Snoworks at the UK Snowsport Coaches Conference 2015

Phil Smith reports
Photo: Phil Smith, Director of Snoworks Ski Courses with John Sheddon author or numerous books including ‘Skilful Skiing’ and former head of Snowsports England.

September 19th & 20th saw over 100 coaches arrive at Manchester Chill Factore for the annual UK Snowsport Coaches conference. Phil Smith and Nick Quinn from Snoworks Ski Courses were invited along to give their insight into ‘Developing Performance In An Open Environment’ the basis of the whole Snoworks Ski Courses programme. An off-snow presentation followed by 3 on-snow practical sessions.

Head speaker was Claus Johan Ryste, head of the Norwegian Alpine Ski Team. Claus gave a riveting chat on some of their training methods with particular focus on the physical testing of their ski team named the ‘Ironman Programme’ along with an insight into the ‘Attacking Vikings’ the name given to their senior mens team. Introduced a few years ago the Ironman Programme requires athletes to be tested in a number of standard tests including a 3000m run, pull-ups, squat, bench press, Hexagon jump test, box jumps and hanging situps. Team athletes are required to achieve above a certain number of points to stay on the team. Claus also spoke about the need for variation in the early days of training children developing a broad cross section of skills. A theme that run through most of the activities over the weekend.

Sport psychologist Dave Collins presented on the subject of physical training for young athletes. Dave has worked with many top athletes in many sports. Once again the main focus was on not specialising too early in a child’s development and developing a broad cross section of skills. Particular focus was given to coordination in a child’s development. Dave has to be one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. His no nonsense approach with a constant supply of gags kept everyones attention without losing his message. Don’t specialise too early was a strong message to take away.

British Association of Snowsports Instructors chief executive Andrew Lockerbie presented material on the alignment of ski instructor qualifications with academic qualifications. BASI has been working closely with  Edinburgh University to create alignment. Great news for parents with children thinking of going into ski teaching as a career. Great news for Snoworks Gap Instructor Courses.

Other presenters and workshops included Robin Kellen from Snowsports Wales – developing performance. Mark Staddle from BCA and Anatom – transceiver training. John Holgate – moguls. Andy Bennet – Freestyle and Nick Jones – Strength and conditioning. There were also workshops available on roller skiing, introduction to freestyle snowboarding, Telemarking and ski testing with Rossignol.

Phil Smith from Snoworks presented on the subject of ‘Developing Performance In An Open Environment and the alignment of artificial ski slopes and indoor snow domes with skiing in the open mountain. Phil was joined by Nick Quinn fellow Snoworks instructor. Phil and Nick continued this theme with on-snow practical sessions. Click here for further information on ‘Skiing Open’.

See report from PlanetSki.

off-piste (22) ski instructor courses (2) Ski Instructor Training (5) Snoworks GAP (5)