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Best/Worst ski lesson and why? - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Ant:I started out really simple, with balancing on one foot,shifting weight slightly foward and back. This is of course a pretty static exercise, but keep in mind my right ankle was an absolute mess,so I haad to starat pretty basic. Then I built up to using a dyna disc, and if you look in the fitness section, there a bunch of topics with dyna disc exercises. When I finally got nes boots and footbeds, I practiced edging on 2 discs, with my boots on.

Now, when I weight train, I do at least one set sstanding on a disc or a bosu. For simple strengthening, I do plantar and dorsi flexion using a dyna band, but keep in mind, this does not do much for balance.
post #32 of 56
Ant - i have an exercise from the physio to improve the range of movement in my ankle - I'll show you when we meet again...

The better range should aid my balance...
post #33 of 56
Interesting. I am slightly limited in plantar/dorsi flexion, but completely HYPERMOBILE in any lateral ankle movements. To relate this to topic, it gives the instructor aan idea of the complexity of the issue. There is no one size fits all solution. Some people have not enough range, some have too much, some have a combination of both.

Another good, albeit highly challenging ankle exercise is Toe Arpeggio. Try to lift each toe in sequence. Even if you cannot do it, the act of trying is really helpful to create sensation of how the feet work.
post #34 of 56
Thread Starter 
LM-I have been told many times that I need to flex my ankles more. However, I have a very unstable right ankle due to several really bad strains. Once in a while, it totally gives out on me when walking down stairs. When I had my right ankle x-rayed last fall, it showed evidence of an old distal-tibia fracture also. Move forward now to my complete boot fitting/ foot bed/canting done by a professional boot fitter. He told me that I had half of the dorsi-flexion in my "unstable" right ankle that I have in my more stable left ankle.

My orhtopod instructed me to use some rubber tubing to do a series of ankle strengthening exercises, to help stabilize the right ankle. They seem to be helping. If I knew how, I would post those pictures here. From your vast library, can you dig some of these exercises up and post a link to them for others?

Anyway, back to the original topic. How do you as instructors find out about physical obstacles such as bad ankles, knees (etc.) things that might inhibit certain movement patterns, without being insensitive, and incompassionate?
post #35 of 56
Ask, "Does anyone have physical limitations I should know about as your instructor?"

It's a good question to ask. It would have made me think twice about taking that school group down the bump run instead of the groomer--had I known the kid a) had a prosthetic leg and b) had never tried it in the bumps. He did great! But the first clue I had that he had any disability whatsoever was the rest of the class congratulating him on a successful run.

Many years ago, of course.
post #36 of 56
OK, I'll bite.

Best Lesson(s): I learned to ski in 1974, Ober Gatlinburg in TN at age 10. I took a six week learn to ski course (once a week over six weeks), in six lessons I was parallel turning on blue slopes and switching between stem-christie's and parallel on blacks. My instructor was John 'something'. Thanks for introducing me to a sport that changed my life; also thanks to my parents for setting the whole thing up.

Other than that my best lessons weren't. They were guided ski tours with a guide of exceptional ability who gave tips and pointers on how to handle various terrain and snow condition situations over the course of 2 days at Jackson Hole (1992).

Worst Lessons: All of the rest of them. I took numerous lessons in the early years that were just useless. What PSIA doesn't do is teach people how to ski terrain. PSIA teaches all kinds of little skills and drills but never goes into how to ski the terrain that their clients want to ski. It was that way in the 70's and early 80's and from what I've seen around the mountains it is still that way now.

For the prospective students, once you have hit an intermediate level find someone that skis how and where you want to ski and ask them to show you how they do it. Listen to them and apply their techniques. Buy them a few rounds at the end of the day. You'll save hundreds of dollars and be a better skier in the long run. The only reason you need to learn all the drills etc. is if you want to be an instructor yourself.

[ April 23, 2003, 07:08 AM: Message edited by: teledave ]
post #37 of 56
Jimbo, will do when I get hiome tonight. Bookmarks are on my home PC.
Re: Topic. Of course, asking is important. But just to complicate things more, often people come into skiing with issues resulting from injuries they maay have had 10 -20 years ago. For all intents and purposes, they have never been re-injured in any other sport. So if the instructor asks the question, the response may be "no".

I know I've said this many times before, but absolutely NOTHING, NOTHING will point out your weakest link more than skiing. Your student may be in complete denial that anything is wrong. But the saviest of instructors will spot something right away, an ability to edge on one side but not the other, or any number of things.

