Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

What's holding you back?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
moseyp wrote:


Also by seasonnaire I don't mean someone working for a chalet company or tour op, I mean anyone skiing who is out all season but not getting specific training. Just building up confidence but changing nothing else in their skiing

I use those examples because there's always groups of them in the mountains and you can see the development firsthand


That's what I mean about it being non-binary - why assume that people are only capable of change in the company of an instructor? If coaching is about developing self awarenss and self analysis - why does this not apply outside a formal race programme? I'd suggest it does but it depends on the individual. Unconsciously skiing around same as always isn't going to help a lot, actively thinking about stance, edge engagement, pressure and experimenting (without the performance pressure of doing it as a one off drill in front of an instructor) can be enormously helpful in cracking skiing for oneself.

No doubt a good instructor is a great investment even periodically but a bad instructor can just be counter productive. I did a season quite a few years ago and joined group lessons occasionally with top level instructors - 3 out of the 4 instructors were very good, one was terrible and would have ruined my skiing if I'd tried to follow what he was prescribing for the group.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:


@abc, i'd agree. Faster and more confident doesn't equal better...


Me too. I saw seasonnaires who skied a lot but made very little technical progress. They did get better at managing their technical shortcomings through strength, balance, tactics. I think pure mileage helps with all that but purposeful practice is needed to make technical progress (can be done while getting lots of mileage but needs you to be explicitly working on something as you do it).
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

That's what I mean about it being non-binary - why assume that people are only capable of change in the company of an instructor?

I don't - lots of people can do purposeful practice without an instructor (working on something they've seen in a book, observed in another skier or heard in a tip from a skilled ski buddy). not to say instruction isn't useful.
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Dave of the Marmottes, @jedster, ...so it would be easy for the thread to be turned into '...I once had this brilliant instructor...' and I hope that doesn't happen, since I think you are commenting on a very important issue - which is the relationship between the content of the coaching, and the extent to which the processes started by the coach (often picking up a heavily ingrained bad habit) can be transferred to a process of learning outside the coaching. I think this is much neglected. I had a couple of drills which absolutely worked whilst skiing with the coach and then absolutely transferred into my day to day skiing, broke bad habits and consolidated good practice. I think the conditions for this continuation were (1) that I continued to THINK about it and be committed to doing it, and (2) the drills were simple enough for me to reproduce them with sufficient ease and precision that the benefit continued to accumulate.

Jedster your second post set me thinking - I do emphasise to my kids that when on the chair they should be looking out for skiers who they think are performing well, and then say why. And sometimes the reverse - ekk look at them getting into trouble.... Sometimes they groan when I say 'who's good down there...' but mostly it's become a habit for them, and has made them a lot more aware of technique - stance, angulation, stick dragging etc. I found following excellent skiers also to help. It affected me a lot many years ago, when I was on a long traversing, flat piste in the early morning, following a young female instructor. At low speed, on the flat, she carved perfectly the entire time. Almost everyone would schuss such a traverse, but not her. So I got on my edges and even now have a mental image of following her. I taught my kids never to idly schuss when they could be getting the turns in. My son followed this advice and carves everywhere. My daughter did not. Guess who has had experience of thousands more turns, now? And guess which one is better? Chicken and egg, I know, since my daughter now (13) does not much care about improving technique, but that one incident of observing a highly competent skier made a real difference to me.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@valais2,
And it doesn't always have to be very structured drills does it?
e.g., this run I'm going to ski long turns and initiate each one by softening the old downhill leg and feeling for the little toe edge
e.g., this run I'm going to carve short turns and make sure I stay as low as possible at transition but try to "kiss" the snow gently with the new edge
e.g., I'm on a gentle blue - time for some skiing on the outside edges
Your not just skiing, you are trying something, seeing how it works, taking lessons from that, enhancing one little piece of skill that you can blend in
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@jedster, spot on
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
BTW - the second part rings lots of bells with me. Watching other skiers has been very valuable to me and I have the same chats with my kids on chairlifts! Also my kids are currently showing similar signs - my daughter (12) was more natural than my son (14) to the extent that she beat him two years running in an end of ski school mini GS. But he has progressed much faster in the last 2 years because he is more watches more closely and is always working on something. I'm trying to say to my daughter "right this run I want to see you doing x" and she responds quite well but she needs prodding.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jedster wrote:
I'm trying to say to my daughter "right this run I want to see you doing x" and she responds quite well but she needs prodding.

I have some hope with my Sons, with giving pointers....but my Daughter takes after her Mother!
snow report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Old Fartbag,

Me to son (11) - 'hmmm, I think you might be throwing your left shoulder forward a bit again'. Him: 'really? right...I'll correct that...'. Job done.

Me to daughter (13) - 'er...you are putting your hips forward again and therefore locking your legs...' Her 'no I'm not' (then fifteen minutes of 'are' - 'aren't'). I ski off in frustration, giving myself a break. A hour later I can see she is trying a little to correct it. But goodness it takes such a lot of arguing. Patience of a saint required.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
valais2 wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, @jedster, ...so it would be easy for the thread to be turned into '...I once had this brilliant instructor...' and I hope that doesn't happen, since I think you are commenting on a very important issue - which is the relationship between the content of the coaching, and the extent to which the processes started by the coach (often picking up a heavily ingrained bad habit) can be transferred to a process of learning outside the coaching. I think this is much neglected.


Absolutely. In my ski school years I don't ever remember there being any culture or message of "you can do this for yourself" or "feel free go and try - watch out for XXX". It was (to a teenage mind) "do this" and "follow me" or yawnsville drills with the fun stuff being when you got out of lesson and went freeskiing. Now I recognise that this isn't the modern paradigm of good instruction but formative experiences are hard to counter. What changed for me was learning to snowboard as an adult. I had very good dry slope instruction but equally realised that if I depended wholly on the instructor for my progress I was going to spend a lot of time bruising my back bottom. So I took the hit literally and went and turned myself purple filling in between lessons until I knew what a balanced position felt like and how to have confidence committing to a heelside turn. After that picking up skis again was a lot easier to self develop.
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

That's what I mean about it being non-binary - why assume that people are only capable of change in the company of an instructor? If coaching is about developing self awarenss and self analysis - why does this not apply outside a formal race programme? I'd suggest it does but it depends on the individual. Unconsciously skiing around same as always isn't going to help a lot, actively thinking about stance, edge engagement, pressure and experimenting (without the performance pressure of doing it as a one off drill in front of an instructor) can be enormously helpful in cracking skiing for oneself.


When I mentioned proprioception and kinesthetic awareness this is not at all what I was referring to - but as an aside I'll bring it back in. So many people are not really aware of what their body is doing when they do something, that they might think they are achieving some goal but without any reference point from someone who - to be fair, is a qualified professional - they're actually either not succeeding in completion or they're doing the wrong thing altogether and making things worse. I say this as someone with low proprioception. I have teaching & coaching qualifications, but I would never attempt to teach myself. This is different to practising something I've been working on with a trained eye.

Quote:

(without the performance pressure of doing it as a one off drill in front of an instructor)


"where the magic happens!"
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

So I took the hit literally and went and turned myself purple filling in between lessons until I knew what a balanced position felt like and how to have confidence committing to a heelside turn. After that picking up skis again was a lot easier to self develop.


This is what I was referring to in the earlier post when I said that at that level, I believe mileage to be more essential for improvement
latest report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
jedster wrote:
Quote:

That's what I mean about it being non-binary - why assume that people are only capable of change in the company of an instructor?

I don't - lots of people can do purposeful practice without an instructor (working on something they've seen in a book, observed in another skier or heard in a tip from a skilled ski buddy). not to say instruction isn't useful.


I think anyone who has played/competed to a high level in a different sport, and who is therefore used to decent coaching and also to practising what they've been taught on their own (which involves self-assessment), will improve more without coaching than someone who has never been through the same learning/performance experience. One thing that is bound to be different is how self-aware you are - how good at assessing what you are doing while you are doing it and changing it if need be.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

One thing that is bound to be different is how self-aware you are - how good at assessing what you are doing while you are doing it and changing it if need be.


Proprioception and kinesthetic awareness...

Sorry I know I sound obsessed...but I really think it's such an important (and sometimes overlooked) factor
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
moseyp wrote:
Quote:

One thing that is bound to be different is how self-aware you are - how good at assessing what you are doing while you are doing it and changing it if need be.


Proprioception and kinesthetic awareness...

Sorry I know I sound obsessed...but I really think it's such an important (and sometimes overlooked) factor


Absolutely. My point was more that a person's history in sport will decide on how much they can improve (in as well as outside lessons).
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
... In my ski school years I don't ever remember there being any culture or message of "you can do this for yourself" ... It was (to a teenage mind) "do this" and "follow me" or yawnsville drills with the fun stuff being when you got out of lesson ... I recognise that this isn't the modern paradigm of good instruction ....


