PMTS Perception vs Reality

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PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:21 pm

Over the years I have always been a big defender of keeping a person's perception of their skiing in line with the reality of what they are actually doing in their skiing. One might even call it a pet peeve. I often say that I do my best to practice what I preach. In short this means that whether teaching or simply skiing I make it my goal to be doing what I say I'm doing. Are you REALLY doing what you say you are doing, and when you're told that you're not, what are you doing to change it - if anything?

What seems to be a more common occurrence [especially in the MA forum] is a person's perception of their skiing, and more importantly, their use of PMTS movements, is very far from reality. I don't want anyone to feel like I'm singling their skiing out, but when your skiing is being reviewed take an honest look at what is happening. Are you really doing what you think you're doing? PMTS is not about regurgitating words from a book. If you're not making the effort to put those words into practice and change your perception of your skiing, they start to mean very little unfortunately.

Several recent MA threads are simply not PMTS movements [sorry]. It is great that they are trying to be (and finding PMTS is the best first step a skier can make), but they aren't PMTS movements. If you're not showing these movements in any of your skiing your goal should be to go ONE MOVEMENT AT A TIME and LEARN THEM PROPERLY. Start with tipping. Doing the drills wrong won't help your skiing. Doing too many drills that work on too many different movements won't help your skiing. Pick and few drills that work one or MAYBE two Essentials. Do them until you not only can do the drill properly, but can also show the results in your skiing.

When I practice movements I don't do every drill that Harald has published. I use a few that really work for me and I only work one movement area at a time. A camera in this process should probably be considered another Essential - film free skiing and drills. When starting out, the drills are more important. If you don't look like the numerous videos that are published, you aren't doing it right. Of course when using a camera you can only coach yourself to your level of understanding of PMTS - so it will never replace real-life PMTS coaching.

No matter how you approach your skiing, the first step is to get your perception of your skiing in line with reality, or you will never get anything out of any of the coaching you receive because you will be living in a false reality. Remember, PMTS is great coaching, but as Harald says, it also takes dedicated skiers. As we see with guys like John, Max, and several others, the results of that combination are limitless.

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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby jbotti » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:39 pm

With the aim of continuing to make this the best ski instruction site in the world, I think Greg makes some excellent points. As has been said many times, it really is perfect practice only that makes perfect movements and the other thing we know about practice is that it makes things permanent. Perfect practice makes prefect movements permanent, and well, imperfect prcatice makes imperfect movements permanent.

Everyone learns differently. What I can do is talk about the way I Iearn, which BTW is very different than the way that Max learns. I am a feel skier by nature and an intuitve learner and I need to see, digest and feel the movements. I have a better shot at copying them being done before my eyes than I do of seeing pictures in a book and then duplicating it on the hill. I personally do not think that I could have become a good PMTS skier by myself without presonal on the hill intsruction. Max however is someone that became an excellent PMTS skier soley through reading the books, reading on the forum and watching video of himself.

The common thread here is some sort of objective eye (Harald and or Diana in my case and video at night in the case of Max) that confirms or denies if we are producing the movements correctly. Without finding a way to get this feedback and or give it to yourself, your progress will be slower.

I think that we all should take of the kid gloves in the MA. The last thing anyone wants is for MA to so harsh and ugly that no one wants to post their video. What we all should be looking for is the kind of commentary that I got back from Kiwi via Harald, where he really broke down one of my flaws and was able to show me and everyone else with pictures exactly what wasn't happening in my skiing. In general I think much of the MA that is being given is too congratulatory and does not contain enough meat. I am guilty of this myself. When I see video where there are not a lot of quality PMTS movements I tend to shy away from saying anything. We all need to stop doing this. Harald give the time that he can, but he can't give huge feedback on evbery MA request. There are enough qualified PMTS skiers to give some quliaty feedback and we all need to in a more direct fashion. When Harald has the time, it's a great bonus.

As well, with MA, everyone needs to be ther own worst critic. You should be seeing and finding and understanding your flaws before everyone else does. It has been several years for me where I cannot see most of my skiing flaws immediately in every clip that is shot. I will admit that it does take some time to develop this, but everyone is capable of getting to this level. When you know what you aren't getting right in your skiing, the discussion then moves to what drills and movements do you need to practice for you to advance. This is where Harald is amazing. He not onlly tells you what to practice, he will tell you in advance what to watch out for while you are doing the drill.

I think we can all really up the ante on the MA, and with forum instruction and direction. Hopefully we will all move in this direction.

Lastly, if you fit into the category of learner that is more like me than Max, get yourself in a HSS camp soon. It will make all the difference.

