A shoutout for the instructor manual

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A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby ChrisV » Mon Sep 26, 2022 9:31 pm

I've very recently purchased the instructor manual, and within a few days read it cover to cover. There's just a lot in here not included in Anyone 1 and 2. The Anyone books are mostly about what to do. The instructor manual adds a wealth of why to do it. It also has added drills, and in particular supplements the choices for progressions for beginners. Whether or not you want to be an instructor, get yourself a copy. I think it will enhance any skier's understanding.
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby enric » Tue Sep 27, 2022 11:40 am

Totally agree!! Although it is tough to read, because it is dense and packed with biomechanical explanations and lots of technical terms, it provides indepth understanding of PMTS which needs to be assimilated. After all, correct movements can only be achieved if the skier has the right INTENT while trying to produce those movments, and the correct INTENT can only derive from correct UNDERSTANDING. In other words, for the PMTS movements to produce the desired effects, the skier needs to execute them with the correct intent which requires the correct understanding. Lifting and tipping without intent and understanding can produce only modest results, and the same with any of the other essentials. May be this is why this Forum is full of engineers and technical guys, we want to understand the WHY not merely the HOW. Thanks HH and Forum contributors for your help.
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby Max_501 » Tue Sep 27, 2022 6:28 pm

Learning PMTS - Info for New Students of PMTS

Learning PMTS can be very simple if you follow the progression HH has given us. Book 1, Book 2, then Essentials. No need to over analyze or question the steps that HH has laid out in the books and on this forum because they simply work. Nike has a slogon "Just Do It" and that applies here. Just Do It [PMTS] and you will be on the road to expert skiing.
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby skijim13 » Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:16 am

Being a scientist can attest the books are excellent. I am very good at learning a book from cover to cover. However; I have learned an important lesson just because you know what is in the books and work on the drills without the eyes of an expert PMTS coach you will not progress as far as you would like. I have found that attending camps is the true route to learning the system. The movements have to be exact and you need someone to see how you move your body parts to make the correct movements. Many times I thought I had it correct and then found out at camp I needed to make changes.
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby h.harb » Tue Oct 04, 2022 9:49 am

Thank you for the posts and comments. One of my goals, although very difficult to achieve, was always to inform the public about ski teaching. In my view, ski lessons at ski areas are limiting, damaging, and demotivating. This is proven by the National Ski Area Operator's own surveys. What have they done about it, nothing worth pursuing that achieves results?

The challenge is that few beginners realize what will happen to them if they go to a regular ski area ski school. Ski teaching at ski areas is a monopoly, ski areas never offer alternatives or choices. It's not like driving down the fast food alley in any city where every fast food company is lined up so you can select what you like. Some people do research before they buy; however, if you have no background it would be rare to choose PMTS or either go to Welch Village or contact us.

Breaking into the ski business with a teaching system is almost impossible the way the leasing system works on National Forest land and the way the Federal Government has structured it.

Maybe my Instructor Manual should be revised and re-named "The Complete Guide to Ski Learning", which might have more public appeal. As a teen, I taught myself to play tennis from a book. However, as "skijim" stated, I knew I needed to play and learn from professional coaches and top pros for guidance to get my tennis to a higher level. I did that, but without that involvement, I would have stayed a good club player, not a player that could give college team players a game.

The opportunity I had in tennis rarely happens in skiing even at the top resorts. You would not get the best skiers in the ski school to be your coach. And the true "disconnect" is that even if you were able to reserve someone like Ricki Berger, Rielly, or Paul Lorens they would teach you the same as the rest of the instructors.

In a nutshell, that's what is wrong with having to be a "follower" to teach skiing, rather than being creative or an innovator in the ski industry. Innovation in the ski industry isn't about making skiers better, it's about selling condos to city folks who have money. The ski industry is its own worst enemy as far as growing the sport. Then again, who wants to ski at a major resort on weekends with 20 minute liftlines and the horrid highway traffic?
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby ChrisV » Fri Oct 14, 2022 9:02 pm

Thank you for your remarks, Harald.

The last time I taught a lesson was five seasons back. I always enjoyed teaching first time skiers (although I appreciated the opportunity to mix it up with a variety of lesson levels). With first timers, you don't have the frustration of having to work to undo bad movements. There can be satisfaction in whatever success you can attain in bringing them along as far as possible in a short time, to where they're equipped to make easy runs with confidence and to start to really enjoy skiing. To my mind, teaching first timers and low level novices, especially in a group setting, may be the most challenging job you'll have as a ski instructor. There are many, potentially contradictory goals to try to reach, in the space of a half day or a day at most--as you discuss in the instructor manual. While to be successful with this, I don't think you have to be at an elite level in your skiing skills, you do have to be very good indeed in your teaching skills (and knowledge). In my experience, many resorts make a conscientious effort to ground new instructors in skills for teaching new skiers and being responsive to their wants and needs. However, the short training periods that they can afford to invest in new instructors are plainly inadequate to the task of producing instructors able to consistently create high quality, successful lessons, and to adapt to the many difficulties that will inevitably arise. What one would really like to see is to have the most experienced instructors, and the ones who have made themselves the best at teaching, assigned to beginner lessons. Of course, we can agree that what resorts really need to do is tear up their lesson plans and start over with methods that will efficiently build essential skills, while giving the students a pleasurable experience.

Actually, while the protocol may vary a lot between resorts, my experience has been that ski schools are likely to turn instructors loose to devise their own lesson plans, as long as they're having some success in getting students to be able to move on skis and the customer feedback is positive. This could be seen as simultaneously a problem and an opportunity. A problem because there will be no quality control. An opportunity because the best instructors will be able to do what they do without misguided interference.

