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The straight A students

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
In the school programs this year I have been working a great deal with the middle school age kids. Our young ski instructors find this age group to be hard to deal with so they fall to us old guys.
Every sesion, at all levels, I am finding students who ski with their poles and hands glued high up on each side of their chests and their eyes-a-gazing at their skis. Invaribly I am finding out that these kids are for the most part, straight A students in school. Here they are, stiff as a board trying to think their way to skiing greatness.
For these kid I am avoiding teaching these kids anything of technical value. I ask them if they think of how they walk or ride a bike and their answer is "no". Then I say "you won't ski that way either". I have them stand there and take several deep breaths. Then I ask them to hum a tune to themselves and ski. They are always ammazed at the results and realize that they are trying to think through their feet. I tell them whenever they find themselves over analyzing their skiing, to just tell self one to shut up and let self two ski. Its paying big rewards. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #2 of 9
Hey, Pierre eh.

Ya know, ya sound like an extremely thoughtful, smart and committed instructor. I applaud you. Your posts are always helpful, of course, and I never fail to learn SOMEthing. I hope every blue moon or so someone you've helped out finds you and thanks you for sharing your passion and knowledge.
post #3 of 9
YOu can't use the regular methods on bright kids (I'm mom of two 97th percentile ones) They see right through what you are trying to do. YOu'll need to "trick" them into doing what you want them to do, making it really fun with out describing too much. My kids got discgusted with regular lessons early on, and we went to privates where the instructor was keyed into tricking them into learning (hey, follow me, and try and do what I do!!) instead of haing them do drills.

summary: make it fun, get them out of their heads.

post #4 of 9
Pierre Eh!, you are one wise teacher. I was the same way in jr high and high school, over-analyzing the movements rather than relaxing and feeling them. It wasn't until I got older and stopped being so intentionally self-critical that my skiing started to improve rapidly. Now I leave the analysis for the chair ride up, and just let 'em rip on the way down.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Irulan, I hear what you are saying by your statment
>>YOu'll need to "trick" them into doing what you want them to do, <<. Your point is well understood. I think this is what Ydnar was trying to say when he used the word "Confuse" instead of "Trick" in his thread http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c&f=4&t=000575 Ydnar got blasted for using "confused".

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 25, 2002 09:39 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #6 of 9
well, Pierre, one of my kids has the unique distinction of being the only kid to ever get kicked out of ski school on our hill. "it's no fun, all we do is ski in a line all day, do'nt spill the luch tray."
He was right, no whoopededoos or fun stuff.

That was when he was 6. Now, the boys will ONLY take privates with the one guy who figured out how to get in their heads. He makes it fun and exciting, and they try to emulate him. OF course they still bitch about it, but then I find them doing his goodfy drills on their own when he's not around. My son (same one) is notorious for skiing our whole mountain on one ski...

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Irulan, with middle school students, I certainly don't use a command style of teaching or use nice lineups and lots of talking. Kids hate that formal way of teaching. I tell the students to just get close enough to hear what I have to say. I just give them one thing to try, demonstrate it, give them all a place to meet up again, tell them to allow enough space, watch for traffic and take off when they are ready, yah know, "give it a whirl". Many times I give them something that is difficult to do but really builds versatility and balance. I tell them "Do I expect you all to do this? NO, I expect you to feel awkward, maybe fall and end up laughing down half the slope". They are immediately not worried about failure, they have difficulty watching each other for criticism and mistakes and end up having a ball while gaining the ability to just let it hang out and ski. I tie it all back to their skiing towards the end of the lesson. My style and enthusiasm is much more like that Steve guy from Austraila thats always grabbin crocodiles.
The problem that I have is that I have 30 kids standing there all demanding to go with me while my two traditional ski instructor helpers stand there feeling like lepers.
post #8 of 9
maybe you need a smaller clas size.

post #9 of 9

I can relate to the "physic" ski students who try to turn their feet with a good long stare. Quite often I use the same sort of "trick and treat" type of techniques for these “unconnected” students.

I find that the "non technical" approach works well for the timid student as well. Mostly moms, big awkward kids, office dads getting back to skiing etc. Also I find that “feeling” style teaching works well with over coming the “fear and technical bafflement” factor for many low-end beginners.

Thanks for the A student insight.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
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