Skiing and Successful Coaching – using positive feedback to motivate your team

I‘m currently lucky enough be on a skiing trip called the Crystal Ski Fest. It’s a week of races, coaching, training and of course a load of après ski events design to suit beginners as well as good recreational skiers.  The coaching and training is done by top British Association of Snowsport Instructors and trainers are from the British Ski Academy. They are all excellent and I’ve picked up a few interesting points.

Last night Lynn, one of the trainers was running a video session where about 50 of us were in the bar watching what she filmed earlier that day. For over half the people they’d never seen themselves skiing on film before let alone skiing around giant slalom gates before. It was a situation that could have been really uncomfortable and nerve racking but it wasn’t. Lynn’s approach was really simple, as someone appeared on the screen she paused the footage and asked what they’d  been working on through the day, she then ran through the footage pointing out where they’d done it well and  in some cases showing them how they could do it better whilst in other cases encouraging them to keep doing it. When my turn came along, she asked what I was working on we watched the film and she picked out 3 turns where I’d got it spot on and she made sure that I knew why those turns had worked.  She didn’t beat me up for the 17 turns I didn’t get right and all the other errors I was making. I left feeling good about my skiing and wanting to get more turns right the next day.

In normal everyday life when do you get people queuing up for feedback and leaving so happy? Can we change our coaching style or approach to help the people around us feel good about what they are doing well and wanting to do more of it?

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