Most skiers are introduce to skiing and learn from family and friends. The perception of skiing ranges from it being a dangerous and high risk sport, to the expectation that it will be quick and easy to have fun and ski just like everyone on the mountain.
It is common to see beginners head up challenging slopes thinking they will be able to ski down. A big problem when friends and family teach is they usually go to slopes that are too difficult and assume the person they are teaching will be able to handle it. The result is usually fear, frustration, accidents, and someone who does not want to ski again rather than someone who falls in love with the sport.
Lessons often involve people who have had challenging experiences, or parents wanting to get their kids more control so they can ski on steeper slopes. Kids may have been skiing for a long time reinforcing bad habits, and parents may think one hour with us can make the kids ski in control on advanced slopes.
Some skiers lack confidence that they can improve, others know they can improve but are happy with how they ski, others think there is no need for lessons because they ski great already.
The benefits of using an instructor is they can evaluate students and use the appropriate terrain in addition to knowing what to teach, how to teach, and provide feedback.
Participants range from a culture of do it yourself thrill seekers to those who are risk adverse and want formal instruction in detailed aspects of the sport.
- Only a third of beginners and 7.5 percent of all participants take lessons, 12 percent of them have a negative experience. Cost is a major problem at big resorts, creating more opportunities for small resorts
- 83 percent of first timers never return, a great beginner lesson is important
Many people assume skiing will be easy are disappointed when they struggle, others are fearful and don't think they will be able to do it. Some do not return because the experience was scary, frustrating, painful, or cold. They don't know the smaller engaging steps to improvement that produce the advanced skiing they expect to do immediately.
- The average skier only participates 6 times a season
- Top competitive skiers get daily coaching
For many people skiing is a fun activity to do with family and friends. It provides freedom to explore the mountain and their abilities. They are not looking to be top skiers, just to enjoy more of the mountain. Serious skiers may ski every day and strive to be their best.
- It is hard for skiers to know what to focus on,
- And to know how well they are doing
Many dedicated skiers aspire to be great, but they don't know what that means or realize the amount of time and effort that is required. Because for many skiers there is no score to measure performance, skiing allows for creative personal expression. This is an engaging aspect of the sport, but it can prevent skiers from realizing they could improve, or wanting to improve if they know it is possible. They may reject instruction that feels too different from how they normally ski, or what they believe.
Some think they are experts when they can ski fast on expert terrain because that is the only way they can evaluate their performance. They can become bored, thinking they have mastered skiing, and lose interest long before experiencing more of what the sport can offer.
When experienced skiers take a lesson they may think a few tips is all it takes to improve and can get discouraged if big changes are not made. Some find lessons to be expensive, confusing, ineffective, boring, and do not like standing around or receiving feedback. Great teaching can change this and make improving fun.
Most skiers don't have the time, money, or desire to rebuilding their skiing. So it is important to work on the most productive moves that will give them as much change as possible in a limited time. You have to understand their goals and what type of instruction they want, just a few tips and with a lot of time to explore, or more intense drills and feedback.
How people think they are moving is usually different than how they are actually moving. Clear goals and specific feedback will help them improve and make skiing more fun. Great teaching opens new doors to get skiers more involved and inspired.
Here is a list of some issues skiers can have, they:
1- Don't think skiing will be hard
2- Think they can teach their friends and families
3- Think the ones they teach can progress quickly to steeper slopes
4- Can be very fearful
5- Give up and may feel like skiing is beyond them, or feel like a failure
when they struggle
6- Learn very different, and have different abilities
7- Respond to the content and quality of instruction, which makes a huge
difference in their success and the overall experience. Great teaching is important.
8- Do not know what to work on, or how they are doing beyond adding more
speed and terrain
9- Find instruction to be too expensive, complex, ineffective, embarrassing
in a group, don't like feedback, using the rope, snow conditions, crowds,
wild kids, the weather, the boots, all the hassle, or the waiting around.
10 - Don't realize they could use instruction.
People experience skiing through the personal sensations they have, which is part of the reason there can be so much debate about skiing. In broad terms advanced skiers love the sensations of speed, feeling the forces of turning, and the flow into the new turn. Powder and the park are other passions.
It is very creative how big mountain skiers ski lines or what tricks park skiers perform. They get instant feedback just like a racer or mogul skier to see if their experiences match reality. As with many sports the challenge is the mind body connection, making a plan real.