When you come to a ski lesson, there is always a goal that you want to achieve, otherwise why would you come to a lesson? Whether it’s to ride up a chairlift and successfully ski down a piste, meet like-minded & similar ability skiers, or to ski down a black diamond run in control and with form. Or, in the case of children they usually want to ‘have fun’. There is always a ‘goal’.
A goal is ‘the aim, intention, objective or purpose of a person or group of people.’ For a lesson to be great, it needs a goal ‘to make the direction of the lesson clear.’ What we’re doing in the lesson also needs to be related back to the goal or the lesson becomes disjointed and confusing.
What the student wants from the lesson helps to determine the goal. This could be to improve technique, ski a more difficult run, meet new people and make friends, have fun, or maybe build confidence. And sometimes a students motivation for being in a lesson plays a role, too.
As instructors, we see what you need to achieve your goal (your wants) by watching you ski, then negotiate what could be a realistic goal for the time available.
Goals may need to be reassessed from time to time in order to achieve them, breaking them down in to smaller and shorter goals. This lets us know we’re on track and gives a sense of achievement before moving on to the next one. Too much, too big, too soon are less likely to be achieved. Big goals are achieved through incremental small goals.
Every thousand mile journey begins with a single step.
One way we break down a goal is to turn it in to a SMART goal:
- Specific: A clearly defined, concise statement of what the objective is will give the lesson a focus.
- Measurable: There needs to be a bench mark, or control, against which to measure progress and stay motivated.
- Achievable: Even though great effort may be required, there is still the ability for the goal to be reached successfully.
- Realistic: There should be appropriate expectations of the objective to maintain motivation.
- Timely: Achieved within a specified time frame. This could be within a one hour lesson, a couple of days, weeks or several seasons.
Which ever way you break it down, as long as there is a sense of achievement, progress and fun, then the lesson has been a success!
Let’s go skiing!