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Looking for feedback on a new ski coaching course

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We have come up with an idea for a new type of clinic that we are planning on running at Hemel and was hoping to get some feedback so we can make tweaks as needed before finalising details and launching to the skiing world outside of sH's Smile

We run several types of clinics at the Snow Centre in Hemel and the courses that are aimed at higher levels of skiers have been all day clinics (6 hours) with an 8 person max class size coupled with a clear, predetermined monthly focus to keep things fresh whilst providing a regular training plan and crucially addressing all aspects of skiing skills over a rolling annual programme. Our "Improver" clinics on the other hand (which are reserved for L4/5 skiers) are 4 hours long and have a max group size of 4 which allows us to give each person individual drills and exercises depending on what they need improvement with and we have found that they become in effect mixed group private lessons. In the snow dome this seems to work fine with people stringing out and running laps with no one getting left behind or bored due to waiting on others as can happen in a mountain environment.

Got me thinking that there may be stronger skiers out there keen for a similar "super group" type of unstructured, individually focussed but all day group lesson format.

Private lessons have their place and work for lots of people but if you have time and fancy a fuller day we have come up with a Tune-Up clinic which is completely bespoke lesson with a maximum group size of 4 ensuring lots of individual feedback. Unlike our Skills or Performance clinics these sessions are less structured with no preset format. Everyone skis at their own pace with the coach setting drills and exercises appropriate to each persons level, tailored specifically to what they wish to work on.

6 hour slope pass
2 x 90 minute sessions with a coach, video at coffee and before your lunch, followed by a few hours practice on your own to consolidate the coaching.
4 people max
Levels 6-10
Slightly higher price point than an 8 person group but lower than private

Any comments or suggestions warmly welcomed snowHead snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
6 hours is a big ask , particularly if you are targetting week days. Why does it have to be all day? 4 hours total/3 hours snow time seems a bit less intimidating.
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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?
I've recently completed my BASI 1 at Hemel. Eight hour days of a mixture of group instruction and drills with lapping worked well, but perhaps the difference compared to what you're suggesting was that the drills were being assessed almost each lap, with constant tweaking. I think that's more valuable than 90 mins training, then 90 mins practise, which you seem to be suggesting. Certainly, the constant feedback improved my skiing.
Six to eight hours means that it might be worth travelling to Hemel if coming a long way - anything less than six hours, it's not really worth the effort of a long motorway drive. If you're expecting people to drive, 09.30 start is better than 09.00 from a traffic and journey time aspect.
What's a ball park cost?
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@skimottaret, my initial reaction is that I'd prefer to stick with the present system, for the following reasons:

1) it's usually 3 x 90 minute sessions with a coach, rather than just two. Personally I prefer to practise under supervision - I just slip into bad habits when I'm skiing on my own - so more time with the coach and less on my own is what I want.

2) the 3 sessions feel just right, with perhaps a few consolidating runs at the end. I don't feel either tired (well, sometimes a bit wink ) or insufficiently challenged.

3) I never feel short-changed of individual advice in an 8 person group though, admittedly, the Monday groups are often smaller than that.

4) Whilst individually tailored lessons might be nice, I always learn something new, or at least something I should be practising, in the present pre-structured format.

In short, I'd probably be disinclined to pay more for the new format. But maybe that's just me...
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
And there we have it - different potential customers have different needs. I get really fatigued by long lessons so all day sessions would put me off a bit. If it was 2 *90 of coaching in a day that's fine but I'd rather get my practice in between them in that case so I'd have a chance to make some progress then get a further "booster" by the second coaching session.
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@Chamcham,
Quote:

more valuable than 90 mins training, then 90 mins practise, which you seem to be suggesting. Certainly, the constant feedback improved my skiing
Yes, that's really what I meant.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Chamcham, Sorry I wasn't clear... It would be 90 mins with coach, coffee/video review then a second 90 min session on the hill with a second video feedback session while waiting for lunch to arrive...

EDIT : course would start at 10am..

@Dave of the Marmottes, Good food for thought. It might be an idea to bill the course as a half day clinic with the last 90 mins after lunch as optional practice time..

@Hurtle, This would be in addition to our Skills and Perf clinics which will continue unchanged with our current all day 3 session format.

