SAAS FEE 10 WEEK SKI & SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR COURSE 2015: Snowploughs, slashes and sunshine (Week 2)
Week 2 on the Saas Fee 10 week ski instructor course and snowboard instructor course has been a blast! Course leader Steve brings all the news on a continued fitness regime, delivering lessons on the mountain and why Saas Fee is the most picturesque village in Switzerland!
The second week has seen some great improvements to our trainees skiing and snowboarding.
However there has been pain as people struggle with new concepts and changing habits that have been a lifetime in the making.
Louisa originally learnt to ski with her feet and knees together so Ella has been appointed “stance watch” – she now happily reports daylight is regularly seen between Louisa’s knees and ankles: progress!
Louisa sporting her stylish new “snowplough” technique
Getting down with technique: ankle flex
Ankle flex has been the mantra across all three groups: skiers and snowboarders.
Thankfully the lack of it doesn’t seem to be age related – young and old all need to gain “flex”.
Being relaxed and flexed at the joints is really useful when storming down the mountain – so say the trainers Emma, Jake and Gibbo.
“I’m too flex’y for my shirt … so flex’y it hurts!!!”
With Gibbo, the boarders have also been found floating like “falling leaves” down the piste and were the first to go into teaching practice on Tuesday.
A lesson in teaching
The on-mountain training this week – from our most excellent training partners Element Ski School and ES-Ride – has focused more on BASI’s Central Theme: the general structure used when delivering lessons to new skiers and snowboarders.
Quiet pistes and plenty of sunshine make the perfect learning environment
Each of the group have had a chance to practice their first lessons and understand what it takes to be a professional ski or snowboard instructor.
Gibbo’s group of boarders were teaching sideslipping, diagonal sideslipping, basic and standard turns.
It can’t all be Central Theme all the time – laying back a “sl..aa..sh!!!”
Gibbo reports everyone in his group has a high standard of personal riding so it really makes the first lessons that little bit easier!
And it can’t be sunshine all the time either … not that we’re complaining because that means more snow!
Emma and Jake’s groups (the skiers) also had the opportunity to release a few nerves and realise that teaching on the mountain is more fun than scary!
Finding work for the season
On Monday afternoon we had the first of many employment sessions – a chance to learn how to write a good CV for ski and snowboard schools and learn about the different employment options that are out there at the end of the course.
On Friday afternoon, Adam from Les Elfes International in Verbier visited the group to give a presentation on what his company is all about and to see if any of our crew might fit the bill for working in Verbier this winter season.
Saas Fee delivering the goods and the smiles
Fit enough for the season?
On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons the trainees continued to keep up with Jake’s fitness sessions.
Jake’s route of choice for this week was the parkour course: running along (up) a forest trail with wooden exercise areas every few hundred meters.
It may not sound very pleasant when written down on paper but trust me, it was great fun!
Just hanging in the woods after a day on the hill …
We have really been making the most of Autumn activities here in Saas Fee.
On Wednesday we had a feisty game of football (quite a few of the team are pretty handy on the football pitch).
And when you think Swiss Alps, you don’t really think beach volleyball do you?
But that’s right, we had a wickedly competitive game of beach volleyball in the village this weekend while a storm brought a huge dump of snow up on the glacier!
Saas Fee has got it all, even a big red train/bus?!?
The weekend arrives!
Friday night was rather “big” as the local bars were treated with our fine conversation and excellent dance moves ... let’s leave it there.
The only thing on the cards for Sunday was to get up to the glacier for some last minute practice before BASI Level 1 next week!
Getting the basics right for the BASI Level 1 in Week 3
Wish us luck in Week 3 …
Blue skies and perfect snow conditions have really set us up well for this week of exams.
Wish us luck and keep an eye on the snow forecast!
Winter is definitely here now.