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How do you teach a little child to hockey stop?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I like to hear the methods people use to teach a little child to hockey stop.

I've been teaching my daughter to turn to stop instead of power snow plow and that has been successful. I know that it is good for her progression, but I'm concerned of safety. She started to be pretty fast on intermediate slopes, so when she makes sudden stop by turning, she can fly across half of the slope instantaneously. It started to be really unnerving this weekend, so I like to teach her to hockey stop as soon as possible, so that she can make a stop in a smaller profile. Usually I don't particulary "instruct" her and just wait for things to happen, but I consider this an exception due to the safety issue.

I can think of boring way of teaching it, but if you have a fun way of teaching it suitable for little kids, I like to hear.
post #2 of 20
just get her skating on flats, then on a sidehill. have her wedge as she skates down. she'll learn, innately, as she lifts her inside leg at the knee to step into her downhill skate, to stomp it back down somewhat parallel to the outside leg.
with kids, even more so than with adults, don't try to teach a technique, but, rather, try to use a simple exercise to initiate said technique.
this is the core impetus of my own teaching style, works as excellently with tykes as with adults.
post #3 of 20
Hiroto,

The question we need answered is, Can she make a skidded turn using both feet in a parallel relationship as she comes through the bottom of the turn? If not, then getting there is the first step. To get there, start doing some side slipping and falling leaves. She'll need to have her feet closer together than she is used to and to get her uphill knee away from her downhill knee. Make games out of it and do it a lot. Don't try to teach a hockey stop to someone who is always in a power wedge. It simply won't work.

After she can do some side slipping, go onto an easy trail, and ski it fast, getting her to turn both feet at the end of the turn. You may need to get her to ski with her feet a bit closer together, because when they are far apart, there is no way to avoid being on opposing edges. Get her to steer the inside knee and foot into the turn, keeping the inside knee away from the downhill knee. It also makes a huge difference to make sure she is bending her ankles and touching the tongue of the boot with her shins. If she is leaning way back like most kids do, it's almost impossible to get the inside ski around.

This may be a good time to enlist an instructor, but if you want to do it yourself, be patient. I agree with Vlad, that if you can make this into games and keep it from being too instructional, it will work better. However, if she takes instruction from you well, it may be quicker to teach it in an instructional format.
post #4 of 20
Hiroto,

I just watched the video on the poles thread. Your daughter likes to ski fast and has no fear. As I already mentioned, to get her to start making hockey stops, she needs to skid the bottom of her turns. With your daughter, I see two main ways to do this. One is to put her on a steeper trail and have her ski it slowly. Maybe have her follow you and you can make big, slow turns with some traverse between turns. It will be difficult and uncomfortable for her to keep the uphill leg out in a wedge. If you ask her to make a smaller wedge or ski with her feet closer together, or even to make both skis point straight between turns, she may be likely to get the uphill ski on the uphill edge. At that point, have her turn both feet uphill to a stop.

Another thing that might work, and she might find fun (since she likes to ski fast), is to have her ski through gates that are setup with a lot of offset on a flat trail. To get across the hill to the next gate, a wedge would stop her. At my ski area, there is no way to have them set up gates the way I need, so I went to the grocery store and boght a 4 pack of plastic kitchen scrubber pads. I cut them in half, so that I have 8 3" squares that I use as "gates". These are great because they fit in a pocket and if someone runs over them, it won't hurt anything.

but basically, on the trail you filmed her skiing, it's so flat that she doesn't have to finish her turns, so it's easy to stay in a wedge. You need to give her a reason for slowing down and finishing her turns so that it's uncomfortable to be in a wedge. This is a lot easier to do on a day with some good hard pack snow. Deeper, softer snow with piles makes it hard for a 40 pound kid to skid their inside ski.

In this clip of my daughter http://users.adelphia.net/~jomahe/DSCN0938.MOV the hill is a problem also. Normally, on a steeper hill, she will skid the inside ski. But on this ultra flat hill, she couldn't turn far enough to make it happen.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for good suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
just get her skating on flats, then on a sidehill.
She can skate fairly well on flats and downhill, but never thought of doing it on side hill. I'll give that a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Can she make a skidded turn using both feet in a parallel relationship as she comes through the bottom of the turn? If not, then getting there is the first step. To get there, start doing some side slipping and falling leaves.
Her turns are getty pretty close to being parallel, but her stance remains wide, which I consider to be a good thing. Side slipping is the drill first came to my mind, but was not quite sure how to introduce that to her.
I'll also give that a try next weekend.
post #6 of 20
I think she is still too young to do a hockey stop. The width between here feet needs to narrow, but she needs to get older and stronger first.

Don't bother with it... I fear that you will be very unsuccessful.

Sorry to say, but since you are asking here, I don't think you should try.

If you truly insist on making her do it, hire a level III pro or child specialist. At least they will know how. And, they will know if she really is ready.....

Good luck.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
In this clip of my daughter http://users.adelphia.net/~jomahe/DSCN0938.MOV the hill is a problem also.
Oh, by the way, nice video. She is adorable! I shouldn't show that to my daughter since she would be very jealous of that cute pink suit, while she got everything 2nd hand from her brother
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
I think she is still too young to do a hockey stop. The width between here feet needs to narrow, but she needs to get older and stronger first.
That would be my natural instinct too, but I like to give it a try. She has continously surprised me with her skiing improving way beyond my expectation. So she might be able to do it. Even if it does not work out this season, I don't have much to lose. Nothing will discourage her from skiing at this point.

