisional Staff had to start re-trying out every 2 years, a skiing cut was first. A lot of long-time folks bit the dust. It was tough, but some sort of OUT needed to be included in the system.

My hat is off to our E.T.C. Committee* up here for drawing the lines and standing firmly by them through a torrent of attempts at obliteration.

It's funny(to a spectator) how often, be it a large beginner lesson, an exam, or a tryout, ski teaching can resemble a civil war battlefield.

(*Education, Technical & Certification VPs)

Hmmm. I wonder how appropriate this kind of post is...probably depends on who sees it...

post #60 of 65
Tryouts are a b*tch. My toughest exam was CSIA III.
My biggest issue with exams is consistant standards and methods across divisions. (Incidently, the "massacre" was during one of those d*ck swinging parties between the Southern district and Ego and Sumwhat counties. Most of the candidates were from the geographically challenged south,,,the examiners from the north.)
Divisions should capitalize on successes elsewhere. Exam score describers, video MA to Lesson Plan, proctored writtens or mail ins etc. Amnesty recert. programs and mandatory retests for examiners. Definitely partial pass for II and III (not trainers).
There are alot of great things in each division's individual approach. By using the Best Practices of each, the quality of the experience and the end product would be fairer and consistent.

Or, screw it....I got mine!!!
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