What i'd do with more time.....?

06 November 2013 AT 15:14:59

I had an interesting conversation with a parent this week about Full-Time skiing. What it means, what is expected and what the outcome should be. All good questions. The term 'Full-Time' has become more of a phrase than a description 'I'm going Full-Time', 'I am Full-Time'.... but in actual fact are you 'Full-Time'? Are you working 'Full-Time' are you living & breathing the sport 'Full-Time'?

As a young racer i skied 'Full-Time' - 'once i've finished my A-Levels i'll be Full-Time'. Onto the promise land i shall go. More summer training, more time for fitness, a bit more time to chill without school each day, way more days on snow. Here i come, 30 points will be knocking on my door in a matter of months.




The fact is, that as athletes in education, there is always an excuse. I dont ski enough. I dont have enough time. My focus is elsewhere. Suddenly, as a FT skier (im bored of writing Full-Time already) the excuses are gone. You (& your parents) have taken the plunge, sacrificed their cars, houses, holidays, social lives and god knows what else to get you on snow on a FT basis. Now you must step up. School has gone, it's just you & all this time you now have - so what do you do??? Most let the time slip by and rely on the FT gods to sort out their skiing (which never happens). 

So when i came off the phone i thought, well, the clue is in the title isn't it? I mean when you are in FT education you are there every day. When you work FT it means you work all day. Why should a FT athlete be any different?

The honest answer is that it shouldn't - every action should have justification. If you are resting, then it is with a reason or purpose. If you are having down time then that too makes sense, to have a life, be sociable and switch off. BUT, if you are using the majority of your new found 'time' to do this, then your skiing will not go in the way you want it to. Rather than being a FT skier, you are still a PT skier & PT socialite.

FT means what it says. Most FT skiers are 18+, they are adults. The decision has been made to ski race on a permanent basis and with that comes responsibility. Responsibility to your investors, to your coaches & to yourselves. It means taking the bull by the horns and making things happen. You have a huge amount of time to invest in your chosen sport, this amazing opportunity, so do not waste it. The contact time with your coaches is often taken care of, no-one struggles with time on camps, it is the down time that is important to utilize.

You need to treat it like a job, like an occupation. With purpose. The obvious stuff is, well obvious, but perhaps have a think about the following;

  • Setting out a daily plan - what i want to achieve. 
  • Get a routine. Going to bed at 1am and getting up at midday does not scream 'elite sportsperson'.
  • Think about the areas you can work on when you're not on camp and note them down.
  • Read - every athlete of this generation is a digital guru. Why not find something useful in a book also. Become a psycholgy guru.
  • Study a language perhaps - not only will it help you in skiing but it will stimulate your brain and keep you switched on.
  • Find sponsors. Most people say they cant get any - what they mean is no-one has approached them to give them money.
  • Do more! If you do not increase what you are doing from when you were part time, being 'FT' will make no difference.
  • Learn - do a coaching course even if you have no interest in being a coach. Avoid the 'if only i knew when i was racing' scenario.
  • Work!!!! Get a part time job and realise the value of what is being put into your skiing. You might also meet new people. 

Lastly being a FT skier means something as simple as this:

You now have the 'opportunity' to put more into your skiing.

It is just the opportunity to do more that has been given to you. The outcome will still be dictated by what you do with the time available to you. 

Take it from soemone that has been there and ask yourself honestly, am i REALLY a FT skier now, or am i still a part time skier, part time chiller outer?

A new era....

Just the beginning.

02 November 2013 AT 17:09:18

The start of a new era here at Ambition. A new season brings new faces and new ideas to the fold. 

We had the full contingent of athletes out in October, U21's, 18's, 16's 14's and even two U12's. We were sadly missing a few faces due to injury but this really was the start of the new era for a new team.

It is hard to create a team unity, and often something that people try to force. However with the 2013/14 team, we have the feeling that the athletes respect each other, look out for each other and actually like each other too! Right through the ages there seems to be a good feeling between the skiers and this is something to be cherished and encouraged. We are seeing more athletes embracing the opportunity to be out on snow and have their eyes open to what is around them. They seem to be creative too (the pumpkin carving contest said it all)!

This was the first Ambition camp for a few athletes and every one of them has settled in well and started to understand the work rate, ethos and expectations upon them here at Ambition. We are not perfect and we have work to do, but there were some really positive signs over the last 3 weeks, good foundations from which to build in the future. 

Our new U16's coach Ross Green was also out here for his first camp, putting the younger athletes through their paces, bringing an amazing depth of knowledge and professional feel to the program. Looking ahead to the season this can only be a good thing for the athletes and Ambition's other coaches to learn from. These are very exciting times indeed and we cannot wait to see how things develop over the next 6 months.

Haus Tirol is also coming along well. Monika - who is without doubt the heartbeat of the whole thing - has managed the House brilliantly over the last 24 months and has made Haus Tirol a 'home' for the athletes. The tweaks and changes that make life more comfortable for the athletes here are a result of her hard work, something which should apprecaited by all.

October itself was a mixed bag. It was warm, too warm at times and had more of a spring feel to the camp. This, however paved the way for more skiing & more outdoor fitness work, so it wasn't all bad and hey - the weather will do what it wants to do! 

I guess the underlying message from this camp was more about the psychology and the ability to lift ourselves when we are not feeling at our best. To work harder in the areas we suck at as well as enjoying those we excel in. 

It was a pleasure to have the full team out here once more - very hard work but very rewarding - and we will look forward to having everyone back in December. For now, it's packing time... Off to Norway we go!

Massive thanks to Monika, Jo, Ross & Emily, also to Gabor (chef) & to the athletes - who have no idea how awesome it is for us to have a 'team feeling' again.

Well done.