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Tips to Improve

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey, I have skied a total of 5weeks with about a week worth of lessons in the past 7 years and still ski at the same red run on good conditions level. Does anyone have any recommendations on ways to improve? I was looking into courses to try and beat this plateau. Any ideas, stories etc would be great
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Happy to provide some lessons, check out www.insideoutskiing.com Smile
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 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?
@ELondonSlow, Welcome to snowHeads snowHead

I was in that position, except after about 15-20 weeks over about 20 years Confused
When the first snowHeads bash occurred, a really talented instructor, who was very supportive of the new young snowHeads community, came along for the week, gave us all lessons and donated all the funds to helping snowHeads get going.
I was invited to join a group lesson and it would have been rude not to... I'd like to say that this was the magic moment but honestly, I didn't get on with it and came out of the other end just a bit demoralised.
However, the following year, I took a private lesson with this same instructor and that was the one that utterly blew my mind!
It started the day before, when she told me to bring different skis to my lesson to the ones I was on. Mine were designed to make off-piste easier, and lacked responsiveness for piste skiing. Of course, she was right, but it wasn't something that had ever occurred to me.
Over the course of 90 minutes, she 'awakened' me to how much work the skis should be doing for me and started me on the path of learning how to make them do it.

In my case, I really needed that one-to-one focus to get me going, to get me un-stuck from where I'd been for a while. That's not to say I haven't learned in group lessons since, I have done, a lot! But I still take at least one 90 minute 1-2-1 each season, with someone who I know to be an excellent instructor (I'm fortunate to know a few now snowHead ) and we focus entirely on where I'm at and where I need to go next in my technique.

OTOH, I know people who find private lessons too intense and far prefer the camaraderie and sociability of learning amongst others of a somewhat similar level.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@ELondonSlow, Welcome to snowheads snowHead

Get a private lesson; it’s definitely worth the extra expense to get you on the right track. Otherwise you’ll be stuck on that plateau for a longgg time.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Another vote for private lessons, and it's good you have realised early that you need help. I have had to spend a lot of time and effort undoing all my skiing flaws to become an much better skier
The other thing that has helped us fitness. Five years ago I was 20kg heavier and skiing was my only exercise during the year. Now I am down to 80kg and I work out four times a week. With a mixture of cardio and weight lifting exercise.
I'm a lot fitter and it has helped my skiing no end.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 24-12-20 23:15; edited 2 times in total
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:
Five years ago I was 20kg heavier and asking was my two weeks of exercise a year.
Asking for pies? Wink

...and I agree, undoing the bad habits learnt outside lessons has been the biggest challenge.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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 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.
Me and the wife went through the insideout program of targeted group sessions, cheaper than privates but really brought us on because there was a theme. Now they do (outside of covid) improver and tuneups and these work well. Private is definitely best but these are a close second, hope they get to bring them back.

We've been skiing less years but probably twice the weeks you have and I like to think time on snow and working with IOS and a couple of other local instructors has really brought us on. I think the difference the lessons have made is that we now approach tougher runs now as a "how to do it" rather than "how to survive it". So much left to learn though !

I'm always at Hemel on Saturday mornings (when covid allows) but I fear I practice in more bad than good, so having that other pair of eyes pointing out the changes needed really makes the difference. I'm not sure privates will deliver night and day changes, and I suspect you'll come away with more questions, but if you just get that nugget of information it can really help. I've had those "make this change" moments with both rob@rar and skimottaret and its been amazing but other lessons have just been steady progression which is still very rewarding.

Video recordings of your skiing are very useful but I've learnt you still ideally need that knowledgeable eye to spot the issues
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
100% for private lessons. I spent a week with UCPA to learn how to ski. It was great to get people on a pair of skis and safely slide down the mountain. I went on a couple more trips with UCPA and didn't improve much. I then discovered snowheads and got in touch with Rob from InsideOut and from day 1 I learned so much! Private lesson is definitely worth the money and you get so much more out of it.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I found time on slopes and watching other people to be a great start. Let's be honest, many many people have not had lessons or none since they learned how to pizza and they are good skiers (Maybe athletic to begin with)? My personal opinion is anyone can make it to the lower intermediate level without a lesson, some can make it more than that. Most others will probably need lessons. I think lessons are great but I also think if you can learn for free by watching others and then take the lessons, you may get more out of it. Don't get me wrong, if I could afford it I would probably have an instructor ski with me every day, lol. I also found that consecutive weeks >consecutive days>consecutive weekends etc. Of course the more lessons though the quicker you'll get there.
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 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.
@East Coast Scott, While it's probably true that you can get to "early intermidot" by watching others, in the vast majority of cases that comes with a lot of bad habits. Then you get stuck on the "intermidot plateau" and stop progressing. Try as you might, all you do then is ingrain those bad techniques.
At that point if you want to progress further you'll need lessons... Probably lots of them and your savings from watching other people will soon evaporate. Been there done that! ...Still doing that! rolling eyes
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 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
I like looking at other skiers, but most of the time it's to try and unpick what they are doing wrong, even a glance at a resort webcam will show up a few.

