Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Excellent feedback here. I'm going to tackle it from the opposite view of someone who teaches and clinics other instructors. I've noticed over the years with assisting in the hiring clinics and on going training at my mountain several things.
Smile and have a good time. You get to do your job on a snowboard. When the guest see you relaxing and having fun, they can relax and have fun.
When you intially meet them and at the end of the lesson take the goggles/sunglasses of so they can see your eyes. It helps to personalize the lesson.
For little kids get down to their eye level and don't talk down to them. Unless there under five don't kiddie talk them either. Use simple terms they can understand but throw the baby talk out.
Be Patient and understanding
For younger students make the lesson and exercise a game.
Fall down every once in a while for fun. This helps students understand its alright. Plus how else are you going to check the snow conditions?
Do through in little ground tricks. It can inspire students. Don't over do it though or it will have the opposite effect.
ATTEND your mountains training. The new hire process is only the tip of the iceberg. Also look into getting certified with AASI.
For training, it can be dry sometimes, but learn MA(movement Analysis). It will give you the foundation you need to keep your students meaningful feedback that address their movement needs and wants. I can't even begin to stress this enough.
Use your resources, more experienced instructors can help provide tips and tricks that can make your job easier.
Remember that learning snowboarding isn't a sprint. It's a marathon. People will learn at different paces. Set realistic goals and be willing to adapt to the changing needs of your students.
Cheerleading is good, but don't over do it.
Don't be afraid to get hands on. One caveat, make sure you are not evading a person personal space. Ask permission. Monkey-see monkey do or simon-says can work for those people that don't like to be touched.
Learn a new discipline. It is amazing the insight that one can get from a different sport. Plus it can help relate for example ski movements to snowboard movements. Makes you look good in the director's eye if you can teach different discplines as well. Being on the director's good side can pay divdends in pay and on powderdays.
Don't take the Code for granted. Its all good to have fun, but remember getting hurt is never fun.
Oh, and when you have the opportunity to go "Shred the GNAR". DO IT!! Even if the snow, or weather is crappy, or you have had a bad day teaching. Remember what snowboarding is about.
Your enthusiasm to teach is contagious. Your students of all ages will feel it. I'm still doing this after over a decade because of the every time a student gets it gives me a feeling of accomplishment and allows me to share my love of snowboarding with someone else.
congrats on getting this far in the process and slay it on your ride day.