Yesterday I had one of those magic moments in ski teaching. I was working with a 19 year old male student. He is minoring in music in college. He's not super fit nor is he a jock. Just a normal kid skiing to have fun.
Here’s the situation. It was near the end of the lesson. We had worked some stuff on trying to round out his turns. He was hooking his turns a bit hard after the fall line. It was sort of a Z but not a full Z. He was cautious and not going with the flow. Anyway, I paused and was struggling with exactly how to describe it when IT hit me. I said, “Your turns are too staccato. Make them more legato.” It’s been years since I have done anything with music, why this came to me I don’t know.
He looked at me and said, “Good analogy.” He pushed off and WOW what a change. Nice round, smooth, fast, parallel turns. I had to kick it up several notches just to keep up with him. It was like he suddenly had rockets on his skis and knew how to use them. His skiing went up in performance dramatically. It was beyond any expectation I had for the kid. He was smiling and having a bucket of fun. It was the best way to end a lesson. He skied the rest of the afternoon. His father even came down to the school to talk to me because he was so pleased.
What sort of magic moments like this have you all had? What “magic” words or analogies have worked for you? Both as a teacher or a student.
(I’m always looking to steal good ideas.)