Why is it harder for older adults to learn from young instructors?

Someone who follows our Facebook page asks, in brief, “Why do some older adults who are interested in snowboarding say that it’s better to take a lesson from other older individuals rather than younger ones?”

The more detailed question follows. Please share your thoughts!

“I’ve seen some discussions about taking lessons from fellow ‘Grays’ versus younger instructors. The general consensus seems to be that it’s easier to learn from people in their 40s and 50s.

What is it that younger instructors do wrong or miss that makes it hard to learn from them?

If you had a learning experience that was phenomenal, what was it that set that instructor or lesson apart from other, less useful lessons?

Thanks for your input. I’m thinking about picking up a PT job teaching snowboarding at a nearby hill. Snowboarding is so much fun, I want to give other adults the best shot at loving this great sport. I learned as a teenager and a lot of lessons were taught by pain, which is not a great way to learn.

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One Response to Why is it harder for older adults to learn from young instructors?

  1. Jill says:

    I disagree, but like with so many other things, who you use as your instructor is a very personal thing. Older instructors have the patience and respect for our aging bodies and may know a bit more about how to avoid specific injuries for example; although this is a potentially dangerous sport, so why wouldn’t a properly trained “younger” instructor know this as well?

    For me, I would prefer a younger instructor because snowboarding is constantly evolving. You’ll want to keep up with all the great info these “kids” have in order to stay at your peak performance. They tend to push you a tiny bit out of your comfort zone, which shouldn’t be a problem. Snowboarding after all, is not for the feint of heart.

    Now, that said, I am one such soon-to-be 50-year old who has the soul of a 12-year old boy (and I’m a woman!). What I am saying here is that riding carefully down a slope isn’t what snowboarding is for me. I am careful, but I do try new tricks and am constantly striving to improve my mechanics, my speed and my riding overall. This may not be how most older snowboarders feel, but I can tell you that when you go out with, say, your 20-year old nephew, at the end of the day, you’re a better snowboarder. Again, not to say that an older instructor wouldn’t yield the same results in getting you to push yourself just a bit more each time you ride. It’s personal preference.

    Frankly, I learned how to snowboard watching YouTube videos at age 46, and using these online instructors of all ages to help me understand how things happen, why they happen and how to correct my mistakes while riding. I pass this info onto my teens who have learned along with me, and together we’ve learned to shred some pretty scary stuff out there, all while having the absolute time of our lives. By the way, my favorite short movie to watch online or on Netflix is Naturally. It gets me so pumped up to ride. That is of course if Art of Flight didn’t already sell you on this amazing and fulfilling sport!

    I’m so glad you want to help other older potential snowboarders out there. My favorite thing to see is a whole family of skiers and the Mom is on a snowboard! So cool! If only there was some magical way we can convince more people to try it, it would change their lives! I wish I could find more people my age out there, but for now I’m shredding with the kiddies and bouncing off of terrain features, but getting back up and trying again and again. Keep Riding!!

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