We all strive for awesomeness on the slopes, however not all success can be attributed to these on snow endeavours. Here are 5 simple and effective ways to improve your skiing…. without even skiing!
Get your skis serviced.This means taking them to a shop where the staff will sharpen the metal edges, grind down the bases slightly to flatten them; getting rid of unwanted rock gauges, and then add some wax to keep the base healthy. It was a pretty tough December here in Val d’Isere, and some of the TDC coaches’ skis took a hammering on rocks. I took my skis into SnowBerry here in town and got them back good as new! Now going into mid-January, we have some icy piste conditions, and my edges are gripping and working well for me. Making me better at skiing!
Get your boots fitted properly with a good footbed.We at TDC all feel that the support of your boots is paramount to your ability to ski well. A moulded footbed will ensure that when your brain wants to influence the skis, there is no slack between your foots command and the skis reaction. Whatever movement your foot makes is transferred directly to the ski. Many of the TDC team have their feet computer analysed and custom soles made by SureFoot in Val d’Isere.
Watch a Ski Movie and be inspired.There are many incredible ski films available, and we can all argue about the best. A great one to cut your teeth on is “Claim”. With big mountain powder scenes, acrobatic freestyle segments and a huge dosage of charisma, this film is a great way to spark inspiration and motivation to get better. Sometimes this bit of motivation is all it takes to become a better skier. (To take on the bigger cliff drops maybe think about getting one of us to teach you…! Off Piste Adventure Courses )
Drink some water, and eat more bananas.Altitude naturally dehydrates you, and I’ve heard Bananas are good for you. This will prevent cramp, and assist recovery. A great short term preparation before hitting the slopes. Simples
Off-Piste prep: Do some transceiver searching and watch this video.Many of our courses and lessons at TDC revolve around the amazing off-piste in the area. To personally improve your ability to ski with others in that terrain, you must work hard and practice. Having confidence in your avalanche knowledge and transceiver craft will allow you to concentrate more on the tactical aspects of your skiing and be mindful of any technical improvements you could make. You can search for transceivers around the house, in the garden, or out in bracken and bilberry fields. All good fun learning.
Terry prides himself on being able to improve peoples skiing, without skiing. With on snow coaching too – a definite recipe for success!
We all say that we love skiing, and we have a passion for the sport, and have a passion for teaching people to take part in the sport. But what does that really mean?
We decided that we needed to ask a few of the TDCski coaches to see what they said.
What the Coaches said…do you agree?
Here is a summary of some very common reason about why we love skiing…
Being Outdoors – There is for sure a definite feeling of freedom in the mountains. When you are skiing, that perfect day with the ridiculously blue sky, the white snow, the fresh air. Nothing can beat it. Being outside was a big factor for all the coaches.
But we realise that it is not always a perfect day. Skiing allows us to get out there even when the weather is challenging, and then at the end of the challenge there is the feeling that you have done something to “deserve your lunch.”
Exhilaration – release the child inside. At the end of the day we are all sliding down a hill on two planks. The worlds trouble are forgotten and for that fleeting second or two (which lasts for minutes and hours) we are released. We are flying, we are going fast but with control, we are all big kids again. Love it!
You can alway get better – no matter what level you are. Each individual can set the level of their own challenge, there is always something to work on. Every turn is different. It is as if we are always searching for the “perfect turn” but we know we will never find it, it is the searching that is fun. Your personal goal might be technical, it might be in the mind, it might be a physical thing, but everyone can have their own little goal, and achieving that goal is a lot of fun.
It is an individual sport done in a group! – Whatever your own personal objectives are when skiing you can be working on your own things, enjoying it your way, while everyone else does their thing, and then every now and again we all get back together and ride a chairlift, or stop for a hot chocolate or lunch. The group element of skiing (apart from just safety) gives every day a purpose, but the pleasure of skiing comes from the individual.
Skiing has to be one of the few sports that all the family can do together, where each member of the family might be doing their best – what other sport do you find dad doing his very best to keep up with his 8 year old daughter?
Apart from the above reasons to Love Skiing, the TDC coaches had a few more “unusual” reasons to love it…
“I like being able to come home and wear my thermal underwear around the house for hours at the end of the day.”
“On a beach I once got asked by a stranger “are you a ski instructor?” – I replied “yes, but how did you know?” The stranger said “because you are wear ridiculous looking sunglasses, and you have a Match Stick Tan – a red head on top of a skinny white body!”
“I am yet to see a hollywood movie that doesn’t make skiing look really cheesey. I don’t think filmmakers can capture what it is that makes skiing so much fun.”
