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The Phantom Move... - Page 2

post #31 of 60
The instructors manual available on Harb Ski Systems web site is the source you want in writing. The instructors manual isn't all that full of PSIA bashing like the first book and gives a much clearer insight with plenty of ideas. I think you will like it.
post #32 of 60
Si, I like your post. I think you have got the basic ideas where they belong. I would like to point out why the issues appear to be imbedded with ATS in our discussions and why PMTS seems to put eveything right where it is best utilized.
ATS is a system developed to help instructors learn and understand how to teach and how to understand what they are teaching. As such ATS is open for vagueness and discussions and is really a living breathing system for teaching instructors not students.
PMTS on the other hand, is geared right towards the student and not towards the instructor. Of course PMTS is going to look better from a students perspective. One is aimed at teaching students the other is aimed at teaching instructors. They both eloquently serve their pupose. The problem came in by trying to compare them apples for apples. They are not aimed at the same group.
I goes like this. PSIA uses ATS to teach instructors how to teach and give them a technical background. The instructors then go forth and create there own teaching senarios. PMTS happens to be Harald Harbs teaching senario. If HH had not tried to compare PMTS to PSIA for marketing purposes none of this discussion would be taking place and PMTS would be gaining popularity ten times faster instead of being mired in disputes.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 01:08 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #33 of 60
SCSA and Si, I spent some time this afternoon rereading HH "Anyone can be an expert skier" while passing out candy to trick 'n treaters.

On page 121, in the chapter on Linked Short Turns it says: "The new skis do present some interesting challenges for the skiers with old movement patters. By old, I mean those used in traditional teaching systems."

"Similarly, Primary Movements aren't really new, they simply haven't been considered the formal way to teach the skiing public."

And in that lies the crux of my argument. HH's skiing progression works great and quick with skiers who come prepared with shaped skis and being aligned in well fitting boots but does NOT work well with our thousand or more school kids a day who come to get lesson and show up with either ill fitting straight rental equipment, or worse, with their uncle's 30-year-old 7 foot Head Standards and double laced boots.

And that is where PSIA trained teachers shine. They are allowed to taylor the lesson to whatever they have to work with, not having to follow a strict progression.

Forty years ago when I first got certified and a few years later when PSIA took over and brought out the first AMERICAN SKI TECHNIQUE book, it prescribed ten FINAL FORMS[/b], a progression much like Harb's, starting with the straight run, snowplow, snowplow turn, traverse, stem turn, sideslip, stem christy, uphill christy, parallel turn and wedeln (later called short swing).

These were concise progressions which were well structured to build upon each other and get the student to the disired expertise.

We didn't promote a student to the next stage until they were proficient in the present stage. That worked fine with a private student or small group which would come back repeatedly and keep taking lessons, like a ski club group which would come once a week all Winter, but it failed miserably with students who were less motivated to better themselves and who, once they learned the snowplow turn and had fun on the green slopes, never took another lesson.

About thirty years ago this regimen was loosened to a guidline and it was left to the individual ski school and insturctor to deal with reality and either promote a talented student past several stages or even regress a stage or two to teach the basics.

So this post is just to say :Been there,done that. And it is utterly impossible to use a structured progression with twenty students for an hour on an icy piece of real estate only twenty feet wide.

This is my take, considering the history of ski teaching over the last half century.

post #34 of 60

Don't know about ski instruction like you do, but I will say that you have to read both books (1 and 2) in order to really "get" Harb's system. Or, I guess the instructors manual is a good read too.

I think that's the mistake many have made. They read 1 and that's it. When really, 1 is just a primer for 2.

Anyway, not a plug to sell books, just trying to pass along the facts.
post #35 of 60
Pierre eh! Thanks, I'll check it out.
post #36 of 60
SCSA, I have been retired from ski instruction for nearly fifteen years, though I try to keep up.

