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Ski Instruction product - Page 2

post #31 of 79
I have a relative, a woman of 22, athletic and who has skied for two years after her brother-in-law, a very fast skier who never finishes his turns and needs a slide of fifteen feet in a hockey stop at the bottom to get in a lift line.

She skis his style, wild with the arms and body rocking. I asked her to spend some time with me and after an hour or so she was making great turns, finishing right over her skis, quiet body and hands, controlling her speed. I wouldn't have expected less from her, a champion volleyball player in college.

And then she went right back to skiing the old way her brother-in-law does and when I confronted her with it she said it is less work and she is used to it.

Go figer... ...Ott
post #32 of 79
And then she went right back to skiing the old way her brother-in-law does and when I confronted her with it she said it is less work and she is used to it. : Translation-I don't want to make him look bad.
post #33 of 79

I see that you have asked that question about why not take an underground lesson before? Or start an underground SS? In a lot of places over seas you see this practice, but not here. The ski companies will not allow it. It's a conflict of interest. If Joe SoCalled ski instructor who hasn't a clue about how to teach skiing, and probably can't ski very well himself, decides to start his own little underground ski school, he might find himself spending the night in jail, and then going to court and paying a hefty fine if caught by the ski company. I've seen this happen on several occasions. Usually, the ski company just tell this person to quit doing it. But if the person continues and is caught again, they are arrested and taken to the hooscow. If they have a pass, they don't have it anymore.

The reason ski lessons are expensive is because the ski company has expenses running the school that most are really not aware of. Insurance is one of the biggest expense. Not only health insurance which is no small change item. But liability insurance, ski school uniforms, rental or mortgage for space that their SS uses, SS employees that don't make money for the SS like management, ticket sellers, locker room and office workers that do things for the school, paid training for it's members and paying the trainers to perform the training etc.

So, Zeek, there's a lot to running a SS, and $$$ is a big part of it. If someone took a lesson from someone who wasn't affiliated with the ski school and got hurt, the person giving the underground lesson would be toast if sued and so would the person taking the lesson when it came to any kind of recourse.

Of coarse, the mountain that SCSA skis at doesn't have training, ( which I know isn't true ) and his ski instructor buddies are a bunch of losers and don't really give a damn if they get trained or not it sounds like to me. That wouldn't be Vail, now would it??? If that's the case, ( which I again doubt ) then I wouldn't take lessons there.----------Wigs

post #34 of 79
Participants in this forum,

Why do we humor SCSA and reply to his BS? He tells us that what we love, care about and do for a living is useless. That we are doing a disservice to the folks we work with. Let's face it, SCSA is a real jerk! His little survey is probably one sided. The Ski Pros that he questioned are not Ski Pros in my book. But are probably first or second year ski instructors that the area SCSA skis at, hired to fill in the holes in their staff. These same instructors will probably NOT be around next year. If they were really serious about their trade, they would go to some other SS that has good training, and a staff that cares about the product they put out.

Of coarse if SCSA's first post about his questioning of ski instructor and their response was a bunch of BS, ( which wouldn't surprise me ) and his little survey of guest on the mountain is a one sided affair, we are just playing into his hands. Why do we humor this jerk and respond to his posts? He is just hurting us as Ski Pros and what we take pride in doing. All that he posts, anybody in the world can read. One thing for sure, the folks who come to our ski forum for answers about what they can do to improve their skiing skills, aren't as stupid as HE thinks they are. I for one will not respond anymore to this losers posts.

IMHO, AC,DCHAN, loose this guy!-----------Wigs
post #35 of 79
In The Great American Tradition .....

"Though I may not agree with what you have to say, I will defend to the death your right to say it"......

Now warning you about an out of control speeding truck or sno-cat is another issue! :
post #36 of 79

You mean SCSA is not harmless? I am afraid most on this forum think he is full of harmless hot C02. They indulge his penchant for outrageous statements by responding, as you have noted.

The man is trolling. I'm with you, Wigs. Don't bite, folks. The best answer to SCSA is a polite, "Oh, you think so?" and move on.

HH got some mileage out of the same tactics as SCSA. Our response then should have been, "Oh, you think so?" and move on to something that is a real threat, like global warming, the safety issues, and consumer apathy.

Yours truly,
post #37 of 79
Wigs, why SS are structured differently here than in many place, if not most, overseas is that the mountains the ski areas are on over here are either owned or leased by a corporation or such.