We would love to share our passion for skiing this season.
We hope we can.
Established before time began, The Development Centre run the finest BASI prep courses in the Universe. If you are looking to develop your skiing towards qualification, then only the barking mad would overlook this intergalactic award winning program.
We use coaches who are chiseled from solid gold and each one must have won at least two Nobel prizes. The terrain in the Espace Killy is second to none, and on top of that we send our coaches up the mountain at night to hand craft each piste that we might use.
Occasionally our candidates explode with delight, but those that survive are sure to have had the most extraordinary and superlative week of their lives.
Improve your skiing and enjoy the mountains more than ever before
We all know that feeling – the mountains, the snow, the freedom!
When it all comes together there is no better feeling – we love it!
Improve your skiing and that love and enjoyment just keeps growing.
Below are 5 simple things that you can do in order to maximise your improvements, and therefore maximise your fun and enjoyment of the mountains.
TDCski coaches look at 5 ways that you can improve your skiing
Over the years the TDCski coaches have seen lots of people who under their guidance have taken their skiing from basic, to advanced, to expert.
How was this achieved?
The ways to improve are not complicated, it can be a simple ongoing task.
Here are 5 rules to follow.
1) Have a Goal
Having a goal doesn’t need to be an overly complicated or technical thing.
Your goal could be as simple as you want to ski relaxed, or you want to ski without worrying what is round the next corner.
Alternatively you could have a more specific goal. You might want to be able to ski a certain challenging run or you want to be able to “ski the bumps”.
Whatever it is, having a goal means that you will be able to move towards it.
In every ski lesson that we will ever take out, at some point at the beginning of your lesson whether you realise it is happening or not, the coach/instructor will negotiate a goal for that lesson with you. This will give you a target and as you move forward towards that target it is enjoyable. Achieving the little milestones will give you a satisfaction – a sense of achievement – it makes it fun!
2) Have a Focus
One of the greatest things about skiing is that it allows you to NOT focus on the regular days to day things that we all have to deal with in daily life.
If however you DO have a simple focus about your skiing, then it will allow you to keep your mind on the job at hand – enjoying yourself and getting that wonderful feeling of mountains, snow and freedom!
If you focus on absolutely nothing then it is very easy for the job at hand to go wayward.
Keeping a simple focus will allow you to monitor and measure what you are doing and if the job at hand is going wayward, you can adjust, change or even stop and start again.
A skiing focus does not have to be complicated; it can be as simple as making rhythmical turns or focusing on balancing on the outside ski.
Setting a focus is the pathway to achieving your goal. You need a more specific focus to achieve your wider goal. – see above!
3) Understand that Focus
It is a really good thing to understand WHY you are focusing on something, don’t just take someones word for it. Take ownership of what you are doing and try to understand the reasoning behind what you are focusing on.
Skiing is a blend of different skills so as you are skiing around the mountain there will be many times when you need to adjust the blend of what you are doing in order to adapt to a different situation – it might get steeper, or bumpy, or there is fresh snow.
If you understand WHY you are doing something and understand what skill it is that you are practicing/developing then you will be able to take that skill with you into any different situation.
4) It’s Not Just all about Technique
It is a really common misconception that getting better is just about what you are doing technically. There is more to improving your performance than just doing “x” with your little toe, or doing “y” with your hands.
Quite often you might take what we call a Tactical approach – where it the best place to turn, should I turn quickly, what line should I take? A good tactical approach to any given situation allows you to maximise the technical skills that you have at that time.
Skiing like any sport has its up and downs. Some days you feel really confident and some days….not so much. It is times like this that maybe we have to take a Psychological approach. Work out what it is that is not working today – is it in the mind? Maybe the weather has changed or there are lots of people around. The actual movements required to ski are the same – but it is how our mind is viewing it.
Being able to understand these things and tap into them will give you far greater success when you get down to the job of sliding down a hill and enjoying yourself.
5) Challenge Yourself
“Challenge” – this word I think means different things to different people, but whatever way you look at it, challenging yourself is a very enjoyable, rewarding thing to do and it will allow you to realise your best.
To some it means that you take on something that is harder than normal. Then you dig deep, you focus and you overcome, you rise up and take on the challenge.
To others this idea of increasing the level of difficulty is in itself very off putting. If this is how you feel, then your “challenge” is to keep the task the same, keep skiing on the same run, keep skiing at the same speed, but make sure that you set a challenge that means you do have to be more accurate, more precise with what you are doing. e.g. do all of your turns balancing on the outside ski early, don’t only do half and then start thinking about what’s for lunch.
