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3 and 4 yr olds - how to get them started? - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice! Yes, the kids live in VA - 2 hours from the nearest resort with 100% manmade snow (not truly 100% manmade, we might get ~30" per year of natural snow). I might buy a pair of used skis and pull them out on the first snowfall for them to cruise around the small hills in the yard. If that is a hit, then dedicate more time later in the season at the real resorts.

post #32 of 45

I forgot to mention two things:

 

1. My kids did not like skiing for the first few years.  They do now.

2. It really helps if they can be with a friend.

post #33 of 45

There is something to be said about building anticipation to get them hooked. If you wait a year, maybe two, you can have them crawling out of their skins excited about going when the time finally comes. Kind of like a teenager finally getting their license. I live in ski country, and I have every intention of building anticipation with my son for a while before bringing him up to the mountain to ski. 

post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefortrees View Post
 

Thanks for the advice! Yes, the kids live in VA - 2 hours from the nearest resort with 100% manmade snow (not truly 100% manmade, we might get ~30" per year of natural snow). I might buy a pair of used skis and pull them out on the first snowfall for them to cruise around the small hills in the yard. If that is a hit, then dedicate more time later in the season at the real resorts.


If you can get to one of the swaps in your area, might be able to find kid boots and skis for the 4yo.  Do not need poles.  If the two kids have feet more or less the same size, they could both play around with the one set when it snows.  Assuming the snow lasts more than a day. ;)

post #35 of 45
Thanks Marznc. You did did a good job in recalling my background. I don't post all that often here but am a regular at nyskiblog,com. I am Psia 3 cert and Ussa level 100 coach

I have been teaching for 28 years. Once we were having a kid I gave up my private clientele to become a kids instructor. I was the staff trainer for our kids ski school for several years. My goal was to raise a future Psia examiner but my sons goal is the World Cup. I taught him thru age 3 then handed him to our staff albeit one I was helping to train. My goal from day one with my son was a balanced stance becuase if you are balanced you can then properly develop all the other skills. At age 6 my son had skied beyond our program for his age so I got to coach him in my season program group of 11 and 12 yr olds. When he was 8 for fun he entered the local race programs season ending race and won it without any gate training. That was the end of my coaching him. He now races for Nysef and is top 10 in NY state. He won the local Ussa skills quest for last season which judges not how fast you are but the building blocks of good skiing with balance being the most important. As a instructor and dad that is the his accomplishment I'm most proud of. I thought that he would pass me from a skiing skill standpoint around age 14 but it happened at 11.

The point of my tangent here is the most important thing imo for young kids is getting them balanced and flexing thier ankle at an early age. The deck is stacked against this as thier bodies just don't want to work that way. If you can do it then anything is possible on skis.

My takeaways for parents
Hire a pro even if you know what you are doing
Don't do anything that would encourage the child to balance aft
Do do lots of activities that encourage good balance and ankle flex - skating stepping hopping etc from the ball of the foot not the heal
Keep terrain flat. No power wedges on blues or blacks. That just encourages aft balance
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach Z View Post

Thanks Marznc. You did did a good job in recalling my background. I don't post all that often here but am a regular at nyskiblog,com. I am Psia 3 cert and Ussa level 100 coach

I have been teaching for 28 years. Once we were having a kid I gave up my private clientele to become a kids instructor. I was the staff trainer for our kids ski school for several years. My goal was to raise a future Psia examiner but my sons goal is the World Cup. I taught him thru age 3 then handed him to our staff albeit one I was helping to train. My goal from day one with my son was a balanced stance becuase if you are balanced you can then properly develop all the other skills. At age 6 my son had skied beyond our program for his age so I got to coach him in my season program group of 11 and 12 yr olds. When he was 8 for fun he entered the local race programs season ending race and won it without any gate training. That was the end of my coaching him. He now races for Nysef and is top 10 in NY state. He won the local Ussa skills quest for last season which judges not how fast you are but the building blocks of good skiing with balance being the most important. As a instructor and dad that is the his accomplishment I'm most proud of. I thought that he would pass me from a skiing skill standpoint around age 14 but it happened at 11.

The point of my tangent here is the most important thing imo for young kids is getting them balanced and flexing thier ankle at an early age. The deck is stacked against this as thier bodies just don't want to work that way. If you can do it then anything is possible on skis.

