I do it. We all do it. We go skiing with our children and we want to go skiing with them on some fun runs that are sometimes above their skiing ability. We over-terrain them for sure. But in my opinion, being pushed is not always a bad thing. I’m a believer that some days should be for drills and lessons (on more suitable terrain in a lesson), other days should be for practice, and other days should be purely for adventure. Skiing is a risky sport, and although we can’t prevent all injuries we can definitely mitigate risks by having fun while being safe. So, if we are going to over-terrain our children, we have to do it in a safe way and only if they are ready.
If a child can ski in control on green runs, can stop, can match his/her skis, and who is ready to ski on blue runs, then go for it! But, know, that terrain changes throughout a run and that there will be steeper parts. If your child is having difficulty on a portion of the run, here are some pointers that might help you get him/her down safely and confidently:
1) Have your child follow you. Make larger turns to help control his/her speed
2) Have your child follow you. Drag your pole behind you and wiggle it like a worm. Have your child ski over the worm
3) Have your child imagine there is a stink bug under his/her big toe and really squish the stink bug
4) Have your child work on ankle flexion in his/her boot by pretending he/she is making an ice cream sundae in his/her boot. You want them to feel the shin against the front of the boot, but want them to feel the motion of flexing the ankle, not just leaning forward in the boot
5) If you need an exit strategy, side step! We’ve all been there at some point
And, always remember to smile!
Jen Bookman is a certified ski instructor with Park City Mountain Resort.