What is-------

PMTS Forum

What is-------

Postby skier_j » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:19 am

I can surmise by context that TTS is the "opposing" point of view IE: the method taught by PSIA trained coaches.

I'm not interested in starting a debate as to which method is superior, I just can't find a reference that describes the initials.

What does TTS stand for?


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Postby piggyslayer » Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:18 am

Traditional Teaching System, I believe.
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Postby skier_j » Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:33 pm

I did finally find that definition.

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Postby John Mason » Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:56 pm

not totally that simple - many PMTS cert people also are in PSIA and many in PSIA teach things that in principle are not TTS

TTS is just what most people teach at most of the ski schools one may encounter and can be best viewed as the progression that starts with a wedge and after many levels of instruction eventually leads to parallel turns

Yet, even once arrived at parallel turns, they are subtly but effectivly different than what you arrive at with PMTS in that PMTS does not have you tip and turn actively your outside or weighted or stance foot but rather focuses on actions of the inside or free or unweighted inside foot. This may sound like a issue of semantics but it's not. By focusing on actions of the inside foot and having the body naturally follow what this causes better puts the body in a position of dynamic balance to better ride the turn. In TTS parallel actions initiated and focused on the weighted outside foot end up for most causing "stem" entries to their turns with their bodies constantly playing "catch up".

PMTS is unique in that not only does it describe this method of sking in a direct progression that to some degree can be self taught (I highly recommend lessons or camps with PMTS certs), but PMTS also has defined a unified set of terms to describe skiing movements. In discussions of ski technique of forums here and otherwise, you'll see a lot of people misunderstanding of what people are saying by the confusion of terms. This PMTS focus of a set terminology is very useful. Also, PMTS works to provide the teachers of PMTS and it's students with the best "external cues" to create a given movement. This is also a difference to the other similar to PMTS books out there.

Methods similar to PMTS but not following neccessarily the same focus on external cues are Lito Tejada-Flores book "Breakthru on the new skis" and Ski the whole mountain by Eric and Rob Deslauries and also Craig McNeil's book How to ski the blues and blacks (without getting black and blue). Craig's book is straight PMTS with the same terminology and progressions.

I have taught my brother in law to ski and in the morning of his first day he was skiing comfortably on groomed blues and in control. He still does not know how to wedge. There is nothing unlearned in PMTS but just builds progressively towards expert skiing. (defined as elegant and efficient and in control skiing maximizing the design of the new shaped skis)

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Postby PSIA Card Carrier » Fri Jun 25, 2004 1:39 pm

Mr Mason,

I disagree with your generalizations. Rather than debate technique with the multitude of folks here who are so devoted to Harld, I will simply ask you a question.

I ask that you be perfectly honest.

How many lessons have you taken from a level III cert in the Rocky Mountain division of PSIA? I'm not interested in your observations or what you have overheard. Be honest.

Your inside foot vs. outside foot understanding is particularly off base. Unified terms? PMTS is not alone in that realm. You simply have not learned "our terms". What in gods name are you trying to explain vis a vis "stem entry" and/or catch up?

I bet I can put forth an idea that even Harald will agree with.

There is nothing more short sighted than a guy from Indiana who has two years of skiing under his belt attempting to teach skiing to a relative.

I can think of a little unified terminology to describe your contention, however, I'll be polite.

Now......all five of you have at it. I wonder if we could even get eight folks to bite!
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Postby John Mason » Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:38 pm

I would supose 5 days with PSIA III cert except it was NW not Rocky Mountain - and what I was taught was identical to what HH teaches. Now to be fair, the head coach was PSIA III cert running the camp. But all the coaches were on the same program teaching the same drills.

Sounds like your agreeing with me then disagreeing with me. My generalizations were:

1. PSIA is not a mehod of skiing thus many in PSIA also don't teach what is referred here to as "TTS".

it sounds like you are agreeing with that one

2. That most ski schools in the country do indeed teach a progression that can best be described as "TTS". This one is pretty self evident too.

