Skiing Lessons in ski school: why don’t they work better?

Skiing Lessons are mostly given by resort ski schools. Not many people find them satisfactory after the first few. You need a different teaching model for developing expert skiing skill.

Skiing lessons in small groups

Skiing lessons coached

Most recreational skiers either continue with them because they provide a bit of company to ski with, or give them up and hope that “getting the miles in” will make them better skiers.  There is more to it than that ….

“Getting the miles in” can make things worse.  Many early skiing lessons give you misleading ideas. So just  “getting the miles in” does nothing more than embed the misconceptions planted by the skiing lessons. This traps the skier on what is known as “the plateau”.

The unfortunate skier never gets better, and the more sensitive and imaginative you are the worse it is. Those early skiing lessons put an un-suspected cap on how far you can take your skiing.  Skiers blame themselves, but this is wrong.  For a beginner it is hard to believe that the good skier teaching them is telling them wrong things.

How can that be?  If the teacher is a good skier, how could they be teaching wrong stuff?  Easily. Most good skiers have no idea how they do it, and  a lot of skiing lessons are given by good skiers who have very minimal qualifications.  Many are probationers.  You can be a good skier, and not a good teacher.

It’s not you, it’s the teaching.

You may find other skiers, perhaps bolder, or younger, or more naturally athletic whose skiing improves faster than yours, though usually not as much as the they think it has. A great many folk then blame themselves for their lack of skiing development, and make all kinds of adjustments to suit. They put up with it; disguise their disappointment; pretend they don’t care; and tell themselves they only really wanted the snow and the company.

That is not their fault, and it doesn’t have to be like that.  You can access another source of skiing lessons which few folk learn about. It is offered by sports coaches who specialise in skiing, and there is not a lot of it.  The difference is that sports coach skiing lessons are delivered as a sport, while ski school lessons are delivered within a holiday industry context.  Usually sport groups are much smaller as well, to direct the lessons more personally.

Skiing lessons in a coaching context concern longer term relationships and a pursuit of mastery of the sport.  Mostly ski school concerns converting non skiers into “sort of” skiers, and helping them have a happy holiday, and get to know the resort in safety. That is good.  But there is no conflict between skill development and enjoyment either, indeed quite the contrary.

Skiing lessons with a wholly different approach.

There are some intermediate skiers, all too many I suspect, who would like to access a different teaching environment that would help them become expert – able to ski any piste, anywhere, in just about any conditions. You can get that but it lacks widespread promotion.  It isn’t easy, but it is perfectly possible for either gender, and literally any age, to become an expert at controlled skiing.  You do not have to be young, or male, or hugely athletic, or super fit.  And it is simpler than you might expect.  Not easy;  simple.

Skiing is more of a craft than an art. You don’t have to be “born” to it. Given the right teaching approach you  can learn it if you want to.  Some will do it more adeptly than others of course, but anyone can become a skilful controlled skier able to ski any piste anywhere.  You can get enormous satisfaction out of skiing skilfully.   Many go on to ski off-piste as well.

It’s the skiing lesson process that matters, under-pinned by new underlying understandings.

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