I just mentioned it because a closed system didn't work under all situations. Basically, what PSIA has tried to do, and accomplished for the most part, is to have all the instructors they train speak the same technical language, so when an instructor in Vermont talked about, say, angulation to a student, that student taking a lesson on his Colorado vacation would not hear "side bend" from his instructor instead of angulation.

That worked. And since I won't be teaching the PMTS system I will not need to have the second book, I was just intrigued that HH admitted that the primary moves have been around for a long time and according to him, not used to teach the public.

So when my old bones take me to the slope, I just ski, and there, in my turns there is a little bit of the Austrian and the French and some of the American techniques, all of which I taught, and they work just fine for me. Regretfully, I'm going to be seventy in a few month and I'm fat, bald and out of shape and nearly get out of breath just walking around the block, but I have no problems skiing all day, 'cause compared to other physical activities, like walking, skiing is easy.

post #37 of 60

You're young! 70 ain't old. Look at it this way. You've still got a good 30 years left!
post #38 of 60

I think your post does a great job of pointing out how important a person's perspective is to how they interpret this discussion - well done. In my case I think I am trying to view the discussion from both a student's perspective as well as a coach's or instructor's. I'll be the first to say that I have very limited experience teaching skiing but given my professional interests in teaching and my passion for skiing I hope there is some validity to my opinion.

With that said let me comment a bit further about my post from the ski teaching perspective. I think there is a flaw in the model of instruction you talk about when you say:

"ATS is a system developed to help instructors learn and understand how to teach and how to understand what they are teaching. As such ATS is open for vagueness and discussions and is really a living breathing system for teaching instructors not students."

My feeling about the general level of ski instructor teaching expertise is that it is not always very high and that this can be especially true for new instructors. This opinion stems from my own experiences in taking a lesson as well as observations of a wide range of lessons when skiing on my own (I am always curious and try to watch for a while when I have the time). I think this is totally understandable given the combined circumstances for new instuctors which are frequently the case: young age, lack of much if any previous teaching or coaching experience/expertise, and skiing expertise which may have been gained in a fashion which does not necessarily lend itself to an individual being able to effectively tell someone else how to do what they do.

I think for individuals who experience some or all of these traits (even if they are established instructors) a teaching model similar to what you would present to a student may be the best way to start. Give them a progression to start with so that they can be successful with a majority of students or at least minimize the confusion. With too many tools and too little experience and/or skill I think you are not likely to have great success.

I don't think that many (if any) of the instructors who post here necessarily fall into this category given the passion and interest they display for ski instruction. But that's probably not representative of an "average" instructor. I think it is relatively easy for someone to learn to describe the movements needed for skiing and to teach on that basis. The trouble is that movements are rarely learned efficiently in this manner.

Of course the very best instructors will utilize broad experience, vast knowledge, and superb teaching skills to develop their own approach which is optimally customized for each client. I just don't think we can always count on this being the case.


I think you make some good points. With outdated equipment, poor alignment, and large numbers any approach taken will require compromise. Even so, I think that some of the movements and cues contained within the PMTS progression can still be used in that environment. While it seems to me that there are some possible alternatives (which I would consider as improvements) to the common progressions used in those situations, I'd be the first to admit that my opinion is based on theory, not experience. I know that there have been previous discussions along these lines that at least Pierre participated in. But I have not spoken up because of my limited experience (or even observations) in such environments.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 08:36 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Si ]</font>
post #39 of 60
Sounds like Lateral Projection, with down weighting to me!
post #40 of 60
HMM! Lateral projection? Haven't heard that in awhile.
post #41 of 60
Hey All,

I've just spent a bit of time reading all the above discussion. Very good stuff, for sure. You guys have had a big day. I was out cleacning my shed as we've had a change in the weather! Winter is coming maybe as much as a foot of snow by Tuesday! I'm ready.

