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Teaching my 10-year old

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My son is 10 and has been skiing since he was 4, getting in anywhere from a low of 3 days to a high of 12 days per season. He skis parallel and is beginning to use pole plants. He hasn't had a lesson in the past 3 seasons and pretty much hates them. He claims they never put him in the right group. I had him take some private lessons a few years back, but it was an extremely crowded resort and I don't think he had the best instructors there.

He's skiing pretty well, but, like a lot of kids, avoids the steeps and tends to lean back when skiing a steeper slope. I've been trying not to push him too much and just let him get some mileage on greens and blues. Questions: How do I get him on steeper stuff? How do I get him back into lessons. Also, where can I find an explanation of the "levels" you guys talk about.
post #2 of 10
crank, you can learn about the levels here (among other places, I'm sure).

As for lessons, I have a couple of thoughts. One would be doing a semi-private with you. That way, you get a first-hand perspective and can help understand what's happening in the lesson. Another thought would be to speak to the Ski School Director at your chosen area a week or so before you'd like to visit, tell them the history, and ask to have their best instructor for your 10-year-old. There is bound to be an instructor that would hit it off...
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Steve. Good ideas. From the link you attached I'd say his level is a strong 5 to a low 6.
post #4 of 10
crank At the little Mtn. I work at we rarely see upper level kids in our group lessons. Over the holidays they will send me out with large splits of abilities. I can teach a split lesson but its not the ideal situation. Non peak times I go out with 1 or 2 kids so off peak lessons are better. My area also offers a program every sat. or sun. for 6 or 12 weeks these are great because we get advnced kids and can do lesson progressions with them, is ther anything like that locally in your area?
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'll look into that. Only problem is the areas within a 1-2 hour drive from home are pretty little and really offer no challenge. Still the regular instruction would be good. I'll look into it. I know they have some racing programs but he has no interest in that.

Ok that does it. Honey pack the car - we're moving to ski country!
post #6 of 10
crank, moving's a good idea ( ), but in leiu of that, check into the multi-week programs. Even at a smaller areas, he'll get a lot better. What I've found both for myself and for students, if you will take the time to work on technique habits and issues on "comfortable" terrain (read "really easy"), you'll be more likely to take those to more difficult terrain. I personally find that it is much more difficult to perform a solid, low-speed wedge christie than it is to do a high-speed carved turn (at least one that will look pretty good to most people!). The reason is that the low-speed maneuver accentuates habits and weaknesses that happen too fast in the high-speed for most non-pros to even notice.

Just something else to consider...
post #7 of 10
crank - if there is any way to expose him to racing - a local racing team, or a recreational racing league for parents and kids - sign him up. It will do wonders to his skiing. He will defeat his intimidation of the steep runs, and also will become interested in going to ski schools and training clinics. He will forget about how steep the slope is and only see the gates

[ January 06, 2004, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #8 of 10
To reuse an old quote: "Go West, young man!"

Almost every western resort has steeps that are like magnets for normal 10 year olds. They will also have more instruction options for your child.

Maybe steeps aren't his bag. There are also some "summer" camps for freestyle that might be highly motivating.

If you can't travel that far, some resorts in the East (e.g. Smuggler's Notch) have fantastic programs for kids.

Don't forget to encourage off-season training too (i.e. rollerblading).
post #9 of 10
I have a ten year old as well and have to constantly remind myself of three things;

#1 She is just ten
#2 She may not have my zeal for skiing and I can only screw that up by pushing her
#3 She is just ten

I have the opportunity to teach full time. I make sure it's an ironclad rule that I never teach her a thing.

[ January 10, 2004, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #10 of 10
crank, as a longtime kids instructor I see clearly that you dearly love your son, as well as the sport of skiing that gives us all so much joy. I mean this with no condescension and much empathy: it's amazing how much kids can teach us about our values and priorities, as well as how to love them better. Sometimes to our frustration, they don't agree with what we think is important, but instead remind us to ask questions of ourselves:
Is skiing about the color of the runs we ski and how steep they are and whether our skis are always parallel?
Or can it also be simply about wind in the face, what it feels like to swoop up and down those little slopes on the sides of catwalks, hanging out with friends or getting popped by snow dropping from the trees?
I respectfully suggest you offer some options, but let him decide and leave it at that. Much as we love them and want what we believe is best for them with their skiing, kids already have plenty of things to do in their lives that of necessity or expediency don't involve choice.
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