When it comes to younger children, it can be like pulling teeth to get them to try something new, especially behind the boat. Whatever the reason, be it the water, the wakes, or the boat itself, it can all be very intimidating to a youngster. If you are experiencing this problem with your child, don’t lose hope! There are some easy steps you can take to boost their confidence and bring out their ambition towards wanting to try watersports.
#1. Set the example! If you participate in watersports yourself, commit a few sets riding orskiing in front of your child. Go out and dedicate yourself and have a blast. Fall, smile and laugh while you play.. Yes, this includes you possibly looking like a fool to on-lookers from shore, but your child will see it differently! Stay in the wakes, use a shorter rope to make it look like you aren’t that “far away”.. Do anything to make it look like it is the easiest and best time you’re having in your life! Make sure you do this process a few times. Develop a consistency of “having fun” behind the boat in their eyes.
#2. The internet can help! You may have not thought of this, but youtube videos of kids and their “first time” waterskiing or wakeboarding are fun and very inspiring. Show them to your child, and ask them if they think they’d be able to do that. Do not ask them if they WANT to do it (yet). No pressure is the key here. Let them see what it’s all about, and let it sink in.
#3. NO BIG DEAL! Attitude and energy is very important. I like to call it having the “No Big Deal” attitude. Whatever you do or say to your child in regards to watersports you must stay calm. Don’t get to excited about it or they’ll think it’s acting. Stay rather mellow when you talk or ask questions..
#4. POP THE QUESTION! You’ll know when it’s a good time to ask them if they would like to try for themselves. If you get a “yes”, congratulations! If they’re still hesitant, change the subject immediately. Remember, no big deal. Be patient, stay calm and ask every few days. It’s all about having them comfortable and confident to get the result of a fun, and safe first time on the water.
#5. Consider their ability level! Children can be fearless since the day they’re born, others may not develop their fearless attitude until later years. If your child is under 7 and shows signs of interest in learning to ski or ride, I recommend you scoping out a ski school that offers a “ski boom” to ensure full safety and success for their first time. Though this is best to do at any age, chances are if their showing interest above the age of 7, depending on their confidence level in the water, they can skip the boom process all together and start in the water with you. PLEASE, if you are uncomfortable teaching your child yourself, take them to a watersports school to get them started! You won’t regret it!
Here at Len’s Cove Marina we offer instruction in all watersports disciplines! Whether are looking for a fun time on the water with your family or friends on the Big Rideau Lake, wanting to take your game to the next level, or have a young one that is ready to learn – we are the place for you! Check out our 2013 camps, clinics, and lessons here!