Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Work experience

From a personal perspective, it’s been a really interesting week on the summer gap course with the gappies shadowing the instructors from the Warren Smith Ski Academy as they taught their clients on the academy courses.

Scouse teaching in his own 'unique' style.

I was shadowing the semi-famous ‘Scouse’ aka Tom Lewis and it was amazing to see the change in the skiing levels of the academy clients over a week, just by changing some very simple things.

The academy week started with the usual ski-off to group the clients into different ability levels, various gappies were then assigned to the groups according to their strengths. The week then followed a set pattern which involved analysing the faults in the client’s skiing and improving their skills step-by-step to help them improve.

The first day we mainly worked on slow speed turns and projecting the hip down the fall line to initiate turns, which then progressed to work on stance width to provide a better base to ski from.

The following days were spent working on other areas such as how the clients held their arms as they skied, the importance of a good pole plant, control of speed by finishing off turns, some work with no ski poles and carving. This was all backed up by 2-video analysis sessions and it was really good to see how all of the work that we had done improved the client’s skiing from the first day compared to the last.

There was also an emphasis on us to look at the teaching style that was used by the various instructors and Scouse’s style was mainly of self discovery for the clients and lots of individual feedback. There was also a boot camp style feel to the way that he taught clients which obviously worked very well because the level of improvement across the group was massive.

The arrival of August has brought another change in the weather and we are starting to get regular snowfalls on the glacier. The freezing level has also dropped to about 3000 meters so the snow is bulletproof first thing in the morning and like winter in quality as the day goes on.

The pieces of my own skiing are now starting to come together and using my days off to work on various things up the mountain, I’ve now managed to get rid of my camp left hand pole plant. I feel like I’m fairly symmetrical now turning in either direction and I just need to get rid of the slightly split stance on short radius turns by carving the skis round together. I’m also completely inept at bumps and moguls and I need to fix that before BASI level 2 arrives.

The gappies are gearing up to be boot camped ourselves for the next 3-weeks as our levels need to be much better before the BASI trainers get here. This week we are revisiting the central theme of ski progression and doing some more personal performance.

(this blog never made it onto Fall Line as the web ed was away on hols and missed it)

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