That sounds right. Actually I doubt that the "modern paradigm" is hugely different in that sense. The details are different, but the basic idea is unchanged. It is what it is.

Let me try an analogy with swimming. I learned not to drown thanks to an instructor. However I learned to swim elegantly and fast all on my own.
For me it's the same with skiing and snowboarding and skating and windsurfing and surfing and all those sports where there's formal tuition available. I use the lesson thing to get me to the point when I know how the mechanics work, then I just need to put the hours in.

There are sports where I've failed to made that transition to expert - piano playing and karate are a couple of examples which come to mind. My reasoning is that I didn't find the 10,000 hours interesting enough to complete in those cases.

Perhaps the problem with skiing and snowboarding is that the transitional stage is too much fun so people lose their drive to get out of it. What the OP described as "wasted years".
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@philwig, yep...cruising reds, hacking blacks, funnelling chutes, bump field excursions, covering vast distance in the Trois V; complete waste of time....






(thing is .. what Ant and I agreed, was that if we had had more coaching it would have been EVEN MORE FUN....)
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Came to the conclusion a long time ago that there's no substitute for (constructive) time on snow.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Just to put it out there skiing isn't just for winter! - what about a summer skiing holiday? Biking, Hiking, Rafting and more with skiing every morning (with tuition if you want to really continue to improve!) ..... what a way to improve and gain an extra week a year and keep the family happy!
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@philwig, from what I read here, I think you are somewhat unusual (and I expect/hope you are going to take that as a compliment). From what I observe, most folks aren't equipped (or...motivated) to do that. See how many people take multiple attempts at passing the driving test for an example.

Skiing and (I suppose) snowboarding (actually, no, not snowboarding, if it was hard it would be skiing) are immensely counter-deep-intuitive and thus require a degree of dedication and conscious practice that usually only manifests in street kids playing football.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@philwig, I do think that a lot of practice will help you get better but only if your practicing the right things. An instructor/a good instructor can help you to progress faster and in the right direction! After all even the top athletes in the world (in all sports) still have coaching/tuition to get better! I should declare myself as a ski instructor here but as a ski instructor I still take skiing lessons as such, I love to ski with my fellow instructors and to teach each other, video each other to analyse and use to improve. I'm sure you are a fantastic skier but I'm also sure that I could help you to get even better!

Drills are mentioned in the posts as perhaps a little boring? I would also disagree on this, if you are doing a drill for the sake of doing a drill then yes for sure I'd rather be off skiing something else. But if your doing a drill really working on an element of your skiing, so the drill is a challenge to achieve and you can see/understand why this element will make the other bits more fun then I'm less sure that you will find the drill boring and I'm sure you will like the drill when those massive bumps or deep powder become fun rather than a struggle!
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@tiptopski, I don't think @philwig is a skier...

Loving your enthusiasm though Happy
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
tiptopski wrote:


Drills are mentioned in the posts as perhaps a little boring? I would also disagree on this, if you are doing a drill for the sake of doing a drill then yes for sure I'd rather be off skiing something else. But if your doing a drill really working on an element of your skiing, so the drill is a challenge to achieve and you can see/understand why this element will make the other bits more fun then I'm less sure that you will find the drill boring and I'm sure you will like the drill when those massive bumps or deep powder become fun rather than a struggle!


I think you are demonstrating a rather instructor mindset here rather than considering the "punter mindset". Not everyone sees drills as a challenge to achieve - yes instructors can because they see the full path and the outcomes but it is quite possible to see them as a chore or nasty medicine that must be taken to get better. I've done very few ski drills in my life and don't generally find bumps or deep powder a struggle* If bumps are a struggle its because they don't have a flow line and the channels get too deep/edges too acute to practically allow transition. I don't think all the drills in the world can solve challenges of physical geography - line choice, tactics, varying aggression yes. To my mind the best instruction is instruction by stealth - improving people while they think they are just skiing around having fun.

* Note I am not claiming to be an awesome skier but I'm good enough for me and the main barrier to being that good enough is getting the baseline number of days in on snow.
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
If you read the OP it said the answer was, pharaprasing:

    You should live in the mountains
    Ski for a lot more than 10 weeks a year
    Do sports that have similar demands in the off season
    Have coaching on a weekly basis


If we had all done this we would be great skiers!!

I suspect for 90% of us it's too late but if there is anyway under 25 reading....

