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How to instill the passion?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I asked a question a week ago about passion, namely, is it a cynical ploy or an honest attempt to describe what makes us so enthusiastic about snow sports? The answers indicated that this is indeed an honest attempt. I'll buy that, but it leads to a second question: how, then, might instructors "instill" this passion in their students? I must be talking about beginner students, who apparently do not return because they never got the itch that drives the rest of us to choose lovers, where we live, and occupations in order to scratch it. This is a burning issue in the snow sports community, though I have yet to hear or read a solid explanation of how this might be done. Any ideas?
post #2 of 17
Set them up for success.

It's much better if a new skiier has someone to personally introduce them to skiing.
If they are young, a parent.
If they are older a knowledgable friend. Someone who can maybe loan an pair of skis, show them the right clothes to wear-like snowpants. I learned with my cousins. I think it's the little things like that that can help a person who might have otherwise never tried or given up too easy.

Or skiing sells itself because it's so RAD!

post #3 of 17

I think that it was Bob Barnes and Ott that kind of felt that passion is something that can't be sparked by an outside force.

You can lead them to water by giving them some honest from the heart first lessons but only one in ........ 500? ....... will become Bears. But that keeps the crowds down!
post #4 of 17
I personaly belive that skiing with a group of friends, falling, joking, learning, and excelling together makes all the difference in the world. This doesn't solve the whole question but it's a start. :
post #5 of 17
CERA F, that begs the question: do they come for skiing or for fellowship?

post #6 of 17
It's a great question, Nolo! As Zeek points out, skiing OUGHT to "sell itself, because it's so RAD!"

Skiing, and learning, are REALLY FUN (who here would disagree with that?)! As instructors, we have two or three hours, usually, to take a group of people and show them just how fun this can be--how hard is that?

Where do we go wrong, when we can't at the very least get that point across in that first lesson? It's SKIING! It's RAD! All we should have to do is basically get out of the way! But I think our tradition is to get very much IN the way....

Of course, as Yuki says, it keeps the crowds down....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

PS--Yuki, I'm not sure where I implied that passion "can't be sparked by an outside force," but it's an interesting proposition anyway. Can it be? Is it possible that our very efforts to entertain and "spark passion" are what sometimes get in the way of the pure, wonderful, ecstatic experience that skiing and learning something new should be?
post #7 of 17
Passion CAN be sparked by outside forces. Teaching rote mechanics is not about passion.

Pointing out mountains from the chair lift, showing the class the myriad of beautiful snow shapes around the mountain, catching a flake on your glove and showing to the class, asking them to catch the biggest flake, taking the class to one of those silent glades just off the run, smiling, whooping and hollering, showing enthusiasm, crashing sometimes, showing humility to the class, getting down and dirty with your class and showing YOUR passion is the key.

At a wonderful little “resort” called Guthega a few of the crew would hike up the large opposing ridge (Mount Tate) and make perfect tracks from top to bottom before SS morning roll call. These tracks could be seen from the whole resort. We called them “passion” tracks and that is what we used for motivation in our classes. We would tell our clients that “One day soon if you REALLY want, you can make those tracks” and many did ….. and still do.

When I think about all the “import” crew that made that hike I know that our passion has been exported to the majority of skiing countries.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 17
Oz, passion is an inner feeling, often overpowering to the point that all reason is cast aside, like when you drive 12 hours to a ski resort just to ski four hours in cruddy conditions and drive 12 hours back, and are happy about it. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Everybody thinks you are nuts, but you know your are passionate..

post #9 of 17
Well of course, you can have ski instructors with nice butts... KIDDING!

Its like sex, if the instructor is passionate about teaching, the passion will be contagious! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am reminded of something a reviewer once said about John Updike's writing: he could write the text on cereal boxes and it would be a good read (or something like that...). I think also of dry-sounding required classes I took in college that were made exciting and compelling just through the instructor's enthusiasm for his or her subject. Could this be the golden key that unlocks the most resistant heart?
post #11 of 17
Yeah, instructors can do a little bit of method acting. If they get handed a level one class that they are not excited about teaching, let them think about "ther things' as they talk about skiing.
post #12 of 17
Good job, Nolo, sparking cognitive dissonance (payback!) in this thread. That is the key to the passion, cognitive dissonance, ie, the need to know. The need to find a solution. How do we spark that brain uneasiness? Enthusiasm? Open ended questions? There needs to be more ways to get the students fired up. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #13 of 17

I guess my long winded example was alluding to the fact that Passion IS contagious and through openly displaying our passion we CAN enthuse others.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 17
Many people are simply divorced from passion by the constraints of their everyday lives. They simply can't take their eye off the ball or they might end up in trouble of one kind or another.

Most people who have the PASSION developed it under circumstances under which they were free to do so (childhood, retirement, financial self-actualization, etc.).

I teach a lot of people. Some come very close to the passion, but their paradigm of life does not include the possibility of spending 1000's of dollars each season and traveling or moving into the mountains even if they do love it. They have the time of their lives for that one day, but when it is all said and done they have to go back to their oft unhappy, restrained lives and homes, which is where they have devloped their habits for living.

That's O.K. though, for me, 'cause I still get to see that light in their eyes for the moments they experience it, see the bloom of self-trust & confidence peek out. They get so excited they actually talk about changing it all and including more days like this one in their lives. But I know it is the rare ones who actually do it.

I'm not out to change the world, just to have a decent effect upon the one in my immediate vicinity.
post #15 of 17
That said, the most passion inspiring thing I can do is to make sure the people I ski with know the credit for what they learn is theirs.
post #16 of 17
Ott Gangl,
What's better than getting the spark or passion to ski than with a group of friends. Passion for the sport and fellowship should go hand in hand that's one reason skiing is so RAD!
I also try to instill passion for the sport in my lessons through my attitude and encouragement to the students no matter how bad a day they may be having.
Passion is definetly the right word but I also think that for many of us here at Barking Bear that obsesionis the word of the day.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 22, 2001 03:45 PM: Message edited 1 time, by CERA F ]</font>
post #17 of 17
CERAF, works for me... ...Ott
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