- About the courses
- What happens on a typical week
- Coaching content
- Read the reviews
- Course Location and Dates
- Supergroup Courses
- Return from Injury Ski Camp
Winter – Verbier, Switzerland
Winter 2013/14 Dates
Price: £419 (£389 for Academy Members) – (Course Only)
Supergroup Price: £539 (Course only)
About the Winter 5 day Ski Courses
The winter 5 day group courses run from Sunday to Friday with the Wednesday off. They are designed to build and develop skill and confidence, to enable people to ski all terrains including Moguls, Steeps, Variables, Powder and how to Carve effectively on piste. Skills are developed during the coaching by practicing specific exercises that benefit the main topics. Progressively, the new levels of skill are tested in suitable terrains to build confidence. During the group courses each skier is also looked at from an individual point of view due to the fact that we are all individuals and have different strengths and weaknesses that need identifying and developing.
Please check your ability level using our 1 to 6 Video Levels System before booking the course to make sure you’re at the right standard for the course. Level 1 is basic intermediate. Level 6 is athlete.
We meet together as a group everyday at 10am outside the L’Olympique restaurant which is located at the top of the Funispace lift (Attelas).
We ski until 3pm and take a lunch break at approximately 12.45pm. Please bring a small or medium size backpack to store your bottle of water and energy bars in. It can also carry your belongings i.e. Ski Jacket, Fleece, Gloves etc if the weather is extra cold or warm. Please note that Wednesday is a rest day from the course and a day for you to freeski.
We will be filming and doing video analysis on the Monday and Thursday and watching the footage and analysing it those evenings before dinner between 4:30pm until 8pm. (times may vary depending on group numbers) It usually makes a big difference the next day with what you’re working on so it’s a good idea to bring a notepad and pen to make notes.
The groups are a maximum of 8 persons. This is the standard number of persons on an Academy course unless you are doing the Supergroup option. 8 persons is the perfect number to work through the exercises set, receive good individual feedback and get to move around the mountain to find the ideal terrain.
To read reviews and press articles on the courses, click here.
Private Coaching also available
Any member of the Ski Academy team can be hired out on a daily basis (subject to availability). Private tuition is better suited to people who require one to one coaching or who wish to bring a group out to the Alps. Private coaching is available in Verbier upon request from November – April. To check availability please contact us
A typical day is 5 hours and a half day is 2 hours.
Full day (5 hours) – £319 (£35 per extra* person)
Half day (2 hours) – £159 (£19 per extra* person)
Half day (3 hours) – £219 (£19 per extra* person)
Warren (5 hours) – £599 (no charge for extra* person)
*Maximum 7 extra persons
Hire Warren privately
Warren can be hired for private coaching at a daily fee of £599. Please be aware that he is usually booked up far in advance, therefore bookings may not always be possible. To book Warren for a ski coaching + guiding session please write to us through the contact page of the website.
Who is it for
Skiers ability levels range from basic intermediate skiers wishing to get off of the typical intermediate plateau and gain confidence to skiers taking their instructors exams and performance training for competition (alpine racing or freeride). For the full detailed listing of group and skier levels click here.
4* Chalet Hotel de Verbier
The Medran gondolas, which provide the main access from the centre of the resort up to Les Ruinettes and on to La Chaux and Mont Fort, are just 5 minutes’ walk away. Alternatively, take the ski bus which stops just 50m from the hotel. The hotel is furnished in an attractively rustic Swiss style and provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with reception, comfortable lounge with log fire, where afternoon tea and cake is served daily and adjoining bar with TV. Your buffet breakfast and 5-course dinner, with choice complimentary wine, is enjoyed in a separate traditionally-styled dining room.
For more information on Chalet Hotel de Verbier, click here.
4* Hotel Vanessa
The Hotel Vanessa offers a good standard of accommodation in a prime location, just a few steps away from Verbier’s main square. With all the public areas recently renovated to a high standard and comfortable, spacious rooms, the Vanessa is a popular choice with Inghams guests. Our prices are based on bed and breakfast.
For more information on Hotel Vanessa, click here.
To get to Verbier book a return flight to Geneva Airport. Once you get to Geneva airport you can get to Verbier by Train (www.sbb.ch). For full details on travel plans to Verbier use the Verbier Tourism website and click on the ‘Access’ tab. Another excellent website for finding information on Verbier is www.verbinet.com. If you click on the ‘Travel/Transport’ tab you will find every solution.
Booking the Course
You can book the winter courses by going to the following online booking page of the Academy website ‘Booking a Course‘.
Ski Course Coaching Content
On the course you will cover several of the following topics:
All skiers that come on the Academy courses, whether in Group 1 or Group 6, have a problem maintaining symmetry whilst turning. Perfect symmetry is skiing from turn to turn with your hips, knees and feet the same distance apart allowing both skis to be identical in angles. It’s common for most skiers to ski with either their knees dropping closer together or their feet splitting wider apart. Both of these create the classic A-Frame stance.
The A-Frame stance makes it difficult to carve, ski powder, moguls, steeps and generally built on your ski technique as your ski edge angles will always be different. On the courses we address this issue and leave you with a strong, symmetrical stance that allows you to build good ski technique on.
Whilst developing your ski symmetry we will work on biomechanical aspects such as switching on certain muscle groups that help maintain the ideal stance, checking your ski boots to make sure they are set up correctly and integrating the 0-Frame stance into your skiing. Having skier symmetry is crucial in preventing knee injury, fatigue, accidents whilst skiing and allowing you to reach your true skiing potential.
One of the biggest areas of development on the courses in Ankle Flex development. Most skiers join us with a lack of ankle flex. Most skier flex at the knee more than the ankle and this puts the skiers weight back. Once it’s back it makes it hard to steer and almost impossible to ski steeps, moguls and freeride terrain. You thighs end up being used to help you stand up rather than being used to help you steer the skis.
