Question for PMTS instructors

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Question for PMTS instructors

Postby ovr50skier » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:33 pm

I have a couple questions for any PMTS instructors on the forum: Those of you who are with a "traditional" ski school - do you find your PMTS acredidation is respected and can you teach the way you want to? And those of you who are unaffiliated with a ski school - what sort of issues do you encounter with giving lessons at a particular mountain? Do you carry liability insurance? does mountain management ever make it impossible to teach on your own?

Thanks - sorry if this is a repeat, I searched some first.
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby ovr50skier » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:35 pm

Reason behind above question - I am considering ski instruction, but would prefer to spend my energy toward any acredidation with PMTS not PSIA, but my "home hill" is a PSIA ski school (although many, many ski instructors are not "certified" at all) - Thanks!
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby Icanski » Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:57 pm

Hi,
I was once told that I couldn't get a job here, Canada, with PMTS, because I couldn't get insurance, so I looked into insurance, and to get it from the one company that would actually insure instructors I found, you had to have a level 1 CSIA! So it was a bit of a catch 22.

You would need to check with your home school, but consider this. YOu will probably need at least level 1 just to get a job with a ski school. That gets you in the door. Many people who want a PMTS lesson are "'seeking it out". They've bought the books, studied them and PMTS is specificaly what they want. Many ski school directors, especially ones with a real strong allegiance to the traditional schools simply won't tolerate (or understand) another approach. But, here's a valid argument for the management. (this depends if it's privately owned or resort owned). The ones who want PMTS are there only for that. The traditional instructors will say you're competing with the school. You're not, because the ones who want PMTS are there only for that. If PMTS wasn't offered, they wouldn't take a lesson with the traditional school, they'd go somewhere else. For the management, they may not care, as long as they're selling a lesson. An analogy I use is, if you have a traditional steak house and someone comes looking for seafood, if you say you don't serve seafood, they aren't going to say, "ok, then I'll have a steak." (Especially if steak made them sick last time :twisted: )
One PMTS school in Canada had a deal with the resort ( I think this is how it worked) that they would only teach people who they brought in as students to the resort. So they weren't "taking away" the walk ins, and traditional school's clients.
I keep things fairly quiet at my school, and have an arrangement with our manager that they allow me to do it. Some members of the school just don't get it and are upset by it and insist I'm competing or stealing clients. I've said to them if they want to offer the person a traditional lesson, they're welcome to do so and see what they say. None of them call my bluff. You have to feel it out. Mind you, we're a small school and don't get a lot of walk in traffice anyway. In a big resort with big politics and more walk in traffic, it may be a different matter.
The other question is the insurance one, and I would need some legal advice on that. If someone gets hurt in a lesson and you're doing what you're certified to do, it's one thing, but if you're certified in traditional and try to teach PMTS moves, which you're not certified to do, you may be in trouble. To get personal insurance is prohibitively expensive, and even so, though people know they are taking a lesson at their own risk, there is always the question of what if you take them on terrain they're not ready to handle, etc.
Would Natasha Richardson's family sue the ski school for her accident? I don't know. The situation in the States, where people tend to be more litigious than here may have something to do with it. But often it's one of those things where they sue the resort, the school, and you. But again, I'm no expert on this and that is up to you to find out.
I hope that gives you some advice. In some places there is a "school in a school" set up, which HH could explain better than I could.
Ultimately, most resorts are out to make money and if it works for them, they may allow both.
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby ovr50skier » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:26 pm

Thank you, Icanski, for such a thoughtful response. I appreciate it. I think I have an opportunity with a small, low-key school, but I'd hoped to avoid having to do even level 1 PSIA and do PMTS acredidation instead. We'll see next season, when I interview. I've got an "in" with the mountain manager and a tentative "yes" from the ski school director to teach as a sort of provisional instructor without certification....but I'm guessing that level 1 PSIA will probably be expected during the season. I see your point completely about the prospective student looking specifically for PMTS instruction. That's what I would do, too.

Cheers!
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby Baja1 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:09 pm

I would imagine it would be very frustrating to join a TTS/PSIA ski school once you understand and accept the movements of PMTS as your personal ideal. I love to teach skiing, and taught full-time, PSIA certified between 10 and 18 years ago, but I wouldn't go back to teaching in a ski school today.

A few weeks ago, I was offered a job at one of the local mountains here by a training supervisor who said he "liked my turns" and is "always looking for experienced instructors to help train the ski school." But, after watching what he and the other trainers were doing with instructor training, there is no way I would be able to get any enjoyment or fulfillment in that situation. Instructor training in those schools is based around the skills required to pass PSIA exams, which do not blend or complement PMTS skiing at all. And I'm not about to waste my time teaching novice instructors the inefficient movements they would need to pass certification exams.

Fortunately, I do not need to teach skiing (formally, professionally) to supplement my income, and so I have the freedom to go out and ski for myself, and with others who would like to learn the PMTS skills I use. I also have the opportunity to teach and share through my ski club without the encumberances of adhering to ski school policies and methodologies. And since I'm the club's committee chair for Ski Technique, most of the members take my word as gospel.

Yeah... I'm bad-ass cool like that. :twisted: :wink:


I would say that, unless there are hard-pressed reasons to join a local ski school (I can't really think of any), a PMTS advocate may be better off doing their own thing, and spreading the word through skiing with friends, social groups, and acquaintances you'll meet on the mountain. There are very few skiers that are true students, hungry to become the best skiers they can, but they'll approach you and seek your guidance if you have a heartfelt desire to share. That's exactly what I've been doing for the past couple of seasons, and I've turned several people on to Harald's books and DVD's.

My $.02
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby ovr50skier » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:28 am

I hear you, Baja1. I guess that I'm naive to think that I could help folks in the PMTS fashion from within a traditional ski school. It would be really draining to have to "fight" every day.

So I guess the question remains...for those of you who have invested the energy and time into getting your PMTS acredidation - are you finding clients? are you getting enough work? and, do any of you work in traditional ski schools and successfully teach the PMTS way? Icanski suggests that it is possible while Baja1 suggests it is hopeless :? ....anybody else?
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby h.harb » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:47 am

Most instructors, PSIA or otherwise take PMTS accreditation to further their learning using methods that work, for modern skiing techniques and to help improve their own skiing. Many PSIA instructors have tremendous difficulty achieving their own certification levels with movements PSIA teaches. They find learning to ski with PMTS movements a faster way to improving their own skiing. With PMTS movements, because they lead to good skiing, help achieve PSIA levels required for cerfication.That’s the motivation of many who seek PMTS accreditation.

Some instructors with PMTS certification have been able to work within their ski schools in private lessons using PMTS and the ski school directors know this is happening. If instructors are primarily interested in growing their private business there is no better way than using PMTS. Students immediately realize that this is a better method and therefore don’t go back to TTS instructors; as a result PMTS instructors even in tradition ski schools quickly develop returning, loyal customers.

Also, the training in PMTS, includes alignment understanding, which PSIA does not address. PMTS instructors usually work with a local ski shop to help their skiers overcome alignment problems that are holding back their learning.
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby ovr50skier » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:33 am

Wow! thank you, Harald, for helping with my question. I'm honored. :)
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Re: Question for PMTS instructors

Postby Icanski » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:36 pm

One interesting side note. When we have "sessions" with level 3 and 4s at our hill, which we're supposed to attend, I just ski with my PMTS style. Often, they don't detect what I'm doing anyway, or they tell me to "widen my stance for more stability" and things like that. That's about all I'm usually told, the other guys get more things to work on.
My director and the manager are cool with my doing PMTS, though they like it to be with people I bring in. After all, it brings in more money for lessons they otherwise wouldn't have gotten. The problem for me is that what I get for teaching the private is a really small token $$ compared to what they make off the privates.
If I teach outside, there's the issue of having to buy a lift ticket, and gas to get to the other resort, so it's tough to get much ahead.
I remember when I got my first cert, asking the conductors how to negotiate your fees with a ski school. They both smiled and one finally said, "You think you're going to make money doing this?!"
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