If you feel safe and comfortable in your environment and are having fun you will be much more inclined to relax and try new things, which in turn results in a positive learning experience.
A great instructor involves you in the progress and helps you make the most of your practise time between lessons, allowing you to take charge of your own learning.
- An adaptable and athletic stance
- Good reactive balancing skills
- Turning and or stopping skills
- Something to relate the activity to, this helps to improve their knowledge and understanding
- Patience and time to practise – everyone get things right and wrong
- The correct terrain, selected by the instructor to begin with and then with time, by the student
- Small achievable tasks or challenges along the way
None of the above are exclusive to beginners, intermediates and experts use them too.
The difference could be said to be that at the beginning the skill is closed or targeted to a single outcome, for example – standing in the middle of your foot. As the performer progresses the aim becomes wider or more open, say feel for the ball of the foot at the start of the turn and settle back into the middle of your foot during the rest of the turn. Both are working on athletic stance and balancing skills but the focus is changing slightly.
Another example is with turning; for the beginner this has the single outcome of controlling speed, whereas at a higher level the focus opens to allow freedom of expression and experimentation with lots of different outcomes.
All of your skills need to be practised, and in many different ways; for example at speed, slow and fast, and on different terrains, shallow to steeper/steeper to shallower and variable textures of snow/powder/bumps/ice. Your instructor should have the time and patience but sometimes the student doesn’t and demands too much of themselves.
- Take your time, let the challenges grow at an achievable rate
- Allow yourself to fail sometimes, take the pressure off
- Choose the correct terrain/speed – it doesn’t always have to be a steep or fast challenge
- If you want to be good at something, keep at it, not all day but keep revisiting
- If you’re worried that lessons are boring ask the instructor for a lesson with a difference. You are the customer
- Try a different discipline – for example Alpine Learning Curves teach Alpine and Telemark skiing and Snowboarding
Author: Joe Beer, from Alpine Learning Curves, has been a ski instructor for 30+ seasons and is a specialist in ski, telemark and snowboard instruction in Morzine.
“I still get input when and where I can, at the very least at the start of the season, at the BASI trainers conference. I look forward to it as it gives me a few things to focus on while I’m sliding about”.