As long as you can be rsed that is wink
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Dave of the Marmottes, Thanks for your reply and yes I guess I am an instructor so might be in that mindset although I do believe drills have their place I can also see that you would enjoy learning as you ski as well. Generally as an instructor, unless you have a goal like passing instructor exams, winning races etc. when you book your lesson my time is yours and the lesson can be structured as you like it! I have plenty of clients that I ski with regularly that like to learn as they ski, trying things, different tactics, techniques etc. and drills can be hidden in things! I understand that those on a one week holiday want to make the most of their time on the snow but what I was really trying to say that sometimes 5-10 mins spent on a drill might just make the rest of the day/week much more enjoyable.

Its great that you don't find bumps and deep powder a struggle and you are clearly a very competent skier with lots of days/weeks under your belt. When the bumps become irregular or have shelves they are much harder to ski smoothly and continuously and Yes your right no amount of drills will change the geography but they could give you the enhanced rotational skills or edge/pressure control to deal with the terrain you are given. Skiing is after all about skiing the snow and terrain we find unless we are just piste skiing.

Anyway I hope you continue to enjoy your skiing and if one day your passing Les Deux Alpes don't hesitate to give me a shout!
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
If you only played tennis/golf/etc. for 1 week a year you really wouldn't expect to get very good would you?
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Equally, I spend rather a lot of time most days these days typing at a keyboard (albeit one counter-optimised) but I'm still not very good at that.
latest report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

Equally, I spend rather a lot of time most days these days typing at a keyboard (albeit one counter-optimised) but I'm still not very good at that.


same with driving for most people

as I've been banging on about, it's not volume of practice, it is volume of PURPOSEFUL practice.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@jedster, zep. exavtkx
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
under a new name wrote:
If you only played tennis/golf/etc. for 1 week a year you really wouldn't expect to get very good would you?

Interesting area of discussion.

I learned to drive by taking 35 x 1 hour lessons. My brother did 4 consecutive full days (approx 28 hours of training). We both got a driving licence.

Back to skiing. Would I be a better ski if I did three 2-day skiing trips rather than one 6-day ski trip.

That is not withstanding the very practical and financial considerations of why one would choose one or the other.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@tiptopski, Cheers. Wasn't actually trying to have a dig at you. Rather the improvement = instruction = drills orthodoxy. When improving the user interface might get better overall results.

@Layne, I suspect there is no clear cut answer - a 6 day trip in the same conditions may be less valuable than multiple short trips in a variety of conditions. Then we have fatigue vs acclimatisation/ski legs. I certainly wouldn't choose the 6 day option over 3*2 days if they were fully instructed due to the fact I get "overload".
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Layne, Driving is designed to be easy. Arguably 2 3 day trips might work better. But basically 6 days a year at a reasonably complicated, reasonably athletic pusuit is not enough to get much beyond early intermediate.

As is patently obvious.

But skiing is, IMV, more a social sport than anything, so ... whatever.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
After thinking about this on and off for a bit I've got the answer - dedication.

The most dedicated skiers will improve the most, in or out of lessons. Less dedicated people are also less focused and less fit, pay less attention in lessons and practice less when on their own.

If I were more dedicated I'd spend a larger percentage of my earnings on ski trips and lessons and practice harder.

There, the thread can be closed now!
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Tom Doc wrote:
After thinking about this on and off for a bit I've got the answer - dedication.

The most dedicated skiers will improve the most, in or out of lessons. Less dedicated people are also less focused and less fit, pay less attention in lessons and practice less when on their own.

If I were more dedicated I'd spend a larger percentage of my earnings on ski trips and lessons and practice harder.

There, the thread can be closed now!

under a new name wrote:

But skiing is, IMV, more a social sport than anything, so ... whatever.

That's right. For many of us, we're never going to be "dedicated" to the improvement of skiing. Like most people who can swim or ride a bike but aren't anywhere resembling "experts". I'm sure if everyone "dedicate" themselves to swimming and cycling, they could swim much faster and bike much longer. But the majority of people do not see any point to dedicate themselves to swimming or cycling, never mind skiing.

I did at one point dedicate myself to kayaking. It shows. But I don't dedicate myself to skiing. Nor do I dedicate myself to cycling either. If I have the spare time and money, I may dedicate myself to playing bridge or playing the piano. Skiing is just way down on the priority list, in a similar spot as riding a bicycle. It's more a recreation that happen to have a sporting component.

That lack of motivation is what's "holding me back". The thing is, I'm pretty content to be "back" there.
snow report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy