Stephen and Ann’s Top Tips for Teaching Family Lessons

PSIA Alpine Team Members Stephen Helfenbein and Ann Schorling share their top tips for teaching family lessons.

Stephen Helfenbein

Create a single group outcome. A group outcome is an something actionable that can be performed by skiers and riders of all levels.

For example, descend the slope at a consistent speed. This allows each individual to create their own goal, but it gives the family a shared experience allowing them to support and encourage each other to achieve the same outcome.

Mom wants to do this on groomed black terrain, dad on blue bumps, little Timmy want to do it through the trees, but they’re essentially all trying to do the same thing. The benefit of this approach is that you can teach one subject broadly to apply to the whole family while tailoring practice and feedback to each individual.

Ann Schorling

Be clear with everyone about when it is okay or not okay for family members to coach each other – I typically say intra-family coaching is off-limits unless I specifically ask them to do so.

Everyone knows families have a lot of past interpersonal history, and coaching from a parent, a spouse, or a sibling often sounds more barbed than coaching from an instructor.

The goal of the family is to have fun, the role of each family member is to cheer for everyone else, and the responsibility of the coach is to do the coaching.