Originally Posted by TheRusty
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
Originally Posted by MojoMan
"The dialog between instructor and student should start off with, ' Good morning. I am xxxx. What would you like to work on? I am here to facilitate your learning experience."
If I signed up for a lesson and that was the very first thing the instructor said to me, I would probably just bust out laughing.
I start lessons that way all the time, but I hardly listen to the answer. Most students don't know what they don't know, so they can't tell me what they need to work on. What they don't know is that the reason they can't ski moguls/ice/powder/trees is that they just don't have the fundamental skills to do it. Students think they can learn some special secret movement that will allow them to ski like Ligety or Stenmark, but the truth is all skiers progress fastest when they focus on simple fundamental skills. That's true at all levels, but it's particularly obvious with intermediates. That's why your carving lesson will begin with side steps, and your mogul lesson might begin with side slips on a groomer.
I start most of my non-beginner lessons that way and listen hard to the answer. One time the answer was "Oh I don't want to learn anything. All my skiing friends are dead. I just want someone to ski with." Ok - that one was easy. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get to a meaningful answer, but everyone has a reason for taking a lesson. In addition to asking up front, I also make sure in the lesson summary that everyone got what they came for - or else the lesson keeps going.
When I teach math, I never ask what anyone wants to learn, I am the one who did the work to learn what is important, and I tell them what they need to learn. That's why teaching math is better than teaching skiing. That part and the comfortable shoes.
In skiing, I start with the question "what do you want to do?" The answer is always that they want to ski like me, or some variation of that. My response is always "If you want to ski like me, you need to do what I did to learn it." It doesn't matter what they want to do, whether it's ski steeper terrain or powder or moguls, the limitation in their skiing is always the result of some fundamental skill defect. The lesson addresses the goal by working on the fundamental skill, so the lesson plan is determined by the skill that I identify more than by the student's goal. That brings it all back to the same approach I used in my math classes.
A lot of people are not patient enough to work on fundamentals, but that's the only way to make any real progress.