The coach

Mont-Tremblant, QC, Canada - Club De Ski. 2019. ©Gary Yee

Every season I give two or three training sessions for Ski Québec Alpin: mainly the on-snow modules at “development“ and “performance” levels. This forces me to keep up to date with our sport’s technical and tactical approaches and also allows me to compare teaching strategies applied to training with those taught during apprenticeship.

Learning techniques have evolved a lot since I started out. Back then, a good coach had to have two qualities: be a solid skier and above all, have a sharp eye to be able to provide a phenomenal amount of feedback.

Producing that information provided the satisfaction of having done the job. While it worked well to impress skiers, parents and colleagues, this method didn’t cause the athletes to evolve over the long term.

All we succeeded in doing was creating students hooked on this tool. Then, at the beginning of the 2000s, coach training was restructured. The physical (technical), affective and cognitive dimensions as well as training in decision-making (à la Joan Vickers) became integrated into the practice of coaching.

The roles were reversed. The ‘90s skiers asked the coach what they had to do to progress. Now it’s the coach who asks the skier about the choice of solutions to improve. In this way, the athlete gains a better understanding of technical and tactical movements. The coach thus becomes a facilitator of their performances.

The qualities of a good coach have been revised. The coach must have irreproachable ethics. They transmit the values of the sport to the students. They know how to work effectively as a team member. They find training solutions appropriate to every situation.

As coaches, we greatly underestimate the influence we have on our athletes. Good or bad, the relationship you have with your young people will be forever engraved in their memories. It’s up to you to make the difference.


More from this author by clicking on his picture below.

Jocelyn Huot


Jocelyn Huot20 Posts

Entraineur Chef du Club de ski Mont-Tremblant Entraineur Niveau 4 certifié FESC / PNCE Niveau 3 de l'Alliance des moniteurs de ski du Canada Formateur pour Alpine Canada depuis 2007 Head coach of the Mont-Tremblant Ski Club Leve 4 FESC/PNCE – certified coach, Level 3 CSIA/AMSC – certified instructor


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