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ATS Centerline system

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know where I can find details about this "ATS Centerline" system? This is the system that everyone says is so close/even the same as brand x, right? Is there documentation somewhere that I can get my hands on?

I've been all over PSIA's site, and can't seem to find anything about it.

The reason is that I want to find out if brand x really is the same as this ATS Centerline system that I've heard so much about. I'll be happy to report back my findings, in detail. I can't tell unless I have some documentation.
post #2 of 46
Found this by looking on Google. You lazy @$%^&!
post #3 of 46
Bob Barnes' Encyclopedia of Skiing. I believe you can order an autographed copy of it through this site.

Then I saw my reflection in a snow covered hill........

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 
Pierre eh,

Oh man, now I'm confused (easily done). So what is this "system" that everyone says brand x so much resembles?
post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 
You're right. I need to show my man Barnes some love and check out his book.

Barnes, you out there? I'm now a paying customer! Where do I send the check?
post #6 of 46
ATS doesn't actually resemble/equal Brand X, Brand X does fit easily within the 'system' however. But ATS is not limited to *only* the concepts present in Brand X - but it includes all of it and much more. The idea being that Brand X is not wrong, or any other system - in fact its great that every instructor has different approaches, I don't think anybody would have it any other way. Thousands of heads are much better than one head, and ATS has benefited from and evolved through the input of thousands of people and many, many years of evolution. In fact the creator of Brand X was one of the folks helped put some of those very ideas into place within ATS. Can't blame him for leaving - its a lot more profitable to strike out on your own, and a good strategy is to demonize the competition (works for the big religious franchises!).

If you have problems finding any ATS materials give me a holler, I might be able to help.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Todd Murchison (edited June 26, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 46
Thread Starter 

Yes, I would like as much information on this system as possible. What I've learned has worked great for me and if it's close to ATS...then I need to know about ATS. How/where can I get detailed information?

I'll add that I've had a tough time finding any detail as to how ski instructors teach skiers. I was on the PSIA site and I read through some articles by demo team members. They were all kind of vague. Some of the articles seemed to contradict one another.

So this makes me think that what I'm in search of doesn't exist, which makes me think that my thought of productizing ski instruction really is needed. I guess that's a separate discussion and I've lamented about it here before, but it sure does seem like it's needed.

You said, "...demonize the competition". Well said, I love it.

You know a lot about the teaching systems and skiing in general. You're a writer, so what I'd love to see from you is a review of "1 and 2", book and video. I think it'd be a valuable piece of information for here and elsewhere.

Particularly, how much of this "thang" is really new. If it is isn't new, I myself would like to know where it came from. I'm all about getting to the source of information.
post #8 of 46

Here are the ISBN #'s for the two texts.

PSIA Alpine Manual

The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing

Give those #'s to Amazon and/or to any bookstore and they can order the texts.
post #9 of 46
Centerline is a 'concept' which is part of the ATS Skiing Model.

Centerline is confusing if you get an inaccurate presentation. It is not a progression.

It is a conceptual representation of skiing which includes all the variables the sport has to offer along with the ATS Skiing Model.

A set of "reference maneuvers" (or turns)
Wedge turn, Wedge Christie, Open Parallel, Dynamic parallel. Write these on a piece of paper as a vertical list equally spaced with five or so lines between each other.

This is the beginning. The name comes from the idea that the center of the page is where conditions are perfect and all the skills blend equally. As we ski toward one edge or the other, different variables come into play and we require adjustment to deal with them effectively.

Centerline requires knowledge of the rest of the skiing model. The Skills Concept especially.

The purpose of C-Line is to organize skiing's turns, skills and conditions into a sort of graph. Instructors can use it in a number of ways. One is initial assessment of a skier.

What Kind of turn is that....Open Parallel

What skill blend is the skier using...whole body rotation to start with a lot of edging at the end.

Another way to use it is to plan lessons.

After the assessment the instructor can utilize the C-Line concept to see which way to take skill development to best help the skier.

We can also use it to decide how best to ski a certain condition ourselves.

