is good instruction,” said Kim Petram,
technical team member and a clinic leader
for PSIA-AASI’s Northwest Division. “It
should be based on the fundamental skills
of efficient skiing or riding.
“Sometimes children’s instructors get
UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU
caught up in the mystique that you have to
know a lot of games and be creative,” she
added. “But games are a sidebar tool to help
incorporate learning and movement skills
based upon age and cognitive function.
Kids’ teaching progressions should be
skilled-based—balance, pressure, rotary,
and edging should be the foundation of
any movement pattern the instructor
is trying to address. New designs don’t
change the fundamental movement pat-
terns that still need to be taught.”
She added that you can’t discount
the learning partnership. If a lesson
is going south, it can usually be
traced back to a missed student profile
assessment, with the subsequent instr-
uctor behavior off target. Even Stone,
with his whirlybirds, recognizes this.
“Instructors need to connect with their
kids and learn their style and how they
each best learn,” he said.
A lot of today’s revamped interest in
kids’ instruction revolves around new
ideas coming to the forefront about
how people learn. While PSIA-AASI
has addressed this with its CAP model
(emphasizing cognitive, affective, and
physical development), Stone said that
adults can also learn a lot from this
“A lot of higher-educated parents
want to know what’s going on,” he said.
“And a lot of this theory applies to them
Pinske said that any time an
instructor can help parents understand
that skiing or riding can be both a
lifelong and family sport, it’s good for
skiing and snowboarding overall. He
said that if they see that their kids are
both learning and having fun, they’ll be
back for more.
For everyone, the focus on fun includes
being able to demonstrate measurable
results as well.
“We’re trying to bring all these ideas
out to our instructors so they have the
newest tools to use when teaching
kids,” said Saline. “At the end of the day,
parents are going to ask what their kids
learned. And we want the kids to be able
to answer that question instead of the
A former reporter for the Denver Business
Journal and member of New York’s
Explorer Club, Eugene Buchanan has a
wide-ranging media career, from working
the Olympics for NBC to writing for
He is also a long-time writer for such
publications as Outside, Men’s Journal,
Skiing, Powder, and other magazines. His
second book, Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids
is available at www.recreatingwithkids.com.
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