Guest post by Snowpapa Tim Sattelmeier
I started learning to teach children to ski almost two and a half decades ago. I have always felt that they are our most honest clients. Returning a screaming bundle of tears to their parents is an undeniable defeat. But a smile on a three year old’s face is the most reliable indicator of success ever invented.
Last season my oldest son started skiing at two and a half. He is a little young, I know, but he sees me and his mom go skiing and asks to go. He even started wearing his big clumsy boots around the house. Early in the season, we only managed to take him out a few days scattered through the weeks but in April and with the extra week, he finally had a regular opportunity to ski and from one week to the next you could see the improvement. I re-learned how important it was to have a sandwich in my pocket for sudden picnics half way down Turtle Trail. And I am reminded just how much different the hill looks to a little boy when he describes his run as a ride on the swings then over a jump and past a snow gun with no mention of a hill or turns.
I’ll admit to a certain sense of joy riding First Time and taking half an hour to slide back down with my son. I have to be careful that I do not push him to ski but rather try to cultivate his self-motivation. Skiing and snowboarding are passion sports and if I dare to hope he will be great on the hill, the drive must come from him.
You can find this self motivation in people of all ages on the hill. Remember what drives you to slide around on the snow every day and then connect to that feeling in your guests. Your client will become a partner in your love of the mountain and the simplest victory will draw you on to greater success.
In the end, the most rewarding moment for me as a father last season was not on the hill at all but early on several mornings when he woke me up asking “Daaad, can we go skiing today?”
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' authors have or will receive a paid trip to Park City Mountain Resort or will receive other compensation for their participation as an author.