Emily Lovett’s Tips for Cross Country Family Lessons

PSIA Cross Country Team Coach Emily Lovett shares some key ideas to consider when teaching families to cross country ski.

Goals: Check in to understand each family member’s individual goals. Does everyone want an equal amount of attention? Sometimes parents want the focus more on the kids, or maybe one of the adults wants more technical tips than the other.

Game On: Games and obstacle courses are great for the mixed-ability lessons. Try playing tag without poles, or build an obstacle course with cones and flags. After the activity, take the time to reflect on the skills and tactics the group used.

Dividing Time and Autonomous Learning: Spend one-on-one time with each participant. Try giving a few family members a specific task and sending them on a practice loop, then working individually with someone else. Once everyone re-groups, take some time to allow everyone time to reflect on their personal experience.

Fun Factor: Figure out and tune into what is fun for each member of the group. Maybe one student prefers to practice on their own, and another person likes to follow your skiing. Accommodate everyone’s interests to keep the group engaged.

Uphill/Downhill: Kids generally love downhills, and they can give kids a fun confidence boost. Adult beginners may need more instructional cues for uphill downhill skills. To accommodate all ages, set up a task environment where everyone can go at their own pace.

Mini Tour: Pick a fun destination and go on a mini tour. Maybe it is to the “downhill run” or the “fox den” or some other themed destination. A mini tour to summarize a lesson builds in the “practice” piece of the Teaching/Learning Cycle.

Read more top tips from AASI Assistant Snowboard Team Coach Tony Macri and PSIA Alpine Team member Brian Smith.