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Beginner, changing my mindset

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
mh8782 wrote:
No, all the advice is very good. I realise the problem is 1) my psychology and 2) poor instruction

That's a pretty good summary.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Edit: Troll post?

Either way, skiing is not easy to learn as an adult. My wife is in the same boat as the OP. She is a bit uncoordinated, and is absolutely terrified of falling. So skiing is not yet fun for her, after 15 days on the slope. What helped a bit this year was finding an empty draglift with good snow in the sunshine, and she just did it over and over again. However, until she learns a confident hockey stop she'll never be more than a timid blue skier.

Not every sport is for everyone. I do not really like rock climbing, even though my wife does. Would be happy never to do it again, as I've never gotten comfortable with hanging by a rope 100 m in the air.

Bottom line: If you don't like it, after trying some more lessons, then just give it up and cut your losses. It's an expensive sport.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 28-02-18 12:12; edited 1 time in total
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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?
Layne wrote:
mh8782 wrote:
In answer to the question, I think I have so far had about 10 to 12 hours of lessons, with ESF people.

Is that one to one? That and 20+ days skiing should be more than enough to be feeling in control on easy slopes. ...

That would probably be true if it were 5 or 6 2-hour lessons from the same instructor over the course of a week. But I get the impression that it may be 5-6 different instructors, in different resorts, over different weekends. If so then for a timid skier it may effectively be repeating "lesson 1" every time, and not so surprising that progress has been slow.
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abc wrote:
Quote:

I get the impression you've not even a smidgeon of natural ability for skiing

@Layne, what exactly is "natural ability for skiing" by your definition? Please elaborate. I'm super curious. I've never heard of such a concept.


My brother's wife has "natural ability for skiing." She took exactly one lesson, and a day later was going down red slopes mostly parallel and at a pretty good clip. Never seen anything like it. She is athletic for sure, however.

It's certainly fair to suggest that some people, because of physiology or psychological makeup, will take to certain endeavors better than others.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mh8782 wrote:
Thanks for the tips for teachers, both near La Dole and in Crans Montana.

In answer to the question, I think I have so far had about 10 to 12 hours of lessons, with ESF people. When it comes to speed in the rest of my life, I`m definitely a plodder - I drive slowly, and I don't cycle quickly. I've ice skated a few times, and I'm terrible at it! Going back to the issue of whether I want to ski, it's true that if I didn't live near the slopes and my wife didn't enjoy skiing, I don't think skiing would ever cross my mind as an activity - but we're all influenced by people around us, and for that reason, if I can get to enjoy skiing, I would like to enjoy it.


Are you "a plodder" (to use your terminology), because you are simply happy to plod along (which there's nothing wrong with at all), or is it that you have an underlying fear of travelling too fast and the possible consequences if something was to go wrong? Or is it a combination of both? I ask because, as I said earlier, learning to do a hockey stop when needed may overcome the underlying fear of not being able to stop; which would allow you to concentrate on technique and simply enjoy plodding along at your own speed, enjoying the scenery (which is fine).

Also, as others have said, finding an instructor or even a friend who can explain things to you in a way you can relate to, would be a big help.

Both myself and my close friend (both relative beginners) benefitted greatly from advice provided by another Snowhead on the recent Birthday Bash. The young lady in question pointed out what each of us was doing wrong in a clear and simple way; which we could both relate to. The difference it made to my friend was incredible. He was like a transformed skier in the space of 24 hours. She also helped me to ditch an ingrained bad habit. I've had lessons before, but no-one had thought to employ the simple technique this young lady suggested to me. Finding the right instructor could make the world of difference to you.
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@mh8782, if you've only had 10-12 hours of lessons with different instructors over a long period of time I'd take a deep breath and relax.

Thats really not much lesson time at all, especially when spread out, so don't feel bad, you're not necessarily learning slowly...you have just split up the lessons which makes it so much harder.

Based on what you've said, I suspect you're over worrying here, try and commit a week if you can, or a long weekend perhaps and I suspect you'll come away feeling a million times better.

If its any consolation, even more advanced skiiers often have the odd lesson just to freshen up, given not everyone can ski all the time its a great way to get up to speed, don't think of it as a negative in terms of you are learning slowly, just think of it as a positive in that each time you refine you're technique until YOU are happy with it and if that takes 5 hours or 50 hours, it really doesn't matter as its all down to how precise a technique YOU demand of yourself.

