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Instructing Tots (3 year olds)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Today, I taught a 1 hour private lesson for two 3 year olds who never ever skied.

In my rush to give them as much snow time as possible within 1 hour, I failed to take the time to teach them how to side step or herringbone uphill. I really didn't want to waste a big portion of their one hour trying to teach them how to move uphill perfectly. So, I pushed them up a few feet, and picked them up to point them downhill several times.

My lower back never felt like this in my 31 years of being alive.

When I put them on the magic carpet, they seemed to have fun and were able to ski down without falling or laying down.

But, does anyone have any tips on dealing with these situations without destroying my lower back?
post #2 of 15
1 Lift with the legs.
2 Hula hoops- The hold on and you pull.
3 Pieces of carpet you can lay out on the snow so they can walk up the hill.

Good job getting them moveing right away! They with learn the locomotive stuff as the go.
post #3 of 15
If you can teach 3 year olds how to walk uphill, you'd better patent it and write a book.
Basically, get them skiing any way you can, and that's the best you can do. Some will get it, most won't, and your back and all the stuff up the outsides of your legs will be screaming.

And the parents will often behave like they did you a favour by blessing you with their offspring. Tip? ha.
post #4 of 15
Best tip: start as high up the hill as you can.

Pushing littlies uphill in ski boots (yours) will definitely take a toll on the lower back because you have taken leg drive out of the equation. Same with lifting, if your legs are straight.

Kids love cuddles so to pick them up, squat and let them hold you round the neck. Then stand... no need to work your arms. (their skis go between your legs while carrying).

If it's just a quick pick-up to point them downhill, stand behind the subject, squat, put your hands in their armpits and say "squeeze my hands". They can clamp down well enough to let you lift without needing to hold as well, if that makes sense. To turn, step around - don't pivot at the waist.
post #5 of 15
I generally work with them no skis first. Make sure the boots are on pretty tight and we just run around, play tag or chase, etc.. Get them used to having "HEAVY Stiff boots" on their feet and soft snow under foot..


Then figure out how to get them on and off a chair. then using a bamboo pole, have them hang on to each side as you guide them down the hill. Don't worry about locomotion (walking up hill, etc) just go play and get them sliding as soon as possible. At our mountain the lift ops always seem to be willing to help us put the kids on the chair so I'll get one kid in, the lift op will help lift the second kid and then we lower the bar. Most of the time it's only one kid so then its even easier..

DC
post #6 of 15
8200,

I teach kids that age often. The tip about using pieces of carpet for them to walk on is good. They can climb up on that. I kneel when I am putting their skis on and manipulating their feet (or doing anything else) to take the stress off my back. The knees of my ski pants are always warn.
I also always use short skis (120 cm) when working with kids and do as much as I can only in my boots.

Hope this helps you. Ooooh! take ibuprofin

RW
post #7 of 15
Don't worry about their sidestepping.
Give them hugs, tell them they're great, watch them have fun and get them to the carpet ASAP.
post #8 of 15
Something I meant to add is that I would always be reluctant to take their skis off and get them to walk uphill - because once they have a taste of being out of the skis they may not want to get back in.

Better to have them believe that 'on the snow' = 'clipped into skis'.
post #9 of 15
Hula Hoop!!

Going downhill - Put them inside it and have them use "superman" arms while you control their speed from behind. Unlike the bamboo pole, you'll find you don't have to bend down to their height,thus rescuing your back.

Going uphill - Have them hold on tight and pull them uphill. You can even do 2 at a time.
post #10 of 15
Gotta put in my 2 c

1 hour for two 3 yo's, waste of time.

Not teaching them to walk uphill, you didn't do the next instructor any favors (understand your time constraint).
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyblake
.

Not teaching them to walk uphill, you didn't do the next instructor any favors (understand your time constraint).
Did they have fun and want to ski again? If so it was a huge favor.
post #12 of 15
I think there is only one way not to end up hurting your lower back when teaching tots - hire a younger instructor - just kidding. I certainly have much less experience in teaching toddlers to ski than any of the instructors here (only taught 2 of my own so far - one (17)to being comfortable on black diamond runs, the other (6) learning to explore the easy blues), but it is painful. Personally, I think they should make telemark bindings and VERY SOFT straight skis for younger kids, maybe even with some kickback-resistance built in: it doesn't realy matter for them what they are skiing on, and they are not going to carve any turns anytime soon when they are only 3 years old. With their heels free, they will be feeling much more comfortable when going up the hill, and anyway they are leaning back when skiing down.

IMHO, for toddlers, a leash harness turned out the best thing invented since the car seat - even without the leash, the harness itself has a nice handle at their shoulder level, which you can use to pick them up and not suffer a back injury. It is also EXTREMELY useful on the chairlift.
post #13 of 15
????
justplay flatland tag with them...kids will naturally start diverging their tips, without instruction. start by running little circles on the flats, then proceed diagonally up the hill, on very slight inclines, and change direction on the trail's edge. they'll be up as high on the hill as you like, in no time. kids DO, you just gotta learn the tricks to get 'em to DO what they need to do.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexG
IMHO, for toddlers, a leash harness turned out the best thing invented since the car seat - even without the leash, the harness itself has a nice handle at their shoulder level, which you can use to pick them up and not suffer a back injury. It is also EXTREMELY useful on the chairlift.

Leashes promote backseat riding, the tots have to develop their own fore-aft balance. I've had countless leash trained kids who have had to relearn their balance skills once they went leashless. That and parents putting their kids between their legs....BAD IDEA. Parent catches an edge (it happens even to the besT), parent falls onto kid, kid gets hurt.

If you want to control the speed/direction at which the tot is going in the way a leash/harness does but without the shortcomings, use a ski pole (grip side towards child). Have them hold it like a handlebar and ski alongside you. YOu can use both hands to handle the pole and move the kid at will. Also, if they're starting to sit back, you can drop the pole lower and it'll automatically bring them back to neutral.

A harness by itself is good for the things you mentioned......
post #15 of 15
I must have mixed things up. There is no leash harness. There is a leash and there is a harness. Sorry about the confusion. The harness is to be used to lift the toddler up, to seat him/her on the chairlift, etc. The leash is to be used to teach the kid to turn and to prevent runaway kids.

The whole idea behind the leash is NOT to have the kid between the parent's legs. The kid is free to move any way he/she wants to move, and the parent only pulls one side of the leash or the other to make the kid's hips turn. And no, it does not promote backseat riding. My 6-year-old was taught with a leash when she was 3, and she is does not ride in the backseat at all (she makes a crooked version of a snowplough tuck, but she knows by now that her best balance is in the center of the skis.

I tried using a ski pole. Almost pulled the kid's wrist trying to get her to make a turn. It's one thing to use a big bamboo stick like the one instructors use, which gives plenty of room for the kid and the adult to not hurt each other and another to use a regular 44" ski pole.

Oh, and another implement - the edgie-wedgie - extremely harmful for the kids over 5 and a great help for the kids 3 and under: their muscles are not there yet to keep their ski tips in place, and the edgie-wedgie helps that a lot. For 5-year-olds, it defeats its own purpose: you want them to roam as free as they can, without the thingamajigger attached to their skis..
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