Every sports enthusiast wants their children to follow in their footsteps, there's no feeling like sharing your greatest passion with your child. If that sport is skiing, it's all the more reason to want your child to follow in your footsteps on the mountain. Not only to share a beautiful hobby as a family, but also because you will want to be able to take them with you on your trips to the snow. Where would they stay if they didn't like skiing?
But you also know that tastes and hobbies cannot and should not be forced, so if you want to introduce your child to this winter sport, try to follow these tips below. That way you can enjoy this healthy and beautiful sport together.
Tips for children to love skiing
1. You can put your child on skis at the age of 3 years old
In European ski schools, children as young as 3 years old attend lessons. Moreover, at this age, girls often progress faster than boys: they are more executive. But still, most instructors are sure that the optimal age for the first descents is 4 years: the child is already physically strong and ready to bear the unusual load, as well as to cope with the discomfort of ski equipment and ascents.
The main thing for the first lessons are two skills: a wedge for stopping and parallel skis for moving forward. In Europe they are called "pizza" and "chips". These images are understandable for all children, regardless of country and age. After 7 years, the child learns more consciously, can control his body, repeat the movements of adults. At this age, progress is especially noticeable and group lessons are very effective.
2. Choose their clothing and equipment carefully
Choose warm, windproof clothing with good insulation against moisture: all children fall down a lot and roll happily in the snow. Buy or rent skis and boots not for growth, but for the child's height and weight, otherwise they won't enjoy skiing. For a 3 to 5 year old, it is better to buy shorter skis. Even for five-year-olds weighing between 15 and 20 kg, it is more convenient to take the first steps on 70 cm skis.
Many children do not do well in sports only because their parents bought them the wrong shoes or put them on incorrectly. Boots for young children are usually light, with a clip, not so stiff. For 5-6 year olds, they are already similar to those for adults.
Don't forget the goggles or helmet mask; on a sunny day without proper goggles, all their progress will go down the drain, as well as being dangerous for their eyes.
3. Don't teach your children yourself.
It's best to take your first lessons from the professionals. If a 3- to 4-year-old child does not find it easy to let go of his parents, you can be there for the lesson, but only for the first lesson.
Family members can distract older children. Children behave in a completely different way in the presence of mum and dad, and parents themselves often demand rapid progress from their children, which is wrong. Therefore, it is better to start the first lessons with professionals.
When they are older you can take your child to a ski racing camp
. They have a great time, make great friends and increase their skiing level very quickly.
4. Let the first lessons be fun
You shouldn't expect quick results from your child, let alone scold them for failures. To begin with, it is important to 'play' at skiing: learning to walk like an astronaut on the moon, feeling the skis glide, lying on the snow on the side of your heart. Most ski schools will send your child to play or paint if they are tired. And it's the right thing to do.
5. Don't be afraid of getting hurt
At school, children are rarely seriously injured; they are always under the supervision of adults who remember all the safety rules. For example, no school will accept a student without a helmet and will not train with him where other skiers on sleds, skis or boards are passing by. But, on the other hand, he may get hot or cold depending on the conditions of the day easily while waiting, so choose the best clothing for him.
6. Choose a school or instructor according to the age and nature of the child.
It is best to work with 3 to 4 year olds individually, they are not yet very good at communicating in a group. The older the children are, the more they learn from each other and the more fun the classes are.
If you are several parents with children of the same age and the children know each other, then it may be a good idea for the children to take the class together with the instructor, but this is something you should discuss with the professional staff of the school, who are the best people to inform you on how to get the most out of the classes in complete safety. Also, remember that the first classes for very young children should be short, so that the child does not get tired or bored.
7. Five days is the optimum time for lessons
Of course, everything here is individual, everyone's progress comes at a different speed. But on average, five days is enough for a child to start descending with a minimum of control, together with an instructor or his parents. In addition, schools offer better payment conditions for five-day lessons. However, it is better to pay for each lesson of the child separately, because children at this age are unpredictable: today they want to study, but tomorrow you cannot force them.
8. Don't do the child's work
Very often, parents try to help the child, but in the end they do them no favours: they put them on the chairlift, take them off the ski lift and then also carry them down the mountain on their own or on one arm. This should not be done. Children relax and completely forget that you have to control the skis. You can give the child a hand, but you don't need to pull and push him all the time: he must work a little himself. Just like in life.
Finally, remember that a child is unlikely to like skiing if he spends all day lying on a sofa with hot chocolate or a bag of chips, watching TV or playing video games. Children love the mountains if their parents enjoy them with them, but they should also enjoy other activities with them the rest of the year.