Back into the weekly grind and self discovery.

The summer is finally over and the brain exhaustion process that are football summer camps is finally over and I can get back into some sort of normal weekly routine whilst I wait for the snow to arrive.

Looking after 20 mini footballers and 2 assistant coaches was not the most taxing work I have ever done but stressful in its own way especially when you consider that you are responsible for parents’ most precious things ie. their children for 7 hours a day. Luckily, most of the kids this summer have been great and I’ve only had to tell a couple of the kids how it is over the course of 6 weeks of summer camps.

After the summer camps, I had a very welcome week off which I spent most of in the pub in the absence of anything else meaningful to do and now I’m back into the weekly routine of autumn term after school football coaching. This means afternoon sessions on Monday through Thursdays with long weekends from Fridays to myself.

The odd thing about these after school sessions compared to the summer camps is that they are only an hour or two of actual football coaching. Obviously the travel time and set up means that it all takes much longer but in terms of the actual session, it’s a wonder that we actually get as much done as we do. It seems so short compared to the endless hours of summer camps.

You have to plan your sessions so that they are short and sharp so for example, yesterday’s session was a quick 10 minute warm up game to get everyone moving, 2 x 15 minute skill sessions and then some small matches at the end. It helps if it’s all related to so that one theme blends into the next and there is a chance of skill improvement by the end of the session.

From a personal progression point of view the football coaching, I’m sure, is going to assist enormously this winter with the ski teaching. In addition, I’ve also started to fill my autumn evenings here with visits to the local boxing club on a Tuesday night, French lessons on a Thursday night as well as playing for the Val d’Abondance Football Team on Friday nights (particularly difficult as this is entirely in French.)

The boxing is very interesting from the perspective of learning a new skill and coming at something from the perspective of a learner. Most of the year I am teaching something, be it football or skiing and to have to learn something new from scratch is a really useful insight into learning and the ways that people learn.

I have discovered that I am not very comfortable just throwing myself into something new but prefer to talk everything through and understand it mentally before I try it, through fear of looking like a muppet. This also draws a parallel with French as I will only talk French in public if I am confident that I am one of the best French speakers there amongst the English. If other, more experienced English Francophones are there then I am effectively a mute for fear of making mistakes. It’s very frustrating and also the same with skiing for me. I went out of my way in Saas in the summer to ensure no-one saw me make mistakes and this is something I need to get over really.

Anyway, enough soul searching, I have yet more new skis, this time anticipating a powder season to come. Scott Pure, 193cm and 101mm underfoot with a snazzy ‘venturi’ tunnel thing at the back which apparently makes them float better. They are seriously big and there had better be a bunch of pow this season or these bad boys aren’t going to see the light of day.

big boys

I’m not sure if 5 pairs of skis is too much really but the only pair I could realistically get rid of are my Head Supershapes but I can’t sell those as they are the skis that helped me change my life to where I am now, so they will be going on a wall or in a sentimental corner at some point.

Bring on the snow so I can change the tracksuit for a ski suit. 3-months and counting.