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Teenager brand new to skiing (and terrified)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So it all seemed such a good idea in November.....

We leave for La Plagne on Friday (driving through the night etc). Very mixed ability 'blended' family. 11 year old sporty boy who has had some dry lessons and will soon be leaving his dad (and me) for dust. And then my daughter - 15, not very sporty, and has admitted she's terrified about the whole thing. She's booked into teenager ski school which runs 2.30pm-5pm each day. I was extremely lucky to grow up in southern Germany so spent as much time as possible in Austria /Bavaria and can't remember learning to ski as I was about 4 the first time!

Please can anyone offer any words of advice, tips, thoughts, challenges - anything at all - that I can use to make sure she has a good time? We've been very gentle about it and said if she hates it, then there's lots of other things to do and she won't be forced etc. I get that she's effectively an adult learning to ski which is so different to being a bendy kid who just goes for it! She might even find that snowboarding is more fun but I suspect that getting a private lesson at this stage will have a probability of less than 0.000001%.

Thanks all. Very Happy
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@SarahMWolf74, welcome to snowHeads. You seem to be going about it just the right way.

Offer encouragement and options but don’t push or force anything.

Fingers crossed day 1 is sunny, not too cold and she finds a new friend or two in a lesson.
snowHead
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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?
...oh and, having done boarding, personally I wouldn’t go down that route at this stage. Physically very demanding, with some body shaking falls, not great if not sporty or right up for it from the start.
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PeakyB wrote:
@SarahMWolf74, and she finds a new friend or two in a lesson.
snowHead


That's my hope!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@SarahMWolf74,

I first skied in my teens and by observation I'd say it is much easier than in your 20s or 30s (albeit not like learning when you are 4!).
I think you just have to keep the pressure off and make sure everything around the skiing is fun. That might mean cutting in to YOUR skiing time - treta it as an investment because if she learns to love it you'll be handsomely rewarded.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
I've already managed my own expectations internally about how much time I'll get skiing (damn!!) As anyone with teenagers know, there is a critical mass in terms of encouragement/expectation and if I push too hard, then the mood that results will effectively be the death knell. It's a gentle balance isn't it... encouragement, praise and maybe me spending the first afternoon arsing about near her on the greens just so she knows I'm close. Keeping everything around the skiing fun is a great idea. I really want her to love that feeling of being in the mountains. Nothing comes close (in my mind) and the views, the air, the freshness is just a tonic in itself.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@SarahMWolf74, yes, try to enjoy a bit of arsing around on greens, if that’s what makes the difference later.


You’ll be dispensible soon enough and may look back fondly on that time together.
snowHead
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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!
Oh and do your best to make as sure as humanly possible that the boots fit! Don’t let the trying on walking around process be rushed and review comfort after first half day.

If the boot colour happens to be agreeable that might help too snowHead
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I find it's better to ask them what their concerrns are so you understand what's going through their minds. What's a gentle slope to you could be a sheer drop them. Then ask them them for suggestions how you could best play it for them so they don't feel too terrified. e.g. Should you ski in front or behind, in a snowplough or normally, how often to take a break, would they prefer to ski alone or with friends, do they want technique tips from you or not etc.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Mon 10-02-20 12:31; edited 1 time in total
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ha to the boot colour! That is such a good shout - we should be getting there nice and early on the Saturday morning and the ski rental shop is our first port of call so we'll take our time. I've also bought her decent insoles so we can replace her hire boots' insoles with the new ones.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
DB wrote:
I find it's better to ask them what their concerrns are so you understand what's going through their minds. What's a gentle slope to you could be a sheer drop them. Then ask them them for suggestions how you could best play it for them so they don't feel too terrified. e.g. Should you ski in front or behind, in a snowplough or normally, how often to take a break, would they prefer to ski alone or with friends, do they want technique tips from you or not etc.


Thank you for your insight and such good advice. At the moment her plan is just ski school (and morning lie-ins....!) but I suspect and hope that will change.
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
start off with lazy mornings, long breakfasts, no rush, make sure it's easy for her to get to the lesson and then leave it to the professionals to teach her, not sure if it's best to staying in/out of sight depends on your relationship with her.......
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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
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
Been through the teenage years with two daughters - luckily both started skiing earlier than 15. But I did experience the timid years with my youngest.
We just tried to be as inclusive as possible with all the recreational parts of skiing and involved her (them) in picking lunch stops, après, evening meals/drinks as well as choosing where we skied, rather than "forcing" her out skiing.
We also tried to assist in making the trips as "cool" as possible in their eyes - which cost us the odd Roxy jacket and accessories, their music in the apartment/room, and the odd missed beer for me and burgers/pizza rather than raclette.
For us that helped and made family trips to remember and I am sure the trips contributed to the girls also being close friends of each other and of mine and my wife, rather than just daughters.
My eldest is 25 now and I'm off to ADH with her and her husband and a mate in a couple of weeks and watching the eldest ski and board equally well to a high standard fills me with joy.
The youngest, now 20, would be there but sadly ruptured her ACL in a gymnastics accident.

