Session 2: Coach Intern Reflections, “I’ve never felt so rewarded.”

June 28 2016 BY Keely

My Keely’s Ski Camp Coach Intern Experience

Blogger:  Katie Hensien June 26, 2106

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As an Intern this summer, I got the chance to learn and understand this crazy sport of ski racing from an entirely new angle.

  1. I now have more respect than ever for what it takes to be a great coach.
  2. I will never look at a course the same way again.
  3. I will never give up on trying to translate what I am seeing, feeling, and hearing about my skiing.

 

It’s hard to believe that just one week ago I was arriving into Keely’s Camp Session 2.  This camp will be different for me…I am participating as a Coach Intern, and was super excited about the opportunity.  Now I’m packing up for the roadtrip home from Government Camp, OR back to Park City, UT.

Every year when I head home from Keely’s Camp, I always take more home with me then I brought along.  But I’m not just talking about the awesome hat and sweatshirt.  I’m bringing home the knowledge and skills that will help me to be better prepared than ever for the 2016/2017 ski season.

 

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For a Keely’s Camp Coach Intern, the experience we look forward to is getting the opportunity to set a course.  I was excited and a bit nervous about the whole thing.  I’ve run more courses in my 9 years of ski racing then I can count.  But setting one is an altogether new experience for me. I learned how to read the terrain, how to plan ahead for all the necessary flushes, etc., and I found myself wondering what it would be like to run the course as I set it.

 

 After I finished setting, I was so pumped!  When i got the chance to run it I thought – “Yeah, that runs pretty good.  Next time, I want to…”  This season as I slip courses others are setting, I will think about what they were trying to do with the terrain, I will see more about how they planned for it to run, and I will save away ideas I gain from running courses.

 

I was fortunate to get to spend some quality coaching time with the girls.  One of the experiences that really stood out for me this past week was the time I spent with some FIS girls. They were working on getting used to carving the 30m GS skis.  I’ve been racing on 30s for a couple years now and still remember what it was like to have to learn how to carve them.

 

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For the first time, I got the chance to try to explain the feeling, the movement, and approach I take with my skiing.  It’s hard to describe these things in a way that someone else can understand and incorporate it into their skiing.

By the end of our time together, I have never felt so rewarded, the girls all made real progress and were carving.  I think I realized that everyone learns differently and that it is important to incorporate showing, telling, and listening as you are trying to teach someone else.  I’ll be more patient and descriptive as I work with my coaches this next season on my skiing now that I know what it takes to convey something to someone else about their skiing.

 

For the girls who attend Keely’s Camp, you are fortunate.  The coaches here are some of the best.  They work their BUTTS off!  Coaches are the first ones up and the last to head to bed each night.  They take time to understand each and every skier’s strengths, weaknesses, and strategize how to help them become better skiers one step at a time.  They are troubleshooters and are always prepared for anything that may come up from a bloody nose to a chipped tooth.  As an intern, I learned the importance of hard work, being on time, and to be ready for anything.  Thank you Keely, Hailey, Jess, and Waddle.  I know I learned from the best!

 

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Finally, to all the girls of Session 2.  Thank you for letting me be your Coach Intern.  I hope you each had as much fun with me as I did with all of you.  I will keep my eyes on live timing and look forward to seeing your progress continue. Good luck this season and if you ever need anything, you know how to reach me!