EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Teaching your family/friends?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Teaching your family/friends?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have a question for all of you instructors out there....

Do you find it to be a good idea (or not) to try to teach your own family/friends??

The reason I ask, is that I haven't been on skis since high school (>20 years ago), and even then I was barely intermediate or maybe advanced beginner. I am now dating a guy who was an ski instructor for many(15-20)years, although he is not currently active. I want to know if I will still have a relationship left after this trip to CO in December!! haha. He tells me that he can teach "anyone", but I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea for me to take a few lessons from someone whom I DON'T have to go home with? haha

Any comments?
post #2 of 25
My husband passed his Level 3 a couple of months before we got married. He gave me lots of lessons that year, but after a while the phrase, "Why'n't ya try this?" started to grate on my ears, so I got a job instructing myself and went through all the levels of certification. Now we mutually agree not to say much more than "Look'n'good!" and "Feel'n'good!" and life is good.

Go ahead and see how it goes before rejecting the Pygmalion relationship out of hand.
post #3 of 25
How much do you want to like the guy after the ski trip???? In general I would never recommend that you teach or be taught by your own unless you have a very very good relationship.

I tell parents that they have a special Mommy or Daddy gene that can't be turned off. It makes them want to push or protect little Johnnie or Jannie. All of us ski instructors have seen it at one time or another. Its a natural built in thing with human beings. An "unattached" ski instructor is blind to like or dislike of the student, and thus can critique the student easier. (And the student will accept the critique easier.) Also, a "disinterested" ski instructor can work with the student easier and use different motivational methods that might not work if a loved one used them on you.

My ladyfriend and I are both instructors and we are careful about how we critique each other's skiing. (Of course whenever two instructors go out on the slope it always ends up being a clinic of some sort.: )

So in the words of Elmer Fudd, "Be werrry werrry careful."
post #4 of 25
I taught my daughter a little. I'm still doing it, but in easy doses.
I also get her private 1-hour lessons with a ski instructor.
If she asks me I will tell her.
I ask her if she want's to learn something before trying to teach her.
She is now skiing parallel turns after skiing with me for three days over the last year or two.
post #5 of 25
Take lessons from a pro out in CO. You will get frustrated then pissed off if he tries to teach you. He will get frustrated and pissed off that he is not getting to ski alot on this trip. You are better off taking maybe 2hr to 1/2 day lessons in the morning away from the boyfriend then linking up in the afternoon cruising around the mountain. He'll have had a whole morning to ski his way all around the mountain and you will have had some one work with you , if in a private ,at a pace that will be enjoyable and productive to your skiing. Then when skiing together you can show him what you have accomplished and maybe you will have a relationship after the trip. I'm an instructor and I used to try and teach my wife somethings but definately not as much anymore and just try to enjoy the free time we might have together to just go explore terrain. If she wants feedback or lesson tips she will ask but she never does, oh well maybe our kids will listen ,oh on 2nd thought that does not happen, They started learning to ski with me and sometimes my wife when they were 2 years old, now they are 7 & 9 years old and they learn by exploring terrain with me, they won't even slow down long enough for video taping. Learn from someone not involved with, learn by exploring after you get some basic instruction. Let the partner get in some skiing on terrain you might not want to go on at their pace, then have some runs together at your pace! Good Luck
post #6 of 25
Just beware of the different dynamic...it can be interesting.
post #7 of 25
I tried teaching my wife. Not a good idea. She learned a lot listening to other instructors on the staff and quickly decided she didn't like my intervention. We once went to an area that had a ladies day with free lessons and a lunch for the price of the lift ticket. She said the "wonderful" instructor told her the same things I'd been telling her for quite some time. She thought that was funny. When I finally convinced her to give up her old straight skis and try some shapes, she didn't want to hear a word from me about taking advantage of them. She admits they're easier, which I'd been saying for years, but still doesn't want any help. Take your own lessons and let him ski on his own during that time. Then just enjoy being together when that occurs.
post #8 of 25

Friendly Lesson

As an instructor I use the "Don't ask, don't tell" method of ski teaching with friends and family. When I am asked, I tell. Then, as any instructor should, I stay away from a litany of information and once it is said, it is over until I am asked again. It is information and not a lesson per se`. You want a quick loss of a friendship, relationship, or divorce, teach a friend or significant other to ski, bowl, etc. without permission!
post #9 of 25
I agree 100% with John Cole. When skiing with my wife, if she is particularly uncomfortable with a specific pitch or snow condition, I ask her if she would like to follow me down. Otherwise I pretty much keep my mouth shut. Seems to work best that way.