Although many people are looking for positive feedback when they take a lesson, some are just trying to have an objective eye tell them what is the one darn thing that is stalling their progress. An instructor sharp enough to pick up on the problem, will not only help improve the student's skiing, but may also keep them from getting injured in their daily life activities as they get older.
post #38 of 56
Originally posted by Teledave:
"Worst Lessons: All of the rest of them. I took numerous lessons in the early years that were just useless. What PSIA doesn't do is teach people how to ski terrain. PSIA teaches all kinds of little skills and drills but never goes into how to ski the terrain that their clients want to ski. It was that way in the 70's and early 80's and from what I've seen around the mountains it is still that way now."

Come to the Academy if you want to learn to ski terrain! [img]smile.gif[/img]

Edited so that people would stop throwing hissy fits about things I did not say. :

[ April 23, 2003, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
"Worst Lessons: All of the rest of them. I took numerous lessons in the early years that were just useless. What PSIA doesn't do is teach people how to ski terrain. PSIA teaches all kinds of little skills and drills but never goes into how to ski the terrain that their clients want to ski. It was that way in the 70's and early 80's and from what I've seen around the mountains it is still that way now."
PSIA doesn't teach people...people teach people.
post #40 of 56
best: first day on skis, @ buttermilk. a group of never-ever adults. the instructor cared about learning.
worst: the next day at snowmass, different instructor. instructor cared about his tan.
post #41 of 56
Uh, um, well, Roto, you may want to reread the thread. I was quoting Teledave. My own opinions could not be any further from that. I know, I should have used the "Originally posted by" thingie.

And considering I only began skiing a few years ago, the 70s, 80s comment would make no sense anyway.

[ April 23, 2003, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Uh, um, well, Roto, you may want to reread the thread. I was quoting Teledave. My own opinions could not be any further from that. I know, I should have used the "Originally posted by" thingie.

And considering I only began skiing a few years ago, the 70s, 80s comment would make no sense anyway.
ok, but PSIA still doesn't teach people.
or give people good experiences or bad experiences.

people do that too.
post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by jimbo:
LM-I have been told many times that I need to flex my ankles more. However, I have a very unstable right ankle due to several really bad strains. Once in a while, it totally gives out on me when walking down stairs. When I had my right ankle x-rayed last fall, it showed evidence of an old distal-tibia fracture also. Move forward now to my complete boot fitting/ foot bed/canting done by a professional boot fitter. He told me that I had half of the dorsi-flexion in my "unstable" right ankle that I have in my more stable left ankle.

My orhtopod instructed me to use some rubber tubing to do a series of ankle strengthening exercises, to help stabilize the right ankle. They seem to be helping. If I knew how, I would post those pictures here. From your vast library, can you dig some of these exercises up and post a link to them for others?

Anyway, back to the original topic. How do you as instructors find out about physical obstacles such as bad ankles, knees (etc.) things that might inhibit certain movement patterns, without being insensitive, and incompassionate?
At your service! [img]smile.gif[/img]
http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...;f=11;t=000307
post #44 of 56
By Me:
Quote:
While not all skiers may need careful explanations of the basic physics and physiology involved in different aspects of skiing, I like having them and then to be able to watch someone who can actually perform them.


When I posted that observation, I didn't have the book Skiing Right by Horst Abraham handy at the time. However, it includes an article that identified four basic learning orientations, "THE FEELER", "THE DOER", "THE WATCHER" and "THE THINKER". It also includes a short questionaire that the student fills out that seeks to best characterize the learning style of the student prior to the lesson.

Skiing Right was published in 1983. There may be more current educational theory available. However, given that the time an instructer has with a student is often very limited, some pre-screening to assist the instructer in communicating most effectively with a given student would be valuable. It may sometimes also be possible to group some students with simular learning styles together in advance of a lesson. The net result could well be a more satisfied student and instructor.
post #45 of 56
my best lessons were, of course, with my SO, hes the best coach ever, but in terms of ski school instructors:

Best and Worst were with the same instructor, believe it or not.

Normally a fantastic instructor and an amazing skiier, my first level 7/8 lesson was terrible. it was spring a few yrs. ago and not that late in the spring, either. He was apparently burnt out, and it was very hard to turn his attention to my skiing.