Anyway, I met HH a about four or five years ago through Skiing Magazine. We had powwow and I ended up doing some work with HH in his early days of splitting from PSIA. I had been coaching advanced ski clinics for awhile working with skiers on off-piste skiing. My brother and I (and three partners) had been doing our thing, since 1991) basically outside the normall bubble of ski instruction and had our own way of thinking about things(teaching models). When my brother and I got to discussing skiing with HH it was truly uncanny how a couple key elements of PMTS thinking fit into, like, EVRYTHING we had ben doing to date; the actual techniques of skiing AND teaching. The two key concepts were: relax to release and lead the edge change with that same newly unweighted foot. The evolution in my personal skiing and in our teaching models was, to me, a truly amazing thing.

Up to that point (which was just as shaped skis were coming out), I was still talking a lot about extension based release patterns (although we always recognized a relaxation phase in transition which was key to the similarity). The exceptions were deep powder and soft snow, but even here there was still extension in the vernacular (there still IS to a very limited extent). What was missing, and I sense the same missing link in ATS, is the TRIGGER to get the CM smoothly down into the next turn.

Well...the missing link was in the relaxation move. The key here is this: (Bob...you mentioned the forces in the turn) the turning forces of the turn come from us standing on our skis through the body/belly of each turn, it is not some random gravitational influence which pushes against us. It is us resisting the G's until we release these G's. By relaxing or giving in to these forces it starts the edge change AND at the same time pulls the CM into the next turn. Without having to push against the forces which is a lot more effort.

Then the smooth continuation is to simply lead the edge change with the same foot coming in nice and light as the new inside ski. This is the LINK which came up a couple days ago.

The only other really important point (for this note) is that the upper body(CM) always faces in your direction of travel. This is especially important when finishing a turn to have it already facing the middle of the next turn. This upper/lower body seperation provides all the rotation force needed to facilitate the skis natural tendency to seek the falline through the neutral phase of transition. So that as the skis change edges and, simultaneously, the CM flows into the new turn and skis are passing through nuetral and flat on or above the snow surface, the skis draw into the falline and then you are in the turn and G's build again. Just this little bit of rotary loading combined with the shape of modern skis and the cutting of the skis through the snow, makes the turn happens SO much more easily then with old skis. In addittion, in other words, you do not need to steer the skis for linked, parrallel skiing.

This is basically the basis for PMTS and for my own teaching and for the training models that I do with my own small band of prefessional merry men and women. Further, the models that HH outlines in his book are just that: models. Yes, they are very good progressions which works well in very ordered steps for skill development. Good. But, like people have said above, good coaching and getting effective results are only in part due to sound MODELS. It is still up to the Pros to fine tune a lesson plan for each individual student and to vary it according to circumstance and learning and individual learning patterns.

BUT I still believe that the evolution in ski design has evolved skiing technique and, additionally, that it is up to all of us to evolve ski teaching too. I would suggest that we, as Ski Pros, owe it to our clients and the ski industry which we all work in to put petty differences aside and take a good, honest look at all the various "methods", make some judgement calls as to what really works and evolve Professional Ski Instruction in America. This may mean that YOU actually go out and teach a new progression and see what happens. Talking about it only goes so far. Reality goes farther.

Ok...that's the end of my whatever. Hope everybody has a good week coming up and I look forward to more lively discussion. Pray for snow and world peace. See you.


P.S. Sorry about any typos or misspellings. I'm not really proff-reading this too much. Off the top of the head for sure. :
post #42 of 60
Si, sounds like you are learning fast. You're statement:
>>I think for individuals who experience some or all of these traits (even if they are established instructors) a teaching model similar to what you would present to a student may be the best way to start. Give them a progression to start with so that they can be successful with a majority of students or at least minimize the confusion. With too many tools and too little experience and/or skill I think you are not likely to have great success.<<

