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The Uniform - Page 2

post #31 of 38
Originally posted by Lucky:
Something I have always wanted from a private lesson and seldom received... After skiing with a good instructor for a period of time (hopefully more than 1 hour) they should have some idea of what my strengths and weakness are. Before the lesson is over I would like the instructor to focus on one main issue. For example, I am using my shoulders or hips (rotation) to start my turns. The instructor would give me some exercises (ways to engage my feet, pivot slips, tipping) and make sure I am doing the exercises in a correct manner before concluding the lesson. It would also help to have some printed (small cards,etc.) with the specific exercises to help the student remember for future practice. I think that during lessons some people are nervous, self-conscious etc. and having something to refer back to later would help with undersanding and future learning. This would make me want to return.
One of my instructors suggested I should always carry a notebook & record the stuff I learnt each lesson - & check back to see I understood it OK....

Having lessons each day I rarely needed to - but I might start next season...
post #32 of 38
For many years I only took a lesson if I was having trouble with the conditions that were prevailing. Getting a decent instructor was always pot luck and my biggest reason for not taking lessons. Second was cost.

In 1991 I finally got one instructor who really connected with me and even convinced me to go to easy terrain to work on stuff. He was an aussie at Crested Butte, he is still there.

He suggested changes in the way I was initiating my turns and worked with the inside ski/foot. The changes felt so alien but made lasting changes in my skiing because I kept doing what he had showed me.

I never got another instructor even close after that. That one good instructor is a large part of why I became and instructor. I wanted to be like that guy.
post #33 of 38

Thanks milesb, I wish that were the case.

Nevertheless I am sometimes perplexed at the mediocre skills of some Level I instructors (granted that they may be great teachers and relate especially well to beginners). But then I do realize that everyone must start somewhere. It is unrealistic to expect a Level I to ski like an expert. Unfortunately the uniform they wear invites that expectation. This is one of the reasons I support having some visible identifier between instructor uniforms.


Good point about the breakthroughs coming in spurts. Indeed it is how most of us improve. But I find that I have to be diligent about following through with new discoveries. Unless intent is there are all times, new skills will slowly dissipate, especially when conditions get tougher. I am as guilty as the next one of skiing with abandon with little care for new found skills. It takes a long time (often more than a season) to turn new skills into second nature, in all conditions.
post #34 of 38
I used to think the uniform was a student turn-off until I worked at an area where we wore the uniform with walk-in traffic and school programs (generally lower level group lessons) and wore our own jackets when teaching programs and privates (generally upper level skiers--intermediate and above).

This was because only the ski school staff taught the walk-ins and school programs and we imported talent for the weekday and weekend programs--and the GM did not want to buy the independent contractors jackets too. Programs were run by the area's education foundation in conjunction with the ski school. Those of us who worked full time for the school and taught programs would change from the ski school jacket to a personal jacket in this role.

I don't think the students cared what jacket their instructor wore. What they cared about was good instruction. But after a while the fact that the instructors who did not wear the ski school's colors seemed to be quite a cut above the instructors wearing them (this on the busiest skier days--weekends) sank in, not just with the public but with the instructors. The most discerning skiers decided to take their lessons elsewhere, and the most ambitious instructors vied for foundation and coaching jobs where they could distance themselves from their lesser peers in the ski school.

So, I have seen the downward spiral that results when an organization accommodates its quality problems rather than addresses them. The money saved by not buying the imported instructors ski school jackets can be calculated, but the money the ski area has lost by that savings is incalculable.

[ December 12, 2003, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #35 of 38
Speaking personally, as someone who takes a (one) private lesson every other year or so:

1. I don't care about the uniform at all - anyone good enough to have an opinion worth listening to will judge me on my skiing not who I'm skiing with. Oh and right or wrong I do care what good skiers think of my skiing - call me shallow if you will.

2. I learned most of what I know about skiing from watching good skiers. First reason to take a lesson is to be able to watch an excellent technician - partly to pick up specific techniques, partly for inspiration. I place a premium on instructors who are inspirational skiers.

3. Second reason is to get some high quality diagnosis and explanation of mechanics and corrective actions. In Europe this means that the instructor needs to combine a deep (intellectual as well as practical) understanding of the technique plus great communication skills.

If I was confident that I would get someone who combined 2 and 3 I would take more lessons. My experience is that I can often get 2 and sometimes 3.

post #36 of 38
Personally the uniform thing means nothing to me either way. All I want is good, solid instruction. I can't see how this would be an issue with anyone else either if their head is where it should be. That is, striving to improve. If you couple a good instructor with a student who is hell bent on learning and works hard, my guess is you'll get favorable results. The problem arises when part of this equation is missing.

With regards to the marketing aspect of this...there's got to be a better way than this. As to the ego thing, I just don't understand. Hell, world class athletes in every sport get instruction and everybody knows it. I doubt they're looked down upon because of this. :
post #37 of 38
I think that while, yes, there might be a small portion of advanced skiers that dont take lessons because they dont want to be associated as beginners, the actual definitive is the idea of having fun. If you really break it down, people ski to have fun and Im sure we all know how much fun skiing is when you are first learning; it sucks. My two cents is that the majority of the people out there take just enough lessons in order to enjoy themselves at the sport, not to beomce technically sound skiers. Hence, beyond that point, they feel that lessons are superfluous and expensive, and why bother.
post #38 of 38
where does the assumption/presumption that people in lessons are beginners come from???

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