Originally Posted by Bohse
I purchased my 8 year old a season lesson pass at Breck this year, We live in Breck so I will definitely get my moneys worth out of the pass.
My question is how do I make the best out of her lessons, last year we were skiing the easy double blacks, and that is where I have to back off because that is all I can do. I am no longer good as a teacher.
Is there anything I should be asking for or requesting to give my kiddo the best experience with the right instructor.
I guess the question is, what does your child want? Are we talking an race aspirations? Off-piste dreamer? Future park rat? That will have a huge effect on what you ask for. Also, a little more knowledge of how the season lesson system works at Breck would be helpful. I've worked with a couple different "seasonal" programs, and they can run differently. Is it a season pass for the regular kids group lessons? So they would have a different instructor and different classmates each time? Or are we talking a seasonal group, where the kids and instructor are the same from week to week? The consistent group can be an absolutely amazing dynamic, both socially and skill wise. However, even if it is different instructors and kids, it will work a lot in that way too. Typically, seasonal kids tend to rise to the top of the lesson level structure pretty quickly. Once there, there are only a few kids at that level, and a fairly small group of instructors who will instruct those upper level kids lessons. So while it might not be the same exact kids and not always the same one instructor, the group of kids in her lessons will be fairly consistent, and you'll know the instructors by name pretty quickly.
The number one priority for a kid who is in a seasonal program of any kind is to maximize fun. Yes, skill development is important. However, your child will spend a ton of time on snow, and skill development in that kind of system can be a little less intense than in one-time or week long lesson formats. After all, in a one-time lesson, the instructor needs to maximize the skill development and concentrate it into one small period of time. With an 8 year old who we see every week, the priority is going to be keeping that passion for skiing going. If we do wall-to-wall drills with the kid every single time they're on snow, they are not going to want to keep skiing. In most seasonal programs, the skill development is going to be more folded into the day, presented as tips and pointers given throughout the ski day by the instructor, and less formal drilling. In my seasonal program, we more or less take the format of one run in the morning and one run in the afternoon is dedicated to pure instruction. Drills, skill practices, stuff like that. The rest of our day is devoted to skiing the mountain, exploring, and having fun. An average day in my program is 8-10 runs. But even during all the 'fun runs', I'll be throwing out a constant stream of 'tune up tips' to all of my students. And of course, lift rides are excellent times for us to talk about things. Gondola rides are even better.
So what should you be asking for? You should be asking for your child to have as much fun as possible. At the end of the day, ask how their day was. If they say they had fun, score. If you ask them what they learned today, they might shrug. They might say 'I dunno', or even 'nothing'. But then watch their skiing, that's where you'll find out if they're learning.
*EDIT: instructional drill runs are, by rule, skipped on pow days. Pow days are dedicated solely to gnar shred. That is all.