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A lesson for the ages.

Seek and dispense advice regarding snowsports technique at The Ski School.

re: A lesson for the ages.

Postby Chromer » Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:43 am

<bump>

I haven't taken many lessons, nor had any "eureka" moments during them. Actually, they've mostly been pretty disappointing.

I can attest to the plateau, breakthrough, rapid improvement, plateau, breakthrough cycle though.

The first one was probably my first carve, back in the bad old days of straight skis. I was going way too fast, needed to change direction, and it just... worked...

Other breakthroughs have been because of various things: Imitating racers and freestylers, improved equipment, focussing on improving various elements, ie. hand position, pole plants, upper body "quietness," looking in the right place, "centeredness" and balance... And all of the technique things seem to involve "doing less" with muscles and more with the skeleton, which makes sense biomechanically...

Chasing skiers who are much better than me also seems to drive the breakthroughs, unfortunately you don't get time to think about what you just did until you get to the chair.

I may need another lesson soon though: Last year I made some major improvements and got a lot smoother, but I'm starting to plateau again and I'm running out of ideas on things I can change. I should probably join a race league or something -- I probably need a "coach" more than an "instructor."
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Re: re: A lesson for the ages.

Postby JimG. » Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:55 am

Chromer wrote:I probably need a "coach" more than an "instructor."


You're probably like me and just need to hang with skiers who are at least as good as you but preferably better (that gets to be a tough bill to fill, but there are usually 5-10 skiers on your home hill who are better than you at least at one part of the skiing equation) and then go out and rip the mountain apart. I always ski better when I'm pushed to my limit.

Having spent time as an instructor, I've seen lesson plans that have no hope for success, and I've heard complaints from many who feel they gained nothing for the money spent. When I took lessons as a kid, I never seemed to get alot out of them and began to ski at a higher level only after I stopped taking them and just went out and figured it out for myself.

As I've said before, too many instructors love to hear themselves talk.
Gravity-it's not just a good idea, it's the law!
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Re: re: A lesson for the ages.

Postby Ryan » Mon Jan 03, 2005 1:39 pm

JimG. wrote:
As I've said before, too many instructors love to hear themselves talk.


This could be part of the problem. Some people learn by being told what to do but far more learn by simply being shown it. What is necessary IMHO for a lesson to be a success, the insturctor needs to be able to look at your skiing and figure out where you could use some help mechanically and then devise a drill, thought, or example that will work on that one mechanic. If you try to mess with too many different things at the same time it will never work. if you can focus on one specific thing and run it from a couple of angles (not sit and talk about it) the end effect of the lesson is usually a lot better.
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Re: re: A lesson for the ages.

Postby ChocolateSkiBunny » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:05 pm

knotty_ski wrote:...Instead of bending the inside knee to initiate my turns, which I tend to do much too aggressively, Eric (my facilitator) told us to use the pad of the foot directly behind the little toe on the INSIDE foot and to just push it into the snow.


That reminds of my third ski lesson (also at Hunter)! The instructor was trying to explain transition us from wedging to turning. He was trying to explain weighting and everyone looked blank until I said, "In other words, your weight should be on the INSIDE edge of the OUTSIDE ski!" The instructor was QUITE impressed!
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Re: re: A lesson for the ages.

Postby ChocolateSkiBunny » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:10 pm

knotty_ski wrote:...Instead of bending the inside knee to initiate my turns, which I tend to do much too aggressively, Eric (my facilitator) told us to use the pad of the foot directly behind the little toe on the INSIDE foot and to just push it into the snow.


That reminds of my third ski lesson (also at Hunter)! The instructor was trying to explain transition us from wedging to turning. He was trying to explain weighting and everyone looked blank until I said, "In other words, your weight should be on the INSIDE edge of the OUTSIDE ski!" The instructor was QUITE impressed!
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re: A lesson for the ages.

Postby Ryan » Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:22 am

It is really funny how you can say the exact same thing, phrased 4 different ways and all of a sudden it just clicks for people. they did not get it at all the first 3 ways you said it but then on the 4th it is like a light switch.
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