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A day in the life of a Ski Instructor

Phil Nolan
"A day in the life of a ski instructor is probably one of the most awesome experiences I have had to date! You get to spend your days practising the sport you love amid the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

Everyday is different and it’s satisfying to know that while you are doing something you thoroughly enjoy, you are also teaching somebody to ski. Typically, the day begins waking up to the smell of coffee and breakfast, sometimes a cooked breakfast of sausage and bacon with bagels or croissants, fruit and cereal and a host of other delectable offerings.

All ski instructors must be at the ski school at 9am sharp. Then it’s a case of waiting for a group of skiers to be assigned to you. This gives you the chance to grab a strong hot coffee to help wake yourself up and then lose yourself in conversation with some of the other instructors.

Once your group has been assigned, you will be told how long the lesson will be, how many people there are in the group, what standard of skiing they are at and any other essential information. It is then up to you to decide whereabouts on the mountain to go and what drills to use to improve your group’s skiing. In the main, you will have your group for the whole day, and if it’s a group of young kids, you will have lunch with them so that they are supervised at all times. If it’s a group of older children or adults it’s up to you whether you have lunch with the group or separately with your friends. It’s also your decision as to where you end the lesson.

If however, you are not assigned a group to take onto the mountain, you have a morning to free ski, which is excellent! At 1pm you go back to the ski school to see if there is anyone who wishes to have a lesson for the afternoon. If not, then it’s more free skiing (which is really enjoyable as you have free reign of the mountain).

Once lessons have finished for the day, you can either head home to prepare yourself for the following day’s instruction, refresh yourself with some of the drills that can be used, wax and sharpen your skis and relax in front of the TV or, as most of us did, there is the more popular idea of hitting the bars at the bottom of the mountain to catch up with your mates, have a beer, maybe a game of pool and chill out. One thing is for sure though; a day in the life of a ski instructor is certainly well worth getting up for, even if you’re not a morning person!"

Samantha Platt
"Having passed the exams we are now all officially ski and snowboard instructors! It was a really proud moment to put on our instructor jacket for the first time and after being trained by other qualified instructors it felt extremely satisfying to finally become one of the team! Over the last few weeks we had all become good friends with the instructors at the mountain so when we turned up for work everyone was really happy to see us. 

At 9.15am we were allocated to our groups who we were to instruct for the morning. I was given a class of young children who had never skied before. They were great kids and all really keen to learn. The hardest thing was trying to stop them charging down the slope without me! By the end of the morning they were all getting down the bunny slope without a problem and it was really satisfying to know that I had taught them that. At 12pm I met up with some other instructors to relax for 45 minutes and have some lunch. At 12:45pm we all went to the ski school to be given our groups for the afternoon. I was given two beginner skiers from America. They were both really cool people and we ended up having a great afternoon on the slopes. At the end of the day a load of the instructors met up to kick back over a cold Canadian beer. I would definitely be interested in continuing to instruct after my time in Canada."

Check our Ski and Snowboard instructor courses with Sporting Opportunities.