Whichever way you look at the idea of “challenging yourself”, by giving yourself little challenges you will set yourself on a path for improvement that will be lasting, enjoyable and it will be fun!
These are some of the principles that TDCski use to develop skiers to their full potential.
We invite you to achieve that feeling with TDCski this winter.
We’ve teamed up with the fantastic VIP SKI again this winter. VIP SKI are offering an amazing package that includes a 5 day TDCski Early Season Coaching Clinic and a week of accommodation in VIP SKI’s wonderful Aspen Lodge chalet, with the usual VIP SKI service and catering.
Early Season Clinics only €280 for 5 half days. You can book just the Clinic and organise your own accommodation, or you can take up the amazing deal from VIP SKI.
A TDCski 5 day clinic in the full winter season costs 375€ per person. Early Season Clinics are available at a reduced cost of €280 pp, but book the accommodation package with VIP SKI and effectively pay just €150 per person for the ski clinic!
VIP SKI Prices from £599 per person for 7 nights catered chalet accommodation and 5 days ski clinic (3 hours per day)
Get a head start on your ski development and enjoy a pre-Christmas trip to the French Alps. Enjoy the famous TDCski coaches in their ability to improve your skiing whilst delivering a fun and inspiring course. Rather than pre-planned lessons and drills, TDCski’s approach is based around coaching you on your style as an individual, allowing you to really make a breakthrough in confidence and ability.
The snow conditions have been consistently impressive at this time of year and with access to two glaciers (Val d’Isere and Tignes) snow is assured.
Never again will you see a package this good…
Week commencing 30 Nov
Exclusive package price = £599pp Saving up to £225 (price excludes travel)
Week commencing 7 Dec
Exclusive package price = £649pp Saving up to £225 (excludes travel)
Week commencing 14 Dec
Exclusive package price = £1079pp Saving up to £225 (includes Gatwick flight & transfers)
Package price includes 7 nights accommodation as described and TDCski Coaching Monday to Friday, 3hrs per day. Price on 30 Nov & 7 Dec does not include flight or transfer (this can be arranged for a supplement). For limited period only single supplement is an additional £100. (applies to 30 Nov and 7 Dec only)
Catch up with Steve, dust off the ski boots, and get involved in some clinics.
Steve will be there there all day and will run a variety of clinics and / or private training sessions depending on who signs up for the day.
Great opportunity to get the ski legs working during the summer months.
Saturday 21st June
Saturday 12th July (Olivia and Clare probably coming with me too!. Please note that there is a freestyle event on in the evening that day so there will be slightly limited slope space so it will not be a day for long turn carving!)
Saturday 30th August
Saturday 27th September
Saturday 11th October
New dates may be added at a later dates AND other dates may be available on request…. please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the plan?
Each session: 3.5 hours long and comprises approx 2.5 hours on slope followed by video time. The ‘start’ time for the sessions on each day will be 9am, 1.30pm and 6pm (provisional times – could shift a little). To be confirmed exactly.
Each session will be SMALL in size (participant wise to ensure a high level of training / feedback and ski time), minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 people per session.
Please pay in cash on the day (A credit card number may be required in advance to hold the booking!) it will be £60 for a morning / afternoon session or £40 for the evening session. If you would like to attend the whole day then it will be £120 per day.
If any TDCski client would like a private session this is offered on the same days special prices of £60 for the first hour and £15 each hour thereafter of 1-1 private coaching.
Lift Pass is not included in these prices – that will need to be organised by the individual.
Come Ski on the Ski Club of Manchester Dec 2013 Trip
The Development Centre (www.tdcski.com) are pleased to announce that the Ski Club of Manchester are planning to return to the Espace Killy this December.
Last year was the first time that the Ski Club of Manchester had come to the alps for their “Early season Trip”. The club came to see TDC for a brush up on technique and performance.
The 2012 trip was a great success (see the rave reviews below) and the club are coming back again in December 2013.
The club has put together a fantastic package including accommodation, flights, transfers and the best bit… 5 half days of coaching with the development centre. The trip is unbeatable value with like minded, keen and friendly skiers.
There are spaces available for the 2013 trip.
The Ski Club of Manchester welcomes new members and you needn’t come from Manchester!
To enquire about the 2013 trip or to book, simply contact email@example.com for more details.
Read below for the Ski Club of Manchester’s own review of their 2012 trip:
December 2012 saw the Ski Club of Manchester take their early season training with the development centre (TDC) in Val d’Isere, France. Giles Lewis, who heads up TDC, and his team provided excellent coaching to the ski club members over five days. Lessons were in the mornings between 9am and 12 noon, giving everyone the opportunity to either free ski in the afternoon or rest aching muscles.