But it sounds like you are saying that a level III cert in the Rocky mountain division won't be teaching TTS - if so - then I'm not surprised and would also agree with you. Most of what I here spoken of on Epic by many instructors isn't normal TTS either.

There are other direct parallel methods so you may be referring to the "centerline" method. I have not been exposed to anything but a normal TTS progression then the race camp (PSIA) then PMTS. This does not preclude great things being taught outside PMTS. As my earlier post pointed out Eric and Rob DesLauriers and Lito Tejeda Flores and others teach the same approach. But I'll maintain the premise that most ski instruction is little changed and the TTS progression is well known and still practiced. This gets obvious once you go to any high level camp from either PMTS or otherwise and here the stories of the students that are stuck due to improper instruction.

3. - May be where we actually disagree - You stated I'm off base on LTE inside foot movements. Then we agree that many in PSIA even at the highest levels are not really teaching what HH teaches with PMTS since that is a pretty fundemental difference.

So it might be good to actually talk about technique since it sounds like we agree on everything else. But in your post that was specifically what you did not want to talk about. That reduces your post to a pretty much useless and unhelpful ad-hom gentle attack. For the record I have only skied just over 1 year. So I am more of a novice than your post surmised.

In my time posting on here and on Epic there is a broad observation I have formed that seems confirmed in your post. That would be you think you know what HH teaches and that HH students don't have a clue. Yet, I'm the abnormal HH student. Most HH students have years of skiing under their belts. You should pay attention to their comments the state of ski instruction since you are discounting mine due to my lack of ski experience. In my case it would be more useful to focus on what exactly you think I'm mixed up on regarding the inside/free foot action.

It might be also helpful for you to point out for me where your techniques differ from what HH, Lito, Eric and Rob teach. And yet, I agree with you, there are high up PSIA's that have a clue as the race camp I attended attests to. But if what you teach is different all that shows is that diversity is still present in the PSIA. That should be expected as the PSIA doesn't "legally" endorse a single method. Some of the functional PSIA policies do though. But now we are getting off technique again and into PSIA politics. What would the point of that be on a PMTS forum?

Technique - this is the place to discuss it!
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Postby milesb » Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:30 pm

I thought that John gave a very good explanation of what is meant by TTS.
I have a simple question for PSIA Card Carrier. Be honest. Who is teaching most of the beginner lessons in the United States? Is it level III certs in the Rocky Mountain division of PSIA? Or novice instructors ( not even necessarily PSIA members) using the progression that John describes?
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Examples of the Traditional Teaching System or TTS

Postby John Mason » Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:25 pm

Here is a link that will help people understand what is meant by TTS. To reiterate, TTS as described in this link is not the newer and better "tip to turn" but what most are still teaching.

I'm going to start a new post contrasting Tip to Turn vs PMTS as it's a bit confusing as to where these techniques are similar and where PMTS and what other coaches books are teaching which is different that what many are teaching as "Tip to Turn".

People of the Tip to Turn philosophy please add to the discussion so we can learn:

1. What is the difference from Tiping to turn which is active actions on both legs


2. PMTS which truely focuses on the inside foot only and lets the outside foot respond in a passive fashion rather than from active input.

In the many discussions I've read on other forums where at least there is broad agreement that rotary inputs as an input are a negative. Yet rotary effects that stem from "steering actions" are a positive. But, what is meant by "steering actions". In PMTS we steer the skies by controlling the tipping of the freefoot and by the amount of pressure on the outside ski. Thus we get rotary action as a result. On other forums I have seen tipping described like steering a car in that turning the steering wheel indirectly makes the car turn. Semantics get confusing here, but after reading many books and talking to lots of people, this question among better skiers of what is the best way to turn the skis or get the skis to turn or to tip the skis so they turn you are at the heart of the understanding and mis-understanding of PMTS.

