Fancy becoming an instructor? Part 2
23rd July 2010
The group of trainee instructors on its Level 1 course at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead is half-way through the week. So, are they up to scratch?
It may seem odd to learn how to be an instructor on a small indoor ski slope in the UK, but there appears to be more than enough terrain.
“I’ve never skied inside before, only out in The Alps and though it’s different it’s much better than I thought it would be,” says one of the trainees, Emily. “It’s surprisingly big with quite alot of space and fine for what we are doing.”
With meeting rooms for lectures and video feedback in the same building it has some distinct advantages.
“The other great advantage is that we have snow and it’s consistent too,” says the Snowport Director of The Snow Centre, Pete Gillespie. “Sometimes the glacier resorts in the summer months can be a bit ropey, but here we always have good quality snow.”
In addition the trainers don’t actually need that much of an area.
After all much of the learning is perfecting the same basic turn and being able to go round and round the same slope can be an advantage.With a separate area for beginners, there is in fact more than enough room.
“The trainers we have are good enough to introduce variety and not let things get repetitive and boring,” says one trainee. “Of course it would be great to be up in the mountains but this is fine for the task in hand.”
To see how the group got started see this first article on PlanetSKI.
So, how had the group got on by the half way mark of the course, Wednesday?
Some were clearly pleased, others though were not so sure.
“I am not quite sure what the trainers want.”
“It is much tougher than I thought it would be.”
“I can ski OK but I just can’t do all the drills.”
These were just some of the comments we heard.
Overall though most of the 30 were on the right track.
For some video interviews with the trainees about why they are on the course, see below.
They had done control of speed and line, adjustments for different terrain and steering the skis.
In the lectures they had covered dealing with accidents, customer care, the different styles of teaching, equipment and how to generate business.
For some becoming a ski instructor was more complex and difficult than they perhaps first thought.As part of the on the snow training there was extensive use of video feedback.
“For some it is the first time they have actually seen themselves ski and it is an invaluable tool,” says one of the trainers, Lee Townend. “It means they can actually see where the improvements and adjustments need to be made.”
Much of the course is focused on improving the individual skiers performance and it is done through a series of group activities.
More often than not the trainees are spilt in to pairs and do various drills and exercises with one doing and then the other person offering feedback and help.
Tomorrow though is the big test of the week; each student has to deliver a 10 minute lesson to the rest of the group. Some were clearly rather nervous.
We’ll let you know how they get on the final part of this series on how to become a ski instructor.
See the video interview below with the lead trainer of the Level 1 coaching course, Alex Leaf.
To see how they all got on we will bring you the third, and final, part of this PlanetSKI report later.