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MarkG

MarkG

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On both Day 1 and 2, there was 1 student in the groups I was in who could have used more time on the groomers to work on thing
Hands down I was that guy day 2, but this is how it went down. I'd say there were roughly 15 people who showed up to the class Sunday. At the initial ski off, maybe 5 people went before me. All went to a strong group. Then I skied. Was put in the John group of the day which up to that point was going to be the "we're going to get you dialed in" group. Problem was, everybody else who skied in the ski off belonged in that other group. There were only 2 instructors. I was the outlier. There were really only 2 options...either dump me from the class, or split the class as they did with me trying to keep up. I'm happy they let me hang in the class, though spent a considerable amount time beating myself up for falling and delaying the other 4.

I'd think that's one of the flaws of group lessons, however. You don't really know the bell curve distribution of skills that are going to show up.

I had fun, and came away with a lot to think about and work on. Really, that was my intent and I hope that is what came off on my original post. Are there better ways to learn and different paradigms to approaching bumps? Absolutely. Would I seek those out as well? Sure. I just want to have fun with bumps, with as wide a tactical quiver that I can find. Momentum, B4B, Bob Barnes, Josh Matta...shit, I'd probably be happy to take lessons from all of them. But I was in WB on a weekend that momentum was going. It was fun. :D
 
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LiquidFeet

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I'd think that's one of the flaws of group lessons, however. You don't really know the bell curve distribution of skills that are going to show up.
In prior group lessons I have had, usually the instructor would make an attempt at bumps, then abort mission after seeing a student struggle like this in bumps. I *assume* that they do this to prevent injury. Or maybe they think it is not a good learning environment? ....Prior instructors I have had would *probably* force everyone back out of the bumps. In these lessons, that didn't happen.
I'm speaking as an instructor here.

Every group, no matter how many are in it, displays differences in "readiness." The teacher has to decide how to handle the least ready person and the most ready person. PSIA says safety comes first. It's a liability issue, and a word-of-mouth reputation thing. Breaking students is frowned upon. I'm OK with that.

However... that doesn't eliminate the decision the instructor has to make of where to pitch the teaching -- to the back or to the front of the class, or to the middle, with pull-out time for the outliers. Skill in giving every class member what they need, in a group environment, while keeping the group happy, and while everyone is moving downhill, is a teaching skill and is separate from technical proficiency. Some instructors are great at it, others not so much. Some teach to the prodigies in the class, some focus on the most attractive members (!!!), some aim for the least ready ones because they can't be left behind. Helping those people so they can keep up may be essential before the instructor can offer the rest of the class what they need if the class needs to move up the hill, since no one can be left down at the lodge practicing by themselves. Ideally the teacher can aim for the middle and spot-teach the rest, but sometimes this doesn't work out because the spread in abilities is too great.

Anytime one takes a group lesson, it's possible the scenario where the slowest student takes up some time will happen while the rest have to wait. It's the risk you take when you sign up for the group thing instead of forking over the dough for a private. Week-long group camps with a number of instructors teaching several groups are better because there's time to deal with the inequality of skill and the possibility of moving students around after the initial ski-off.
 
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Seldomski

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I had also posted a short summary on another thread about my experience. Just adding it here to consolidate info - quoting myself:

I just did the Momentum Mogul winter clinic this past weekend at Whistler. It was two days of instruction from former WC/olympic mogul skiers. If you can ski with separation, I think it is a great investment. There were a couple of students in the groups that skied square to their skis and struggled considerably more in the bumps. You really need to have upper/lower separation to ski the direct mogul line that the clinic aspires toward. There were some drills in the morning to work on short turns/separation on groomers. The coaches took all of us into the bumps in the afternoons when they had turned to slush, whether everyone had mastered separation or not. Those without separation had a much rougher afternoon than the others. Still, it is useful to be in the bumps to learn how to read them and work on absorption even without good separation.

