Athletes have pre-game rituals to give them an edge on game day. Some eat the same pre-game meal, follow an exact series of steps when getting ready or wear the same article of clothing. If they believe this helps, maybe it actually does translate into better performance. But for kids, there is no question about it – a good luck charm is something special.
Norah, my six-year-old granddaughter, didn’t realize she had her “something special” safely stored in the pocket of her ski pants. On the drive over to her second day of Reindeer Club Ski Lessons (for age 5 – 6 year-old kids), she exclaimed, “I don’t have my good luck charm! I need it. Yesterday, I didn’t fall since I had it.”
“Don’t worry, it’s there,” her mom and I reassured her.
When we got Deer Valley, she pulled out a little plastic dinosaur that was no bigger than a quarter. Daniel, her instructor the day before, had given one to each of the girls in their lesson. It hit me. I stood back on my heels in realization for a minute and smiled to myself.
“Genius,” I thought, “the coach gave her a fun little confidence builder.”
A six-year-old learns very differently from an adult. A ski lesson for child, especially a lesson that lasts a good part of the day, needs to involve skiing fundamentals, of course, but also plenty of snacks, and a whole lot of fun.
“What is your good-luck-charm’s name?” Her mother asked.
“Speedy,” said Norah as she tucked the little plastic toy back into her pocket. Off she went to connect with her group knowing with confidence that her day would be great.
At dinner later that night, she told the whole family about Rooster, the avalanche search and rescue dog. Their group had taken the the big chairlift (Carpenter Express) to a big run (Success) where they met him.
Anticipating meeting the puppy, these kids weren’t focused on the challenges of riding the “big lift” or skiing on a “green run.” They rode the chairlift and skied down with confidence and excitement.
(Meet Rooster – here.)
On her second day on the snow, this little pint sized skier with a good luck charm in her pocket, was already making S turns from the lift that had intimidated her the day before. (Read more about Day 1 here.)
She was excited to come back for more!
Hmm, I wonder if a good luck charm will work for me. I am going to try it!
How about you?