Are group lessons effective for advanced skiers?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Chris V., Jan 8, 2019.

  1. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    Near the end the video does a good job of making the Alta Chutes look steep.
     
  2. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

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    I resemble that remark!

    Not a bad idea; thanks! Before I beat myself up too much I AM a pretty good skier and certainly advanced. I just know that without better mogul skiing I'll never consider myself better than that. I've been watching a lot of videos of JH the last week and there's a lot of terrrain that I'm sure I won't have any issue skiing. I watched a couple of videos of Alta 1 and thought, bring it on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  3. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    You must have the patience of a saint.
    I lasted about 30 seconds with that video.

    You know what Josh would had said, eh?
     
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  4. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

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    No, but I'm sure my ego would take a hit.
     
  5. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    His tag line dated back to the EpicSki days.

    It is not that you can't ski bumps, it is because you can't ski and the bumps proves it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019


  6. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

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    Ahh. Well, I'm not sure about that. I would say the truth is somewhere in between. No offense, Josh!
     
  7. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    Nah, just lucky clicking on the play time line, There is about a minute worth watching, maybe three minutes before the end,
     
  8. Thread Starter
    TS
    Chris V.

    Chris V. Getting on the lift Skier

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    Lots of good responses. Thank you, everyone.

    Yes, I think this is key. First consistency, but then thinking for yourself is indispensable for gaining high level skills. Skiing is very cerebral.

    I've found this to be an issue in the past. Not just creating confusion, but trying to take me in conflicting directions, which ended up being destructive of good skiing, short term, because I didn't have the time to ingrain one unified good movement pattern.

    I agree with the consensus expressed here that other things being equal, longer lessons and repeated sessions with the same instructor are superior. There have been some divergent views of the general value of group lessons--but all of the above points highlight for me the limitations of that format.

    Multiday clinics are a great option, but not a panacea. The clinic might not turn out to have the goals you were hoping for. The group might not be compatible. If you get a less than stellar instructor, you're stuck with that person for all those days. In my own experience there were some extended clinics that I thought were great at the time, but that I later realized featured learning pathways that weren't very efficient, that didn't always explain things well, and that didn't connect with me as an individual in the ways necessary to make individual changes in my skiing. You know, there are some instructors who are very good skiers, but who despite their best intentions are deficient in their abilities to communicate to others how to produce those movements--or who may not even understand very clearly what they are doing with their own bodies and equipment to create good skiing.

    Well said, and there's the rub. Some of us might be willing to put in a lot of time and work. But how many are really going to pay tens of thousands of dollars for private lessons or coaching? Past a certain skill level, it may be that there are two kinds of skiers. There are those who choose to make skiing their life, and for a great many of them accepting a huge financial sacrifice. There are a lucky few who have the natural talent that they just pick it up instinctively. (The superstars become superstars only through a combination of natural talent and long, hard work, of course.) Then there are the very wealthy who can hire the best during their vacation time. I have known some who have become very stylish skiers this way, despite limitations in athletic abilities and practice time.
     
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  9. Thread Starter
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    Chris V.

    Chris V. Getting on the lift Skier

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    Yes, the classic method of scoring a private lesson at a group lesson price. The old ways are still the best.
     
  10. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    No big thing.... it'll be just like architecture school. :roflmao:
     
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  11. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    I took an intermediate 1.5 hr clinic a couple of seasons ago at Massanutten on a Saturday, and was the only one who showed up. 1.5 hour private lesson... score! Sometimes small, uncrowded resorts are nice.
     
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  12. geepers

    geepers Getting off the lift Skier

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    It'd be an unresponsive ski school that didn't move people around between groups when requested. Not a good business strategy to go on annoying customers.
     
  13. Blue Streak

    Blue Streak Behind the Epic Curtain Skier

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    One advantage of group lessons is that the student can learn a lot from observing other students and listening to the feedback provided them.
     
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  14. Bolder

    Bolder Getting on the lift Skier

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    This has been my experience, too.

    But, in answer to the general question, can group lessons be "effective?" Yes, but you get so much more for your money and time with a private lesson. I get just as much out of riding a chairlift with an instructor as I do from the on the slope time, so long as the instructor doesn't think he's off the clock and starts scrolling his instagram feed...

    It's one thing for kids or beginners who don't have to reprogram ingrained habits to take a class, but (again, IME), you really need to have a customized approach for each person and get down to the granular level on why they are skiing a certain way, what are the physical and psychological limitations, what are their goals etc. Even doing a gear check. You won't get that in a class, even if it's only 3-4 people.

    adding an anecdote. and a plug for private lessons: We live in France and our kids have gone through the ESF levels. Last year, we priced out 2 hours of private lessons 3x/week vs. a whole week of group lessons (15+ hours). It wasn't much more expensive. Our son got his gold star (just below compeitition level, not a simple test) and our daughter aced her bronze star (just below gold) in that time. Plus it gave us more time to ski with them.
     
  15. KevinF

    KevinF Gathermeister-Stowe Team Gathermeister

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    Even the worst student in the group adds value! :golfclap:
     
  16. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    ahh, never gets old and always relevant. I keep that in my head and use it on myself when I get lazy :). Thanks @Josh Matta

    ^^. this can certainly be true here especially mid-week.
     
  17. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Private lessons work best. That's why they can charge more for them. Private coaching from the right coach is better still.
     
  18. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

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    Ahh, that brings back memories; bad ones ogsmile Maybe in another life Josh was an architecture professor and that's where he got his talent for bluntness. ogwink
     
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  19. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Well, those videos of Alta 1 don't reveal how steep it really is. Really steep terrain often has minimal bumps, but you need the most important aspects of bump skiing to ski the steeps well and safely. It's one thing to stand on a slope in the 40 degree range of steepness and another to do so where it is crux skiing -- that is, where a fall is going to bring injury or possibly death. Jackson has a fair amount of crux terrain. Big Sky has a lot of steep terrain, but less of it is crux. Depending on snowfall, some of the steep terrain at JH also develops big bumps; runs such as Tower 3 often have big bumps in the pinch points and I've never skied the Hobacks when the entrance did not have big bumps.

    Taking a lesson will provide you not only with a guide, but with instruction that is likely to improve both your steep skiing and your bump skiing. If you go for a private, ask for at least a certified level 3 instructor -- an examiner would be better. You likely would be well served by a group lesson for what I understand your purpose to be though.

    Mike
     
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  20. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Working on my technique all the time Skier

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    Okay, I'll look into getting a lesson at JH. Thanks for the good advice.
     

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