Updated: Jun 10
Outdoor on-snow workshop
The title of the German outdoor on-snow workshop that I attended was, "Embodied Skiing: Increase movement competence with intentional mindfulness"
Delivered by Andrea Spieth, Leadership Coach & Consultant and IVSI Examiner DTB
This was another one of the workshop titles that really piqued my interest given my own background in positive psychology and being a meditation and mindfulness teacher. It was also the only workshop to deal with 'mindfulness' in snowsports at this congress. Given the importance of the 'psychological' component for learning and performance in snowsports I was disappointed that there were not more workshops and lectures on developing mental skills as they are certainly a crucial part of ensuring that the guest experience is as good as possible. Perhaps I will lead the way in this for Interski 2027!
However, I was delighted that Germany was covering this topic and the on-snow workshop was very well attended showing that there is a great deal of interest in how to apply this popular area to our teaching of snowsports. Embedded within the title of this workshop is one of the important aspects of mindfulness in that we are intentional, or purposeful, about where we place our attention. The others being present moment and non-judgemental. Andrea's explanation about what mindfulness is was very good and simple.
The format of the workshop initially got us to ski by ourselves and tune in to placing our attention on different parts of our body which included the feet and our breathing. We were then challenged with splitting our attention, or in essence focusing on two things at once, (which was referred to as a bifocal or multifocal attention) and then discussing how this had worked for different people in the group. Some had switched from one to the other, some focused more on one, while others felt they linked together very well. Of course there was no correct answer as such and to add to the challenge we were encouraged to ski with greater awareness and no judgement (an important aspect of being mindful). This was an interesting and challenging aspect of this workshop and I could tell that some participants found this difficult and perhaps even frustrating. We have been conditioned as skiers and ski instructors to always judge ourselves and others!
We then spent the next part of the workshop partnering up with different people which was very enjoyable as I got to partner with three different people; Kati Egri from Hungary, Seb Baribeau from Canada and Robin Barnes from the USA. While it may not have been a direct intention of the workshop having the opportunity to ride the chairlift with each of these people and chat about the workshop content, their own system and ski technique was really useful and I was very much engaging in mindful communication (an intervention I used on my Positive Psychology Masters research)...
My workshop partners
To read my full report of the German on-snow workshop download the Congress ebook report for your favourite ereader. This eBook report features 8 countries and includes top takeaways from the event. The report is FREE on my store, Google Play, and Amazon.com where it has been price matched to zero.
About the author
Derek Tate is an alpine skiing coach and director of British Alpine Ski School Chamonix. He is a mental skills coach, positive psychology practitioner and author. His recent books include, "Six Steps for Training the Mind", "Learn, Enjoy, Flow & Grow" and "Transformational Flow Coaching". You can learn more from his author page.
And to listen to Derek's Interski 2023 Review on The Ski Instructor Podcast with host Dave Burrows click on the relevant podcast link: