Be a good listener: I overlook this one sometimes, but one of the most important aspects of great coaching is to learn how to listen. You need to know what the skier’s goal is as well as what he feels. Sit back and ask questions, then listen to the answers.
Be humble: Just like the rest of us, you don’t know everything, so don’t act like it. This is a quick way to lose your students or training partners. Commit to always learn more and consider the feedback given by your students very carefully in order to diagnose problems and move forward in a positive manner.
Videotape for self-discovery: Shoot video of your skiers and look at it with them. Give them a chance to do some selfdiscovery based on the video. Don’t overanalyze it, but do ensure they can learn from their mistakes by watching the video. This will create a better awareness for them on the water. Coach for effi ciency, not to clone yourself: You may be a great skier, but your style and technique are probably not perfect. Find ways to help the skiers you are coaching be more efficient and effective in their own skiing.
Be positive: I can’t stress this enough. It never ceases to amaze me what confi dence can breed in a skier. Rather than constantly telling your student what they are doing wrong, explain to them what they are doing right and how to capitalize on their strengths. This is not to say you need to lie to them, but give some encouragement and seek out the positive.
Seth Stisher is the co-owner of H2Osmosis Sports and head instructor of the H2Oz Training Center at Oz in Charleston, South Carolina. To ski with him at Oz, at your place or at a site near you, go to h2osmosis.com or e-mail email@example.com.