Tony Macri’s 7 Tips for Teaching Families

AASI Snowboard Assistant and Development Team Coach Tony Macri shares his top tips for teaching families and groups to help you ensure every one of your lessons is a success.


  1. When teaching students across a wide range of ages, consider tailoring your communication methods to the different age groups. The adults don’t want to be talked down to, but the kiddos don’t need all the, ‘why’ – they just want to go!


  1. Safety is paramount when teaching to different ability levels, we always want to teach to the lowest ability level in the group. You can still challenge the upper level students through skills versus terrain.


  1. Pacing the lesson effectively is one of the most important and more overlooked elements of a good lesson. Make sure to read your students’ energy levels and desires. This will allow you to adjust as you go. Continuing to work on the same thing for too long can frustrate your students, but moving on to another topic too early can do the same.


  1. Let parents know what you are trying to teach their kiddos and why you are trying to teach it. Then they can help you work with the little ones. Make sure you have a fun ‘why’ versus a safe ‘why’ as the kiddos are more focused on the fun.


  1. Terrain choices are clutch – what may be easy for adults may challenge kids. It’s great when you can use a kid’s adventure trail to build skills for the kids, especially if it’s easily viewed by the parents from a nearby open trail. Who knows, the parents may even want to play in the adventure zone.


  1. Teaching to different disciplines can be extra work, but it can also be very satisfying. This is especially true with teens and their parents. More times than not, the teens want to be different than their parents. In this setting, that’s an opportunity to focus on the different ways to achieve similar outcomes.


  1. Safety, fun, and learning are at the forefront of what we do. Now that you are working with the whole family, you can show them how they can move down the hill safely together. Take a minute to build awareness of each other’s movements and strengths and weaknesses. It could be fun to create a video of the whole family having a great time and also learning along the way.


Read more top family lesson tips, and listen to two podcasts, from PSIA Alpine Team member Brian Smith.