It’s safe to say we all started our first day of the Gap Course with a feeling of apprehension as we didn’t know what to expect, particularly for those who had never skied in Verbier before, however, all the instructors were extremely encouraging and helped us all relax quickly.
All of us had some previous experience skiing and so were somewhat surprised when on the second day the instructors took us right back to the building blocks of skiing working on posture, balance and movement – at this moment we all realised the road to becoming a ski instructor was going to be a lot trickier than we first anticipated.
We then began to look at the technical aspects of the BASI Level 1 exam which involves both short and long turns along with the central theme. The short turns became almost everyone’s nemesis in training and took a lot of work to get up to scratch, but our instructors were incredibly patient and helped us out so much along the way and although we all hated watching ourselves back on video this form of analysis was incredibly helpful. We all forgot about when we were first learning to ski and that this involved actually figuring out how to even put on ski’s and then being able to ski in plough – so when it came down to getting this perfect we all struggled and got quite frustrated with ourselves that something we thought was so simple was actually proving challenging.
Throughout the first two weeks of training we all had the chance to plan and lead the group in daily warm ups – which we all thoroughly enjoyed as it gave us the opportunity to play games we did when we were a lot younger and basically just muck around…before the intense training actually began. The warms up consisted of games such as stuck in the mud, ‘dwarves, wizards and giants’ and tag just to name a few. Along with leading warm ups we started to learn how to and practice teaching the central theme – a critical part to becoming a ski instructor. The morning of our first teach practice everyone was stressing out and panicking that they had ‘done the wrong thing’ – but once we had all completed our first teach we realised it really was not that bad, and everyone actually really enjoyed themselves. We all took the opportunity to relax after this day by hitting pub mont fort for apres…although this was no change to our usual routine after training.
We finished the first two weeks having all improved significantly since the beginning, both in technique and in self confidence teaching as well as becoming a very close knit group – also everyone managed to improve in their ability to cope with a hangover. Although everyone was nervous for the Level 1 exams we will agree that we could have not been better prepared for it by our instructors.
Izzie Clark and Leopold Marmion