As the PSIA card carrier said I'm all wrong on inside foot action. We'll explore this in a new post.

It is hard to get publically the PSIA material but I believe that this link will give a good example of the 9 levels of progression most TTS schools will take their students through. If any one has a better link please post it.


As you can see as you check out levels 1 through 9 parallel skiing comes late in the game and there is a constant focus on rotary inputs from beginning to end.

I would love to see the "centerline model" also described as often people describe PMTS as being the same thing. But, since PSIA doesn't publically publish their suggested skiing progressions I have not been able to pick up documentation on this method of ski teaching/progression.

Look for my new post for discussion - "Once people agree that tipping the skis makes them turn, what is the best way to tip your skis" For me this is at the core that makes PMTS work and is the point of understanding that can unlock skiing for many people. If, however, people don't agree that tipping the skis make them turn, then I have so little in common on ski technique with that person that there will not be much profitable discussion that will be possible.
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Postby mechanic » Sat Jun 26, 2004 8:35 am


You state that tipping skis makes them turn. I fully agree. Can you wrap your mind around the idea that turning the skis makes them tip. This relates to the idea of 'steering the skis to an edge' which was a very popular idea before the advent of shaped skis and still works with shaped skis although it can be argued that direct tipping is more efficent with the modern ski.


Postby Hobbit » Sat Jun 26, 2004 11:08 am

I believe that the Carvers are a great tool to test the ski techniques.

I propose a simple answer ? wear the Carvers and face the truth :D

Can you stir your feet to turn? Sorry :D
Can you turn to tip? No you have to tip to turn.
On skis you?ll be able to turn to tip but you?ll be side-slipping in the initial motion.
So if we are talking about the carved turns it?s tip to turn IMHO.
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Postby Ott Gangl » Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:40 pm

John, I simply MUST ski with you. Perfect North is not too far from me and I'll make a date when we both can make it. I can visit with some friends at the ski school while I'm there.

I admire someone like you who can teach his brother-in-law, an 11-year-old kid and a 300 pound fellow to ski blues competently in a half day. Harald must be proud to have an instructor like you, as would any ski school in the country.

From all your posts I've read in various ski forums you are a highly technical skier and I want to lern from you. On the other hand, I will demonstrate some of the techniques that I have learned and used in my 60 years of skiing both here and in Europe before I came over here.

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Postby mechanic » Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:49 pm


I'm pretty sure that I can steer my skis to an edge without any side slipping occurring but the turn would be more gradual than what I could achieve with a tipping focus.

If I ever manage to get my hands (or feet I guess I should say) on a pair of carvers I'll let you know my answers to your questions. If I ever get down your way could I borrow yours for an hour or two?


Hi Ott - Hi Mechanic

Postby John Mason » Sat Jun 26, 2004 5:42 pm

Ott - I'd love to ski with you. But I doubt you could learn from me. But I'd love to just hang and have fun and trade interpetations and play with stuff.

Mechanic - I think your on to something - maybe. By the time you get to HH's weighted release and if you follow him skiing you'll see that there are 2 tracks in the snow that both instantly change at the same time at the release and into the next turn. Is this what your tracks do? Also, how apart are your tracks typically.

I think one of the problems discussing PMTS is that by the time your at the end of it all, the actually skiing may not be that different - or maybe it is different. Steering to make the skis tip seems awfully indirect. But if you are getting your skis to tip and the right moment to where you body has already "committed" to the new turn, your turn may look similar.

Back to Ott - where is your home area? We went over to Holiday Valley 3 times last year. That might be more fun then itsy bitsy perfect north.

Anyway - I'm still working on my post. Think about how you tip to turn and where your body is when you do. These begin to be the keys as to why PMTS works so well and why many ways people try to teach someone to tip to turn don't work so well.

As a review - I suggest reading Page 35 of Eric and Rob DesLauries book Ski the Whole Mountain. This is the crux of the Phantom Move of PMTS and the key to what for me has been the most efficient way to learn or teach how to carve a turn.

