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Instructor training for mechanical understanding

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
I'm working on early season training for our staff and I'd like some input.

Our school has always had a good reputation as a training school for new instructors. We do a good job and we're very proud of it, but here's my problem:

As far as Cert1 or Cert2, PSIA or AASI, our staff is able to be successful without much specific cert training. But for Cert3, something is missing. I believe it is our depth of mechanical/technical understanding that needs work, so that's our focus for the early season.

I've chosen to name the training "From Bag'o'Trix to Mechanix", 'cuz our staff has lots of good 'trix' and they know when to use them, generally, but they don't often understand WHY they are effective. I want them to understand the why's so that they can ultimately be able to create their own 'trix' as a result.

Here are a few issues to consider:
*This is to be a general training to target all instructors on staff (skiers as well as snowboarders).
*Our staff demographics are infinitely diverse.
*They get mad at me if the trainings aren't 'FUN'.

That's enough for now, I think.

-Carolyn
post #2 of 49
BobB, call on line 1

Tom / PM
post #3 of 49
First-send them to the Epic Academy which I believe is going to be at your mountain(?)

Second, (and still trying to have fun), have the instructors imitate some of their students and discuss what makes a "better" skier. The ski/snow interaction might look the same, but what is happening "upstairs"?

Have them ski "perfect" except for one item (no ankle flexion, or pole plant using the wrong side, or....). What do they have to do to make it work right?

So, they can ski...but if they want to be efficient they have to mechanically do everything. Seeing and feeling the harder way of doing things might help them.

Try a mogul file dusing upper body rotation!!!
post #4 of 49
Carolyn,

We have the same problem at our ski school too. And since candidates do not have to have the SSD's signature to go onto Level III exam we have individuals take the exam who are not prepared to do so.

I hear it year after year "I don't care if I don't pass I just need the education credit" and those same individuals are the ones who are out crying in the parking lot after the exam.

I think part of the problem is how exam process is structured I would like to see a level between the current II and III level. I just think some of the Level II's just don't realize how big the jump to Level III really is.
post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by carolyn:
cuz our staff has lots of good 'trix' and they know when to use them, generally, but they don't often understand WHY they are effective.
Quote:
They get mad at me if the trainings aren't 'FUN'
Sort of describes training dogs to catch frisbees. (an analogy)

Oz :
post #6 of 49
Carolyn,

If I were in your shoes, I would think my role is to design a fun (interactive) learning environment and frame some fun (cooperative & competitive) challenges for the groups, and then help them move from process to results so they have a sense of achievement & completion. (Just expressing a pet peeve about training that is pure process.)

It sounds to me like you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish with your level 3 staff, but the hang up seems to be how to meet their needs while meeting the training needs of the entire staff. I'd offer that the best way for a Level 3 to deepen understanding is to teach others, and encourage you to form small groups led by the Level 3s on staff, regardless of discipline, and assign each group an interesting skier to work with (on video). You just have to do the hard part--come up with a great assignment that increases understanding about why any individual exercise or drill might be preferable over another for any particular individual.
post #7 of 49
Just make 'em teach me [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

I'm guaranteed to ask 'em tricky questions about mechanics whenever I get given new stuff to try...

Seriously - that's what I was thinking - then read Nolo's reply - find them some "info addicted" students - I think you may find some on here if you're stuck...
post #8 of 49
Hi Carolyn--Great question. It is a challenge, isn't it?

I like Oz's answer--it's like teaching a dog to play frisbee. There are specific things that they need to do, but they won't even want to learn them if it isn't fun. Unlike dogs, of course, or even many skiers and competitors, instructors and coaches do need to understand the "how and why" of what they're doing. They need to be not just competent, but "consciously competent."

