Race Coaching lesson plans

PMTS Forum

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:08 pm

Let's not forget that a key tenet or guiding principle of coaching PMTS is to be able to demonstrate PMTS. We aren't just blowing hot air like traditional coaches often do. It is not enough to say the right stuff, but you also must be able to do the right stuff. As coaches, we didn't wake up one day and say "I'm going to teach PMTS from now on." We learned it first, using hours of video, performance checks, drills, lessons with other PMTS coaches, etc. Given you're about to stand up in front of a bunch of coaches, parents and athletes and say "I have a better way than, say, skills quest" you had better bring your A-game. FWIW (and others can confirm this), it is a rare day that a skier with no in-person PMTS coaching is actually skiing with expert-level PMTS movements... even the best are often lacking one or more Essentials in their skiing. This is the minimum requirement if you're going to coach racers.

If you don't out-ski the parents, coaches and athletes, you're going to have a very difficult time getting buy-in to do something that goes against the convention of a traditional race program or the USSA. Video analysis on the forum or, even better, in-person PMTS coaching, will confirm if you're walking the talk. Read PMTS Perception vs. Reality.

The most important buy-in is from the athletes you are coaching. You need to ski at a level that makes them respect what you're bringing to the table and better-yet, ski at a level that they aspire to reach (e.g. if I do what my coach says, I'll ski like my coach... vs. if I ski like my coach, I'll finish DFL). Kids will see through what you're saying and whatever your background is (title and experience don't impress young athletes... skiing does), look at what you're doing, and decide if the emperor has no clothes. If they reach that conclusion, you've lost them. If you lose credibility in the eyes of your athletes, you may never get it back. You'll become another weekend warrior coach that gets nods and smiles between runs where athletes are desperately trying to figure it out on their own. If your athletes are improving you'll have their support and support from the parents vs. push-back. Your goal should be to have parents begging you to coach their kids because what you bring is different, unique and highly valued... not wishing you'd just be like all the other coaches.

If you haven't already done-so, get on the HSS website and order every book available (especially the coaches manual). You'll need to know every drill and approach for every movement... not every drill works the same way for every athlete/skier. The more experience you have doing it yourself, will cultivate a deeper understanding of pitfalls, internal and external cues, proper way to demo, and multiple approaches to deliver the same movement outcome.
Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

www.youtube.com/c/heluvaskier
User avatar
HeluvaSkier
 
Posts: 1392
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:29 pm
Location: Western New York

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby Vailsteve » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:17 pm

This has been an interesting thread for me to follow as I ski with a TON of PSIA level 3's, trainers and examiners almost every day. Two weeks ago we go just finished our week long training for instructors and everybody who is anybody at Vail was on the mountain. Everybody was trying to ski their best.

My only comment is that skiing with PMTS movements can and does elicit favorable comments--nice turns!--even among the most hard core PSIA
adherents. They may not know exactly what I am doing, (tipping and foot pullback being my two primary focussed movements this season), but those movements put me in the top group after the first day. And I am not even a good PMTS skier yet! PMTS truly does stand out.

as to "precisionchiro" posts, I would like to say you do have a very good background. and without knowing you at all, my sense is that you will be a VERY good coach. Your receptivity to try and utilize PMTS speaks volumes about keeping an open mind. MAX501 was right to ask about your background and your response was right on. Parents will react positively to your credentials. In a funny way, being at your smaller mountain may be the best place for you...at Vail, pieces of paper mean so much-- yet produce so little in real results. I think this is true -the Vail race program has never produced a world cup racer....but Vail is the best! Not! . Herald would know better than I if this is true...

Anyway, call Peter at Welch and enjoy building a race program. And come to Colorado! The snow is absolutely awesome!!
Vailsteve
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby Max_501 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:30 am

I think @Bolter built a race program around PMTS with good results.
User avatar
Max_501
 
Posts: 4059
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby noobSkier » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:56 pm

Good points HeluvaSkier, clearly you have first hand experience!
User avatar
noobSkier
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:35 am
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby geoffda » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:26 am

Max_501 wrote:I think @Bolter built a race program around PMTS with good results.

