I’m Mark Gear, head ski instructor and director at All Mountain Performance. I believe AMP’s unique ideas and ski teaching philosophies set us apart from others, helping us to deliver nothing but the very best in ski instruction.
Through many years experience, teaching thousands of skiers at all levels, I’ve come to understand the most important needs when considering client safety, improvement and overall satisfaction on our ski courses and lessons.
Here’s some of my ski teaching philosophies.
1)SAFETY = ENJOYMENT = LEARNING
Safety must come first. If a skier feels relitively safe, they will enjoy their skiing. This creates the state of mind required for optimum learning. I aim to provide safety and enjoyment with technical and tactical help to create the right learning environment.
Teaching skiing is much more than just my profession, it’s my passion. This motivates and drives me to inspire and enlighten my clients.
3) A PERSONALISED COACHING APPROACH
I focus on the individual needs of each client as much as possible, ensuring the emphasis is on personal skier improvement, even in groups up to 6 skiers.
4) CONTROL FIRST, THEN VERSATILITY & THEN EXPRESSION
Control skills: I teach control first, because nobody likes the uncertain feeling of being out of control. If we feel out of control, we don’t feel safe, especially if we want to progress in what is potentialy a hazardous sport and enviroment. Once a skier has developed control, they can learn the second most important set of skills.
Versatility skills: I teach versatility next as mountains are by nature variable places with snow and terrain constantly changing. For this reason, skiers need to learn versatility with their movements and turns to better cope with this ever changing environment. The versatile skier will prevail.
Expressive skills: This is a skiers personal flare and creativity. If a skier is in control and versatile with their skills, they can start to fully express themselves on the mountain. In otherwords, have more fun. This is where being innovative with the terrain, choice of line and blending of skiing skills combine to create a unique and playful experience.
Skiing is a sport that requires freedom to move so we can balance and adjust as we ski. I help each client to develop their own natural style so they can feel relaxed and free whilst skiing. Although I help to fine-tune technique, it’s definately NOT my aim to make everyone ski the same way. Your own personal style is encouraged!
I believe you will learn something much better if you understand why and how it works. This is why I also develop your knowledge and awareness of how skis work against and in the snow. This will enhance your ability to more effectively influence your skis and acheive your desired outcomes.
7) SKI IN THE MOMENT
Skiing is a sport that requires us to react in the moment. Therefore, we must learn to set our attention and focus in the present moment whilst skiing. I encourage focusing on what’s happening at each moment whilst skiing. Instead of, for example, what you just did. We know we can’t do anything about the past, and we can only be aware of the future, so the only moment in time we can directly influence a result is NOW! Too much past or future attention focus tends to distract us from what’s happening right now. Learning to focus your attention in the present whilst skiing will help you to react in the moment. This will encourage more effective skiing that flows better with the changing snow, terrain and mountain enviroment.
People learn much better by their own experiences than they do by simply watching or listening to others. For this reason, I include innovative tasks and exercises strategically designed to provide insight on how skis and skiing works. This will help you to discover, feel and develop more positive skiing.
9) NEVER STOP IMPROVING
All skiers can improve. Even the best skiers in the world receive coaching. It’s fun to keep on improving and learning as a skier. I continually strive to improve my own skiing, knowledge of the sport and mountain environment to stay at the forefront of modern ski teaching.