As the ski season comes to an end, many instructors will lose touch with their students. “Instructors” will lose touch. True coaches understand that coaching is a year-round obligation. During the summer, your ongoing communications with your students will solidify your relationships with them. strong relationships = return clients.
You Can Learn to Ski In the Summer
Who here remembers Horst Abraham, a former VP of Education and Training of the Professional Ski Instructors of America? Apparently, he distributed a newsletter to his certification candidates. It was called “The Abe Letter.” One of these letters featured the following sentence: “You learn to swim in winter and you learn to ski in summer.” Joan Rostad of Epicski posted this on the forum. An interesting discourse ensued.
Although the statement has many potential interpretations, an encompassing philosophy prevails: Learning is an ongoing process, and it doesn’t stop when the season ends. In other words, when the lifts stop turning, the mind must continue to turn its own wheels, and come up with new ideas. If you’ve taught your students well, they will make connections between their winter and summer activities.
Here’s an example. A friend of mine was walking along the beach of Cabo San Lucas. The tide was high, and swimming was prohibited. The giant waves, however, had other plans for her. When one of them swept her off her feet and pulled her into the water, she panicked. Then, she remembered her ski instructor had told her about avalanche survival. “Ski sideways.” So she swam sideways, and lived to tell the tale. So even though skiing and swimming bare almost no resemblance, my friend was able to apply an extreme skiing skill to an extreme swimming skill.
Here’s another example. Your student hikes to the top of the mountain. On the way down, she discovers a steep, rocky pitch. She stares down like a deer in the highlights. She’s stuck in the moment, and she can’t get out of it. Then, she has a EUREKA moment. She realizes that she does not have to straight-line it down the path. She can break the speed with small, zigzag movements. Sort of like a ski turn.
Where You Come In
Some of your students might intuitively find a link between skiing and their summer activities. Others need a little help from their instructor. BY staying in touch – either through your Facebook page, weekly email newsletter or blog, you can continue to offer hints about summer activities. Here are some ideas:
1. Ski specific fitness tips, such as balance training, stability ball, BOSU, etc.
2. Activities similar to skiing, such as inline skating, skate to ski, water skiing, etc.
3. Outrageous activities such as sand skiing and grass skiing
4. Places where you can literally ski in the summer, such as South America, Australia and New Zealand.