Anyway, sadly the season is getting close to the end and the moutains will be less crowded for the remaining of the season, so maybe I don't have to worry too much.
post #9 of 20
do what any swiss or austrian parent does...get 'em skating all over and playing tag. they learn to hockey-stop on their own in no time.
post #10 of 20
What vlad said.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
do what any swiss or austrian parent does...get 'em skating all over and playing tag. they learn to hockey-stop on their own in no time.
Thanks vlad. One thing I keep on learning on this board is the importance of skating. Never knew that it has so much important role in the developmental process of skiing. I'll keep on encouraging her to do more skating.
post #12 of 20
I'm kind of a freak like that. My lessons all work around skating.
I first work static on lifting the knee up without tilting the body...each side...then we work on 'falling forward' (this lets beegweeners see that they will NOT fall over when they lean far forward...keeps 'em from leaning back later), then we 'combine the two, with diverging tips...as they fall forward, they lift one knee without tilting the body, and they advance forward and set the foot down, then the other foot, etc.if you think about it, after they've worked on this, uphill, and solid wedging, downhill, they're already utilizing the primary movements they'll employ for the rest of their sking career.
divergent skis
convergent skis
lifting a leg (as in on steep lateral pitch)
independent leg action.
anyway, with kids, it all becomes immediately innate, and they've imprinted themselves for life.
post #13 of 20
Skating skills are key. Take it from me ex-hockey and ex-figure skater.

THE difference is that in skiing, you work with the hill. In skating you work against the rink. Skating skills in skiing can be much more subtle.

But, from time to time, full-on strides....

My kids skate too. Don't bother with "girls" skates when learning to skate. Go for hockey skates.
post #14 of 20
I agree with the skating/playing tag. That's what I did with my kid when he was little. It gets them comfortable moving around on skis. But why would she not have fun learning to hockey stop? Kids love that stuff.
post #15 of 20
what i mean is that hockey stops come naturally to kids when they're ready, as do most ski skills after hours of playing around on the flats.
kids improvise, adapt and overcome far more than adults do, thanks, primarily, to the fact that they haven't cut all those grooves in the wet cement of their brains, yet.
totally different style of teaching, as they are less likely to get 'stuck in' bad habits, or to presuppose how things "should" be done. that's what jams up most adults.
my own personal teaching specialty is tricking adults to work, unconsciously, around how the think they oughta do something, so as to get 'em doing it right.
teaching kids hockey stop, and any/all other skills, is always worth a shot in between their breathers.... making a contest of it with a number of kids rocks.
always have another 'award' ready, however, for the groms who don't 'get it', so as not to dispirit them.
i like funny verbal awards such as 'most likely to score the most babes when he grows up' and/or 'most likely to become a racecar driver'....or 'african explorer'.....
kids find that stuff hilarious, and no one, then, comes away feeling less-than-worthy.
one of the great roles of a truly inspired kid's instructor is that of the knucklehead pied piper who says zany stuff and makes you wanna whack her/him with snowballs....and doesn't get angry about it.
kids sometimes need a physical scapegoat in order to make breakthroughs.
wear goggles.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiroto
I like to hear the methods people use to teach a little child to hockey stop.
I don't think this has been mentioned yet. It's certainly worth a try.

I also have watched the clip and looks like she can manage to turn well by matching her skis. From that, I assume that she has the ability to do a parallel J-stop - using the width of the hill to complete the final turn and eventually stop.

If that's true, then a hockey stop can be the next part of her progression(if not now definitely soon). For that reason, I don't like beginners to learn stopping from a bracing wedge.

Have her try doing a J-turn on a upper green slope. Just before she comes to a complete stop and/or starts to ski towards uphills, have her abruptly sit halfway down by keeping/shifting her upper/center body forward (while facing the side of the hill and preferrably with no crouching and knees and ankles bent). She may find this a bit easier to do than to scrub the tails of her skis. It is also easier on her little legs and feet. Once she masters the sudden stop, gradually move her to a steeper terrain and have her applying more pressure.
post #17 of 20
Can't really recommend how to get them started. I relied on the ski school to make the first step in that direction. My son (5 years old) loves it when he gets a chance to spray something or someone. I just keep stopping in front of him with some room and let him spray me with snow. He can keep doing it all day long. Another thing he likes to do is to slide into piles of snow to see how much spray he can generate that way.
post #18 of 20
um, fellas, i was referring to 'hockey stops' when i posted this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
just get her skating on flats, then on a sidehill. have her wedge as she skates down. she'll learn, innately, as she lifts her inside leg at the knee to step into her downhill skate, to stomp it back down somewhat parallel to the outside leg.
with kids, even more so than with adults, don't try to teach a technique, but, rather, try to use a simple exercise to initiate said technique.
this is the core impetus of my own teaching style, works as excellently with tykes as with adults.
some moves are better not taught, as much as discovery-guided, to wee folk.
most m oves, actually.
they learn differently than you or me.
hockey stops they teach themselves as soon as you tell 'em to lift that inside leg. kids seem to teach themselves that move faster than adults learn it.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
some moves are better not taught, as much as discovery-guided, to wee folk.
most m oves, actually.
they learn differently than you or me.
Exactly. That's why group lessons for kids are so good -- the group can play games. Like races on the flats "to the pole and back" as a relay event between two teams... Like tag or chase in a corralled area. The possibilities are endless.

Would anyone suggest that hockey stops would be better taught one-on-one by an arthritic overweight instructor that looks like their grandfather?
(where's the nutbar smiley?)
post #20 of 20
you bring up a great pint, E- that group lessons are the wya to go with kids, as they cross-train each other and find the gaggle far less boring than skiing with big folksesses.
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