Pricing would be +£20 to our other clinics but less than a 2 hour private.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 18-09-18 18:29; edited 1 time in total
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
skimottaret wrote:
...
Levels 6-10 ..,


Donít your levels go up to 11 Cool Cool
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@skimottaret, So really, very similar to the BASI course, with almost constant feedback.
Would you then repeat the same in the afternoon?
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@Hurtle, the way I see these new sessions is providing much more flexibility in terms of what we work on compared to our Skills or Performance Clinics, both of which follow a broad coaching plan during the day. When @skimottaret and I were talking about the details this morning I did mention a Skills Clinic last year when it was just you and Sarah B. who had booked, and because I knew your skiing very well we decided to abandon the usual coaching plan and design something perfectly suited to just you and Sarah. We had a very productive day because we were able to have that flexibility, which is more constrained when we have a larger group following the Skills or Performance monthly training focus. So this is an additional option to the usual schedule, for people who want the flexibility of bespoke training in a small group. With a maximum of four people it's just about possible to run the session as four private lessons running in parallel (more than four people and it gets impossible to track who is doing what). For skiers like you, who train all year round with us, we hope that we cover all of the bases, so a bespoke session might be less important as you already follow our full development calendar Happy


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 18-09-18 18:00; edited 1 time in total
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Chamcham wrote:
So really, very similar to the BASI course, with almost constant feedback.
All of the clinics we run at Hemel have that level of feedback, on snow and the off-snow breaks when we review video. What skimottaret and I are trying to get a feel for is whether a session which does not have a set coaching plan, but is entirely bespoke for no more than four people is of interest.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
ALQ wrote:
skimottaret wrote:
...
Levels 6-10 ..,


Donít your levels go up to 11 Cool Cool
No, they go all the way up to 13!
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@Hurtle,
Quote:

@Hurtle, This would be in addition to our Skills and Perf clinics which will continue unchanged with our current all day 3 session format.
Yes, I get that. I suppose that, if I were particularly keen to work on something specific which wasn't covered by a skills or perf clinic, then I might be tempted to do one of the new clinics, but that would be on an infrequent basis. A half day of personalised coaching - plus some hours in which to consolidate if desired - seems a reasonable format to me and the price seems OK too. It takes me around 1.25 hours to get to Hemel, I would consider the journey worthwhile for the format you describe. But, as I say, I would be unlikely to do this very often. There again, maybe you're aiming this at more advanced skiers than me?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
By the same token, I've had very few private lessons with either of you. The skills and perf clinics seem to fulfil my needs.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Why does it have to be no more than 4 people? Even the most nerdy needy feedback seeker can surely manage a couple of laps of mighty Hemel without constant feedback? Seems like you are trying to design to a premium pricepoint which might deter the very clients you are looking for. Why can't it work with 6? Do you see this as serving your existing client base or bringing in a whole new cohort of customers - those who presumably wouldn't otherwise bother with indoor or off season lessons? or BASI aspirants? or something else?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dave of the Marmottes,
Quote:

Do you see this as serving your existing client base or bringing in a whole new cohort of customers
Good question.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hurtle wrote:
There again, maybe you're aiming this at more advanced skiers than me?
There are more advanced skiers than you Shocked ?

wink

I think it's more to do with frequency of training or perhaps the focus of training, rather than ability level. You train with us on a regular basis, so the different focus we have from month to month (hopefully) meets all of your training needs to keep on improving your skiing. For someone who wants to work on one specific thing, or would value the flexibility of a bespoke session because they aren't able to get to Hemel very often the Skills or Performance Clinic might not be the best option for them.
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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?
Hurtle wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes,
Quote:

Do you see this as serving your existing client base or bringing in a whole new cohort of customers
Good question.
I think probably more focused on new clients, perhaps with an exception if one of our regular clients had a very specific focus they wanted to work on which wasn't being covered in great depth in one of our existing clinics.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 18-09-18 18:13; edited 1 time in total
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Why does it have to be no more than 4 people?
That's based on the experience we have with our Improver Clinics, which also have a maximum of 4. With no more than that number we find we can run the session so that everyone works on entirely their own programme, like four private coaching sessions running in parallel. More than 4 and that begins to break down to the point where I don't feel like we are providing the level of feedback that we should be.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@rob@rar,
Quote:

For someone who wants to work on one specific thing, or would value the flexibility of a bespoke session because they aren't able to get to Hemel very often the Skills or Performance Clinic might not be the best option for them.
That makes sense.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, as rob says more than 4 feedback gets difficult if everyone is working on something different or a differing set of drills. On a clinic with 6 or 8 it is fine as long as everyone is doing the same drill or task... It may be possible to do 5 or 6 but only if we got lucky and a few shared the same issues. We definitely know we can run it effectively for 4 and the clients will get a good days coaching no matter what the group is like...

