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Things for ski instructors to do with kids?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Is this where this post should be?

I'm a new instructor, and I would like to hear what others do to get kids turning. The two particular areas I'm most concerned with are getting kids to make their first wedge turns, and getting kids to make their first parallel turns.

A few suggestions of games, drills, etc. which I could use would be lovely. Some background: My kids are generally about 5-9 years old, the mountain I'm teaching on is very small, and for the beginners obviously I'm just on the bunny slopes. Most of them can get into their wedge for a straight run down, but when I try to teach them to turn I'm never sure whether to give them instructions on "how" to do it, or to just tell them to do it and see how it goes. I've had success with both, but neither of them are surefire ways to get them turning, and either way it seems to be rather boring for the kids, so I've been trying to think up some games. For both the beginners and the intro to parallel kids.
post #2 of 9
Stories are the best to get results. The more emotional (fear, happiness, excitement) the story the better your results as a whole will be.
Example(they is a infinite number of ways this could go)

2 boys 5 and 6. Skills they can straight run and do a wedge straight run, also can make some small directions changes that the parents call turns but in your mind they aren’t turns at all. Goals from the parents besides the obvious of keeping them safe is to ski ‘better” goals of the 2 boys they might like skiing but they want to have the best time they can, if your good it will be the time of your life. One loves cowboys and the other wants to go to space. What is your team going to be? Space cowboys duhhh.

As an instructor are goals is to correct the problems that are keeping our students from achieving their goals in this case the goal would be rounded S shape turns with speed confidence and control on easy terrain. One of the most common problem for anyone including kids is trying to lean their body where they want to go which as any instructor knows make turning nearly impossible. So the 2 boys are on mars and oh my there are tons of aliens bugs all over the place. We have to stomp them as quick as we can. Telling them to smash the bugs on their downhill big toe as they traverse and take that into some turns will get a active(yes I said active, passive ala psia style is setting you and your kids up for a disaster IMO) weight transfer to the new outside legs. With active weight transferring happening there is chance they still maybe are banking. Since they will need counter as well down the road to make parallel turns now is your time to kill 2 birds with one stone. So the boys are still space cowboys and you’re the commander. Heads up we are out in alien desert and giant flys that spit slime are landing on our thighs we have to kill them. They are so big its going to take 2 hands to kill them. Have them take both their hands and put them on the upper thigh of their outside leg. This will get them to be c-shaped non banking body(more important goal) and to be countered(nessacary for parallel turns down the road).

If you’ve been teaching s –shaped turns all along. Maybe as if my tracks are clearing all the alien’s army mines and if you leave them the mines will go off. They now have counter, a c-shaped body, and should be looking ahead down the hill, those skills along with complete turns almost guarantee that they are finishing most turns parallel. Some more coaching er story telling maybe nessacary to get them more and then finally more parallel but your get the jist of this.

Obviously every group/kid(s) will be different but if you can make fun, convincing stories that bring some sort of emotional response from your kids 99.9 percent of the time the kids will have fun(important for them) and progress(important for the parents) . the grosser, the scary, the crazier, the more extreme the story the better it is.

Little games, fun drills, and just telling them to do all work well enough, but story telling in lessons is by far the best way to get results.
post #3 of 9

it can be as simple as moving the tip of one ski towrad the other to draw smiles in the snow

For parallel, draw 2 smiles )

post #4 of 9
Awesome suggestion BushwakerinPA. I'm currently working with a little boy who has severe ADDHD and likes to play superhero. After 2 lessons, I've finally got him to trust me and communicate with me, but have not had much success in getting him to do a wedge and turns are very minimal. I've been planning our next outing to include more games and also some treats, (o.k.'d by parents of course), but your story will totally help me to get this kid motivated.

post #5 of 9
I don't teach them to ski parallel. I teach them to amp up the movements in a quality wedge turn and they can't help but ski parallel. As soon as you stop worrying about them being parallel or not, it gets a lot easier to help them get there.
post #6 of 9
Yo Baseball fan,

Check out the PSIA web site for children's teaching books. Captain Zembo may have just what you're looking for.
post #7 of 9
here's one of my favorite ski sites,no kidding.;-) Take the poll.
post #8 of 9
No poles, hands on the knees, wedge, speed and weight transfer. That turns into safe and less to care about, calms the upper body down, controlls speed and makes them turn.
post #9 of 9
Put your hands on your knees and your butt weights the backs of the skis. If I use that positioning of the hands at all, I suggest placing them below the knees.
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