The best ski lesson for your child or grandchild is one where you give them a kiss on the cheek and leave them to the instructor. The problem is you are just as excited about the lesson as they are! You want to be up close and personal to observe and take photos to memorialize the event.
That’s how my friends TJ and Lin felt when they set up a ski lessons for their granddaughter (and my little friend) Stella, age 3. The grandparents felt like it was important for the little one to have a positive experience right from the start. They called in Deer Valley ski instructor, Mark Shepard to teach her on her first day. Mark has a keen ability to really hone in on what a skier needs to make marked improvements. He helped TJ (a lifelong skier) make drastic improvements on the bumps and Stella’s Mom and Dad take on the blues. So why not make it three generations.
Mark was open to splitting a private lesson. The first hour, a private lesson just for little Stella and the rest of the morning went to their daughter and son-in-law (both beginner skiers.) He started little Stella’s lesson in the lodge practicing “pizza and french fry” on aluminum pie pans (no skis yet – just with boots) until she got the concept down cold. The grandparents were quickly forgotten as Mark got right down to Stella’s eye level. Though TJ and Lin wanted to stick around, they knew better.
They also had a secret weapon – a serious telephoto lens! TJ is a wildlife photographer — an expert at quietly watching from a long distance and snapping amazing photos. He put those skills to the test for Stella’s lesson.
Here is what he observed (while in stealth mode) from way over on the other side of the run:
Mark carrying little Stella to the hill.
Practicing now with skis on.
A typical three-year-old, Stella points out an airplane in the sky during the lesson. Mark simply lies on his back to enjoy the delight of the plane with her.
In about an hour, Stella is skiing!
The moral of the story is you can have the best of both worlds. Your child or grandchild can enjoy their lesson and you can have photos to remember the event. All you have to do is walk softly and carry a big telephoto lens.
For more information on ski lessons at Deer Valley Ski Resort, click here.