Killington's TBL Beginner Progression

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Here it is, a beginner program explained in detail, with video, on terrain designed specifically for this program.
This video is used to train rookie instructors at Killington, in VT.
TBL=Terrain Based Learning
This video shows 1 two-hour lesson, the first in a package of 3 or 4 such lessons, that beginners can sign up for. They can choose to take each lesson on any day that suits them during the season.
The narrator says this progression is not rigidly followed.
As such, I take it as a "reference" progression from which instructor-generated deviations are common.

Any comments on how these beginners are taught and how this terrain is used?
 
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karlo

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The new indoor ski center at American Dream, in the Meadowlands, will be a TBL center.
 

Mike King

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Here it is, a beginner program explained in detail, with video, on terrain designed specifically for this program.
This video is used to train rookie instructors at Killington, in VT.
TBL=Terrain Based Learning
This video shows 1 two-hour lesson, the first in a package of 3 or 4 such lessons, that beginners can sign up for. They can choose to take each lesson on any day that suits them during the season.
The narrator says this progression is not rigidly followed.
As such, I take it as a "reference" progression from which instructor-generated deviations are common.

Any comments on how these beginners are taught and how this terrain is used?
Kmart is also a SnowOperating licensee.

http://www.snowoperating.com
 
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LiquidFeet

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Btw, the snow operating approach is more direct to parallel with little of the wedge approach added by Kmart.
I looked at the SnowOperating website for details of the learning progressions they embrace and couldn't find any. The website keeps the marketing pretty vague as regards this kind of detail. @Mike King, have you got any links?
 
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LiquidFeet

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I'll ask Eric Lipton about it if I get the chance at Pro Jam in Dec. I'm impressed with Killington's video, but have no idea how this TBL works out in real time. I've skied down the learning terrain when there's no one on it to get back to the lodge, that's all. It does take up a considerable amount of territory - big footprint. That takes considerable commitment from a ski area with limited flat terrain and a desire to maximize short-term profits.
 

mdf

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That takes considerable commitment from a ski area with limited flat terrain and a desire to maximize short-term profits.
It's that stretch along the road between the main base and Snowshed, right?
They've been doing never-ever lessons there forever. They brought the students up in a truck, probably still do.
It is a good spot, pretty flat and long enough that you don't have to go back to the top frequently. But realistically, there isn't much else they could do with it.
 

Nancy Hummel

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It seems that solid beginner progressions should be similar regardless of whether you are using the fancy man made features.

The mini pipe is often not steep enough for people to move -depending on snow conditions. Some of the banked curves we had at Snowmass were very helpful to let people easily flatten their downhill ski and turn.

I have always sought out terrain where this could be done but some of the features make it easier.
 

Chris V.

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Somehow I missed this when you first posted. Lots of good stuuf here. I agree, terrain based teaching is the best. Thing. Ever!

Something that stands out strongly in this progression is the tremendous attention to getting the student comfortable with straight runs, and instilling solid basic movements, before even thinking about making turns. Yeah, that's the way to do it.

I wish more schools had solid video training like this for instructors. Unlike on snow training, there's no risk of leaving any gaps. A great segment to view repeatedly. Gets everyone on the same page!
 
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LiquidFeet

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In that Killington training video, everything is kept very simple. This is the first of four two-hour-beginner-lessons that adults buy in a bundled batch. I don't know if they do this progression with kids, or if they use this terrain for kids and do other things with them depending on age.

Centered stance:
Most of the video is focused on getting the student's used to maintaining tongue-shin contact and moving/keeping the belly button forward of their feet. They are in parallel when they are introduced to this challenge, while going across a half pipe on flat terrain. The rise on the far side of the half pipe stops them, so they can concentrate in isolation on standing tall and keeping their feet up under them, or their belly button ahead of their feet. Most of the time in the video focuses on maintaining this stance.

First turns in a narrow gliding wedge, with feet and legs turning more than the upper body:
For getting into the wedge, these first day adult students are taught to turn both feet into a wedge.
For first single turns in a wedge, they are taught to point both feet in the new turn's direction. They are encouraged to turn the feet with their legs, rotating the legs from the hip socket without rotating the hips and upper body. Given the actual students in the video, I'm not sure this is successful. Most of their time, at least in the video, is focused on maintaining a centered stance.
For first linked turns they are taught to turn both feet in the new turn's direction while standing tall and maintaining shin-tongue contact. That's about it.

What they do not do in this video:
--I can't find anything where they teach them to stop. Students coast to a stop on friendly terrain built for that purpose. They do teach the first single turn up onto a berm, then down onto the flat, where they coast to a stop.
--I can't find anything addressing release: no mention of flattening a ski, shortening or flexing a leg, lengthening or extending a leg, or intentionally flattening one or both skis before starting a new turn.
--I can't find anything where they have students get tall/small to start/end a turn.
 
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Chris V.

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They are encouraged to turn the feet with their legs, rotating the legs from the hip socket without rotating the hips and upper body. Given the actual students in the video, I'm not sure this is successful.
Bingo. I'm not sure the instructor is displaying this movement, either. More later.
 
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LiquidFeet

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It is hard to teach people to turn the skis with the feet/legs while not turning the body too. This is an unfamiliar movement. Plus, beginners wonder how on earth they can "turn" those long boards attached to their feet. They have no trust that they can do it without catching an edge and falling. Turning the upper body first feels intuitive to beginners, and unfortunately it works to turn the skis, so there's that fact hovering over the lesson, ready to defeat an instructor's best efforts.

I am not surprised that in one 2-hour lesson they don't succeed in teaching these beginners upper-body-lower-body-separation. But if these adult students come back for their other 3 lessons, I bet these instructors have a pretty good chance to get this movement pattern across to their students. I can see myself happily teaching beginners with such a lesson and terrain structure.
 
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karlo

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There's also the resistance from long-time snow pros who aren't on board with TBL...

Mike
I’m not sure if it’s TBL, but one parallel from start program I’ve seen is station based, with instructors assigned to a station. “Graduates” of one station are sent to the next. So, very assembly line and the instructor becomes an assembly line worker. It doesn’t promote the development of an instructor-student relationship. But, it does allow for a student to spend as much time as needed at any station without holding up a group and the group’s instructor.
 
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