What would you advise for a student who after their initial group class is still lacking confidence to go up the bunny hill? I haven't been to Mt. Hood, but I'm talking about the learning center at White Pass... my friend is afraid to leave that area and also afraid to strap her other foot in, so she just keeps practicing with her foot on the stomp pad... was that good instruction she was given? How do you know if one has a good instructor or not?
Just to qualify my answer, never have taken a lesson but wished I had (maybe someday) and am not an instructor; and took to the hill 6 yrs ago at the ripe age of 44. Considered a reasonable rider for an old geezer by my 13 yr old daughter and 21 yr old son and their crews who are local Bakerites that I'll doo a few runs with till I too beat to keep up with them... but no boxes, rail or pipe. However I enjoy sharing the stoke with newbs and remember I wish I had someone to show me little tricks to really get going.
I have taken 4 rather newbs/friends for an individual tour (ages 13 to 33) out this year (they usually have taken 1 beginner group lessons and been on the hill for less than 5 days), most all get off the lifts without falling on the first attempt, linking turns on the second run, and I take them down a black or double black within an the first 2-3 hours if the snow is good (of course not telling them til later "so what did you think of doing your first double black?").
We do an eq check and set-up (9-12 degrees wide duck) while talking about how the boot, binding and board fit in an integrated manner. 2. safety and how to fall. 3. body form, posture and movements; have them practice for 5-10 minutes proper posture and movements without the board. 4. A brief period of skating, practicing falling and how to roll-over and get up. 5. One run through the bunny hill. 6. 2-3 runs on green/blues, then a black (for comparison and to decrease their anxiety about the bunny and green/blue runs. All the while encouraging, giving corrective feedback, getting them to use good form and immediately try to correct their movements before bad habit forms, point out riders on the hill who are riding well and trying to get them to integrate the information whether they are kinetic, verbal or visual learners. By the time lunch rolls around they are exhausted but happy and surprised about how well they’ve done and are boasting that they did a black run. After lunch they are stoked to go back out to the bunny and green runs to practice.
Some newbs are more anxious, determined, athletic and some instructors are good, some are bad and finding one that works well with you is superior.