28. February 2019

Requested hours normally pay more and you already know the people so it's a win-win situation if your clients come back and ask for you specifically. So what can you do to improve your chances? Be nice. Be positive. Be professional. Be yourself!

If teaching children

All that the kids want is to have fun. So make sure their experience with you is FUN. But don't forget about the professional side of teaching. You need to know your exercises and their modifications so kids can have fun while learning new skills.
So what is fun for kids? First, they need to feel confident and you need to be their friend who is there to play with them. Don't push them into something they don't want to do. Always remember: every child is different. So try to get to know them, maybe talk to their parents about the child’s individuality.

Make sure to leave a couple of minutes of your time to talk to the parents about the lesson. Tell them what the goal of the lesson was, how they improved their skills throughout the lesson and what they still need to work on. Tell them you had a good time with them and that you are available for another lesson on the following day. Don't forget to high five for goodbye!

If they are in your lesson against their will

Young kids that have been coerced into a lesson against their will usually cry when you meet them. Jackpoooooot! Do we have tricks for that? We do have some up our sleeves:

- The point is in diverting their attention from the situation they are in and get them to play with you.
- For the two and three year- olds it really works if you have a toy on you. A very small stuffed animal looking out of your front pocket or hanging around your neck will make a good "skiing/ snowboarding buddy". Make sure it has a name or ask them to name it if they want. Try to get their attention on that and send the parents away asap.
- It helps if you have a squeaky toy in your pocket. They will not know what is making the noise and you can make a story out of it. "What if I have elves living in my ski jacket? They make me ski better... Would you like to borrow one?"


If teaching adults

Introduce yourself as a professional and have an attitude to prove it. Adult beginners need to have a sense of security. They need to know they are in good hands and you as their instructor know what you are doing. Try to get to know them and find out whether they like to be pushed to their limits or not. Some just want to be told they are good at something, some will only want to talk about their dog and some will be quiet the whole time.

Be communicative: ask about their sports and snowsports experiences, tell them interesting facts about the slopes you're shredding, the country they're visiting... Give them something more than the pure technique of what you're trying to teach them. Always remember: they are there to learn how to enjoy their time in the mountains better.

- Point out the good things they have done, but don't lie to them: if they feel horrible and you're telling them that they're fantastic you will lose your credibility!
- Always ask your clients about what they feel i.e whether they feel the difference in the right and wrong technique. Tell them what they should feel so they have clear goals.
- Save a fun and challenging exercise for the end, so you keep them motivated to learn more and come for another lesson.

Always make a summary of the lesson and tell them what would be the next step for them. You may also suggest what would the next lesson look like if they decided to take one more with you.


General tips on how to be a good snow sports instructor

- Put your goggles off your face when talking to your clients. Your eyes are important in communication.
- Always put safety first!
- Be polite, communicative, fun, be yourself.
- If you know how to ski it doesn't mean you are a good TEACHER. You're there to teach them, not to show off.
- If your clients' motor skills are not the best, stay calm and be patient.
- Keep them motivated by picking the right terrains so they don't get scared.
- Teach people how to think and stay safe on the slopes.
- There's not one but millions of ways to teach a skill so you just need to find the right one for every client.
- Find something good in every client and tell them what they are good in.


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