- BASI Level 4 ISTD,
- Swiss Brevat Federal
Being the Resort Manager for New Generation in Verbier is probably one of the coolest instructor jobs in the Alps. Not only do I get to train aspiring instructors from GAP course to ISTD but also I get to support, manage, motivate and guide them to help achieve their goals. Completing both the British and Swiss instructor qualification systems to their highest level wasn’t without its challenges and here is some of the story of how I got there.
I come from a humble background in skiing. I was a ‘holiday skier’ until the age of 24 when after university I started my BASI Level 1 & 2 ski instructor course with New Generation in Meribel. Initially it was only meant to be a ‘Gap’ year so a year later I found myself applying for graduate schemes in London. In fact it was actually in a job interview that I realised that the office life was not for me and on the train home to Leeds I had decided to go out to Italy the following week to work for the rest of the season.
The next few years I went flat out to get fully qualified. I travelled and worked in many different countries and trained as much as possible in order to pass my BASI exams in just a few seasons. Not coming from a racing background meant that I had to work hard to get my Eurotest and I learnt a lot about skiing in the process. It made me realise that there is always room for improvement and that even when I became fully qualified sitting back and not improving was not an option. Once fully qualified in the British system I decided to gain experience of other systems in order to broaden my horizons. An important part of my discovery was training with the French test technique coaches and studying at language school in order to learn French. This allowed me to teach in French and pass my Swiss Snow Sports conversion exam.
Coaching other instructors was something I always wanted to do and New Generation Verbier provided the perfect opportunity to do this. Since joining New Gen I have been able to shadow many top BASI trainers and every autumn continued to work on my own skiing performance by training on the glaciers. In fact, last summer I even sponsored myself to become a FIS athlete and compete with some of the worlds best in NZ. Whilst over there I shadowed the British team for a month and worked with them for 2 months in Saas-Fee.
I have now coached many different instructors at different levels with successful results. For me the idea of developing a solid ‘pathway’ within our school has to be what drives my passion the most. A gap year student can progress to full ISTD with support and work along the way. This is important and probably the most rewarding part of my job because it’s about developing a person and the future of our profession.
“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee
The above quote is something that has become part of my philosophy over recent years and will continue to be for as long as possible. My next goal is to work on my freestyle skills and maybe even venture into the crazy world of skier-cross competitions.
What do you do in the summer?
Is a question I have answered many times. I suppose the true answer to it would be that I try to develop myself with as many experiences and learning as possible. Each summer is like a mini project whereby I’m always trying to do something that will broaden my horizons and complement my ski teaching career. At the moment I’m working hard to build and open a Bed and Breakfast business in Le Châble, just down the hill from Verbier!
Becoming a ski instructor may seem a daunting task and the variety of courses available certainly does not make it any easier, but here at New Generation we have more than a decade of experience running ski instructor training courses and during that time we have come across most situations, problems and variables.
We are available 7 days a week and will be able to guide you through all steps of the BASI system, at every level. So contact us today and find out more.
Note: If you contact us regarding a specific course we can also send you a full brochure, so don’t forget to enter your address details.
Here at New Generation we offer a selection of complete ski instructor courses. You can join us on a residential course from 1 week to the whole season training, practicing and taking exams. We offer both BASI accredited training and exams, depending on the level you are trying to achieve.