Skiing Instruction: Don't Pressure Your Kid

Many?active and snow-loving parents who enroll their kids in skiing instruction expect their kids to learn and?to improve at skiing at a rapid rate.?However, every student develops at a unique rate.?Here are some quick tips to help shape your expectations for your kids?receiving skiing instruction.

  • There are nine levels in the U.S. (1-9).? Levels 1, 2 and 3 make up the beginner or novice zone.? Levels 4, 5, and 6 create the intermediate zone.? Levels 7, 8, and?9?make up?the advanced zone.
  • Many times these levels are also associated with the corresponding terrain (i.e. Beginner Zone ski/ride on green runs, Intermediate Zone ski/ride on blue runs, Advanced Zone ski/ride on black runs).
  • Other countries use different systems for levels (i.e. Australia has Levels 1-6.?However, depending on the resort beginner to expert can be Levels 1 to 6 or could be 6 to 1.)
  • Skill development varies from student to student.?It's not unusual that a student who has never skied could go through levels 1, 2 and finish up a Level 3 at the end of the day.?This has potential to set parents up for unrealistic expectations as the student progresses.
  • Here's a level development guide that corresponds to distances in terms of the "mileage" that it may?take for a student to progress from one level to the next:
      1. Level 1 to Level 2 = 1 inch
      2. Level 2 to Level 3 = 1 foot
      3. Level 3 to Level 4 = 10 feet
      4. Level 4 to Level 5 = 100 feet
      5. Level 5 to Level 6 = 1 mile
      6. Level 6 to Level 7 = 10 miles
      7. Level 7 to Level 8 = 100 miles
      8. Level 8 to Level 9 = 1000 miles

What this Level Development Guide shows is that for the lower levels it is relatively easy to progress.?However, as a student progresses, it takes more and more mileage for them to master skills.?Thus, parents are always asking why their child is not progressing at a more rapid rate than he or she did when they were first learning.?

The reason why it takes longer is because the blending of the skills takes more time and mileage to master.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will know what to expect the next time your children are in ski school lessons.


Ski Instruction Examiner Kevin Jordan is a Diamond Pro and Ski Trainer for the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen.

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