On the other hand, sometimes I'll admit that I get annoyed at higher level instructors who think that they need to be entertained in a clinic. I wonder why they came to the clinic if the topic itself is not intriguing and "fun" for them. At some point, I think the responsibility for entertainment should transfer at least somewhat to the professional. When I take a clinic, I'll make my own fun, and I won't waste the clinician's time asking him or her to specifically entertain me. But this is another story.... It's their choice, I suppose. The best clinicians have no problem making it fun. But to have to focus exclusively on fun in itself is a silly waste of time, in my opinion. The clinic and the learning should be fun because of their content, pacing, and delivery, and because the people attending have a genuine interest in the topic, not because of time taken out for "fun."

[Rant over!]

The biggest problem with "bag o' tricks" clinics, lists, books, and so on, is the tendency of instructors to take them and start teaching "tricks" instead of students, exercises instead of people. Many instructors, especially as they approach the Level 3 standard, understand what some of the benefits of some exercises are, and they are fairly effective at choosing appropriate exercises to develop general skills and movements. But making the big leap to teaching people WITH activities, instead of focusing on the activities themselves, is not always easy. The Level 3 standard requires thoroughly identifying the specific needs and goals of each student--technique-related and otherwise--and creatively orchestrating the entire lesson experience to best address those needs. The key word there is "creatively." "Creating" (effectively) is a very high-level activity that requires absolute mastery of the nuts and bolts, mechanics, and "tricks" of the trade. Without that mastery as the foundation, all you will create is chaos!

Every activity and choice in a lesson should have a sound reason behind it. Tying lesson activities to the specific needs of an individual student is what "student-focused instruction," "guest-centered teaching," or whatever you'd like to call it, is all about. That's where the deeper understanding becomes crucial. "Why did you choose this particular activity/exercise/image/progression/focus for for this particular student?" "Why did you use that particular teaching style?" "Why did you choose this particular run?" These are the questions the Examiner wants answered, right? And having answers to these questions is what makes great instructors truly effective at meeting the individual student's specific needs and goals.

How to develop it? Here are some random thoughts, none of which should be construed as "the answer."

As Nolo said, one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. Have these Level 3 candidates lead video clinics, movement analysis clinics. They'll find that they HAVE to answer the "why"--because the question will come up a lot! Make sure they go beyond the technical "movement needs" of the skier, too. "Because it will make a better turn" is not a sufficient answer. Why is that turn better, for this particular student's particular needs and goals?" Make them think!

After they attend one of your clinics, have them try to figure why you did what you did. Why (specifically) did you choose the activities, the pacing, the terrain, the teaching styles, and so on?

If they're into it, have them keep a journal of their lessons--especially the truly successful lessons, and the disasters! The journal should address what they did, and why they did it, every step of the way. You might even require that they submit such descriptions of three or four actual lessons, to discuss with you, as a pre-requisite to your signature on their exam application.

Constantly challenge them with the same question. "Why"? Most top instructors will find that they really do have reasons, but they may not be that used to communicating them. Give them some practice!

And have them join and participate at EpicSki. Jump in and answer a question. It's great practice. There will be plenty of feedback as to the content, the justification for, and the clarity of the response. We can be a tough audience here. Few are convinced by someone whose sole argument is that "that's just the way it is"--they want to know WHY. It's definitely a learning experience. Examiners are a piece of cake after dealing with 5000 opinionated, skeptical Bears!

I look forward to hearing others' ideas on this topic.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ October 14, 2003, 08:53 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #9 of 49
Something I've done in the past to get through my level 1 and 2 was to try to "tag along" anytime I could. Then I would try to hang back and watch what happens. How an instructor works with their student, what exercises they use, try what they do, imitate the student. etc. Then when there are breaks in the action or if there is a chair ride when I can get questions in, I'll either ask why an instructor did something or I'll try to explain to the instructor what I think they did, to see if my "eye" was accurate. Maybe ask if a different exercise might work, maybe a transfer skill, etc.

