Student patch lessons

 Here are changes to the Student lesson program at Pine Knob this season

1- Students will sign up online. There is a limit of 10 students to a group, and a minimum of 4 to teach the lesson

2- Instructors will teach the same time and level all season long

3- Lesson tickets have been eliminated, payroll is now digital

4- Brush courses will be used for all classes from green to red, they must turn to a stop at the end

5- The white patch class has been eliminated   

                                                        Classes

1- No patch- Athletic stance, pre-lift exercises, wedges, stopping, turns

2- Yellow- Athletic stance, big and small turns, turn or push on big toes

3- Brown- Athletic stance, big 5, matching second half, hand to outside knee

4- Blue- Athletic stance, big 5, earlier weight transfer, matching in the first half, flex & tip fan exercise

 

5- Red- Athletic stance, big 5, down and up, inside lead, flex /tip, parallel turns with pole touch

6- Orange- Athletic stance, park safety, etiquette, pop, ollie, switch, straight jump, grab, slide box

7- White- Athletic stance, bigger smoother parallel turns, flex and tip uphill christie

    

8- Black- Athletic stance, small turns in moguls and on wall

 

                                                   The students  

 

Many of these students ski only a few times a season. The snow can be different and they may be using different gear each time. They may miss a week or two between lessons, and may not have any practice time after the lesson. Or even worse, their parents and friends take them too high after a lesson so they so they lean back, ski too fast, make a wide wedge, and struggle to turn and stop.

 

Parents, friends, and even the students are often in a rush to go high and fast too soon, and they do not realize they are creating problems that are very hard to fix.

 

Much of the brown, blue, and red lessons is getting them into an athletic stance and using the big 5, so they are out of the wide wedge on the back of their skis. Then adding early weight transfer, and down and up motion to recreate matching for parallel turns.

 

                                                             Athletic stance

 

The athletic stance is critical to constantly evaluate and work on. Every time before students start to ski tell them to start in an athletic stance. The way they do this is to put their hands in front like they are holding a lunch tray and bounce on their toes with their chest over their toes, then stop before the top. With enough reinforcement they may start to get the feel of standing over the balls of their feet. 

 

When they stand on a slope they will naturally lean back on their very first run and then on steeper hills. They will go to high too soon after the lesson which will move them back, so constant feedback is necessary. Students often over flex knees, and lean back at the waist and ankles. Or they bend too far forward at the waist. Use verbal cues: stand up, on toes, chest over toes, hands up, forward, shins to boots, less knee more ankle.  

                                                                 

                                                              Big 5

1- Ski on a gentle slope

2- In an athletic stance

3- With a small wedge

4- Straight downhill with speed

5- Make just slight turns

                                             

                                                    When and how        

Student lessons are taught at 5 and 6:00 pm (6:30 at pine Knob) weekday evenings. Students earn a patch to control what runs they can use, they must be at least seven years old. Team teaching is used at Pine Knob for the first lesson.

Smile, speak loud, be friendly and confident when you introduce yourself, this is fun! Some of your students may be afraid. Collect lesson tickets at Mt. Holly and know how many are in your group. Safety first, especially with chairlifts. Keep moving, give a lot of feedback. Finish on time, students may have to leave.  

 

Act professional with discipline problems. Imagine the parent is always there, anything you say will get back to them. This program is for kids who ski only a few times each season, it is mostly about skiing in control to be able to slow down and stop so don't be too critical when grading.

These are lessons, and it may take many lessons over the course of several seasons to earn a patch. Even if students were able to perform properly for the last patch, they will go back to making natural moves many times before they can execute ski moves with a degree of consistency.

 

Go back as far as necessary to review. They can start at any level they think they can handle if they are experienced, but take weak or stronger students to a different group. The format is: ski warm up runs for the students in lessons beyond the yellow class and then: review, teach new content, and grade.  Some will be afraid and others will be over confident. Pay close attention to your students and progress at a pace that is safe but not boring.

   

In case of an accident; shelter the injured student, send and call for help ski patrol, don't move the student, look for any witnesses, talk about the details only with ski patrol and the ski school director.

                                                                           Class details

                                                                      1- Green Patch

                                                                        Stopping and turns

 

 1-  Before using the carpet: smile, imagine they are your friends, speak loud. Check clothing and ask if boots hurt. Walk, step in place, run in place, lift knees high to march, slide feet back and forth, step in circle, flex ankles, make different size wedges, practice athletic stance.

