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What Level / Type of Students?

Poll Results: What level students do you spend the MAJORITY of your time teaching?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 24% of voters (14)
    Beginners
  • 13% of voters (8)
    Intermediates
  • 12% of voters (7)
    Advanced
  • 5% of voters (3)
    Experts
  • 3% of voters (2)
    USSA Racers
  • 0% of voters (0)
    FIS Racers
  • 18% of voters (11)
    Adults
  • 13% of voters (8)
    Kids
  • 8% of voters (5)
    I don't instruct / coach
58 Total Votes  
post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I've been thinking about this question since last season and since it is almost time to start this season here in the east... I figured it was time to ask the question. I have no opinion to offer on the topic (just interested in the distribution), but if you have one feel free to discuss. Also feel free to post about your selections.

 

Also, the way I've set the poll up, you can select more than one option. Please only select one or two of the "ability" options and one option from the "child / adult" choice.

 

Later,

 

Greg

post #2 of 26

Me thinks you need some clarifying there....

 

So most of your time last season? Last month? This season? Averaged over your Career?

 

At what point does one cease to be a beginner and become an Intermediate, or Advanced or Expert?  Is a PSIA L1 an expert?

 

Also, and this may shock you...but there is a whole world beyond the borders of the good 'ol USofA.

 

Hence do Europa Cup coaches not count? K League? Masters?

 

Also you need to define FIS racers...I had a FIS card at 14, but I doubt that is what you meant...or is it?

post #3 of 26

Last year was my first season instructing so no matter the time line, the answer is the same. 

 

Since I'm involved in the after school program, I would have to teach about 50 adults per weekend to move from the majority being kids.

 

For me, beginners and intermediates are pretty close but beginners are the majority.

post #4 of 26

I don't track adult vs kids split. Probably more adults, but it's close.

post #5 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Me thinks you need some clarifying there....

 

So most of your time last season? Last month? This season? Averaged over your Career?

 

At what point does one cease to be a beginner and become an Intermediate, or Advanced or Expert?  Is a PSIA L1 an expert?

 

Also, and this may shock you...but there is a whole world beyond the borders of the good 'ol USofA.

 

Hence do Europa Cup coaches not count? K League? Masters?

 

Also you need to define FIS racers...I had a FIS card at 14, but I doubt that is what you meant...or is it?

 

 

72,

 

A little common sense and a cooperative spirit should let you map to the levels he gave.  His scale is something like the Richter scale for earthquakes -- each step is a huge jump in student ability.

 

Thanks for the funny about L1 -- a good laugh.

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Me thinks you need some clarifying there....

 

So most of your time last season? Last month? This season? Averaged over your Career?

 

At what point does one cease to be a beginner and become an Intermediate, or Advanced or Expert?  Is a PSIA L1 an expert?

 

Also, and this may shock you...but there is a whole world beyond the borders of the good 'ol USofA.

 

Hence do Europa Cup coaches not count? K League? Masters?

 

Also you need to define FIS racers...I had a FIS card at 14, but I doubt that is what you meant...or is it?

 

 

72,

 

A little common sense and a cooperative spirit should let you map to the levels he gave.  His scale is something like the Richter scale for earthquakes -- each step is a huge jump in student ability.

 

Thanks for the funny about L1 -- a good laugh.



Huh?  You just made my point...is a PSIA L1 and expert in your book?  Yes or no?

 

 

post #7 of 26

Skidude: Was it you who said that the person who can achieve consensus on epic is the white night/rainbow unicorn/lord of the rings? biggrin.gif

 

While there was no agreement reached in the last discussion (in part because levels are so arbitrary anyway). I was going to offer up the CSIA's definitions, but it looks like they've even redefined which level instructors are experts/advanced/intermediate skiers. (Downward, unfortunately! I guess all we CSIA instructors ski a bit worse this year than last. biggrin.gif)

 

In my development as an instructor and educator, and through skiing experience, I like these classifications that I've kind of tagged against the CSIA skier development model:

 

A beginner or novice skier is at the initiation level of skiing skill development. Movements are uncoordinated, and the learner visibly focuses on the tasks at hand (lots of "rehearsal" activity in working memory; no automation). Beginner and novice skiers have not developed muscle memory and cannot effectively assess "how did <xyz> feel" (any comparisons they make are unrelated to a baseline.)

 

An intermediate skier is at the acquisition or maybe consolidation level of skiing. Their movements are generally coordinated; the high intermediate has automated their movements in familiar situations. When skiing on steeper or varied terrain, these skiers may revert to rehearsal in working memory. Intermediate skiers have a core model of skiing, and can assess sensory changes in skiing. E.g. "how did <xyz> feel" will evoke meaningful description of change. 