Says a lot about what is currently the problem with PSIA. They do not have a simple canned approach to get new instructors started and HH has tried to capitalize on that problem. He would have been far more sucessful had he not shot himself in the foot with his marketing approach.
PSIA needs to develope a core approach of the gross motor movements needed to effectively get new instructors teaching. PSIA actually has all of this information but you have to be grasshopper and seek it. New instructors don't know where to seek so how are they going to find it.
Right now PSIA is king at the higher levels compared to PMTS (All higher level blue/black PMTS certs are high level PSIA currently, there hasen't been any bottom up yet in PMTS) and I think PMTS has got the good canned approach idea to more effectively get new instructors teaching effectively.
I would still love to get a stadium and capture the higher ups in PSIA and HH, fill the stadium with rank and file instructors and get them in the ring and say "Youz guys get together and come up with a decent combined program and don't come out until you do. You come out with no agreement and we're gonna pound you to salt. No more bickering!"
post #43 of 60
A very nice post. I like it and your contributions to this forum. I notice from your profile that you are a guide and as such, you probably ski a lot of garbage snow with fairly large/medium turns. In those conditions, HH's weighted release is just the ticket.
I always like reading your stuff as I suspect our skiing is at opposite ends of the spectrum. You likely ski mostly ungroomed terrain with medium to large turns without interference from traffic. I can only dream of those conditions and visit them when I can. I ski an urban hill of 79 acres and 200 vertical feet with as many as 8000 other skiers on the same day. We teach as many as 3000 kids an evening. Our conditions are hard pack to ice. Here very short radius turns with a wide stance is king. Wide stance allows you to edge higher and change directions quicker to avoid collisions. I get hit an average of 10 times a season.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 29, 2001 05:34 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #44 of 60
SCSA, you bet. As long as I'll have help to get me out of my wheelchair onto the chairlift, I'll be skiing at 100

Si, what I'm about to say isn't meant just for you, but is reality as I have seen it.

The hordes of skiers you see on the slopes on a Sunday afternoon, but for a small minority, are not athletes nor athletic nor in shape. They are mostly self-taught sliders who are having a great time, and the ones that ever have taken a lesson just wanted to have enough instruction to keep from hurting themselves.

Most skier delude themselves that they are partaking in a SPORT when really what they do is a RECREATION, akin to the hordes of swimmers on a beach or a pool on a hot day, the bike riders on the sidewalk or a bike path, or even the sailor who takes his boat out for an afternoon sail.

The delusion even goes as far as when a fan of the winning team in the superbowl screams "We won we won" whereas the only participation of the person to make it a "WE" was sitting on the couch in front of the TV with a beer and pretzels.

Neither skiing nor swimming nor riding a bike are natural things to do, they have to be learned, almost always with the help of another person. A swimming instructor at the Y does not have to be a super swimmer nor highly trained, but with a little training and experience they can teach a group of 10-15 how to swim.

It's the same with new ski instructors, they usually get classes which deal in the rudimentaries (though I, as many other instructors, think that beginners do better when instructed by an experienced instructor)
These recreations become a quasi-sport when the participants set themselves some challenges, as in off-piste or tree skiing or mountain biking down a hill or swimming across a raging river, but they only become real sports when they compete against time or each other, as in races. And then they are athletes.

All the words and theories espoused here on the forum by these instructors, a student on the hill will never hear, it is just shop talk, and it furthers their own understanding.

Ask Pierre how much individual instructions he can give a student when he has a dozen of them for an hour, much as he desires to do so. A critique and some pointers to each student at the end of the lesson done in few words is all he has time for. And he is a top instructor teaching very efficiently. Now what do you expect from a first year instructor? about as much as you can expect from a first year public school teacher, just pass on what they have learned themselves, but at least they have the same students for more than an hour a year.

post #45 of 60

I really enjoy reading your posts. When and where are your camps?

Me thinks Eski is Eric D....the guy in all the ski movies.

Anywhoo, Eski nailed it. If I was to give a skier one tip it'd be this: Practice balance and relaxing/flexing the stance leg to start the turn. If I was to start a ski camp, the training would be built around teaching skiers balance and relaxing/flexing the stance leg to start the turn.

If skiers would just understand how important this move is, along with balance, well, their skills would sky rocket.