  

2- Stopping and turning- Load the carpet with proper spacing and keep students looping as soon as they exit on top. There is not a lot of time before the next student so get them going quickly and be aware of where the next student is. Stand perpendicular to them in an athletic stance as you verbally coach them: hands up, look ahead, chest over toes and stand up on toes. Shape their behavior with positive reinforcement as soon as they get it: "good that is it!" Point toes together and push heels apart.

 

If it is fast and icy make sure they start in a wedge at the start. You can hold the tips of their skis and position them in a wedge if necessary, or support their hips and use your feet to make a wedge for them if you are in your boots. Students may need a push behind their hips if it is slow.


Make at least 6 runs of wedges:  gliding wedge, bouncing in a small wedge, moving down to touch their knees then up, make several wedges in a row (called wedge change ups), straight run to wedge stop half way down, then wedge stop at the bottom, stay in an athletic stance not leaning back. 

 

If team teaching on busy days, the person on bottom can gather the group to keep them together, but the kids usually want to keep moving. Correct problems by keeping knees apart and put equal weight on both skis. Check for ice on the bottom of skis if they can't slide.

Use the rope if they are ready. Gradually work your way up as they get comfortable with the athletic stance, speed, and stopping. Keep good spacing so there is time to help anyone who needs it. 

 

Ski straight down the hill in gliding wedge to build speed for three seconds; very slightly point their toes one way, then go straight for three seconds, and turn the other way. the pattern is straight, turn, straight.  If necessary and there is time, have them push on one big toe then the other rather than pointing the toes, this is another way to get them to flex their ankle.

 

3- Grading-  tell each student what they should work on after their grading, they must be able to:

 

1- Use the rope tow

2- Make a wedge stop

3- Link a least five turns and make a wedge stop at the end.

At Pine Knob they will ski a brush course and make a wedge stop. Most students will not be able to pass green their first time. Brief overview video 

End the lesson by:

1- Telling them that they must ski in control so they can stop and turn around skiers below them.

2- A review of athletic stance, wedge stops and turns

3- Let them know where they can ski and they should be able to link turns to a stop before working their way up the hill.

 

Be sure they know how to take off the skis to get up. How to put them across the hill and reset the heel of the binding to put on

Tell them where to get their patch. The ones who did not get their green can still take yellow next time if they practice and can link turns to a stop before taking the yellow. If they are excited, congratulations you may have just created a lifelong skier!

                                                                2- Yellow patch

                                                             Turns; 2 ways, 2 sizes, link to a stop       

 

1- Review- Ask if everyone have used the rope and if they can link turns and turn to a stop at the end. If not then they should go to the green class. Statically review athletic stance, ankle flex, and the wedge. Then review making wedge stops, linking wedge turns and turning to a stop. Some may need to be moved up or down to a different class. If you line them up when they exit, keep the explanation short and have them go one after another to keep them moving.   

2- Turns- Ski straight downhill in an athletic stance using a narrow gliding wedge for three seconds to build speed, slightly turn both feet one way, next point the feet downhill to go straight for 3 seconds, then make a slight turn in the other direction. Be sure they do not try to turn as soon as they start moving, they need speed.

 

If they can not turn their feet, have them push on one big toe then the other. Some may need a combination, turn and push on their toe, or push first then turn.    

Give them a specific number of turns to make, such as 2, 4, or 6. Then change the size of the turns, so make just bigger 3 turns if they are making 6 in a given space. Make 3 small turns followed by 3 large turns. Then reverse, 3 large then 3 small.

You have to really be watching your kids close and giving them specific feedback such as: get forward, hands up, stand up, chest over your toes, smaller wedge, use more speed before turning, don't turn so far, turn both your feet not your shoulders, great that is it! Keep them moving with specific feedback while they perform. 

 

When the kids are trying to push on a big toe it is just a way to get them to flex their ankle. You can also have them try to flex their ankles like they are kneeling down to turn. Face the same direction as the student and have them practice flexing their downhill ankle. Check to be sure they are doing it. The ankle is flexing forward; make sure they are not moving their knee inside and edging the ski, moving their hip out, or flexing their knee rather than ankle. Physically assist them if they can not do it. 

 

Starting in a gliding wedge straight down the hill for 3 seconds, flex the ankle you practiced statically to make a slight turn, return to wedge to go straight for three seconds, then flex the other ankle to make a slight turn.

 

Exercises: touch hand to the knee as ankle is flexed, ankle flex bouncers, flex ankles quickly for small turns. 

 

Students can use either method to turn, or do a combination of both. Turn the feet then flex the ankle, or flex the ankle then turn the feet. Explain that they control their speed by how far they turn, and have them link turns to a stop.

