What are instructors that can't teach effective movements?

PMTS Forum

What are instructors that can't teach effective movements?

Postby h.harb » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:58 pm

Some will say they are idiots.
Letter to Irwin responding to his e-mail.
Hi Irwin,

Interesting topic, here are some thoughts.

I look at the situation and challenges of learning how skiing works, from this point of view. What I find lacking when people can't figure out movement or order of movements that creates skiing, is based in the lack of the following understandings:

Self awareness of movement
Visual interpretation of movements
Recognition of forces acting on the body, on the slope
Recognition of forces acting through the body
Simple mechanics of skis
Feel and understanding of balance.
Body movement: isolating one movement, while creating with another

Finding these things lacking, I don't feel is caused by being an idiot. I'd rather say, it's just not part of the gifts inherently possessed by humans. However, there are exceptions, and those exceptions are reserved for gifted humans in these disciplines. Some are born with and have an inherently complete knowledge of every category I listed above. Obviously helped by some basic education, but after that, it comes to them easily and develops through further investigation and experimentation.

Most skiers and ski educators don't have this gift, even those high on the instruction food chain in national organizations.

The rest of us have to learn, either by rote memory, repetition, or step by step duplication. Most people don't immediately translate even correct, effective movement information, into their bodies. And even if they do, restructuring and delivering these movements for others to learn is a elusive skill on higher level.

This becomes obvious when you watch hundreds of instructors trying to produce highly effective movement lessons for the masses, that they can't interpret. It's just not happening! Only 1 out of 10 instructors naturally and inherently grasp "to us that know" a logical progression. We all know how difficult it is to produce logical, easy to achieve step by step, movement progressions that achieve an effective ski turn.

If this were not the case, you wouldn't have convoluted ski systems all over the alpine skiing world that actually harm human movement learning, rather then helping. The examples I draw on to be able to express these comments come from observation of traditional ski instruction. We know this by observing results from thousands of instructors in the world, that buy into totally ineffective movements for skiers. If the theories you describe about idiots were the case, it would mean idiots dominate the ski teaching landscape. Is it legit to call almost 99% of ski instructors idiots, or would it be preferable to categorize them as less gifted or uninterested?

From a survival, practical and physiological point of view, if you don't have the observation skills or you are limited in the rest of the abilities I listed above; you have to invent other methods by which you can interpret the sport, based on limitations you possess. An analogy might be, if you didn't understand how to make rubber for bike tires, you might end up with wooden rims. Sure they work and you can ride on wooden tires, but is it the best way? Yes, it's the best way, "for you", if you don't know rubber. Your solution for a wheel to work with materials at hand is solely based on your understanding of what is available to you.

One conclusion could be, sure idiots all, except for a few gifted and interested. However, I would rather take the road that tells me; everyone can learn from the gifted if they are motivated to learn. Then you would be able to say, idiots are the ones that don't want to investigate and learn from the best performers. That is, if those performers have figured out how to convey movements, to achieve the best performances.

Fun topic,

HH
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 6701
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby skijim13 » Tue May 02, 2017 8:41 am

Great message, I looked for another method to ski because TTS did not make sense from basis physics. I asked TSS high level trainers how you could steer a leg you had balance on it and the answer I received was based on a believe with no facts to back it up. This is why PMTS attracts independent thinkers looking for a more logical way to ski, it is based on mechanics that make sense to a logical person. I can attest after being at a recent TTS event nothing has changed and they still work on things that really have no science behind the movements.
skijim13
 
Posts: 465
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 9:17 am
Location: Nazareth PA USA

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby h.harb » Tue May 02, 2017 12:41 pm

Thanks, welcome to freedom of thought and movement expression! It's about the skiing, a skiing that is satisfying and rewarding. The masses don't realize what they are missing.
If your motivation is to move up the ladder and get a good paying job in the ski industry, forget the idea of serving the people well. The corporate avenue to ski employment that is financially rewarding is to give up your soul or keep a blind eye to reality.
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 6701
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby Vailsteve » Tue May 02, 2017 2:31 pm

Harald speaks the truth...there is a massive group mentality that permeates the larger ski industry. I live in it every ski season.

And, like any job in any industry, there are spoken and unspoken rules that must be followed if one wants to climb that particular corporate ladder. That is just a reality.

HH was able to carve his own niche through intense dedication and EXTREME hard work. As a veteran of four startups, my hat is tipped to what he and Diana have achieved. They chose the "hard" way, and yes, creating a business was/is extremely hard.

I am just thankful I found HARB Ski Systems before it was too late. While I will never be a really good skier (nerd engineer here...), I am so much better than I was. And yes, I am thankful that I work on Vail mountain, where my supervisors pretty much do let me work/ski/teach pretty much however I want.

