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Coach This Guy


GOODESkier
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Alright, this is not something I thought I would be doing this summer, but I am finding that my son is progressing nicely and really getting ready to attack the course next summer. I have a "spoon" ski from @richarddoane‌ but I haven't been able to convince him off of this narrow "WILEY" ski so far.

 

He is skiing 15.5 MPH, 15' OFF, A1 setting.

 

Advice? My first thought, is he needs to have fun and ski on what he wants to ski on. He can get out to the jr balls in the course, but since we saw a big snake the other day, he isn't interested in playing with the snakes......... I am sure he will forget by the beginning of next summer.

 

http://youtu.be/K38ezRjiWME

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The first thing that I noticed was he is doing great at staying "tall" through the wakes. Anytime you every see him start to drop his butt/hips back, just have him stop and reset. It takes years and years to undo bad stack, but it is much easier to learn it from the start and retain it.

 

Encourage him to "feel" the wake, never look at it. Head up. You could even work with him on looking down course while turning, then at the pylon while crossing the wakes.

 

Eventually, you will want to encourage him to point the ski a little more across the boat's path so as to start to cross the wakes faster. Explain to him that the sooner he can safely get to the other side, the more time (space) he will have to make a calm and confident turn around the buoy. At his current rate of wake crossing, I'm not sure he would get to the buoys on a mini course.

 

The key with pushing kids is building their confidence. Always, point out the good. For coaching, always describe the desired behavior (how to do something the right) vs. describing the bad behavior. For example, if I say, "don't look down"; then in your mind you just pictured yourself looking down. That is a subtle reinforcement of the bad behavior. Rather, say, "keep your head up and looking along horizon in the direction you are headed."

 

When pushing them beyond their comfort zone, also build confidence. "Wow you made that look too easy! That must mean you are ready to go faster..." It is a balancing act of pushing forward, but just within that window of success that is just barely in front of them. If you push too hard and they get scared or take a bad spill, you can set them back a good bit. Confident encouragement to go just a very little bit more/faster/harder is the key.

 

When he is ready, an easy way to get them chasing buoys is to do the "mini" course. Using a normal slalom course, the boat driver splits the distance between the 1-3-5 buoy line and the far side boat guide. The skier starts wide at 1 ball, then goes around both boat guides, then back over to 3 and so on.

http://www.waterskiaustin.com/images/minicourse.gif

 

 

 

 

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One word "Awesome" Like you said keep it FUN and get him as much time skiing as he wants at that age. Fun time on the water is the only thing he needs at that age and if he wants to try skiing the short course as shown above have him go for it!!! Great job little guy. If you dont already have one i suggest getting him the youth rope masterline makes one and it seems to help the little ones once they start running bouys.
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