Firstly, brace yourself for (probably) the best experience of your life!
Here our top tips to make the most of a ski season or instructor course:
1) Get you fitness up before the course. You’ll be surprised how much the altitude takes out of your fitness. There are tonnes of ski- or snowboard-focussed circuits online; think about incorporating some yoga and cardio too.
2) If you’re doing a ski instructor course, get yourself some decent all-mountain skis/board (no matter how lame you think they look). Your twin-tips or fatties won’t be forgiving when the course intensifies and carving is required!
3) Consider staying out in resort after your instructor course. Our courses don’t run all-season long, so think about sorting further accommodation to stay on and make the most of the remaining season – or get hired with your new qualification! We can help you book this, just ask.
4) Create some kind of record of your season. It could be regularly uploading a photo; taking a one-second video every day; a weekly email home; or go old-school with a diary… the course will no doubt feel like a whirlwind and you’ll love looking back on it in the future.
We also want to mention, you shouldn’t worry if:
...You haven’t been away from home for an extended period of time before. This is the case for lots of people on our courses – so you’ll be in similar company! Doing a catered instructor course like SnowSkool means lots of the daunting planning is done for you: arranging accommodation, food shopping, booking training & exams, and finding friends. We’ve been running these courses for years and – even though we think we’ve seen it all – there’s no such thing as a silly question. You’ll have an amazing rep on-hand in resort to help you out and SnowSkool’s HQ team are just a WhatsApp away.
...You forget stuff. Stick to the packing list we send out… double- or triple-check… and you’ll still leave something behind! Don’t worry. None of our instructor courses are so remote that you won’t be able to access a shop or get a bus to a bigger town. You’ll also be living with a load of like-minded people, so chances are they might have spare of what you need.
...You get ill – you probably will! A combination of the cold, training hard, new people, new bugs, nights out etc. will leave you susceptible to getting ill. It’ll probably take the form of a cough or cold. Other ailments you’ll probably face are dry, cracked lips and hands, and bruised or aching muscles. Pack some just-in-case meds (pharmacies are pretty expensive in ski resorts) and even daily multi-vitamins can help.
...You feel a ‘lull’. It’s a bit of a taboo but, a few weeks into your season or course, you might feel a bit low. Don’t feel guilty or like something’s wrong with you. This ‘lull’ is just your body catching up to its new exciting (and exhausting) routine and your mind adjusting to stimulus overload from the initial few weeks. The lull hits just before you really solidify great friendships, and before your skiing or riding hits that next level – so push through! Get some good nights’ sleep and be as social as you can.
...You don’t instantly make loads of friends. It might seem like everyone around you is super-outgoing and getting on great but, don’t panic, they’re probably feeling really similar to you! Focus on your amazing surroundings, the course and your ace instructor, be patient, don’t try too hard and the great people will find their way to you.
And finally, (as if we need to explain!) the best bits of a ski season and snowboard/ski instructor course:
- Living in the mountains! It's absolutely beautiful every day - even taking the bins out.
- The opportunity to ski or ride every day of the week if you choose.
- Your fitness levels will soar (even despite the amount of cheese / baguette / mars bars / beer that you consume).
- Gaining solid life skills adapting to a new environment and your instructor course or season job will really boost your CV.
- Achieving instructor qualifications puts you one step closer to a dream job - a ski instructor or snowboard instructor!
- Meeting amazing people, from all over the world. You'll make friends for life.
Hopefully this helps you get a grip of what a SnowSkool instructor course is like!
Browse our blog for literally hundreds more articles on every element of our courses - from finding an instructor job, to being a good roommate! If you still have questions, get in touch by calling, emailing [email protected] or filling out this form. Alternatively - if you're up for it, fill in a booking form now and get started on your journey to becoming an instructor!