How the snow becomes the best babysitter

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 14, 2009 12:02 pm

What makes a great ski coach? Think back to when you were a kid and wanted to learn something new. Actually, think of the things that you didn’t necessarily want to learn, but were forced to learn. For me, it was playing the piano. I didn’t want to play, my parents forced it on me. I didn’t know anything about the instrument, nor did I know any seriously good music. I was forced to play scale after scale, chord after chord…with no understanding of why I was doing it, other than to please the parentals.

 It wasn’t until I was in college that I started getting into jazz, blues, funk, and other types of music that utilized the piano in ways I had never heard before. Once I heard some Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, or some Oscar Peterson, or even some Phish, I was hooked. I said, “That’s how I want to play”. I found a teacher who dug the same styles of music, and he taught me how to play the way that I wanted.

 I think this can be applied to learning how to ski. I have friends who were “forced” to go on annual ski trips with their families, only to be left alone with a creepy teacher who never let them leave the bunny hill and only knew two words: “pizza” and “french fry”. You know what I’m talking about…

 Wondering why your kids don’t like skiing? It may not be the coach’s fault. Show your kids some Warren Miller or Greg Stump films. All it took for me was 10 minutes of The Blizzard of Aahhhs and I knew I wanted to do that. It seems to me that a lot of times, kids need to find their own reasons to get into something. Yes, sometimes they need a little push, but the trick is, make them feel like they got there all on their own. If my parents hadn’t introduced me to the piano in the first place, I wouldn’t have paid attention to it later in life. So if your kid is being Debbie Downer about putting on skis, turn on The Ski Channel for a couple hours and see if they’ve changed their mind. I think they will, and in no time, the snowy mountains will become a much better babysitter than the television (unless of course, you’re tuned in to The Ski Channel…)