A few weeks ago I recounted how I coached a skier who was spending the ski season in Chamonix. As I was based in the UK we used the power of the internet & email to facilitate the coaching process.
To contrast my take on ski coaching by email, the skier has kindly written up their take on it:
When I skied with Dave at the start of the process, I was frustrated and fearful – having come back from a spinal injury with reduced nerve function in one leg. I spent my time on the snow fighting gravity, the mountain and my own fear. I was finding skiing to be a real struggle and I was at a stage where I wasn’t sure I would be able to enjoy skiing like I used to.
The internet-based coaching Dave provided proved very effective. I am a detail-focussed person, so his approach of breaking everything down into small packages (drills) to focus on one improvement at a time fit perfectly with the way I approach problem solving.
I would describe a specific problem I was having, Dave would prescribe a drill that I would spend the next day or two doing on the mountain and would give him my feedback. Each successfully completed drill was a platform for the next one. In this manner, we built up my skill set. It’s important to establish a common language to talk about specific techniques and where I was in doubt, Dave sent me links to online videos showing the technique in question.
Over a period of a few months, I went from being fearful on red pistes to spending my days skiing off piste in sometimes very challenging terrain (I only returned to pistes to do more drills). I even did a day with a guide skiing 30-degree slopes in knee-deep fresh. Probably the most thrilling and most terrifying day of my life but the most important aspect is that I enjoyed every minute of it.
I still have a very long way to go but I finished the season thoroughly obsessed with skiing again, which is always a good state to be in. Thanks Dave!