I wish you all the best - but suspect you won't need it and will have a wonderful time because there is nothing nicer than jibbing around and showing her friends on social media the views/cool après etc etc.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yellow Snow wrote:
Been through the teenage years with two daughters - luckily both started skiing earlier than 15. But I did experience the timid years with my youngest.
We just tried to be as inclusive as possible with all the recreational parts of skiing and involved her (them) in picking lunch stops, après, evening meals/drinks as well as choosing where we skied, rather than "forcing" her out skiing.
We also tried to assist in making the trips as "cool" as possible in their eyes - which cost us the odd Roxy jacket and accessories, their music in the apartment/room, and the odd missed beer for me and burgers/pizza rather than raclette.
For us that helped and made family trips to remember and I am sure the trips contributed to the girls also being friends.
My eldest is 25 now and I'm off to ADH with her and her husband and a mate in a couple of weeks and watching the eldest ski and board equally well to a high standard fills me with joy.
The youngest, now 20, would be there but sadly ruptured her ACL in a gymnastics accident.

I wish you all the best - but suspect you won't need it and will have a wonderful time because there is nothing nicer than jibbing around and showing her friends on social media the views/cool après etc etc.


Lovely message thank you! And such a good tip about her music in the apartment (yay to grime....!!) I keep saying that those mountain views are perfect for Insta!
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
You have been given lots of good advice above! As someone who learned to ski as a teenager, although a little younger than your daughter, I remember the over riding desire to impress my (young and handsome) ski instructor, on school trip my friends and I could not wait for each days lessons! rolling eyes Laughing Fingers crossed the social aspect of the lessons work well for your daughter.

As a Mum, I had one year when one of my then teenage sons really did not want to ski. All he wanted to do was lay in bed and play computer games. We largely let him on the proviso he came out occasionally just so that we could have family time (we even got him a board to try that).

Over the years we have had many ski holidays when much time has been spent on skating rinks, quad bikes, sleigh rides, swimming pools, but always with the intent of having a fun holiday. End result, we now have 3 grown up children who all thoroughly enjoy skiing.

Good luck, as has been said, listen to your daughter, keep the pressure off, and have as much fun as possible with all aspects of the holiday.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nothing to add from the excellent advice you’ve been offered but from a mum of teens to another “teen parent”, have a great time
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Most important thing is that everyone stays calm and relaxes.

If parents are tense, youngins get tense.
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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?
Make sure she is as warm, well fed and comfortable as possible, at least at the start of her lesson. Definitely makes sure she has a toilet stop before meeting up for lessons. Give her chocolate bars in her jacket pockets, so she can share on the lifts or in breaks. It will help her make friends in her group more quickly.

Re-assure that her instructor will speak English, allow toilet breaks or any other specific concerns.

Afternoon lessons at least mean she can get a lie-in?

Once she has done a few lessons and you are aiming to ski together in the mornings, how about asking her which mountain restaurant she want to be in for lunch and then just make that the goal for the morning. I found skiing to a specific destination gave my kids something else to focus on.

Edited to add something:- It is v tempting to ski close by so you can keep an eye on her, but defintiely check whether this is what she wants. She might find it embarrassing or a source of extra pressure.
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@Whitegold,
Quote:

Most important thing is that everyone stays calm and relaxes.


+1

@London_Falcon,
Quote:

It is v tempting to ski close by so you can keep an eye on her, but defintiely check whether this is what she wants. She might find it embarrassing or a source of extra pressure.


+1
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have thaught a terrified 15 year old 1 on 1 when I worked at ski school. She did all the right things on shallow slopes, but completely locked up once vertigo kicked in.

After discussing with colleagues, I was able to show her she actually could ski, and with that she could manage her vertigo. So I think the key lesson here is to find a teacher who understands how to help people with a high degree of fear.

