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Getting Jnr out of the back seat

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Young sideways Jnr is forever skiing not so much in the back seat as somewhere in the boot or possibly in a caravan he is towing. As he's only 7, he is made of rubber, lacks any kind of fear, and has the natural fitness that allows him to get away with it 99% of the time.

Problem is now he is doing one of the higher ski lesson grades he needs to drop the habit, so how can I explain this to him in some simple drill (command, threat or similar will do) that might penetrate a 7y.o. Skull in an understandable format? No point in the usual 'keep your counter clockweight swingwise malarkey and "shagging not shitting" comes with a host of explaining I'm really not planning on doing while on holiday...

Or maybe I just wait until he falls into the clutches of me and my snowboarding brethren at Easter
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Knees over toes like a goalie or a wildwest shootout. How you you get him to stand the same on a board?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
He won't be on a board till Easter but I did show him the basics of balance and stance on a wobble board. Like the goalie thing - that could work. Need to get him on some shallower pitches too, but kiddo craves reds and blacks.
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@Richard_Sideways, do you need to fix it, or will his instructor do it?
By chance, I was talking to mini_mg about this last week - I reckon she didn't get properly forward until she did bronze or possibly even gold star, and a fair bit older than Sideways Jnr. She wasn't in the caravan, but def reclining in the back seat. It doesn't seem to affect kids in quite the same way as us oldies.

If Jnr wants a challenge, maybe take one ski off and get him to ski one legged. Start with simple turns, then add pirouettes, small jumps etc. My guess is it would be a lot harder to do that effectively leaning back?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Richard_Sideways, don’t sweat it. Even the best kids round here are in the back seat...
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Boots need to be properly fitting (ie the correct length and not a size or two too big to give 'growing room') as it's damned hard to properly flex an oversize/long boot, especially when lacking body weight and leverage.
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KIds are always back seat, it's to counterbalance their giant heads.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Very hard to teach children to stand over their feet, if they can get where they want to go, they don't see any reason to change something that obviously works for them. Same thing with trying to get them to lose their snowplough completely. When they get to about 10, they get bigger and stronger, and you can teach them how to ski in a small adult body, rather than a kid's body.
Having said all that, when my lad was that age he was always completely on the back of his skis. We put him on a pair of kids blades for the day (actually, the kids were all begging us to let them have them), and after an initial period where there were toys flying everywhere cos he kept landing on his backside, by the end of the day he was transformed. Not sure where you'd find blades these days though!
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Thanks for all the help folks! Sideways_Jnr has been asking after long blue slopes whereas his little brother (Alex_Sideways) is the demon this post is about so we'll do some drills on those this morning. He's lucked out with his Evo2 Super Yeti afternoon lessons (think It's ESF bronze equivalent?) I was a bit hesitant as they're only 2 hours but as there's only 2 in the group he should have improved a lot.
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Ha! Sounds just like my kid. Stickers inside the front of boots to squish, stickers in top of poles to always see, and moguls. Lots of moguls. Twisted Evil
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As most have said a lot of kids that age will naturally ski further back and it's not something I would be too concerned about. I would second @mgrolf's approach - don't labour the point about posture as they'll not give two hoots about it, but set them challenges that can only be achieved if they have better posture. I find it particularly effective if I get a younger child in the group to demo something that the older ones finds hard.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Yeah, is it really a problem?
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You could try putting him on blades- I found out how much I leant back when I put on blades and kept falling over... backwards!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Is it a problem? No of course not. But is it a problem for a small boy not getting his little shiny award badge at the end of a weeks ski lessons? Well if you don't know the answer to that I'll assume you don't have ankle biters.

Kids today not being particularly au fait with High Noon and the like, I tried the goalie metaphor and it did kind of help, although the initial response was a thoughtful look and a remark about being more of a midfielder than a goalie. His instructor was more confident with him today and luckily he's found himself in a group lesson of 2 kids, so hopefully he will respond well.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tell Junior to get his hands out in front of him where he can see them. Nice and simple. Everything is connected to our hands; when they are back, so are we and vice versa.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
At 7 he almost certainly lacks the strength to get into the correct posture - look at all the native kids bombing around at that age and you will see them all sat back but having a great time.
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Get him airborne at every opportunity. Any little jumps or bumps you encounter encourage him to get some air. Got to be nicely centred to stand any chance of landing a jump.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@kieranm, he's always keen to go raiding the side hits and rarely fails to stick the landing. I've always put this down to kids experiencing time differently to adults - a day feels like a week, a week like a month etc so he has about half an hour to sort out the jump and landing while when I try it it's a catastrophe of crunching cartilage and burst lumbar discs.