Sometimes it is good to be old and free...

VailSteve
Vailsteve
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby tarnaby » Wed May 03, 2017 2:24 pm

What are instructors that can't teach effective movements?

Incompetent.

Here is just one example:

those of us who have been fortunate enough to access the bible of technical skiing (i.e. the consolidated publications, media, forum, etc. of PMTS) realize how important inside foot/leg management is in skiing. We know how important it is to be: tipping our inside foot, flexing our inside leg and pulling back our feet. Massive, massive, massive stuff in terms of skiing....and yet, I've never heard an instructor mention this to a student. Never. I am on ski hills a lot.

(I apologize in advance to VailSTeve - I'm sure you do mention this stuff, but I've never heard an instructor talk about it. IMO, the primary reason they don't talk about it is that they don't know about it.)

Malcolm Gladwell could write a great article on how weird it is that the ski industry does not 100% embrace PMTS as the way to teach skiing. Weird.
tarnaby
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 6:15 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby marsound » Wed May 03, 2017 4:33 pm

I was skiing at a smaller resort in the Tahoe area this season, and witnessed something rather surprising (at least in my experience): while riding up the lift, I watched an instructor teaching a class of beginners/intermediates on a green slope below. The instructor was up above them, ready to give a demo. Instead of the usual stem/wedgie move I've seen countless times, he does a two-footed release into an excellent Phantom move. I thought - oh, that class is lucky! They probably had no idea what they were being taught...

One example, but it was heartening.
User avatar
marsound
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:40 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby Vailsteve » Wed May 03, 2017 7:51 pm

Hi Tarnaby

In general you are absolutely right...most PSIA instructors have never heard of inside foot management, or the phantom move, what a release is, or even tipping as opposed to steering/rotary (although tipping is in the PSIA teaching manual).

However, there are some out there. At Vail, there are multiple instructors who either know HH personally -- i.e. Worked with Harald when he was at WinterPark or even going all the way back to when Harald was on the US demo team. My first year mentor worked with Harald then (yes we are getting old!).

Our ex-training manager (who is now at Telluride), worked with HH at winter park. Same with one of the trainers ...and she uses much if the language of PMTS in her clinics. They may not like Harald, but they ALL say he made them a better skier. And as I have repeatedly mentioned, there are several of us in the locker room who try our best to emulate Harald, Diana, Geoffda, et all.

I have a Harb Ski sticker on my boots, and at least one or twice a season it is noticed and commented on. Many think PMTS is just "just direct to parallel", but some of them really are interested. So we ski a few runs and have fun.

One problem with traditional ski lessons is the short amount of time one has with a student. As we know, PMTS is really a lifetime of learning. Very, very few guests have the time, money or dedication to fully immerse themselves-- they really just want to have fun AND gain a sense of accomplishment at the end of their 3,5 7, whatever, day vacation.

Getting out of the damm wedge is the single biggest request I get from my adult guests! Given the short time frame, I emphasis just two things...balance on the outside foot, and initiating the turn by lifting/tipping the inside foot i.e. the phantom move. Just focusing on these two things is mind blowing for many. One day is enough to get them to feel a completely different way to ski. Multiple days let them feel a sense of control they never had on blue and black runs.

I TOTALLY agree that it is just a shame that PMTS is not the approved teaching progressio. It is so, so much better. But, virtually the entire skiing world (and I mean the entire WORLD) starts with the wedge progression. The US, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia-- you pick it. All the ski schools start the same.

It is what it is.

VailSteve.
Vailsteve
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby CO_Steve » Wed May 03, 2017 8:56 pm

Vailsteve wrote:One problem with traditional ski lessons is the short amount of time one has with a student. As we know, PMTS is really a lifetime of learning. Very, very few guests have the time, money or dedication to fully immerse themselves-- they really just want to have fun AND gain a sense of accomplishment at the end of their 3,5 7, whatever, day vacation.


Steve,
This reminded me of a conversation I had on the chair at Snowmass with an Aspen instructor. Below us was another instructor leading a small group of teens. They were skiing a relatively steep groomed run. The instructor was making some pretty nice turns even by pmts standards. The guy on the chairs comments that "Jake is really laying them down today". I notice that the class following him is completely outmatched, skiing in the power wedge to survive and try to keep up. I said "gee, it doesn't look like his class is getting much out of it". His comment back was that our guests only ski a week or two every year and it isn't expected that they improve. :roll:

Actually this seems logical in some way. Teach an ineffective system, get poor results, stop caring about results.
User avatar
CO_Steve
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:32 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby Vailsteve » Wed May 03, 2017 10:13 pm

Hi Steve. Hope you are enjoying Aspen! Miss skiing with you from the summit gang...

