Things Your Ski Instructor Wishes You Knew Before Your First Lesson from 9 Things Your Ski Instructor Wishes You Knew Before Your First Lesson

9 Things Your Ski Instructor Wishes You Knew Before Your First Lesson

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Things Your Ski Instructor Wishes You Knew Before Your First Lesson

We recruited four ski instructors from across the U.S.—from Jackson Hole, montage Mountain, Vail and the Double H Adaptive Ski Program in New York. They each had some unique tips for incoming students, check out their thoughts and be prepared for your first lesson.

#1 Have fun first.

There’s no point in skiing if it's not fun, and that’s our first goal. No matter how much actual progress is made the first time, if you had fun you’re far more likely to come back and get better.
—Ski Instructor from the Double H Adaptive Ski Program

#2 Know the value of taking a lesson.

Whether it’s your very first day out there or you’re a seasoned pro, you will always have something to learn or improve on—always. We see some people come through our toughest programs and they can get down just about anything but without the proper foundation they usually hit a plateau. Taking lessons regularly—from beginner to expert levels —helps ensure you’re not practicing any bad habits that might hurt you later on. Plus it’s always great to be with a guide who knows exactly where the best conditions are on the mountain.
—Ski Instructor from Jackson Hole

#3 Try not to be too hard on yourself.

Everyone started out skiing at some point and chances are their first day was a tough one too. Expect to fall, but also except that those falls push you to succeed the next time. Our goal in each lesson is to walk away with something achieved, whether it be simple wedge turns or parallel turns or something slightly bigger. The first day can often be the toughest, but after the introduction to basic skills, we can work on new goals and really see progress.
—Ski Instructor from the Double H Adaptive Ski Program

#4 Come Prepared.

Definitely try to come to the lesson with everything you might need. Of course, we all forget things but when you have to take time to go get something you forgot, that’s time that others in the group could be learning.
—Ski Instructor from Vail.

#5 Don’t be shy.

Our best lessons occur when the student is actively engaged. Talking about what you’re learning, or what you want to learn, helps us tailor our lessons to fit your interests and goals. At the end of the day both the students and instructors get more out of these kinds of lessons.
—Ski Instructor from the Double H Adaptive Ski Program

#6 Know that everyone falls.

From Olympic Skiers to everyday mountain-goers, everyone hits the ground at some point, often pretty regularly. Falling means that you're going outside of your comfort zone and trying to improve, so next time you'll nail that smoothly carved turn.
—Ski Instructor from the Double H Adaptive Ski Program

Courtesy of Jackson Hole

#7 Prepare for the altitude.

It’s important to remember that you’re in the mountains so altitude can be a big factor depending on where you are. It doesn't happen too often, but often enough people come into town and have a few drinks, they don't drink enough water and it holds them back the next day. It affects the energy, it affects the pacing and sometimes they have to drop out early.
—Ski Instructor from Jackson Hole

#8 Relax (as much as you can).

It’s incredibly difficult to teach a student that feels really uncomfortable. Of course it’s tough to be comfortable when learning something new and standing on the side of a mountain, but trying to stay calm helps you keep an open mind and allows you to better absorb information.
—Ski Instructor from the Double H Adaptive Ski Program

#9 Be willing to come out of your comfort zone.

Some of the kids I’ve taught were just absolutely fearless and that really helped them progress quickly. When a kid—or anyone for that matter—is willing to try things and take a bit of a risk, the rewards are often a lot greater.
—Ski Instructor from Montage Mountain

9 Things Your Ski Instructor Wishes You Knew Before Your First Lesson