How to Get the Most Out of Your Ski Lesson

Posted by Andrea on March 9, 2012

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So, you’re planning your family ski vacation and wondering about ski lessons.

Maybe you’re already a good skier. Could you still benefit from lessons? DEFINITELY! Maybe you’ve never skied and you think you’re just too darn old to learn how. FUHGETABOUTIT! 

Seek Professional Help 

Some people think ski lessons are just for kids. Nonsense! Everyone can benefit from a lesson. I’ve skied a few times, but will be taking lessons again this winter when I visit Park City Mountain Resort. I’m going to encourage my husband, who’s a much better skier, to do the same.

Why should a good skier take lessons? Why, to get better, of course! My husband’s learned a lot of what he knows from skiing with friends and family members. Professional instruction will help him get rid of any bad habits and take him to the next level.

Group vs. Private Lessons

Private lessons are generally 2-3 times more expensive, but if you can afford it, private lessons will likely lead to rapid improvement. You’re setting the pace of the lesson, getting the instructor’s undivided attention.  

Want to take a break? Just tell your instructor. Want more of a challenge? Just let your instructor know. Have a question? No need to compete with other skiers for your instructor’s attention. 

Don’t want to pay for a private instructor or want the camaraderie of a group? At Park City Mountain Resort the group lessons are kept to only 5 people of the same level, and kids are kept in separate groups from adults.

Finding the Right Instructor

When making your lesson reservation, be honest about your skill level and any anxiety you have. I was blessed to find my own snow angel— instructor Dottie Beck. During our private lesson, she immediately understood my goals (hadn’t skied in a decade, just needed to slowly get back on the slopes) and my fears (I’m a middle aged mom— I can’t break anything! Who’d drive the carpool?!) 

She gently encouraged me down the slopes using what she calls her valium voice. I like to think of her as a yoga instructor on skis. Now, a yoga instructor is not what my teenager is looking for. He’s looking for a daredevil, an extreme sports enthusiast. That’s ok. Luckily, ski and snowboard instructors come in all varieties. 

At Park City Mountain Resort you can usually request what kind of instructor you want— male, female, older, younger— especially if it’s a private lesson. For private, you can also request a specific instructor— one who’s been recommended or one you’ve had before. In group lessons you’ll likely not have as much of a choice in your instructor.  

Give the ski school as much information as you can when making your reservation so they can find an instructor who’s a good match, but don’t be surprised if it’s not exactly who you expected. 

 “I often have guests who request ‘a nice young perky female’ for their 7 or 8 year old daughter,” says Mary Flinn Ware, Park City Mountain Resort’s Ski & Snowboard School Manager. “That works, however, sometimes if I get the chance to speak with them, I tell them that we have some pretty wonderful mature males that are fabulous with young female students too!” 

Preparing for Your Lesson

Mary Flinn Ware has these additional tips on how to best prepare for a ski lesson:

  • be well rested 
  • be well fed 
  • be dressed properly: be prepared for weather changes, layers to go off or on, have goggles and or sunglasses 
  • arrive early, so you’re not stressed and worried: it takes longer than you may think and having time for hot chocolate or a cup of coffee is much preferred over rushing 

Now, it’s time to book your lesson! To make a reservation call 1-800-227-2754.   






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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.