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SSE L3 Development Coach Course

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm in the middle of a SSE L3 Development Coach course. If others are interested I can write up some notes. I know I have in the past greatly appreciated other people's notes on courses I am planning to do.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes please I would be interested,

Thanks
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
OK, so the SSE L3 course is about taking your knowledge from earlier instructor qualifications and experience from instructing and developing those to allow better development of the skiers you're working with over a long period of time. I.e. it's about how to coach skiers. It's aimed at instructors who want to work with skiers at a higher level, over a longer period of time, and perhaps start to help other instructors develop.

To take part you have to have an SSE L2, though they will recognise similar instructor qualifications from other bodies such as BASI/IASI.

The course has three components: the training course (6 days), which leads to an action plan for your own development, and a coaching portfolio where you have to work with a skier over a number of months, apply the knowledge you've got from the course, and demonstrate the necessary techniques. Anyone who has done other SSE courses will be familiar with the training course followed by extended period of development before getting the award, but it might be a bit unfamiliar to those used to e.g. BASI where the training course and assessment are combined together and you get a pass/fail result at the end.

I'm doing the training course at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, as that's where I do the majority of my teaching. The six days have been split over three weekends. I'm not sure if that is typical or not, but it suits me. There are eight of us on the course, 6 instructors from Hemel and 2 from other clubs. The tutor is Chris Exall, who seems like a really nice guy who knows his stuff. He's very approachable, clearly experienced at delivering this sort of course, and knows how to be flexible to get the best out of everyone.

So far we've done the first weekend - I'll provide further updates as we do other days.

The first day had the usual introductions and administration. The timetable for the rest was a bit thrown by there being a race booked on the slope later in the afternoon, so we did all the on-snow stuff first, and the classroom stuff later while the race was on.

On snow we were given a relatively simple task - skiing a particular corridor with linked turns. The first part of the day then concentrated on the importance of achieving the task, as when looking for a high level of precision the majority of the skiers weren't immediately demonstrating some aspect of the task. Again, this level of precision will be familiar to those who have trained through SSE before. We worked through this for a couple of hours, with Chris coaching us to improve our personal skiing. There was often some pretty technical discussion about biomechanics, as is often the case at this level (or maybe that's just me!).

In the afternoon we moved to the classroom and worked through the important elements needed to assess other skiers, and things to look for and develop in people's skiing.

The second day involved us putting a lot of the stuff we'd covered the previous afternoon into practice. We worked in pairs, taking it in turns to coach each other, and use the system presented in the workbook. This basically involved:
- choosing a task for the skier
- identifying elements necessary to do that task well
- prioritising those elements to choose the 10 most important
- having both skier and coach independently score themselves for each of those 10 elements
- comparing scores, identifying elements where there were differences, and working out why
- identifying which elements therefore need most work, and so what we should focus on

We got some reading to do during the week to prepare for the following weekend.

Happy to answer any questions anyone might have, and I'll keep updating as the course progresses.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks for sharing, @kieranm.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks@kieranm, would be interested to hear how it goes.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
We've got the final weekend of the course tomorrow and Sunday, which makes me realise I haven't yet described the second weekend. Here goes...

The third day was based around showing leg rotation in plough-parallel skiing. This wasn't, I think, so much about personal skiing ability (though I'm sure there is an element of wanting to be able to see this) but about how to break down a task into the necessary skills. We explored various different things - rotating at different pivot points, using weight vs pressure, explored how speed changed the task, upper body posture and its effect on leg rotation. The outcomes (plough parallel turns with precise controlled rotation movements and a constant separation between feet) will be very familiar to anyone who has done the earlier SSE levels, and worth practicing beforehand if you've come through another system.

We had homework overnight which was to plan a coaching session to improve the skiing of our peers. This was done using a structured form that we were given, so anyone who has been coached in the past and can remember the sorts of things they have been asked to do would not have too much trouble with this. Again I think the emphasis was on understanding the process rather than on the particular content you chose to use.

The next day was then putting these coaching sessions into practice. There were a variety of different sessions delivered in different ways, and we all got to learn from each others approaches and mistakes. The tutors were here looking for (among others things) how you were able to observe skiers and deliver feedback, and whether you could improve your peers skiing. As this involved a group of seven other skiers all with different issues, and many different opinions on what needed to be done, it wasn't easy. Experience of working with groups of higher level skiers where they are not all doing the same thing is invaluable for this sort of thing. My own approach was to allow the skiers to choose their own individual task and then work with them on that (effectively seven private lessons in parallel) which worked well if you can keep all the plates spinning.

We also took some time to take and review some video, and discussed how to give some video feedback.

Two more days to go!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Final weekend all done, and now the hard work begins...

The last two days consisted of:
- further practice coaching sessions where we worked to improve each others skiing
- a bit of discussion about equipment, in particular boots, and how as coaches should be aware of when equipment is the cause of a problem and what can be done about it
- a session on longer term programme planning, and how to complete the coaching portfolio that forms part of the assessment for this course.
- some discussion on how best to support people transferring in to SSE at this level from other systems, as for many on this course it was their first SSE experience.
- more chat about structuring feedback, with a strong preference for developing a skier's own awareness of what they are doing: pulling information vs pushing answers
- an individual discussion with the tutor at the end about what we each need to do. This initial 6-day course is not in the main a pass/fail thing, so everyone will have a different development plan to reach the necessary standard.

The next step is to put what we've learned into practice and write a coaching portfolio on a few skiers we've worked with over a number of months, and I can see this is going to keep me pretty busy.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
One more thought: I really recommend this course for anyone who wants to get better at teaching, particularly higher end skiers over a longer period of time. For those wanting to work in a ski school in a mountain environment it would still be useful but perhaps not quite as relevant as you wouldn't have that long term relationship. I am working through both the SSE and BASI systems in parallel, and I really appreciate the complementary nature of what they do and the different emphases that they place. I can see the SSE L3 and L4 being very relevant to the work I do in the UK, more so perhaps than the BASI L4 would be.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Sounds like you are getting a lot out of it. What is the entry level for this in terms of BASI levels?

Appreciate your feedback and good luck with completing it.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@kieranm, Cheers for the write ups, hope the rest of the program goes OK. Nice to see some SSE content on Snowheads Smile
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@sledger, you would need a BASI level 2 (alpine ski, but I think there are equivalent courses for snowboard and freestyle). The emphasis is much more on teaching than personal performance, so you might be OK with the BASI "advanced instructor" but I'm not sure.
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