While there are parents out there who have successfully taught their children to ski or snowboard, most of us don’t have the skill, patience or emotional detachment to take on this task. So the question is what do we do after a lesson is completed?
Here are 4 easy steps that you can do after a lesson to keep the stoke alive.
Step 1 – Ask the Instructor
Nathan Y. Jarvis is a member of Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and accredited children’s specialist at Park City, Utah. He suggested following up with the instructor and asking two very specific questions.
1. “What is the one thing my child and I should play with to get better?”
2. “Which runs are appropriate for my child to play on?”
Note that Jarvis uses this phrasing because he believes in the power of play and likes to associate skiing and snowboarding with having fun. “We aren’t working to build Olympians. We’re building recreational skiers, who play with things!” said Nathan.
These questions are also important as they avoid a common mistake, over excitement. Parents can sometimes get over excited — despite their good intentions — and pressure their children to try terrain for which they are not yet ready. Such questions will
Step 2- Make the Most of Free Skiing
Skiing together as a family is, of course, the ultimate goal. It’s why your child is taking lessons. Whether you’re free skiing immediately after a lesson or later ensure to make the most of opportunities.
PRO TIP: Stay in “play” mode. When skiing together, make it play time all the time. Make up games. Laugh on the chairlift. Take breaks. Eat snacks. Drink water. Do whatever it takes to ensure your child is having fun and leave the coaching to the instructors.
Step 3 - Write It Down
While you think you may remember what your child’s instructor told you in February, by the following November your memory may have faded. Take notes after each lesson so that you can review where to ski and what skills your child is learning. Ask your child to add their comments as well.
Step 4 - Don’t Focus on the Numbers
Ski lessons are often divided by levels, each with a corresponding number. According to Jarvis, parents sometimes get hung up on the numbers, focusing on how quickly their children move from level to level. In his opinion, this is a big mistake.
“Parents often look for too much change, too fast. We hear them asking questions about how quickly their child will move from level 3 to level 4, for example. My best advice to parents is don’t worry about it. Be patient. Have perspective and invest in your child’s sense of adventure and fun.”
Step 5 - Listen to Your Child
After lessons your child may be really tired and not ready to go ski with you. That’s okay. Learning takes a lot of physical and mental energy. If your child just wants to go have lunch, drink hot chocolate, or go home and read a book, follow his or her lead.
I hope these tips help you in your next ski day or vacation. Enjoy and see you on the slopes!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hailing from Colorado (USA) Kristen Lummis, or as she is better known, the Brave Ski Mom, is an avid skier and true family mum in every sense of the word. www.thebraveskimom.com