Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Penny S » Tue, 14 Mar 2000 04:00:00


I skied with the PH ( the Pinna Hubby)  tele style for a few hours
yesterday;  a lesson of
sorts was what we had discussed.  In my several years of hobby tele-ing, I
have NEVER skied with him; not avoidance, but just not necessary or he has
been on duty or whatever.

We worked together very well, which was a real surprise, as most of the time
we speak very different languages when it come to teaching and learning

In retrospect, I think what made it work was number of things.  One, I have
been "playing"on my own for a bit, so  have a relative clue about what I am
doing; not expecting him to show me *everything* as a rank beginner. Two,
and this is the biggie I think, is that I have enough clinicing experience
and knowledge of the theory *behind* the teaching ( five years of clinicing
my way up to advanced alpine skiing) to either understand the nuance of
what he is trying to explain to me, or to ask the right questions.  I think
this is really important one; this enabled us to speak the same language.

When you are a total beginner, as is the typical scenario when one half
takes the other half skiing,  you are so busy trying to stay upright and not
completely freak, things like  " you need to pressure your back ski a little
more" make zero sense: you just want to get down the hill.  For me, though ,
my grasp of the whole situation made it rather pleasant.  I was seeking some
input, and he provided it for me, in his usual form (technical detail) but I
could understand it.  For example, he suggested that I was transitioning my
fore/back skis too soon, I should wait until I was crossing the fall line.
So I drew a little diagram on the snow with my pole to regurgitate the info,
and changed my timing.  We talked about timing pole plants a little, and I
had one really weak turn: as soon as I quit looking at my tips on that side
it improved radically. ;-)

He left me to my druthers after a bit and went to go trash around in the
trees with one of the kids.  All in all, it worked great....I dropped the
big hint for tele skis for my fall birthday, as I am on borrowed skis right
now.  My alpine/pitbull mount turned into an even bigger fiasco that would
have required more money than I was willing to invest in my $10 skis and
free( but new) bindings.

Penny S.

but guys, don't try this at home. I am a special case!!

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Throcke » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
> When you are a total beginner, as is the typical scenario when one half
> takes the other half skiing,  you are so busy trying to stay upright and not
> completely freak, things like  " you need to pressure your back ski a little
> more" make zero sense: you just want to get down the hill.  For me, though ,
> my grasp of the whole situation made it rather pleasant.  I was seeking some
> input, and he provided it for me, in his usual form (technical detail) but I
> could understand it

Something I've found after working multiple lesson
sessions with the same person is that better students
make better instructors. To quote one of my favorite
Berra-isms: "Some people, if they aren't listening,
you just can't tell them anything."

It takes a while to learn each other's terminology in
any teaching situation. And It usually takes an "Aha"
moment in the student before they will really pay
attention to what the instructor is saying. It's not a
case of the student or the instructor being inadequate,
it just takes something to "click" before the student and
the instructor can really trust each other.

Obviously familiarity makes this happen quicker, but there
has to be a common understanding of the words and the
movements before the lesson can really help. If we're still
talking different words from what we're skiing, no level
personal familarity will help.

-EL

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Jessica Haine » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00

I couldn't agree more. I work as a dry slope instructor, and total
beginners get 4*1.5 hour lessons. They usually take these pretty randomly
spread over a couple of weeks, so you never see the same people twice...
Working up that vocabulary takes most of the lesson. I'm sure its one of
the reasons people find it hard to learn to ski...

One of my colleague learnt the hard way that not everyone uses the same
vocabulary. To split a large group up into ability he went through the
basic "Whos skied before"  "who can snowplough" "who can turn" "who can
ski paralell". He started at the parallel end so he could get the
competent skiers going and get them out of the way.

About half the group said they could ski parallel, so off they went up to
top of the main run so gary could see them skiing parallel...The first
skier came straight down, no turns, no wedge, mach9 (luckily theres a fair
amount of run off). Gary ran over and basically asked "what the hell?". It
turned out they had had one lesson, where the instructor had taught them
to slide with their skis "parallel"  or "plough". The rest of them had to
walk down ;)

Jess

Something I've found after working multiple lesson
sessions with the same person is that better students
make better instructors. To quote one of my favorite
Berra-isms: "Some people, if they aren't listening,
you just can't tell them anything."

It takes a while to learn each other's terminology in
any teaching situation. And It usually takes an "Aha"
moment in the student before they will really pay
attention to what the instructor is saying. It's not a
case of the student or the instructor being inadequate,
it just takes something to "click" before the student and
the instructor can really trust each other.