You'll be fine!
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sj1608 wrote:
mh8782 wrote:
No, all the advice is very good. I realise the problem is 1) my psychology and 2) poor instruction


Equipped with that knowledge you are in a great position to ditch the history and start again. If you're anything like me, when you get out of the other side of the problems it will be sooooo expensive! Smile


Edited quote for accuracy Wink
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ecureuil wrote:
Layne wrote:
mh8782 wrote:
In answer to the question, I think I have so far had about 10 to 12 hours of lessons, with ESF people.

Is that one to one? That and 20+ days skiing should be more than enough to be feeling in control on easy slopes. ...

That would probably be true if it were 5 or 6 2-hour lessons from the same instructor over the course of a week. But I get the impression that it may be 5-6 different instructors, in different resorts, over different weekends. If so then for a timid skier it may effectively be repeating "lesson 1" every time, and not so surprising that progress has been slow.


And also repeating a generic lesson 1, not even targeted at the OP's specific needs.
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@Orange200, yes, definitely expensive.........the most I've ever spent on anything 'leisure'........but still very worth it! Toofy Grin
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abc wrote:
Quote:

I get the impression you've not even a smidgeon of natural ability for skiing

@Layne, what exactly is "natural ability for skiing" by your definition? Please elaborate. I'm super curious. I've never heard of such a concept.

Sorry, missed this.

You've never heard of the concept of "natural ability" or "natural talent"? How odd. Google it and have a read.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Awdbugga wrote:
mh8782 wrote:
When it comes to speed in the rest of my life, I`m definitely a plodder - I drive slowly, and I don't cycle quickly. I've ice skated a few times, and I'm terrible at it! Going back to the issue of whether I want to ski, it's true that if I didn't live near the slopes and my wife didn't enjoy skiing, I don't think skiing would ever cross my mind as an activity - but we're all influenced by people around us, and for that reason, if I can get to enjoy skiing, I would like to enjoy it.


Are you "a plodder" (to use your terminology), because you are simply happy to plod along (which there's nothing wrong with at all), or is it that you have an underlying fear of travelling too fast and the possible consequences if something was to go wrong? Or is it a combination of both? I ask because, as I said earlier, learning to do a hockey stop when needed may overcome the underlying fear of not being able to stop; which would allow you to concentrate on technique and simply enjoy plodding along at your own speed, enjoying the scenery (which is fine).

I'm a plodder!

Though I'm reasonably athletic, I have not too great eyesight. Couple with only average or even slightly below average reflex, I'm often "late" in whatever action I need to take!

So my life experience taught me I shouldn't go too fast, lest I don't have time to take necessary action to avoid disaster. Unfortunately, that fear of speed turned out to be "disastrous" when it comes to learning to ski. For a lot of the movements don't work too well without speed. Much the same way as riding a bicycle too slowly, it's less stable below a certain speed.

mh8782, as Awdbugga suggested, once you get your skill to the point of being able to turn/stop with reasonable promptness, your fear of speed will decrease. That in turn will allow you to improve your skill, which will push your "speed zone" boundary further. Your enjoyment will increase.

Once above a certain speed, stopping instantly become impossible by the law of physics. Turning to get out of a jam is a perfectly valid response, often times a preferred action.

Work with a good instructor to get over the initial speed hurdle, you will have a good chance of enjoy skiing.
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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.
I know exactly where you’re coming from. I’m a very active person, I have horses (20+) so am in pretty good physical shape.
Learnt to ski last year but just couldn’t progress to where I wanted to be. Started snowboarding with my son in October and although found it hard to start with it cane along so much easier.
Went on holiday last week, decided we would board and ski. Boarded from day 1 and got better and better. Started skiing and just couldn’t take to it, ability went down, anxiety and nerves went up.
I ended up hating it, but decided I’d stick through my 2 days of private lessons before giving up. Did one lesson and just felt awful, hated it, felt totally demoralised and terrified at anything steeper than a flat surface.
Went back to boarding and happily cruised down blues and tackled my first Red.

I hope you find your happy place with it or try the alternative and see if it suits you?
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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
My experience of skiing and boarding is that one can learn the latter MUCH faster.

