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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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    Dave Leicester , Tennis, South Africa
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    Miles Jackson , Ultimate Frisbee, South Africa
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    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
  • "Taking the girls on this two week hockey tour was excellent. It was the first time that any of us had been to South Africa and the team made us feel extremely welcome and comfortable. You pack so much into such a short period which totally tired us out but apart from being great fun will be a fond memory for years to come. We'll certainly be looking at coming away with you again".
    Sarah Jackson: PE Teacher , Volleyball, South Africa
  • "A well organised trip with a difference. Combining playing and coaching as well as all the cultural things you put on for us was a great idea. To even get to a Springboks Rugby game was a special treat for the lads on this tour so thanks for going the extra mile to make this happen for us".
    Geoff Fagence: Rugby Coach , Volleyball, South Africa
  • "Seeing the kids in week one be so fearful of the water to seeing them confidently swim after my 5 weeks in South Africa has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Thank you to everyone involved."
    Caroline Rudge , Swimming, South Africa
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    Scott Black , Football, St Lucia
  • "I've always wanted to travel to the Caribbean, so getting the chance to coach cricket and travel at the same time was perfect!"
    Manish Patel , Cricket, St Lucia
  • "What a great 4 weeks I had in St Lucia on the cricket coaching project organised by Sporting Opportunities. I've made friends for life and will never forget the fun times I had."
    Tom Webb , Cricket, St Lucia
  • "Best thing about the course - meeting so many like minded people, many of whom will be friends for life and getting to snowboard for 11 weeks without a care in the world!"
    David Turner , Skiing, Canada
  • "Every single detail about the ski instructor course exceeded my expectations by a mile and has totally changed my life! The only drawback of the whole 11 weeks is that I’ve become one serious powder junkie."
    Baibre Lacey , Skiing, Canada
  • "The best thing about course - Everything!! Fernie! The whole organisation of the course was great, and a really welcoming atmosphere."
    Gemma Soloman , Skiing, Canada
  • "I loved how instantly everyone acted as a big family and everybody looked out for one another, we ate together, we rode together, we celebrate together and we partied together!"
    Jason Ionotton , Skiing, Canada
  • "The rugby training season in South Africa was a great way of keeping up my fitness, ready to hit the University teams back home."
    Alex Carlton-Porter , Rugby Union, South Africa
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    Nick Abendanon , Rugby Union, South Africa
  • "Spending 6 months in Cape Town was awesome. Such a great city and my hockey playing has improved 10 fold".
    Sarah Grey , Hockey, South Africa
  • "Playing at the hockey club was just what I needed to improve my game to a level where I could feel confident in trialing for the 1st team university hockey squad."
    James Harvey , Hockey, South Africa
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