Not so much looking to create a higher priced premium product just something that may appeal to new clients and those existing clients that may not be interested in the monthly topic of one of our standing courses may be.
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Understand your rationale. I guess to me it sounds a bit like a one hit wonder i.e. you might not get the level of repreat custom you average from those taking this semi-private but I don't really know. As your marginal costs of trying a new format are probably pretty low that might not matter much.
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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!
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Understand your rationale. I guess to me it sounds a bit like a one hit wonder.
That might be the case, although for those who are looking for more systematic training over an extended period of time our existing Skills and Performance Clinics are probably a good fit as they are designed for that purpose.

Thanks for the comments, plenty of food for thought:-)
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rob@rar wrote:
ALQ wrote:
skimottaret wrote:
...
Levels 6-10 ..,


Donít your levels go up to 11 Cool Cool
No, they go all the way up to 13!


I might just be able to squeeze in then Cool

Adding in the flexibility is a great idea and with only 4, it would feel like a private lesson. My problem is that Iím just so good I donít see how I can improve in any way whatsoever Sad
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Just thinking what I might be interested in...

What about a 2 hour or 90 minute evening session?

Do you guys offer discounts for those with monthly passes?
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Ray Zorro wrote:
Just thinking what I might be interested in...

What about a 2 hour or 90 minute evening session?
We have previously tried evening sessions and didn't;t get much interest (although that was some time ago). We have the option of doing an evening Private Coaching session (two hours, including about 30 minutes of video feedback), but we're not sure there's enough interest for group clinics. If there was, I'm sure we could do an evening clinic.

Ray Zorro wrote:
Do you guys offer discounts for those with monthly passes?
Unfortunately not. We have had an extended conversation with Hemel to see if we can offer a discounted rate to anyone who has monthly passes, but so far we've not been able to get agreement to do this.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks everyone for all your feedback.. We have gone live with these new Tune-Up Clinics with a couple dates in November and December. All being well we will add to the calendar and run then monthly April - Dec next year.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

My problem is that Iím just so good I donít see how I can improve in any way whatsoever


@ALQ, Seriously Puzzled Puzzled
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'm in the same situation, I'm a level 14 Wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
skimottaret wrote:
Quote:

My problem is that Iím just so good I donít see how I can improve in any way whatsoever


@ALQ, Seriously Puzzled Puzzled


Everybody knows Iím the best skier on this forum.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Little Martin wrote:
I'm in the same situation, I'm a level 14 Wink


Levels are for louts. Iím a Zen Skier Cool
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@ALQ, ahh gotcha, for chatty sH's like you I usually divide post count by 1,000 to determine actual skiing level NehNeh NehNeh
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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?
This is an interesting idea and I think me and the wife would be a good target audience for this. We've done pretty much all of the skills clinics and some of the performance ones, we know enough to understand we've got issues but not sure we can invest regularly in privates. We've been looking at the courses for skills / performance in Oct/Nov and we find ourselves skipping ones because we think we don't need to quite work on that aspect. For instance, I was thinking about the backseat course but I don't think that quite covers my position.

You guys already give a form of bespoke advise so on Monday (really enjoyed the day, thanks btw) we appreciated Scott pointing out slight difference for each of us to target the e.g. bits we personally needed to work on BUT it was within the constraints of the group. Being in a session where we're all working individually on the issues we need to address could be immensely beneficial. Also, being a Hemel regular it would help me with targeted drills I need to work on personal to me.

As for duration I think this could also work, I was knackered by the end of the day on Monday and done. I'm not sure how good drills are when its more chopped up and with lunch in your stomach. I enjoy the length of the skills but I don't think a shorter time would be detrimental.

