How to train your child? Tips from Swiss Ski School Villars

Continue our interview with Marc-Henri Duc the Director of SWISS SKI SCHOOL VILLARS. This time we discuss delicate question “why should you entrust your children exactly to this school?”.

V.M.: Marc, your school is known for its exceptional approach to children. So, do instructors undergo pedagogical training to work with children and teenagers?

M.D.: Yes, like I have explained before, we train every week and we adapted our teaching to the evolution of every child. Like you have said, we have a very good reputation on this subject.

V.M.: Well, but every child has his own perception speed, I guess the lessons must be as closer for individual as possible. What is the limit of children learning from one instructor simultaneously in case of group lessons?

M.D.: For classes: maximum 7 Kids in the Snowgarden and maximum 9 kids for higher level. For private lesson, it’s up to you.

V.M.: You have mentioned “Snowgarden”, so this lessons for the smallest one? By the way, at what age do you recommend bringing children to your school?

M.D.: You are right, as far as for private lessons, the youngest are sometimes 2 years old, but usually 3 years old. For the classes, the kids must be at least 3 years old.

V.M.: Wow, at such early age? Therefore, what documents need to be concluded when parents leave their children at your school for the lessons?

M.D.: No more documents as when you leave your children at play room. A questionnaire with surname, first name, age, spoken language, possible allergy and an emergency telephone number.

V.M.: Is it possible for parents to be present during the child's lesson?

M.D.: Sure, also you can find out all the tips we have prepared for the parents on our website here

V.M.: So, we have decided our child attend your school, what do you recommend to learn for a beginner first, ski or snowboard?

M.D.: Definitely ski, because we start Snowboard nearly from 7 years old.

V.M.: Could you kindly explain what is the great difference between studying ski and snowboard? 

M.D.: Skiing is like walking at first, you use your two legs which are independent of each other, then you always slide into front.

For snowboarding, your 2 legs are fixed on a board and must work together, the movements are made laterally like surfing on the water or on a skateboard

V.M.: And how many lessons usually does it take for children to confidently skiing on a slope?

M.D.: It’s hard to say for sure, but, obviously, at 3 years old it takes longer time than at 5 years old. At 5 after one week the kids know how to go down on a blue run.

V.M.: I guess, it is a big progress for the beginners. If they receive any certificates at the end of the training period? 

M.D.: They receive the Swiss Snow league booklet with a medal. New offer this year, the medals are now available from 5 days in the snow garden, 5 half-days of group lessons and 3 days of junior skiing. Take a look here.

V.M.: Wow, do they need to pass some kind of exams?

M.D.: No, it is an evaluation based on precise exercises over the week or on a few hours of private lessons, which allows the teacher to work in complete serenity without stressing the child who is still on holiday

V.M.: By the way, what equipment and protection do you recommend to buy for children?

M.D.: The standard equipment includes the same things as for the adults: Suncream, gloves, sunglasses or goggles, and helmet.

V.M.: One more important question, what about meals, if the lessons for example take the whole day?

M.D.: We organized the tasty lunch which includes meals and drinks for the whole day group lessons, it’s also included in the prices of the lesson. 

V.M.: Well, and what about photos and video? You know many parents want to save this very special moments, can they order them at your school?

M.D.: Sure, we have a photograph in Villars, he do that for all our classes.

V.M.: Is it possible to pay for the individual photoset, or it is free of charge?

M.D.: Of course, it is possible to pay a photographer for this service. Nevertheless, our teachers regularly make short videos with their smartphone that they forward to the parents by whatsApp for example, this of course is free, it is a way for our school to transform the lessons into Magic Moment also for the parents

V.M.: Do you have any privileges for skiers / snowboarders among them who practice with you year after year?

M.D.: Yes, we have. Not really privilege, but the possibility to learn how to teach ski or snowboard and to became one of our instructors, It's a good return on investment for parents!

V.M.: Hah, that’s really actual question you know! And, for example, if children hone their skills during the winter holidays?

M.D.: If they are too young for teaching (Less than 18 years old), we use some of them in our Snowgarden for helping us and we give them a small fee

V.M.: Sound really attractive, level-up your skill and get some pocket money! And speaking about some force major situation, what school can offer in such situations as if the child suddenly became ill or the weather turned bad?

M.D.: We call the parents, if the weather is bad, it’s the winter, but if it’s too cold we do a stop for a tea in our 2 privates Snowgarden

V.M.: One more interesting question, are there among your students those who later became an outstanding athlete, participant and winner of international competitions?

M.D.: Oh yes!! We have for example Fanny Smith who is the winner this year of Skicross Worldcup and 2nd in the last Olympic games. We got also Charlotte Chable who is in the swiss team world cup slalom.

V.M.: It is really nice to hear, that shows that your instructors do their best to study wards. And do you have any methodical video courses with the help of which parents can reinforce skating skills of their children in the future?

M.D.: Sure, these videos can help you and your tourists, you can find them on our Facebook and Instagram pages

V.M.: Marc, many thanks for your time spend, it was really cool to find out so many interesting facts about your school and even more useful tips for our precious tourists!

M.D.: You are welcome Vasiliy, you know, our runs are always open for you and for your tourist! 

Interview was prepared by Manager of ski web portal Teslenko Andrew