This weekend marks the beginning of the third year of racing for my 6 year old daughter (the original Lil’ Ripper). She is in a weekly program at our local mountain that runs for 14 weeks. Now, I am a former ski racer & coach, so many friends ask why I don’t just teach her myself and save the coaching fees. The answers to this are simple:
1.Having someone else teach your child is more effective: most young children look to their parents to solve problems and provide comfort. So, it is no huge surprise that when their parents are around, most children will find all sorts of problems to be solved (hungry, cold, etc….sound familiar?). An instructor or coach is generally viewed as someone to listen to – and children generally do this pretty well.
2.Skiing is a social sport: my daughter has met a whole group of little ski buddies through her race team. This makes the learning more fun during the lessons, and also gives them someone to ski with during free time. I would love to ski with her every run, but ol’ dad is a bit boring for a 6 year old to hang out with all the time.
3.Differing points of view from multiple instructors: the way that I teach and my daughter’s coach teaches are quite different. Ultimately, we are aiming for the same goals – skills improvement & livelong love of the sport. My daughter responds differently to the styles, but will (hopefully) use a combination of them to move closer to these goals.