I'd be interested in what the non-PMTS people think of Eric's presentation and how that is the same or different than what they would teach or do themselves.

Ott - I actually like Eastern skiing simply because (as Hobbit/SCSA can attest to) I simply "gas out" at the high colorado altitudes. It's an amazing difference. I have to often stop at A-basin to get my wind back. I have no such issues at more sane altitudes even though I love the quality of the snow, length of terrain, scenery etc of going out west.

Where do you like best on the eastern half of things? Holiday Valley is good for us as we can drive it in 2/3rds of a day. We can get 3 days skiing in by taking one day of work off. (I think your retired - I have to still work a lot.)

Anyway - this how to tip to turn and how to teach it is what I have seen as the pretty fundemental difference if there is in fact a difference between what HH, Lito, Craig, and Eric and Rob state in their books and what PSIA teaches in their ATS system.

Here is another interesting link that describs the PSIA Cert Levels. Notice the emphasis on active leg steering of both legs at all levels. This makes no sense to me. I'm willing to be convinced, but as Hobbit says, it won't work on the carvers at all and it doesn't work well in skiing. Check out Eric and Rob's book for the clear explaination why you can't actively steer your skis in powder. Explain to me why you can if you think they are wrong. One of the strengths and weaknesses of HH's books are he is straightforward in discussing what to do, and the weakness is that he doesn't bog the reader down with the why. Lito and Eric and Rob's books strength is they go much deeper into the whys. Taken together they agree on the way to ski and the way to teach skiing. I see no conflict.

So, if you've had the pleasure of reading and digesting all three books I'd be interested in what and why what they all in common teach about skiing and how to initiate and control tipping to turn differs from what experience or interpetations of skiing others have out there.

I should also point out that the drill on page 35 matches the key drill I was taught at a race camp run by PSIA III certs that had no link with PMTS. Their terminology was not the same as the external cues were not as well thought out, but the drills were identical and the movements there were instructing us to do were the same.

Here is the link on PSIA cert levels once again showing what Mechanic echos of the idea that active leg steering tips the skis.:


In the meantime I'm still working on my plain english description of why the phantom move is such a great way to teach a carved turn.
Last edited by John Mason on Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hobbit » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:35 pm

Hi Mechanic,

Sure you can count on trying my carvers -- no problem.
I am still learning the Carvers survival skills, but like Harald mentioned in his posts Carvers won't tolerate anything but the carving turn technique. That's why I believe it's a great tool for improving the skiing skills. I was just trying to describe my experience with Carvers -- they helped me to realize how much side slipping I have in my current repertoire :) .
Trying to turn to tip just does not work with Carvers: no tipping ? no turning.

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Postby Ott Gangl » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:55 pm

John, I live near Akron, Ohio, and Holiday Valley is good for me, once the snow flies let's make a date.

As far as technique goes, I ski anything, tipping, steering, not steering, inside edge, outside edge, paddle turns, wedeln, mambo, jump turns (just not so high anymore) check turns (one of my favorites), and just plain dumb carving, something that anybody can do now with ease.

Basically, skiing is easy, even good skiing is easy compared to the time spent practicing. I wonder how good one would sound putting only as many hours into insturction and practicing the violin as we do in skiing.

Good skiers are good skiers no matter how they learned and if, and from whom they took lessons.I have said it before and I say it again, skiing is easy, TEACHING skiing is difficult.

My motto in the 25 years of active teaching has always been to teach a student what they don't know. A decent instructor wil willingly jump two or three steps if the student shows the ability to advance without going through those steps. We push them until they can't perform then back up a tad.

And when I read you and many other posters espousing one way of teaching vs. another, I think that should be discussed among Ski Instructors of any ilk in a private forum, closed to non-instructors, because shop talk which is only partially understood by the lay person, if at all, can bring about misunderstood nuances taken as gospel.

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