I personally am aiming for race camp at Hood.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby MonsterMan » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:06 pm

I think some of MA eyes here don't know what it's like to only ski on an occasional vacation. You need to remember that what may look like incomplete movements to you may feel like a huge change to the skier. Without before and after video it's difficult to know this, however, as an example, if a video of a vacation skier shows no horrible up and around move, I think there is a fair chance that the skier has actually made some big changes using the correct, (but not perfected), movements to get to that stage.

Please remember this when you state that PMTS movements are not being used.

Several recent MA threads are simply not PMTS movements [sorry].


I'm sure no offense was intended, however some of us have to go through very small steps as we change, (often with years between seeing snow), and what the skier feels should not necessarily be discounted as being not PMTS.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:16 pm

MonsterMan wrote:what the skier feels should not necessarily be discounted as being not PMTS.


No offense was intended at all. Your example is the perfect perception versus reality example. The skier feels a change, but they still aren't using the correct movement that they are striving for. We should not be cheer leading the perception of change, but rather striving for real movement improvements. Just because a skier changes something and recognizes it as different, does not mean it is automatically PMTS. TTS teaching lets these kinds of things slide by without being noticed, thus the student gets nothing out of the instruction. We don't. As I said before though, they key is having a student who is dedicated to seeing the "real" and reconciling that what they perceived [the "feel"] did not deliver the result they were intending. PMTS is a great measuring stick; we need to be sure it is used.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby h.harb » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:19 pm

This is a great thread and it's to some extent why Leo Bloom could not cut it here. If you read a TTS or Epic MA, they always begin with, "There are many good things going on in your skiing". And if you look one layer deeper, that statement doesn't hold water. So why begin with it. If there are good things, say what they are. If it's not there, you're not doing it and you're not doing anyone any favors by saying it, unless it's true.

Soft MA does no one any good, it's a momentary "feel good" for the skier, but it's useless on the slopes when you have to go out and ski. Also it just a gimmick to set you up for what's coming next, which is what that poster sees, usually what you are doing wrong. Cheerleading is really false praise, you hear it so much in TTS lessons, it's sickening. Cheerleading is for instructors who don't know how to get results. Personally I'm insulted when someone blows smoke up my ass. And really, who can't see through it?


As far as my involvement in MA, I can't respond to every MA, and critic every MA given by others when a request for MA is put up. If I get the chance and I see misdirected MA, I try to validate or repair it. Since this is the reality, others need to help when I'm busy or traveling at times. If something doesn't make sense, speak up or PM the poster and ask what they meant. Everyone gets a chance to make an error in MA, as long as they see it as a learning experience, everyone benefits.

The MA is mostly better here than on any web site I've seen, and those who have worked with us, who are posting on this forum, have developed a good eye for PMTS skiing. As you begin to participate here, don't just throw out a question for every little recommendation. Do some homework before, read the books and try the exercises recommended, search the Forum; it's filled with a huge wealth of information, you won't find anywhere else. And it is useful, there are volumes in the archives, information most ski instructors will never know.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby arothafel » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:55 am

My 2 cents....

What I see in the MA section is too much free skiing (myself included) and not enough drills. Carver HK must have posted at least 10 videos of his TFRs. He received lots of honest feedback. And, he improved.

If we're not doing the drills correctly how can we possibly be skiing PMTS correctly? Plus, no doubt, the drills will "showcase" weaknesses or technically correct movements as that's exactly what they are designed to do. As you say, Harald, momentum and speed cover weakness.

So, perhaps, in the end, if we're really serious about good solid MA, we should video our drills to validate we're doing things right in the first place.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby jbotti » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:51 am

I think there is value in getting MA on both drills and free skiing. I try to make the video I put up be very focused skiing where I am working on specific things in it. I also think that some of the video we are seeing is coming on more difficult terrain and at times the quality movements are not present in the more difficult terrain. This is the PMTS koan: You need to ski steeper and more diffcult terrain to learn how to ski it, but going in for intermediates usually means that many quality PMTS movemenst go by the wayside. The point that needs to be made is that it can be very difficult to get quality MA when one is in terrain that is necessitating the use of rotary and pivoting and lacks early tipping, flexing, counterbalance and counteracting movements!!

Most intermediate skiers are going to get much more out of MA if they show their best attempst at quality PMTS movements on groomed terrain. Start on easy terrain. The move to basic blue terrain nd the on to steep groomed terrain. If the movements are not holding up here in this progerssion, they for sure are not going to hold up in steeper off piste terrain.