Sadly, this is what I see that holds so many skiers back. A trained eye can spot it. Skiers mostly push off of the uphill ski to start turns, or, they "jump" from edge to edge, and this causes their edges to catch --often resulting in "getting some on ya".

However I'll add that this move is not easy to master. In fact, it takes lots of practice; first to understand what it is that needs to be done, then to actually do it.

I think what Eski said is that this move is the key to being successful in all conditions and terrain. I'll echo that statement, as a student of skiing.
post #46 of 60
Here's a link to an article in Skiing Magazine that clearly articulates what we've been discussing. Enjoy!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 29, 2001 07:01 AM: Message edited 1 time, by SCSA ]</font>
post #47 of 60
Thanks for those comments,
I think and believe there is a lot of truth to the recreation comments. A avid skiers we tend to push ourselves a bit. SCSA has commented several time about how good he is and how everyone can get to this level if they just did......

I have to commend him for his zeal but as Ott put so well, A great deal of the skiing public are having just as much fun "skiing poorly" but for the most part safely, 2 or 3 times a year. Is that so wrong? I think the week long camps/continued education will always have their place with the elite few that want to pursue their skiing skills and these camps and privite clinics will always have great success if run well and are taught by upper level instructors regardless of the "method". They all have one thing in common, very Motivated students!.

Yes, I think we should promote these clinics, classes and camps, Yes PMTS and many of it's camps will help a lot of skiers but I don't think we need to force "good skiing skills" on those that just want to have fun sliding down the hill.

Thanks Eski for your thoughts too. It's helpful to hear as many opinions as possible.
post #48 of 60

No one is forcing good skiing skills on anyone and I hope your post is not an attempt to quell discussions about the finer points of skiing.

Our discussions are just that - the finer points of skiing. Anyone can benefit from these discussions and they are by no means an effort to commercialize/make popular one "camp" or another, or one "teaching system" or another. We're just here talking about what makes up good skiing, not waving a flag and screaming, "PMTS or nothing".
post #49 of 60
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Most skier delude themselves that they are partaking in a SPORT when really what they do is a RECREATION, akin to the hordes of swimmers on a beach or a pool on a hot day, the bike riders on the sidewalk or a bike path, or even the sailor who takes his boat out for an afternoon sail. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A great observation, Ott. It really does hit at the heart of the matter.

So ski instructors really have two jobs. One is to recognize the truth of Ott's statement, and to help those "skiers" to whom it applies enjoy and get the most out of their casual recreation. Forcing them to focus on esoteric technical perfection is sure to turn these people off.

The second job, though, is to inspire as many of these people as possible to a higher level of passion for the sport! We can't force this passion. And dry, technical lessons certainly won't do it.

Most of us die-hard ski fanatics sincerely believe that these people don't know what they're missing, and that once they "see the light," they'll share our enthusiasm. I believe that myself! But like religion, I know better than to try to force it on someone.

The transition from casual recreationist to serious skier usually takes place without people realizing it, at first. The instructor can tell--it's when students start "begging" for more instruction, asking new questions, wanting to "see it again," looking for new challenges. It's when they want to keep practicing a new exercise just a little more, rather than jumping into a bump run. It's when they have clear goals for their skiing and specific requests. And it's also when they set aside their goals and eagerly seek guidance in whatever direction the instructor thinks is best.

So it's a good lesson if the recreational "skier" has more fun in it than he/she would have had otherwise, provided the instructor "does no harm." It's a better lesson if that fun included a real technical advance, even if the student didn't even realize it. But it's a fantastic, life-changing experience for the student if, somewhere in the course of the lesson, he/she comes to the realization that skiing is a worthwhile, lifetime pursuit and lifestyle, a SPORT he can pursue with passion!

Interestingly, it is at this point that skiing also first becomes a challenge!