On a mountain or a valley in Europe you may have lifts going up to where you can ski the same slopes and they all have different owners and where you ski down is your responsibility. Thus, as you ski from Kitzbuehel to Kirchberg or from Davos to Klosters, you not only ski through land owned by the government, but through a lot of farmers pastures before you get to the bottom. So who has jurisdiction where, and just where are the boundaries?

So when you have several different ski schools and lot of private instructors whom you bring along or hire in a village skiing the same terrain, no one can say get off MY mountain because it is everyones mountain. They can keep you off their lift but not of the mountain.

post #38 of 79
At my current SS we have clinics and off the hill training "on tap". These are taken by such diverse people as Ron Le, Maggie Loring, US ski team members and a dedicated bunch of International instructors. There is every topic imaginable. Racing, teaching, PSIA, Perfect Turn, ski area history, client liasion, alternate progression models etc etc etc. Some of these clinics are paid and some include a free keg and food. My wages are good (for a SS) if I am dedicated and my passion for skiing and delivering quality instruction shines through. As an instructor I am encouraged to manage my own business and create value for my clients, myself and my employer.

I will openly state that my current SS is the most professional and dedicated I have encountered on the 3 continents and 1 island I have worked as a Ski Instructor.

Ski Instruction is not about being the best technical drill master on the hill. It is about delivering a fun, safe learning environment for clients. It is up to the client to TAKE what they have paid for as it is all there for the asking.

It takes a minimum of 5 years to become full certified and a certain "madness" to choose the alternate lifestyle of a Ski Instructor.

How is it that a different system such as PMTS can change the lesson quality when it is the human aspect of the lesson delivery that underpins the quality.

Beware the "overnighters" who use critism to further their own cause.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #39 of 79
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SCSA:
If the product is so good, how come there's so many skiers with no skills?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Because in this great country too many people believe that money + a nice pair of sunglasses = instant success.

Oz :

"never believe you own publicity"
post #40 of 79
Now in true style he will extract several "sound bites" and launch into a related thread on PMTS.

What strikes me is how it's so true that "water does seek it's own level"...

SCSA .... hangin out ..... do'in a "bone" with his bros and raggin on the system ....

Sounds more and more like a boarder every time he posts.

post #41 of 79
"We've been down this road
Walkin' the line
That's painted by pride"

post #42 of 79
Ott, the telling part about your report on your sporting relative's behavior is that YOU asked HER to let you coach her some. She didn't ask you for some help. That's the view of many many skiing recreators out there.
post #43 of 79
Yeah, Kneale, like you, I see so many potential good skiers out there who could get over the hump with just a little guidance. Usually I ignore them, if they are on the chair with me I'll ask if they'd consider taking a lesson from a pro in the area, but I have known this girl since her birth and I know that she is capable to be a very good skier, as she proved to me in a single hour, but I truly think she doesn't care which way she skis since unlike volleyball, no one keeps score.

post #44 of 79
Thread Starter 

ryan makes a point - that ski instructors are to blame, which isn't all true.

If no one practices, no one will get better. No doubt. But if they practice all the wrong stuff, no amount of practice will make them any better.

So how do you explain this?

In last week's Denver Post, Picabo was interviewed. She said that the reason why she isn't doing well is that she hasn't learned the correct technique for shaped skis. Then, she said a big motivating factor for her to return to racing after the Olympics was that she wanted to learn the correct technique to see how fast she could go.

So here's what kills me. Here's a top ski racer saying the technique for shaped skis is different. But, instructors (more than some) will say the technique isn't different! I mean, it's like two magnets pointing at each other. Heck. I've known that the technique for shaped skis is different for 3 years now! How come I know this, but instructors don't?

Then, I talk to skiers on the lift - ones that have taken lessons and ones that haven't. I've yet to talk to one who wasn't surprised when I told them, "The technique for shaped skis is different". They all look at me like I'm some kind of bozo.

So how is it that skiers everywhere don't know that the technique for shaped skis is different?

How on earth could people not admit that the whole ski instruction model is broken if skiers don't even understand something so simple is this?
post #45 of 79
Thread Starter 

You, or me, should be able to rent space from a ski area - so we could run a ski instruction business. Our booth could be right next to the ski instruction desk and the client would have a choice to make.

But the areas won't even let that happen. Talk about anti-competitive practice!

I have choices for hamburgers and just about everything else. But not a ski lesson. In fact, is a ski lesson the only service that there's only one choice for?

