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Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Have questions about telemark technique? We have invited seven professional telemark instructors to help out with any questions you may have. If you are a never-ever wondering how to start or an expert tele skier wondering how to polish up that mogul run, here is the place to look.

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Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby Breck » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:15 pm

NATO has an instructors class this December as Sugarbush and I am wondering if it would be the best way to improve my technique--not necessarily others... My training to become a white water kayak instructor did improve my paddling considerably and I am wondering if the same would apply for tele.

Any feedback appreciated.

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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby Brenda » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:02 am

I can't speak for the NATO class, but I took PSIA Nordic Downhill (tele) Level 1, and it absolutely helped my skiing. (Many tele PSIA courses are open to noninstructors as well, though you do pay more.) That said, we did spend a bit of time on how to teach tele--that was the focus as well as my interest. So if you aren't interested in teaching, why not just take a regular telemark class?
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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby Dirk » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:00 pm

I took the NATO class years ago, and while it was great, it was absolutely focused on how to teach tele to beginning and intermediate skiers. Proficiency was assumed, and as far as I can recall, everyone in the class was a very strong skier already. We did take a few steep runs, but we spent most of our time on flat ground going over basics for beginners. If you are only interested in improving your own technique, I'd say your money would be better spent in a private lesson.
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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby Williamtele » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:18 pm

Just for balance, I'll support your idea of taking the NATO instructors' class. Most of us were self taught and generally learned by replicating what we watched others do. Sometimes that meant skipping over the basic elements that are the building blocks of skiing, e.g. balance, rotation, edging and pressure. Learning how to teach those skills equates to learning how to teach a language that you already speak. It will create a better awareness of what you are doing that you can apply to more advanced movements. If you really want to make your personal skiing better, I happen to think getting intimate with the basics is a great way to do it.
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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby Breck » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:34 pm

Thanks for the feedback folks. It sounds like the NATO instructors class is focused on
teaching over the technical part. That totally makes sense but it was opposite from
my kayak instruction which was intensely technical because of demonstration requirements.
By learning to demonstrate the approved sweep stroke you actually had to learn same stroke
really well which then informed your own paddling. It also didn't hurt to have the instructor
and my future boss be a silver medalist in the Olympics.

Also I was an uncoached but strong paddler so to WilliamTele point I get it. But I am
very well instructed on technique--how well I have learned is a different matter.

thanks

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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby Williamtele » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:45 am

If you're spending time at Sugarbush, you'll have plenty of really good tele instructors to help you.
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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby mptelemark » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:48 pm

I have taken PSIA clinics. They are excellent and much time is spent on technique over 2 days. Cost is very reasonable and includes lift ticket There are different levels since these classes are oriented to teaching people to be better skiers. This includes teaching instructors and noninstructors . Even instructors at level 2 and level 3 who are excellent tele skiers have told me they always get much out of the clinics. There are clinics that are specifically to teach intro to tele , but this is the minority . The instructors are definitely gurus of telemark.
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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby Granite » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:46 pm

I also just recently took a PSIA Level 1 clinic with the main goal of improving my own skiing and learning the progressions to improve my work with NSP Ski and Taboggin students. I have been doing this for a long time, leather boots and skinny skis with Dickie Hall at Wildcat 25 years ago, to an NSP Tele enhansment semminar last week. At the PSIA Level 1 clinic I did learn some nice teaching tips, but the real takeway was significant improvment in my own skiing. Highly recomend taking any oppertutntiy to work with differnt instructors and evaluate your own skiing. I had a breakthrough moment.
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Re: Taking Instructors Class to Improve

Postby mptelemark » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:53 pm

I also started with Dickie Hall 25 years ago on skinny skis and leather boots . I remember the wildcat clinic well. So many of us started this way. I did it using my e99 skis and asolo snowfield leathers w 3 pin front bindings. The turn required throwing around that front leg. My goal 25 years ago was to be able to telemark well on these skis. Well 25 years later I finally figured out how to do the modern telemark turn w plastic boots and carved skis w concentrating on the inner leg ski edge change. So excited to try this with my skinny skis . Does not work . Still need to use that front leg wrap around. Technology does matter. Of course you see those great skiers on older videos on skinny skis looking as smooth as ever using their jump turns and tearing up the terrain. So technique to match the technology does matter along w some great talented ability. Something that I am still missing.
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