I found out where he lived, and how excited he was to open his pool. (in march?) when he wasn't engrossed in his dissertation of the effects of chlorine shock treatment on certain types of aqatic algae, he was talking about the stretch pants I chose to wear on that warm day. (YES i wear them and I LIKE them. dont care if they arent the height of fashion.) (but that wasn't the point. when I said I wanted him to concentrate on my form, that WASNT what I meant.) he even went as far as to say "GOOD!" when I mentioned that it was going to rain that weekend, "I cant wait for all this damned snow to melt." I was dumbfounded.

I got absolutly NOTHING from the lesson. (except never to wear stretch pants to this particular resort again.) and, if I ever get a pool, I can open it like a pro!

Anyways, I forgive the guy, after all, he was my instructor through most of my lessons and a good one, Like i said hes a great instructor normally. I understand that everyone can have a bad day, or get burnt out or whatever. but I thought Id post it anyways, as an example, especially now in spring time. If your a pro and your burnt out...at least try to hide it, a little
post #46 of 56
Worst ever? oh boy.

I taught my wife to ski this season. For our first day I took her to Magic Mountain in VT and had her doing stem turns on straight skis (family principle) by noontime. Great. Fast forward a week to Jay Peak. I put her in a rental/lesson/ticket package for beginners so I could get my free ticket for bringing her. I wasn't going to be skiing with her because I had a race. The story of what happened to her didn't reach me until the end of the day.

She goes to the rental shop with my mother, who gets her outfitted with properly sized, perfectly tuned, straight skis (Olin innovation DTSL's at 195cm which we bought at the end of the day for $25). She skis around most of the morning and then heads to her 1 O'clock lesson. When she gets there she is placed in a group with three girls, two of whom had also skied before, and the other a complete first timer. Her instructor refuses to bump her up into another group even though she is nearly doing parallel turns. They proceed through some retarded exercise with arm flapping and clucking like a chicken (not something a woman in her early twenties wants to be doing in public). She politely protests and the instructor flies off the handle and tells her that in order to learn to ski she MUST go rent or buy a pair of shaped skis. She naturally refuses, the straight skis being a family trademark, and also what she has grown accustomed to. He demands of her where she got the skis, and she dutifully replies "in the rental shop." He refuses to believe this and accuses her of lying, saying that "OUR rental shop would never rent out antiquated crap like that in THIS day and age." He then demands to see the rental receipt (which of course was in Mom's possesion), and tries to force her to go to the rental shop with him to get the skis changed. She tells him to go screw, and leaves the lesson (and leaves the bunny hill). She scrambles onto the tram and proceeds to find her way onto "JFK," a steep and twisty groomer that demands constant edging, and makes it down without falling or stopping, by the end of the run doing normal parallel turns, having learned nothing in the lesson but hatred for all ski instructors other than myself.

Unfortunately she couldn't recall the jerk's name. If she had, I'd have knocked his head in for calling my wife a liar.

Best Lesson? Day number 4 for my wife, beautiful spring day at Sugarloaf. Jennie samples her first moguls and can negotiate all but the roughest stuff by day's end. She has now skied six days this season under my tutelage and is ready to duck into the woods, and should be ready for the Left Gully of Tuckerman Ravine by late May.
post #47 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Roto:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Teledave:
"Worst Lessons: All of the rest of them. I took numerous lessons in the early years that were just useless. What PSIA doesn't do is teach people how to ski terrain. PSIA teaches all kinds of little skills and drills but never goes into how to ski the terrain that their clients want to ski. It was that way in the 70's and early 80's and from what I've seen around the mountains it is still that way now."
PSIA doesn't teach people...people teach people.</font>[/quote]Yep that is my quote.
Your reply is typical of the anal retentive attitude that has been shown by most PSIA instructors that I have ever had the pleasure : of taking a lesson from. Obviously the intent of my remark was that PSIA should be taken as PSIA intsructors. Happy now?

I know that there are many instructors on this board that MAY deliver a quality product. My statement was obviously a broad generality; however, it has been overwhelmingly true in my experience as well as the experiences of many people that I know and ski with. The level of instructor qualification at most areas is extremely poor; if you would like conformation of that please reference (sorry I'm not going to bother searching for it) the thread engaging the topic of how you can be a Level 7 skier and an Level II instructor certification.

I stand by my original statement as it was intended.

Sorry that one got attributed to you LisaMarie.

