Can I Learn From DVDs?

With No-One Watching Me, How Will I Know If I'm Doing It Right?



I spent a couple of hours on your website and have a question.

The question: for me, one of the most important aspects of instruction is feedback.  I swear my hands are forward; I constantly see them in my periphery, and yet every photo/video of me shows them at my hips.  How does your set of DVDs compensate for the objectivity of an outside observer?

John, California

Your Ski Coach Home> Ask The Coach> Building Blocks> How Can I Learn From DVDs

To your question, John, about how our Building Blocks program compensates for the lack of an outside observer to provide feedback, we have tools built into the program that allows for accurate self critique of performance.  In fore/aft balance we show students how to develop their awareness of the pressure they're experiencing along the base of their feet.  We then instruct them on how to manage their state of fore/aft balance, and use base of the foot pressure awareness as direct feedback for gauging the degree of success of their attempts.  

Lateral balance is even easier.  Many of the drills require a lifting of one foot.  If the student is able to lift their foot in the manner described, then their balance is sound, and their execution of the drill has been a success.  If they can't lift their foot, or keep it lifted, we suggest specific reasons for why it's happening, and explain explicitly how to resolve the problem.  In going though that process, the student is actually beginning the process of learning angulation skills that will be needed and expanded on later on in the Series.  

In Basic Edging, students learn how to steer to a very high degree of proficiency.  Steering represents a set of  foundation skills that act as an important prerequisite to carving.  Having these skills allows a skier to enjoy the entire mountain with comfort and confidence.  Our training provides ways for a student to observe their own tracks after attempting a drill, and explains how to interpret whether those tracks indicate a successful execution.  It's an valuable tool for self evaluation.  The same tactic is used in our Advanced Edging DVD, where carving is finally introduced.  Track inspection, especially through the transition, shows clearly whether arc to arc is happening properly, or if a pesky pivot or push is sneaking in.  

Finally, all through the series we have drills that require a student to use their hands to manipulate body positions and movement patterns.  Our hands on knees drill is an example.  Here, the student skis with their hands on their knees, and uses them to ensure they tip both shins to the same angle, thus helping to resolve any A-frame issues.   

All these tools I've described work very well in making a difficult sport to master, self teachable.  Building Blocks has only been on the market a short time, but the feedback I'm getting from people using the program is overwhelming.  It's working for them, beyond what they imagined it could.  Have a glance at our testimonial page and you'll see what I mean.  These are people who in the past have spent tons of money on lessons, but for a fraction of the cost have bought our program and are gaining more in a few days of self training with Building Blocks than they cumulatively did with all those years of lessons.  They tell me they're finally learning how to ski.  I'm thrilled when I get that feedback.  For so long I knew this product was needed.  Now that I've finally produced it, it's so encouraging to hear that it's fulfilling the mission I had set for it. 


Rick Schnellmann

Your Ski Coach