Want to have happier, healthier kid this winter? Get them on a steady diet of snow, encourages the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI).
“Placing children in a ski and snowboard lesson can help them stay active, put them in a playful outdoor environment, and introduce them to a sport they can enjoy for their entire life,” says Tom Spiess, PSIA-AASI interim CEO
“PSIA-AASI members are specially trained to create a positive learning environment where children can work safely, enjoyably, and productively with each other to learn all aspects of their chosen sport,” said Jonathan Ballou of the PSIA-AASI Alpine Team, a group of instructors focused on creating innovation in ski and snowboard lessons. “Ski and snowboard school programs help accelerate your child’s skiing or snowboard skills and help foster a lifelong love of the sport, which all takes place in a really fun and social setting.”
Lessons are not only key to helping your child learn how to ski or snowboard safely and correctly, they are also lots of fun.
“Lessons are more like camp than like school, especially class lessons,” said PSIA-AASI member Stacey Gerrish, who works at the Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School. “In ski lessons, children make new friends, both with the other children and with their instructor. They learn how to navigate the mountain and chairlifts safely. They also have fun exploring the children’s learning zones, and become much more proficient at skiing and snowboarding.”
According to Gerrish, providing your children with ski or snowboard lessons is an important step in their growth as skiers or riders. “Lessons give children many ingredients that create a safe and fun learning environment,” she says.
“At an early stage, children tend to learn more easily through watching. Having images of good riding and skiing – both of their instructors and their peers – gives them healthy models on which to base their own movements,” said Grant Nakamura, a children’s instruction specialist who teaches skiing at Big Sky Resort in Montana. “Children naturally seek out fun and children’s lessons are geared toward that, plus the interaction with other children helps build common goal-seeking behaviors and builds a more playful environment.”
Nakamura added that physically, “Kids are not just little adults. Children’s instructors are specialists that understand the physical development of their students and tailor the lesson based on that expertise.”
Ready to introduce your kids to the wonders of winter? Follow these steps:
- Call your local ski area and ask about their children’s ski and snowboard lesson packages. Many of them offer lesson and equipment rental deals. And, they probably have lesson openings this afternoon!
- Ask about proper ski and snowboard attire. Most ski and snowboard schools also offer helmet rentals to keep your child safe on the snow.
- Check to see if your state offers a children’s “Passport Program.” Many states offer special “passport pricing” for fourth or fifth graders that allows them to ski and snowboard for free or for discounted lift tickets at different areas.
- And, look into a lesson for yourself. Whether you want to tune up your own technique, or get started skiing and snowboarding for yourself, your whole family can enjoy a wonderful time on the snow.