Concerned about whether your child will enjoy ski school or not? Here are some tips to ease the transition to this sport:
Three to six months prior to your child’s lesson:
- Enroll your child in a gymnastics class. All children, as young as three years of age can benefit from the “group lesson” experience. Practicing skills that will enhance balance, coordination of movements and gross motor skills.
- Be a “Raving Fan.” Talk up skiing and snowboarding. Conversations at home about the wonder of snow; sensations of cold and mountains can excite a child’s curiosity (or frighten). If you are a skier, tell them stories about when you learned to ski.
- Start to simulate skiing situations and movements. Play “falling down.” It is inevitable, yet will become frustrating on snow after so much success over the years learning to walk and run. For younger children, play games like “dead ants” in which the leader calls out “Dead Ants” and everyone falls down. When your child comes up to the Resort to learn to ski, remind them about the game, and that falling down is okay.
- We “teach for positive transfer.” That means activities like rollerblading and ice-skating are great crossover sports for skiing. Children learn to balance on moving platform, and the skating movements “transfer” well to skiing. For children 6 years or older, skateboarding is a great preparation for snowboarding.
One month or less, prior to your child’s lesson:
- Phone in your reservation. You must book your reservation at least 48 hours before arrival, much sooner for Holiday periods.
- Play and “act out” with their equipment to familiarize them with it. If you don’t have equipment for them, show them yours or take a trip to a sports shop! Have them put your stuff on and walk around with it (if they can). The more comfortable they become with the process of dressing, wearing goggles etc., and the more they anticipate the routine, the more likely the success of their (and your) experience once you arrive at the Resort.
- Find books and videos in the library on related subjects, like snow, winter, skiing etc.
- Express excitement about you upcoming trip to the mountains. Your child will play off or mirror your doubts, fears or your excitement.
The week prior to your child’s lesson:
- Make sure you have secured all clothing items and that if they have not been worn since last season they still fit. This includes waterproof gloves/mittens, ski pants, goggles and a ski jacket.
- Continue to reinforce the enthusiasm for this adventure.
The day before your child’s lesson:
- Label, with a permanent marker, all your child’s belongings. Check to ensure that your child has appropriate eyewear, mittens and waterproof clothes.
- Have them drink lots of water.
- Ensure that your child is well rested, early to bed and ready for their early trip in the morning.
The Day of your child’s lesson:
- Turn on the TV or radio to determine road conditions, traffic and weather. Dress the gang and get ready for the slopes.
- Have a good breakfast. This will ensure your child is alert and has enough energy to start the day.
- Get an early start. Remember every minute you save is one that will come back to you 10 fold once you arrive at the resort.