or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › How do you teach a friend to ski?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do you teach a friend to ski?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
So, when im back in philadelphia, most of my friends know me as "that ski kid" because noone else skis! My buddy asked me to teach him to ski one weekend so i said what the hell and took him up to Blue Mountain. After 2 runs on some nearly flat bunny slopes i saw that his balance was nearly perfect for someone whose never even seen a ski before but at the same time, i was getting frustrated because it had just snowed and the skiing looked pretty tasty to me who hadnt skied in a couple weeks prior (kinda like having no women in prison... anything looks attractive after a while). Anyway, i decided it was time for him to move on because he was doing pretty good, he agreed and we headed up to higher, harder runs. We went down a nice and easy green and then took a "wrong turn" down to an easy black, it was steep but not crazy. I asked him how he felt about it, reminding him theres no shame in taking your skis off and walking down, and he said he was really scared. Eventually i got him to just go... whats the worst that could happen right? He managed to make it down without falling and ever since he has thanked me for that "wrong turn" because now he's not scared to do anything on skis! To me, thats the first thing you have to overcome, being scared to fall.


Thats my story, anyone have any better suggestions? I get this sort of request alot but only ever went through with it once.
post #2 of 47
Is it just me or is it beginning to feel a little warm in here?
post #3 of 47
that's cool, I had a similar first skiing experience when I was 10. But nothing takes fear out of skiing than knowing how to really do it. So if your friend is interested it sticking to it, he should get some lessons so he has good technique.

Hey nice work getting a friend out there!!!
post #4 of 47
Guy friend?

" No shame in taking your skis off and walking down, and he said he was really scared."

What the ?? Just take him to the top and bust on him until he either gets it or hurts himself. Then get him drunk, shave off his eyebrow and write on him with a sharpie. Take his picture and post on the web.

Girlfriend? Get her a lesson. Meet later for drinks after instructor Hans has her all flushed and dewy.
post #5 of 47
Good friends don't teach other good friends to ski. That's how they remain good friends.

Get your friend a lesson.
post #6 of 47
I can hear it now...............
"Dooood! That's gonna leave a mark!"
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tehmasterplan View Post
So, when im back in philadelphia, most of my friends know me as "that ski kid" because noone else skis! My buddy asked me to teach him to ski one weekend so i said what the hell and took him up to Blue Mountain. After 2 runs on some nearly flat bunny slopes i saw that his balance was nearly perfect for someone whose never even seen a ski before but at the same time, i was getting frustrated because it had just snowed and the skiing looked pretty tasty to me who hadnt skied in a couple weeks prior (kinda like having no women in prison... anything looks attractive after a while). Anyway, i decided it was time for him to move on because he was doing pretty good, he agreed and we headed up to higher, harder runs. We went down a nice and easy green and then took a "wrong turn" down to an easy black, it was steep but not crazy. I asked him how he felt about it, reminding him theres no shame in taking your skis off and walking down, and he said he was really scared. Eventually i got him to just go... whats the worst that could happen right? He managed to make it down without falling and ever since he has thanked me for that "wrong turn" because now he's not scared to do anything on skis! To me, thats the first thing you have to overcome, being scared to fall.


Thats my story, anyone have any better suggestions? I get this sort of request alot but only ever went through with it once.
"Friends don't let their friends teach their friends" "GO WITH A PRO''
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogonjon View Post
"Friends don't let their friends teach their friends" "GO WITH A PRO''
Hehe...any chance that you are a Pro and perhaps a bit biased here?
post #9 of 47
Tehmasterplan;
You are very lucky indeed. Your story is echoed constantly and the outcome is rare. You put your friend in a very precarious situation. You are fortunate that you still have your friend alive and intact. If something would have happened differently during that outing and your friend were no longer your friend how would you feel? I also once taught my friend to ski and had a similar outcome. I thought I was pretty good so the next season I went to an Instructor Training Course. Years later I learned how wrong I was and I continue to question my judgement, skill analysis of my students and terrain selections daily.
post #10 of 47
If your friend asks you to teach them you will have no problem.

All the same rules apply -- safety, patience, understanding, tolerance, and make it a good time.

There is no reason to say no, when you're asked. On the other hand, never push yourself onto others, even if you are a pro.
post #11 of 47

take it like a man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Hehe...any chance that you are a Pro and perhaps a bit biased here?
You seem to have a personal problem with me. The moderators had to close the Balance thread because of arrogant and uninformed posts that were personal attanks on me, Max. Think about what you say and what your words are saying about you. I gave tehmasterplan the very best advice and used quotations from PSIA's GO WITH A PRO program to hopefully educate others in a manner that is professional, courteous and maybe appropritely humorous. I find little humor in your posts and suggest reread and edit your posts before you submit them.