Everyone wnats to be a great off piste skier!! Practicing default movements off piste will not get anyone there. Practice the movements til they are prefect on the terrain than will allow this and then slowly progress to more difficult terrain. Get MA along each step of the way. You will soon be skiing off piste better than ever, with less time spent there (and yes skiing well in bumps does take time in the bumps but it will never happen if you go into the bumps each time and start pivoting and rotating!!).
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby Max_501 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:53 am

What the developing skier feels rarely matches the movements they are making as many of us that have attended camps and had daily video MA know. Often a PMTS movement will feel odd or incorrect to a student with ingrained TTS movements. If the movement feels good or right then chances are the student isn't doing the PMTS movement correctly. It takes many many runs of doing a drill for a new movement before it will become natural feeling (CB and CA still do not feel natural to me).

Is PMTS an all of nothing system?

If you are already making PMTS movements but not doing enough of a movement then the MA will tell you to tip more, CB more, or whatever more. However, if you aren't making the movements then the MA will suggest working on drills for tipping, counter acting, etc. Generally there isn't any short cut of 'just do X' and you'll be doing the PMTS movement. Now, you might be doing something minor that is inhibiting a PMTS movement, for example dropping the inside hand which causes you to lose the CB you had or stopping the tipping to the LTE which causes you to lose the tipping you had. But in those cases the PMTS movement was already there and then lost due to X so the MA can address this. But, if a skier is starting a turn with a slight stem the fix is to move to tipping rather than stemming. There are various drills one can do to learn tipping and the books have detailed step by step instructions on how this is best accomplished. Therefore, you'll often see the MA say go back to Book 1 and work on the drills in the book and verify the outcome of those drills with video (because we can't rely on feeling).

Harald has provided a detailed road map to expert skiing. Its up to each skier to decide how diligent they want to be in following Harald's system to attain the expert skiing level. There aren't any short cuts. Follow the steps in book 1 and then book 2 if you want to be making PMTS movements on advanced terrain. Use video often to verify the movements you are making. Post video on the forum if/when you need additional feedback. Be open to MA that states the movements shown are not PMTS movements and more work is needed at the fundamental level.

Note that The Talent Code explains why deep practice (PMTS drills) works and also why skiing advanced terrain before you have mastered the fundamentals can delay your progress. Practice makes perfect and if you are using incorrect movements you'll end up with a perfect set of incorrect movements. Freeskiing terrain that is more advanced than you are ready for will inevitably lead to non PMTS movement patterns (generally a mix of active rotary and extension movements).

For skiers that cannot be on snow often we suggest including extensive dryland training that builds PMTS movements to the point that they are stronger than your non-PMTS movements when on snow. Carvers would be a big help a well as the tipping board and other things you can think of that mimic PMTS movements.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby jclayton » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:37 am

I second Max501's recomendation about dryland training , especially the HarbCarvers . If you work on these doing drills you will be able to ski your 14 days without that day or two initial acclimatisation plus you can post video during the offseason and get MA as valuable as the on snow variety . The only thing that you can't drill effectively is exaggerated fore-aft movements , for obvious reasons .

All the other stuff , feet together , free foot pull back ( gently ) constantly through the turn , CA , CB , releases and timing , pole plant etc etc can be improved . In fact Harald once said most people will improve quicker with Harb Carvers than on the snow . It is quite demanding , plus there is not the sensual distraction of spectacular terrain .
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby ToddW » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:57 am

It's an uphill battle no matter what... whether you have few days or many on snow. Harald still fights an uphill battle to improve his skiing. As magnificent as her skiing was when I first met her 3 years ago, Diana's skiing is even better now. It's a never ending struggle to improve. Modest mileage with meticulous movements will take you much farther than slightly sloppier movements with 10x the mileage.

Read through Harald's posts from the inception of the forum (names HRH, Harald, h.harb) His posts contain plenty of examples of skiers who achieve pretty high levels of skiing with only modest days on the slopes. Many of them learned to ski as adults. One post that has always stuck in my mind is about a lady from NY with few days on snow who did well.

Harald in thread Supershapes for the Average Skier posted in 2006 wrote:I skied today with a lady from New York, who could pass as a ski instructor at any of the resorts. She skis ten days a year. I know that if she took a lesson at a well know resort, the instructor she would be assigned to would not be able to advance her skiing. Even though she is not an instructor, her skill and knowledge is beyond the average line instructor at most resorts. I believe it because I see it and I trained line instrucors for years.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby h.harb » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:50 am

ToddW wrote:
Modest mileage with meticulous movements will take you much farther than slightly sloppier movements with 10x the mileage.


I can support that with proof many times over. I know skiers who ski 10 days a season and ski much better than other skiers who ski all season. The all season skiers free ski most of the time. They dabble in PMTS, but mostly, they are free skiing. Everyday you ski incorrectly or go back to your old movements, that erases what you worked on, prior to that, if you aren't skiing with the correct movement order.