This is what I mean. The whole system is a joke and it ought to be trashed.
post #46 of 79
SCSA you have made my point with your statement
>>If no one practices, no one will get better. No doubt. But if they practice all the wrong stuff, no amount of practice will make them any better.

So how do you explain this?<<
Very simple, SELF TEACHING
post #47 of 79
So why do we tolerate and respond to SCSA's apparently endless rants of brain farts?
Simple, I have been on this forum for three years. During that time, I think just about everything that can be deduced about skiing, has been dragged through here. After a while, the rehash gets boring and I find myself just going to the archives and picking out pertainent threads. SCSA has a way of saying "Hey you stupid shiftless bunch of insignificant snow rats, here is a rock that you looked at and think that you understand it but, you didn't look at it close enough cause you still don't understand this rock."
He uses just enough stupidity, inocence and provocative proding to generate some interest again. He has replaced Gonz.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 01, 2002 07:13 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #48 of 79
technique is different? Hmmm. Different than what. You are correct that emphasis in technique has changed to a more Edge/pressure focus to take advantage of Modern Ski Technology. You are on the money there.
Technique change has not been overnight, unless you moved from a Slalom ski to a Elan SCX. It has been more gradual than that for most. 5 or 6 years ago I owned a pair of Rossignol Excess's. Wonderful ski with a whopping 89mm tip! That is about the time I started adapting my technique to take advantage of the new equipment. However, I didn't feel that I change my technique so much as I was able to emphasize a skill/movement (Tipping/Edging). I simply resequenced my movements to get a desired result, a carve.
Technique can change from run to run, turn to turn depending on one's intention. Skidded vs. Carved. That said, I personally tend to favor a movement sequence that favors a "carved" turn. It has taken me several years to be able to widely apply that movement sequence into most/ "almost all" of my skiing.

However, today we (my class and I) were playing with an anticipation release movement sequence (untipping, then turning, and extending) that was very fun and applicable to our objective.

SCSA, I will further agree with you that many skiers don't realize new equipment offers new technique options. Many say, "I don't understand what is all the hoopla about these new skis. Must just be a marketing tactic to sell more skis." I am happy to see the falacy in this statement.

Keep it real,

post #49 of 79

A fatal flaw that continually resurfaces in all your arguments is that YOU are determining the standards by which others must live.

Skiing is a RECREATIONAL activity not a competitive activity to almost all skiers.

When 20,000 plus skiers visit Breck on a busy day are they there to enjoy FUN and COMPANIONSHIP or are they obsessed with the nuances of shaped versus traditional skis? Old technique will get you down the hill on shaped skis-not as efficiently as contemporary skill application but it works. And if that meets a particular skiers needs-more power to them.

Life is too short to be worried about dictating to others. Stop at the top of Sierra lift at Copper someday, enjoy the view and realize life is not about how we make a pair of skis turn.


post #50 of 79
From SCSA:

"I did listen in on an instructor who was trying to get this lady to lean downhill, that was good I thought. But he had her in the middle of a black, with powder chop. She was so freaked out, she wasn't listening to a word this guy was saying.

So what do you make of all this?"

The question is what compelled her to think that she HAD to ski a black diamond if she wasn't ready for it? Was she trying to "impress" her instructor. Are her friends ridiculing her for not being more daring. Look what happens on this forum whenever anyone even suggests some hesitation about skiing certain terrain. What you hear is testosterone poisoned wisecracks from juveliles {including juveniles over age 30} who need to prove how big their cajonnes are! People seem to think that having an ACL injury is the equivalent of winning an Olympic Gold Medal!

This is NOT a PSIA vs. PMTS issue!

From OZ:
"Is the improvement demanded by the general take out holiday public actually improvements towards "comfort" to the detriment of "technique"?

Is this a soft world USA trend?

Is skiing about straight lining an Alaskan peak. If it is then you dont need ski school to learn the skills required to participate?

Have a look at all the safety posts in the forum. What is the general theme? IMHO the public has gone soft and comfortable and that is what we are seeing reflected on the hill."

Perhaps its the fear of being called "soft Americans" that compells people to ski where they do not belong. Safety is about technique, technique , technique, and more technique. An instructor who says, "Oh come you can do it, whaddya' some kind of lazy American?" lacks empathy and instructional skill.

Again, this is NOT a PSIA issue!

From Ski and Golf:

"Skiing is a RECREATIONAL activity not a competitive activity to almost all skiers.