 

An advanced skier is reaching or entered refinement level in skill development. Skills are automated and coordinated in varied conditions and pitches. 

 

Expert skiers are beyond me. biggrin.gif The CSIA uses the label of "create variation", and if I'd ever seen this in action, I'd probably apply it here. (I'm not sure how you can create a variation from technique that produces optimal results... I dunno!)

 

Anyway, I'll be teaching beginners this season, and perhaps Spanish-speaking intermediates. It's my first year teaching for a ski school, despite being certified for years... so... I hope it goes well!

post #8 of 26

Met:

 

To me at least

 

The "Create variation" phrase means this:

 

If we start from the basis that skiing is an open skill sport.

 

And

 

"Ski technqiue" is just how we apply the base skills...ie technique is really the output of how we "inputted" our base skills.

 

Thus

 

Better skiers have a higher degree of mastery over the base skills thus they can apply them more effectivley in more situations

 

Therefore

 

The more varied the situations, (ie trees, bumps, crud, cliffs, etc) the more skill is required to apply the skills to derive a optimal technique.

 

 

 

 

 

Put another way,

 

On a perfect groomer, where the snow is consistent, it is easier to ski at an optimum level then it is on variable snow....try skiing a race course as the third person down, then try it as the 103!  The difference in course conditions will means the the last skier will need to adapt, or "create" alot more then the first person to get the same result. 

 

Or another example:

 

On a consistant groomer, you can in theory anyway, make everyturn exacltey the same, and get the same result....on variable terrain, each turn will need to have adjustments made, on the fly, to get the same result...much higher skill required.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post


Huh?  You just made my point...is a PSIA L1 and expert in your book?  Yes or no?

 

 


72,

 

Hmmm.  Looks like I got myself thrown to the lions.  There's no blanket statement to make here.  One famous example is Debbie Armstrong who passed through L1 while learning PSIA's teaching requirements despite her Olympic success and skiing talent.  Of course the poll gave me an out on that -- she is in the FIS racer category which is way above "mere" expert.

 

However I think is it fair to say that a significant majority of PSIA L1 instructors are  intermediate skiers of varying degree.  And this isn't an issue since they teach mostly on green or light blue and mostly wedge turners.  (My experience is limited to observing instructors freeski or clinic in PSIA-W, PSIA-RM, and PSIA-E, but I assume other divisions aren't too different in their L1 population.)

 

Since you asked a yes/no question, the answer is NO (with rare exceptions.)

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post


Huh?  You just made my point...is a PSIA L1 and expert in your book?  Yes or no?

 

 


72,

 

Hmmm.  Looks like I got myself thrown to the lions.  There's no blanket statement to make here.  One famous example is Debbie Armstrong who passed through L1 while learning PSIA's teaching requirements despite her Olympic success and skiing talent.  Of course the poll gave me an out on that -- she is in the FIS racer category which is way above "mere" expert.

 

However I think is it fair to say that a significant majority of PSIA L1 instructors are  intermediate skiers of varying degree.  And this isn't an issue since they teach mostly on green or light blue and mostly wedge turners.  (My experience is limited to observing instructors freeski or clinic in PSIA-W, PSIA-RM, and PSIA-E, but I assume other divisions aren't too different in their L1 population.)

 

Since you asked a yes/no question, the answer is NO (with rare exceptions.)



Well the DA example is generally rare..but the same happens in the CSIA/CSCF...some skiers at that level after retirement move into coaching so seek out certification for that, and yes they breeze from  L1 to L3 usually in season.  Takes a few years for the 4 thou...(they get the skiing right away but not the teaching).

 

 

Anyway, as for L1s, I tend to agree with you...but I am sure that puts us in a minority here, I am sure most would consider L1 expert.

post #11 of 26

I don't know a single person here or in real life who would think that a Level I PSIA skier was an expert.  The bar is not very high to get that certification.  To be a Level I you need to be an intermediate skier or maybe a little better, certainly not an expert.  Even a Level II would not be thought of as an expert.  Level II might mean advanced, but expert skiing starts at Level III or above - and we all know that.

 

To say that most people here think that a Level I is an expert is a ridiculous statement.

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

I don't know a single person here or in real life who would think that a Level I PSIA skier was an expert.   

To say that most people here think that a Level I is an expert is a ridiculous statement.


 

 

Quote:
 
 Ski schools organize classes by skill level. Every school has their own definition that is close, but differs slightly. Think of levels 1-3 as beginner, 4-6 as intermediate and 7-9 as expert. Level 1 would be a first timer. Level 9 skis all mountain all conditions.

Regards,
Rusty 

 

 


 

 
 
Thanks SMJ  I'll be sure to pass along the message you find the "theRusty" and "nolo" to be ridiculous.

