This is a public service announcement for anyone with children or grandchildren that haven’t yet tried alpine skiing or have children under 5 years old.
It is spring break skiing and the season where we see many young human beings flopped on the side of the mountain screaming, usually while wearing a “dog leash” (aka: ski harness). Insert gif here with child flopping like a fish in the snow while making shrieking noises.
Both Sexy Neck and I received kinesiology degrees before we got our education degrees. When the boys were young, we talked about our children’s physical literacy skills as much as their reading/writing literacy skills. We wanted them to be physically active for life. We introduced them to coached programs for swimming, cross country skiing and gymnastics. I also taught them skating shortly after they could walk.
One of the best things we did for our boys was putting them into the “Bunnies” (skinny ski) program when they were 3 years old at our local nordic ski area. It was parent participation and this program gave the children the skills to move bilaterally on skinny skis at a pace that was perfect for their growing bodies. There was no screaming, flopping, or crying from the parents or the kids. They could go at the speed that they felt most comfortable moving at and could attempt the hills when they were ready. Plus placing teddy bears along the track, kicking tennis balls in the track and gummy bears in your pocket can go along way!
Right now, we are seeing many parents strap on the big, thick alpine skis and attach the leash to their young ones. Then off they go. You can see that these young first timers are moving at a speed that they are uncomfortable with and thus the screaming, flopping and crying. It’s very tough to watch. I believe that even if the kids spend only one season (10 weeks) in a Bunnies or Jack Rabbit program, none of these experiences would need to happen for our young alpine skiers.
PLUS the added bonuses when kids start on skinny skis is that when they start alpine skiing those thick skis are easier to balance on and they even get to ride up a magic carpet or chairlift or t-bar instead of having to climb up the hills on skis. The children will really appreciate this new sport and hopefully have experiences on two types of skis that help them be active for life!
Have an epic Sunday folks and love what you do!