When 20,000 plus skiers visit Breck on a busy day are they there to enjoy FUN and COMPANIONSHIP or are they obsessed with the nuances of shaped versus traditional skis? Old technique will get you down the hill on shaped skis-not as efficiently as contemporary skill application but it works. And if that meets a particular skiers needs-more power to them.

Life is too short to be worried about dictating to others. Stop at the top of Sierra lift at Copper someday, enjoy the view and realize life is not about how we make a pair of skis turn."

SAINTS BE PRAISED we finally have some words of enightment around here! Thanks !
post #51 of 79
What is this topic?

There are two instructional models in the USA. The hands-down brand favorite PSIA and the upstart PMTS. So, it stands to reason the two would crop up in the discussion.

Do I understand you to say that it's not the technical foundation of the teaching system, stupid--it's the experience? WOW!

I would estimate that ski instructors get 80% of their training in technique and 20% in creating learning experiences.

Would you say that the ratios should be flip-flopped?
post #52 of 79
Thread Starter 
I meet so many nice people who aren't getting all they should out of skiing.

It's like this guy at the Beav the other day. He was really frustrated - something like, "I'm working too hard to get down the hill". So I ask him if he knew that the technique for shaped skis is different. He says, "No". This just kills me! Here's this fellow who's spent a bundle on lessons over the years. You'd think that some instructor would have told him the story about shaped skis...

The turkies I don't feel bad for - let 'em rot in their lousy turns. But I do feel bad for nice ones. They spend a bundle to come out to ski and all they know about shaped skis is that, "They're easier, aren't they"?

Minker helped junior, I'd probably pay Pierre for some of his time to watch me in the bumps. No doubt, great instructors do exist -- but they're booked solid months in advance! Then, it takes 5 years to move up the ranks, but here's the catch - instructors typically only stay 2 years! So, you got this system that's setup from the outset to fail!

Then, it's just terrible that my pal John Doe (not Harald. Someone else - he's just a great skier that loves to help others but doesn't want to be in the gang) has to hide out while doing privates. His customers love him and he brings business to the mountain. But he has to hide out while teaching them.

I guess that's all I have to say.
post #53 of 79
Thread Starter 
I didn't quite get Oz's post. That's understandable because the man is so sharp. Oz, how about another crack?

Lisa, I don't know how that lady ended up where she was, but she was in a world of hurt. I felt bad for her. I guess she could have demanded that the instructor take her down it. Oz, can a client do that?

Skis&Golf says it good and I do it like he says. The recreational skiers I'm not talking about and I agree that they could care less about their turns - fine and God bless 'em.

It's the ones who really are trying to get better that I'm talking about. But for some reason, and I'm blaming the "system", they're just not getting there - like the guy at the Beav. He deserves a better product and so do the rest.
post #54 of 79
I have to agree with SCSA on one point.

In his second post in this thread, just before Gonzo offered to lecture at Fernie, he said, "Who said anything about PMTS?"

As for the rest----

I am mostly self taught in all the activities I like. Took one golf lesson years ago that took 10 strokes off my game. I should have learned from that---but did not. Still at the same level today! Maybe I should take a few more? What do you think?

I Learned to snowboard with lessons from the first ride---best decision I ever made!

That was last season. From that experience, I decided to explore ski lessons this year.

As it turned out, I was lucky enough to meet Kee Tov on this forum and got a day and a half of his help. We worked on some things specific to Patrolling but did a lot of basic skills as well.

Enourmously valuable, IMHO.

Did I "Buy" the time thru the local SS? No.

What were the results? If skiing were golf, about 10 strokes! Will I wait years before the next lesson? NO!!!

I have ski patrol clinics lined up for the next few weekends, after that I intend to cajole Kee Tov back to my hill or actually pay for some lessons-----if we ever get some snow!


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 01, 2002 09:19 PM: Message edited 1 time, by skier_j ]</font>
post #55 of 79
In the final analysis, its not what technique, its what instructor. Without ever taking a lesson from Kee Tov, its evident from reading what he has to say that he is an excellent instructor. The fact that he expresses what he says without any "attitude" means he probably gets his message across to his students.

In the "direct to parallel" camp, Rick, Wigs, Arcmeister would also be awesome teachers.

Its not the "method". Its how well you can read your students to figure out which method would work for them.

Your lady for whom diamonds were not a girl's best friend did not have an instructor who read either her abilities or her preferences correctly.

