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Lessons (thumbs up!!)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wow! What an amazing experience. My daughter is 5 and this is her third year skiing (mind you we only have skied one week a year for those years). This year we headed to Winter Park. The first day out was horrific! She was doing worse than last year. Falling every 30 seconds, crying, screaming, cold... it was miserable. That was on Friday. We spent a lot of time in the cafeteria just trying to get her to go out again. Also doesn't help that she and I can clash greatly especially when she gets to whining.

Monday we showed up (late because of the conditions - though great for skiing) and I hemmed and hawed about a lesson. Finally my brother checked on it and with his season pass he got a bit of a discount. I decided to choke it up and go for it. I signed her up for an afternoon lesson.

We showed up after a couple of miserable runs at the top. Pretty much the same as Friday but not quite as bad (early right?). Her instructor was "Cat in the Hat", a wonderful gentleman from Australia. He was a bit gruff and scared her at first but I warned him that she was a whiner and just try to work past that.

I did see her about an hour later and it wasn't promising. I really didn't think he was getting much more out of her than I was.

Showed up at 3:00 to pick her up and she was a changed skier! She took me up the lift (getting on and off by herself) and immediately went into the run in the trees! Falling on bumps (NO CRYING) and just getting up again and taking off. It was absolutely amazing!!!

For anyone who has wondered if the lessons can work I am a firm believer. I know that they're steep but OMG! I was so amazed and it was a wonderful end of the day to ski with her and enjoy the beauty of the mountain. I wish I had done it on Friday, I think I would have taken her with me over the weekend if I had.

Anyway... if you're thinking about it... do it! She went up one level in 2 1/2 hours.

marge
post #2 of 17

Lessons

Did YOU thank the instructor?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Geez.... here I was trying to convey what a wonderful experience it was for us. :

I'm not ungreatful nor am I rude. : I thanked him about 100 times (maybe exagerating a tad bit) and even had my daughter thank him at least a dozen times and then she drew him a picture when we got home tonight and we're going to try to send it to him, care of the resort. I don't know if it will work but we'll at least try.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by marge View Post
Geez.... here I was trying to convey what a wonderful experience it was for us. :

I'm not ungreatful nor am I rude. : I thanked him about 100 times (maybe exagerating a tad bit) and even had my daughter thank him at least a dozen times and then she drew him a picture when we got home tonight and we're going to try to send it to him, care of the resort. I don't know if it will work but we'll at least try.
Did you throw the instructor $5 or $10 so he could maybe have one beer after work and still afford enough gas to get his 1979 Subaru home at the end of the day?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
Did you throw the instructor $5 or $10 so he could maybe have one beer after work and still afford enough gas to get his 1979 Subaru home at the end of the day?
Oh good lord. Forget I said anything.

I guess there are a lot of "unloved" ski instructors who just aren't "getting what they deserve". Makes me think twice about lessons now.
post #6 of 17
Good deal Marge!

As an instructor, I had been the only person to ski with my daughter the first 2 dozen or so times that she skied over the past two seasons. I took those years off from teaching, so that I could ski with her and because of new babies at home. So this year, I get back to teaching and took her with me, expecting her to be in my class all day, but the kids supervisor put her in someone else's class. She was pretty upset, because she wanted to ski with me, but we took two runs before class, which settled her down. I saw her during the breaks (all the classes tend to break at the same times), and she had an absolute blast. I was thrilled to see how much fun she was having. I won't say she necessarily improved, except that she gained confidence skiing with other kids that were older but not as good, and not having daddy around to whine at. She'll be up with me again this weekend, and hopefully it'll be just as fun for her.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by marge View Post
Oh good lord. Forget I said anything.

I guess there are a lot of "unloved" ski instructors who just aren't "getting what they deserve". Makes me think twice about lessons now.
Marge,

Don't worry about them. Some people just have issues. They've probably been hardenedy by too much negative feedback from their ski schools, and forgot to wrap constructive feedback around something positive.

