Skill Practice

These activities can be used to practice balance, skating, telemark and christies, . . . almost any skill. Incorporate some of these activities into ability stations or use them as a group skill work activity.

Downhill Run 

Students follow you or another Leader through slalom poles. Have students imitate the following skills:

  • Balancing on one ski to see how far they can go;
  • Skating on the flat or an easy downhill;
  • Pumping on the bumps to see how far they can glide out onto the flat section 
  • Jumping off small bumps and landing in a deep-knee telemark; 
  • A tidemark turn; 
  • Slalom on an easy hill. (Skiers line up on the fall line. Skier farthest uphill weaves his or her way in and out of human slalom poles to the bottom, where he or she stands below the last person to form the next gate.) 

Fire Engine 

Break the group into teams. Each team should be the same size and represent a numbered fire-engine station. When the “alarm” is heard, call out a number; the station with that number must then put the “fire” out. For example, a blanket laid out on the snow might represent the fire; skiers would have to “put out the fire” by cov- ering the blanket entirely with snow. 

Leapfrog Downhill 

Pick a very gentle hill on a day when the snow is nice and soft. Separate the total group into smaller groups of about the same height. Have them drop their poles. Start the first one of each group gliding down the hill and stop them a short distance afterwards. This person must then crouch down so the next skier can ski-straddle over them as in leapfrog. Continue the progression until the last skier is down the hill. 


Furthest on One Ski
This exercise is designed to work on balance. Pick a tracked hill within the ability level of the group. You can decide whether or not to have the group take one ski off. Line up the skiers to go down the hill one at a time. Keep track of who can go the longest distance balanced on the one ski. Change skis, and learn to balance on the other side. 

Giants and Midgets 

Get tall/get small to fit under a pole that the Leader is holding over the trail. 

Grab Snow 

Ski downhill without poles and grab snow with both hands, throw a snowball at the Leader or another target. 

Jack in the Box

Pop up and down as you ski down the hill. 


Ski downhill balancing a snowball on the head. Who can ski the farthest? Ski beside a partner and play catch with a snowball. 

Railway Tracks

Instructor skis first and skiers follow in instructors tracks. Lay a streamer or rope across the track for skiers to jump over. 


To get good strong kicks for diagonal stride, try this exercise. Have the skiers on one ski only, in a straight track. Tell them to kick off with their non-ski foot, like they are on a scooter. A pole can be held crosswise to simulate 
“handlebars”. Try to glide with even, steady kicks. Change skis and repeat the game. Form the exercise into a relay race for a group activity. 

Ski the Bumps 

Ski over bumps like a car on a bumpy road. Use your legs like shock absorbers. 

Squish the bugs in your boots 

Press down on your boots and squish those bugs. 

Through the Arches

Plant two poles and suspend another pole horizontally from the wrist loops. Ski down, duck under the pole and rise up to touch a streamer on a pole planted several feet below. Move the streamers closer for faster reactions or farther away if necessary. 


Use big and little “jaws” on your skis to bite the snow as you ski down (edging control). 

Pie Making Contest 

See who can make the widest slice of pie. 

Pie Slices 

Identify five pieces of pie from narrowest to widest wedge. The Leader calls out numbers of the pie for the kids to execute. Or the children call out the number of their slice as they ski down. 

Red Light/Green Light 

A great variation on the game to emphasize control through wedging. 

The Squeeze 

Set two poles side by side so the skiers can ski straight between them. Then have the kids wedge down and close the wedge to squeeze between the poles. Open up the wedge to stop on the other side. 


Bouncing Basketballs
Bounce an imaginary basketball on the outside of one ski, and then bounce one on the outside of the other ski. 

Dual Slalom 

Set up two identical courses side by side and pairs of skiers (evenly matched) race to the bottom. Use poles, flags, road markers, colored plastic margarine containers. 

Fly Like a Plane

Hold your arms out like wings and bank turns like an airplane. 

Turning Toes 

Ski evenly in a wedge, and then point your right toes toward a pine tree to your left for a left turn or to a build- ing on your right for a right turn. 

Human Slalom

Skiers line up on the fall line. The top person turns around one of the skiers and stops at the bottom. The next skier “peels off” from the top and weaves through the human poles to the end of the line. 

Race Cars 

Kneel on skis and race downhill steering with hands on ski tips. Give them different ways of coming back up the hills. Do not use poles. 

Round the Peg, Downhill 

This exercise is designed to teach quick downhill turning ability, plus quick transition to uphill skiing. Pick a downhill within the ability level of the group. Place a peg or ski pole on a challenging portion of the downhill slope. Have the participants ski down, go around the peg, and quickly return to the top of the hill. Depending on the group, you can time them. 

Ski Wars 

Everyone finds a spot. That spot is the skier’s planet in the galaxy. From this point on, the group leader’s imag- ination takes over. For example: “You’re being attacked by a foreign invader; to avoid being seen, try to be as small as possible”, or “You are a new tree on your planet. Grow from a seed to a full tree.” 

Squish Bugs 

Squish a bug under your right boot, and then squish a bug under your left boot. 

Slalom Course

Start with good spacing between the poles for easy turns, then move the poles closer together for quicker turns.