Checklist for Privates at Pine Knob
To improve lesson safety and quality in 2023 these three areas need a lot of focus-
1- Athletic stance- It is hard to get students into an athletic stance. Give them feedback before every run and as they are in motion. Stand on toes and chest over toes.
2- Speed- many students are trying to turn as soon as they start moving with very little speed. Start in a gliding wedge with 3 seconds of speed.
3- Turns- Link turns from using the feet rather than turning the shoulders before going above the first rope tower.
Everyone learns at a different pace, so privates lessons need to be taught at a pace that is not too fast or slow. Do not have a fixed lesson you teach to everyone.
Here are key points we covered at the indoor and on snow clinics to teach a safe beginner lesson that will achieve the new quality standards. Notice the items in red.
Before using the carpet -
Manage your time so there is plenty of time for stopping and turning. The most important point to teach is an athletic stance-
1- Stand tall
2- Hands like holding lunch tray
3- Weight on toes and chest over toes
4- Bounce and stop before the top
Student will lean back when they stand on the hill on top of the carpet
1- Spend so much time on flat work that you have to rush through stopping and turning. The exception is a very slow student. If you only have 20 minutes after flat work you probably spent too much time. Herringbone, skating, and side steeping are very hard for many people and can take a very long time to learn.
2- Side step up the hill between the two carpets to do a straight run. It is very busy on weekends and it is not safe. Use the area in front of the trash compactor. If that is busy, use the area on the left side of chair 1 before going over to the carpets.
Using the carpets -
Load and unload as in a group lesson. This means with skis off and have a T bar if needed on top. Help each student exit and start downhill as soon as they exit. If necessary, take students up one at a time for their first run. Give verbal feedback and position them if necessary, "Stand on toes and chest over toes". Put your skis out of the way above the top of the carpet.
Have students exit and try to walk through the crowd on top to line up with you. It is often uphill and very difficult for the students to walk on a slope. They fall exiting the carpet, trying to walk through the crowd, lining up, standing, and turning to ski downhill.
When they try to ski after your demo, they are not in an athletic position and can not respond to your feedback. They frequently crash in the process. This is not fun or building confidence for them, and it is not fun for you.
Gliding Wedges -
Spend several runs getting students comfortable sliding on skis so they build confidence and enjoy the experience. After a gliding wedge, bounce on toes with chest over the toes, touch hands above the knees, do wedge change ups, straight run to wedge stop half way, if they are able do a longer straight run to a stop. Be sure they stay in their athletic stance rather than leaning back. Do a good demo in an athletic stance, not leaning back at the at the waist, or bending your knees too much so your hips are behind your heels.
1- Do one or two wedge stops and then teach turning. They need to be comfortable in a gliding wedge with speed as the foundation for turning.
2- Teach one turn to a stop, especially at slow speeds on the carpet. It encourages turning with the upper body. If teaching turning on the carpet, use speed in a gliding wedge with a very slight turn about half way down.
On the rope tow -
Load and unload like a group lesson with skis off. This keeps them off the ground and builds their confidence. Help them turn and start straight downhill in an athletic stance when they exit, position them if necessary.
1- In a gliding wedge ski straight downhill with speed for three seconds
2- Point both big toes slightly to the left then back at the lodge
3- After three seconds point the big toes slightly to the right
Have different ways to teach turning. From the same start try pushing on the right big toe, straight for three seconds then push on the left big toe. Try combining the two, push on the toe and then turn.
Count turns as you go slowly up the hill. Make 3 small then three big turns. Turn to a stop at the end.
Student should be turning from the ground up, not using their shoulders to turn. Most beginner lessons will end at about the first rope tower. They should be able to make minimal turns, just enough to start to slow down, and then move down the hill flowing like water to develop offensive skiing.
1- Let students struggle and fall on the rope while you watch with your skis on.
2- Let them take off out of position across the hill. They need to start downhill in an athletic stance.
They can make a wedge and step around until they point downhill. Use their poles to make a gate, or help position them if necessary.
3- Let them start turning right away without speed. Speed reduces friction and increases the forces so the ski can respond.
4- Let them turn too far so they slow down too much and head more across the hill than down the hill. This encourages turning the shoulders rather than the feet.
5- Let them rush from one turn to the next without going straight at first. This encourages them to turn with their shoulders rather than their feet.
6- Do the top half of the turn first or start in a traverse. This encourages turning the shoulders.
7- Use the long wonder carpet without a T-bar or taking skis off and exiting lower than the top. It is too high, steep, and has a double fall line. This is where many students get out of control, crash, or ski straight to the bottom almost crashing.
8- Go very far above the first tower on the rope tow until your students can link turns in the fall line and turn to a stop.
Wrap up -
Leave enough time before your next lesson to do a good wrap up that includes:
1- Telling them to ski in control. They must be able to stop or turn so they do not run into anyone in front of them. Go up the hill gradually working on turns.
2- Quickly review athletic stance, stopping, and turning.
3- Tell them where to ski, such as make 10 turns from the first rope tower and gradually work to the next tower and try to make 20 from there. Try turning to a stop half way down.
4- Be sure they know how to take off skis if they can not get up. How to put skis across the hill to put on, and how to reset the heel.
5- Tell them where the can find the bathroom and cafeteria. Thank them, and invite them back for another lesson.
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