Amy Gan Uses a Team Environment to Teach Family Lessons

AASI Snowboard Team member Amy Gan shares her four top tips for teaching family lessons this winter.

  1. Have an open conversation with the family about what your role will and can be, and ask what they are hoping for. I’ve seen instructors make the mistake of assuming they’re supposed to spend equal time with everyone. Instead, the family may want one or two members to get the majority of your attention.
  2. Create a team environment. Encourage the family to cheer each other on and watch each other progress to elevate the experience – similar to what we experience when we try new things with our own friends on the mountain. Reciprocal learning can be a great tool for family lessons because they’re already comfortable with each other. Sharing tips and tools with parents to teach their own kids can be worth its weight in gold to some families.
  3. Set up a session style environment when possible. If you’re in an area that can be easily lapped, allow more advanced family members to practice at their own pace while you stay with the slower paced students. Keep an eye on everyone so you can still provide feedback, and set a regrouping time so you aren’t herding cats when it’s time to move elsewhere or wrap up your lesson.
  4. Same skill – different difficulty level. Find tricks or tasks that require similar skills that students of different skill levels can all practice. Working on the same skill can be fun for the family and allows you to focus on one or two skills for the whole group. Manuals or ollies are something every level can work on.

At the start of the season, it’s helpful to shadow a beginner lesson of a different discipline or jump into a training group. This helps me remember little tips and ideas to share if I do end up with a group riding a variety of equipment. It’ll make it easier to connect, and give tips, to guests that are on different equipment.