A look back on a Personal Performance Course

The benefits of coaching are self-evident to skiers in clubs but were not so obvious to skiers like me who, for twenty years or more, have been taking skiing holidays, once a year, without any tuition since we were beginners. 


Then in 2012 I was lucky enough to attend a Personal Performance Course organised by Snowsport England, in the Skiwelt area in Austria. The course, expertly led by Richard Barber, was excellent and definitely improved my skiing ability.  But more than that, the practical and theory sessions, including reviewing video clips taken on the slopes, enabled me to understand how to improve my skill and confidence. The individual attention and structured feedback made the course stimulating and very informative.

I enjoyed myself so much that I joined the course again in 2013 and again in 2014! Tomasz Ondrusz joined the coaching team and with his camera, his knowledge and personality, he enhanced the course greatly.  The standard and situation of the hotel where we were based also added to the success of the course.

But the benefits of Snowsport England’s Coaches went wider than just the courses. We stayed in the Club Hotel Edelweiss situated in the small village of Itter. Whilst completely Austrian in character and details, the hotel is owned and run by Peter and Alison Neurauter who are English, Peter having been a SSE Coach for about thirty years. They understand and appreciate fully the needs and wants of English skiers.  

The accommodation and food were excellent. An extensive breakfast and four course evening meal definitely made a great start and end to the day! The super spa area, including a lovely sauna, certainly helped me to recover from a busy day on the slopes. The staff were very friendly and helpful and provided some good entertainment on most evenings after dinner. The on-suite bedrooms were very comfortable with all rooms having a balcony and the water in the showers was always hot - whether you were the first back from the slopes or the last!

Although the hotel is not on the slopes, the free bus stops directly outside the hotel and it is only a 2 minutes ride to the cable car which gives access to the whole Ski Welt Area, the biggest linked up area in Austria. The bus stops right outside the station and next to a very good ski hire shop, so walking is kept to an absolute minimum. It is possible to ski to and from the hotel when there is sufficient snow in the valley.

SSE and Richard’s coaching courses not only taught me how to improve myself over time,  they introduced me to another excellent Coach, Peter, and I have been back to the Club Hotel Edelweiss every year since 2014 – now with friends and family - sometimes twice a year! 

Thank you Snowsport England for introducing me, as a holiday skier, to the benefits of a club culture and the opportunity to improve my skiing in such a wonderful environment.

[Words by Bob Saunders, a retired Physical Education Schools Inspector.]

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