In every case, where skiers have read the books and even participated on the forum and say they can do a Phantom Move, when I eventually see them ski, they are not doing a Phantom Move. They maybe lifting the ski, but the inside ski of the previous turn has already pushed to a big toe edge before the lift. Skiers don't practice riding on the inside ski or balancing on the inside ski.

The reason, not enough accurate feedback, it's their perception they are skiing with PMTS. The biggest failure is, not tipping the inside ski to the end of the arc", and holding that tipped ski "on it's little toe edge", while the other ski is released. It is simple, no ski system in the world is as simple to understand.

Standing on the inside ski has to do with improving balance and being properly aligned. All you have to do to test yourself is to practice the "one footed release". Using that turn for self MA is far better than sending free skiing MA to the forum.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby h.harb » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:15 pm

The reality that many skiers don't want to hear is, "You have to practice", even if you were once doing it correctly. I love to practice, you name the sport it doesn't matter, I like the practice phase. When I practice I see results. I guess I have that, "If it's not worth doing right, it's not worth doing at all." in me. Must be an upbringing thing, let's not go there.

I have posted time and time again, I always work on my skiing. Stenmark always worked on his skiing. Richie Berger always works on his skiing. Or else you will lose the good movements. I know this from good skiers I see skiing after a year or two layoff. It happens in everything, tennis players have to practice, not just play games. Rock climbing is possibly the most obvious sport in which this is true, because there is no fooling yourself. If you try to climb the same difficulty, at the beginning of the season where you left off, you will be hurting. With Rock climbing you either sent it, (climb to the top, make it up) or you fall. Reality is always in your face. In rock climbing there is none of that " What a great job of climbing BS", when you fall off. You either "sent it" or you didn't.

I think this is to some degree the case in every sport, but not as obvious in some. In Tennis it's obvious, you either lose, the balls go long or into the net. The consequences are obvious. A poor tennis player knows he's a poor tennis player. Wish it were so obvious with the skiing of ski instructors.
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Re: PMTS Perception vs Reality

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:37 pm

I’ve always been a champion of aligning perception to reality. The post that started this thread, was actually the off-shoot to a post I made on EpicSki [RIP] years earlier as a way to show that commonly in traditional instruction circles, the perception of [an instructor’s] ‘high performance skiing’ is meaningfully misaligned with reality. I started the thread here as a way to prompt PMTS skiers to not fall victim to the same trap. In this spirit, I thought it might be relevant to update this thread, specifically as the concept applies to our MA forum.

I’ve argued for a while that there are three approaches skiers can take to develop their skiing:
1) Do nothing
2) Absorb tips and tricks to improve the skiing movements you already own
3) Build or rebuild your skiing using a world class technical model / approach

Since you’re all here—you’ve chosen #3 (in-case you weren’t already aware).

During this journey it is important that:
  • The student chooses a technical target (e.g. a PMTS demo [turn, drill, etc.] to emulate)
  • The student has a (real-life, in-person, living, breathing, must fog a mirror, pulse required) [PMTS] coach, even if touch-points with said coach are less frequent (e.g. PMTS camps)
  • The student must take responsibility for their own improvement (e.g. self-coach—do REAL analysis of your own skiing)
  • The student must maintain a fitness level that enables them to meet their desired outcomes (e.g. don’t ask us when you’re 50lbs over-weight and haven’t seen the inside of a gym in years what you need to change in your skiing to ski like Reilly)

Now that we have that out of the way let’s reconsider perception vs. reality for a moment. The goal remains—keep the perception of one’s skiing in line with one’s actual skiing. Additionally, it should be the responsibility of every student to also understand their ‘target state’ or in this case the PMTS model of skiing—and if the student is ‘self-coaching’ appropriately they will understand the gap between their skiing and their target skiing. This means KNOW THE MATERIALS! Read a book.

This takes me to posting video for movement analysis. Live coaching, taking video, and self-coaching are the tools to ensure that practice is effective—that the skier is aligning what they think they are doing, what they are doing, and what they want to be doing. The forum is not a substitute for live coaching or self-coaching. The forum can identify the SMIM, but the practice needs to be done to work on it and improve over time. Practice and interim performance checkpoints must be owned by the learner if their quest to improve is to be taken seriously by those who dedicate the time to helping them (whether it be in-person OR over the internet). SMIMs will not change from week to week or day to day. Many skiers who have become top-level PMTS skiers can attest that they have had the same SMIM for multiple SEASONS, and have often revisited the same SMIM multiple times during their journey.

This is why we see video posted less frequently by high level PMTS skiers. They post video when there is a meaningful step-change in performance—when they have verified (video, self-coaching) that they have achieved a level of execution with their SMIM that is close enough to their TARGET that it may be time to move on to the next most important movement—but they have not had an in-person touch-point with their coach since that step-change in performance occurred.
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