[ April 25, 2003, 06:33 AM: Message edited by: teledave ]
post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by teledave:
What PSIA doesn't do is teach people how to ski terrain. PSIA teaches all kinds of little skills and drills but never goes into how to ski the terrain that their clients want to ski. It was that way in the 70's and early 80's and from what I've seen around the mountains it is still that way now.

For the prospective students, once you have hit an intermediate level find someone that skis how and where you want to ski and ask them to show you how they do it. Listen to them and apply their techniques. Buy them a few rounds at the end of the day. You'll save hundreds of dollars and be a better skier in the long run. The only reason you need to learn all the drills etc. is if you want to be an instructor yourself.
Some of the emphasis on "little skills and drills" is a holdover from the Centerline approach, which led too many instructors to emphasize perfect turns on the groomed at the expense of terrain skills. That's why Centerline is dead.
On the other hand, too many students want to start with moguls (or worse "extreme terrain"), before they can execute a decently dynamic short radius turn. If they are happy to "apply their techniques" with "intermediate level" skills, that's fine for them, but don't ask me to participate in that. Skiing steep, difficult terrain well and safely requires lots of "little skills," most of which cannot be learned on difficult terrain, and which will certainly not be learned at the bar at the end of the day.
BTW, I learned to ski terrain pretty well from PSIA instructors.

RR

[ April 25, 2003, 08:03 AM: Message edited by: Roland Rock, P.E. ]
post #49 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by teledave:
[qb] What PSIA doesn't do is teach people how to ski terrain. PSIA teaches all kinds of little skills and drills but never goes into how to ski the terrain that their clients want to ski.skills," most of which cannot be learned on difficult terrain, and which will certainly not be learned at the bar at the end of the day.

RR
Several questions. If you hava a student who wants to ski steep terrain, and you notice that they consistently bank into the hill, how do you help them inprove. How do you help them move the center of mass over the skis into the new turn , rather than away from the new turn. If you have a student who is having trouble in heavy snow and crud, and notice that they are using a lot of upper body rotation, how do you help them overcome their difficulties?

There are some drills that will help to emphasis the patterns, that will make skiing the steep and off piste conditions easier. However, some people may not want to go through all of those drills, on easy blue/green groomers, such as teledave. That is where the Guest Centered Teaching Concepts come into play. However, what does an isntructor do if their student wants to go to steep or extreme terrain, and after they get there, they are way over their head, and is unable to ski the terrain safely? What do you do as instructors, when you are in this situation? As instructors, we want to work the lessons according to the wishes of the client. But we are also are concerned about their safety too.

In the above situations, I might take the student over to some moderately steep terrain, or to some ungroomed terrain and work on one turn at a time, if that is what they desired. I might also switch back and forth to some groomers with some drills, if that is what they wanted. At the same time, the student is paying me to help them learn to ski. As I was trying to cater the lesson to one student, he said; "Heck, you are the instructor. You tell me what to do, that is what I am paying you for." It can be a real tough balancing act to give the guest what they paid for, while creating a good learning experience, and being concerned about their safety and security at the same time.

Sometimes these little drills help.
post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by jimbo:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by teledave:
[qb] What PSIA doesn't do is teach people how to ski terrain. PSIA teaches all kinds of little skills and drills but never goes into how to ski the terrain that their clients want to ski.skills," most of which cannot be learned on difficult terrain, and which will certainly not be learned at the bar at the end of the day.

RR
There are some drills that will help to emphasis the patterns, that will make skiing the steep and off piste conditions easier. However, some people may not want to go through all of those drills, on easy blue/green groomers, such as teledave. That is where the Guest Centered Teaching Concepts come into play. However, what does an isntructor do if their student wants to go to steep or extreme terrain, and after they get there, they are way over their head, and is unable to ski the terrain safely? What do you do as instructors, when you are in this situation? As instructors, we want to work the lessons according to the wishes of the client. But we are also are concerned about their safety too.

</font>[/quote]And finally a non-defensive answer! I'm not familiar with Guest Centered Teaching Concepts, but this really sounds like the direction to move in. I'm really comfortable/confident with my alpine skiing ability at this point (actually I haven't been on alpine skis in 4 seasons now, so I may suck) but I was just trying to bring up what I feel the shortcomings of instruction are. Umm, you guys know any good nordic guys that could push me from an 8-8.5 to a 9 or higher? Oh, geez here we go again with another fuzzy question!