My takeaways for parents
Hire a pro even if you know what you are doing
Don't do anything that would encourage the child to balance aft
Do do lots of activities that encourage good balance and ankle flex - skating stepping hopping etc from the ball of the foot not the heal
Keep terrain flat. No power wedges on blues or blacks. That just encourages aft balance

And my point is, Even if you don't do all this, you can still raise SKIERS.

 

Do you all not see how overwhelming this looks??

post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach Z 
 

My goal was to raise a future Psia examiner but my sons goal is the World Cup.

 

I wouldn't be too worried. At least he is still skiing, and he might come to his senses after the racing career is over. My goal is to raise a future back country skier. Might be a bit over the top to carry her up the hills on my back at age 3, and to look through the gear room to find some old climbing skins that can be fitted to her xc-skis at age 4 (just did :D ), but I guess that what it's like to be an ambitious parent. My girl says she wants to become a snowboarder. I     don't    want      that....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by  Coach Z
 

I taught him thru age 3 then handed him to our staff albeit one I was helping to train. My goal from day one with my son was a balanced stance becuase if you are balanced you can then properly develop all the other skills. At age 6 my son had skied beyond our program for his age so I got to coach him in my season program group of 11 and 12 yr olds. When he was 8 for fun he entered the local race programs season ending race and won it without any gate training. That was the end of my coaching him. 

He probably had a lot of hours and days on snow in that 2-8 year period. Since you work at a ski school you probably have good overview of prices. Can you make a rough estimate of how much that would cost if you had to pay for it through normal channels?

 

And alpine skiing is not the only activity that kids do where they would benefit in skill progress and safety from always being followed by an professional well qualified instructor with experience with working with kids.  Same would apply for biking, xc skiing, ice skating, rollerblading, rock climbing etc. I think most kids and parents would be happier if they just spent more time outdoor doing stuff. Making it seem overly complicated or dangerous can result in less. To quote @UGASkiDawg :

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg
 

There are many ways to do it but just do it 

 

@Coach Z Thanks for the tips on how to avoid raising a backseat power wedger. She does go into that mode at times, and doesn't want to turn, just going straight down the hill in the wedge mode. Will try skating, stepping and hopping and probably come back with more questions when the season starts :) 

post #38 of 45
I guess it does sound overwhelming. My wife and I met at instructor training we are both very die hard skiers. We moved full time to the mountains to ski are raise our son in the
ADK . I'm very passionate about coaching good skiing and it all starts with good stance and balance.

My son was taught by my wife and at age 1 to 3 with a few privates with another kids instructor thrown in. You can't really put a price on that.

From age 4 and 5 he did Whitefaces play and ski program season pass which we paid full price for which is currently $789. He then did Cloudsplitter Club for two years age 6 -7 costs $959 currently. We did not get any discounts. From age 8 he has been in Nysef alpine race program which costs about $1000 for u10 and u12 as a mt employee we do get a small discount on that. Ski racing gets very expensive but my son loves it.

If you want raise a little ripper a good season long program can't be best and is not that expensive on a per day basis for the price.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach Z View Post

If you want raise a little ripper a good season long program can't be best and is not that expensive on a per day basis for the price.

For sure!

post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach Z View Post

My son was taught by my wife and at age 1 to 3 with a few privates with another kids instructor thrown in. You can't really put a price on that.

From age 4 and 5 he did Whitefaces play and ski program season pass which we paid full price for which is currently $789. He then did Cloudsplitter Club for two years age 6 -7 costs $959 currently. We did not get any discounts. From age 8 he has been in Nysef alpine race program which costs about $1000 for u10 and u12 as a mt employee we do get a small discount on that. Ski racing gets very expensive but my son loves it.

 

Was more fishing about the value of the 100 (half)-day private lessons in the ages leading up to the programs. But some people do go on week long heli skiing trips so I guess it's all relative ;).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach Z View Post


If you want raise a little ripper a good season long program can't be beaten and is not that expensive on a per day basis for the price.

I hear you loud and clear. Who doesn't want a little ripper. Will strongly consider the optional 5 weeks extension on the 5 week program that I'm signing her up for, if she enjoys it as much as she did last year. Will cost more than my season pass. Close eyes, draw card, press code, forget and enjoy. Works for the season pass so will probably work there too... 

