Athlete development

Three great skiers: Erik Gay and two of his daughters. © GARY YEE

Having children in a ski club means paying particular attention. For a second consecutive season, my children are developing within a Mont-Tremblant Ski Club program and my oldest is getting ready to ski at least 110 days this season. I’m often told that I risk driving them too hard and that in the end, my children might not want to ski anymore.

Personally, I believe it’s possible to do things in a way that means the kids have fun and remain competitive. To achieve this, it’s crucial to have an extremely watchful and able coach who can keep the youngsters motivated.

He has to be able to identify the moment when the young athlete no longer enjoys training. Then he has to change the youngster’s frame of mind by either dialing down the training, or opting for some free skiing. I particularly like off-piste skiing and in general, January is a good month for skiing Tremblant’s glades.

Québec has a number of very talented athletes and we have excellent coaches. When we compare ourselves with Europe, all that’s missing is the large number of skiable days. My goal is to show that it’s entirely possible to produce high-level athletes in Québec – and at Tremblant in particular – without spending exorbitant amounts of money to go train in Europe or South America.

Of course, it requires a strong partnership with the school the child attends. But it is possible and we are currently making it work thanks to the Collège Laurentien and to Sébastien Michel, an excellent coach who works to develop, at the same time, both team spirit and competitive spirit. As far as I’m concerned, from a technical point of view, Sébastien is one of the best skiers at Tremblant.

Children learn visually and it’s important that their coach be able to show by example…which Sébastien does extremely well. To be continued….


More from this author by clicking on his picture below.


Erik Guay16 Posts

Détenteur de deux titres de champion du monde, Erik Guay est le skieur alpin canadien le plus décoré de l’histoire. / Holder of two World Champion titles, Erik Guay is Canada’s most successful alpine skier.


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