How We Teach Info To The Human Brain

The Croatian On Snow Clinic was presented by Dan, Ivan, and Franio.
Some of you might remember Dan as he worked at Coronet Peak for about 6 or 7 years in late 90’s early 00’s – see photo at bottom of article.

The presentation was not so much about technical information, but more about how we teach information to the human brain.

Dan from Croatia sets the scene for the presentation

We started with the bigger picture of the evolution of human reactions – e.g. if you touch something hot you pull away.
If you are in an adventurous situation like skiing your focus will narrow and evolution kicks in.

Dan ran the group through some activities – jumping and feeling and linking it all to how the human brain receives this information.
The idea is that simple feeling is easier to achieve results rather than a page of a book.

Remove the barriers of “blocks” of learning – progression and learning is fluid.
Things happen when they are right.

A lot of times the Croatians feel that they are “tricking” students, rather than teaching them, setting up situations that allow the students to learn.

The forces of skiing were highlighted and the physics/nature of skiing is important to understand.
Such thing as simple as the driving analogy – when you start turning when driving your wallet is on the dashboard and it moves etc.

Dan, Ivan and Franio took us through a section of the Croatian lower level progression and gave examples about how they use this idea of simply “tricking” the students.

Example – Instructor draws a line in the snow with their pole and the student follows the line with their skis, the instructor starts to make the line turn and the student will follow etc.

Team Croatia show how how the "trick" student into success.

Make A Connection – Between Natural And Feelings.

As you practice things improve. So it is important for the instructor to realise this and not to “block” learning by adding in too many technical things.

Skiing is a sport and a physical activity, so the Croatians believe that you need to focus on the feeling that the student has and develop them in this area. Some people might be already kinesthetically aware others will need to be developed.
The Idea of a blind persons ability to increase auditory sensations was linked to the ability of people to, when focused, increase kinesthetic sensations.


Motor skills. Don’t mess up teaching with lots of exercises!
Task-based approach is used e.g. use speed to improve from plough to plough parallel, to parallel.
Develop Kinesthetics

Keep it simple!

My favorite line from the clinic – “For short turns use a short explanation!”

Colin and Dan worked together at Coronet Peak