I have spent a large amount of money on private trying to undo my faults, with a lot of success, although there is still much more to learn, and as I said earlier fitness really matters
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
One of the most important things that I learnt early on from lessons was that I had been copying the wrong people rolling eyes Subsequently I can look at them and recognise the vulnerabilities in their technique; vulnerabilities that I was taking on. Like many others, it required a lot of extra effort (and lessons) to unpick the resulting bad habits and even now, although I know how to do it right, in moments of stress or tiredness I can find those old habits resurfacing.
My son, having been taught well from an early age, has consistency to his skiing that I can only dream of. So, even though I have learned more advanced technique than he has, in tough spots, say steep moguls for example, the level I'm able to maintain reliably is not as effective as his.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I agree with most of what you guys are saying. Like I said, if I could afford it I would ski with an instructor every day. Whoever reads this thread, if you can afford it get an instructor. My experience comes from skiing with many people that barely have enough money to get a pass. Many of those people today are very good skiers. Here is another question I have. If you've watched Blizzard of Ahhs these skiers were some of the best and in my opinion still are. Their style isn't the same as today. In today's ski world they would be critiqued for shoulders too open, dropping hands behind them, etc. But who cares if they are that good and that's how they ski, then it works for them. I'm not saying don't learn the correct way, I'm just saying some people are incredible skiers without the preferred technique. In saying that, I'll be looking for some advanced instructions soon Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@East Coast Scott, good reference but you'll see that Glen Plake's style has evolved rather a lot since then:

http://youtube.com/v/UIDehIkkQXw
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There's a typical Plake soundbite in there at 4:50:

"The last thing you need to do to have the best day of skiing in your life is to be good at skiing."

Amen to that.
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 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?
Yes, I agree. Either way he was great then and great now. He also changed his tune on the newer skis. I also like his saying something like "Better skis may make you ski better, but doesn't make you a better skier" Very Happy
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Ski more. When you have skied more, you will be able to answer the question yourself.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Lessons can certainly help, particularly if you have some obvious flaws to be corrected.

However, you need to accept that skiing one week a year you are not going to improve much at all. If somebody said how can I get to a better level at piano/tennis/golf etc. while only doing it for 1 week per year people would rightly say you can't really. Yet for skiing people expect huge improvements in the same timeframe, it's just not realistic.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Lessons can certainly help, particularly if you have some less than obvious flaws to be corrected.

The comparison isn't particularly apt: people play piano for a few minutes, up to perhaps a couple of hours at a time.
If you went on a course of 'intensive' music training, engaging for 7hrs per day for a week, you'd expect to learn something, whatever level you started at.
That said, obviously there is a limit to how for you can expect to progress in an activity you engage in once per year, for 6 days. However, you don't need a whole extra week to get somewhere. Two extra days can make a massive difference as does doing a warm up session or two in a snowDome or even drySlope, which can trigger the body and the brain to start preparing for what's to come. Seriously, I see people who have done 2 or 3 hours snowDome in the week before a trip, arriving a day or two ahead of their peers.

Finally, it is a common fallacy to think that having a lesson when you first arrive is a waste, as you 'haven't warmed up yet' or 'haven't found your legs yet' etc. In fact, there is a very strong case for it being the very best time to have a lesson. That process of 'finding your legs' tends to involve recreating the bad habits and workarounds that you were using last time. Getting a private lesson straight off the bat gives a good instructor the opportunity to give you a whole new 'start up process' setting you on a better track for the whole week, and potentially every subsequent week.
Once, by sheer lucky fluke, I accompanied a senior (in qualification terms) British ski instructor on his first ski of the season. We went up and down the glacier in Deux Alpes as he talked through his checklist for bringing his own technique online after a few months off. Utter revelation: primarily in watching him go, over the course of 90 mins, from just yer average amazing skier to utter snowGod as everything started to click back into place.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Pfft, I don't need lessons, I'm the best skier on the mountain.

I think although many can get to early intermidiot stage without really having lessons, they'll be a much better skier if they do have them earlier. And that's not about reaching the stage sooner, it's about being able to move on from it sooner and also open up more opportunities in terms of skiing.

I didn't have any proper lessons at all until my 6th week skiing and there are definitely things I'd have grasped sooner if I'd bitten the bullet earlier. I'd also probably have a slightly less lazy style Laughing
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
I'd also probably have a slightly less lazy style Laughing
I think there's a limit to what an instructor can feasibly change about a skier Wink
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 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.
Quote:

Lessons can certainly help, particularly if you have some less than obvious flaws to be corrected.


I guess I didn't word that well. What I mean is your average beginner has some huge flaws. These are easily recognisable and improving them is going to dramatically improve performance. After enough coaching the skier has "decent" technique ("intermediate plateau" perhaps), while a coach can still fix faults they are much smaller and not going to result in such dramatic increases in performance.

Quote:

If you went on a course of 'intensive' music training, engaging for 7hrs per day for a week, you'd expect to learn something, whatever level you started at.