This. Bolter took over an existing program and completely blew it up. IIRC from conversations with him, he did exactly what precisionichiro is talking about. He minimized gate training and went back to teaching fundamentals on easier terrain. He wouldn't let kids race until they were properly prepared and capable of experiencing success--which meant less kids going to fewer races than all of the surrounding programs.. He would be a good person to talk to to understand how he got buy-in from parents, what kind of blowback he got, and how he handled it. My understanding is that the program he ran was incredibly successful during his tenure.
User avatar
geoffda
 
Posts: 857
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:42 am
Location: Copper Mountain, CO

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby precisionchiro » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:21 pm

Welp.

We just finished our first day training this weekend (Sunday got rained out), so I wanted to report back to you guys here. It was an informal “getting back on the snow” first day out, I think the program gets structured and serious after the holidays. The ski season here is pretty short, typically starting some time in December, maybe late November if we’re lucky, and ending mid-March.

About half the kids in the program came out, and most of the coaches. I, along with 3 other coaches took the U16’s, and one U19 joined us, about 15 kids in the group. We all stayed together, and one of the “experienced” coaches (I’m guessing a dad who has coached there for several years) was sort of the group leader. I shadowed most of it, which is what I was hoping to do the first day or two to get a feel for what goes on in this race program.

Sigh.

Yikes.

Yikes Yikes Yikes.

YIIIIIIIIIKKKKEEESSSSSSSS.

Where do I begin.

HeluvaSkier, man you nailed it. Ever since my instructor days in the 90’s, I made sure my skiing and demos were always above ANY student I may encounter. Oh Lordy.......the top 20+% kids/racers in the program over the age of 14 out-ski 80% of the coaches I saw on the hill by a noticeable margin. I was actually taken aback when 5-6 of the kids in our group skied much better than the other 3 coaches. And I never realized how hard it would be to be an observer, witnessing these teenagers getting some of the worst coaching advice I could imagine.

The lead coach, word for word, presenting “long leg, short leg.” He is a Level 100 coach.

“So OK… who can tell me how to make a strong turn in a race course? What do we have to do? (I’m thinking, what the hell kind of question is this). C’mon, you returning guys should know this. Remember? It’s that strong outside hip! Right? (I’m already dreading where this is going) Who can show me a strong outside hip?”

He takes off his skis. We are standing on a slight pitch.

“So. Strong outside hip needs what?? We need to raise that hip UP, and straighten that leg, guys. Show me. Like this… we extennnnnnd that leg straight, lift that hip and LOCK IT. Show me. See? That’s how we get on that ski nice and strong. Right? And what else? Remember? What about the shoulders? The shoulders what? They stay what? They stay PARALLEL and square with the hips. Right? Our shoulders and hips never get out of alignment. Nice and square like this. Right? Strong hip, strong shoulders, nice and square. Got it? Show me. That’s it, show me. You, show me. Yup, and you show me. Yup. OK. Got it? OK. Let’s see some turns with that strong outside hip now. Nice and high and stand on that ski. One at a time.”

:shock:

I’m consciously minding my facial and body reactions to what I just witnessed, and I watch the lead coach ski down, not doing a friggin thing he just talked about (because, who COULD actually do what he demonstrated with his skis off), smearing flat skis at the top of his turns then hitting hard edges in Bottom C and popping up to start it all over again. I then watch the other 2 coaches skiing similarly with undisciplined arms and poles. I decide to stay up, and tell the kids I’ll go last so I can watch them from up here. 3rd kid in line says to me, “Am I doing this correctly, coach? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Sigh. That was the first run of the day. It did not get any better after that.

