You’re pumped up about the new season, and you want to maximize your technique to make the most of every set. You’ve set aside some funds, and you’re anticipating a spring or summer week at a water ski school. Here’s everything you need to know to have a great time.
Before You Go
Determine your needs. Which event(s) do you want to focus on? Are you bringing your family with you? Do you want vacation time during your stay? Ask yourself these questions, then investigate our guide to water ski schools to find schools that accommodate your needs.
Find a coach. Once you’ve narrowed down a short list of water ski schools that fit your general preferences, pick up the phone and call around to find out which coach(es) will be available at those ski schools. Inquire to make sure the coach is the best fit for your experience level, gender, age — basically, the coach who will at once challenge you and make you feel comfortable.
Make a choice. You know your needs and the schools that match them, and you have a short list of coaches (and their strengths): It’s time to choose your waterskiing school.
Get prepared. Your trip is planned; are you mentally and physically prepared? Cardio and strength training are essential — use all your body parts, just as you will when skiing. Also, make a list of your goals. Be specific about what you want your lessons to accomplish.
While You’re There
Get there early and settle in. The first morning at a water ski school is frenetic — arrive late and you’ll get frustrated fast. Look at your day’s schedule in advance so you know what to expect. If your kids are going to waterskiing school, talk them through the experience so they know what they are getting into, and do a thorough packing job so they have everything they could possibly need.
Make every set count. It’s all about quality, not quantity. Maximize each set by being focused and strong, and spread lessons out so you have time to rest. Ride in the boat while other students are getting lessons: You’ll learn from their experiences.
Listen to your coach and take notes. Hang on your coach’s every word, and keep a journal (a video journal is even better). In the moment, you might feel like you could never forget his or her sage advice, but once you’re back home, you’ll be glad you kept a record of all that you learned.
Be good to yourself. Protect your skin with sunscreen (a bad burn can make putting on your vest a form of torture); exercise each morning to invigorate your body; relax and focus on the fun.
After the Adventure
Master what you learned. Think back to your lessons and review individual skills in your written or video journal step by step so you can master what you learned.
Stay in touch. Build your relationship with the coach by calling or shooting an e-mail when you need inspiration or a reminder. Mind you, we’re not telling you to stalk the guy, but contact every few weeks is acceptable and helpful.