A tough time teaching turns | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

A tough time teaching turns

Compiled by Allen R. Smith

A 7-year-old boy named Klaus was sent to me by his mother to learn how to ski. At the beginning of the lesson, the mother said, “Would you please work with Klaus? He needs to know how to make turns. All he wants to do is go straight and he’s going to end up hurting himself.” I agreed with her how important it was for the boy to learn how to make turns and control his speed. After saying goodbye to his mother, Klaus and I rode up the chairlift to the River Run area where most of the beginning lessons were taught. On the first run, Klaus started to make what looked like a good turn, then he bailed out and headed straight down the mountain. I screamed at the boy until he finally managed to spinout and stop. I rushed up to him and said, “Klaus, did you hear what your Mom said to me? I have to teach you how to make a turn.”He responded, “Yes, I know.”After collecting ourselves, I demonstrated to Klaus the correct method for turning: “First, you push your heel to the outside, then you steer the foot in the direction of the turn, etc., etc.””Yes, I know.” With that, the boy pushed off.Klaus moved ahead slowly and made one successful turn. Just about the time that I was beginning to relax, he entered the next turn, straightened out his skis and once again, headed straight for the bottom. I screamed at the boy until he finally managed to spinout to a stop. Again, I rushed up to him and said, “Klaus, did you hear what your Mom said to me? I have to teach you how to make a turn.””Yes, I know.”This scenario repeated itself over and over. One turn, two turns, straight for the bottom. One turn, two turns, straight for the bottom. Finally, I said to him, “Klaus. I’ll make you a deal. If you make one run with turns, I’ll let you make one run straight down. Do you understand?”He nodded, “Yes, I know.”On the next run, it finally looked like he had it. He was turning in both directions. Then suddenly, halfway down the run, he abandoned our deal and headed straight down the mountain. As he disappeared into the distance, I saw him ski up the side of a jump. Launched into the abyss, Klaus flew three feet in the air and landed with a thud. When he hit the ground, he splattered on the snow, scattering his equipment over the entire width of the run.I skied up to where Klaus was laying face down on the snow. Trying to think of something supportive to say to the young boy, I said, “You know Klaus, that was pretty good. But it wasn’t the jump that was the problem. It was the landing.” Klaus rolled over and said, “Yes, I know.”- Conrad Staudinger, Sun Valley, IdahoVail, Colorado


Support Local Journalism