Another coach. Ugh: (word for word again. Trust me, these presentations are burned into my memory forever, word for word)

“So I saw some of you guys kinda sitting back you know, like in between your turns? (Yup. You all here know EXACTLY what he’s referring to). So OBVIOUSLY, we need to work on pressing on the front of the skis. So how do we do that? Huh? (looking at the kids) Anyone know how we do that? I’m going to tell you something. And it’s something that you guys have never heard before (Oh God. If you saw this coach ski, you’d be scared at the thought of what he’s going to tell these kids. I was.) This is cool. You guys are gonna love this. Because it’s so cool how it works. So here’s what you do, OK? This is what you do. Everybody do this. FLEX YOUR ANKLES. (blurted out loudly, to sound authoritative) Like this. Just like this. See it?? Like this. (Here’s what you would see: him extending his knees straight so his upper body tilts and leans forward like he’s about to launch off a Nordic ski jump) So, what happens when you flex your ankles? What happens to your body? (he looks at the kids for several seconds) Do you all know what I mean by flex your ankles? OK. Look. Here. (He holds his arm straight out in front of him, palm down). THIS (holding hand and fingers straight out) is called EXTENSION. And THIS (extends wrist so fingers point up, LOL) is called FLEXION. Flexion, extension. Flexion, extension. Flexion, extension. So, you do that with your ankles! That’s cool, right? Feel it. Feel yourself flexing your ankles and how that brings you forward. Feel it? Like this. When you flex your ankles, your body moves forward on the skis! And that's all there is to it. That's what does it. OK, so let’s go down to mid-trail and we’re gonna do what this time? (Kids are silent and have zombie faces at this point) FLEX YOUR ANKLES, right??”

:shock: :shock: :shock:

As you can imagine… no progressions, no traversing/garlands/partial turns, no individual feedback or even group feedback. All command-style teaching, boring as hell… I thought, there is so much more I would be able to extract out of each run than just a couple minutes of talking at the top and then a top-to-bottom run.

Harald, you have totally obliterated my tolerance for traditional skiing and coaching to the point that I find it absolutely repulsive. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

I’m proud to report that my skiing and demos got some compliments, I was told on the lift that I made “nice angles” by one of the better racers in our group. (Yes, her angles were nice as well) I saw 3-4 other coaches out of about 25 that day who looked like racers and could actually tip a ski and bend it. I offered tidbits here and there to the group whenever I thought it was appropriate, and whenever I was asked to. It felt great to actually interact with the kids a few select times, even if it was just to ASK them what THEY thought, and how they felt on what we just demo’d and tried. It was great to get them laughing, especially as we self-deprecated together on how awkward we felt (and must have looked to each other) doing certain drills. I can’t wait until I get MY group of kids for the season, after the holidays. Then I’ll REALLY get to work, without ruffling feathers or stepping on toes as the new coach on staff.

Let me run this by you guys:

After what I saw just after the first day (I saw a lot, and was watching lots of aspects of this program very closely), I have a gut feeling of which coaching slot I would be best placed into. The Director mentioned to me before that he’s not sure where to put me… I’m sure he has coaches that want to be with certain age groups, for various reasons. (their own kids, don’t like younger kids, they want pick of the litter, whatever) From what I can see, the top half/stronger racers in U12, U14, U16 and above are solid enough skiers that they can go with most any coach (in this program) who will hopefully shutup and let them ski and run gates/brushies/stubbies with minimal instruction and tweaking. The bottom half of those age groups are lacking fundamentals big time. They can barely hold an edge on blue terrain, they’re obviously (to me, anyway) intimidated in the group and intimidated doing drills and demos just thrown at them randomly and without focus or context from typical coaches… I think these are the toughest kids to coach, will need to change and improve the most to be brought up to speed in their age groups, and likely will have the most concerned parents who want to see results. I feel almost obligated to suggest to the Director that he place me with “bottom half” kids somewhere in that age range. As a side note, the only way I can wrap my brain around the skills of the stronger racers in this program is that they learned much of their strong skills somewhere else, race camps or trips or something.

Is my head in the right place?