The uses are as limited as the user.

The hard thing about C-Line is its open- endedness because we see it on paper, but it goes way beyond the edges. I used to think it sucked and was pointless. That was because people who didn't understand it were trying to teach me how to use it.

I think C-line got out there way too early and the dissemination process was not successfully shepherded by those who created it.

"Go ahead, post away, pal"(s). How do you use it?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #10 of 46
I totally do not believe this, but I think I finally understand it! I have read about it, it has been explained over and over again, but for some reason the explanation always sounded vague to me.

Then I saw my reflection in a snow covered hill.....

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #11 of 46
Nice Roto...

Learning ATS "Centerline" with the skills concept (set theory) is what has developed my movement analysis eye over the years.

I'm still learning, of course. But MA skills and drills have helped my teaching and personal skiing so much.

It helps to work at an area that has video analysis set up, like I do. Or bring yours for your privates.

That's some of the best stuff out of the PSIA. It's dry reading, of course, but if you hook up with a good trainer... or 6!

¯¯¯/__ SnoKarver <A HREF="http://communities.msn.com/SnoKarver

" TARGET=_blank>http://communities.msn.com/SnoKarver

post #12 of 46
Thread Starter 

Way to go!

Is the PSIA Alpine manual this year's version? Is this what they tell you to use to teach skiers - your "manual", if you will?

I don't want to get a hold of last years version.

What about this "Centerline"? Where can I find a manual for it?<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 27, 2001).]</FONT>
post #13 of 46

Yea, every time I teach a class I whip out a manual and recite chapter and verse. That's all I do. Sometimes it's hard to read that manual on cold snowy days.

I sent away for the manual and they sent it to me with a PSIA membership pin. It said, "Congrats-Youareonenow" That was it.

We have explained our clinics to you, the exam process. You just don't listen.

I think if you go to a bookstore and ask for the title by name or give them the ISBN # they'll get you the latest version.

There is no manual for "centerline". It is a concept discussed in both texts.
post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 

Very funny.

Okay, I'm going to buy both books - tonight! I'll shut up until I have some meaningful questions.

But I gotta tell you. You just said this "Centerline" thing is just a concept. A manual doesn't exist. All I hear about is, "Oh SCSA, shut up, there's the Centerline, PSIA invented it long ago, it's what skiing is all about..." But, then I find out there's no documentation about it! So there's all this talk about this really great system that was invented but there's no documentation. Was this invented by the same guy who built the stairs in church, then left before anyone knew his name?

So there's this thing that's so important, that everyone talks about, but isn't documented. Oh my, SCSA is now rolling on the floor with his dog, "SCSA's dog"!

It reminds me of me. Years ago, I used to give out Jacques Coustau as a reference, because I knew no one could ever contact him - he's always underwater!

What am I going to tell my shrink - SCSA's shrink?

"Nope, no manual. ...But you gotta believe me, I thought for sure there was one..."

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 27, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 46
I have never said teaching isn't in need of any kind of overhaul, and I have never defended the outdatedness of the manual. In fact, I can't really remember arguing with you in any of my posts. I'll have to go back and look.

The overhaul is ocurring already, only it's not an overhaul, it's an evolution that has been going on since before you quit skiing and started again up again.

A number of us at the ski school I work in are actively using first day teaching approaches that don't utilize a wedge. We have found success in taking people directly to parallel. Getting directly to parallel hasn't beeen the goal. Giving our clients the most out of shaped skis has been. Learning to ski and teach on shaped skis over the past years has changed what we do on the snow.

Here's the kicker. We use PSIA's system and methodology to do it. We have utilized PSIA trainers and manuals to gain the knowledge with which to do it. The PSIA leadership we interact with has helped us move in that direction. Our education and certification through PSIA has helped create a team of effective, independent teachers who can handle any situation put before them.