 

Edited by Skidude72 - 11/13/10 at 7:59pm
post #13 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

I don't know a single person here or in real life who would think that a Level I PSIA skier was an expert.   

To say that most people here think that a Level I is an expert is a ridiculous statement.


 

 

Quote:
 
 Ski schools organize classes by skill level. Every school has their own definition that is close, but differs slightly. Think of levels 1-3 as beginner, 4-6 as intermediate and 7-9 as expert. Level 1 would be a first timer. Level 9 skis all mountain all conditions.

Regards,
Rusty 

 

 


 

 
 
Thanks SMJ  I'll be sure to pass along the message you find the "theRusty" and "nolo" to be ridiculous.

 


I guess that depends on what you mean by "ski".  Way back in the days before snowmaking came to my local hill, when I was a rank beginner, I skied the whole mountan in all conditions.  I could sideslipe icy steeps, straight line anything, do a hockey stop, and a snow plow turn in leather boots and WWII surplus skis.

 

For many decades, before I started reading forums, and before I ever had any actual contact with a ski instructor, I thought all ski instructors were experts.

post #14 of 26

Well it wouldn't be the first time I've been called ridiculous. However, I accept SMJ's statement as being within the realm of valid opinions on the definition of Expert level of skiing. I would not consider myself to be representative of most people here (other than as a moderator I represent EpicSki). My definition of expert is very liberal and skewed by my over exposure to beginners.

post #15 of 26

As I wrote before, I am sure most would consider a L1 an expert, and I at least wouldnt consider anyone who did ridiculous.

 

It really comes down to the perspective we used:

 

If you start from the basis of Beginners being never evers as L1, and an Expert being WC or Ski Movie Stars as L9.

 

Then placed everybody else somewhere in middle where would a L1 sit?

 

Well if you just went off of capability..ie what they can or cant do, they are much closer to Expert then Beginner...about 70% there?  So a 7 seems reasonable.

 

If you went off of percentile..ie what percentile of the skiing population do they sit (WC would be pretty close to 100th percentile, and never evers would be close to 0), I would again but L1 about the 70-75th percentile...so again a L7 designation seems reasonable.

 

But if you went off of effort...ie after attaining your L1 how much more work is required to hit the WC?  Well I am sure in that case most would acknowledge due to the fact that skiing's "effort/ability" curve is steep to start but flattens out as you move up it....(ie, it is easier to improve at the beginning then it is later)...well with this perspective in my view a L1 is only about halfway.  Thus L4.

 

I think it is only natural, that most people would have used one of the first 2 perspectives when assessing if someone is an expert or not...the third perspective would be limited in my view to those that have really worked at their skiing and have experienced the challenge of pushing past the typical L1 skill set...

 

So anyway armed with that, you can see the difficult in answering the OP:

 

If L1 or equivalent is expert, then I can safely say I spend 100% of my teaching time dealing with Expert Adults. If you need to be as some suggest a L3, then only about 20%.  If you need to be above L3, then the answer drops even further.

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

I find it very entertaining that a seasoned ski professional cannot confidently answer [using his ski school's definitions of skier levels] what level most of his students are. You shouldn't need a Gaussian distribution to answer this question. If you do... then you should be reflecting on how good of a "teacher" you really are.

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

I find it very entertaining that a seasoned ski professional cannot confidently answer [using his ski school's definitions of skier levels] what level most of his students are. You shouldn't need a Gaussian distribution to answer this question. If you do... then you should be reflecting on how good of a "teacher" you really are.


Do you want numbers of students or numbers of lessons? I don't keep track, but for sure the higher the level, the smaller the group. Broken down by hours of teaching or just numbers of lessons? 90 mins w 10 first-timers vs. 6 hours with two level 7s kinda evens out

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

I don't recall requiring a numerical answer as part of the poll... really - this isn't a trick question.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

I don't recall requiring a numerical answer as part of the poll... really - this isn't a trick question.



 No but it is highly loaded.  This is Epicski...not much can be asked around here that isnt.  You have been around long enough to know that as well as anybody.

post #20 of 26

In NZ we get a handy breakdown sheet at the end of the season detailing hours worked, the levels they were at, request rates etc. I was mostly intermediate adults, with a fair amount of beginners and then about 20% of my time on advanced and experts. In Japan I teach more high levels, but also more kids.

post #21 of 26

I really have no clue in some days I teach level 1 and level 8 on the same day.

 

L3s at bigger resorts teach such a wide range that unless you kept track it would be impossible to know. I still think by students I teach more level 1 than anyone else, but spend more time teaching levels 4-6.

post #22 of 26

This is not a loaded question. It took me about 5 seconds to answer because I know what I do, and I do it. Some of the posts here are the reason for my low post count. Sometime "yes" or "no" is a very valid answer. Needless expanding of a question reminds me of Ski Skool clinics where people repeat teh question just to hear them selves talk. Bye.

post #23 of 26

Back to SMJ's comments about Level 1 PSIA  being experts or not---I'm pretty sure that he meant that it doesn't require expert skills to gain that level of certification-but I'm also sure he'd acknowledge that many who are Level 1's are experts (but not because of the certification).  And, I find it hard to believe skidude you wouldn't concede that there are many Level 1's who aren't experts in any standard (PSIA, Harb's system, punk kids in baggy ski pants judging you from the deck system, race systems, etc.).

 

 

And, I think Heluva is right-this was a pretty straightforward question that hardly needed so much rumination to answer. 

 

I don't instruct, by my guess would be that beginners, advanced beginners and very low intermediates make up the bulk of most folks (even very sought after instructors) clientele.  Is that assumption way off the mark?  I think that is what this poll is after.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

Back to SMJ's comments about Level 1 PSIA  being experts or not---I'm pretty sure that he meant that it doesn't require expert skills to gain that level of certification-but I'm also sure he'd acknowledge that many who are Level 1's are experts (but not because of the certification).  And, I find it hard to believe skidude you wouldn't concede that there are many Level 1's who aren't experts in any standard (PSIA, Harb's system, punk kids in baggy ski pants judging you from the deck system, race systems, etc.).

 

 

And, I think Heluva is right-this was a pretty straightforward question that hardly needed so much rumination to answer. 

 

I don't instruct, by my guess would be that beginners, advanced beginners and very low intermediates make up the bulk of most folks (even very sought after instructors) clientele.  Is that assumption way off the mark?  I think that is what this poll is after.


Yes.

 

Bigger ski schools at the big resorts break their schools down into smaller schools or sections, or "pods" as they are known at WB. 

 

These subsections cater to different students and different needs.  Some sections and thus their pros are used for training other pros, and thus do not teach the public...at all.  Other sections are set up for high end public lessons only...thus again, those instructors only teach those lesssons.  In those groups where the lowest student I would get would be a L1 or equivalent....highest is a L3 or equivalent....

 

So depending on your view of L1 someone like myself either teaches Intermediate to Advanced...(if you remeber the "what type of expert are you" thread....a whole host of L3s and PSIA examiners chimed in declaring they are NOT experts)...so if you take that at face value Intermediate to Advanced is me...if you take a more realistic view, ie what the public would see, I only teach experts.

 

 

As for being loaded...well perhaps my back is up abit...but the person asking the question is known around here.  Generally seems a fairly good guy, but definatley doesnt think much of the epic crowd, and prefers the hard edge approach of some others.  To me the question seemed more related to "why do you guys talk about high end ski instruction, when the fact is you have no experience beyond low level kids....or any experience for that matter."  Fair call for most here I suppose, but there are some pretty knowledagable and expereinced types here too.

post #25 of 26


 

Quote:

 

 To me the question seemed more related to "why do you guys talk about high end ski instruction, when the fact is you have no experience beyond low level kids....or any experience for that matter."  Fair call for most here I suppose, but there are some pretty knowledagable and expereinced types here too.


I have to say that this statement bothers me.  I think that we all know the type of instruction that Greg prefers, but nowhere in his poll is there any suggestion of judgment or condescension.  As he himself stated, it is not a trick question.  I think that it is an interesting exercise to look at what age/level/gender of students are being taught at various ski schools around the country -- this does not have to be a comment on the quality of instructors or instruction.  It is unrealistic to expect all ski instructors to be "expert" skiers (I still have no satisfactory definition of this term); nor (IMHO as a somewhat high end student) is it necessary -- if an instructor has enough knowledge and experience to actually teach the student, then this should be good enough.  More experienced skiers seeking instruction should know how to find an instructor that fills his/her needs -- this is why the various higher end ski camps are as successful as they are.  The problem arises when an instructor has too much ego to see his/her limitations -- this is a separate issue and not confined to any particular country or method of ski instruction

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the support bbinder.

 

Like I said in the original post, I'm not here to offer an opinion on the results or what I thought the results would be when I started the thread. I was most interested in the real (not anyone's perceived) distribution. Each level is a moving target and is best left for those responding to define in their own terms. Sure its a loose way to dictate it, but I don't see any problem with it necessarily, because every instructor usually has an idea of what level lesson they are teaching in respect to all other lessons being taught at their resort. I think we are still getting good data based on the distribution. I'd still love to see more responses for the exact reason Skidude72 stated - there is a large highly varied group of coaches participating here. It would be cool to see an accurate snapshot of the cumulative experience that we represent.

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