I appreciate all the advice so far. I think I’m going to need it this season from you guys here, or I’m going to end up spending way too much time at the bar after coaching days “de-traumatizing” myself. :D
precisionchiro
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:44 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby SkiMoose » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:49 pm

Lol, that's just the tip of the iceburg :lol: . I thought I was prepared for bad coaching prior to entering a race program this year, but USSA and PSIA coaches never cease to amaze me. It's truly painful to watch coaches blindly repeat USSA's skills quest garbage, and the fact that these coaches with so much "experience" can't see or fix any problems with anyone's skiing is mind-boggling. If you think it's bad teaching with these people, try having them do everything in their power to destroy your skiing. I've tried every single day to find a single thing my "coaches" can help with. I figured if they didn't know anything I could at least tell them what I was looking for, and they could tell me if I was doing it. Easy enough right? Apparently not. Last week I asked them to tell me if my pole plants were undoing my CA at the end of my turns. "Wait, how do you think you are supposed to pole plant?" was the response followed by a drawn out explanation of how pole planting toward the tip moves your center of mass up and forward in transition, and "counter is not important". After that, I gave up trying to explain anything technique related, or trying to get them to be useful in any meaningful way. I'll let them set courses, but that's it. My coaches think I suck because I won't do their wide stance and extension drills the way they want, but the kids who do them desperately wanting to get better are only going backwards. Hopefully you can save some younger kids from this coaching before it's too late.
User avatar
SkiMoose
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:42 pm
Location: Conifer, CO

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby Max_501 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:48 pm

I'd guess that your best route to success is taking a bunch of kids everyone thinks have no shot at making the top 20 let alone the top 5. That's how I was able to insert myself into my kids training. The fun comes in a month or two when your kids are nipping at the heels of the more experienced racers.
User avatar
Max_501
 
Posts: 4059
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:01 am

precisionchiro,
I shouldn't laugh, but your post gave me some amusement. :lol:

Hopefully you get some autonomy. I've always been lucky that when I have coached I've been left to do my own thing... no one dictating what I could and could not coach. Fingers crossed that you get the same. Good luck.
Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

www.youtube.com/c/heluvaskier
User avatar
HeluvaSkier
 
Posts: 1392
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:29 pm
Location: Western New York

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby h.harb » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:59 pm

Harald, you have totally obliterated my tolerance for traditional skiing and coaching to the point that I find it absolutely repulsive. I hope you’re proud of yourself.


How do you think I felt after years of coaching top programs in USSA and in the USA: when I found out that 99% of coaches in USSA didn't have a clue. And this goes all the way to the US Ski team head coaches. Sasha Rearick, former head men's coach, is now the Development Director. The worst place they could put him. He ruined the men's tech team. He has absolutely no understanding of skiing movements.
https://triblive.com/sports/nationworldsports/13447344-74/us-mens-ski-coach-steps-down-takes-new-role-with-team
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 6774
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby precisionchiro » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:53 am

Oh Harald, I feel your pain. Believe me.

I remember reading your articles in Snow Country when you were on the PSIA Demo Team, I was a full time instructor back then. Foot movements in the boots, tipping skis onto edge... even before Elan Parabolics hit the market. (I remember taking a clinic on them in '95 at the Ski School Director's Seminar in Stratton. I think I was put on a 137. First lift ride up, guy sitting next to me looks down and says, "These look like cartoon skis... like they're all of a sudden going to open their eyes and say "HI THERE!" :D Steve Irwin was the examiner, an Elan rep, he begged us to go back to our mountains and "get on this with your ski shops and rental shops, it's going to change the ski industry.")

I saw glimpses of what YOU were teaching back then showing up in the PSIA ranks (one examiner for my Level 3, I think it was Tom Gal from Hunter, spent half a day on flexing in transition, we all hated going back to extension movements for our demos - it felt horrible and tiring...... he also had us "flashing the inside ski base to the outside boot.")