I like the hands our in front, and the application of stickers... Stickers are GOOD. And no fear we'll knock the fun out of it. That's the ESFs job.
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I was told last year by my stepson's instructor that kids simply don't develop the muscular strength to ski in the approved 'forward' position until at least their early teens. That's why kids' boots are so much more upright than adults' boots, and why little kids have that incredibly cute 'power snowplough' position all the time - it's because they're using their skeleton not their muscles, which aren't yet up to it. Don't push your son too much - with experience, physical development and good instruction he'll find his way forward. The main thing is that he keeps enjoying skiing.
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The main 'plan' was to turn him from an unguided piste missile into at least a guided one. He does have that 'snowplough of death' thing still very much in his repertoire but beyond the shiny badges etc the idea was to give him a better toolkit to use
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@Richard_Sideways,
Have you got a local race club (where abouts in Sarf London). That certainly got my daughter out of the back seat habit. She is only just 12 and is and skinny as a rake so it's not a strength thing. She has been skiing properly for at least a couple of years now.
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One that's really stuck with me (from another snowheads forum) is "fornicate not flatulate", but I realise that's a bit "adult"
Try "pee not poo"....I bet he'll chuckle at that one!!!
Good luck rolling eyes
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Does his badge system require a 7-year old to ski with the fore/aft balance of a good teenage skier?

I’d focus on turn shape (good, round, linked turns), agility games (jumps, pops, skiing on one leg, etc), and fun. Those are the fundamentals and will support good fore/aft balance when his body develops the attributes necessary for what we’d recognise as a centred stance in an adolescent or an adult.
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rob@rar wrote:
Does his badge system require a 7-year old to ski with the fore/aft balance of a good teenage skier?


For esf it's the same standard required regardless of age. I imagine evo2 must also keep a certain standard. But... evo2 apparently don't let kids into academy level until they're 10 anyways, so even if he doesn't get super yeti it's not going to hold him back in their system.

Moguls! Twisted Evil
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
KIds are always back seat, it's to counterbalance their giant heads.


Precisely this, don't worry about it and don't try and force him "forward" at this age, their centre of mass doesn't really allow "adult" type body shapes until their teens. There is a really good pic in the BASI Teaching Kids Manual but I think it's copyright and can't find a public one to share!

Linky - https://www.psia-i.org/download/Disciplines/Children/CS_Reference_Guide.pdf

Which says

Children are not just miniature adults, they are proportioned differently. In general, younger children are
“top heavy.” They have a higher center of mass than adults, because a child’s head is larger in proportion
to the rest of their body. Because of this “top heavy” body shape, a child’s balanced stance can look
awkwardly “low” or “back”. As children develop physically, their center of mass moves downwards
towards the abdomen and hips. Recognizing this characteristic will aid in the understanding of a child’s
stance and movement.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, @kitenski, It's a poor day when you don't learn something new.....and I have now learned something new.
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@kitenski, that's a brilliant help, thank you.

As an aside him having a "group" lesson with just one other (age 11) is awesome - he's getting dragged all over the mountain in those 2 hours and is finishing his days proper knackered!!
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Richard_Sideways, ....ok...valaisgrom has the biggest edge grip of any skier I’ve seen, and it’s something which competition coaches have commented on. How did we achieve that? Actually very simple. I used ‘motorbike’. I held a ski pole out to my right hand side, he grasped it with both hands apart, like a motorbike handlebar. I then took him through very tight turns, even really swinging him around on occasion. I should have used an ice hockey stick, which is far better. But it really gets a small one in a perfect position, really forward over the balance point. Try that?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

I used ‘motorbike’.

Looking forward to seeing this with a snowboarder doing the driving, at the the SFaB!
Laughing Laughing
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@mgrolf, ...that would be fun....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm pretty decent with a garland turn, reckon with Jnr on the end of a pole it'd be like throwing the hammer.
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@Richard_Sideways, ...it’s actually good fun as an exercise and you are so close to the child that you can give constant immediate advice. I am sure that it was this exercise which got the valaisgrom into his perfectly balanced position - mind you he was three to four when I did this. Every day we went from the top of the hill to the bottom doing really tight turns using ‘motorbike’ and this nailed the correct position.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, he didn't quite make 'super yeti' (kind of ESF Bronze) but he came pretty close - needs to work on carving and steeps, but had the short radius stuff, slalom and freestyle stuff down. But he's come on a long way in the past week and had fun doing it so that's a pretty good win in our book.
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@Richard_Sideways, excellent. Sounds as though the motorbike may not be needed for him...all the more time for me then, I need to get forward too. wink Laughing
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The main reason for kids being in the back seat is that the slope is too steep. This is an instructors pet peeve and they complain that they spend most of their time correcting the children’s mistakes because the parents don’t think it’s a bad thing.