Glad you had such a good experience! And fellas, lighten up! She never mentioned that she didn't thank him, and you just railed on her, making the assumption that she didn't. I hope you don't treat your students that way.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks John. I was starting to be a little overwhelmed. Yes, I think he did a wonderful job. Don't even get me started on the "throwing money his way". If I had tipped everyone who did a good job on my trip I wouldn't have been able to go. I think some people are under the impression that if you go skiing out west and can afford to get your kids lessons you are made of money. Sadly, not the case. I work very long and very hard each year to afford this trip. I scrimp and save and do everything I can so that my kids and I can afford this. If I had $10 extra dollars I wouldn't have been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches at the cafeteria.
post #9 of 17

Thanks Marge

Thanks Marge! This makes our decision to stick our 3 year old in class even easier! Can't wait!

Can not believe they asked you if you tipped him - what is that of their business anyway!

Thanks for the post!
post #10 of 17
Great story, Marge!

Your post goes to show that when it comes to most situations of difficulty, it's worth the cost to hire a professional.

It's wonderful to hear that your daughter loves skiing again.


Just curious... was it a private lesson or group lesson?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post
Great story, Marge!

Your post goes to show that when it comes to most situations of difficulty, it's worth the cost to hire a professional.

It's wonderful to hear that your daughter loves skiing again.


Just curious... was it a private lesson or group lesson?
It was supposed to be a group lesson but it was only she and another little boy who was almost identical in age and skill. Even bigger bonus! I think that really made a huge difference as well because there was a lot of one to one time. Of course I could never hire a private ski instructor so I was really excited!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by marge View Post
I'm not ungreatful nor am I rude. : I thanked him about 100 times (maybe exagerating a tad bit) and even had my daughter thank him at least a dozen times and then she drew him a picture when we got home tonight and we're going to try to send it to him, care of the resort. I don't know if it will work but we'll at least try.
Marge,

Don't think for a second that your thanks went unnoticed or unappreciated. While there may be a certain subset of instructors who deem cash as the only valid form of gratitude, they're in the minority in this sport (IMO).

I have a "real" job replete with suit and tie dresscode and the requisite salary. Even though I enjoy my full-time work, I still get more satisfaction from watching a 5 year old learn to link turns or gain confidence on more difficult terrain. Over the Christmas break, I taught a 5 year old snowboarder for 4 consecutive days. When she finally had that "AHA!" moment, I was ecstatic. At that point, I could have cared less if I was tipped or not - her success was my reward.

FWIW, getting a picture or letter from a student is incredibly satisfying as well, though by no means expected. I'm glad you and your daughter had such a great experience!
post #13 of 17
Marge,

Winston is really one of the great childrens' instructors at Winter Park. Just send the picture to Winter Park Ski & Ride School, make it attn: Kris Saline, and I'm sure he'll get it.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
Marge,

Winston is really one of the great childrens' instructors at Winter Park. Just send the picture to Winter Park Ski & Ride School, make it attn: Kris Saline, and I'm sure he'll get it.
That is SO cool that you know him! He was fantastic! She was literally crying when I left her and the smile she had when I picked her up was a mild wide. We're sending the picture out tomorrow. Thanks for the info on how to get it to him!
post #15 of 17
Nice story Marge, I used to teach a lot of private lessons, children just like yours, it was always a joy....I still actually have a couple of drawings like you describe....

Did you get your new skis yet?
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
Nice story Marge, I used to teach a lot of private lessons, children just like yours, it was always a joy....I still actually have a couple of drawings like you describe....

Did you get your new skis yet?
I did! I got the Head Fast Thangs just before we left and I LOVE them. They were a joy to ski on at Winter Park! I do wish I had just had a tiny bit more time for "me skiing" while we were there.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
Did you throw the instructor $5 or $10 so he could maybe have one beer after work and still afford enough gas to get his 1979 Subaru home at the end of the day?

Marge,
Ignore the negative. My son has been in lessons, most of the time he has skied, he is getting to be a very good skier. I am glad the expirence was positive.

I didn't tip the first few times, but i do now.

Kevin
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