Monday was the start of the final week of training before our level 1 exam kicks off.
This week, the main focus for the students was teaching practice, with lots of 'wedge demo' and lap training, which is very good for gaining individual feedback from the coaches and gives everyone time to practice on the rest of the run before showing the trainer their improvement.
We had an injury prevention talk from one of the leading physio's in New Zealand. She looks after the NZ Olympic team, so is a leading authority on injuries specifically attached to snowsports. The team at Wanaka Physio also have a unique programme that deals with head injuries, which was interesting to learn about.
The snowboarders had their introduction to Rider Analysis, which is 33% of the level 2 exam so is hugely important prep. Everybody found it very interesting and it really got our SnowSkoolers thinking about the movements they're being analysed on.
We've had two huge dumps of snow this week - the first at 25cm and the second at 10cm, which has really made Cardrona the white-blanket place we know and love. Off piste has been epic, and it's shown us all how much fun can and will be had while training and how epic life can be out teaching on the hill in the future.
All of this fresh powder has meant that the usual road trip up the hill has been slightly slower, but it's also meant that the students have all learnt how to deal with snow chains, which can be very tricky things, but once you've got the knack it's all smooth sail... er... driving!
The weekend has been a quieter one as everybody knows what a tough week of exams they have ahead. Most were getting in as much shadowing as possible. Shadowing is of huge importance from here on in, as it shows the students how to put what they've learnt in to a real life lesson situation. It's very good knowing how to teach by the text book, but being able to put those lessons it in to layman's terms for the client can catch people out. Not only have they been watching and listening, but the instructors have also been getting our students to show their demo's to the group for extra practice.
So, all in all, a brilliant and successful week. Here's to an early night on Sunday, which will be a key proviso for exam success.
Until next time....