I have worked for 40 years as a ski instructor in Japan. As a result, I have developed my own lesson style.
°°I would like to explain the substance of the lesson.
I am very happy when my lessons go well, when it resulting satisfaction for the students, and when it makes profit for NZski.
1.°°Turning of °»Orange image°… °ń°ń°°Why I use an orange ?
°°The order of the lesson is as follows.
1-1. First, I ask the student to imagine an orange under the arch of their foot.
1-2. Next, I ask them to feel the softness of orange during the turn.
1-3. I ask the students just follow gravity and slide on the slope. Just like water flowing down the slope. At this time, the song of ĘŲĘŲĘŲFeel...Right Orange...Feel...Left Orange...ĘŲĘŲĘŲ is sung.
°°As a result, following effects appear.
a. The place of the orange under the arch of the foot becomes the center of the torque, and the turn starts.
b. Body relaxes comes out by feeling the orange.
°»Push°… or °»Twist°… motion however causes tension in the body, and makes the students tired. That action of °»Push°… or °»Twist°… therefore raises a problem. Those movements should come out as the 'result'. I believe that teaching that kind of movements is not good for the students.
c. Singing the song will make the best use of methods of breathing, and will relax their body.
d. Singing the song encourages the rhythm, and leads to more fluid movements of body.
°°Above are the reasons why I ask the students °»imagine an orange°… and °»sing a song°….
°°I have a lot of images such as °»The Sound of Music Turn°… and °»Driving Turn°… other than °»Orange Turn°….°°They all aim at the same effect. °…Orange Turn°… leads skidding turn, °»The Sound of Music Turn°… leads carving turn, and °»Driving Turn°… leads drifting turn.
2. Ski is a sport that uses °»Gravity°….
°°There are two features in skiing. One is the °»Tip length°… is longer than °»Tail length°…. The other is °»Side Cut°….
°°It is very important to follow gravity and to use the different ski length of tip and tail.°°It is not good to swing around. Ski receives the snow resistance by a sliding on the slope. When the tip and tail of skis works effectively, skidding turn begin. This is important.
It is possible to turn by moving the skis directly by the body action. But it is a secondary.
It is also necessary to teach skills that are effective to seniors and females (With less physical strength), if we have the purpose to give many people to feeling of °»Happiness of skiing°… and the °»Wonder of the nature of the snow°….
So, they need to get skills that harness the gravity, mainly. For that purpose, the °»Orange image°… is the best way.
3°•°…Cause and Result°…
There is the case in everything, there is a result because there is a cause. Then, what is the cause and what is the result in the ski lesson? Let's think about it.
It is usual for many ski instructors to teach students the form, and the body movement. However, the form and the body movements should be the °»final result°… that comes from the °»cause°…. It may be easily understood that °»The form and the body movement°… is a °»result°…, if you think carefully. That means, firstly a lot of ski instructors are teaching °»result°…, not the °»cause°…. The order is reverse.
In addition, we need to think of the fact that the characteristics of the student°«s body are not always the same. This is very important. Our °»DNA°… and °»Sports history°… are different. So, it is not good ignore them. We are individual persons basically. We should make up the teaching curriculum, after well thinking of the fact that there is difference between students. If you don't think of that, you shall make up the copied skier. It is not our job to make a copied skier. We should let them know that "you are an individual skier".
So, what is a method that brings about the °»cause°…? It is the °»imagine lesson°…, as I call it.
For instance, the °»Orange image°… will draw the following concrete images when you try to feel the softness of the orange. °»The orange has been squashed by the snow pressure, and I can feel the response through the shape of orange°…. And, they are able to feel the °»squashing condition°… through the foot. At this time, they have the body in the condition of not tension but of relaxation.
The best movement and the form comes out as the °»Result°…, which is suitable for an each situation. At this time, only °»What should appear°…(The best form and body movement) comes from the following situation ...°»Feature of the body°…, °»Characteristic of the ski gear°…, and °»Snow and Slope condition°…. That means the most rational action comes out naturally from the °»Cause°….
4. °»Really necessary thing°… for student
°°I understand that my lesson style is a method not asking neither °»Form°… nor °»Body Movement°…. I agree that my method is a little different from °»NZSIA°… methods.°°I also understand there was a complaint about my lesson. However, I believe that 95% of the students who experienced Tok's lesson were satisfied.
It is really necessary for the students to discover °»How to enjoy and taste nature?°…. Though the technical improvement is also important. The °»Movement of the body°… and °»Form°… are also come out differently, depending on snow conditions, slope situation, characteristic of gear, feature of body, and physical condition. It is natural. So, students cannot match to those changes in the situation even if they were taught the °»Form°… and °»Body movement°….
The only method of solving is to teach °»Image°… and °»feeling°…. In a word, it is important to teach them the °»feeling ski°…, not the °»thinking ski°…. This is a conclusion derived from the teaching experience of °»TOK°… for 40 years.
°»Rich natural situation°… overflows fortunately in Coronet Peak. So, one or two of the ski instructor may be allowed to give the students °»The Feeling Ski°….
If many ski instructors have an individual and rational teaching method, and if students can select a favorite instructor, and are satisfied, what a more splendid ski resort Coronet Peak would be!!!