If your kids are inspired by Olympic skiing and want to try it themselves, you should know that Canada’s success in freestyle mogul skiing is no fluke. The national, provincial, and local club organizations work together to deliver the right support, at the right time, to developing mogul skiers.
To start, kids must first learn how to ski!
The 4 basic rules of learning to ski (or snowboard) are:
- Take a lesson from a pro: Your friend’s very nice neighbour may know how to ski, but its best learn from a certified instructor.
- Rent or purchase boots that fit properly. Like running shoes, the better the fit, the better control a person will have. Oversized mittens, jackets, pants, or goggles are fine, but oversized boots and helmet are not.
- Choose a soft snow day. Falling on a hard icy slope is never fun.
- Choose a sunny day to learn! Nobody has fun skiing in a blizzard.
Skiing is fun and if your child starts to enjoy moguls and jumps, its time to sign her up into a good fundamentals program. The freestyle ski club finder is a good place to find quality programs and coaches.
The experts at Freestyle Ski Canada have carefully designed programs that aim to help young skiers have fun developing the skills they need to enjoy freestyle skiing all their lives, whether they compete or not.
The skills they’ll need
Skiers of all stripes, including the freestylers, need a variety of physical skills, starting with fundamental movement skills:
- Running: quick feet and legs are very important when sliding down a steep hill.
- Jumping: what goes up, must come down, so any sport that has an acrobatic aspect helps.
- Gliding: skating and running on ice help a child feel comfortable when sliding on snow.
- Sliding: helps children learn to be comfortable on snow.
Mogul skiers also need to develop some skills specific to the sport:
- Skiing skills such as maintaining an active stance, having balance, moving with speed, flexing and extending legs, and coordinating the pole plant are fundamental.
- Knowing how to jump, be comfortable in the air, and land again are essential.
- The next step is to increase air amplitude (getting “big air”), which allows for rotations and grabs.
Other sports that can help develop better skiers include:
- Skating, luge, cycling, rollerblading, and skateboarding help to develop speed.
- Gymnastics, trampoline, and athletics teach the fundamentals of landing.
- Running. Yes, quick feet and legs are very important when you are sliding down a steep hill, cutting sharply around moguls, and leaping off two large jumps at high speed!
Activities your child can do now
Here are some fun activities your child can do to develop the movement skills that will help them become better skiers:
This video shows how much fun you can have while skiing in deep powder.