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Advice for 3yr. old instruction

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Our three year old is starting his second season on skis and loving it.  He is carving his turns on his own (has never snowplowed) and hockey stopping.  His two bad habits are not keeping his upper body down the hill (thus over-rotating and not finishing turns) and, more problematic, sitting back.  What advice do you have to correct these habits?  I've heard of putting a jelly bean between his shins and the boot, but he's not very food motivated...

Thanks!  Pray for snow!
post #2 of 4
 I don't think you can expect a 3 YO to have lower/upper body separation. Just not gonna happen. As for the backseat thing, that is to be expected as well. Expect some, but do your best to minimize it through boot fit and selecting appropriate terrain.
post #3 of 4
Sounds like your son is already doing amazingly well.  I would say don't worry about technique details at this point and focus on fun and safety.  

I completely agree with epic on this one.  Keep in mind kids have very distinct physical developmental phases.  So before correcting a kids movement, ask yourself whether the movement is appropriate for his developmental stage.  I'm not sure upper/lower body separation is within a 3 year olds developmental age ability.  If its good movement for the developmental age, just leave it be.  As he moves to the next stage, things will change.  If it is in fact poor execution for his developmental age then maybe correct it but even then he should be given a chance to try to figure out how to correct it.  Kids have an incredible ability to self-correct - and that in itself is a really important skill for them to further develop.  

Also remember that kids have big heads relative to their bodies - add a helmet and it makes for a great big head (So I Married an Axe Murderer anyone?).  The gargantuan head means their center of balance is behind where it would be for an adult so a bit of backseat is normal.
post #4 of 4
At age 3, skiing at a functional, balanced stance, is something that won't happen consistently.  A few activities that will help promote a centered stance is stepping while gliding (or while turning on shallow terrain), hopping on shallow terrain, or between turns.  Any activity where slipping (side slipping), straight down, forward or backward, or more pivoted turns (less carving) will also help get a more balanced stance.

If he can start to fit these types of activities into his skiing, he will build skills and be a more versatile skier.  As he develops more strength, his stance will get more centered.

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