Obviously familiarity makes this happen quicker, but there
has to be a common understanding of the words and the
movements before the lesson can really help. If we're still
talking different words from what we're skiing, no level
personal familarity will help.

-EL

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Penny S » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
> > Something I've found after working multiple lesson
> sessions with the same person is that better students
> make better instructors. To quote one of my favorite
> Berra-isms: "Some people, if they aren't listening,
> you just can't tell them anything."

Heh, you would *love* me for a student ( skiing, of course).  The whole gist
of my post was supposed to be about actually having a positive experience
with one's spouse as a teacher; pretty rare as far as I can tell.

Penny

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Karen Nakamur » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00

Penny -

I'd agree about the whole partner-as-teacher schtick as well. I've seen
so many fights and tears on slopes as someone's boyfriend (usually) is
bullying their GF down the slope. They're trying to be helpful. But
shouting "LEFT LEG FORWARD! RIGHT LEG!" doesn't really help. And many of
my friends have been left at the top of scary (for them) blue runs by
their boyfriends/parents.

I've always thought it best to leave it to the (trained) pros.

Karen

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by david ma » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00

: Obviously familiarity makes this happen quicker, but there
: has to be a common understanding of the words and the
: movements before the lesson can really help. If we're still

IME, familiarity undercuts the teaching process.

I think one of the aspects of a student trusting an
instructor is the need of the student to respect
the instructor. Or rather to trust that the instructor
is actually speaking out of some position of justified
authority.  The problem with teaching friends and loved
ones is that you enter the teaching situation with a
peer to peer relationship already firmly established.

Another complicating factor is the ongoing skiing relationship
you with that person. The last thing I want or that my
friends want is the sense that I am always watching and
critiqueing their skiing (although I probably am as a
mental excercise!).

Penny, kudos for not only staying civil, but having fun!
Very rare.

Dave

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Laurie Salaza » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00

Y'all are so right and totally not alone on this, one time at Mammoth I had
a guy (a total stranger) ski up to me and beg me and offer me big money to
take over the days tele lesson that he was giving his GF. It was really kind
of a gallant thing to do, he realized that he was totally frustrated, she
was shutting down and the situation had reached the melt-down stage.

 Karen, your right about adding the /parents part, it happens to kids all
the time. My ski partners and I have always taught each other's kids, it is
far less threatening for them and the manipulation factor goes way down.

Lest I appear sexist, I am sure the dynamic could easily work the same way
if Laurie was teaching me! Mitch www.telemarktips.com


Quote:
> Penny -

> I'd agree about the whole partner-as-teacher schtick as well. I've seen
> so many fights and tears on slopes as someone's boyfriend (usually) is
> bullying their GF down the slope. They're trying to be helpful. But
> shouting "LEFT LEG FORWARD! RIGHT LEG!" doesn't really help. And many of
> my friends have been left at the top of scary (for them) blue runs by
> their boyfriends/parents.

> I've always thought it best to leave it to the (trained) pros.

> Karen

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Penny S » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> : Obviously familiarity makes this happen quicker, but there
> : has to be a common understanding of the words and the
> : movements before the lesson can really help. If we're still

> IME, familiarity undercuts the teaching process.

> I think one of the aspects of a student trusting an
> instructor is the need of the student to respect
> the instructor. Or rather to trust that the instructor
> is actually speaking out of some position of justified
> authority.  The problem with teaching friends and loved
> ones is that you enter the teaching situation with a
> peer to peer relationship already firmly established.

> Another complicating factor is the ongoing skiing relationship
> you with that person. The last thing I want or that my
> friends want is the sense that I am always watching and
> critiqueing their skiing (although I probably am as a
> mental excercise!).

> Penny, kudos for not only staying civil, but having fun!
> Very rare.

Thanks Dave.  It was an eyes wide open situation. Having been there and done

way in the past, I knew both what to expect and what I needed.  I made a few
cracks to some of our buddies, that, yep, Craig 's going to give me a few
pointers, BUT I will only let him tell me TWO things.  Yes, it's a joke, but
I got the "knowing'  look from a lot of folks that indicated they knew it
wasn't a joke at all.

P.

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Penny S » Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> Typically the spousal student comes into the lesson having
> decided that there is no way the spousal instructor understands
> their predicament, whereas the spousal instructor is pretty
> sure it's all obvious and gets frustrated by the lack of
> performance. Your lesson worked because you had done enough of
> your homework to know what to expect from your spouse. This
> made teaching you easier, and thus your spouse was able to get
> teaching gratification (the sense that he was teaching you
> something) immediately.

Oh, I dunno. He may have been bored with the whole thing.

Quote:
> Teaching a good lesson is almost as satisfying as sex.

