Chamonix Coaching. Winter 2013.
This ski season has seen me helping a skier spending the season in Chamonix. As I’ve been based in the UK this year we used the power of the Internet to facilitate the process, communicating by email.
We skied together at the start of the process which gave us a useful starting reference from which to progress. Ongoing video wasn’t available so the skier provided their own feedback in response to tasks and questions from me.
The nature of email communication dictated that I optimised the coaching process to match the way we were communicating to get the best outcome. After some consideration I decided that helping the skier to develop their internal feedback skills would be a good focus. This would help them more accurately assess their own skiing from the feelings they felt and be able to make changes for the better. Later we moved on to investigate specific technical skills plus the line & tactics needed to ski a given slope.
Practically, this tended to involve setting a task on easy runs along with some questions. On completing the task the skier would come back with the answers and we’d discuss the result via email. If other skiing issues had come up we’d address those and from there the next task could be agreed and the process repeated.
At the end of the season we skied together again and much progress had been made. So much so that we spent most of the time hitting the off piste up on the Grand Montets 🙂
The process has proved both interesting and thought provoking but most importantly successful. It also perhaps highlights some of the differences between Coaching and Instruction.