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What's next for this 6 years old?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My daughter has been skiing without much of instructions except for general guidance (i.e. turn to control speed) and careful choice of terrain she skies on and not pushing to steeper hill. I've been happy that she never got stuck in power wedging and like to turn and has been skiing with narrow wedging and occasional parallel turn on easy slopes. But this weekend she suddenly started to ski primarily parallel after being sick for 3 weekends:

Highlights from this weekend
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...28809446192457

Close up in slow mo.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...10392471567057

I started to feel that she is getting old enough to take some instruction and doing some drill work to improve further and contemplating what area to work on.

One thing obviously stand out is her pole work. It is totally ad hoc and she pulls her arm back. Would it be beneficial for her to work on pole touching drills? Or is it too early and she shouldn't bother touching? (she actually doesn't use it much when turning)
post #2 of 19
Well, the coach in me (and I coach her age group) says get her into a race program next year. But, in the meantime work on getting her hands up in front of her. I often use the analogy of holding a beach ball so that as a reminder I just yell out beach ball.

Isn't amazing when they suddenly get the whole parallel thing? I fought one little boy all season and then 3 weeks ago he just suddenly was doing it for every turn except for the steepest stuff (black or double black).
post #3 of 19
along the lines of COSkiGirl, i use the holding the "steering wheel" analogy with my own 7 and 5 year old daughters... who ski very similarly to your daughter.... to get them to keep their hands up and forward.

RE: pole touch. i am working with my daughters on that now, and they do pole touches about 80% of the time. so personally, *i* don't think it is too early to introduce that to her.... especially as they progress to steeper terrain.
post #4 of 19
Dad,
What a thrill to see a six year old getting after it. She really looks like she likes to ski. I am inclined to put her in a mighty mite ski race program as well. Or I would find a ski pro that you admire and set up a regular schedule of sessions. I would keep all tips/lessons/drills very fun and light for now. She is loving it way too much to get all techy and wierd on her. My simple first lesson would be to have her turn and tip the right ski tip to go right, then turn and tip the left ski tip to go left.
Not a fan of the groovy music though.
Greg
post #5 of 19
I also agree with the foot movement. As far as pole touching, I would want her hands in front of her before working on the pole touch any more. She has some of it but she's dropping her hands in between most of the time. I use the beach ball because I figure most kids are more familiar with the feel of holding a beach ball than the feel of holding a steering wheel. But I also agree, make sure you and she are having fun with the drills as you don't want to burn her out.

Oh, and I wouldn't hesitate to get her on something a bit steeper.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post
I also agree with the foot movement. As far as pole touching, I would want her hands in front of her before working on the pole touch any more. She has some of it but she's dropping her hands in between most of the time. I use the beach ball because I figure most kids are more familiar with the feel of holding a beach ball than the feel of holding a steering wheel. But I also agree, make sure you and she are having fun with the drills as you don't want to burn her out.

Oh, and I wouldn't hesitate to get her on something a bit steeper.
I tell my 7 year old to pretend he is holding his Nintendo DS, since he is great at that. Seems to work.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherPlayThanWork View Post
I tell my 7 year old to pretend he is holding his Nintendo DS, since he is great at that. Seems to work.
Oh, good one! I'll have to remember that one for next season!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback, COSkiGirl, chili, GR8TRN and RatherPlayThanWork.

Yes, keeping hands forward is definitely most important thing for her. "Beach ball", "steering wheel", "Nintendo DS" are all great! I've been reminding her to "keep hands forward" but I like those fun terms.

Tip to turn is a good one too.

And yes, I'm getting ready to take her to more steeper hills, now that she is skiing like this.

As for racing program : (I just noticed this funny icon ) I'm afraid we really cannot afford money and time-wise. But she's been playing with NASTAR courses, and now she loves it. When I tell her that we are going to a new mountain, first thing she asks is if they have (NASTAR) race. When she is older and really wants to go for racing, I wouldn't object, but for now, I'm just having so much fun exploring different mountains with her.
post #9 of 19
I understand the money thing, it is expensive! Keep her in Nastar, I can actually see her making Nastar Nationals at some point if she keeps working at it (I had 2 kiddos make it this year and 3 last, one of my girls from last year won her class this year with another from last year's group getting second).

Continue to have fun with her, that's the biggest thing and my biggest goal with my athletes, make sure they love the sport of skiing, the other stuff is secondary. I think she's ready for her first black, find one that is really almost a blue and then get her down that. Once she gets through the mental part (you may want to distract her enough that she doesn't notice the trail marker, yes I'm sneaky like that) she'll probably be really proud of herself and excited. Please report back! Video would be fantastic.
post #10 of 19
hiroto, great skiing by 6y old . I even spotted a fully carved left turn ! This clip is great for viewing carving vs skidding/brushing/drifting/stearing. Kind of like a perfect demo of that. I need to find snow like that and make the same kind of video, thanks for the ide . Anyway, work on angulation. Have her lean towards the outside and feel that outside ski pressure. You really cannot emphasize it enough. I see it in our kids ski team where I teach and coach and my 6y old son is a perfect example. Arms forward and out wide with shoulders levelled but forget a pole plant. At this stage just have her ski behind you and have her go faster. Go steeper and over small jumps. Weight forward.
post #11 of 19
tdk6 is right work on angulation, that alone will get her inside ski more parallel becasue there will be less pressure on it, and her body will be in a better position.

the things is you can tell her to do this and she may or not do this or...you can try this game.

skiing down in front of her and backwards throw snowballs to her outside(of the turn) and have her catch them(leave the poles behind for a couple runs). this will get her over her outside ski, looking down the hill more, and trust me its a fun game that she will love.

