My Sport Through a New Lens

Session 3 Blog by Coach Intern Annika Linkenbach. Annika has been a Keely’s Camper for 6 years.



My coaching experience as an intern at Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls has been nothing but positive, honorable, and unforgettable. Working alongside some of the best coaches has given me the  understanding of what it takes to be not only a coach but a mentor for girls. Setting my first course, coaching my group each day, and observing the Keely’s Camp staff has changed my perspective on my sport.




I have been coming to Keely’s Camp for six years. When I finally got the opportunity to experience the role as an Coach Intern I jumped at it. Not knowing what to expect on my first day, I was nervous yet excited for the experiences to come. I coached a group of six to eight year olds full of energy who were determined to ski. Throughout the morning, we completed drills which, for the first time, required me to translate to the younger athletes. I learned to explain drills in a different way, whereas in the past I have always been coached the drill. By explaining and demonstrating the drill, it forced me to think about my own skiing and helped me better understand the purpose of the skill. I learned how to phrase specific instructions in ways that the younger girls would easily understand to help better themselves as skiers. I coached young girls that ripped on their skis, and was inspired by their determination at such a young age! As an intern, I got to witness the behind the scenes of being a coach, and how they bend over backwards for their athletes.





One of the opportunities of being an intern was setting my first race course! I ha
d been looking forward to setting a course and finally learned the ropes with help from my coaches. Lindsay Mann helped me set a diamond hitch slalom course, with stubbies set on the outside of tall gates. The focus of this course was to help the girls master cross-blocking one hand at a time. I learned how to determine the distance between each gate depending on the length of my ski and the length requirements for the age of the girls. Setting this course has helped me interpret other courses with a better understanding of how each course will run. After setting, I had the chance to run my own course, which helped me gain a different perspective on how to interpret terrain, the distance between the gates, and other challenging aspects of the course. I will take this knowledge I have learned and apply it throughout my next race season!



Throughout this week, I have not only gained more respect for my coaches, but have required a better understanding of the role of being a leader. Working with this great group of girls was nothing but joyful as I got to know them and watch them ski! I am very thankful for interning at Session Three, and wish the best to these young athletes with this upcoming race season!











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