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Why You Shouldn't Teach Your Kids How To Ski/Snowboard

In my previous post "Introduce Your Kids To The Joy Of Skiing",  I wrote how many parents turn their kids off from learning how to ski/snowboard by being too pushy or over-enthusiastic. I mentioned that sometimes they forget that while it is important to learn a skill, it's even more important to make it fun and enjoyable experience.

The point of being on the mountain at a young age is about being in an outdoor environment, wearing ski gear, and getting comfortable with sliding on snow.

While I want to make sure that whenever my son learns something new, he's having fun,  I also want to ensure he learns how to do it right from the start.

From my personal experience, I've learned that just because you're good at something, doesn't automatically mean you're good at teaching it. Teaching is a skill that takes time, and effort to learn and master.

That's why when it comes to teaching my son a new outdoor sport, I leave it up to the professionals. Snow sports professionals have better tips and tricks, and because they’re not parents, kids won’t have as much license to say “no.”

Even though I worked as a ski/snowboard instructor for more than 5 years, I still prefer somebody else to teach my son a new skill, simply because I'm one of those pushy or over-enthusiastic parents myself.

I also believe that kids will have a more pleasant learning experience when they start indoors in the safe, and controlled environment. Last year my son took his first snowboarding lesson indoors, which made the outdoors transition easy, familiar, and fun.

Learning how to ski from a certified instructor allows your child to develop good form and technique, instead of just hitting the slopes and developing bad habits. For children who are just learning to ski/snowboard, or are working their way through the beginner category, ski/snowboard lessons are the fastest way to build skills and confidence.

You'll need to decide if you want to do a group lesson or a private; although the level of attention is obviously much greater one-on-one, there are benefits to small-group lessons, too. Namely, positive peer pressure. If they're hesitant to try something, they might change their minds if they see other kids doing it.

This year, I decided to hire a private instructor, simply because I didn't want my son to feel any pressure, and just have fun. 

Some people have concerns if private lessons are worth the money. And that's true, they can be pricey. Especially if your child prefers learning in a 1-on-1 environment, is "stuck" on a specific skill, if he/she is trying to break some bad habits, or if they're ready to make a leap ahead in their proficiency (such as finally learn how to do moguls).  

If you decide to get a private lesson for you or a child, be sure to describe what kind of instructor you think would be the most compatible for your situation, both in area of expertise as well as personality, to be sure you get your money's worth.

If the price for  private ski/snowboard lessons is an issues, I'd recommend to stick to smaller ski areas, and avoid holiday seasons as it automatically raises the price. 

Some picky parents are also concerned about the level of professionalism among ski/snowboard instructors. I can personally attest that your kid won't care about that. As a matter of fact, most kids learn easier, and faster when they're taught by younger instructors. Many professional instructors simply forget that they teach kids, and make their lessons too complicated, over-informative, and plain boring. 

But honestly, my favorite reason to send my son ski/snowboard with an instructor - I have that time all to myself ! And when he grows up, I'll have a reliable and experienced riding partner !

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