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Teaching a 4-year-old question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My son is on his second season.  He can control his speed, stop, and turn without any problem.  However, he enjoys going down without really turning.  He doesn't go barreling down and out of control, but unless I really actively engage him to make turns (i.e. yell at him), he's much happier pointing his skis downhill.  Is it time to relax and let him enjoy his new skills and sense of control (to end the season) or should I keep pressuring him to make turns?  If so, what games could I possibly engage him with? Thanks for your thoughts.

post #2 of 8

Maybe he is bored and needs to be introduced to harder terrain where it is necessary to use turn size and shape to control speed.  I'm not suggesting that you throw him into Corbets, but maybe there is something a bit more serious that you can can ski with him that will illustrate your point?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Maybe he is bored and needs to be introduced to harder terrain where it is necessary to use turn size and shape to control speed.  I'm not suggesting that you throw him into Corbets, but maybe there is something a bit more serious that you can can ski with him that will illustrate your point?

 

That's funny you say that.  Last week, I took him to Magic Mountain and while he did top to bottom on green runs, he had a bad time (first time, he was not excited skiing in over 20 outings -- he usually jumps up and down when I mention going skiing.)  I don't know exactly what ticked him off.  He told me the runs were too long and they hurt his legs.  But, yeah, maybe it's time to do a blue as you suggest.  This week he asked me if we could go back skiing, but at the smaller mountain (Ward, a bump in Metro Boston).  And, there's no denying he had a blast at the smaller mountain today.

 

 

post #4 of 8

It's a tough question....  It should remain fun so that he wants to go, but he should be pushed to improve so he doesn't get bored.  I recently finished a 6 week program with some local kids.  They were entirely too comfortable on the green terrain, easy animal trails, and kids terrain park.  They were having fun, but weren't getting any better, in fact they were starting to develop some habits that would hold them back later.  It was pretty clear that the parents wanted them to ski on the upper mountain and that they didn't want to.  I had to get comfortable in my mind that they were actually ready and them push them against some resistance while still keeping it fun.  By the end all 5 of the 5 & 6 YO kids were down with skiing the double blues and easy blacks off of The Gondola and Thunder lifts.  If I wasn't "the bad guy" at least 2 weeks out of the six that I skied with them, the leap wouldn't have happened.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly001 View Post

 

That's funny you say that.  Last week, I took him to Magic Mountain and while he did top to bottom on green runs, he had a bad time (first time, he was not excited skiing in over 20 outings -- he usually jumps up and down when I mention going skiing.)  I don't know exactly what ticked him off.  He told me the runs were too long and they hurt his legs.  But, yeah, maybe it's time to do a blue as you suggest.  This week he asked me if we could go back skiing, but at the smaller mountain (Ward, a bump in Metro Boston).  And, there's no denying he had a blast at the smaller mountain today.

 

 



 

post #5 of 8

My 2 cents.

 

Dont push.  "Pushing" is the surest way to make him hate skiing and never come back.  He is 4.  The goal is to have fun.  If he wants to go straight...so be it.  I like going straight sometimes too.

 

I have worked and skied with some of the best skiers in the world...the one thing they have in common is that they all LOVE skiiing.  Your goal should be to ensure he loves skiing first.  If he loves it, he will get good at it.  If he hates it, no matter what you do, he wont.

 

Some ideas:

 

"Follow the leader" (go up the sides of runs, off jumps, over bumps, go slow, go fast, turn...and go straight)

"Hopping" fun and great for developing balance

"Airplanes" fun and gets them turning....yes you have to make the airplane sounds or it dont count

"Simon Says" kind like follow the leader but more advanced....ski as tall as you can, ski as short as you can...ski on one leg, use your    imagination - if you are good, you can "Simon says" the right moves at the right time depending on where in the turn he is....

"Animal Crackers" ski like your favorite animal....you will be amazed what they come up with.

 

 

Again dont push.  Have fun...the rest will come. 

 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, skidude72!  We'll try some of these games to finish off the season.

post #7 of 8

What Dude said.

 

In rare cases, pushing can succeed. It depends on the kid and how it's done. I've successfully "pushed" ADD kids by "letting" them get into trouble then showing them little things to get out of trouble. It helps to find/make trouble on easier terrain.

 

Legs hurt? Let's do rails! How do you do rails? Side slips. Wanna step it up? Steal a busted pole from rentals or a stick of bamboo and side slip on that. Take your skis off and spot junior on a real rail. (Can you say helmet?)

Legs hurt? Let's go faster across the hill - swoop like a bird. At 4, the ankle strength for tipping should be starting to develop. Try it.

Legs hurt? Hops (boing turns) and shuffles (swish swish)- The odds are that hurting legs is a sign that the natural center of mass is moving forward but the stance is not changing to match. 

Legs hurt? Inline skating this summer!

Legs hurt? On hill massage!

Legs hurt? Piggy back ride!

 

Set up flush gates made out of ski poles.

Get some AIR!

Ski backwards!

Spins!

1/2 pipe (Okemo is just around the corner from Magic)

 

Hold one pole with both hands between the legs to draw a single line on the snow or lever both poles against the inside of each boot to create two lines then get creative about junior keeping skis between the lines or line between the skis or smearing the lines into morse code or hopping over the lines or doing pole touches on the line or ....

 

 

post #8 of 8
I'm sorry that you have to ski at Ward );
I'm guessing they don't have much snow by this time in the season. To mix it up take him over to skiers right on that skier cross course. It has a few rollers and goes through the pipe. Another one would be to let him lead a run and you follow, then switch that way he'll have fun and you'll make him turn. The kids I work with tend to get really excited when they got to lead. I'm not sure if it's usually open but take him to the race start and have him pretend he's a racer, but ski racers have to make x amount of turns before the bottom.
Most of these methods give him something fun to do while he has to turn.
Good luck
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