It was pretty interesting watching the coaches ski. As luck had it, there were a few Whistler Ski school high level instructors teaching in bumps as well (advanced lessons, not part of the clinic). I watched the Momentum coach ski down the same mogul field just after a ski school instructor. The two styles were very different. The Momentum instructor's head went straight down the fall line. Barely moved one helmet diameter side to side. The Whistler instructor had a much rounder, longer turn shape and was comparatively all over the place on the same run. I wish I had taken a video of it. Both guys moved quickly down the bump field, but the Momentum coach showed a whole other level of mastery. Pretty eye opening to see how much less jarring the direct line was to the body when applied correctly. Crossing trough lines in the moguls like the Whistler ski school instructor did suddenly looked much less efficient.

Momentum coaches are not required to have any teaching certification with CSIA or PSIA. So they had totally different drills and ways of looking at moguls than I had heard before. Whereas former lessons I have had with PSIA and CSIA really preach versatility and teach to that, Momentum is very singularly focused on one thing - skiing a direct line in moguls.

The Momentum class I was in had student ages ranging from late 20s to mid 50s. They also get kids taking these clinics, but they are taught separately from adults. Group size was 5 students to one instructor. They did video analysis after lessons each day. My coach on day 1 was Ryan Johnson (age ~45) and day 2 was John Smart (age ~54). Both are former Olympians (mogul skiers). Pretty cool to ski with these guys!

If you ski mostly square to your skis, I think you will get a lot out of B4B or Clendenin method lessons. If you can ski short turns with upper/lower body separation and want to learn bumps, I highly recommend the Momentum Mogul clinics. You can also arrange for private multi day lessons with their coaches. If I had unlimited time/money, and wanted to get really good at bumps, I would 100% book a private lesson with one of the Momentum Mogul coaches for multiple days and just follow them all day in the bumps.

They also have week long clinics/camps in the summer. Website for winter sessions: https://www.momentumskicamps.com/programs/winter-clinics/
 

Mike King

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I'm speaking as an instructor here.

Every group, no matter how many are in it, displays differences in "readiness." The teacher has to decide how to handle the least ready person and the most ready person. PSIA says safety comes first. It's a liability issue, and a word-of-mouth reputation thing. Breaking students is frowned upon. I'm OK with that.

However... that doesn't eliminate the decision the instructor has to make of where to pitch the teaching -- to the back or to the front of the class, or to the middle, with pull-out time for the outliers. Skill in giving every class member what they need, in a group environment, while keeping the group happy, and while everyone is moving downhill, is a teaching skill and is separate from technical proficiency. Some instructors are great at it, others not so much. Some teach to the prodigies in the class, some focus on the most attractive members (!!!), some aim for the least ready ones because they can't be left behind. Helping those people so they can keep up may be essential before the instructor can offer the rest of the class what they need if the class needs to move up the hill, since no one can be left down at the lodge practicing by themselves. Ideally the teacher can aim for the middle and spot-teach the rest, but sometimes this doesn't work out because the spread in abilities is too great.

Anytime one takes a group lesson, it's possible the scenario where the slowest student takes up some time will happen while the rest have to wait. It's the risk you take when you sign up for the group thing instead of forking over the dough for a private. Week-long group camps with a number of instructors teaching several groups are better because there's time to deal with the inequality of skill and the possibility of moving students around after the initial ski-off.
I'm not sure that PSIA says safety comes first, but I do think it ought to be first. While all instructors are different, I do think there is a difference between a professional ski instructor and some of these big name coaches who lead clinics. While every lesson is different, instructors are trained on how to select terrain and tasks to facilitate learning. Often big name folk who come to running camps and clinics don't have that focus and, as a consequence, may put their clients in situations that may not be the best environment for learning. That is, they may be over terrained, over tasked, or over worked, all of which do affect performance, learning, and safety.

You can learn a lot from skiing with a big name that came to running camps or clinics. I learned a lot from Dan Egan. But was it as transformative an experience for my skiing as skiing with a national demo team member? Nope. Both are useful, but I got more for my money by skiing with my current coach, a two-time demo team member.