When we went on our week long trips, I arranged for a private instructor for our group in which I tagged along. I explained that I was going to be working on my cert exams and part of the exercise for me was to learn more about the teaching cycle. I usually arranged the instructor ahead of time and part of the selection of an instructor was to contact the SSD of the resort we were visiting and explain that the instructor we were getting would have to be able to give us this kind of feedback and coaching. It usually made for getting very high end instructors for the group and a great learning experience for me as well.

Just some thoughts.

Carolyn,

You might want to find some way to encourage your level 3 candidates to not go off and "clinic" or free ski when they are not selected during lineup but to tag along, work on their MA teaching skills, exercise selection. This would also encourage your level 3's and above to continue to push themselves as they would need to be able to explain this info to their fellow instructors. It would make for better teamwork in your school and maybe encourage them to go for higher certs. I think the other thing that might help is to have your level 3 candidates lead level 1 and level 2 mini clinics (with your training person's help and guidance) this will push them to understand the process/mechanics/cause-effect enough so that they can explain it to other instructors. This will enhance their ability to do it on the fly for their students and exam.
post #10 of 49
Caught the pass well there Bob

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #11 of 49
Carolyn,

First let me second Bob's thoughts on asking 'Why?'. That one word can force people to start using their brains. I espically like asking why a particular exercise, drill, move, what have you produced different results for different people in the group. To answer that question you have to know the mechanics of the new move, be able to analize the mechanics of the different skiers and understand how the new thing merged with the old mechamics to produce different results. Another nice thing is that this talking can be done largely on the lift so that it doesn't take away from on snow sliding time. You can also ride with a canidate and tell them what the next step in the clinic is going to be and ask them to try to predict what the outcome of that will be for various members of the group. Or ask them to come up with a next step and tell you what and why they expect to see as outcomes.

What is really hard is to try to forcefeed an understanding of mechanics to a level III canidate, which is what many of them seem to want. They havn't paid a lot of attention to the mechanics side of things and suddenly find that they need to know that stuff and be able to answer questions about it.
This isn't necessarily the canidates fault. Far to often in ski improvement clinics the emphasis is on the how with little or no attention paid to the why. This seems espically true in clinics for newer instructors. The attitude of not wanting to overload them with info turns into giving them no mechanical info. It would be far better if the mechanical info had been given in small spoonsfull of doses over the course of several years rather than in the form of a barrelfull dumped on their heads in a few months. That why question should be asked of every participant in every clinic. Use lift time to have them talk about the why and then ask a couple of them to say why in 25 words or less at the top of the lift. Even if its a first year instructor who gets it totally wrong and you have to take the next chair to straighten them out a little you got them thinking as well as skiing. True this approach requires that the clinic leader be more on top of things and not just teach a high level lesson but that's why we get paid the big bucks right?

Yd
post #12 of 49
There's an interesting book called Writing to Learn by William Zinsser that examines how explaining something in your own words makes a person learn. You know the ancient proverb--I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand--I'd add another link: I convey my understanding to another (i.e., teach) and I learn what I really know about it.

The last year I did the Level I training for my ski school I got this feedback from one of the people in my group (paraphrased): instead of you, the expert, telling and showing us about teaching, let us, the apprentices, teach for you and give us feedback. That would have real value to us.

The classic complaints about instructor clinics--that they seem to take place on the side of the hill, that a person can take three cruising runs and observe them still in the same place, etc.--don't account for the amount of talking between instructors that is necessary to learn it. In fact, the same complaints are echoed on this board from time to time.

A person has to explain it in his or her own words in order to own it. Every accuracy and every correction in that person's understanding can be leveraged to the others in the group. It's a beautiful thing, and one of the reasons this forum on EpicSki is so strong.
post #13 of 49
Hi Carolyn,

I like your question and upon reading the responses.. I formulated an idea. I am primarily building on what Bob Barnes said about "creating" and knowing WHY you teach something at a particular moment.

I interpretted your course title "bag o' tricks/mechanix" as the "mechanix" part being skiing and the "bag o' tricks" as the teaching part. Is that accurate?

