Isn't this a great article?

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Isn't this a great article?

Postby John Mason » Sat Apr 17, 2004 11:49 pm

Isn't this a great article? ... ion05.html

As people dance and change their terms regarding rotary and steering in some fun discussions over on Epic, I can see that this old article makes it clear not much has changed.

Rotary and Steering are a result, not an input. Tipping is the input, turns are the result. Best way to tip is with the less weighted free foot. It's pretty simple in the final analysis. Why crud it up by teaching these "abstractions" of rotary and steering.

(I think my favorite line is "Oh, you mean, you want me to ski like a dork?")

Please don't reply till you have read and digested the article.
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Postby Bluey » Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:27 am


Apart from the article which you link in your last post......... Lito's site also contains a lot of other very informative instructional articles so I'm really pleased you've brought this site to everyones attention.

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What is THE most unique thing about PMTS

Postby John Mason » Sun Apr 18, 2004 4:34 pm

What is THE most unique thing about PMTS

Now that this article has been up for a tad, I thought I'd share a bit from my past which to me is an excellent allegory about why PMTS is different than most ski instruction out there.

As people know if they have been reading my posts, what Harold teaches in some ways is not totally unique. Lito Tejada-Flores has lots of overlaps, Eric and Rob DesLauriers books too. Even within the PSIA establishment you will hear many teachers exhorting "lift and tip". But, even with these partial overlaps on issues of technique, the article points out clearly for me what is the unique contribution of PMTS to the world of ski instruction.

I am going to present an allegory from another field. Hopefully this analogy will be useful because when people's minds are buried in all their histories and preconceptions about ski instruction they miss this point. This point was the actual theme in the article that starts this thread. By bringing an allegory from another field other than skiing I think I can illustrate why I personally find and enjoy PMTS so much and why I have found it unique.

A similar teaching dillema exists in the world of singing, believe it or not. I was fortunate to have a voice teacher that in many ways parallels Harold in that my voice teacher also took a unique and systematic approach to the problem of teaching people to sing. Now after you stop laughing in a minute you'll see what I mean.

Often this voice teacher (Dr. Robert Shewan) would have a new student entering his program do a simple illustrative exercise. Prof Shewan's approach to singing is radical in that field just like HH's is in this field. Prof came up with an easy exercise for the incoming college vocal majors that would shake them up early to realize the problems with singing instruction most all of them had had and how different the approach was going to be from then on.

He would ask them to imagine that the world didn't pay people to sing, but that people paid big money hear people bark like dogs. So, in preperation to make their mark (singers are all egocentric weird folks) on the world of dog barking, he would ask the student to do their best bark. So the confused student will let out a pretty bad bark. So he would challenge them to bark just like a dog and to do it more realistically. At some point the student gets with it and starts making some pretty good dog barks. Then Prof would ask them to bark like a small yippy dog. Then he would ask them to bark like a big hound dog. If a student was having problems he would ask them to think clearly of a specific dog they knew and imitate it.

Now the very very very key point:

Then Prof Shewan would ask them, how did they accomplish this bark. Almost without hesitation the student would describe all the things they did with this or that diaphragm muscle or with this or that vocal cord, or their mouth placement or their posture, etc. Basically the student parrots back all the irrelevant stuff they have been taught in the past.

As the prof quizzes the student about what they REALLY did pretty soon they realize they simply imitated the sound of the dog barking in their head. The clearer they could hear in their mind the dog bark they wanted to mimic the better their bark was. Everything else took care of itself. Almost all the rest of Prof Shewan's singing method relates to finding the best speech of that individual student to imitate, there is never any work on all that useless minutea that most vocal coaches do.

As revolutionary as Prof Shewan's method has been for singing the parallels to ski instruction and to the article I posted are striking.

In both disciplines you have the vast majority of the teaching profession focusing on minutea as if these types of things can be dealt with while singing or skiing in a conscious manner.

The absolute beauty and uniqueness of PMTS is it's focus on what simple external cues for the student to focus on that makes all sorts of other good things happen all by themselves. The drills are set up in order of the skier's development from pure beginner to advanced skier with external cues and self coaching points at each and every stage. The power of this approach to propel the students skiing forward is hard to understate.

The ski instructors that are bogged down in the useless complexity of the physical and mechanical proccess of skiing usually end up with students that often are stuck at an intermediate level steering their skis in some fashion. Instead of the student focusing on a simple action that naturally results in a complex result, the student and teacher are focusing on all these complex actions.

Just like in singing some of the best singers that also instruct actually do not teach the way they personally accomplish their singing. Many singing instructors are not actually aware of how they sing. In sking we get the same thing. Some people ski beutifully but have never actually self studied how they are skiing. They look at what they are doing and not how they are doing it, and break down all these seperate movements then try to teach them to people. They do this even though this isn't what they actually do to accomplish their own skiing.

Harold studied how people actually ski. What are the "Primary Movements" that all the other movements of skiing cascade from. In singing it's having a clear and focused mental picture of what sound you want to make and having the best sound for you (discovered through advanced speech therapy techniques that are often used to rehabilitate professional singers that have wreaked their voices (sounds like knees huh!)). In PMTS its focusing on the phantom move as the key foundational and simple move.

Think of examples of things that are normally taught in detail in traditional skiing that actually happen by themselves with PMTS.

See what you can come up with. I have my list, but this is no fun if I'm the only one that talks.

(Edited a few hours after I wrote it to fix many many grammer and spelling errors.)
Last edited by John Mason on Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jeff Markham » Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:20 pm

What I find amusing are the three references to Harald's succinctness and simplification.

After devouring Harald's books, I picked up Lito's "Breakthrough on the New Skis" because Harald mentioned that Lito had incorporated some PMTS elements. Maybe it's a personal preference with regard to writing style, but there were *way* too many words per concept. Blah, blah, blah.

Harald's writing is like PMTS instruction -- straightforward, to the point, effective. Lito's is flowery and overly verbose.

Harald is the Hemingway of skiing authors. Lito is a cross between a romance writer and Michener.

Like I said, maybe it's a personal thing. YMMV.
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Isn't This A Great Article

Postby patprof2 » Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:30 pm

John-you continue to amaze me-great allegory! I also loved the LT-F article. It was what first got me interested in PMTS.
Pat Ryan

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:27 pm

I think the article is another example of two men thinking they have re-invented the wheel and who sell snake oil to unsuspecting individuals who are looking for a quick fix.

Postby jclayton » Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:07 pm

the wheel has never been so easily understood since HH re-invented it .

Snake oil has never tasted so good or had such permanent effect .

The large bunch of individuals have never been happier after having suffered through the many bogus snake oil merchants and now having snake oil they can really get their teeth into ( must be the snake heads inside )

skinut ,among other things
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Postby Hobbit » Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:50 pm

Let me give you another allegory. When you are watching TV and commercial break comes alone are you jumping of your chairs? Please learn to ignore the informational noise and go on with your life.

When "Guest" will come up with some meaningful topic or comment, we'll be very happy to talk to he/she/it. I hope he/she/it is not planning spending the off-season bombarding our small forum. On the other hand, let he/she/it show up on the PMTS party at A-Basin and I?ll be happy to ski together.
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Postby Visitor » Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:03 pm

I think it is great that Guest is here. He, she, it, demonstates the ignorance and fear held by ski instructors holding on to the trash that ruined my skiing for years. How is it that PMTS and Harald turned my skiing around immediately? If I took a lesson from Guest, I'd get the same old garbage that held me back. He. she, it would swear to be teaching the same thing as PMTS. He could only hope and wish, reality is much more discerning, so is a PMTS lesson.

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