after that is looking pretty good and she is over that outside ski just because she is skiing, start thinking about teaching pole plants. Pole plants are not that hard to teach to children this young, heck I have had alot of success teaching pole touches(hate the word plant for someone learning it) to 5-7 year olds. although my games and analogys arent as universal as the snowball game which seemingly works for any kid.

hiroto you ve done a great job so far and that cant be said for most parents who cant leave there ego behind and ski there kids on terrain way to steep all the time which just get them to power wedge.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post
I understand the money thing, it is expensive! Keep her in Nastar, I can actually see her making Nastar Nationals at some point if she keeps working at it (I had 2 kiddos make it this year and 3 last, one of my girls from last year won her class this year with another from last year's group getting second).
Congrats on your kids results! Well, actually she did qualify this year in Bronze (we found easier mountain to qualify ). My wife and son qualified for Silver. I'm permanently stuck at the bottom of Silver We wanted to go this year but there was a important school event that weekend so we couldn't make it. Kids are game to go so we definitely like to make it out some day.

Quote:
Continue to have fun with her, that's the biggest thing and my biggest goal with my athletes, make sure they love the sport of skiing, the other stuff is secondary. I think she's ready for her first black, find one that is really almost a blue and then get her down that. Once she gets through the mental part (you may want to distract her enough that she doesn't notice the trail marker, yes I'm sneaky like that) she'll probably be really proud of herself and excited. Please report back! Video would be fantastic.
Actually steeper segment of that video was on black. She wanted to do it and made me take her there and took a few runs. On one run, she made me take a shot of the black diamond marker and then shot of her skiing off to have a video evidence that she did it
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
hiroto, great skiing by 6y old . I even spotted a fully carved left turn !
Thanks. She's been always better on left turn and obviously she has more trouble balancing on her left foot she tends to A frame more on right turn. Hopefully it will disappear with more time on skies.

Quote:
This clip is great for viewing carving vs skidding/brushing/drifting/stearing. Kind of like a perfect demo of that. I need to find snow like that and make the same kind of video, thanks for the ide .
Come ski at New England. That is machine made dust over icy hard pack. We have plenty of that all winter . I got the idea of that shot from this tutorial video. See between 1:26 and 1:37. I'm glad you liked it. It is a nice perspective to look at skiing technique.

Quote:
Anyway, work on angulation. Have her lean towards the outside and feel that outside ski pressure. You really cannot emphasize it enough. I see it in our kids ski team where I teach and coach and my 6y old son is a perfect example. Arms forward and out wide with shoulders levelled but forget a pole plant. At this stage just have her ski behind you and have her go faster. Go steeper and over small jumps. Weight forward.
Good point about following me. I just enjoying so much watching her skiing so I've been neglecting to have her follow me. That is a good way to get her to ski a little faster. I'll definitely do that.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
skiing down in front of her and backwards throw snowballs to her outside(of the turn) and have her catch them(leave the poles behind for a couple runs). this will get her over her outside ski, looking down the hill more, and trust me its a fun game that she will love.
Wow that's new : I wonder if I can make that precision throw backwards. I can picture two of us wiping out at the same time trying to do that

Quote:
hiroto you ve done a great job so far and that cant be said for most parents who cant leave there ego behind and ski there kids on terrain way to steep all the time which just get them to power wedge.
Thanks for the kind words. There is strong sentiment on this board against parents without instructional background to teach their own kids so getting compliment like that here means a lot to me. I was actually a little hesitant to post that video, afraid of getting negative comment about how she is progressing. I learned a lot from this board and couldn't do what I have done with her without it.

BTW when I was naive back when our first son started skiing, I did have typical ego and did exactly the wrong things. The result was desasterous (In hind sight. Back then, I thought he was cool).
post #15 of 19
What do you mean disasturous? Thats way cool .

There is a difference between teaching your kid to ski and skiing with your kid and guide him/her in the right direction. I dont really teach kids to ski, they learn from each other and from looking at what you do. You did not get any bad feedback because you have done all the right things. Only goes to show that this forum is greater than great !
post #16 of 19
Just let her ski and have fun. You can really forget anything else. Take her to the moguls, let her get some air. If she likes it, I'd work on jumping. The focus at this point should be on MOVEMENT, and jumping is fun. First movements are vertical, then FORE/AFT and finally LATERAL.

If you have to do drills: Hop through turns. Hop through turns on the shovels of the ski. Ski TALL in the fall line (even hands above your head) and small between turns -- highy flexed, chest to knees, hands touching boots.

She needs to focus on VERTICAL (flex-extend) and FORE/AFT movements (Hop on shovels, pull back elbows to get forwards, pull back feet to get forwards. "Hug the teddy bear." might work better than a beachball. )

There is no need for poling now, though it could help in the moguls.

I did notice that she is turning her entire body to turn. the goal is to have her ski with the body facing more down the fall line, and let the skis move under her. So, touch outside boot with outside hand, and clap hands between turns (obv. no poles). This teaches separation of upper and lower body, but it's a lateral skill that she may/may not be ready to do.

Remember, if it's not fun, DON'T DO IT!
post #17 of 19
Nice skiing! As a parent with a daughter just a bit younger, but sometimes guilty of many of the negative things described in this thread, it's motivation for me to be a better skiing parent.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiroto View Post
Wow that's new : I wonder if I can make that precision throw backwards. I can picture two of us wiping out at the same time trying to do that
I would recommend you ski backwards not try to throw backwards. As you can imagine pick a uncrowded groomed slope for this. Still have her be your 'eyes" which will get her looking down the hill more.
post #19 of 19
The important points at my ski school with kids are safety, fun, and skills, in that order. They've got to learn safe skiing, and they'll learn skills only if they're having fun.

I like BigE's recommendations a lot. Max_501 has kids about that age and he's had very good success teaching them...you might PM him for thoughts.
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