The recent cold weather may have put you in the mood for winter sports, and you aren't alone. Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in the United States. According to the National Ski Areas Association, 2.8 percent of the total population of the United States in 2020 were active skiers during that year's season. That roughly translates to more than 6 million active skiers in the country.
But skiing doesn't have to be a hobby reserved for adults. Your children may have plenty of fun exploring the countryside and shredding snow on their own. Rather than wonder how much it would cost to rent Disneyland, you could take your kids out to a winter wonderland with a few ski lessons.
If you want to begin teaching your children how to ski, you'll need a few pointers and tips on doing it effectively. Below are five suggestions to help teach your kids how to ski.
The cold is something you need to shelter your children from, and you need to teach them the right clothes to wear to reduce its effects. There are plenty of clothing and sporting goods manufacturers who have created entire attire lines specifically to protect children from the cold. For example, Obermeyer for kids includes thermal jackets and gloves.
Put down these layers and tell them their importance:
It would be helpful to instruct your children on how to put them on properly as well as the right materials for each layer.
Aside from the appropriate attire, your kids will also need to familiarize themselves with the safety gear that will protect them from harm. Stress how important it is that they always carry these gear with them.
Just like with their clothing, it would be helpful to show your kids the gear before they put them on. You should also give them a backgrounder on how to tell if the gear in question is safe to wear. For example, tell them that they should not use helmets with large cracks or chips.
Once they know the importance of appropriate cold weather clothing and the value of ski gear, you can talk to them about how they will like to learn. Skiing can be fun to learn in a group, but your child may be a little self-conscious, especially if it's their first time to ski. Or they may have trouble concentrating, especially if they're around other children. Depending on their preference and attitude, you have to decide whether to teach them as a group or if they will benefit more from a one-on-one experience.
Your kids will need the to get used to moving about in skis on the right terrain. Don't make the mistake of thinking that flat ground is the best place to start kids on skiing. Remember that most of the movement of skiing comes from momentum of going downhill, momentum that a flat terrain doesn't have. Find a gently sloping hill or similar area, with few trees and rocks, for your child's first ski lessons. This will ensure they don't tire themselves pushing with their ski poles and there's less risk of colliding with a rock or tree.
Finally, unless you're a certified ski instructor, you should acknowledge that your instructions will have its limits. You may have the knowledge to give your children the bare essentials they need to learn how to ski, but unless you have proper training of your own, you need to pass the reins of their ski training to a proper teacher. Use information you have on your children to fine tune their future ski instructor's lessons. Report what issues your children have when they're skiing and how best to motivate them.
Skiing is an exciting sport that imparts dexterity, stamina and quick thinking to its practitioners. Your children will find great use for these skills later in life and gain appreciation of nature at the same time.