P.S. My analysis of Herman was accurate and using Harold's caption as a reference was a bullit proof, slam dunk. So take your medicine Max. Like I told tehmasterplan, I'm pretty good.
post #12 of 47

Let me get my paddle

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
If your friend asks you to teach them you will have no problem.

All the same rules apply -- safety, patience, understanding, tolerance, and make it a good time.

There is no reason to say no, when you're asked. On the other hand, never push yourself onto others, even if you are a pro.
Bad advice BigE. Ditto to you on Balance.
post #13 of 47
Guys, listen to dogonjon. There's not an instructor on this board who didn't cringe just from reading the thread title. If your friend asked you to remove his/her tonsils, and you're not doctor, should you just cause they did the asking? (don't tell me the analogy's not apt, both "operations" can put your friend's life in danger.)
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogonjon View Post
You seem to have a personal problem with me. The moderators had to close the Balance thread because of arrogant and uninformed posts that were personal attanks on me, Max.
I believe my posts in the closed thread were quite cordial. And if you think the posts you got from the others were personal attacks you should see the posts that are often directed at me. You were treated nicely in comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogonjon View Post
Think about what you say and what your words are saying about you. I gave tehmasterplan the very best advice and used quotations from PSIA's GO WITH A PRO program to hopefully educate others in a manner that is professional, courteous and maybe appropritely humorous. I find little humor in your posts and suggest reread and edit your posts before you submit them.
I asked a serious question, which you still haven't answered. If you are a Pro, then your advice to take a lesson from a Pro is a bit of a conflict of interest. Not much different than a Real Estate agent saying that its a great time to buy a house.

BTW, I think its a fine idea to take a lesson from a great coach. I take plenty of lessons myself. But I also take the time to teach friends and family when asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogonjon View Post
P.S. My analysis of Herman was accurate and using Harold's caption as a reference was a bullit proof, slam dunk. So take your medicine Max. Like I told tehmasterplan, I'm pretty good.
We'll see about that as soon as Harald Harb responds on his forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogonjon View Post
Like I told tehmasterplan, I'm pretty good.
I don't know what to say about that quote.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
Guys, listen to dogonjon. There's not an instructor on this board who didn't cringe just from reading the thread title. If your friend asked you to remove his/her tonsils, and you're not doctor, should you just cause they did the asking? (don't tell me the analogy's not apt, both "operations" can put your friend's life in danger.)
OMG, you are equating surgery to ski instruction? :
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
I can hear it now...............
"Dooood! That's gonna leave a mark!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogonjon View Post
Tehmasterplan;
You are very lucky indeed. Your story is echoed constantly and the outcome is rare. You put your friend in a very precarious situation. You are fortunate that you still have your friend alive and intact. If something would have happened differently during that outing and your friend were no longer your friend how would you feel? I also once taught my friend to ski and had a similar outcome. I thought I was pretty good so the next season I went to an Instructor Training Course. Years later I learned how wrong I was and I continue to question my judgement, skill analysis of my students and terrain selections daily.
I think we almost said the same thing, but you were far more eloquent.

At any rate, teaching your friends how to ski can make a huge difference as to whether or not they return to ski another day. I am convinced that a pro is the way to go, to preserve the love of skiing and the friendship.

Its amazing that I'm married today, as my husband, then boyfriend taught me how to ski, and well.............it weren't purty!:
post #17 of 47
The only thing I see wrong here is that he took the guy to Blue Mtn.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
OMG, you are equating surgery to ski instruction? :
no, I am equating the possible consequences. Reread the #1 post, he took his friend to a black diamond hill on HIS FIRST DAY ON SKIS. Luckily, he walked away from it, but the odds were very much against it.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
no, I am equating the possible consequences. Reread the #1 post, he took his friend to a black diamond hill on HIS FIRST DAY ON SKIS. Luckily, he walked away from it, but the odds were very much against it.
My bad, I thought your post was in reference to any friends teaching rather than specifically the first post.
post #20 of 47
I'm another rare survival /good outcome case...friends helped me get back on my skis after about 15 years of having been off them. Enjoyed their help and it was free! Now I am better than all of them and they no longer ski....go figure. But we are all still friends.
post #21 of 47
Heh, that reminds me of a guy I saw last winter trying to convince his sobbing girlfriend that the 30° pitch in front of her wasn't that much steeper than the bunny hill.