Possibly the most rewarding lesson I can recall ever teaching involved a middle-aged, unathletic (by her own admission and deeply ingrained self-image), out-of-shape woman begrudgingly convinced by her husband to try skiing. This was my second season teaching, in Breckenridge, Colorado and it was by "luck of the draw" that I ended up with her. She told me at the start that she didn't want to ski, knew she wouldn't be able to learn to ski, and would refuse to let herself enjoy it (yes, she actually said that).

Somehow, the experience was so very different for her than she had expected, and she was so successful at it despite her best efforts to fail, that her entire world changed! For many people, such a change, such a drastic contradiction to their self-image, is uncomfortable to the point of being terrifying. And so it was for this woman for a while. She did her best to fail!

But she couldn't do it! Finally, the evidence that she actually COULD learn to ski, and moreso that she ENJOYED both skiing and learning, became so overwhelming that she broke into a huge smile and collapsed laughing! She instantly transformed from bored, incapable, overweight housewife to...ATHLETE! SKIER!

Once the ball started rolling the other way, I could hardly keep up with her. Her reticence turned to infectious enthusiasm. She was truly a completely different, renewed person. Her husband couldn't believe the change, and neither could she, actually. I skied with her for several more days, and she even brought a few of her friends to share the experience. Her mundane life had transformed itself, and nothing would ever be the same!

In retrospect, I think the key to that success, as far as any role I had in it, was that it was as much a surprise to me as to her. I hadn't expected it, and I hadn't really tried to produce it. The change came from her, not from me. I did believe from the start that she "could" like skiing--how could anyone not?--and I taught her as well as I could, but I at least pretended to go along with her "desire" to just get it over with!

OK, I've rambled on, off-topic, long enough. How to bring this story back "on-thread"? Suffice it say that this success had nothing whatsoever to do with the "phantom move," or even a 1981 version of it, even if (I hope) the lesson was technically sound!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #50 of 60
For a more complete listing of related articles from Skiing (and a more complete answer for Zeeks original question) here are some articles:

By Harald Harb:

Private Lessons: Tip and Turn, Part I
Private Lessons: Tip and Turn, Part II
Private Lessons: Tip and Turn, Part III

By Rob and Eric DesLauriers

How To ski Anything
How To ski Anything: Air Turn, Part I
How To Ski Anything: Air Turn, Part 2
How To Ski Anything: Crud, Part 1
How To Ski Anything: Crud, Part 2
How To Ski Anything: Steep, Part 1
How To Ski Anything: Steep, Part 2

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 29, 2001 08:24 AM: Message edited 3 times, by Si ]</font>
post #51 of 60
no SCSA not trying to quell anything just trying to keep in perspective our goals and those of some of our fellow skiers that we share the slopes with. Let's keep talking and learning, but keep in mind that not everyone shares our "technical lust" or fanatical passion. If some of it rubs off on those around us great.

If I get hired, I'll try to keep that in mind. "avoid the technical stuff unless they inquire?" and "let's go ski".. Does that sound about right?
post #52 of 60

If anyone is asking, I think what you need to remember most is that it's just as easy to teach skiers correct movements, from day 1, as it is not to.

Then, give skiers credit for the ability to learn balance. They can walk, they can learn balance.

Anyway, I won't go off and I just gave myself an "atta boy Wacko" for not doing so. Bob, give it up for Wacko Because, if you read between the lines, Eski certainly opened the door to for a major Wacko rant.

Getting back to the topic, Si has drawn reference to those same, correct skiing movements in his links. Nice job Si.
post #53 of 60
ESki, If you are who I think you are I took your X-Team clinic at CB in 99. I had a great time learned a lot and would highly recommend it to skiers who want to learn how to ski the off-piste better and more efficiently.
post #54 of 60
agreed SCSA
It is just as easy to teach correct movements up front provided we get them before the habits are in place. But unfortunatly we don't all get that chance. or in your case a second chance
post #55 of 60
Ott and Bob,

I would like to say that I agree with what you're saying about "recreationalist" skiers having certain...limitations. But I have to also agree with others that say we should still teach these folks sound lessons. Actually, that's not quite right...you would teach them good lessons. But that's exactly the point in a sense. We should teach skiers good skiing AND show them how to have fun at the same time. Right? so...we teach them good skills so they get better. The trick is to get results. When they get better, they ski more often. It is, I believe, a natural progression from recreationalist to real skier based on skill development. It is a fact that good skiers ski more often because it gets to be more fun. The problem is when people do not get better. It's no fun falling on face all the time.