I doubt that.  ;-)

GTS

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by ant » Thu, 16 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
> About half the group said they could ski parallel, so off they went up to
> top of the main run so gary could see them skiing parallel...The first
> skier came straight down, no turns, no wedge, mach9

This is familiar! We had a Swiss lady all season a year or so ago (just 2
of us in the group, we did VERY well), and she had us crying with laughter
as she indignantly told the tale of a "terrible" group she'd been given the
previous day. She's the Swiss equivalent of a PSIA III, so usually gets
non-beginners.  Anyway, this mob had all said they could parallel.
"Parallel?! Where did they get this idea? From a dream they had in the
night?! These people they could not even turn or anything..."

She had to get them down the bunny slope, onto the lift, and then returned
them (with much bad language, I imagine) to the ski school allocations
person. She was very offended about the whole thing.

--
ant_______________________________
Whistler Invasion: http://www.ant.50megs.com/

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by James Horn » Thu, 16 Mar 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> Penny -

> I'd agree about the whole partner-as-teacher schtick as well. I've seen
> so many fights and tears on slopes as someone's boyfriend (usually) is
> bullying their GF down the slope. They're trying to be helpful. But
> shouting "LEFT LEG FORWARD! RIGHT LEG!" doesn't really help. And many of
> my friends have been left at the top of scary (for them) blue runs by
> their boyfriends/parents.

> I've always thought it best to leave it to the (trained) pros.

> Karen

Karen

the image you paint of the bellowing BF is fairly well represented but I
wouldn't like to think of this as the only reason these sorts of things
fall foul.  I find it next to impossible to conduct any sort of
instruction with my own partner in spite of the fact I have no
difficulty with many other friends who I have helped with their
telemarking.  It does not descend to fights or shouting but I think
there is often too great a desire to get things right the first time
when you are with your partner.  If I am asked specifically to offer
advice to my partner I do it once, maybe for 5 minutes and then let it
go.  She usually then goes away and figures it out later in her own time
but hopefully it is aided by any thoughts or comments I can offer.
I think it becomes more difiicult because we are partners and agree with
you that the instructor-student relationship is a much better
environment for learning.

Cheers

James

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Throcke » Thu, 16 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> Heh, you would *love* me for a student ( skiing, of course).  The whole gist
> of my post was supposed to be about actually having a positive experience
> with one's spouse as a teacher; pretty rare as far as I can tell.

Yeah, I got that. I was just trying to expand on the reasons
for spousal teaching disfunction.

Typically the spousal student comes into the lesson having
decided that there is no way the spousal instructor understands
their predicament, whereas the spousal instructor is pretty
sure it's all obvious and gets frustrated by the lack of
performance. Your lesson worked because you had done enough of
your homework to know what to expect from your spouse. This
made teaching you easier, and thus your spouse was able to get
teaching gratification (the sense that he was teaching you
something) immediately.

Teaching a good lesson is almost as satisfying as sex.

-EL

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Throcke » Thu, 16 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> IME, familiarity undercuts the teaching process.

> I think one of the aspects of a student trusting an
> instructor is the need of the student to respect
> the instructor. Or rather to trust that the instructor
> is actually speaking out of some position of justified
> authority.  The problem with teaching friends and loved
> ones is that you enter the teaching situation with a
> peer to peer relationship already firmly established.

I disagree. I think that the peer to peer relationship
establishes some a priori credibility--perhaps too much--
as the student's expectations may be too high. When the
first couple of hint or directives don't work, the student
feels let down, or that their trust has been betrayed, and

Typically teaching spouses haven't logged enough time with
students at their spouse's level, and can't pick up on exactly
which movement their spouse is struggling with. So they repeat
themselves louder and louder and louder...

So If you're going to teach your loved ones to ski I'd
recommend doing what Penny did. Lay in some groundwork well
before you get on snow together, so that you can establish a
skiing dialect before you have to use it to communicate. Get
the gear beforehand, put it on in the rec room, and spend a
little time talking about how it works and how it feels.

Jeez, I sound like a frickin' marriage counselor. Shuttin up now.

-EL

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Rick Knowla » Thu, 16 Mar 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> I think that the peer to peer relationship


Hey, keep it clean--this is a family newsgroup.  Next thing you know,
you'll be   .   .   .   .

oops, better not go there.

Rick Knowlan
----------------------------------------------------------
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
----------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Lessons from partners ( a few random thoughts)

Post by Hollywood Horvat » Thu, 16 Mar 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

>Teaching a good lesson is almost as satisfying as sex.

You're not teaching skiing, are you?

--
                                Horvath

        I was surfing the net when Yahoo was only a hillbilly cheer.