Unless the person you are trying to teach picks it up intuitively (in which case, they probably don't need your help anyway) it's going to be hard to teach them technique and correct their mistakes unless you know a bunch of drills and know when to use them. If a friend of mine wanted to learn and was too cheap to spring for a lesson, I would probably make them watch one of those how-to videos, and then take them to the bunny hill and tell them to come find me when they figure out how to do parallel turns. They would either get it or realize they need instruction. I think any reasonable person would understand why I wouldn't want to waste a $50 lift ticket trying to teach them to ski.
post #22 of 47
My thoughts have always been that unless you teach already, and have a strong grasp of technical knowledge, a variety of ways to approach teaching beginners, and the patience of a saint that you should not attempt to teach friends from their early stages of development as a skier or even later on down the road. Even then, your assistance should be solicited, not volunteered without prompting. That said, I still think there are very few out there equipped to handle such a task from day 1.

I have taught one friend from scratch and my girlfriend, and the friend was 10 times more difficult to teach than my girlfriend. The friend learned to ski well but it took a lot of patience on my part. I have also coached friends and former team mates and the racers are all much more open to suggestions than a casual skier.

So.. without solid teaching skills, teaching a friend is risky business, IMO.

Later

GREG
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
Heh, that reminds me of a guy I saw last winter trying to convince his sobbing girlfriend that the 30° pitch in front of her wasn't that much steeper than the bunny hill.
doublediamond223 and I ran into a scene like this last season at Breck where a boyfriend was trying to coax his significant other down a short steep pitch. She was having no part of it, and by the time they both got to the bottom I had learned an entirely new vocabulary of vulgar terms and how to combine them all to form complete sentences. I actually felt pretty bad for both of them because neither was having a good time.

I'll have to look around because I may have filmed it when I was supposed to be filming DD223's skiing for MA... :

Later

GREG
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
So.. without solid teaching skills, teaching a friend is risky business, IMO.
I think that is a good point. I'm not really sure what solid teaching skills are. Where do they come from? Last year I ran a clinic (for lack of a better word) once a week for the wives of friends of mine. It worked out great. This year my wife has a bunch of friends asking if they can join the group (my wife is one of them). Something must be working.

BTW, my payment is nothing more than seeing the smile on their faces when things work for them.
post #25 of 47
Revise solid teaching skills to read "valuable teaching experience" or something like that - meaning you have a lot of experience teaching others to ski.
post #26 of 47
When I first saw this post I had to step away from the keyboard.

I'm glad things worked out okay.

I don't know how many damaged girlfriends I have had to help recover from this. I usually have a 80-90% success rate after much coaxing, positive feedback, patience, understanding, working through the flood of tears, and damage control. Sometimes I still am unable to get through the devastating memories to their self-esteem. This doesn't have to happen. PLEASE, go find a competent instructor. This should be fun. If it isn't fun, why do it? I think skiing/riding is much cheaper than shopping and wouldn't you rather have someone to share this sport with that we are all so passionate about?

As a part-time instructor I may be biased, but I've also have had classes with three sobbing women at one time in them.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
PLEASE, go find a competent instructor.
This won't be a popular post, but based on the feedback I've received from friends and people I've meet at camps this is easier said then done.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
meaning you have a lot of experience teaching others to ski.
...perhaps a lot of experience learning to ski? I'm not sure. Patience is a virtue when teaching others to ski. Patience is also a virtue when teaching others to use Microsoft Word. Perhaps its universal?
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
This won't be a popular post, but based on the feedback I've received from friends and people I've meet at camps this is easier said then done.
I have not yet had a ski lesson where I didn't at least learn something. Some have certainly been much better than others. I've learned more from lessons than from friends.

Of course, I've learned more from Epic, Realskiers, other internet sources, PMTS books, and Weems' book than from either of the above. I do think that some of the lessons I've taken have helped to cement understanding of all the raw details I've absorbed in text form. I am probably also atypical in my desire to learn by study since I have a very engineering/computer mindset.

I really liked the advice to not force yourself on someone as a ski teacher. On the other hand if someone asks for a couple pointers because they like the way you ski it seems silly to give them the cold shoulder and send them packing to the ski school. Some of my best progress days in skiing have come when I had a friend to push me.

-Adam
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
...perhaps a lot of experience learning to ski? I'm not sure. Patience is a virtue when teaching others to ski. Patience is also a virtue when teaching others to use Microsoft Word. Perhaps its universal?
Yeah Max, you're right that patience is a huge part of being a successful teacher. Most of the best teachers though, don't even view it as patience because they love to teach, so to them it is something that rarely tests their patience.

I think a teacher could benefit from a lot of experience learning to ski, but in most cases you usually only teach based on how you successfully learned - not how the other person might successfully learn. You may both learn the same things in a very different way (presented differently, demoed differently, described differently, etc.). Even Harald, your most notorious coach, is able to tailor his teaching to the needs of the student, and I am sure can easily adapt when he encounters a roadblock. Most skiers do not always have the knowledge to be able to determine what these other routes to learning might be or how to present ideas differently than from how they themselves learned.

Later

GREG
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 › How do you teach a friend to ski?