So, as regular customer who loves the instruction process and only get it right when IOS are nagging (instructing) but struggles to match times with requirements this is very interesting.

There's no dates on the calendar on the webpage but when they appear I can see us trying this out.
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I think it's a good idea. For the limited amount of coaching that I do I find the approach of running lots-of-private-lessons-in-parallel, perhaps dynamically pairing people up if they need to work on the same thing for a while, to be a much more effective way to address the skiers' needs than a fixed programme. I suspect that the better the skier gets the truer this becomes as their needs will become more specialised too. It's certainly popular with those that I coach.

For me personally, both as a coach and as a skier being coached, a 90 minute session followed by practice would be ideal. 90 minutes is enough to give most people sufficient things to work on and more than that is diminishing returns until they've gone off and practiced and experimented a bit. Others might prefer longer sessions especially if they like practicing under supervision.

I would consider trying to develop a social/club element into it. If you can get a few groups who get along and are willing to come regularly (e.g. once a month) to meet up and have one of these sessions it would encourage them to make it a habit. Or market it as a way for a group of friends to get coaching together even if they don't all need to work on the same thing. I'm just thinking about how I see others arranging adhoc coaching sessions for themselves by getting together with friends and booking an instructor for a couple of hours.
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@skimottaret, @rob@rar, good luck, hope it goes well.

@djf, I too hesitated about the bad habit buster clinics (the two habits in question have pretty much been busted out of me by Rob and Scott already) and, since I've not signed up for anything in late November, or at all in December, I may well also sign up. Bit worried the slope will be crowded on a Sunday, though... (The dates are up on the calendar.)

Quote:

as regular customer who loves the instruction process and only get it right when IOS are nagging
that's me exactly!
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@djf, Cheers for the detailed reply and glad you see that these could compliment our regular scheduled programme. you two are perfect examples of regular clients that may not feel that the offering of one of our preset monthly clinics may not be right for you. Have decided to keep the practice element in after lunch with an extended lit pass but it is very much optional. For those who are tight for time or knackered they can shoot off but if you have come a long way and want to make the most out of the session you can stay and practice.

We always try to finish on a few free runs to clear your head and not finish on a drill. Having some more runs either free skiing or practising drills is usually when the "magic" happens with students and the learning is consolidated....

Quote:

There's no dates on the calendar on the webpage but when they appear I can see us trying this out.


Thats a worry Puzzled Puzzled if you scroll to November or December there should be Tune-Up Clinics listed http://www.insideoutskiing.com/calendar.html do they not show up on your system?
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@skimottaret,
Quote:

Thats a worry if you scroll to November or December there should be Tune-Up Clinics listed http://www.insideoutskiing.com/calendar.html do they not show up on your system?
I can see them using Chrome.

Will you be offering VIP/Frequent Skier discounts? I was just about to sign up for two clinics, and had to have a little lie-down when I totted up the price. (They're perfectly reasonable prices, it's just my current cash flow which is of concern...)
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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!
@kieranm, and thanks to you as well for such thoughtful feedback...

For several years our Premium private lessons included a 4 hour lift pass (30 minutes warm up, 90 mins coaching, 30 video review and 90 practice) but we found it rare that people actually went back out and practiced. Usually was a case of lack of time rather than desire so we pulled the extended pass and now offer a 2 hour pass for privates to save some cost. I would say roughly 1/3 of our private clients come in early to warm up before meeting with the coach...

I think 90 mins 1 on 1 is an ideal length for private lessons after doing them for many years and a full day in a larger group setting works well. In our experience with Improvers (our L4 /5) 4 hours is about right as at their level they like a lot of feedback and typically are a bit nervous on the slope and prefer to have some oversight with an instructor present.

We shall see if two sessions is too much in a 4 person "private lessons in parallel" format when working with more experienced skiers (might have to knick that Wink ) Also will be interesting to see how many ski post clinic. Being a group setting it might be more encouraging for everyone to ski together post session. This happens very much happens on our Alpine courses when we are doing half day coaching and helps foster the social/club element you refer to.
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Quote:

Will you be offering VIP/Frequent Skier discounts?


Yes Indeedy, they should be automatically priced accordingly when you log into your shop account...
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@skimottaret, oh go on, then, it would be rude not to. wink
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