IMHO, the challenge of "teaching" is generally more difficult than that of "skiing" for the folks at the higher certification levels.

I'm sure that you have many on-snow opportunities to teach skiing skills. So, I will offer a "teaching skills" idea or two.

Role Play
- on an index card describe a challenging and hard to diagnose student
- teams of 3 work together:
1. student
2. GOOD instructor
3. BAD instructor

The group works together to present two 3-minute role-plays. In whichever order the group prefers, it will present the student with one instructor and then repeat the exact same roleplay with the other instructor. The student should give an identical rendition and the audience should not know which instructor is GOOD or BAD. Further, it should not be obvious as to which instructor is GOOD or BAD. (these can be video-taped and then presented inside - or just "acted out")

After each group's presentations, there should be a 5-10 minute discussion of the situations and to see if the "good" technique can be identified.

Creating really challenging student situations will make the whole exercise more fun and interesting for the groups.

IDEALLY - the "student" in each group is the most experienced instructor.

As a follow-up on the snow... the clinicians can role-play as students and present particularly "hard to diagnose" situations and "test" your instructors' ability to do movement analysis and dig into their "trick bags" for appropriate instructional and implementation techniques.

Just as a side note - I find that the only NOT FUN part of learning is being talked AT... no one likes a lecture. :

Good Luck!!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

kiersten
post #14 of 49
Sounds like fun, Kiersten. Good idea!

Best regards,
Bob
post #15 of 49
I had the opportunity to spend some time today with "momski". She is a RM examiner and will be a coach at the ESA. You can also see her in Bob B's bump montage. For those considering the ESA she is just one more reason to sign up! She is a wonderful person and superb teacher.

Momski did my level II exam two years ago and was handling a different/nearby group when I did my level III last year.

I asked her what I needed to do to pass my "trainer accred" this year and I was floored by her answer. She summed it up in one word......versatility.

I had no earthly idea what she meant.

We then launched into a great discussion about tipping, turning, flexion, and extension.

Momski said I tip my skis well, however is bumps and crud I don't turn my skis well. She went on to talk about the fact that I simply don't release out of an old turn with my entire leg and this lead to a long technical explanation.

She mentioned she was Deb Armstrong's examiner at a trainer accred exam and we discussed Armstrong's article in TPS last year about rotation.

As I drove home I thought about the 25 hours of training that I must do at our small resort and I harkened back to the discussion here several days ago in which I posited, we tend to practice the things we do well as opposed to the shortcomings that we have.

It led me to the idea of pairing groups of wildly different instructors and having the groups identify, intramurally, what their peers do well and what they do poorly. Identify the mechanical good, and the mechanically, not so good, so to speak. In addition come up with a remedy. This will avoid the clinician being the bad guy. Hopefully it will lead to open honest and forthright communication.

I am going to seek out bumps, crud, and wind slab in order to learn how to release and turn with my "whole leg" as opposed to merely my inside foot.

[ October 16, 2003, 06:23 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
The classic complaints about instructor clinics--that they seem to take place on the side of the hill, that a person can take three cruising runs and observe them still in the same place, etc.--don't account for the amount of talking between instructors that is necessary to learn it. In fact, the same complaints are echoed on this board from time to time.

.
I think I've heard myself make that complaint from time to time. My favorite was a tech director who used to berate any of his clinic participants for embarking on any kind of verbal description, had everyone more or less anxious about attempting any kind of verbal instruction, but in his own clinics, spent most of the time talking himself. I wouldn't neglect the value of good discussion, with or without visual aids in the conducive atmosphere of a warm room, rosy glow on your faces, holding a cup of hot chocolate or a beer. Its a great way to pull together what you've been experiencing on the hill or to prepare for a little self directed exploration.
post #17 of 49
More good ideas, Rusty!

