For decades the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) promoted a student-centered teaching method referred to as “Skills Concept” where the focus was communicating body movements to students. In 1987 PSIA wrote their manual titled “American Teaching System.” The teaching direction emphasized Edging Movements, Rotary Movements, Pressure Movements and Balancing Movements. Removed from the curriculum were the physics and the biomechanics of the skis interacting with the snow surface. This teaching method downplayed technical teaching.
At the same time, radical technological changes in ski manufacturing began creating equipment that became much easier to turn in all snow conditions. Skis just turned for students, let the ski designers handle physics and mechanics, teach the student to make the appropriate body movements became the goal. Besides claimed PSIA, students didn’t want to know the technical; they just wanted the skis to turn. Instead of teaching students to understand the technique, movements were used to generate outcomes without regards to whether they might be valid.
The de-emphasis of biomechanics and ski physics left ski instructors with a lack of understanding of how biomechanical movements might affect the physical interaction between the snow surface and the skis. Without this knowledge, adapting learning progressions for students skiing on technologically superior equipment became stagnant. Racing Coaches were the only ski professionals teaching students how to extract every performance benefits.