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Why and How to Take a Ski Lesson from a Professional
How to Pick a Ski
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To Reserve a Private Ski Lesson with Bill Jones
Ski Slope Ratings
Skiing as a Career
Lnks to Skiing
Books and Videos
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TEACHING SOMEONE TO SKI?
First, see the cautions on the page "Why Take a Lesson from a Professional Ski Instructor".
But if you still want to teach someone to ski, and you possess and understand the skills of modern skiing, then consider this advice paraphrased and expanded from Ski Magazine, February 2008 (p. 75):
Goals: Go at your student's pace and work toward their goals, not yours, [and especially not your goals for them]. Find out why they came and what they hope to get out of the experience.
Terrain selection: Don't try to get them to the terrain you want to ski. The lesson is for them. Pick slopes that are appropriate to their skill level, and only progress to a steeper slope when you see they have the skills for that and they say they're confident. When you get there, explain how to apply existing skills to the more challenging situation before introducing anything new and give practice time to create confidence. Follow the rule "Teach new skills on old terrain. Teach old skills on new terrain."
Progression: Skiing skills are best learned in small steps, so break skills down into manageable chunks. Complete movement patterns are hard to teach and hard to learn. Moving too quickly creates defensive skiers who focus on stopping and minimizing time in the fall line rather than assertive ones who will use ski design, gravity, and their bodies to create turn shapes and manage their speed for optimum effect.
Show, tell, and do: Explain the move being taught, show how it is to be done, and have the student try it--first statically, then moving slowly, and then nearer normal rates or speeds. Give ample practice time to ingrain the move so it will be there and can be used upon which to build the next move to be taught. Respond to the style of learning your student likes best, not the style of teaching you like best.
Comfort level: Sliding is an out-of control fearful experience if one is not sure how to control their speed or direction. Cold can distract the mind, too, and so can excessive heat or too-bright sunlight without dark glasses. Tired or tiring muscles will not perform needed new moves at an adequate level for learning them. Energy level must be high. Manage the activity to avoid these situations and know when the day should be ended before it must be.
Fun: Learning happens best when people are having fun doing it and when they perceive that their teacher is having fun, too, or at least interested and committed. Will this be you--or will you be glancing up the mountain where you would rather be? Have an attitude that keeps your student interested and motivated, not bored or defensive.
Successful teaching is likely to be good for you, too, for in order to help someone else learn, you will analyze your own skiing and skiing mechanics. Your greater understanding may enable you to go further in your own quest for skiing fun.
To teach well is a challenge, however, and it is likely your ski student would have profited more from a lesson from a professional, so again, consider the page, "Why Take a Lesson from a Professional Ski Instructor".
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