Momentum Ski Clinic

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by MarkG, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Thread Starter
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    MarkG

    MarkG Putting on skis Skier

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    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
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  2. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

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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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  3. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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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:

     
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  4. geepers

    geepers Out on the slopes Skier

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    Had to look that one up. :)

    Guess it's all ok as long we're not dealing with a pedagogue.
     
  5. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    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
     


  6. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    @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.
     
  7. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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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.
     
  8. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Probably.
     
  9. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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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.
    <--
     
  10. jack97

    jack97 Getting off the lift Skier

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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.
     
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  11. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    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
     
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  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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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:
     
  14. jack97

    jack97 Getting off the lift Skier

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    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.
     
  15. jack97

    jack97 Getting off the lift Skier

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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.
     
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  16. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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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.
     
  17. Noodler

    Noodler My win/win/win for 2020: Ikon/LL/A-Basin Skier

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    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.
     
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  18. jack97

    jack97 Getting off the lift Skier

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  19. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    from a ski performance stand point why do you want the legs tucked together?
     
  20. jack97

    jack97 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Never said legs tucked together, its a knee tuck. The post your reference lays out the reason.
     

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