For that reason (controversy) I'm not letting my daughters learn boarding until they're pretty good at skiing (/controversy).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
What resorts have you skied, and what resorts are you close to?
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Not sure boarding would help the OP given what they have said in regard of worrying about falling, stopping, etc.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Possibly
However falling on skis terrified me.
Boarding not a problem I accept it as part of the process
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm near Geneva, and have been going into the Jura (Col de la Faucille) and Switzerland (Les Mosses, Crans Montana, Villars, Saint Luc)
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@mh8782, if Morgins is a reasonable distance I can recommend a British ski school there who do a lot of work with ex-pats based near you, private lessons only, typically working over an extended period of time. I working for that ski school this week and it seems a good setup.
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Do you know if Morgins is part of the Magic Pass this year?
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mh8782 wrote:
if everytime I went for a bike ride, I would fall off three or four times, and at every junction, I was scared I was going to fall off and bike and do some damage, I´m not sure I would enjoy it.


But don't forget you probably did go through that stage with cycling, you were just younger. I'm sure one of the reasons adults find learning more difficult than youngsters do is that they maybe have skewed expectations of a reasonable rate of progress; most adult learning tends to be refinement of something you can already do rather than learning a new skill from scratch, which is inevitably quicker. We therefore, I think, expect to learn a new skill as quickly as we learn a more advanced skill in an area where we already master the basics, and forget how long it took us to learn basic skills as kids.
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I know it's not hugely close to Geneva, but I was a useless and nervous skier until I had private lessons with Mel at Masterclass at Alpe d'Huez. Before that I'd only had ESF group lessons and my crappy snowplough wasn't fun to ski with, since it was inherently slow, left me concentrating too much on what I was doing, but also barely in control. I'm also neither brave, co-ordinated or strong, so hardly a natural skier.

Mel got me skiing parallel on green slopes on the first lesson and by the end of the second lesson I had skied a couple of red pistes - and really enjoyed it! At the start of that week (my third trip) I honestly would never have expected to ski a red ever.

Shortly afterwards I remember whizzing down a nice, fast twisty blue shouting "THIS. IS. SKIING!" to my mate as I overtook him. Cool Cool Cool

So - please do try and find the right instructor as I'm sure you can pull this off. And consider Ad'H - besides the tuition, the terrain there is great for nervous skiers, both in the bowl and up on the glacier.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Awdbugga wrote:

....

Both myself and my close friend (both relative beginners) benefitted greatly from advice provided by another Snowhead on the recent Birthday Bash. The young lady in question pointed out what each of us was doing wrong in a clear and simple way; which we could both relate to. The difference it made to my friend was incredible. He was like a transformed skier in the space of 24 hours. She also helped me to ditch an ingrained bad habit. I've had lessons before, but no-one had thought to employ the simple technique this young lady suggested to me. Finding the right instructor could make the world of difference to you.


I'd very much like to hear what those tips were. My son's fiancée is a bit stuck with her skiing (although she made progress last season with a lesson) and I was a bit reluctant to give tips for fear of making things worse. I thought I could clearly see the problems, though.
PM me if you don't want to divert this thread.
Cheers.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@mh8782
It seems to me that you are on too advanced a slope to learn.
Stick to the very easy slopes with no "good skiers whizzing past". It has to be almost flat at first. Understand the first principles.
There:
Learn how to use the Three Steering Elements:edge, pressure and leg rotation to control your speed and line.
Use the snowplough. It is very effective for learning. Even the top race teams are made to slow snowplough to develop a new focus on one of the steering elements.
Snowplough allows you to focus on one of the 3 steering elements, whilst leaving the other two fixed.

I teach skiing and the ones who "get it" quickly are able to use isolated simple movements when shown.

The ones who struggle a lot are usually not even remotely trying to do simple movements. These people are attempting the impossible. They add in extra movements of their own.
Nothing like what they've been shown.
Then they declare "See, I told you I can't do it. It's impossible!".
I say to them. Yes, correct. What you were trying to do there is impossible. Now try to do what I showed you.

Try to think of your learning style. Everybody has a different preference. There's loads to look up on it. Then find a teacher who can tune into that.

Learning to ski should be simple.

There are exceptions.
I once took a client for a 1:1 private lesson. He had never skied before.
There was a slight problem. He'd recently suffered a stroke and although he could stand, he was paralysed down his right side.
He managed it though. By the end of the week, he achieved his goal of skiing unaided from the top of the village chair in Val d'Isere.

It's worth getting private lessons.
You'll enjoy it, you will make breakthroughs, you will learn to ski correctly. By that, I mean that you won't hit a technique plateau later if you really master the basics early. You will get value for money.
Skiing is lifelong learning. There is an infinity of ways you can continue to develop, but you need to have clean basic movements that you can isolate, work on, and then put back in to your performance.