But most of what PSIA taught back then didn't make sense. We would do so many rotary drills and pushing off the big toe, but you would watch most of the examiners ski, and their personal skiing did NOT match the skills we were being tested on. Looking back, I think most examiners reached that level because they had a racing background. There was NO WAY a ski instructor could move up the ranks if they skied how PSIA taught how to ski.

While you were teaching foot movements from the Demo Team, many of us were being taught by old timers to tense up and lock the muscles in our feet and push the cuffs around "with authority" as one guy told us.

I don't even have to mention the direction PSIA took during the first 10 years of shaped skis. :roll: The goofy two-footed wide stances, wiggling down the hill... you'd think everyone in PSIA took a huge s%#! in their pants and were trying to get down to the bathroom. It was ridiculous.

I think it was a bit later on that I came across Lito's article "My Dinner With Harald" or something like that. After reading that, and then reading something else where you said you chucked all your PSIA stuff (pins and all) in the dumpster :lol: .... that's when I tracked down your first two books.

I doubt I would have had ANY interest today to teach or coach or share any skiing technique with anyone if my skiing and knowledge remained at PSIA level. I'm grateful for your work.
precisionchiro
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:44 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby h.harb » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:15 am

Thank you for your comments. When I was on the demo team, I was teaching the other demo team members how skiing really works. They had no clue. Two demo team generations later, they still don't. You can see in their skiing, a pole plant that reaches forward and swings up to the ski tips and squares up the body, they show this even in their slower demo skiing. PSIA demo team skiers use little or no CA, little or no flexing, the extension is still huge in PSIA skiing. This is all contradictory to skiing well on shaped skis.
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 6774
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby Roundturns » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:35 pm

That's a negative indictment on Vail never producing a WC racer. Lindsey Vonn doesn't count?
Anyway , I ski the front side of Vail quite a it when I am out there. Greatly enjoy skiing Riva - Tourist Trap and ride the race hill chair up to 11 back to the top quite a bit.
Anyway, the race training hill at Golden Peak is quite the training grounds. One would think the kids that train there would and for the price their parents pay for their coaching be receiving the best race coaching available.

The clock doesn't lie, so apparently they don't ,assuming their collective athletic ability compares favorably to the racers that do make it to the World Cup. So the definition of insanity might apply to US Ski Team racing , no changes in the coaching results in no changes in the results.

I don't profess to know anything about ski racing, but at Vail the facilities at Golden Peak appear to me to be about as good as it gets. Something is amiss if those kids don't succeed in racing IMHO.
Roundturns
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby HeluvaSkier » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:14 pm

Pristine facilities are not an indicator of the quality of athlete or training happening. Take HSS for example. The shop (either of them, current or former) are not marvels of modern architecture, but the quality of the work that comes out of there is regarded as the best in the business by people way more informed than I am. ...sort of like producing title fight boxers out of a gym in the back of a garage. For workouts, I prefer a more rough gym environment... There's something about a certain amount of grit that makes a person work harder and want it more...

Also, FWIW, Lindsey began at Buck Hill, not Vail.
Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

www.youtube.com/c/heluvaskier
User avatar
HeluvaSkier
 
Posts: 1392
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:29 pm
Location: Western New York

Re: Race Coaching lesson plans

Postby Roundturns » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:07 pm

But moved to Vail when she was 12. Your point well taken regarding less than pristine and wonderful being able to create excellent results.

The Golden Peak race training hill impresses me though as a top notch place to train. I think they open the race hill before the rest of the resort, but I could be wrong on that as well, but a racer out there has a longer snow season to train vs back here.

As an aside , I can't believe during the week how many people Vail has at the chair (forget it's number chair 4 maybe) scanning passes. There are 3-4 scanners down there in the maze even when there is just a couple people at a time getting on the lift.

Cracks me up. Nothing funny about the deluge of rain we are receiving again today that will put a damper on this weekend's conditions.
Roundturns
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:49 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Primary Movements Teaching System

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest