tube77

Booting up
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Posts
51
I am thinking to have my u10 kid a private lesson by PSIA instructor level 2 or 3 with racing background. Just two or three times per season to fix bad habits.
It seems like there's no technical feedback to each individuals from the coaches other than usual racing drills.
I totally understand the importance of those drills to improve fundamentals but sometimes it makes me wondering if that the technical development progress is quite slow.
So far I have been trying to avoid giving any feedback to my kid and letting coaches do their job. I still believe that's the right way to do it..
But as a parent watching my kid getting behind by hundredth second urges me to have him extra support or training.
So what do you do and what you think of a extra private lessons by PSIA instructor for racing kid?
 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Posts
559
Why are ski instructors like minivans? .....They all look the same and go slow. It's not usually in their skill set to help you go fast in the race course.

If you are unhappy with the coaching, find another program. If your kid is only behind by hundreths, he's probably already among the fastest in his group. Make sure his wax is right and work on competitive skills.

dm
 

Erik Timmerman

Making fresh tracks
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Race coaching and ski instructing are not the same thing. I've had lessons with a few race kids and there's always been plenty to work on. The kids are going to spend quite a bit of time doing drills, but in my experience, the coaches just tend to say "go ski on one ski" and then drink coffee or go and set gates. Those kids could be doing anything. The instructor can teach them how to actually do those drills right so that maybe next time, the kids will be doing something productive instead of making themselves worse.
 

François Pugh

Making fresh tracks
Skier
I have no race or race coaching experience, just decades of skiing (most of which involved me trying to figure out how to ski faster) and martial arts experience, so take the free advice for what it's worth.

Ski instruction, even at level 2 and 3 has very little to do with how to ski faster. How to make better short radius turns and how to ski bumps, yes, skiing faster -no; I've seen level 3 instructors who's clean carving sucks (ok at a high level, but still sucks).

One on one instruction is the best in any endeavour but you have to have the right instructor.

Nothing wrong with a parent adding his advice to what coaches do, provided the parent has the knowledge and is giving correct advice
 

Canam

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49 degrees and north
Change programs if unhappy. Sounds stupid but have your kid ski as much as possible, fun stuff. Our best SL middle schooler wears twin tips and carharts. Kid is endlessly at the hill, terrain park, pow days, glades he's always there messing around with his cronies and the cronies are pretty good too. They don't do extra training except middle school practice but are at the hill pretty much everyday. Kids that are in extra training are training not having fun, burnout?
 

markojp

mtn rep for the gear on my feet
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Why are ski instructors like minivans? .....They all look the same and go slow. It's not usually in their skill set to help you go fast in the race course.

If you are unhappy with the coaching, find another program. If your kid is only behind by hundreths, he's probably already among the fastest in his group. Make sure his wax is right and work on competitive skills.

dm
Utter BS. One only needs to find an instructor with the right background. They're certainly out there. I know several who both 'coach' (even own) race programs and 'teach'. That said, it sounds like the OPs kiddo could use some 'directed free skiing'. Dad could do this by simply shooting some video and going over it with a mutually agreeable mentor. The mentor might be a race coach, or the right 'instructor'. Relying on dropping $$$$$ on expensive waxes at U10 is silly. @Muleski .... thoughts?
 

Swede

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There's so many variationa in racing programs between clubs, regions and countries. I don't have any experience from or opinions about PSIA. I can understand what you want to accomplish and it can inmo be a good idea to have some one-on-one coaching ... IF ... it is a suitable instructor who is 100% alligned with what the plan is on your kids race team. What are they doing? What kind of drills are they practicing?
Skiing is basically the same and the drills somewhat the same all over, but "demands" on a racer are very different compared to on someone who just want to learn to carve pretty. Also why the right equipment is important even at young age in racing. Some stuff just can't be done done with kiddo-gear or twin tips (here you clearly see differences between various clubs and programs and conutries too it seem).
At U10, focus should be on only having fun getting used to the race environment and develop skills. Taking your kid so another coach for some one-on-one can be a good idea if all boxes can be checked. But it is a young age. Don't stress it.
 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Posts
559
Race coaching and ski instructing are not the same thing. I've had lessons with a few race kids and there's always been plenty to work on. The kids are going to spend quite a bit of time doing drills, but in my experience, the coaches just tend to say "go ski on one ski" and then drink coffee or go and set gates. Those kids could be doing anything. The instructor can teach them how to actually do those drills right so that maybe next time, the kids will be doing something productive instead of making themselves worse.
I was a race coach for while, but my real job was to work with the kids who had undeveloped technical skills. some of those kids went on to be competitive, others wouldn't put in the work or didn't have the athletic ability to compete. They all learned something.

IF your race program isn't bringing all the kids up to a high level of technical skills, find a new program for your kid.

dm
 
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Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Posts
559
Why are ski instructors like minivans? .....They all look the same and go slow. It's not usually in their skill set to help you go fast in the race course.

If you are unhappy with the coaching, find another program. If your kid is only behind by hundreths, he's probably already among the fastest in his group. Make sure his wax is right and work on competitive skills.

dm
Utter BS. One only needs to find an instructor with the right background. They're certainly out there. I know several who both 'coach' (even own) race programs and 'teach'. That said, it sounds like the OPs kiddo could use some 'directed free skiing'. Dad could do this by simply shooting some video and going over it with a mutually agreeable mentor. The mentor might be a race coach, or the right 'instructor'. Relying on dropping $$$$$ on expensive waxes at U10 is silly. @Muleski .... thoughts?
What part of that is BS? A private coach only undermines the program coach. Can you imagine Ed Orgeron allowing a player to have his own coach? IME so it's not so easy find an instructor "with the right background" because all the instructors with any racing experience at all are already coaching in the race program, .
If you think the program is not doing what your kid needs, find another program.

dm
 
Thread Starter
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tube77

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51
If your message to your kid is "your coaches aren't helping you" ... that's not going to be productive.
Why are ski instructors like minivans? .....They all look the same and go slow. It's not usually in their skill set to help you go fast in the race course.

If you are unhappy with the coaching, find another program. If your kid is only behind by hundreths, he's probably already among the fastest in his group. Make sure his wax is right and work on competitive skills.

dm
Thanks you for your comments!
I would love to try out other programs but my kid's program is still better (by racing rankings) than other local programs within drivable distance.
That's why I am thinking that it might be helpful to have private lessons.
I thinks he just needs little bit of tip to achieve the skill quests at his level..
 
Thread Starter
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tube77

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51
Race coaching and ski instructing are not the same thing. I've had lessons with a few race kids and there's always been plenty to work on. The kids are going to spend quite a bit of time doing drills, but in my experience, the coaches just tend to say "go ski on one ski" and then drink coffee or go and set gates. Those kids could be doing anything. The instructor can teach them how to actually do those drills right so that maybe next time, the kids will be doing something productive instead of making themselves worse.
Right..that's my impression too and that's what I concern about..
He can build up whatever bad habits by his own without realizing it that will eventually drag him down..
 

S.H.

USSA Coach
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241
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New England
Actually my kid complains that he doesn't receive any feedback other than repeated drills..
Have you talked to coaches about this? Your kid is a U10. How effective is he communicating his desire to get more pointed feedback to coaches? Most U10s don't want or need that much feedback - they need miles.

If you have communicated that, and they aren't changing their methods ... why would you stay here? In any case, sending the message that the ski team coaches aren't helpful means that ... you shouldn't be part of that program. Athletes need to respect the abilities and messages of their coaches - otherwise, you're paying for babysitting with an abnormally high chance of injury.

I would love to try out other programs but my kid's program is still better (by racing rankings) than other local programs within drivable distance.
If your current program achieves results, how are they doing so if not by improving technical proficiency? If it's by some other method ... are they really a "better" program?
 

Erik Timmerman

Making fresh tracks
Instructor
Posts
3,660
If your current program achieves results, how are they doing so if not by improving technical proficiency? If it's by some other method ... are they really a "better" program?
The ones that get it get it and move on. The others don’t that’s how race programs tend to work.
 

S.H.

USSA Coach
Skier
Posts
241
Location
New England
The ones that get it get it and move on. The others don’t that’s how race programs tend to work.
Fair point.

If you're going to use results as the barometer for a "good" program, then you can't say that they don't develop technical skills.

The question isn't "which program generates the best results", it's "which program is best for me/my child", which ... if I'm being honest as a ski coach ... should have very little to do with the actual skiing and race results.
 

Skitechniek

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I would really not bother with privates. Your kid at this point is not improving cause of the instruction he gets, but cause of the hours he makes. Let's say he ski's 200 hrs a season, those 10 hrs extra aren't going to make the difference.

If he wants some instruction anyway, ask for a private with your race coach. But if the kid get instruction I wouldn't be too big on the specifics either. Just make him understand basic concepts of skiing.

And if you want him to improve so badly, take him to mountain yourself and just ski with him. The fun will be all the improvement he needs. Or you can set him a season goal. Everytime you go to the mountain together you guys are gonna work to getting more edge angle e.g.. See who can get their hip closest to the snow end of season. Or see if you can do a certain slope on one ski end of season. Next season the goal is a steeper slope. What kid doesn't like to kick his dads butt. Imo that is all the instruction most u10's would need. No specifics, just a goal and how you get there is irrelevant. Just try.

And there is such a big misconceptions about 'learning' wrong things. Even if you get concepts explained correctly, doesn't mean you apply them correctly. To get to an end goal one inevitbly goes to a couple of stages of faulty movement patterns before you get there. If that was not the case we would all be Marcel Hirscher. And even if you are Hirscher, faulty movement patterns are and will always be there, from beginner to world cup level.

By just skiing gates at a later age lots movement patterns will improve drastically, because you are being forced to ski a certain radius on a ski. And certain radii can only be skied with a certain biomechically sound technical ability.

So I wouldn't really be concerned about improving, I would be concerned about not losing the fun in skiing. The amount of kids quitting because of losing fun in skiing is probably bigger than the amount of kids competing in fis/ec and wc combined.

EDIT: What I would try is letting your kid ski with older and better skiers in his freetime. Does he have a better older brother e.g.? Kids learn tons by seeing other people ski, especially if they look up to the person. They want to emulate everything that person does.
 

markojp

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What part of that is BS? A private coach only undermines the program coach. Can you imagine Ed Orgeron allowing a player to have his own coach? IME so it's not so easy find an instructor "with the right background" because all the instructors with any racing experience at all are already coaching in the race program, .
If you think the program is not doing what your kid needs, find another program.

dm
In our region, many of us know each other, coach / together, and can easily communicate. And no, not everyone with race experience (lots of it even) chooses to coach racing. Pay, time commitments, proximity to hill, personal schedules, etc... I do agree that the race program should meet the OPs needs.
 
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QueueCT

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I'm going to weigh in on this as a (hopefully knowledgeable) parent so understand I'm coming at it from that angle.

First, the OP needs to be a little clearer about what his child needs that the coaches may not be providing. Is it better technique or better tactics in the course? Frankly, at U10, I wouldn't worry much about the latter other than starting your turn early plus simple knowledge like how to navigate a delay gate in GS. Technique fundamentals like keeping weight forward, pressuring outside ski, how to develop edge angles, etc are much more important.

There's a degree of self-sufficiency to all of this. If the coaches have analyzed the child's skiing, identified things to work on, explained what to improve, how to do so and drills to work on, then it's up to the child to discover, through trial and error, how to execute. There should be consistent feedback on whether the child has improved and what, if anything, needs to be changed about practice techniques.

If you feel this isn't happening, and I've seen kids ask coaches what they can improve only to get a consistent reply of "you look great," then have a constructive conversation with your child's coach or the head coach of the program. If they aren't receptive, or the answer isn't to your liking, then you have two choices: 1) leave for a different program or 2) accept that you're paying for gate time during practice and club access to races. You can certainly pay for "mini-camps" through academy programs, a private coach, etc, but the cost will add up quickly.

There are good coaches and not as good coaches out there. In small programs they are sometimes parents who raced and have gotten their Level 100 cert and are trading coaching for a free race program for their kids. Some of those parents stick along well after their kids leave the program and become pretty good coaches.

If you haven't already, spend some time listening to the feedback your coaches provide to the kids. Volunteer to take practice video from the bottom of a practice course or during drills and you can eavesdrop on how the coaches interact. Ask your child's coach directly for a mid-season evaluation on performance, what your child is doing well and the biggest things to work on. The quality of the answer should also give you some insight.
 

Burton

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52
I coach in a USSA program and also lead the coaching for a Buddy Werner program with about 30 coaches, so I've seen lots of coaching styles/abilities and think a great deal about how to improve coaching--most of my Buddy Werner coaches are parent volunteers, with fewer than 10 even having their Level 100. I've definitely seen some coaches who just provide instruction on drills and fail to provide individualized feedback, especially among parent coaches, or coaches fresh off their college race team. One of the hardest things about coaching is looking at a racer and figuring out the root cause of what they're doing wrong and providing constructive feedback. Further, often times coaches have a group of 10 kids coming down the hill in rapid succession, and that group may vary from practice to practice, so it's hard to drill down on something specific with each racer, especially at the U10 level. So the easy thing to do is to provide generic feedback, or just repeat the drill focus.

But here's another big factor--is your child seeking feedback, and absorbing it? A typical coaching dynamic will be one coach at the bottom of a training course giving feedback, another at the top of the course getting kids started. Earlier this season, I'm at the top of the course, asking every kid, every run through "what are you working on?" A lot of kids shrug their shoulders, until I tell them I'm going to ask them Every. Single. Time. what they're working on, so they need to listen to the coach at the bottom and actually remember what feedback they're getting. Lo' and behold, kids started remembering, and because I asked them about it at the top of the course, they actually kind of sorta applied the feedback to the training.

At the U10 level, a lot of the kids are just having fun with their friends. They'll ski right past the coach at the bottom of the hill. Or during drills, they're spacing out, goofing off, or thinking about lunch. But then there's other kids that ask for feedback after every drill and every practice run. Then they come down the next run and tell the coach "I tried what you told me and XYZ happened..." They're engaged, and they progress very rapidly. That engagement requires a coach who is engaged as well, of course, but even a great coach needs the kid to put in effort. So, before you hire a instructor to do what the coach should be doing, maybe just encourage your child to ask for specific feedback from their coach. And keep at it. If I get asked by a kid two runs in a row how their run looked, and I don't have a good answer that shows I'm paying attention to their skiing, I'll be damned sure to be certain to have something to tell them on the third run, and that kid will stick out in my mind as someone who is pushing it. I'll look at their video, I'll think about them while I'm on the chair, while I'm driving to the hill, from week to week. Just food for thought.
 
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