Every person who’s enjoyed the majesty of the slopes has harbored a fantasy about becoming a snowboard instructor one day, yet few know where to begin chasing such a career path. Besides not knowing how they might embark on becoming a snowboard instructor, larger fears that they would find themselves incapable of meeting the demands of the job haunt many would-be teachers of tomorrow. So, how realistic are your goals to become a snowboard instructor, and what will you need to do to succeed?
The truth is, anyone with the passion and dedication needed to be a great snowboarder has the capacity to become a stellar instructor, provided they equip themselves with the right tools and undergo proper training programs. Follow these tips, and rely on the advice of seasoned experts who have been in your snow-shoes before, and you’ll soon find yourself leading and teaching the next generation of skiers and snowboarders towards the time of their lives.
Be the instructor you once needed
Before we even begin to discuss what specific training is needed to be a good snowboard instructor, it’s important that you understand the traits of those who are good teachers in general. On and off the slopes, being a good instructor means being a good role model, and acting like the authority figure that you once needed when you were a beginner. Everyone starts somewhere, and by recalling those figures in your life who were formative to your own development, you’ll come to embody the traits present in your own childhood teachers who helped you so much.
Being a good snowboard instructor means having compassion and the necessary perspective to view life through the eyes of another. As an instructor, you’ll come across trainees from all walks of life possessing various levels of skill, and you’ll soon find that no one lesson is alike. You’ll need patience to deal with students who repeatedly bite the dust, and you’ll need to be familiar with local attractions – even those that don’t appeal to you – so that you can recommend places to visit when your students are off the slopes.
As is true with any job, you’ll need to have realistic expectations of what being a snowboard instructor is like, too. Have a basic understanding of your salary expectations, for instance, if you don’t want to upend your life and move to the mountains permanently only to find you can’t afford that type of lifestyle. Similarly, you’ll want to brush up on the common experiences of snowboard instructors who have sled down the path you’re considering before.
Of course, no guide on how to live as a snowboard instructor would be complete without mentioning how to have some fun, either; after all, who wants to be a strict instructor with students who loathe you? Don’t be afraid to plan exciting group training exercises that bring a group of unfamiliar learners together, and never be afraid to show off your skills; no one wants an instructor incapable of pulling off some impressive moves.
Have a backup plan
When things go south – literally – and the weather warms up a bit, some instructors in certain areas may find themselves temporarily out of work. Those instructors aiming to work in popular tourist hot spots, too, will soon become familiar with the ebb-and-flow of customers that defines such areas. Having a backup plan doesn’t mean you can’t be an instructor; indeed, you’ll come to find that possessing a multitude of skills on and off the slopes will only help you when it comes to teaching your students and enriching your own life.
Snowboard and skiing instructors go hand in hand, for instance, and knowing how to temporarily put away the snowboard when your students want to pick up some ski poles will be invaluable towards attracting new customers and making some extra money. Your passion is what got you into this business, and you should never forget your undying love of snowboarding, but you’ll need to keep your passions anchored to reality and your eye on the financial ball if you hope to last in your profession.
That being said, it’s important that you’re not afraid to dream big; sometimes, ignoring convention and following your heart will lead you to new and rewarding places. Don’t be scared to listen to your own gut, as you’ll soon find out that the same instincts that save you from some epic wipeouts go a long way towards ensuring your financial security and personal fulfillment.
The life of a snowboard instructor is jam-packed with fun and thrills, as personal testimony shows time and time again. Network with your peers, take your job seriously (while still having fun), and understand that your students need to walk before they can run, and you’ll become an expert instructor changing countless lives in no time.