 

3- Grading-  use the chair only if all are ready, otherwise grade from the rope. Students should be able to stand with their skis across the hill and and be able to side step. Make a set of 5 turns and stop by turning across the hill. If they can not stop in either direction then they need to practice more. Tell each student what to work on after their grading run.


End the lesson by:

1- Telling them to ski in control

2- A review of athletic stance, wedge stops and turns

3- Tell them where they should ski and to gradually go higher as they can make better turns.

 

Tell the ones who pass where to get a patch and where they can ski (not beyond the beginner chairs)

At Pine Knob students will ski in the brush course to practice turning and touching their hand to their outside knee when they turn. They must turn around all the brushes and turn to a stop at the end.  

                                                                         3- Brown

                                                                      Matching in 2nd half

1- Review- Ask who has not been on a chair and who has not skied this season. Start on the rope and see if they are ready for the chair, if so give anyone who has not used a chair instruction. If anyone is too weak send them to yellow. If there has been a long time since their last lesson this can mostly be a yellow lesson.  Statically practice athletic stance and ankle flex, they will be leaning back. Review linking turns and turning to a stop at the end.  

2- Matching- On a gentle slope, in an athletic stance, using a small wedge, ski straight downhill with speed, and make slight turns (the big 5). Skis may start to spontaneously match.

Exercises: touch hand to the outside knee as the ankle is flexed. Bounce on the outside ski.

 

Be sure they are in an athletic stance with hips over feet and chest over toes, have them stand up if on their heels with their knees bent like they are sitting on a chair. If hips are behind the heels in a wide wedge, matching will be hard. To encourage matching: turn both feet especially the inside ski to produce matching. Then focus on an early weight transfer, or add smooth down to turn and up to start.

If necessary statically practice active matching. Stand with skis across the hill in a small wedge and transfer weight with ankle flex to the downhill ski and turn the uphill ski to match. Exercises: touch hand to knee as they transfer the weight, steer the uphill ski to match, push down on the small toe of the uphill ski. Do an uphill christie in each direction, and then link turns.

3- Grading- make five turns with matching in the second part of the turn and turn to a stop at the end. Tell each student what to work on after their grading run.

End the lesson by:

1- Telling them to ski in control

2- Athletic stance, smaller wedge, touching the outside knee and matching the skis

3- Where they should ski, staying on gentle slopes until the matching is better. 

 

Where they can ski- up to Woodward at Holly or PK chairs 1,2,5,6 Quicksilver and Cedar Bowl.

At Pine Knob- go to chair two at Pine Knob only if they are ready. Make sure they know how to get back to the lodge if you make it to Quicksilver. Use the brush course on chair one to work on matching at the brush, lifting the tail of the inside ski, touching the hand to the outside knee, bouncing on the outside ski with ankle and knee. They must ski around all the brushes and turn to a stop at the end.   

                                                                        4- Blue

                                                                     Matching in 1st half

 

1- Review-  At Pine Knob ask if they ski on Quicksilver, if not be sure they can make turns on chair one. Athletic stance and ankle flex. Lead a run and see if they can follow to warm up and evaluate.

Many may be on the back of their skis in a wide wedge.

2- Early matching- Use the Big 5: On a gentle part of the slope, in a athletic stance, using a small wedge, ski straight downhill with speed, and make slight turns. Then focus on transferring weight sooner at the start of each new turn, next add smooth down motion to finish and up to start, touch the outside hand to the knee. Turn both feet to encourage matching. Work on the finish of the turn with uphill christies exercises: with poles horizontal to move the inside half forward, progressively flex ankles, progressively push harder on the outside knee.  

 

If necessary, statically practice active matching, with skis across the hill in a small wedge, both poles below body for support. Then step on the uphill ski and match as they project their body downhill onto their poles. Start in a steep traverse (mostly downhill) and do the top part of the turn first. Statically practice pole swing and touch before the end of the lesson.

3- Grading- Link five turns with matching in the first part of the turn and turn to a stop at the end.

Tell each student what to work on after their grading run.

End the lesson by:

1- Telling them to ski in control

2- Review athletic stance, early weight transfer and matching, flex ankles and tip to finish

3- Where to ski- they ski same slopes as brown at PK, and all but lightning and Thunderbolt and parks at Holly

 

At Pine Knob- take them back to the lodge if you ski Quicksilver, use the brush course on Cedar Bowl to work on matching before the gate, it is steeper watch for leaning back and rotation, exercises: step on the new outside ski early, step and turning both feet, step and touch hand to knee, step and touch rib to hip, step and flex ankles  

 

                                                                         5- Red

                                                                     Parallel with pole touch

 

1- Review- athletic stance and ankle flex. Make a warm up run to evaluate. 

