Survey Results from PMTS

PMTS Forum

Survey Results from PMTS

Postby John Mason » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:44 am

(Harold posted this as a 2nd subject under an original thread called "ski tuning". I have copied this here in it's own thread for more exposure.)

Robert A. HINTERMEISTER, Diana ROGERS, and Harald R. HARB
Colorado Mountain College and Harb Ski Systems, USA

The Primary Movements Teaching System (PMTS) is a direct parallel method for teaching Alpine skiing. It emphasizes balance and small efficient movements that start at the feet and cause release of the ski, weight transfer and edging. The methodologies are documented in a series of three books and videos published between 1997 and 2000. The PMTS results in rapid, enjoyable skiing progress for students with less effort than traditional technique. This is particularly noteworthy in a time when growth in the number of skier visits to US resorts has plateaued for over a decade and the industry is searching for ways to attract former and new skiers to the sport.
In the Lessons section of the Kottke National End of Season Survey 2001-2002: Final Report, conducted by RRC Associates for the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) it states, ?Skier visitation models demonstrate that long-term, sustainable growth in the industry will be strongly tied to improving the retention of entry-level skiers and snowboarders, in a large measure through improved and upgraded lessons programs.?
Harb Ski Systems uses the PMTS in a series of skiing camps each winter that we believe are ?improved and upgraded lessons programs? versus traditional teaching systems (TTS). Although ample feedback from camp participants and individual lesson participants has been overwhelmingly positive, to date there has been no formal survey of participants. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to survey Harb Ski Systems ski camp participants to quantify the effectiveness of the PMTS teaching system, student progress, and the camp experience.
Following ski camps run by Harb Ski Systems during the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 ski seasons, surveys were sent to all participants. The survey consisted of 28 questions pertaining to the participant, their skiing and the camp experience. Twenty-five questions had limited scaled choices for responses and three questions were of an open-ended format. Of the limited scaled response questions, six related to descriptive characteristics of the skier; seven to parameters of the participants current skiing; eight to pre-/post-camp performance comparisons of their skiing; and four questions addressed the quality and satisfaction with the camp overall. The three open-ended questions enquired about the best aspects of the camp, recommended changes, and the quality of the coaching.
Approximately 200 surveys were sent out to camp participants and 120 completed and returned, a 60% response rate. From the group statistics, 70.6% were males; 79.2% were from 40 to 69 years old; and 78.1% had been skiing for at least 6 years or more. 40.3% of the respondents described their skill level as intermediate and 49.6% as advanced skiers, with 76.6% of them keeping their skis parallel ?usually? or ?almost always?.
From the eight performance comparison questions, 84.7% stated that the PMTS technique was ?very different? from any previous technique they had used. 97.5% indicated that their skiing improved, becoming ?slightly better? or ?much better?, and 92.5% identified that it now took ?slightly less? or ?much less? effort to ski than with the previous technique. When queried regarding turn initiation, 92.5% also said it was now ?slightly easier ? or ?much easier? to enter a turn and 91.7% said the same about their ability to link turns. 88.3% remarked that it was now easier to maintain their balance and 89.2% said that they had better control. In terms of understanding, 78.4% indicated that they understood the PMTS ?slightly easier? or ?much easier? than the previous technique they had learned.
97.5% of the respondents indicated that they enjoyed their lessons ?usually? or ?almost always?. 95% indicated that they would take another PMTS lesson, and 97.5% said they would tell their friends to take a PMTS lesson. As a result of the lessons, 49.1% said they would increase the number of days they would ski per season.
The top responses for the open-ended questions were as follows: learning PMTS, individual attention, and the coaching were cited as the best aspects of the camps. Better video analysis, more ?free skiing? time to assimilate what has been learned, and extend 3-day camps by 1 day were the top responses for the question asking what one thing could make the camps better. The most common response to the question about what could be done to improve the coaching was ?nothing?- the coaching is top notch.
Harb Ski System camps are offered in Green (beginner), Blue (intermediate), and All-Mountain (advanced) categories. They consist of 3 to 5 days of skiing with instruction and static and dynamic sessions to optimize a skier?s skeletal alignment for improved performance. The overall positive nature of survey responses suggests that the combination of instructors trained in applied biomechanics, student directed ski instruction, and the optimization of equipment configuration is unparalleled in the ski industry.
The Kottke Survey reported that, in a weighted average of US resorts, only 35.8% of lesson participants returned for another lesson within a year. In our survey, 95% of respondents said that they will take another PMTS lesson and 97.5% will recommend PMTS lessons to their friends. 49.1% indicated that they would ski more days per season as a result of the PMTS lessons. These are the types of results that the NSAA Growth Initiative is seeking in the US ski industry. From the instructional side, this was accomplished with a direct parallel technique that 84.7% of respondents stated was new and different from TTS.
The 88-97.5% positive response rate on the pre-/post-camp performance comparison questions indicate that participants are experiencing solid improvements in their skiing skills, and results of the qualitative questions clearly show they are enjoying themselves too.
Harb, H.R. (1997). Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier. Harb Ski Systems, Dumont, CO.
Harb, H.R., Rogers, D., Hintermeister, R.A., and Peterson, K. (1998). Primary Movements Teaching System Instructor Manual. Harb Ski Systems, Dumont, CO, USA.
Harb, H.R., Rogers, D., and Hintermeister, R.A. (2000). The Primary Movements Teaching System. 2nd International Congress on Science and Skiing, January 2000, St. Christoph, Austria, Book of Abstracts, p. 156-157.
Harb, H.R., Rogers, D., and Hintermeister, R.A. (2000). Improved Skiing Performance Through Alignment And Equipment Optimization. 2nd International Congress on Science and Skiing, January 2000, St. Christoph, Austria, Book of Abstracts, p. 154-155.
Harb, H.R. (2000). Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier (2). Harb Ski Systems, Dumont, CO.
Kahl, R. (2003). On The Fast Track. Ski Area Management, March, p48-49.
RRC Associates, Kottke National End of Season Survey 2001-2002: Final Report. NSAA
RRC Associates, Kottke National End of Season Survey 2002-2003: Final Report. NSAA
John Mason
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Location: Lafayette, Indiana, USA

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