Four keys to ensure your kids are progressing on the water while having fun.
Chet Raley has been operating the Palm Beach Training Center for over 12 years and has earned gurulike status throughout his 20 years of coaching. Noted for his ability to produce the champions of tomorrow, Raley shared some insight on how to effectively get the most from your kids’ skiing without taking the fun out of their good times.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Kids have the surprising ability to sift through everything you tell them and spot the junk immediately. While being positive is important, simply sugarcoating everything will lessen your credibility in their eyes. Be straight with them and they will trust what you have to say.
Creativity Is Key
Simply barking out biomechanical orders will usually have limited success. Instead, try to think in kids’ terms. You can compare certain desired movements or feelings to things relevant to them, such as riding a bike or pumping a swing. By tapping into their experiences off the water they will be better educated about the nature of the movement you are hoping to elicit on the water.
Quench Their Thirst
Kids have an unparalleled thirst for knowledge, so keep the information flowing. Try to offer them one piece to the puzzle every day. They may not improve in terms of buoy count every set or learning a new trick, but their general understanding of the sport will be constantly expanding.
Operate on Kids Time
Those 6 a.m. sets are priceless to you, but they may seem like a form of unthinkable punishment to your kids. Try to pick up on their cues, when they ski best, when they seem the liveliest and most energetic, and then, whenever possible, set your ski schedule around their needs.