On our honeymoon at Heavenly I joked that she was "hopeless"... never made that mistake again!
post #10 of 25
Welcome to Epicski! With so many totally awesome pros in Colorado, it seems silly to risk a new relationship by taking a lesson from your boyfriend. There are a few things to keep in mind. I don't know how long ago your boyfriend taught, but technique has changed significantly in recent years. You also need to consider what this will do to the dynamics of your relationship. Guys tend to get very anxious not only about getting their wife/ girlfriend involved in skiing, but having them get to their level in the shortest amount of time possible.

I've even seen instructors, who should know better, do this very thing. Their girlfriend seems to be learning fast, so he takes her on terrain she's not ready for, then boom, there goes her knee!:

A question to ask yourself: How sensitive are you? How critical is he ? Would you personalize it if he's one of those obsessive types, who will critique every move you make?
Where are you skiing in CO? PM me if you want instructor suggestions!
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Thanks for the input...

Think I will definitely spring for at least a couple of lessons. I tend to be sensitive to criticism from people I am close to, so that is a check mark in the "no" category. I can also get my stubborn streak up when he is being "right", so there is another check for the no vote.

If he can help me at least get upright and evaluate what kind of instruction I need ( Everything??!! ), then I think I'll go with the lessons for awhile and let him go play on the double diamonds and come back for me later!

THANKS!
post #12 of 25
Good call, DrFrau. May you both have a lot of fun on your ski trip.
post #13 of 25
A few suggestions: I don't know where you're sking in CO, but if you're at Copper, check out Katy Perrey or Mike Wilson. If you're at Vail, try to get a lesson with Bob Barnes or Ric Reiter. There is also a workshop in Eldora with Bob Barnes and Rusty Guy in early December.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
[/quote] there goes her knee!:

Where are you skiing in CO? PM me if you want instructor suggestions![/quote]

Well, it's a little late for the knee. I lost my right ACL a couple years ago trying to play soccer - haven't had the time to get it fixed yet.

We'll be mostly at Breckenridge with maybe a day or so at Vail. When I learned back in High School, it was at Camelback in the PA Poconos. This will be a huge step-up!

Thanks - I'll PM you for the suggestions
post #15 of 25
We keep posting at the same time. Look above for teacher suggestions. Everything is pretty close out here, so it's worth it to go to a specific resort for a specific instructor.

ACL injuries are pretty common for women. I see them at my studio in Frisco all the time. But keep in mind, you can still injure the other one by skking with an overly zealous boyfreind, not mention all the other knee injuries we're prone to.:
post #16 of 25

Breck instructors

I ski at Breck quite a bit and know some excellent instructors.
PM me and I can help you out.

Nancy
post #17 of 25
There is a red flag for me in your initial post: he thinks he can, "teach anyone." Perhaps he is a humble guy who just has enough experience to know that he can teach you. Or, perhaps he's a guy who knows far less than he realizes. It's really impossible to tell.

I taught my bride to ski many years ago (the season before our wedding, actually!), but I was careful to be very patient, and I let her know that she didn't have to do anything that she didn't enjoy. I spent most of that day out of my skis helping her confidence. However, after a point, she definitely got more out of professional instruction from someone other than me.

Note: I can't teach my kids. I can teach other folks' kids, but not my own. It just doesn't work! Could just be me, but I know others struggle with it, too.

I'd recommend (as others here have) that you start with lessons. Once you've got some ideas, go skiing together.

One last thought: when Terry and I skied Taos some years ago, she spent her morning lessons on blues taking it easy and learning. I spent them up off the ridge and bowl, hiking and dropping into gnarly chutes. I came in for lunch exhausted and she was energized. The afternoons were perfect: she was ready to go a bit faster, and I was ready to take it easy!
post #18 of 25
My mom taught and it was miserable skiing with her. What ended up happening is that all I ever wanted to do was free ski - prefereably alone! Took me a long time to become interested in technique. But it all comes down to interpersonal dynamics -- if you are good at giving gentle advice to family and friends (and they are good at taking it) in other situations it could work out fine.
post #19 of 25
One of my instructors trains his G/F - for exams - he is a trainer.... HOWEVER - they are both ex-national level junior racers already as teenagers.... so they are both used to training......

The others all abstain from teaching other halves....
post #20 of 25

I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cole
As an instructor I use the "Don't ask, don't tell" method of ski teaching with friends and family. When I am asked, I tell. Then, as any instructor should, I stay away from a litany of information and once it is said, it is over until I am asked again. It is information and not a lesson per se`. You want a quick loss of a friendship, relationship, or divorce, teach a friend or significant other to ski, bowl, etc. without permission!
I agree with John Cole. If people ask for advise, I'll give it. If not, we just ski. I put both my kids through lessons which worked out better for all of us, even though I instruct kids.

My wife just wants to meander down the greens and blues. And that's fine too.

Just remember, not everyone is interested in becomming PSIA Level III. There are a lot of skiers out there that enjoy doing whatever it is they do and they're not looking to take it beyond where they're at.

If you and you boyfriend have a good relationship, then work it out. Have a theme of the day. One skill or one point of focus. Work on it early in the day. Then ski and have fun.

It can work out.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
There is a red flag for me in your initial post: he thinks he can, "teach anyone." Perhaps he is a humble guy who just has enough experience to know that he can teach you. Or, perhaps he's a guy who knows far less than he realizes. It's really impossible to tell.

SNIP

One last thought: when Terry and I skied Taos some years ago, she spent her morning lessons on blues taking it easy and learning. I spent them up off the ridge and bowl, hiking and dropping into gnarly chutes. I came in for lunch exhausted and she was energized. The afternoons were perfect: she was ready to go a bit faster, and I was ready to take it easy!
Well, I'm not so sure about the "humble" part: haha, but he tells me that he had taught upwards of 40,000 students in his 20 years. Truthfully, I don't think he really planned to "formally" teach me EVERYthing, but I just know "me", and suspect that I wouldn't handle criticism from him very well. I just want to have fun and not have it turn into a battle of wills.

We are hoping that conditions-permitting, we can hit someplace smaller and closer-to-home for a weekend, BEFORE heading west -- just so I can get my feet wet (or would that be cold/snowy? ).

It sounds like your morning/afternoon plan above might be just the ticket!! Great idea - thanks! I'm really excited about this
post #22 of 25
There has developed a sort of taboo about teaching people with whom you want to have a continuing relationship, yet doesn't that sound odd? The people I teach were once strangers, but today I consider them friends. Should I find them a new instructor so we can pursue our friendship without my feedback on their skiing causing strains?

Are you kidding?

I was my kids' coach for several years in a race program. It was a little hard at first for them to share me with the other kids because I was their mom and they were fairly young, but as the years passed I think it created a closer bond because it wasn't unidimensional. Now my older daughter, who is in college, has applied for a winter break job as a ski instructor at one of the local ski areas, which makes me feel that being both her mom and her coach was a positive thing.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
There has developed a sort of taboo about teaching people with whom you want to have a continuing relationship, yet doesn't that sound odd? The people I teach were once strangers, but today I consider them friends. Should I find them a new instructor so we can pursue our friendship without my feedback on their skiing causing strains?

Are you kidding?
My sentiments exactly, but I've had people actually do that. Does seem a bit "prissy." Granted, I stiil think there can be some strains if there's a male/female romantic thing going on, but in other scenarios, it's easy to get a little bit too "precious."

For those of us who really take the instructional process seriously, once you find the instructor that you really click with, that professional relationship is sacred, and should be kept that way. Of course, no matter what the relationship develops into, in a teaching situation, behavior should always be professional.

Given how challenging it sometimes is to find the instructor that you click with, I think that any instructor who pushes their student to another teacher simply because they've developed a "friendship" is unprofessional as a teacher and irresponsible as a friend.
post #24 of 25
Being a new instructor, I know enough to stay away from teaching my own family. However, I think it's perfectly OK, still depending on the personality, to pick up where the instructors left off when skiing together outside of the lessons. No new skills/drills, only reinforce what was learned and only when it is necessary.
post #25 of 25
IF you agree to let him teach you, get him to agree to limit the "lesson" to at most one hour per day and spend the rest of the day skiing sans-lessons.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Teaching your family/friends?