The instruction delivered by TDC was second to none. Group sizes were small (TDC have 6 maximum in group clinics). TDC coach you on your style as an individual allowing you to really make a breakthrough in confidence and performance. They certainly achieved this goal with ski club members receiving focused, personal feedback. Whilst at times the conditions were challenging the style of coaching we received allowed us to improve our skills in an enjoyable and relaxed environment. Each group took an approach suitable for the members needs within it and most groups spent some time enjoying the conditions off the piste (with all the safety equipment provided by the development centre for those who don’t have their own.
The adventure started in Manchester airport with Flybe seeming a little confused over which plane our skis would be on. However all skiers and skis arrived intact at Geneva airport and the three hour bus trip to Val D’Isere was comfortable and complimented by fantastic alpine views.
The Hotel Champs Avalin, situated in La Daille, offered comfortable accommodation in a typically French Hotel with a rustic alpine feel. The rooms were clean, warm and best of all had a bath, something not always available in the Alps. The food served in the pleasant hotel restaurant was excellent with a choice of three options for dinner, including vegetarian, and as much wine as you could drink. A hot option was offered with breakfast or alternatively continental style with plenty of choice.
The service offered by the staff in the Ski Total Hotel Champs Avalin was second to none. Great company, excellent food and free wine with dinner led to a joyous culinary week for all.
A fine evening out was enjoyed by all on the Wednesday at the excellent Le Barillon restaurant in La Daile with fine food, plenty full wine and vibrant conversation with many of the world’s problems being solved in a matter of hours as is usual.
Val d’Isere town is very picturesque especially at night with the trees lit up and the lights glittering in the snow. A relaxed and friendly resort with prices to match most pockets, including the fury collar addicts, but not so exclusive as to put off the more financially conside te of us.
The town is made up of three main areas being La Daille, Val d’Isere and Le Fornet all located along the same straight road. A free shuttle bus service is provided every 5 minutes through most of the day taking you the length of the town.
The food and drink is perhaps a little more expensive in Val d’Isere than some other resorts with a beer at around seven euros and a basic meal sixteen. There are several very friendly bars and restaurants with good food and live music.
We were fortunate in having the women’s World Cup downhill coinciding with our stay and some of our hotel rooms had amongst the best views of finish line. During the week we could see the amount of work that went into setting the course up. The media camp had located it’s self outside of our hotel together with the team accommodation. The race favourite, Lindsey Vonn, had a rare crash and instead the race was won by Swiss skier Lara Gut. Unfortunately the Super G, due to be held on the Saturday, was cancelled due to a white out, but this did not stop many of the club members who reported the best days skiing of the week no doubt fuelled by the skilful coaching received that week at the hands of the TDC team.
Those that can be flexible will get the best ski deals this Spring.
Every end of ski season is different, we have to consider the weather, the snow, the date of Easter.
All these factors will make a difference as to whether there will be good deals to be had at the end of the season.
And this season all the factors are lined up for some great skiing and great deals.
For a lot of people the normal winter ski season, runs until Easter, and then their minds start to think of different activities, weekends away, going to a beach, enjoying the longer evenings that spring provides. But for the keen skier your mind must still be drawn to the mountains, the search for spring snow, the slip-slap-slop of sun cream, the much milder temperatures, the outside lunches, the beer at the end of the day sitting out in the evening sunshine.
Of course each year the date of Easter changes, as much as a month of difference can be had from year to year.
2013 Easter is quite early, which means that as of this coming weekend (13th April), all the major holidays are over.
However with the snow that the Alps have been having, the snow conditions are about as good as they get. Never mind just looking for “spring snow”, there is still fresh powder to be skied.
Resorts, like Val d’Isere and Tignes, are high. So there is always a great snow record, right until the very end of the season. Because of this, the ski lifts in Val d’Isere and Tignes are not scheduled to stop running their normal service until May.
An early Easter, plentiful snow, and ski resorts that are still geared up and ready to go, means that there is an opportunity to enjoy a fantastic holiday, with a great deal thrown in.
Unrivalled prices – €100 less than Mid Winter prices.
Spring skiing is a different experience; warm temperatures, and a traditional melt freeze cycle that will give you some of the best and most varied skiing possible. If the mountains don’t get a melt freeze cycle then that is normally because there is a late season snow storm, either way it makes for great conditions.
The spring clinics have been very popular and are at discounted prices.
TDC‘s successful clinic format, is a small group lesson with lots of personal feedback from the instructor.
Get the best ski improvement courses this spring, improve your ski technique so that you finish the season at your best.