Yep, but if you don't engage or revisit that for a whole year then how much would you really remember?

Quote:

primarily in watching him go, over the course of 90 mins, from just yer average amazing skier to utter snowGod as everything started to click back into place.


Don't doubt it, but a senior instructor with thousands of days on snow is going to get their groove back much quicker than a 1 week per year holiday skier. I've done multiple seasons and know it takes me at least a few days to be feeling good, and longer to feel back to where I was at the end of the season before. It's not just technique, but also confidence, conditioning etc.

Edit: But I wouldn't disagree with the idea having a lesson on the first day is probably a good thing.

I'm not trying to bash instruction or courses. They will definitely help you improve, particularly at the early stages of learning. Ime time on snow is a much bigger factor than instruction in progressing from intermediate to good though.

I do think people have unrealistic expectations about how good they can get at skiing (or any sport/skill) while only training one week per year though.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 7-04-21 16:28; edited 1 time in total
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@admin, Fitzwilliam NehNeh The thing is, in my head I've got a really upright and dynamic skiing stance, and then I see video of it.... Laughing
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
boarder2020 wrote:
I'm not trying to bash instruction or courses. They will definitely help you improve, particularly at the early stages of learning. Ime time on snow is a much bigger factor than instruction in progressing from intermediate to good though.

I do think people have unrealistic expectations about how good they can get at skiing (or any sport/skill) while only training one week per year though.
My experience has been that with less time on snow than I would like, instruction has been more important rather than less important in making the best use of the available time to keep on improving.
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 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:

My experience has been that with less time on snow than I would like, instruction has been more important rather than less important in making the best use of the available time to keep on improving.


Of course you will always improve more with instruction than without instruction. But even with the best instructor if you only do 1 week per year you are going to reach a ceiling pretty quick, from where you only make very small (if any) improvements. Go to any sporting coach and ask them how good you can get at their sport doing only one week training per year and they will laugh and say don't even waste your time. For some reason we like to ignore that for skiing, maybe some denial because most of us are limited by how much time we can spend doing it.

I would be willing to put good money on a strong correlation between ski ability and days on snow. Tuition (or lack of it) can certainly skew things, but the seasonnaire doing 100+ days is going to improve more than someone doing a week with even the best instructor 99% of the time.

If you really want to become "good", tuition and multiple weeks per season are they way to go. If you can't do more than 1 week per year dont expect to progress out the intermediate stage (its possible, but much more unlikely).
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 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
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

My experience has been that with less time on snow than I would like, instruction has been more important rather than less important in making the best use of the available time to keep on improving.


Of course you will always improve more with instruction than without instruction. But even with the best instructor if you only do 1 week per year you are going to reach a ceiling pretty quick, from where you only make very small (if any) improvements. Go to any sporting coach and ask them how good you can get at their sport doing only one week training per year and they will laugh and say don't even waste your time. For some reason we like to ignore that for skiing, maybe some denial because most of us are limited by how much time we can spend doing it.

I would be willing to put good money on a strong correlation between ski ability and days on snow. Tuition (or lack of it) can certainly skew things, but the seasonnaire doing 100+ days is going to improve more than someone doing a week with even the best instructor 99% of the time.

If you really want to become "good", tuition and multiple weeks per season are they way to go. If you can't do more than 1 week per year dont expect to progress out the intermediate stage (its possible, but much more unlikely).


It is really about hours of "purposeful practice". Hours under instruction should be the most purposeful and so the most productive. At the opposite end are those people who have skied since they were small, several time a year and are still pretty useless - it's generally because they stopped thinking acutely about their skiing years ago. Most of us have loads of time behind the wheel of a car but stopped getting better drivers years ago. Why? We stopped purposefully practicing to get better.

I totally agree that one week a year of even quite purposeful practice isn't going to allow you to improve THAT much. But nor is loads of time on skis if you don't actively think about what you are doing and work at getting better.

I'd had two weeks of ski school and 3 weeks of other time on snow before I worked a season but half way through that season I was skiing better than several of my fellow saisonaires who had worked multiple seasons (other people's observations not mine). I've never been a talented athlete, it was just that I was always working on something - trying out a hint, a tip or just something I'd seen the really good skiers doing.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@jedster, and @boarder2020, totally agree, another thing to remember is practise makes permanent so be careful that you are practicing the right movement technique and not just locking in a problem that is going to take a lot of effort and money to undo

I made that mistake and it's taken a long time for my skiing to start to improve, going for 3+ weeks a year along with 6 hours of private lessons a week has helped get me out of a plateau/rut
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jedster I wouldn't disagree. The person that does 100 days on snow but just pottering about on some easy groomed runs enjoying the views and not really engaging in skiing is not going to improve much either.

I guess my experience might be similar to yours. I wasn't a particularly experienced snowboarder prior to my first season (a couple of weeks ski school and no other time on snow). Started my season with a real focus on getting better (YouTube tutorials, watching others, asking for tips, trying to really think about what I was/wasn't doing well, etc.). Made what I considered to be huge progress.
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