 

 

 

Disclosure: (Click to show)
I do have Norwegian level 1 (tele) from many years ago, so I do have 10 full days of training in how to teach beginners how to ski, and some teaching experience (~60h) but by no means experienced, and was not particularly good at instructing. Small kids was not mentioned much in that course as they don't tele. Only had one client that didn't know how to wedge. Took the whole group (9) to the top of the mountain and only way down was through a long red groomer. Full disaster, one of worst hours in my life.  Didn't fit into the "axe grinding" earlier in the thread to mention the instructor training so I didn't. So one more time "YOU DON'T NEED AN INSTRUCTOR OR BE AN INSTRUCTOR YOURSELF TO SKI WITH YOUR OWN KIDS". Done
post #41 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach Z View Post

I guess it does sound overwhelming. My wife and I met at instructor training we are both very die hard skiers. We moved full time to the mountains to ski are raise our son in the
ADK . I'm very passionate about coaching good skiing and it all starts with good stance and balance.

My son was taught by my wife and at age 1 to 3 with a few privates with another kids instructor thrown in. You can't really put a price on that.

From age 4 and 5 he did Whitefaces play and ski program season pass which we paid full price for which is currently $789. He then did Cloudsplitter Club for two years age 6 -7 costs $959 currently. We did not get any discounts. From age 8 he has been in Nysef alpine race program which costs about $1000 for u10 and u12 as a mt employee we do get a small discount on that. Ski racing gets very expensive but my son loves it.

If you want raise a little ripper a good season long program can't be best and is not that expensive on a per day basis for the price.


Hey...leave it to the pros. ;)

 

Seriously though I'm sure glad you did teach your kids (I'm sure the enjoyment was worth it as I can confirm) at the start and passed them on to others later in life for un-biased instruction even if yours is top notch (something about kids never listen to their parents and it sounds better from someone else).

 

Again, fun and safe at the start are the key words.  By my standards if the can walk they can ski if you can find equipment to fit.

 

As mentioned in my earlier post our son had and still has special needs that most instructors without serious instruction do not know how to deal with, as it is very unique (we know painfully from experience).  So what worked for me (based on my now 50 years experience and instruction) doesn't mean that is the best method as there are better and safer ones (also mentioned previously).

 

As to the use of top level instructors when possible, YES never said otherwise.

 

Cheers :beercheer:

post #42 of 45
Old school

Good point on equipment

Good fitting boots are so important for kids. Don't buy them too big and accept you will need a new boot every season. There are tons of ski swaps and you can get decent used boots cheap. Take the liner out and put foot in shell with toes touching the front. If you can get more than a finger between the heel an back of shell they are too big.

The softer the better in my book since getting the ankle to flex is the priority.
post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

 

Seriously though I'm sure glad you did teach your kids (I'm sure the enjoyment was worth it as I can confirm) at the start and passed them on to others later in life for un-biased instruction even if yours is top notch (something about kids never listen to their parents and it sounds better from someone else).

 

That is cool that you guys are working coaches that also are coaching your own kid through the program. I know that Razie does it also and you can tell he enjoys it very much. I do not have kids but at least half the other coaches I have worked with have had at least one kid signed up at the time. A good number of the parents of kids I've coached were also very active race day volunteers. Some of them were good skiers and were recommended to take a few courses and eventually got paid to coach their own child, of course, along with 7 or 8 other kids. From my point of view, these relationships were more engaging, positive and intellectual for the age levels in comparison to other more typical examples I have observed. I am quite sure they evolved to ideal father-son adult relationships. Skiing is a sport that can do that unlike most others. Never any mother/daughter, though, for some reason.

post #44 of 45
666 careful rumor has it the she Devils have some very sharp forks.

Coach Z, I remember an extra pair (or 4) filled out the smallest boots for tiny feet when he was 15 months and then barely, though now he's a 11-12.
post #45 of 45
There are some really good female coaches out there

I really enjoyed getting to coach my son for two years but I knew it was time to let someone else work with him so he could take the next step.

He is by far my fav ski partner. Free skiing with him locally or out West is a blast. Right now our chute tolerance is right at the same point but that won't last long. I have no hope of keeping up with him when he makes gs turns at 40 mph.

To the comments someone else made in the thread I never said you need to be a pro to ski with your kids. I would leave the teaching to the pros though.
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