This is quick summary of a coaching conference last week in Wanaka, written by Richie Johnston.

Check out this post at for more info about the conference.

It was a privilege to hear one of the world’s most experienced Snowboard Coaches shed light on the industry and offer insight on how it effects me. Bud Keene (Shaun White’s coach), along with other professionals, gave talks and prompted discussions that helped everyone in the room.

The biggest thing I gained from Bud’s presentation was his take on dedication. Shawn White has a perceived image of being a freak and is somewhat super-human. In fact he is no different to the rest of us. The underling distinction however was that he works his butt off every day and has a super-dedicated outlook on the sport he chooses. Perseverance, determination and passion seemed like the makings of success in his world. We all have our goals in both life and the sport we do. It is now up to us to reach our potential and be at our best.

We all had a chance to split into groups and share ideas. We discussed draft strategies and gave feedback to the room. For example Snow Sports NZ’s Individual Performance Plan, The Success Profile and my one of my favourites: G.R.O.W.
• Goal What do you want?
• Reality What is happening now?
• Options What could you do?
• Will What WILL you do?

It was great to identify areas within the coaching world and relate them to our own previous experiences riding and training. Athletes both skiing and snowboarding, parents, physiotherapists, coaches and course managers were just a few of the backgrounds who had one thing in common. Physical and mental excellence in both ourselves and others.

Although it was three days of indoor presentations, because the topics presented were relevant to the industry we all have passion for it was easy to stay motivated, ask the odd question and offer input. It should not have taken a conference like this to spark ideas among those passionate about snow sports and the progression of it. We should all pursue our potential. These three days were inspiring to say the least. I encourage everyone involved with teaching to look into the coaching/athlete pathways to further understanding and build awareness.

– Richie Johnston, SBINZ Trainer and Snowboard Training Manager for Rookie Academy.