Monarch Mountain opened yesterday. The snow is a little thin but in pretty good shape. Had my first student of this season yesterday in a private lesson. Melissa P. is a student in Ft Collins. She’s from Pueblo, Colorado. She very excited to get going on her brand new ski, boots, and poles that she just bought for herself. She was signed up for an hour and 15 minute Level 2 lesson. She said her goal was to get used to her new gear and get a good start on the right technique for the season.
Before we got started we looked over her new equipment. I showed her how the skis were shaped and talked about how her boots fit and the kinds of socks she had on. I asked her questions to help me determine her understanding of skiing and watched how she moved (i.e. how she walked, carried her skis, cleaned off the bottoms of her boots to step into her bindings, . . .) to determine what sort of balancing skills she already possessed.
After getting familiar with her skis and the feelings of sliding again, she began to get comfortable with turning and stopping. I took her through a series of “tests” to further check her understandings and movement patterns.
Melissa progressed quickly building on her experience and muscle memory. Aside from satisfying her spoken goals, I determined that she needed to shift her rotary movements more to her feet and legs rather than using her shoulders and torso to turn the skis. By the end of the lesson we were able to ski the green run called Rookie focusing on turning our feet and legs to make our skis turn. The mantra became, “right leg to go right, left leg to go left.”