PS: Nolo when you get the 'copters down, try it with freeheels. You instructors will have a field day with this, I can land 'em in a tele stance and go off to my right but I crash and burn every time to the left. (Obviously left is my weak side turn.) Tips?
post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by teledave:
Umm, you guys know any good nordic guys that could push me from an 8-8.5 to a 9 or higher? Oh, geez here we go again with another fuzzy question!

What part of the country/world do you live in? I am not a free-healer, but my wife is. She knows some good ones here in the southern Rockies. If you live in this area, send me a note and I will forward her recommendations to you.

In regards to your past ski instructor experiences, I suggest that if and when you start taking lessons again, make it clear to the instructor what you are trying to accomplish, and what your expectations are for the lesson. Good luck [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #52 of 56
The terrain thing...part of the problem is PSIA certifying people who are not very good skiiers.
Of course, many US instructors are NOT certified, and are NOT members of PSIA.
I have encountered many who did their level 1 and stopped there, too. The Seniority system at many resorts sees them being allocated higher levels just because they've been there longer. Some of them are such poor skiiers, it's dumbfounding.
PSIA doesn't teach instructors...it only gets to teach us stuff once every couple of years...that's the rule if you want to keep your certification current. The resorts have us every day; some offer comprehensive training, others don't!

I was always in 7th heavan to get guests who were advanced enough to venture off piste (and who wanted to). Last season, I took a group of level 2 ladies off piste! Just so's they could get comfy with ungroomed snow early. They were still raving about that lesson at the end of the week.
post #53 of 56
I dunno ... the only thing my instructors ever said was "ziz way like ziz follow yah" ... being deaf and gritty, it was of course the perfect lesson plan.

Worst lesson I ever taught was many moons ago as a young eager instructor on his first O\S assignment using the horse and cart with poles drill on a full length fur coated beautiful German girl in St Moritz. The next day the husband turned up and said ### is taking the day off ... lets go ... and we did ... like ziz follow yah.

Best was taking all my adventure club kids (7-14) on an end of season day, on skins, to the top of the peak opposite the resort we skied together at every weekend. They all made it to the cornice at the top while the parents sat at the resort balcony worrying into their binoculars ....

... Closely followed by walking the Labrador at the Ritz whilst in full SS uniform and\or fondling the tycoon’s daughter behind the stone hut on Piz Nair, (or was that the Brown Cow in Zermatt) ... something about balance and hand position I recall .... Hey I am\was a ski instructor … girls, husbands, kids, skiing, dogs, never a bad lesson, always an interseting day out.

Oz [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] :

[ April 26, 2003, 04:01 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #54 of 56
You know, I've never seen the horse and cart exercise done in the US! Our swiss instructor here, she is from Pontresina/St Moritz, had us do it years ago, on an icy blue run. At first I found it impossible (I was the cart) and was almost in tears of frustration, and then I just tuned out (in rage) and didn't care any more, and zap, I was in "the zone" and shuttling those little turns back and forth. (on my 190cm slaloms). Magic!
post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by ant:
You know, I've never seen the horse and cart exercise done in the US! Our swiss instructor here, she is from Pontresina/St Moritz, had us do it years ago, on an icy blue run. At first I found it impossible (I was the cart) and was almost in tears of frustration, and then I just tuned out (in rage) and didn't care any more, and zap, I was in "the zone" and shuttling those little turns back and forth. (on my 190cm slaloms). Magic!
I remember that! I was the horse!
post #56 of 56
BEST LESSON - Every time I work with JW I have a great lesson. However, the best one was my first in-depth session. JW found a few key small movements that I was making improperly. He gave me some drills and told me to practice them. I practiced them with rigor. The next time I skied with him, he said I'd just about eliminated the two bad movements (1. tilting the head slightly, 2. very faint up-unweight and not enough foot focus), and indeed I could feel my skiing grow more powerful and reliable, while also less energy-intensive.

WORST LESSON - Easily it would be the private lesson I took at The Big Mountain 3 seasons ago. Different instructor for each of the morning and evening sessions. Each instructor basically treated the lesson as a free-skiing exercise for him/herself, with occasional obvious comments on my skiing. Utter waste of time & money. Clearly these two instructors are suited more for levels 1-6. They basically did the "watch me and imitate me" technique. Fools. Incompetent fools.

[ April 28, 2003, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: gonzostrike ]
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