Having skied black diamonds by "accident" or coercion, and by recently skiing one at will, I can say that when someone is ready to make that leap of faith, they are VERY focused on what the instructor is telling them to do.
post #56 of 79
LM makes a great point.

It is not the "System" but the instructor that make for a great lesson.

Understanding that our work was specific to a goal I set, I would be hard pressed to tell you what "system" was used for the ski skills. Remember, I never took a ski lesson before.

"System" has no bearing to me. I am now and always have been concerned with the outcome, not the methods used.

post #57 of 79
Thanks for the positive comments(the check is in the mail...oh and Wear the Fox Hat gets his usual commission).

How many of us can say they went to a lousy doctor (Sugar-I won't mention anything about lawyers-family members are lawyers)? Is it the "system"? Is it the individual?

Reading through some of the new AASI material, they stress the love of teaching, and then the love of riding. No matter what profession you are in, if you don't like it, or are in it for the free ride, you are gong to turn people off.

You have the ski professionals, and then the ski bums. Turn over might be so high in schools because the newbies see that it is going to be hard work, low pay, or they got the free skiing out of their system.

With my September back injury, I spent time with PTs. The company I went to is the "best" in the area, but I got the PT that just got married and moved into a new house. His mind was elsewhere. He would give me an exercise, and I would dream up how to include core balance with it. Maybe 3 minutes of conversation over a 40 minute stay!

Knowing that I should/could have have better service/treatment, I mentioned it to the owner, so he could "retrain" his employee. Will I go back if needed. Yes, because everyone deserves a second chance. Will I mention my("student") expectations before we begin...Yes. As LM said, "Speak up". Whatever we pay for, if we don't get what we want, speak up.

When I take my public school students to a the closest NJ mountain, I explain to the Director and the Instructor and the student I expect that they learn at least one thing during every lesson. After the lesson, I "debrief" the students. I then give feedback to the Director on how effective the lesson was(and the instructor if they are still around). The kids are learning, and after the first night of complaining, realize that lessons can teach them something. If they come out of a group without learning anything, we talk for awhile, I give them verbal suggestions on what to do, and try to have one of the ASIA chaperones with me take a run with them.

The Director is then updated. Right now I have to negotiate how lessons will be provided next year. Groups can not request instructors, so we have had some good ones, and others that just wanted to ride(taking level 4 riders on expert trail without asking them, and only seeing them ride a short intermediate to the expert).

As a consumer(yes maybe too educated), I will arrange a group package to include the ability to pick instructors... or we will "walk". Although my group is only 2 buses, the school system I am with has 8 total.

So,is it "system" or "individual"? My answer is, someone has to take responsibility, and it better be you!!!!!! No more of this "your fault" mentality.

Instead of "If it isn't fun, don't do it.", try "If your not taking responsibility, don't complain."
post #58 of 79
Thread Starter 
Hey Wigs,

Why is it that the rules are different for you?

How is it that you can get away with calling me a jerk, huh? Did I call you any names? No.

Take your insults somewhere else or play by the rules.

Oh BTW. You coming to Fernie? I'd love to ski with you.
post #59 of 79
This Fernie trip is getting better everyday.
post #60 of 79

The man is trolling. I'm with you, Wigs. Don't bite, folks. The best answer to SCSA is a polite, "Oh, you think so?" and move on.<<

You know, your right. But it just irks me to have someone out there insulting what I do for a living by say that what I do is useless. I take that very personally, because I know what I do is not worthless and that the folks that come and ski with me ARE getting their moneys worth, or they wouldn't keep coming back. The problem that I have, and I think we all have, is that this guy is putting out what could be damaging statements, and the public might just believe what he's saying. And that, my friends will hurt yours and my pocket book.

I love what I do, and I'm grateful that I can make a decent living doing it. Not having to work two jobs to make ends meet in the winter is great. It took me awhile to get to the point of not having to work two jobs, and I don't think that anybody who has been doing this for a long time, should have to work a second job after ski school if teaching skiing is your main source of income. Sure, there are a lot of the new guys and girls that have to work two job to live here. But if they stick to it, things get better. So what I'm say here is, IMHO, SCSA is threatening my livelihood, and yours too with his statements, true or not. I'm sure there are folks out there that may have gotten a bad lesson. It happens. But he's saying that taking a lesson at all is a waste of their hard earned money, and that's far from the truth.

Anyway, that's the way I feel, and IMHO, I think that he should be band from this forum.-------------Wigs

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 02, 2002 09:03 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Wigs ]</font>
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