The lessons with her thaught me at least as much as it thaught her, and I'm really glad I had the opportunity to help her.
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You are all fonts of wisdom and joy. Thank you for your sage advice and humour. I love 'stay calm and relax' because I have a tendency to fuss in order to make sure everything is okay which is NOT COOL according to the 15 year old. I get it!

There is apparently a really cool restaurant with a dj somewhere in the vicinity which we've talked about making a goal for the holiday so thank you @London_Falcon for that suggestion. Also love the idea of sharing chocolate! Who wouldn't want to be friends with her then? Luckily she's fairly chatty and quite the clown so makes friends fairly easily.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just quickly to mention that the whole environment and mountain atmosphere will be amazing for her if she,s never experienced before. Such a thrill the snow, I always think for us Brits/non- mountain dwellers.

Our eldest was 16 when we first went and he doesn't have a sporty bone in his body. I was a little concerned he'd not get the whole thing, but he was caught up in the vibe from the moment we got to the resort and saw it all - he was itching to get involved. Of course you can be competitive if you want to, but to him it was just like enjoying trampolining or swimming or cycling or whatever...takes a bit of getting used to but you don't have to be sporty to enjoy at whatever level.

Have a fab time...the thrill of the mountains and the snow is a joy to behold to a newbie...and to those of us who don't go very often too, ofc!
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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!
Tricky38H wrote:
Just quickly to mention that the whole environment and mountain atmosphere will be amazing for her if she,s never experienced before. Such a thrill the snow, I always think for us Brits/non- mountain dwellers.

Our eldest was 16 when we first went and he doesn't have a sporty bone in his body. I was a little concerned he'd not get the whole thing, but he was caught up in the vibe from the moment we got to the resort and saw it all - he was itching to get involved. Of course you can be competitive if you want to, but to him it was just like enjoying trampolining or swimming or cycling or whatever...takes a bit of getting used to but you don't have to be sporty to enjoy at whatever level.

Have a fab time...the thrill of the mountains and the snow is a joy to behold to a newbie...and to those of us who don't go very often too, ofc!


Fab - that's exactly what I'm hoping. The thrill of the mountains is unlike any other kind of experience really!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@SarahMWolf74, The most important advice is that when a 'friend' suggests going higher up in the afternoon after your lessons,


JUST SAY NO.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
@SarahMWolf74, The most important advice is that when a 'friend' suggests going higher up in the afternoon after your lessons,


JUST SAY NO.


Ha!! Luckily her lessons finish at 5pm so that's that for the day - no more lifts.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Three things to consider

1. make sure the instructor speaks very good English
2. if you can get a female instructor she may be more comfortable - at that age the "banter" of a young male ski instructor could be a problem, she may feel a bit out of her depth if he's flirty (alternatively this could "make" her holiday)
3. make sure you have wifi in your accomodation and that she has enough data to keep in touch with her mates back home during coffee stops
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
skimummk wrote:
Three things to consider

1. make sure the instructor speaks very good English
2. if you can get a female instructor she may be more comfortable - at that age the "banter" of a young male ski instructor could be a problem, she may feel a bit out of her depth if he's flirty (alternatively this could "make" her holiday)
3. make sure you have wifi in your accomodation and that she has enough data to keep in touch with her mates back home during coffee stops


Wifi is patchy in our accommodation so she's had her data upped! Good shout.
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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
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
I think afternoon lessons was a really good idea. I used to be able to get our two into 9am ski school for years but now they are teens it is a different matter and I am glad they do not need it anymore as waking and rushing is a recipe for a stroppiness in our house. Try and locate some real 'insta ready' spots, as mine now love the light for selfies!@Yellow Snow, comment on cool kit is also a good one. I used to get to pick it all but now they want some more cool stuff, mirrored goggles and the like go a long way - back to Insta! Anyway you can rein in the sporty 11 yr old a bit? Maybe do separate de-briefs, as I suspect he will really go for it and improve you do not want that to become and issue as well. Good luck. Hope that she falls in love with the mountains.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thank you all so much. Today she seems brighter as we packed and chatted about things. So fingers crossed it's a good week all round
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@SarahMWolf74, Do come back and let us know how it went. Have a great time.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@SarahMWolf74, the all important first couple of days has decent clear weather forecast and not too cold. This should help greatly.

It may get a bit gnarlier after that but instructors will know the best hopefully sheltered in the trees slopes to head for.

It’s ideal to learn in a range of different conditions anyway but a sunnyish start is a big plus.

Have a safe journey and great trip. Don’t worry too much about us coping with Storm Denis Laughing
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