Vail Daily column: Program directors are ‘the glue’
November 19, 2013
A great relationship with our home mountain, strong academic partnerships, supportive donors and well-versed human performance and support staff are tantamount to the success of the athletes at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. Contributing in parallel to the success of our athletes are those members of our organization who I refer to as "the glue" — our program directors and their coaching staffs. These are the men and women who interface with our athletes day in and day out, teaching, guiding and inspiring these youngsters both on snow and off every, step of the way.
Our coaches spend on-snow training time with these athletes up to seven days a week in the thick of the season, traveling with athletes to overnight competitions as necessary. They are also setting and pulling race courses and building and refining park and terrain features daily (and nightly for some of our snowsports), grueling physical labor at times to say the least. A day with an athlete is not complete without conducting pre-snow warm-ups, post-snow video analysis and strength training and conditioning sessions. Just when you might think their day is done they are communicating schedules and meeting with parents and athletes, sometimes in groups but more often than not, one-on-one. Our athletes and the organization would not be where we are without these dedicated staff.
It's more than just a sport
I understand what it takes to be a coach, having done it for many years. Yet I continue to be amazed by the passion, commitment and search for knowledge our coaches and program directors display in their statements of purpose and objectives. It also struck me how important it was to our coaches and program directors to guide our athletes into becoming great people, not just great athletes. I want to share excerpts from this group's coaching philosophies, as I could not say it better in my own words.
"My coaching philosophy has always been centered around bringing the best out of each individual and helping them pursue their respective dreams."
"Everyday to teach by example so that our next generation can reach their potential in whatever life brings them. I hope to inspire our youth to be determined, hard-working, caring individuals through the lessons of our sports."
"Make champions, not winners. The winner lasts for a day, champions last forever."
"I like to embrace the bigger picture of our sport (with my athletes), emphasizing the life skills and the concept of being better citizens — a by-product of being involved in sports. Concepts like respect, teamwork, self-accountability, self-motivation, discipline and setting and working towards goals teach important life skills."
With coaches and program directors sharing philosophies the likes of the above, I am confident we will succeed in our mission of instilling character, courage and commitment in our youngsters. I feel blessed to have this amazing group of men and women supporting our athletes.