 

2- Parallel turns- work on the second part of the turn first with uphill christies, focusing on inside lead, and progressively flexing the ankles and tipping (angulation). Use exercise from the exercise page, including holding poles horizontal to advance the inside half, progressively flexing the ankles and tipping by sliding the hand from the hip to the knee. 

 

Link turns on a gentle slope starting in a steep traverse and make the second part of the turn first, after a slight turn step quickly on the other ski to start the next turn. Repeat those moves. Add a slight down move in the second part of the turn and up to start. Introduce poles with static practice; up, swing, and touch.

 

If necessary practice weight transfer statically with across the hill and parallel and both poles planted downhill. Then step on the uphill ski and project the body downhill onto their poles. From a steep traverse (mostly downhill) and make this move to do the top part of the turn first. 

 

3- Grading-  Watch out for high school ski racers it can be very dangerous if they are warming up on white lightning or phase one. Make five parallel turns with a pole touch and turn to a stop. Tell each student what to work on after their grading run. Problems will be leaning back, rotating, and banking with some wedge, or not using the poles properly.

 

End the lesson by:

1- Tell them to ski in control

2- Review athletic stance, early weight transfer, inside lead, ankle flex and tipping

3- Where to ski- all but Thunderbolt at Holly and the wall at PK, excluding the parks

At Pine Knob- take them back to the lodge, use the brush course on Cedar Bowl to work on early weight transfer, inside lead, and progressive ankle flex and tipping. It is steeper watch for leaning back rotation and banking. Exercises: any of the inside lead and flex and tip exercises on the exercise page including: with poles horizontal move the inside half forward, progressively flex ankles, progressively push hip inside with outside hand. They must make parallel turns through the course with proper pole use and turn to a stop.  

 

                                                                      6- Orange 

                                                           Beginner park can be taken any time after red 

1- Static exercises: athletic stance, jumps (pop), tail down (ollie), tips down (nollie), jump and turn feet perpendicular to land, jump and turn 180 to switch.

 

2- Do the static exercises in motion while skiing straight on a gentle slope

3- Straight jump, add a grab

 

4- Straight box, slide box  

 

Teach park safety and etiquette They can ski all slopes at Holly and all but the wall at Pine Knob 

 

 

                                                        7- White

                                                                          Bigger parallel

                                                                                                  Only taught at Mt. Holly 

 

1- Review- athletic stance and ankle flex. Do a warm up run to evaluate. Watch out for high school racers.

2- Bigger parallel turns-  Make some larger parallel turns by slowing down the moves and working on good timing with the pole touch. Change the speed by changing how completed the turns are made. Make 3 slow turns then 3 fast turns. Do a uphill christies to work on inside lead, and progressive ankle flexing and tipping. Use exercises from the exercises  page.

3- Grading-  Make five larger smoother parallel turns and turn to a stop. Tell each student what to work on after their grading run. These are not the fast carved turns of racers, most of these students have relatively little ski experience and will be making turns with some skidding.

 

End the lesson by:

1- Telling them to ski in control

2- Review athletic stance, early weight transfer, inside lead, ankle flex and tipping

3- Where to ski- everything at Holly and all but the wall at PK, excluding the parks without orange

 

 

                                                                      8- Black

                                                                Smaller turns, moguls/wall

 

1- Review- Athletic stance, and ankle flex. Do a warm up run to evaluate, watch out for high school racers.

2- Small turns- Side slips facing both ways with slow and then quick edge sets, next add the pole touch. Do pivot slip, crab walk, hop turns, static hoping with soft verse hard landings, straight run in a wedge and then quickly push on the ball of one foot then the other; the skis will match.

 

Moguls: start near the bottom of the moguls and ski straight over the moguls to practice absorbing with the legs verse the waist. Low in mogul field work on line, edging on the downhill side of the bump. Wall: uphill christie to a stop, then link turns.

 

3- Grading- Make linked small turns with pole touch, ski one line in the moguls, at Pine Knob ski a smooth part of the wall with good snow.

  

End the lesson by:

1- Telling them to ski in control

2- Review athletic stance, quick moves, absorbing with the legs

3- Where to ski- everything excluding the parks without orange

 

                                                                            Review 10 of 10

 

                                                                       Five true or false questions 

Instructors.site

Home for Mt. Holly and Pine Knob Instructors

 Great teaching lasts a lifetime!