The reason that most skiers have a lack ankle flex is that a lot of skiers learn to ski in boots that are to stiff for them to flex so the joint that does all the flexing is the knee. A lot of skiers also suffer from having calf muscles that are to tight to be able to move and flex the ski boot.
With specific ankle flex development exercises you will learn to dominate your ski boots and flex them so as to allow you to be in balance and maintain leverage in the legs to have powder to steer. Once you have this flex you automatically have power and in turn confidence. The learning process increases dramatically with this flex and your skiing take a major step change in its level.
Most skiers who attend the courses, even Ski Instructor level, steer their skis by foot steering. Steering the skis by foot steering is usually what you get taught in your first week of ski school tuition. Unfortunately it usually stays with you through your skiing life. Foot steering is weak and although it might get you through your first week of skiing it won’t be so efficient for more advanced skiing. Foot steering can also put stress on the knee joint.
Thigh steering is a much more powerful way of steering your skis and allows you to steer with more confidence on steeper slopes, in moguls and in freeride terrain. It also allows you to carve more effectively and move onto skiing higher speeds without loosing control.
For thigh steering to switch on we develop specific exercises that provoke you to use the muscles in the legs that control this movement. Once you find the muscles (usually takes about 15 minutes to switch them on) you will immediately feel stronger on your skiing and more secure. Once we have you doing this, other aspects of skiing we show you during the week are easily absorbed and changes takes place in your technique with ease.
Left + Right Turn Differences
All skiers suffer from having a weaker turn direction. At the Academy we are fully aware of the importance for the skier first feel the difference between left and right turns and them understand why there is a weakness with one side. With the sport of skiing you are only as good as your weakest turn. This is obvious especially in powder, slush, steeps and in moguls.
Skiers generally have a weaker turn due to left and right side differences with the brain, injuries to certain sides of the body, imbalances on the left and right side of the body and equipment that might not be set up correctly.
With the use of video analysis, exercises and biomechanical awareness we make you aware of your weaker direction, show you it on video and then built up with specific exercises that benefit the weaker side of the body. Once you are balanced the sport of skiing will feel different to you and the foundation of you skiing will be strong and secure.
Middle Body Strength
Nearly all skiers that join the Academy courses are never using there middle body strength to its full potential. Many skiers break at the waist when skiing moguls, powder or just carving at higher speeds. The more dynamic skiing becomes the more you need to active your core whilst skiing to keep the middle body strong and avoid it collapsing. On the course you’ll learn how to activate your core whilst skiing with simple exercises that are easy to integrate into your normal skiing technique.
4 Wheel Drive for All Terrain
To assist your Moguls, Steeps, Variables and Freeride terrain skiing you’ll learn how to develop your pole plant timing and arm positioning. This gives your pole plant more overall strength and it will support your body effectively when initiating your turns in these terrains.
Every skier that joins a course has their own individual skiing style. An important part of the Academy course is to offer each skier feedback on their own technique specific to them. This takes places at various times during the week.
Other Course Content
As well as the above content various other aspects are also covered such as Short Radius Turns, Developing Leg Lean, Progressive Steering, Loading the Skis, Skidding and lots more. Many skiers attend several course during the year whether Winter in Verbier, Spring in UK or summer in Saas-Fee.
Group + Skier Levels
Skiers ability levels range from basic intermediate skiers wishing to get off the typical intermediate plateau to skiers taking their instructors exams and performance training for competition (alpine racing or freeride). To easily identify the levels of skiers and groups running on an Academy week you can use the following system:
Group 1 Basic Intermediate
This group consists of skiers who are trying to make basic parallel turns but use a small snowplough wedge in between the turns to help turn initiation. Skiers in this group can generally get down blue runs but struggle on Reds. This is this group have usually never skied moguls, steeps or freeride terrain.
Group 2 Intermediate
This group consists of skiers who can make basic parallel turns but lack the strength and confidence in the turn to make it consistent. These skiers can usually get down blue and red runs. On red runs however there technique suffers and the body weight moves over the back of the skis making the steering more difficult. These skiers have usually attempted moguls, steeps and a bit of off-piste skiing but with no success.
Group 3 Advanced Intermediate
This group consists of skiers who can make parallel turns with confidence on blues and reds. When they attempt black runs or steeper gradients they lose their technique and the body weight drops back. Skiers in this group can generally get down moguls, steeps and freeride terrain but with a weak or/and confidence lacking technique.
Group 4 Advanced
This group consists of skiers who can ski with confidence on Blues, Reds and Black runs. They can carve effectively from turn to turn on nicely groomed snow but are not so consistent when the snow is icy or un-groomed. Skiers in this group can get down steeps, moguls and freeride terrain with confidence and a semi consistent technique but loose control approximately 30% of the time. Skiers at this level want to develop performance towards skiing 40 degrees slopes with good technique and direct (zip) line moguls.
Group 5 Expert / Instructor
This group consists of skiers who can ski all terrains comfortably but want to be able to ski higher speeds through greater dynamics, ski steeper fall line moguls with a greater range of absorption and extension, make higher speed GS freeride turns in powder and variable snow conditions and generally master a solid technique. Skiers in this group would cover the basics of race training, steep couloirs, instructor exam technical requirements, freeride performance and higher speeds.
Group 6 Athlete / Performer
This group consists of skiers wishing to compete or who already compete in freeskiing competitions, Alpine Racing competition or freestyle skiing disciplines such as moguls, half pipe, big air, slope style or rails. In this group you will also find skiers who are training for there BASI 1 technical exam and Euro Speed Test.