As an organization, PSIA is not perfect. Neither is the certification process. I would be willing to bet not one single memeber would say it is perfect, for that is the nature of groups of people. It's problems are not related to what we teach or how we do it. A greater industry perspective is necessary for dealing with the problems of the near future of the ski industry.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #16 of 46
I wouldn't tell him not to waste his money on the manuals. I don't think they are a waste. Even if they are outdated. The fact is, SCSA doesn't inderstand the centerline concept, and reading the ATS manual will help him understand. YES, SCSA, centerline is described in the manual. There just isn't a seperate bookd called "centerline".

ROTO, Excellent posts! All of them!

SCSA, when you tried to give me a hard time for telling you the size of the organization, you misunderstood why. Sorry. Let me clarify. It's just as Roto said. With an organization this large, it takes a while to get things to print and to get feedback from as many members as possible to asess and incorporate ideas. Roto said that updating the manuals is time consuming. You then tried to change his words to say it is impossible and that the manuals "can't" be updated. You also said that you are good at arguing. There is a difference between liking something and being good at it. You may like to argue, but your arguments aren't holding water, because you make inaccurate assumptions, change people's words around, and lack enough understanding to be able to make a valid argument. You just tried to make the argument that because PSIA "can't" update it's manuals, that ski instruction is in need of a major overhaul. The conclusion doesn't support the "fact" you stated, and the "fact" you stated is not true, and was never made by anyone other than you.

And while Roto may think that ski instruction is in need of an overhaul, I don't necessarily agree. I believe that, yes, the progressions we teach may need to be current with todays thinking and technology (which it is, it's just not all in print, but it is on the hill as Pierre said), the "system" of how we communicate and relate information to students is not in need of any overhaul. One of the strongest aspects of ATS is that it is not dominated by progressions to get a skier to advance, it is flexible, and it is mostly a concept of "how to teach". Another major difference between PMTS and ATS is that ATS is about teaching. It is for the instructor. Whereas PMTS is about a skiing progression. It is for the student. That's why PMTS info is so available, and ATS info is a bit harder for the general public to obtain. It wasn't intended as instructional material for the student. If and when you do finally get a copy of ATS (and I hope you do), you will probably have a very hard time following it because it is not going to teach you how to ski. It is going to teach you about teaching, and about basic skiing concepts and skills used in skiing, and about the centerline concept - but not HOW to learn to ski centerline moves or even WHAT to teach people. Again, you need to remember that it is a manual on how to teach, as it relates to skiing, not how to ski or what to teach.

Also, if you are this into it, why not look into becoming an instructor? I think you have the passion, enthusiasm, and desire for technical knowledge that would make you a good instructor, as well as enjoying be social (wanting to share the sport you love with others).
post #17 of 46
As far as manuals go, how many books do you see out there that are the final word on computer service. Not everyone has the same ideas. they are horribly out of date and they are all missing something. This is the reason all the good technicians and IT people have so many computer books. but it's still experience and instruction that keep the best of the techs on top. A lot of people have their A+ cert in computers. How many of them would have trouble troubleshooting their way out of a paper bag? I suspect a lot. How many of them would you let service your computer.. Does this mean computer service training and the certification process needs a complete overhaul? By the time a new cert comes out, its 6 months behind. Manuals are 6 months behind. and in internet years that is a dinosaur. Apply that to an industry that moves a little slower, PSIA instructors keep on top of the teaching not by reading the manual but getting the experience, spending time on the slopes and taking clinics, CE and teaching.. I would have to say the last several classes I took were very good. (PSIA instructors) and all the people that took lessons from Lyle improved a great deal in the 8 hours of lessons they got over the one week of skiing. Most of these people ski maybe 10 days a year at most. So to say PSIA is in need of an overhaul because it's manual is out of date doesn't hold water.

Does PSIA have it's problems? yes. every industry/group does. Do they all just jump ship and hop on another one hoping it's better or do they help try to advance the ones in place.
post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

First of all, I'm behind you all 110% I know some of you are really active in the organization, so talk to people!

We've made a ton of progress, here's what we've/I've discovered.

1) Ski instruction is getting better. For the first time in eons, instructors are considering taking students to direct paralell, by passing those nasty wedge turns. After all, I'm sure you all would rather not teach them if given the choice.

