Why Children Learn To Ski So Quickly

Phil Smith, director of Snoworks Ski Courses talks about why children learn so quickly, what adults can learn from watching children and why Snoworks have adopted many of these principles into their philosophies. photos ©www.dynamicpictures.co.uk

It comes as no surprise to any parents when suddenly they can no longer keep up with their offspring. It has recently happened to myself and my 4 time Olympian wife Emma Carrick-Anderson. The only thing that has surprised us is that our children were only 6 years old when they began to overtake us.

Why is it that children learn so quickly and can adults still learn in the same way? Here are my top 10 reasons why children are such good learners and if adults could rekindle these childlike qualities then maybe they could learn just as fast!

1. Living In The Now
Children live for the moment. They’re not worried about the future and they’re certainly not worried about the past. It’s all about the now. Skiing is a sport where the environment is constantly changing so it’s vital to live in the now. As Master Oogway from Kung Foo Panda once said, ‘The past is history, the future is a mystery, now is a gift that’s why it’s called the present.’

2. Accepting What Is
Children don’t value, question or compare, they just do. There’s no right or wrong, there’s just what is.

3. Free
Children are free, have no perceptions of how they should ski, how they are skiing or how they did ski. They have a freedom to move unrestricted and unhindered.

4. Output Focused
Children are ‘output focused’. They are solely concerned with ‘getting down’ and are not worried about how they achieve this. The task, the terrain and the snow shapes their learning. ‘The output shapes the input’.

5. Learn By Mistakes
To children it’s not making mistakes it’s simply learning. The fastest way to learning is being happy to make mistakes.

6. Fun
Why do children ski? Because it’s fun!

7. Being Yourself
Children are content with who they are. They don’t compare, wish they were better, are not worried about being watched or wish they were someone else. They are not self-conscious, they’re just them. As Oscar Wild once said “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

8. No Fear
Children have less fear and no responsibilities. They’re not thinking ‘what if’. This leaves them free to have a go, to experiment, to make mistakes and to learn.

9. No Airs and Graces
Children are not worried about what others think about them, are not self-conscious and are free to adopt the most stable stance naturally. They crouch low, feet wide and are solid.

10.  Doers
Children don’t ask questions like “what’s the effect of the centripetal force whilst turning”, “when should I plant my pole”, “Which way should my shoulders face”, “how much weight should I have on each ski”. They don’t discuss the finer details of technique and they are certainly not worried about being filmed and their technique dissected. They are ‘doers’ not ‘analysers’.

So these are my top 10 reasons why children are such fast learners. Can adults learn like this? You bet they can. If you want to learn fast then it may be time to rekindle that inner child within you. Experiment, don’t worry, lose your inhibitions, accept mistakes and above all enjoy and have some fun.

Snoworks Ski Courses have adopted many of the philosophies that enable children to learn so quickly and adapted them to adults. See article on the Mail Online.

junior race training (8)