If water skiing is something you’ve grown up doing, it’s probably something you want to teach your kids to love as well. But there’s a big difference in being able to water ski and being able to teach young children how to do it well. It’s helpful to have a plan in place before giving it a go.
Why Water Skiing?
For starters, you need to figure out why you want to teach your kids to water ski. In other words, what’s the purpose?
For some, it’s the camaraderie. It’s difficult to find a physical activity that the entire family can do. Water skiing is one of them. Young kids, adult kids, mom, dad – even grandparents can do it! This makes it a highly appealing family activity.
There’s also the physical component of it. According to Health Fitness Revolution, water skiing tones muscles, increases balance and core strength, provides excellent resistance training, promotes leg strength, burns calories, is easy on the joints, and is good for overall health.
Finally, water skiing can be a great confidence booster for a young child. They’re destined to fall down a few times before they get up. Then once they finally start getting up consistently, it takes time to learn how to perfect various moves and techniques. A child who sticks with it will learn discipline and acquire confidence that spills over into other areas of life.
5 Tips for Teaching Your Kid
You’re sold, right? Water skiing is an awesome hobby for your kids. Now you have to teach them.
Put on your instructor hat and use the following tips:
- Start on Land
For very young children, it’s best to begin the training process on land. Put him in a small pair of combo skis and let him see how it feels.
“Give him a ski handle and drag him around for a while,” watersports expert Julie Bostian suggests. “Talk him through what is happening, and explain to him about balance.”
- Use a Trainer
Once you make it out to the water, you’re ready to give your youngster a taste of the sport. But you don’t want to move too fast. Start with trainer water skis that help children build confidence and ease into the balance aspect of the equation. This will provide some initial confidence and dissuade an uncertain child from giving up too early in the training process.
- Emphasize the Basics
It’s absolutely imperative that you nail down the basics of water skiing before teaching any of the finer details or maneuvers.
Continually emphasize the following: knees bent and together, head up, weight back, and arm straight. Watch for any glaring issues and give your child one piece of advice at a time. Eventually, they’ll be able to put it all together.
It’s also necessary to teach your child hand signals at the beginning of the process – even before they get up. This will reduce the risk of injury and maximize safety for everyone involved.
- Offer Constructive Dialogue
“Whatever you do, stay patient and be positive! If a child is having a hard time remembering to keep their skis together or keep bending their elbows instead of keeping arms straight, tell them why it’s incorrect and show them the correct method.”
Most children are eager to please, but will quickly become discouraged if they feel like you’re frustrated or disappointed. Help them get the basics down, but make sure it’s a fun experience for everyone.
- Don’t Overdo It
Water skiing is hard on a little body. It takes a lot of energy to continually pull yourself up, only to fall down again. Keep training sessions short and then do something else. Your child will eventually reach a point where they can ski for longer periods of time without getting exhausted.
Make it a Family Affair
Why stop with your kids? Teach your spouse, aunts, uncles, even your parents! Anyone who is mobile enough to easily stand up, walk, and engage in light physical activity is fit enough to try water skiing. It’s an excellent physical workout and an even better excuse to get the family together.