• Dave Burrows

What is it like to be in a Private Ski Lesson?

Find out what is it like to be in SnowPros Ski School lesson.

Well, let’s meet Jim. Jim loves skiing, he loves skiing so much that he never stops thinking about it and it’s too long for him to wait for the winter to come around again.

This summer, Jim asked me if we could do a session on the glacier in Saas-Fee so that he could get a summer skiing fix but at the same time, continue work on some technique that we had looked at in the winter.

Jim is a media guy and we came up with an idea to film what it is like to be in a ski lesson. You can see the results of this in our video, a unique insight into the experience of a ski lesson that you don’t really see online.

In the video, you’ll see Jim’s first run for 4 months, his progression as the 3 hour session goes on, some general basics that we would work on to bring a skier back into ‘tune’ after a long break from snow and then some technique adjustments unique to Jim. We also go off on a few tangents to do with communication and the progression paradox of only being able to be on snow one or two weeks a year.

Here is some commentary on what the instructor is doing during the lesson


Jim is a very competent all mountain skier. He can pretty much get down anything but you can see that his first run on a tricky slope wasn’t easy and the natural thing that we all do is to go back a few steps and go back to just coping with the situation.

What I tried to do in this situation is simplify everything by giving him only one thing to work on. We did this a few more times than you see in the video but by giving him simple things to focus on, he quickly found his skiing mojo.


Once Jim was skiing well, what I did next was to send Jim off on a couple of runs so that I could just watch. This is sometimes quite unsettling for the client as no-one really likes to be judged or watched closely but I am doing it for genuine reasons, not just for fun! This is where the ski instructor’s ‘eye’ comes in.

What I am doing at that point is making an assessment of how Jim is moving, whether the movements he is making are useful to his skiing, what can be changed, what is important to be changed and what changes can I offer Jim that will be the most useful to him as he carries on with his skiing.

At that point, I have to weigh that against his stated goals for the session, if Jim had said that all he wanted to do was explore the area, look at pretty views and have hot chocolate stops, me talking to him about how to steer his skis more effectively wouldn’t go down very well. Luckily, Jim is keen on improving his technique so I can talk quite technical language with him.

I identified a couple of things that would really help him about steering his skis more effectively rather than just scraping them against the snow and how to balance better by using a wider arm carriage.


As with all lessons, my session with Jim included a few random tangents. We discovered a miscommunication that meant that I had to try and explain something I thought was pretty clear in another way as well as mental tricks as to how to switch on focus for a decent performance. There was more but those were the ones we captured on camera.

In all, I had a great session with Jim, it’s lovely to ski with someone who is keen to progress their skiing and with such a good attitude towards it but to be fair, that represents pretty much every SnowPros client myself and my team have ever come across. Maybe we are just lucky :)

If this video has reassured you that going back to school (if only much less scary ski school) can be a really positive experience, I would love to talk to you about how we could help you with you or your family’s skiing.

You can contact us on +41 7862 45060 or email .


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