And, agree. You just reinforced Harald's post above. Sad.

VailSteve.
Vailsteve
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby A.L.E » Thu May 04, 2017 12:21 am

CO_Steve wrote:
Vailsteve wrote:One problem with traditional ski lessons is the short amount of time one has with a student. As we know, PMTS is really a lifetime of learning. Very, very few guests have the time, money or dedication to fully immerse themselves-- they really just want to have fun AND gain a sense of accomplishment at the end of their 3,5 7, whatever, day vacation.


Steve,
This reminded me of a conversation I had on the chair at Snowmass with an Aspen instructor. Below us was another instructor leading a small group of teens. They were skiing a relatively steep groomed run. The instructor was making some pretty nice turns even by pmts standards. The guy on the chairs comments that "Jake is really laying them down today". I notice that the class following him is completely outmatched, skiing in the power wedge to survive and try to keep up. I said "gee, it doesn't look like his class is getting much out of it". His comment back was that our guests only ski a week or two every year and it isn't expected that they improve. :roll:

Actually this seems logical in some way. Teach an ineffective system, get poor results, stop caring about results.



I skied 9 days at Snowmass in January and all I ever saw was instructor & groups playing follow the leader. When the instructor stopped it was only seconds after that the first of the group arrived with the rest filing in straight after. Perhaps they get a bit more interested in the student when it's a big bucks private lesson?
User avatar
A.L.E
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:18 am
Location: sydney australia

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby CO_Steve » Thu May 04, 2017 3:01 am

A.L.E wrote:I skied 9 days at Snowmass in January and all I ever saw was instructor & groups playing follow the leader. When the instructor stopped it was only seconds after that the first of the group arrived with the rest filing in straight after. Perhaps they get a bit more interested in the student when it's a big bucks private lesson?


Sadly it is the norm there. On only a few occasions have I seen a lesson where they are teaching something I would consider useful and actually paying attention to the student's skiing.
I've had conversations with some instructors about how it works there. Apparently the goal is to establish a long term clientele that requests to ski with you the entire time they're on vacation year after year. You get invited to their house, go on other vacations with their family, and generally become the "ski butler". It's sort of a "hire a friend" situation. Ski instructing is a small part of the job, which is good because most don't have the skills anyway.
User avatar
CO_Steve
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:32 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby tarnaby » Thu May 04, 2017 12:28 pm

Great points. I forget (all the time) that not everyone (very few people?) are actually interested/fascinated with developing their skiing ability such that they are able to go from outside ski to outside ski/ arc to arc, or whatever name you want to put on it. If this is what fascinates you about skiing, PMTS is the only thing that I've come across that provides a path. I've seen nothing else that will get you there....but as y'all point out, many skiers (most?) are just looking to have a fun ski vacation and are not necessarily interested in beginning a path to expert skiing.

Funny thing is that one of the greatest things that could ever happen to the ski industry would be if hordes of guests became fascinated with technical skiing.
tarnaby
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 6:15 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby CO_Steve » Thu May 04, 2017 6:31 pm

I've given a bunch of "intro to pmts" lessons to friends who couldn't wait to get to the hill again. People may not be motivated because no one has shown them that there is a path.
User avatar
CO_Steve
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:32 pm

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby skijim13 » Fri May 05, 2017 3:51 am

Many of my friends have mixed feeling on PMTS, they know it has improved our skiing. However, most people believe that good skiing equals speed down the mountain not good form and movements. I see a similar thing at the gym people use very high amount of weight and build no real muscle since they do not use good form.
skijim13
 
Posts: 465
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 9:17 am
Location: Nazareth PA USA

Re: What are instructors that can't teach effective movement

Postby Vailsteve » Fri May 05, 2017 6:57 am

skijim13 wrote:Many of my friends have mixed feeling on PMTS, they know it has improved our skiing. However, most people believe that good skiing equals speed down the mountain not good form and movements.


skijim13, you really nailed it-- speed = good skiing. NOT! But that is such a prevailing attitude.

As some of you know, I wear both the blue and red jackets on the mountain, and one of my red jacket duties is "speeder control". We can pull passes for agregious behavior.

I was once asked what the most important tip I could give to a skier. I replyed if only skiers could feel the exhilaration of a perfect turn-- the "pop" coming out of one turn into the next, the building of the g-forces, that feeling of perfect control. NOT bombing straight down the mountain...ANYONE can do that. Turning/arcing is just flat out FUN!

To me, PMTS was the first and only path that showed me that possibility. I don't get it every turn, but I sure try. And when I do get it, it it pure bliss.

VailSteve.
Vailsteve
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:08 pm

Next

Return to Primary Movements Teaching System

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests