I think real life lessons are much better. I was fortunate to ride at waterville for several years and rode the park while the academy kids were being coached. There are just to many real life variables that you couldn't ever get from a video, like spots to drop from, speed, angles, and all the small things that can make or break a trick. Now not everyone has access to coaches. So costs have to be considered as well. I have the SA vids and although they teach similar techniques and explain things in almost the exact same language as the academy coaches, the real life aspect of it just isn't there.