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how to get kids to not fall back while teaching - Page 2

post #31 of 36
Originally Posted by contesstant View Post

Interesting idea for the boots.


As for horses, they are taught to move AWAY from pressure. Otherwise, they'd just run people over.


I guess that depends on the trainer and the desired outcome.  There is also a difference between initial responce and final outcome.

post #32 of 36

O.K. Somewhere in this discussion we need to lose the strong focus on secondary stance issues. I understand that hands forward moves a small percentage of the body mass forward but to be honest that is a band aid approach. The deeper issue is often found in the child's ability to balance on a moving platform and to move with that platform while varying their direction of travel. In other words getting them to focus on moving towards where they want to go needs to be a much stronger expressed objective. Games that increase that focus may be a bit harder to imagine if we lose that focus. So what activities would feature that focus?


Tag, fox and hound, and a thousand other chase / catch games shift the focus away from technique and to simply moving towards where you / they want to go. Beyond that are simple balance focus drills like traverses on one / both skis, skating and stepping across very shallow terrain, 1000 step / shuffle turns. The later is part of pretending to be a train engine were the students take turns being the engine and the other students pretend to be the cars following the engine. It's similar to follow me stuff with the twist that the coach is not always leading. Here's why it works so well, as the engine shuffling the feet (BOS varies) and balance on a moving platform taps into their cross lateral stepping / shuffling skills. As the cars, following the engine down the hill their focus is more on gliding. If that includes some stepping, don't get too hung up on it. Eventually the route choices the coach tasks "the engine" to make will become symmetrical linked turns. But again getting too hung up on technique will inhibit the whole game environment and the kids will lose interest very quickly.


Another issue here is parental expectations and involvement during a ski lesson. Helicopter and overly demanding parents are well meaning but in most cases they are more distracting than helpful. Often they try to act as an interpreter for their precious child and the coach / student relationship suffers in direct proportion to that parent's involvement. Even hanging out on the sidelines might be distracting to the child. Don't get me wrong, I offer parents the opportunity to participate and I encourage them to do so but I also suggest doing so near the end of the lesson.


Finally I want to offer an opinion about the attitude implied by the OP. Getting stuck with students? Mentally beating? I realize that may just be a peculiar writing style here but really? You / we are being offered the opportunity to help a young mind grow and learn a new life skill. Both the parents and our schools are trusting us to do more than beat these kids into submission. That is exactly why I suggested CS1 training. BTW, Command style teaching is just one of many options needed to teach an effective lesson.

post #33 of 36

a buddy of mine likes to jam a stick into the their boot behind their calf so that its more uncomfortable for them to lean back like that.

post #34 of 36

Oh my! The ideas that come to mind...how long is the stick? Does it poke them in the behind? Is it a smooth stick or all knotty and gnarly? ROTF.gif  (I hope you all know that I am joking. Although it's not a bad idea if done right!)

post #35 of 36

The more uncomfortable you can get away with, the better.  The point is to make the back of the boot uncomfortable to lean back against.

post #36 of 36

Nah, when they tell their parents that you modified their equipment and did so to cause pain that is pretty much the end of your ski teaching career. That's why we stopped putting thumb tacks in the back of the boot cuffs. Too many pissed off parents.


Seriously though, delving deeper into the reasons they fall backwards requires a more comprehensive understanding of age related bio-mechanics, physical development, and child psychology. Each child develops at a different rate and the clues to correctly identifying where they are in that development is something covered in our CS series of clinics and accreditations. Additionally, I question the always lever forward advice since it ingrains habitual and excessive levering against the tongues. That is no better than prescribing habitual aft levering. Get them playing and moving around on skis and they will find balance. Prescribe positions and they never will.

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