I'm thrilled to see this.

2) I think a little/lottle? more formality is needed. Now, I know it's a non-profit. But that could be a problem. Show me a business, for-profit or not, that doesn't have a business plan, on paper, and I'll show you a hobby. This org. need to learn from what's been successful and implement a long-term plan. Tell 'em to write it down and share it with their members. Members, give some detailed feedback. There's some pretty smart members - take advantage of them! Jeez, if I was one, I'd run for office. I'm not saying trash it, I'm saying find out where the problems are, fast, and fix them.

3) It seems to me that this concept we've been talking about is really important. Well, if it's so important, it needs to be documented, in detail. This is where my "product" theory applies. In anything, efficiency = success. I for one would like to see a much more uniform approach to teaching. Seems to me that what goes on at area A, doesn't necessarily go on at area B, talking about teaching. I see this as a problem.

4) I'd love to see a web site with instructional video, tips and tricks, all kinds of goodies. Maybe it's time for an "un-official PSIA" for-profit web site. I know I'd go there. We have all these skiers/instructors out there with brilliant minds and fantastic skills, yet joe skier can't get to them easily, if at all. It's terrible! Look at what brand x did. You can go to their web site and see lessons! It's great! Somebody else needs to do this. If I take a lesson at Copper, the instructor should give me a card at the end of the day -"Here's my card. Go here and click on Expert skiing. You'll see what we covered today and it'll be updated throughout the year. And if you need to get a hold of me, my email is on the card - charlie@unofficialpsia.com".

You all have these customers in the palm of your hands, then you're letting them slip away. No, this is not good! Build customer loyalty, you want customers for life, not just a day or a week.

I also think instructors should be rated - by their peers and by their students. This same web site should have a place where students can post feedback. "I took a lesson from Charlie at Copper and he was great..."

So now, with this idea, any student that takes a lesson, becomes a customer for life.

Looks like a business opportunity.

5) The importance of planning and documentation. I'm not going to buy the manuals. But let me know when a manual comes out that's up to date. In fact, scratch that idea. How about I just download a .pdf file!

Uh, I don't see where this is a big deal and using high tech isn't a good analogy. In my business, things are changing every day. In skiing, well the big change is the equipment and now with the instruction. I think it'll be a while before we see any more changes of this magnitude. I make a big deal about documentation, because I know that they're so important. No one can see where they need to go without a plan and the plan must be written down. I'll never forget talking to this guy. I asked him, "Can I see your business plan, this would help me evaluate the opportunity". The guy says, "I don't have one written down. Here, I'll just tell it to you..." He then went on to say that planning takes too much time - I about fell off my chair and rolled on the floor with SCSA's dog. If there's no plan, there's no business.

You know, I really love this stuff. I know I'm a pain in the wazoo, but think of me as a gadfly. Every organization has one, needs one.

I already am planning on teaching, just informally. My wife and I, SCSA's wife, are building a house in Eagle. It has a separate, "friends and family" unit. So when friends and family come, I can share what I know with them.

Boom!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #19 of 46
Hey, can I get a lesson?
post #20 of 46

I didn't understand C-line for a long time either. Then I realized I was already using it. That is the genius of the Teaching Model and Skiing model too. Thay have been in place for a long time. Somebody finally just took a look and wrote down what the masters had been doing for so many years so other people could figure it out with less than 20 years under their belts. Of course, there have always been those natural teachers.

It is interesting, though, thinking about where to find good written centerline material. It really is difficult for me to understand it from reading the manual.

That's the way it is with skiing though. This is not an academic pursuit. I think some people read the manual expecting it to be a way to ski. The purpose of it is not to tell people what to do, only to play a partial role in preparing people to be able to decide what to do when out on the snow.

SCSA, the last published PSIA manual came out in 1996 and was the currnt manual through last season. The new Core Concepts Manual should be out now. At leas tit was slated for release this summer. The date I do not know. The 'central' manual is to contain concepts common to teaching snowsports in general (Alpine, Snowboard Tele). Radiating from this central manual will be discipline specific technical manuals. The way I understand it none of these will be available as of yet, though I could be mistaken.