Unfortunately, Momski is not going to be able to make it to the EpicSki Academy this season after all. She and "Mr. Momski" were very excited about it, but it turns out that it conflicts with some of their other important obligations. They send their sincere regrets to all, and look forward to next time.

Momski--we still want you to participate here, so don't be shy!

Arcadie--it is amazing, isn't it, how much valuable ski time time some clinicians can waste talking about how important it is to keep moving! I've seen it right up to coach-of-the-Demo Team level. EpicSki, and Apres Ski, are the right place for it. Looking at an untracked powder bowl is not!

Best regards,
Bob
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:


Arcadie--it is amazing, isn't it, how much valuable ski time time some clinicians can waste talking about how important it is to keep moving! I've seen it right up to coach-of-the-Demo Team level. EpicSki, and Apres Ski, are the right place for it. Looking at an untracked powder bowl is not!

Best regards,
Bob
Bob
You hit the nail on the head! Standing in some of those clinics, watching others cut up the slope, was excruciating torture but I would sit in the coffee shop afterwards almost any day and discuss.
post #19 of 49
There is always the thirty second rule!

If you can't say it in thirty seconds it's not worth saying.

It's a shame the ESA won't enjoy a husband/wife examiner duo.

[ October 16, 2003, 06:27 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #20 of 49
Carolyn; This is just what I need as I am going to start my Level III this season. The one advise I recieved from Bob Barnes is the two minute analysis on the ride up the chair.

When I read that the instructors wanted the clinics to be fun, I thought about my Level II and the advice I was given by Rusty and that was that it was up to me to make it fun. I realized from that experience that it can make a world of difference both for the person being examined and for the examiner. Afterwards, when I thought about it, I realized if I can have fun in the most stressful situation that an instructor can be in then no matter who I am instructing, I will be able to do the same.
The section about keep moving was excellent as it is about moving.
I was very forunate to have great clinics last year in that they all kept moving and talking was kept to a minnium. In fact, I could tell that the leaders who were leading the clinics, were very careful to watch to see if she/he was beginning to talk to much and get on with actually doing the exercises or skiing.

Nolo, this is so true and that is why I am part of EpicSki.
"A person has to explain it in his or her own words in order to own it. Every accuracy and every correction in that person's understanding can be leveraged to the others in the group. It's a beautiful thing, and one of the reasons this forum on EpicSki is so strong."
The other point that I need to work on is Why??. For everything that I say about someone skiing, I need to ask Why? and answer the Why. Because that is where the understanding will happen for me and I want it to be automatic. Just knowing intuitivly is not enough. But I have a long way to go and am very, very excited about the road as it is road that makes all the difference. eabrown [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #21 of 49
FYI, Maggie and Chip Loring are coaching at EpicSki Academy. As soon as we get a few more photos, we'll be posting the "official" 2003-2004 ESA Faculty Book.
post #22 of 49
Hi Carolyn-

I found the question you have posed to be quite interesting! In RM, we have often identified the three levels of cert with a simple analogy- L1 is the "WHAT", L2 is the "HOW", and L3 is the "WHY".

As many others have already given some fantastic ideas, allow me to add another-.

Do you remember the old adage-"You learn more when you are talking, than when you are listening"?

In the past, I have been challenged with very similar circumstances as you have described. Why not turn the tables on your candidates, and allow them to solve the situation. Put the oness of learning and teaching others upon them, rather than you always being in that role. Place yourself in the role as a guidance counselor instead. Encourage the candidates to go out and find different sources of information, rather than just coming and asking you.

Depending upon the numbers of L3 candidates you are dealing with, task each individual (or small group,2-3 max) with a topic/ concept, and allow them to create a presentation around that topic. Using the same criteria they would expect of you as a clinician (ie- keeping it moving, light, fun, etc), have them give their presentation for not just their peers, but also for all the L1/2 candidates as well. You would act as a moderator/ sounding board during the presentations.

Limit the length of each presentation to between 10-15 minutes, to be followed by a Q/A session of maybe 5 minutes.