I also had the lucky experience of skiing a day with Mermer Blakesly, a multiple term PSIA demo team member -- I wish I had the opportunity to ski with her more. Why? She has long been a proponent of how to select terrain and tasks that take you into the "Yikes" zone but you cannot learn anything if you stay there. Being stretched beyond your comfort zone is useful, but you have to return to terrain and tasks that are manageable to learn something from it. From a stop light perspective, dropping into the yellow zone occasionally, but not into the red. She runs camps on dealing with fear. I could use more from her on this topic.

Mike
 

LiquidFeet

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I'm not sure that PSIA says safety comes first, but I do think it ought to be first.....
I also had the lucky experience of skiing a day with Mermer Blakesly, a multiple term PSIA demo team member -- I wish I had the opportunity to ski with her more.
@Mike King, I've had to memorize "safety first, fun second, learning third" as a PSIA mantra. Since you haven't heard of it, could this be an Eastern thing?
I'll be skiing in Mermer's group, hopefully, at Big Sky this upcoming week at PSIA's National Academy. I admire her technical teaching as well as her way of leading a group for a week.
 

Mike King

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One other thought on some of the big name camps. If they don't have enough staff, then the groups become more disparate and difficult to handle. Highly experienced ski instructors have lots of experience in teaching a disparate group. More importantly, the ski school, at least the good ones, will split the groups to ensure more compatible groups. With a big name camp, it's hard to pull in another big name. And the clients are going to feel slightly if they get assigned to Jilly NoName. So, less compatible groups with a coach that's less experienced in dealing with disparities in the groups.

My two cents.
 

Seldomski

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FWIW, I had no idea who John Smart was before doing this camp. I actually asked him to his face at lunch who he was (on day 2). "I am the founder and camp director." LOL.

Some people are clueless.
<--
 

jack97

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John Smart started this camp around 1992. Back then, the competitive mogul we see now was still in its infancy. Smart said he did not get any coaching until he made the Canadian National Team, so techniques he learn to get to that level was on his own. IIRC, he created these camps so that the next generation of competitors can get coaching year round. He has former mogul competitors coach in his camps. for example Ryan J. competed 98 and 02 games. Given he was one of the first to start these in the summer, he has former World and Olympic champs come through his camp as youngster.

IMO, to say he does not know how to coach or going by his name alone is an understatement. His camps would not have this staying power if it had no value.
 

Mike King

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IMO, to say he does not know how to coach or going by his name alone is an understatement. His camps would not have this staying power if it had no value.
Absolutely true. That being said, being a high level athlete does not mean that you know how to coach lower level athletes. Certainly high level athletes have received coaching, but the coaching they've (recently) received is quite high level and may not be appropriate to the development stage of the clients in their clinics.

I didn't mean to imply that these folk have nothing to offer. For some clients, they may be the best choice. For many others, less so.

If I wasn't a FOM with injuries I'm rehabbing, I'd be tempted to try Momentum out.

Mike
 

James

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Tells us more about the outside knee tucked behind the inside one. How was that taught, discussed?
 

Seldomski

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Tells us more about the outside knee tucked behind the inside one. How was that taught, discussed?
It was a cue for weight transfer. I think it was also meant to help get forward - i.e. pull the new outside foot back. It didn't really resonate for me. It was a weird way for me to think about turning. I guess since it was weird to me I should try it again sometime? :huh:
 

jack97

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That being said, being a high level athlete does not mean that you know how to coach lower level athletes. Certainly high level athletes have received coaching, but the coaching they've (recently) received is quite high level and may not be appropriate to the development stage of the clients in their clinics.

I didn't mean to imply that these folk have nothing to offer. For some clients, they may be the best choice. For many others, less so.
I agree with all said...... A couple of things to point out, Smart list the "entrance" criteria for his camps/clinics its listed in the web site,
• Skiers must be advanced skiers on groomed trails and comfortable on a single black diamond (High Level 5/Level 6 and above*).

* If it turns out your ability is below our minimum level we reserve the right to cancel your booking with a full refund

Second, you need coaching who have competed because they can relate to the next generation what it takes to get to that next level. As for us recreational skiers, there are some who want to ski a direct line, want to pursue that technical and physical challenge. Again, these skiers knows the techniques to get to that level. Not to offend, I don't see the PSIA nor the CSIA ski the type of lines former competitive mogul skiers ski.
 

jack97

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It was a cue for weight transfer. I think it was also meant to help get forward - i.e. pull the new outside foot back. It didn't really resonate for me. It was a weird way for me to think about turning. I guess since it was weird to me I should try it again sometime? :huh:
The purpose of that knee tuck is to keep the legs together. Doing that during a weight transfer prevents the skis from diverging. This can happen when some weight is still left on the new inside ski. Its the inside ski that will make contact to the backside of the mogul, the area where snow is not be compact, which can rail with enough weight.
 

Mike King

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Not to offend, I don't see the PSIA nor the CSIA ski the type of lines former competitive mogul skiers ski.
Does Glen Plake ski the type of line that former competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a PSIA Level 3. Does Nelson Carmicheal ski the type of lines former competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a former PSIA demo team member and a current examiner for PSIA Rocky Mountain division. Does Steve Karp ski the types of lines competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a PSIA Level 3 and head coach of the Copper Ski School Bumpmaster camp.

It's easy to generalize. There may not be a lot of folk in PSIA (or CSIA for that matter) who can coach competition style moguls, but there are some. Just like any specialty, you have to search them out.
 

Noodler

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Does Glen Plake ski the type of line that former competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a PSIA Level 3. Does Nelson Carmicheal ski the type of lines former competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a former PSIA demo team member and a current examiner for PSIA Rocky Mountain division. Does Steve Karp ski the types of lines competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a PSIA Level 3 and head coach of the Copper Ski School Bumpmaster camp.

It's easy to generalize. There may not be a lot of folk in PSIA (or CSIA for that matter) who can coach competition style moguls, but there are some. Just like any specialty, you have to search them out.
I don't want to pour any more fuel on this fire, but the fact is that Plake and Nelson didn't get involved with the PSIA until after they were long established with their "skills". No idea about Karp. I'm sure there are fine PSIA life long members who ski bumps just great.
 

jack97

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Does Glen Plake ski the type of line that former competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a PSIA Level 3. Does Nelson Carmicheal ski the type of lines former competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a former PSIA demo team member and a current examiner for PSIA Rocky Mountain division. Does Steve Karp ski the types of lines competitive mogul skiers ski? He is a PSIA Level 3 and head coach of the Copper Ski School Bumpmaster camp.

It's easy to generalize. There may not be a lot of folk in PSIA (or CSIA for that matter) who can coach competition style moguls, but there are some. Just like any specialty, you have to search them out.
As pointed out by @Noodler, Plake and Carmicheal establish their skill before joining PSIA, Stephen Karp was a competitive mogul skier in another place and time.

"Karpy has skied competitive moguls on the USSA Eastern & Far West Mogul Tour for four years, going to Nationals twice, and on the "World Pro Mogul Tour", "Toyota Mogul Tour", Budweiser Mogul Tour", "Red Bull Mogul Tour", over a nine year run. Working his way into the upper rankings. Now as an Certified Instructor at Copper Mountain Ski & Ride School high in the Colorado Rockies, and the founder and Head Instructor/Coach of "Bump Busters Mogul Camps" "

As with all three, its safe to say going thru the PSIA cert training did not get them the skills and techniques to ski a direct line.
 
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Josh Matta

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The purpose of that knee tuck is to keep the legs together. Doing that during a weight transfer prevents the skis from diverging. This can happen when some weight is still left on the new inside ski. Its the inside ski that will make contact to the backside of the mogul, the area where snow is not be compact, which can rail with enough weight.
from a ski performance stand point why do you want the legs tucked together?
 

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