This question is asked a lot in ski coaching. Anytime an athlete comes to a training camp with new coaches, when a coach joins a team, when a coach returns to working with an athlete after a break. This question is usually the starting point.

“Pressuring higher in the turn”

–Or–

“Keeping my hands up”

–Or–

“Staying forward”

Are probably the three most common replies. They don’t mean much but they are technically correct and they sound good.

When I present myself well, amazing things happen.

The part of these conversations that truly matters is what comes next. Are there follow up questions to dig down a little bit deeper? Does the athlete ask the coach their opinion on something? Is a meaningful dialogue established?

I just finished doing peer evaluations for all of my classmates and professor evals for the faculty in the program. I have a hard time giving feedback when I don’t know what someone is working on, what their objectives are, where they are going. I have a hard time receiving feedback when I don’t have a reasonably clear understanding of my objectives and priorities for development.

So turning the question back on me and looking to the next year, “what are you working on Ben?”

  • Managing impulsive reactions in discussions. I‘ve made progress here, but there is more work to be done.
  • Speaking less in discussions, with less frequency, and with fewer words when I do speak.
  • Refining my body language and facial expressions; I send mixed messages and generally my negative facial expression and body language aren’t an accurate reflection of my thoughts or emotions.
  • Improving my dress and grooming. This is a little embarrassing to admit but I don’t know how to tie a tie, iron a shirt, or polish my shoes. I tend to put off haircuts until I look like a caveman. I willfully chose not to learn these skills as a rebellious young adult. It is time. (I do shower regularly—with soap!)
  • Delivering amazing presentations. I’m pretty good at this on the rare occasions when I get out of my own way.

I’ll be sharing these and a few other ideas with my classmates as we go over feedback, if you’re reading this I welcome any thoughts, feedback, or suggestions you have to offer. I’d be happy to return the favor as well.

As for my skiing, well I’m working to pressure the ski higher in the turn and moving more fluidly from the apex into the transition…

Have fun out there.

New York City Hardcore band CIV had something to say about goals…

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