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Customer Egos

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Alright, so everyone has been there: You'rve got a group of 5-6 kids, and one father drops his son off and tells you that he may be "a little more advanced than the rest of the group." The kid is most likely decked out in some very expensive ski gear and one of the those god-awful fleece jester hats, and is not at all shy about letting the other kids in the group know about his forays into the stteps and deeps out west. Once on the slopes, however, it becomes very clear that the kid just isnt any better than any of the other kids in the group and may actually be a bit behind them.This has became a problem for me as last year I had a boy of about 10 for two months who would brag about his family trips to colorado and about his skills in powder, the park, the race course... wherever and whatever, and he would often ridicule the excercises and activites I had set forth for the group, while he would accomplish them with minimal proficiency and often with 1 or 2 "do-overs" (his hands were cold, his boots were loose, the snow wasnt right, etc.). How do you bust the kid down a few steps without embarassing him in front of the other kids or having a "heart to heart" with his old man, i.e. retaining good customer service practices while allowing the rest of the group to be free of this distraction?
post #2 of 9
Speaking not as an instructor, I'm not sure you can or should -- one of my favorite reminders is that "no one ever really gets away with anything". Karma. Rely on peer-dynamics and the natural intelligence of the situation to bring some gentle reminders to the kid -- his relative profeciency cannot have escaped the other students. Perhaps a lot of drills were the student's actual accomplishment becomes very apparant; or have them do runs on a course where the numbers don't lie. Trying to "fix" it will probably only bring more defensiveness and posturing.

Just one perspective..
post #3 of 9
Yeah, have a race, or do some terrain park stuff. And beware of focussing too much on this kid, and structuring the class around him. Just treat him like the others, ignore his bragging....and try to guide him to the discovery that he sucks!
post #4 of 9
Just show him a good time, and be there for him (if you are) when the world busts him down, because it will happen. Kids of that age are not exceedingly rooted in reality. Whatever they wanted to do,they did. If they have an image of Tanner Hall 360 tail grab in their head when they get the 1/2 inch of air no-grab well they still did a Tanner Hall 360 tail grab and NOBODY can tell them any different.

Why would you want to take that away from a kid? Especially while he is skiing...
post #5 of 9
It's not the kid's fault his parents suck.
post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by Roto
Why would you want to take that away from a kid? Especially while he is skiing...
Well said. Like some of the other posters have said, perhaps you are focusing a bit too much on the one student and not enough on the enjoyment the others are having in improving thier skills. As long as kid know-it-all is enjoying himself, you are doing a good job right?

I'd say just use the nice tip from the parents when he comes back raving about the cool instructor that let him rip down the mountain and buy an extra beer :

If you are worried about him disrupting the others from bashing the lessons, giving some extra praise and a good job to those that get it right will probably snap him in line. Pretty soon he will want the assurance that he is doing a good job too.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by ant
and try to guide him to the discovery that he sucks!
post #8 of 9
Don't know to what extent this problem has become, but if it is disrupting the learning of those who are willing to cooperate and try to learn, why penalize those kids? They are all paying good money, let the problem kid go to another class or get private lessons.
post #9 of 9
wherever and whatever, and he would often ridicule the excercises.....

The problem is that the whole class needs a new instructor.
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