Having said that, very few people who ski can actually use their skis properly. Oh, they all have carvy skis. But only 0.1% of them can carve expertly. Look for two clean lines evenly spaced early in the turn, and for fast, safe, controlled speed and line. It's really only racers and teachers who show that the skills have been acquired.
Obviously, carving is only one of the elements. Go in the bumps or the powder or the steeps and you need a skilful blend of the steering elements.
Obviously, posture, balance, rhythm and flow need to come too.

I'd even go as far as to say don't look at other skiers skiing. Only look at instructors, or racers on their day-off!
You can then use that imagery in your warm-up routines.
Use psychology. Tell your subconsciousness what you want. The body will respond.

It's not worth persevering on the wrong path.
You will hate it, you won't improve, and you will develop unshakable bad habits that will blight your skiing for the rest of your life. Your body far from working autonomously, will develop blocks. You will spend a fortune trying to fix the fundamentals that you should have mastered early on.
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@SkiPresto, A very wise post. I wish I had had the patience to take private lessons and compartmentalize my movement patterns when I was younger. I would have avoided a lot of bad habits that are expensive and very hard to unlearn.

I agree 100 percent that private lessons are worth geometrically if not exponentially more than group lessons. To the OP, if you are really committed to an expensive sport like skiing, and you're not gung ho about it, then you should commit to regular private lessons. Even if you have to cut back elsewhere to save up 1,500 francs for lessons, in the long run you'll be glad you did it.
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@Pasigal 🙂
I'm pretty amazed that someone on SH approved!

Here's some more on Learning styles.
Most ski instruction is done, as it sounds, instructionally. In a directive way. The client is told exactly what to do and immediately told where they went wrong! But there are loads more teaching styles, getting progressively less sargent majory, and more laissez faire.
The latest (well, it isn't actually anything new) is "experiential learning".
https://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/learning-styles.html

Here's an explanation.
In BASI we use a toned-down but actually extremely effective version (based on Kolbs's academic approach, but humanised).
We call it the TIED model.
Task
Information
Evaluate
Develop
It separates the learning concerns into four. So they don't multiply out of control. The learner has time to go round the learning loop on each aspect of the process of being given a task, deciding what happened, and then working out how it happened, before proceeding further on developing.

With the teacher (who is skilled at this sort of thing) you can try the same task again, or alter something to make a new task. Or, it could be an easier task, or a progression to something a bit more difficult.

The big feature of this is that the instructor doesn't just pile in straight away with a list of things that were wrong.
It is managed and controlled with input from the learner.

This next item may be over-kill, and it may or may not help the OP. But it may help his or her friends who want to help. It's aimed at ski teachers, but it does help so understand their approach. And many BASI ski instructors are quite inexperienced anyway!
Interski 2015 - BASI TIED Model - Mini Lecture - 10/09/2015 from Official BASI
https://vimeo.com/139437635
See what you think.
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@SkiPresto, Very interesting. IME I've had mostly "directive" lessons, even from private teachers. However, I've only done ESF, SSI and various resorts in the Western U.S.

Don't want to hijack the OP's thread. But one thing seems to separate those who take to skiing right away and those who don't, and it's a certain amount of, for lack of a better word, "body confidence." That is -- do you trust your body to move a certain way, and how will you get yourself out of a situation perceived as a threat? If you've participated in a lot of sports, you know what to do, and when you ski you trust your muscles to do things like put all your weight on the downhill ski. But if you haven't, you've no idea what to do, and your reaction to a steep section is paralysing fear. Fight (attack the steep section, trusting your skills, equipment and muscles) or flight (freeze, take off skis, say "I can't" etc.), as it were.
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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.
agw wrote:
Awdbugga wrote:

....

Both myself and my close friend (both relative beginners) benefitted greatly from advice provided by another Snowhead on the recent Birthday Bash. The young lady in question pointed out what each of us was doing wrong in a clear and simple way; which we could both relate to. The difference it made to my friend was incredible. He was like a transformed skier in the space of 24 hours. She also helped me to ditch an ingrained bad habit. I've had lessons before, but no-one had thought to employ the simple technique this young lady suggested to me. Finding the right instructor could make the world of difference to you.


I'd very much like to hear what those tips were. My son's fiancée is a bit stuck with her skiing (although she made progress last season with a lesson) and I was a bit reluctant to give tips for fear of making things worse. I thought I could clearly see the problems, though.
PM me if you don't want to divert this thread.
Cheers.


