When we reach a certain level, we move into the realm of visualising the line that we would like to ski. Where to turn, where to avoid, a drop or powder stash we would like to hit. Visualising allows us to safely pick a line and then successfully ski it. When teaching kids it’s easiest to apply a framework to help them understand what to look for and then think of a contingency, or alternative should things not go exactly as we had planned.
This could be done a number of ways. From the chairlift, looking back up after skiing an easier way down, or even skiing the area slowly observing potential hazards on the way before skiing with fluidity, dynamism, and pace. Skiing in trees this is quite challenging as this needs to be done as you ski and a certain familiarity needs to be developed to gain knowledge and then confidence.
Safety – This is the number 1 goal for every lesson. Some of the questions to be asked are what risks are there? How are we going to minimise/mitigate these risks? What are the snow conditions? Weather conditions? Risk is also perceptual as well as actual and is determined by the group or individual. Even though the final call is with the instructor, I would have a discussion with the student guiding them to an informed conclusive decision.
Capability – Do I have the ability to ski for this run? Sometimes if we are exploring new terrain we need to learn how to ski it on familiar or less challenging terrain first. Skiing steeper terrain requires a refinement of skills before we actually ski it.
Options – What are our options if our plan needs to be changed? Creating an alternative or contingency allows for success, even if it isn’t Plan A.
Preparation – Now we are starting to blend some of the previous points, honing our skills. Practicing new technique on familiar terrain, before refining and strengthening skills and building confidence on comparable terrain.
Execution – This is what we came for! Skiing the anticipated line with confidence and ‘aggression’!