Well...I do not know where this is really going. The bottom line is we all want to show people a good time and help them be better skiers. Right? I guess I'm not clear on how someone's attitude/state-of-being affects their ability to learn when being taught the right thing. (am I totally missing the point here?) On the other hand some people will never get it because they just are not cut out for skiing. Is it these people you're talking about? For the other "hordes" a breakthrough can be just a few good turns away! Sometimes you just need to point out to them which turns they are. Almost everybody makes one good turn a day! Some just never realize which one it is.

post #56 of 60
Absolutely, E. The lesson must, perhaps above all else, be technically sound. Whatever technical focus the instructor chooses must be accurate. One of my pet peeves is the instructor who teaches "bad" skiing as a shortcut or worse, as a way to just be different--regardless of how much fun the students have! If that instructor teaches something that will later need to be "untaught" by another instructor, the original lesson is worse than a failure.

I like SCSA's words: "It's just as easy to teach skiers correct movements, from day 1, as it is not to." (Well said, SCSA!) This is what I meant above when I said that, at the very least, the instructor must do no harm. How much "good" technique we can develop in a lesson depends on the student--desires, goals, motivation, athleticism, experience, equipment, and so on come into play here. But there is no excuse--ever--for knowingly teaching bad skiing!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #57 of 60
Eski, the teaching environment an instructor faces here, with 3000 (that is three thousand) student from 3pm to 9pm daily on a hill of 200 ft vertical where most of the lessons are taught at the bottom of all slopes with 20 skiers in a class for ONE hour.

The space assigned to the instructor is about 25 ft wide with his students in two rows, back to back with students in the adjoining class, with their ski tails interlaced.

There is a creek on the bottom with barely a flat spot. so the never-evers have to be taught how to stop even before they have taken their first straight run from six feet vertical. And with the icy conditions here, if a student can't stop he'll end up in the creek, the flimsy netting won't hold him if he is any size. So the brush out into a stop wedge must be taught on the flat.

The instructor may never see any of these students again, or if they are in a school group, he may. The kids are really antsy in class, wanting to socialize, screaming to kids on the chair or in the next class, and not really interested in learning. Sometimes they won't even return to the class after taking a run.

Does that sound conducive to you for teaching quality turns? It's more to teach them to survice and not hurt themselves or others.

Talking to Pierre the other week at an open house, we estimated that the vast majority of skiers on the hill have never ever taken a lesson and all the while they are flailing and surviving they hoot and holler and think they are the best.

Quite different than in the Tahoe area...

post #58 of 60
Ott...very interesting and unique set teaching constraints. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Yes...much different then Tahoe, but hey at least they are out giving it a go, eh? You guys have a portable winch for extricating victims from the cold confines of the creek bed?

One hour....that's tough too. You're a better man then me.
post #59 of 60
Barnes, what's going on here?

You and I are agreeing way too much! And no, there's been no change to my medication!
post #60 of 60
Eski, I'm retired now after 25 years of instructing and it wasn't as bad then, only about 250 instructors, while there are about 380 now with ever more highschool contracts, which are the life blood of keeping the areas afloat, two of them owned by the same people and a mile apart.

Pierre, who just made his Level3 certification along with a few dozen other level3s, a large number of Level2s and a number of examiners, et al, have this situation on their hands daily.

There are also college and highschool race teams and handicaped skiers and tiny tots and snowboarders to coach and teach, not to mention ski clubs and store or company sponsored groups.

I'll be quiet now and let Pierre take over, he can clue you in on his situation much better than me.

And it has always been for just an hour lesson, ever since 1963.

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