I also had good success teaching students who were taking their second or third lesson ever. (Though I would teach those lessons very differently today, than I was doing back then.) Much of the time, at the start of the lesson they were real train wrecks. Supposedly ski lessons are supposed to be either developmental or remedial. But what I saw was that students at all levels (who had skied before at least once) nearly universally presented with glaring deficiencies in their essential movement patterns. (That's not a great testament to the quality of their previous instruction.) So lessons nearly always had big remedial components. The distinction seems artificial.

I was watching a Tom Gellie video segment recently. He said something I found interesting and motivating, that he thought what he had liked best about being a ski instructor was that it gave him the opportunity to spend a lot of time skiing slowly, LOL. That being the best way to practice the essentials, the basic building blocks.

As you discuss, anyone wanting to sign up for a ski lesson for the first time has a big problem. Almost anyone will be ill-equipped to make an intelligent choice. The student won't know the importance of getting good advice on the lesson to get, won't know where to get that advice, and won't have the experience to distinguish bad advice from good. You don't know what you don't know. And then, the good choices are few. Per their Web site, "Welch Village is the only licensed PMTS Direct Parallel® ski school in the country." Their six day program for ages 6 to 7 already sold out in mid-September! That's remarkable for a small hill in Minnesota, which should tell you that there are at least a few people out there who know how to find quality instruction for their children. Maybe there are some other hidden gems of ski schools for beginners in the U.S., or elsewhere in the world, but I don't know of any. About the only other real option is to seek out an excellent individual instructor for a private lesson. That's an expense that few first timers are going to be willing to lay out.
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby h.harb » Thu Oct 27, 2022 4:09 pm

ChrisV,

I'm sorry you felt like you had to write this long description of the limitations of ski schools and beginner issues. Don't you think I have heard all the excuses already? The ski industry isn't into providing quality ski lessons and they control everything about it. Quality ski instructors, ha, don't make me laugh. I don't blame the instructors I blame PSIA and the ski area operators.

PSIA has no models that would generate a quality lesson, they don't have accurate descriptions of skiing that will bring a learner to the next level. You described exactly what happens, remedial lessons are needed all the time. What do they get in a remedial lesson? The same thing that required them to take a remedial lesson in the first place.

With PMTS we can make a low beginner or intermediate better immediately, and they will keep improving with the use of what PMTS teaches, not so with the wedge progress. PSIA ski schools know no better. and I'm not picking only on PSIA it's the same in CSIA, ASIA NSIA, and the Austrian system as well. I gave up trying to convince ski areas and PSIA a long time ago, I know their methods and I know they don't work.
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby nickia » Fri Mar 01, 2024 10:34 pm

What I don't understand is that why don't they teach the same technique to the public as what they teach to those junior racers?

There seems to be a distinct disconnect between "instructor skiing" and "ski racer skiing". You can tell from the hill that instructors all ski one style and ski racers all ski another style.

Skiing is skiing. Why is there a difference?

There are many 12-15 year old racers at my local hills that ski beautifully. They might not make it to WC or even FIS but if a general public says "hey, I want to ski like that one day. I'm willing to invest X years and Y hours to learn. Where do I sign up lessons to get to that level?". Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any path to get there.

Ski race club training only opens to 18 and under. Why don't they offer structured training program for adults?

It seems like there are available decent ski instructions to be had locally but it is just not accessible/open to the general public who are over 18.
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby jbotti » Sat Mar 02, 2024 9:28 am

All good points. Its hard to say if the stubbornness of the PSIA comes more from wanting to collect $141 for larger and larger numbers of ski instructors or just blatant philosophical stubbornness (we're right and he's (Harald Harb) is wrong). Having said that anyone on slopes who watches what is being taught has seen a good bit of lift and tip being taught by PSIA certified instructors. And this is new over the past 5-7 years. It's been a very quiet acknowledgement that HH has been right, that one footed skiing is the only path to true expert skiing and it's the way WC skiers all ski. Unfortunately your ruin any benefits of lift and tip when you also teach people to extend to release at the end of each arc, and that does not appear to have changed.

I do think there is a lot of leftover mentality that thinks the general public is incapable of being taught and skiing the way WC skiers ski. HH has disproven this time and time again with skiers like me, Max 501 and many others that lack the elite athleticism of WC racers yet ski with the same movements and at a high level.

But I think if you are waiting and hoping for a big change in PSIA instruction, you are going to be disappointed. They would need to embark on a massive and very deep re-training of all their instructors. The training alone would take years and they would essentially be telling people to unlearn what they had been taught for many many years. I just don't see it happening.

I will say I had lunch with a young WC racer in the last month who told me that when he finishes racing he intends to try and fix ski instruction in the US at the junior racer level where he says the coaching is beyond terrible.

It would be efforts like these over many years that can start to make major changes over time. And who knows, the US may have a male on a slalom podium by 2035!!
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Re: A shoutout for the instructor manual

Postby jbotti » Sun Mar 03, 2024 9:02 am

So a couple of other points to make. Much of the ski racing training for juniors and adults in the US is poor and TTS based. There is a reason that countries that have 5-7m residents (Austria and Norway) consistently kick our butts with the number of high quality WC Racers. The US produces some great stars but usually zero depth (although the US women's team is showing better depth than we have seen in years). As well, almost every mountain that has a junior race program will also have a masters race program. So if you want you can get some of the same training that the junior's are getting. Again, in general, its not great coaching but there are exceptions.
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