This coming winter will see me get close to 36 seasons teaching! Not bad for someone who didn’t start skiing until 22!
Teaching Snowsports can be made simple or as complicated as you want. We all learn in different ways and my preferred method is to help you tap into yours and make it understandable, simple and as fun for you as I can.
We all have 5 senses, taste and smell aren’t too useful for skiers, although we use these descriptively; “wow that was a sweet turn”.
This leaves us with 3 main ways we all process information and feedback;
- Visual – Seeing/Watching
- Audio – Hearing/Listening
- Kinesthetic – Feeling
You could be a mixture of all three or any two but most people have a dominant learning style. My job is to find out how best to present the information to you so that you can take it on board. Anyone recognise this scenario:
An earnest ski instructor standing in front of a group describing in great detail the technicalities of the manoeuvre the class is about to attempt. One student stands in the line tapping his pole impatiently and generally getting on everyone’s nerves. This guy is like Bart Simpson – all he hears as the teacher begins to lecture is ‘blah blah blah’. It’s not his fault because his brain is programmed to learn visually and what he literally needs is for someone to draw him a picture ‘don’t tell me, show me’.
Sometimes I may challenge this; help you change and challenge your approach by developing the senses which are weaker. Why? Well the reason is two fold;
- studies show that staying with your preferred style may actually hinder progress
- the weather for instance, visual people will suffer in a white out or blizzard so they need a back up method of receiving feed-back.
Having played many sports I try to find some common ground my students can relate to. Many of the basic skills in any given sport or activity will cross over to another, you’ve been learning to ski without even knowing it! There are similarities in all sorts of activities: Yoga, Motor biking, Horse riding, Golf and even some really sedentary ones you would never think of such as Snooker, Darts and Drawing! Finding the common ground helps my students relax and feel involved in the learning process. For me it’s a two way street, I am also learning what makes you tick!
Reading this back it all sounds very worthy and sincere but I will finish by saying it’s all rubbish if there are no laughs along the way. You’re on holiday and I have the best job in the world, helping people to have FUN!!! Skiing is the best fun you can have with your clothes on!!!
This is expanded in excerpts from my book on Alpine and Telemark techniques on our blog/news page