During the research necessary to develop the presentation, the amount of info gleaned and understood by each individual/group, will be much greater than that derived from just listening to some lecture. And needing to be responsive to the Q/A will require more than just a superficial level of understanding.

In this format, they will also get experience presenting info in front of an educated audience and peers, which will assist them when standing infront of their examiner and exam group. It will also encourage a degree of simplicity which can be assimilated by the L1/2 candidates, and their own students.

This plan can be effected both indoors and out on the hill. If out on the hill, suggest the entire presentation should be concluded in a single run. This again might more accurately resemble the parameters of the exam format.

Many are the times some creative candidate has given a presentation which I found to be especially thought provoking, or containing a unique perspective. Without the onfo being tied to our own biases, it allows them to truly explore the sport, it's intricacies, and themselves.

I hope this idea helps somebody who either is already a trainer, or a candidate attempting to futher their own knowledge base.

:
post #23 of 49
Sometimes (often?) the process of learning isn't fun. But the fun comes in the new skills or broadened understanding that are the outcomes of learning and training...

Last season Ric took a great deal of time to improve my skiing and change the way I think about skiing and teaching. He challenged my belief system at every opportunity, made me think, and made me articulate what I was thinking. Groping for the right answer wasn't always 'fun'. Continual practice to acquire ownership of new movement patterns wasn't always 'fun'. And going up on the hill every morning at first light to drill or polish demos certainly wasn't always 'fun'. The 'fun' began when my managers and peers started to acknowledge and encourage my improved performance. The 'fun' got really serious when Bob B handed me a level 3 certificate and pin. (I'm 61 years old, didn't start seriously skiing until I was well into my fourth decade, and had thought level 3 was a standard I'd not achieve in this lifetime)...

Ric made it clear when we began our learning contract that he wouldn't prep me to pass the level 3 exam. He insisted on changing the way I ski by changing how I think about skiing. He warned me it would be hard, but promised that if I became a better skier, the exam would take care of itself. He was right, and now I'm looking forward to a new season that'll be more 'fun' than any of the previous ones...

Personally, the insistance on having 'fun' in a clinic can be annoying. When I take a day to train, I give up a day's income from teaching. For my time and money I want to learn something, not just go fast and play hard. Many instructors are instantlly 'bored' (i.e., not having fun) if there's a break in the action to discusss what they're doing or check for understanding. They seem to expect their training to be different from their teaching, and don't want to take the time to be instructed or ask questions. But I can testify that the game is worth the candle, and I've got a shiny new level 3 pin to prove it... [img]smile.gif[/img] THANKS RIC!
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by Vail Pilgrim:
Personally, the insistance on having 'fun' in a clinic can be annoying.
I think that this is one of the things that separates committed professionals from the rest. Taking responsibility for your learning and the willingness to work hard to improve have other rewards than the immediate gratification we associate with "amusement". I think we could find parallels with anyone seeking mastery of a difficult discipline, not that this is a matter of "arriving", instead it is apt to be a lifelong approach.

I would like to add that, at least for me, lengthy discussions and a classroom type approach are very useful. I just don't think the ski slope is a very good place for this. I've gained insights and new ways of looking at things in those apres ski coffee shop sessions that I could test later out on the hill. I think dryland training deserves a greater role in ski instruction as well as instructor training. I lobbyed for a time in my ski school for video cameras, mirrors, parallel bars, chalk boards etc to no effect. Perhaps these things aren't very saleable to the public but, as means for learning, I believe they can be invaluable.
post #25 of 49
Arcadie-
I think you are dead on the mark!

When working with any highly motivated athlete, instr, or student, it is easy to get them to understand the value of the knowledge, to support the action.
But to get a vacationing skier, who skis maybe a few weekends per season other than their BIG trip, is darned near impossible. It is their vacation, so let them enjoy it as they see fit. But I certainly hope those individuals don't have any serious aspirations of dramatic improvement. There is only so much any pro can do, without spending some period of time in the "classroom". That classroom can either be on the side of a run, with diagrams all over the snow, or inside a building.

