Youngsters Development of Snow Sports Skills

For Children under 8, call the childrens learning center to make an appointment. Same for private lessons.

Liberty, Whitetail and Roundtop all have free lift ticket for 5 years old and under with paying adult.

PA SNOWPASS for 4th and 5th graders!


Hunter Maytin, (left) at 5 years old, taking 1st place in Nastar Nationals. Jay Maytin, Hunter’s dad said they started Hunter at 2 and a half years old with a hula hoop. From that he progressed to a harness at 3. Hunter’s parents ski 40+ times a year.

Youngsters develop motor skills in a defined predictable path.

A parent or caregiver can enhance the learning process if they know what skills are needed and when. This online book   Brooks Health Org Motor Skills Booklet  does a fantastic job outlining a timeline with specific skills, goals and ways to teach this learning process. Most of it is called play. Remember the fun!

A word on BIO Mechanics  and the young:  This book part one and part two have notes for young in part 2 pages 17-18. Please read the whole book.



This site is great for the parents, grandparents and to help teach the young. Twelve video lessons less than 4 min each. Gear and how to size . Rich shows the trade tips, gear and how to help a young child to ski.

Chad at 20 months. Touching feeling getting acquainted


At 20 months start introducing skis and boots etc. Show the child photos, movies, especially of children skiing.  Pick the gear up at a SWAP cheap. Not to use the following year, but for fun play. Using DVDs only show them 15 minutes at a time.

What fun things to do and help develop muscle. Row, Row, Row, your boat, using a finger in each hand, help the child do a situp.  Only a few at a time. General playground activity, climbing, running, up and down stairs.

What age can a child start with private instruction?  Skiing / Boarding with a private instructor can start at the age of  3.

Kids COM (Center of Mass) and COG (Center of Gravity) is different from adults.


What Skills are needed?

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS  (from the Brooks Health motor skills booklet)

Jumps down 14-24” elevation with 2-footed take-off and landing

Jumps forward 24” with 2-footed take-off and landing

Walks up stairs while placing 1 foot on each  step (alternating gait) 4 steps without holding on

Peddles tricycle short distances

Makes sharp turns around corners when running

Avoids obstacles in path

Imitates one foot standing 1-5 seconds

Catches ball with hands and arms extended

Climbs jungle gyms and ladders

Kicks ball 6 feet

Amanda at 6. Liberty top, 1996.


Teaching Tips:

People are individuals and their individuality comes in part from how they

prefer to learn. Learning styles fall into four main categories:

THINKER  Analytical learner who asks questions and needs explanation.

WATCHER A visual learner who asks, “Can you show me that again?”

FEELER Learns by repetition. Terrain selection can make or break a lesson for  a  Feeler

DOER  Gets bored easily; needs mileage.
Most students are a combination of all four styles, but usually strongly favor one or two styles.

Cognitive development stages:

From birth to approximately the age of two…
Touching, feeling and tasting. Children explore their world and start to differentiate themselves from others.

Approximately from two to the age of seven…
Children differentiate between thought and action. This is a time of make-believe and play. Children will only look at things from their own point of view.

Approximately seven years to adolescence…
Children can differentiate appearance from reality. They are still unable to reason about abstract concepts.

Develops later in adolescence and beyond…
Individuals can think in terms of concepts and abstractions.
Emotional Development (Affective)

Children are just like adults: They want to feel safe and know you care about them.

Physical development
The development of the muscular system as we grow from infants to children to adolescence proceeds as follows.


Flat area —–

Try to get the child used to putting on gear.

Single leg movement, single leg glide not far 5 feet

You may have to help – A hula Hoop can help for stability

Glide with adult holding up down small slope

Second day – Find a Parent/Child Instructor lesson then work on points with child again short 30 to 45 minutes per session Then Break

Third time out, fourth and fifth time out

Ride the regular lift when child is ready

You will still need to control speed, may need to hold with hands, or hula hoop

 Additional Resources: 

Teach children skiing Video based

Hula Hoop to help train

Local Library: Many children books about skiing and snowboarding