Six ways to prepare for family skiing: What we’ve learnt from the Paralympics

It all started with a family ski holiday

As Jade Etherington together with her wonderful supportive family and new ‘adopted’ sister, ski guide Caroline Powell,  go into a new phase of their lives we wish them all the luck in the world.

We’ve known Jade for some time and never had any doubt as to her ski ability. We have just dreamt that this day would eventually come for her as she so deserves it. To watch as she takes on the media so very naturally is credit to her down-to-earth family, self-belief and team work with Caroline.

Top ski tips from our Paralympians

For the past few weeks everyone we have spoken to, Twitter, Facebook are all marvelling at how our Paralympians do it. Jade herself skiing at over 60mph, on the tail of Caroline’s skis, when she can only pick out her shape and colour. In Jade’s interviews she reinforces that it’s as much psychological as physical. Yes, she spends hours in the gym and on skis and her diet is closely monitored but as she prepares herself to actually race, she often uses the words ‘terrified’ – so she has to spend even more time preparing psychologically. We heard the brilliant Paralympic commentators on Channel 4 talk so often about it being 80% psychological 20% physical – which confirmed what I’ve always believed about us recreational skiers.

Six ways to prepare psychologically for family skiing

My blogging mentor, the lovely Keren, at Top Left Design, has encouraged me to share what I know and feel passionate about, which is for most of us skiing is far more psychological than physical. We can all have good and bad days depending on what’s going on in our heads. And once you reach a certain age the preparation is as much mental as physical, particularly so if you are skiing with the family.

Here are six ways to prepare for your family ski trip:

  1. Find a recommended ski school and consider one or two private lessons a huge investment.
  2. Get rid of all the family-worries going on in your head. If you’ve chosen a good family ski specialist, the children are going to be fine. Just remember to leave your phone number with their childcare staff.
  3. We all know that there is a lot to think about when getting ready in the morning – especially when children are involved. Invent your checklist game to help bring a sense of fun to the morning routine whilst encouraging independence. This would include liftpass in pocket, sun cream/lip salve, goggles/sunglasses, helmet/hat, gloves, tissues, a snack and pocket money for a drink stop.
  4. Although you’ve probably spent quite a bit on your holiday already, you deserve to treat yourself to something too like a new ski jacket or pants. If you feel good about yourself it will definitely show in your skiing. We’re not saying you need to spend a fortune as there are heaps of good places to get brilliant discounts. Our guests favour: TK Maxx, Surfdome, Trespass and The Original Factory Shop, to name but a few.
  5. Skiing with friends and family who have skied before can go one of two ways. It can either help push you to keep up and work harder or it can push you out of your comfort zone.  The main thing is to listen to what your instructors have taught you and keep it up when skiing with friends or family. Don’t be afraid to go slow and perfect your technique and remember that everyone has been in the same boat before when learning to ski.
  6. And finally, relax, you’re on holiday and your main priority is that you and your family have a great time!


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