Search Articles: Home About Us Our Community Contact Us Article Submission   Advertising Info  
 
Auto Savvy

Business and Finance

Creative Cooks

Family and Parenting

Health and Nutrition

Legal Information

Beauty and Fashion

Sports and Fitness

Women Of The Month

Home and Garden

Relationships

Motivation and Inspiration

Travel and Adventure

Technology Today

Society

Women's Ski Clinics Boost Skills, Confidence
unknown

Camaraderieā€¦skill-buildingā€¦confidence. That###s why women are gravitating toward ski clinics geared just for them.

"It###s not just about performance on the hill," says Pat Campbell, director of skier services for Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado. "That###s been an important component, but along with that is the social experience and relationships building. Some women come with friends and others leave with new friends. Not all women, but a certain segment, feel an all-women###s clinic is an emotionally safe learning environment where they can develop at their own level."

"With all-women instructors, and women-only clinics, it seems to take away the push to prove oneself before men, and participants seem much more comfortable," says Pat Hammon, Nordic Center supervisor for Beaver Creek.

Under the guidance of a female instructor, women more easily overcome fears that may have resulted from a well-meaning boyfriend or husband taking them down too-difficult terrain in the past. For other women, the clinics offer the opportunity to focus on their own skills and have a selfish skiing experience after years spent supporting their family###s needs on the slopes. Businesswomen take clinics as a weekend getaway. For local women living near ski resorts or along the Front Range in Colorado, the clinics are a forum for meeting ski partners of similar ability.

Nearly every Colorado ski resort offers a women###s program during the season (see related article, Women###s Ski Clinics in the Colorado Rockies). Most started about 10 years ago, although Telluride launched its first woman-only event more than two decades ago.

At Winter Park, On Snow Ski School supervisor and sales coordinator Joy Osanna-Holland says instructors focus on guest-centered teaching-finding out what the individual###s motivation is in taking the clinic and meeting or exceeding that motivation. Women of all ages take the clinics, from 22 years up to 70. "You can make a lot of progress, but you need to do your homework as well," she notes. Still, she stresses that the number one premise of Winter Park###s program is to have fun. Often, women make plans to meet again for a clinic the next year. "The strength of the women###s program is in the benefits of camaraderie, having female coaches, and as a comfortable place to be."

"There###s a lot of confidence building, and people walk away feeling they were successful," says Breckenridge###s Campbell. "At the higher ability range more aggressive, skilled women sometimes shy away from clinics because they think it###s too warm and fuzzy. But we take really high-end women and challenge them and satisfy their needs."

Group sizes generally range from 3 to 7 women, assembled according to ability. Some clinics add-on yoga or other special programs, as well as voluntary social events in the evening. "It###s great for single women," notes Campbell. "You always have the opportunity to be with people if you want."

The camaraderie, improvement in skills and the bonds women make through the ski clinics can be life-long, agrees Johanna Hall of Steamboat Springs Ski Resort. "It sends chills up your spine it###s so dynamic." It###s all about the instructor, she notes.

"Some women love to be pushed and challenged and they get a top female coach who can demonstrate skills. It###s all done with pace and timing so that by the time you###re in the chutes or big bumps you###re performing at your peak. Others need a more nurturing type of coach. The correct instructor goes a long way toward women###s success."

Coaches are sensitive to the dynamics of the group and pay attention to the flow of energy and attention span. "Typically there###s a wave in the morning-you warm up working on technique, then right before lunch you challenge them when they###re at their peak. Then you bring it down, have lunch, and after lunch the warm up is generally a little longer and the peak period a little shorter," notes Hall.

There###s also been a surge of interest in women###s telemarking clinics. Beaver Creek Ski Resort###s tele workshops for women, one in January and one in February, "have been wildly popular," says Pat Hammon, Nordic Center supervisor. "Women seem to be really enjoying telemarking because it###s so graceful."

Coupled with advances in women###s ski equipment, particularly women###s boots (see related article, The White Stuff: What to look for in women###s ski equipment, it###s a friendly new world for women on the slopes.