Kiersten and yuki, thanks for that input. Yes, I think many if not most of us use "chair talk" with the guest, and yes, fear of failure is one of the demons in the bag of fears. Although I rarely if ever use the word "fear", it's definitely a huge consideration. I tell all students, borrowing from the rhymes and rhythms of Johnny Cochran, "If it don't feel strange, you will not change." After all, they've come to us to do something better, more - DIFFERENT. Of, course, it will FEEL different.
However, in addition to the wonderful input posted in this thread - and THANK YOU, all - I'm looking for activities or "games" that will allow the student to get "the feeling" while feeling safe - games that will allow a progression toward greater comfort where once there was fear. As an example, at Smugglers' Notch on a blue trail, near the end, there is a very steep dip. It's a built-in trick, though: The steep downhill pitch is followed by an uphill pitch - yes, uphill. Unless the skier barrels doen the steep pitch at full speed, the skier will not glide up the hill and will need to walk. If the skier DOES barrel down the steep pitch at full speed, there is no danger - the uphill pitch will slow the skier to a very comfortable speed. Using this steeper pitch, skiers safely and comfortably can "feel speed". If we do this three times during one hour and a half lesson, the student takes away the thrill of speed, not the fear of speed - and the knowledge that going up hill slows the skier, sometimes to a stop.
This is one of the "activities" or "games" I use, and I'm looking for more. Thanks again for all the great input, and I'd love to read more!
By the way, speaking of Johnny Cochran, he has been one of our guests and newbie ski students. Funny! The guy has a self-deprecating sense of humor. This story later.