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  • ''I would never have thought about going to St Lucia on a sports gap year but I am glad I did. The kids were just amazing and had real passion for the game. I really felt I contributed massively to the development of these young players and I look forward to booking my next trip back to see how they have progressed."
    Joe Page , Rugby Union, St Lucia
  • ''I have been playing rugby for a number of years through school and university and this experience was a perfect way of sharing my knowledge with a great bunch of young people. The kids really took to the game and working alongside the National Rugby Team is another experience I will never forget. Thanks to everyone involved in organising this fantastic sporting opportunity''.
    Paul Adams , Rugby Union, St Lucia
  • "What an amazing 8 weeks had on the rugby coaching placement in Ghana. The kids were just so receptive to what I taught them and there is some serious skill in Ghana! I've made friends for life and this rwho experience really has set me up for wanting to become a sports coach in the future".
    Rob Davies , Rugby Union, Ghana
  • "Training in the Ghana heat is a challenge but so worth it. My fitness has improved 10 fold. Working with the young rugby lads was excellent and seeing my team score a winning try has to have been a highlight. Ghana has some amazing places to see and if you like Baboons then a visit to Mole National Park is a must".
    Phil Hall , Rugby Union, Ghana
  • ''I made a difference by encouraging children and adults to believe that everyone has some degree of talent... and to believe in that talent.''
    Stuart Garrett , Rugby Union, Ghana
  • ''What they don’t have in skill, they certainly make up for in speed and determination. Ghana also has some very promising youngsters and it has been really exciting, and a real privilege, to share my knowledge of the game with them.''
    Doug Graham , Rugby Union, Ghana
  • “Coaching rugby to underprivileged children is a very rewarding experience. I am seriously considering coming back here and staying longer. It’s such a great place and there is so much to do!”
    Luke Norfolk , Rugby Union, South Africa
  • “I’ve had the best three months of my life! I would definitely recommend it! Thank you.”
    Philippa Tollit , Swimming, South Africa
  • "Being able to teach kids how to swim has to have been one of my most significant moments in life. From seeing 12 year old kids fearful of water on day one to being able to swim full lengths of the pool with confidence after 5 weeks was just incredible. You also know that you are giving these kids a gift for life".
    Neil Dennison , Swimming, Ghana
  • "I have had the best three months in Ghana ever! Working a living alongside local Ghanaians and seeing a completely different way of life will live with me forever. My project in helping kids learn how to swim was so rewarding too and it has really made me think about what I want to do when I get home with my future career and working with young people. Thanks to everyone involved and I look forward to coming back to my African home again one day."
    Sarah Dunbury , Swimming, Ghana
  • ''I really enjoyed the tennis coaching and was amazed at the standard of tennis and the dedication of the children. And they always had a smile on their face too.''
    Charlotte Wallis , Tennis, Ghana
  • ''Ghanaians are friendly in a way that is almost unheard of in the West. They are extremely affectionate and, once you have got used to it, you can be just as friendly back.''
    Graeme Acheson , Tennis, Ghana
  • ''I feel really fulfilled that I have aided less fortunate people in giving them a chance to play tennis in the first place and to offer assistance with my coaching knowledge to help the development of the sport in Ghana.''
    Sal Bolton , Tennis, Ghana
  • ''It was a seriously amazing trip that I will never forget. So thanks for what all you guys have done, and thanks for making it such an unforgettable trip!''
    Christian Dorin , Tennis, Ghana
  • “It was an incredible experience coaching the children in Port Elizabeth – they are so enthusiastic about learning to play tennis. Their energy levels are amazing and they had improved greatly by the time I left.”
    Dave Leicester , Tennis, South Africa
  • “One of the best experiences of my life! I just can’t believe how enthusiastic and grateful the kids were to learn and play Ultimate. The talent was awesome too – some were naturals! I can’t wait to come back to South Africa one day and see how my players are getting on.”
    Miles Jackson , Ultimate Frisbee, South Africa
  • "I've had the best few weeks of my life. The kids loved learning volleyball and in turn I loved every bit of my experience!"
    James Taylor , Volleyball, Ghana
  • "Coaching Rugby out here has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life. Met some awesome people and really enjoyed the country. Really kind host family made me feel v-welcome. Would definitely like to come back one day!"
    Tim Wace , Rugby Union, Argentina
  • "Taking my love of tennis to Argentina was a dream come true. I will never forget this once in a life time opportunity to play and coach tennis to a range of abilities in such a great country. Thanks to all who were part of this".
    Ceri Newman , Tennis, Argentina
  • "The sports tour that Sporting Opportunities arranged for us was perfect. South Africa was a great country and having the mix of playing against locals as well as coaching sport to kids in the townships was a nice balance. Doing two weeks in South Africa has made a number of us want to come back for a longer stint on one of your 5 week volunteer coaching projects so look out for us. Thanks to all involved".
    Dan Long: Football Captain , Volleyball, South Africa
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