I am new to the forums here. I have been skiing for 12 years of my life. The winter I got my Level 1 CSCF Alpine Coach (canadian level one coach) I am assigned to a team that has the ages of 7-9. Now most of the kids in the program have difficulty to do anything parallel skiing wise (drills etc.) So I was wondering if you forum members know of any drills that are simple yet effective for a kid aged 7-9 to understand to get them to parallel ski. I am new to coaching so I appreciate your help.
Oskars D1, I'll assume you have a bunch of kids who are doing something with a wedge, wedge chrisitie going on? I would try to get them to feel , think and see about being on like edges. That means everywhere they are you strive to get them on either 2 left edges or 2 right edges. This starts when they are standing around, try not to let them stand or stop in a wedge, they are just creating muscle memory of opposing edges. Side slipping drills are great to start feeling what sliding on 2 like edges is. Work this into long drawn out turns where they slip the lower part of the turn while turning their legs up hill to complete the turn. You can't do this on opposing edges. 180-360 spin arounds on fairly flat terrain also works well for developing a feel towards getting on flat parallel skis.
Where crowds and terrain permit try some across slope railroad track type edge engagement, tipping onto the 2 edges (left or right) and seeing where the skis will take them. See if they can gain elevation with their skis. As they feel more secure with being on same edges have them work the skiing more into the fall line before turning out of the fall line.
Small hops to start the turn help with getting out of the wedge, start with little hops going across slope getting them the feeling of both skis coming off the snow at the same time, work this into slight direction change and finishing of the turn after they land by again turning the legs. Find small bumps that they can go over and at the top of the bump have them pivot their skis to change direction.
The things you are looking to do are things that get them away from hard edge sets, high locked edge angles and pushing hard against the skis. Think same edges and flat skis and use your imagination to help them move around on their skis.
Well, lots of experts on this forum..but I would humbly suggest getting this DVD and following the suggested exercises as foundations for instruction to 7 and 9 year olds..
it is the most popular clip on skiing on YouTube, if you have never seen it, here it is:
and if you do appreciate how simple the guy makes it(subjective naturally with due respect to you and anyone else), 7 to 8 year olds will get it, the point of the exaggerated moves are to get the ignorant, the neophyte, the child to gain the sensations of skiing and the feel for the edge, anyway, its a worthy 20buck investment..to help create lessons.
And if you want to see a 7 year old practising these moves on his 1st two days of skiing this season to get his legs back (this 7 year old is a pretty advanced big mountain skier) ... he still goes through the KM moves to get the feel back after the hiatus since last season (video is long, so scroll through, the fun begins kind of at 2min 30 sec point and so on), the skies are lets say a bit long for him too...20cm longer than his last season's skis.
Just a Dad who is learning every day himself, and has seen many great instructors , but in terms of getting through, to kids to
(a) keeping their hands forward (uphill hand over uphill ski) which creates counter,
(c) riding on the edges
(d) smear to steer
I could go on, I am no instructor but as a student and father, that would be my feedback, the KISS principle, get the kids to gain the sensation fastest without super-technical discussions and exercises.
Here is a real KISS consept for you. Kids need to learn how to wedge, carve and make short turns. Since they allready can wedge you have only two left: Carivng and short turns.
You have two ways of initiating a carved turn: with your knees or by short leg long leg. Good drill for the knee variation is setting up a straight course of brushes on a flat section of the hill tight enough for them to be pushed to be quick. And they can only be quick if they use their knees. Pointing them from side to side. For the short leg long leg variation have them do just that, short leg long leg. A good drill is the outrigger drill. Extending the outside leg as long as you can get and flex the inside leg as short as you can get. Let the outside ski carve and form you turn while the insdie ski supports part of your weight. All exersises and skiing mentioned in this section should be carved edge locked. At first.
Good short turns involves skidding and pivotting of the skis. The shorter and quicker the turns the more you need to pivot and skid. Aim for a pivot point close to the boots of the skis. When teaching short turns we tangent the knee initiation consept mentioned in the carving section. We need to be quick in our knees. A good drill for this is grabbing your ski poles half way down and make short turns down a very flat slope from a deeply squatted position. This way you are forced to use your knees. A fun drill for the kids is to have everyone line up at the top of the hill and make short turns to a certain point and count them. The one with the most turns win.
Kids need to learn how to jump. So build some of your instruction arround jumping. An advanced form of jumping in the realm of ski racing would be placing a ski pole between the gates and have the racers jump over it. Remember all skills are the same for everybody. They are just performed at different level. Besides, kids love jumping.