Updating a manual has always been time consuming. With the technical information (which is most subject to rapid change) in it's own book it should be easier to keep current.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #21 of 46
Thread Starter 

You shoulda quit a few posts ago - I got ya now.

Now you gotta remember that I been arguing with people all my life - I'm good at it.

Look at what you just wrote.
You said "Updating a manual has always been time consuming..." You're kidding me right?

You're saying that this organization, which it really isn't because after all, nothing appears to be organized,...that has this much authority -- every ski instructor at every ski area in the friggin country wears their pin, can't even update its documents?

Well, if they can't even update their documents, how on earth could they be put in charge of such a critical task as certifying ski instructors, who teach millions of ski lessons to millions of skiers?

Now, I'm going to give you one more chance.

Are you really going to tell me that ski instruction isn't due for a major overhaul? And if so, can you do it with a staight face?
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #22 of 46

Why do I have the feeling that when you were in college and raised your hand, everyone groaned?

post #23 of 46
and why do i get the feeling that when you raised your hand, one particular finger rose higher than your hand?<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #24 of 46
Thread Starter 


Those are kind words. Uh, I barely finished the ninth grade.

"Rules and regulations, who needs them?"
post #25 of 46
-You- should start teaching this year. Try to find a situation that fits in with you're schedule somehow.
As for the manuals, I'd say just buy Bob's book you'll get enough in that. Because the manuals are volunteer written it's tough to complain about them but...they need a lot of work in my book. If there's one major goal to the organization it should be producing educational materials. The manuals should be at the top in the field with history, biomechanics, excercise, snow science, avalanche awareness etc., besides teaching. There's no way you can do it relying on volunteers. You'd have to get a lot of contributors who are specialists in their fields and people to edit and put it together. This is all besides the skiing part.
Also, since there are so many members, why not set up research on such things as alignment?

Scsa, drop the obsession with the wedge...we've been through that one before.
post #26 of 46
You can go to www.psia-nw.org
and download a copy of the Northwest Division's Certification Manual (pdf.) www.psia-rm.org
(rocky mountain div.) www.psia-c.org
(central) www.psia-e.org
(east) probably have similar opportunities.
will get you into The Professional Skier archives.

Go to this one. You may find it interesting. You will find some info on the concerns from your last post.

The cert manuals do not really have "educational material" in them. They lay out the standards and policies and procedures of the exam situation. There is also info for Training Directors to help prepare staff members in the NW manual.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #27 of 46
Thread Starter 

Nice work, I'm on it. Will read it and get back to you.
post #28 of 46
Tog, I don't want to feed your internet obsession, but you should really visit http://hyperchangecafe.com and discuss these ideas with JR, because you are definitely on the same page.Everyone on that board who has a significant amount of PSIA clout has always been more than willing to listen to suggestions about how to improve the PSIA.

It was my commenting that the fitness articles in the Professional Skier archives were dated in their ideas that brought about the suggestion that I write one myself.

Then I saw my reflection in a snow covered hill.....

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #29 of 46
oh boy, another site? not sure i can deal what with posting and writing comedy for this one...soon i'll be out on the sidewalk with a laptop. "Brother can you spare some bandwith?"
post #30 of 46
I appreciate the vote of confidence. I have thought many times about teaching. unfortunatly it does not fit into my current situation. I just can't justify the 8 hour (provided no traffic) On some weekends the commute to Tahoe can be 6 hrs one way. commute to have only a possible chance to teach 4-6 hours. a few times a month.
If I could afford to not work during the winter.
For now I will have to be content with skiing as I now do. BTW I have 2 copies of bob's book. one for trashing/reading and taking on trips and one for my table at home. (signed by bob) I also have Lito's book (both editions) the athletic skier, the art of the carve, The all mountain skier. .. The list goes on. As Lisamarie described me, I'm a professional student. I hope I'm getting better.
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