I know if the kids don’t pass their level then they don’t get their ski books signed off on. I’ve never heard of them not getting their medal. That’s harsh and a really crap thing to do to a kid.
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Quote:

I know if the kids don’t pass their level then they don’t get their ski books signed off on. I’ve never heard of them not getting their medal. That’s harsh and a really crap thing to do to a kid.


My two have gone through the Evo2 system and are at Academy level; they've always got a badge at the end of the week but sometimes it would be the badge lower than the class they were in if they hadn't finished that level's syllabus, don't ESF have the half badge system? It's been a useful life lesson and we've always talked about it with them as the higher the level the longer it takes to get through the syllabus and therefore when they do get the badge they've genuinely earned it. Whilst they whizzed through the first couple of lower levels; once they reached Yeti 3, Super Yeti etc it took a couple of weeks as the instructor won't sign them off until they complete the level. We're now in the awkward position that the oldest is in Academy and the youngest has completed Super Yeti but isn't old enough to start Academy, she'll still benefit from the Super yeti classes for another year but will be aggrieved as she considers herself a better skier than her older brother.
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Jnr did get a badge from Evo2 - a Yeti Rider, which is probably the 'I don't want to face down a howling kid/angry parent so here's the shiny' badge and that's fine - misdirection and bribery are key staples in child wrangling imv.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
This is how the tot skied at 7 years old, it is a bit in the back seat


http://youtube.com/v/kllFYrz5xjg

and here at 5 !


http://youtube.com/v/C2R8mhC44zo

not sure what those ESF badges are, obviously the power snowplough wasn't an issue
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RobH2017 wrote:
Quote:

I know if the kids don’t pass their level then they don’t get their ski books signed off on. I’ve never heard of them not getting their medal. That’s harsh and a really crap thing to do to a kid.


My two have gone through the Evo2 system and are at Academy level; they've always got a badge at the end of the week but sometimes it would be the badge lower than the class they were in if they hadn't finished that level's syllabus, don't ESF have the half badge system? It's been a useful life lesson and we've always talked about it with them as the higher the level the longer it takes to get through the syllabus and therefore when they do get the badge they've genuinely earned it. Whilst they whizzed through the first couple of lower levels; once they reached Yeti 3, Super Yeti etc it took a couple of weeks as the instructor won't sign them off until they complete the level. We're now in the awkward position that the oldest is in Academy and the youngest has completed Super Yeti but isn't old enough to start Academy, she'll still benefit from the Super yeti classes for another year but will be aggrieved as she considers herself a better skier than her older brother.


We go with ESI, at the end of the week everyone will get a medal but if the instructor doesn't feel like they are good enough to progress to the next level they will tell the parents the kid should repeat the class and they don't get the stamp and signature in their book for that level. ESF doesn't give out medals as far as I know, you have to go and buy them from the office. I don't know about the half badge. We used ESF the first year the kids skied and I was so disgusted by the way two different instructors spoke (shouted) to my kids in each of their different classes. One in ourson and the other in piou piou. I complained to the manager who basically just brushed me off as if to say well what do you want me to do. I took it further up the food chain as I had the one on video shouting and swearing at my kid and others on the piste at 5 years old. I went and I hauled her out of the lesson - it was the last day. Since then I haven't used ESF at any ski resort we have been to.

We are in the situation in that we ski every weekend and a week at a time here and there and the kids have plateaued because they have passed their levels but they are too young and not physically ready to make the jump to the next level. So they did their week long classes at Christmas and then they will repeat that same class during the Easter holidays (if there is enough snow)
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I can't understand why any Brits (or anyone for that matter) would go ESF when there is another option, just for class size alone which Evo2 limit to 8 when ESF don't seem to have any limit. I've regularly counted classes of 12 and 15 with ESF and an instructor I was speaking to in Tignes said he once had a class with ESF of 17 which is why he wouldn't work for them anymore. I'd imagine with 12-17 kids you'd struggle to keep an eye on them all let alone actually teach the ones who weren't in the immediate vicinity. Appreciate the instructors would have passed the same tests but on ethos alone I'd always go elsewhere.
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