Will any ski school ever offer the type of program you suggested? I doubt it. But there is one I'm familiar with which comes pretty close. It has a very highly motivated group of students, a fully developed curriculum, and top-notch coaches.

Because of these factors, it makes it a real pleasure to be involved with this program. In case you haven't guessed, I'm referring to the EpicSki Academy.

This is another case in point of the benefits offered by this unique event. Any questions? Ask us!

:
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by vail snopro / ric reiter:
Will any ski school ever offer the type of program you suggested? I doubt it.
: [/QB]
I think you've pointed out a great change that has occurred in the focus of ski instruction in general. When I was learning to ski (still learning, I hope), years ago, there were a great many, or so it seemed, who aspired to mastery of this sport and who worked diligently to that end. They admired the ski pros at their ski areas and tried to emulate them. Equipment and snow conditions being what they were, this was a long difficult process. There was I think often a near fanatical devotion to the sport that I seldom see today. Perhaps its just too easy with the grooming etc, perhaps just the result of marketing the sport as an amusement. I do think there are still folks around who would provide a market for intensive and effective advanced ski iunstruction and coaching , particularly at the commuter ski areas, who have been ignored by the industry. As it stands, the best thing such folks can do in order to improve their skiing is to become ski instructors themselves. That many do is, ironically, one of the reasons that the ski instruction business is so ill equipped to serve the needs of advanced skiers.
post #27 of 49
[quote]Originally posted by arcadie:
Quote:
.... I do think there are still folks around who would provide a market for intensive and effective advanced ski iunstruction and coaching ....
Come out to ESAII in January, you'll be able to validate this theory in relatively short order!

Quote:
Originally posted by arcadie:
... As it stands, the best thing such folks can do in order to improve their skiing is to become ski instructors themselves. That many do is, ironically, one of the reasons that the ski instruction business is so ill equipped to serve the needs of advanced skiers.
Ya lost me :

If the better skiers are becoming coaches in order to get even better, then how does this hurt the business of instruction in serving advanced skiers? Would the business be better recruiting lower level skiers to coach advanced skiers?
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by cgeib:
.[/qb]
Ya lost me :

?[/QB][/quote]

I wish I could get out to the academy.

No need to be confused, though. What I meant was that if you go into most ski schools looking for help in becoming an advanced skier your chance of finding qualifiued instruction is apt to be hit or miss. You are more likely to be taught by someone who is attempting to become an advanced skier or preparing to pass a level III exam.

I know that training offered to instructors by their schools is inconsistent but the fact remains that, between this training and that available to instruictors from PSIA, this is arguably the best advanced ski instruction available in america, excepting perhaps some racer preparation programs, but that is a different matter. Consequently if you want advanced instruction you could do well to become a ski instructor!

I think its no secret that many ski schools have a revolving door, regarding talent. They can and will hire folks who are not yet qualified, while letting talent drift out the back door, rather than improving conditions of the profession. Not withstanding the fact that some of these will become great teachers, this is why your odds of getting good advanced instruction at many ski areas are not great.

[ October 17, 2003, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: arcadie ]
post #29 of 49
Thread Starter 
Wow!

I never expected to get sooo much input. I'm overwhelmed and incredibly impressed by all the advice and comments. I don't know if etiquette requires me to respond to individuals, but I'd like to say to all of you that I appreciate your responses and I'm thinking about a more specific posting so that I can get even deeper into this (exciting) mess I've created.

The techno-world is a little less scary, now.

Thanks again to all! (I haven't figured out how to use the icon-guys, yet.)

XXOO
Carolyn
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally posted by carolyn:
.... (I haven't figured out how to use the icon-guys, yet.)....
carolyn:

Just point at the one you want with your mouse, left click and it will be inserted where your cursor is
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