Can we go Skiing Today?

Krista Parry
Posted by Krista Parry on February 8, 2012

Guest post by Snowpapa Tim Sattelmeier

oscar-and-me (oscar-and-me)

I started learning to teach children to ski almost two and a half decades ago. I have always felt that they are our most honest clients. Returning a screaming bundle of tears to their parents is an undeniable defeat. But a smile on a three year old’s face is the most reliable indicator of success ever invented.

Last season my oldest son started skiing at two and a half. He is a little young, I know, but he sees me and his mom go skiing and asks to go. He even started wearing his big clumsy boots around the house. Early in the season, we only managed to take him out a few days scattered through the weeks but in April and with the extra week, he finally had a regular opportunity to ski and from one week to the next you could see the improvement. I re-learned how important it was to have a sandwich in my pocket for sudden picnics half way down Turtle Trail. And I am reminded just how much different the hill looks to a little boy when he describes his run as a ride on the swings then over a jump and past a snow gun with no mention of a hill or turns.

I’ll admit to a certain sense of joy riding First Time and taking half an hour to slide back down with my son. I have to be careful that I do not push him to ski but rather try to cultivate his self-motivation. Skiing and snowboarding are passion sports and if I dare to hope he will be great on the hill, the drive must come from him.

You can find this self motivation in people of all ages on the hill. Remember what drives you to slide around on the snow every day and then connect to that feeling in your guests. Your client will become a partner in your love of the mountain and the simplest victory will draw you on to greater success.

In the end, the most rewarding moment for me as a father last season was not on the hill at all but early on several mornings when he woke me up asking “Daaad, can we go skiing today?”


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Comment posted by Scott Cheney on February 19, 2012 12:20 PM MST

Awesome article Tim! We can't wait for 2014-2015...but for all the right reasons :-)

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Comment posted by Krista Parry on February 10, 2012 12:30 AM MST

I am so excited to get my 2.5 year old on First Time lift. The closest we've been is out at Gorgoza in their new ski area.

I agree that the best moment is when they say "Dad/Mom, can we go again."

Music to every Snowmama/Snowpapa's ears!

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Comment posted by Irene Lloyd on February 9, 2012 10:01 PM MST

What a wonderful article.

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Comment posted by Jennifer on February 8, 2012 5:07 PM MST

Awesome article Snowpapa Tim! I love that your little guy was anxious to get out there with you. Before you know it your little ripper will be beating you down the hill!

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Comment posted by Kristen on February 8, 2012 8:23 AM MST

How cute is that picture??? We started our youngest last year, and finally rode the First Time chair with him this year. It's just the best feeling ever!

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Response posted by Tim on February 10, 2012 12:24 AM MST

It is pretty special!


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