I was skiing with the two gentlemen and the young lady and I can tell you that her tips were very specific to the problems we were having. They were specific to our individual faults and the way they were given helped to boost our confidence.
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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 did go skiing this weekend in Villars, and had two hours of lessons with an irrepressibly cheerful ESS teacher, and I definitely improved. Give me some good tips and I actually enjoyed it. I struggled coming down a red later on (still too much like each traverse of the slope is like I just slide and hope), but the lessons were good. I aim to go back again next week.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Rabbie, fair enough, too specific to be of general use?



@mh8782, good news! You seem have turned a corner - enjoying your skiing is key.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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@mh8782, that's really good news. I hope you have more lessons booked with the same person for next week.

My advice now would be to stick to blues until you're feel comfortably in control on every blue and get to the point of feeling 'I REALLY, REALLY want to ski that red.....'
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sj1608 wrote:
@mh8782, that's really good news. I hope you have more lessons booked with the same person for next week.

My advice now would be to stick to blues until you're feel comfortably in control on every blue and get to the point of feeling 'I REALLY, REALLY want to ski that red.....'


+1

That will be about the time you enjoy being in the fall line, gathering a bit of speed and nailing the next turn. It will happen.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
mh8782 wrote:
I did go skiing this weekend in Villars, and had two hours of lessons with an irrepressibly cheerful ESS teacher, and I definitely improved. Give me some good tips and I actually enjoyed it. I struggled coming down a red later on (still too much like each traverse of the slope is like I just slide and hope), but the lessons were good. I aim to go back again next week.


YES! Well done - keep at it!
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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?
Rabbie wrote:
agw wrote:
Awdbugga wrote:

....

Both myself and my close friend (both relative beginners) benefitted greatly from advice provided by another Snowhead on the recent Birthday Bash. The young lady in question pointed out what each of us was doing wrong in a clear and simple way; which we could both relate to. The difference it made to my friend was incredible. He was like a transformed skier in the space of 24 hours. She also helped me to ditch an ingrained bad habit. I've had lessons before, but no-one had thought to employ the simple technique this young lady suggested to me. Finding the right instructor could make the world of difference to you.


I'd very much like to hear what those tips were. My son's fiancée is a bit stuck with her skiing (although she made progress last season with a lesson) and I was a bit reluctant to give tips for fear of making things worse. I thought I could clearly see the problems, though.
PM me if you don't want to divert this thread.
Cheers.


I was skiing with the two gentlemen and the young lady and I can tell you that her tips were very specific to the problems we were having. They were specific to our individual faults and the way they were given helped to boost our confidence.


This can't possibly be the Rabbie I skied with as he's called Audfart and I - gentlemen Twisted Evil . Bless you Rabbie, your memory must be finally failing you. Very Happy wink Hope your ankle has healed Ok.
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@Awdbugga, You and Audfart are definitely true gentlemen who buy their round and were excellent company. My ankle is healing nicely and has improved after a visit to the physio this week.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
SkiPresto wrote:
@mh8782
I teach skiing and the ones who "get it" quickly are able to use isolated simple movements when shown.

The ones who struggle a lot are usually not even remotely trying to do simple movements. These people are attempting the impossible. They add in extra movements of their own.
Nothing like what they've been shown.
Then they declare "See, I told you I can't do it. It's impossible!".
I say to them. Yes, correct. What you were trying to do there is impossible. Now try to do what I showed you.


Sorry, but this turn of phrase really rubbed me the wrong way, I hope you don't use that exact wording with your students. I agree with the principle, but as a learner if you were to say that to me I'd probably walk away and not look back. It would show me that you either don't recognise differences in learning styles, or don't care for them.

In my mind, as a beginner who is struggling, I am doing what you showed me. The problem is that I can't distinguish your correct movements from my incorrect ones.. You must surely realise that the ability to mimic from a visual demonstration is both a skill and a natural aptitude and varies between individuals. As it happens, mine is remarkably poor - I felt that I learned more about skiing sitting at my desk than I did with a week's worth of lessons, but what that means is that for me, copying is not effective. In reality obviously I need both; everyone does, but for me the period of reflection and study is essential, because that is where the recognition of the principle happens. Actually skiing is reinforcement.
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mh8782 forgive me for saying this but why exactly are you continuing to pursue skiing as a hobby if you dont enjoy it. Even living in Switzerland it is not obligatory there are lots of other sports and hobbies to take up your spare time. Some people just dont "get it" and you may be one of them.
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