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. bg ski news : Coaches shcool seminar 2004 Bansko - 20 April 2004 - 20:04

Òhe coaches seminar in Bansko 6-7 April, where assisted 37 participants from different Bulgarian ski clubs terminated successfully. It was organized by the Bulgarian Ski Federation and the Bulgarian Ski Pool.

The program was strictly accomplished. The first day there were held on-snow demonstrations and lectures on the slope "Platoto" nad slope number 5.
The participants were divided into 2 groups. The first one was leaded by Mr. Stephan Skrobar (OESSV) and Mr. Svet Veselinov (BFSki), and the second one - by Mr. Perar Jankov (Association of the Bulgarian ski instructors) and Mr. Ktustio Sgurovski
(National Sport Academy). Later on the groups exchanged their lectors and topics. The weather was nice and sunny, while the slopes were in perfect shape.

Photo gallery 1 Coaches seminar 2004 Bansko
Photo gallery 2 Coaches seminar 2004 Bansko

Main topics were:
“Introduction in the 4 basic ski motor skills and demonstrations for 11-14 old children. Turn shape and turn progression, specific drills.”
“Carving techniques in the 3 turn phases.”

At 18 o’clock in the hall of the hospitable hotel “Pirin” in Bansko the coaches attended discussions on the topics which were demonstrated earlier on the on-snow part.

The next day, at the same place, the participants talked over:
“Boot fitting, Ski constructions and profiles, Ski tuning, Ski Glossary.”
“Informational factors – main influence in the ski industry and the ski sport.
Marketing, Advertisig and Management of the informational mass in the ski sport. Presentation of – Bulgarian internet ski portal. Functions of the Alpine ski racing section at”

The most important is that the participants, as well as the organizers, express high opinion of the seminar. The last proves the statement that it is about time to develop the coaches’ and management educational process and structure in both the BFSki and the ski industry related organizations, institutions and clubs in Bulgaria.

For the first time here in Bulgaria, one of the main demonstrators and lectors in the seminar was Mr. Stephan Skrobar (Austria). He is a ski instructor examiner expert in Austria, France, Australia and Japan.

BFSki kindly represents Stephan Skrobar’s review and impressions from the coaches seminar in Bansko 6-7 April 2004 and the Bulgarian ski industry in

Coaches Seminar Bansko April 6-7, 2004

Review and Impressions
by Stephan Skrobar
April 04

A. Structure of the Bulgarian Ski Industry:

Three bodies seem to have an influence in the Bulgarian ski industry ("industry" henceforth). The Bulgarian Ski Federation (Mr. Tseko Minev), the Bulgarian Ski School (Mr. Petar Iankov) and the National Sport Academy. I understand that, in accumulation,  these three institutions make up the organistion of events, the qualification and education of the coaches and instructors and are responsible for the public relations of the industry. Obviously the amount of influence of each entity is variable and dependent on various factors (additional responsibilities, financial power, etc..) in the industry.
I would also like to add that, with a look at the development of the ski industry in the bigger ski countries, the role of the Bulgarian Extreme and Freestyle Association (BEFSA) is very likely to increase and might play a big part to attract a new segment of tourists! Mr. Andrej Balevski is a very competent partner in that field.
From talking to both Mr. Minev and Mr. Iankov I detect a great enthusiasm to develop the industry both qualitativly and quantitativly. Both associations seem very eager to improve the industry by means of investing financially (e.g. investment in Bansko) as well as know-how potential (e.g. foreign lecturers and consultants). I think both measures are a good and necessary prerequisite to further develop the industry.

At first thought two necessary measures come to mind to establish a good base for a long-term development of the Bulgarians ski industry.

1. Establish very good communication channels between the associations, i.e. between Mr. Minev and Mr. Iankov respectively their assistants. Common goals are much easier achieved by working together. Seeing how Mr. Kostadinov and Mr. Iankov worked together in Bansko was very encouraging. There are a lot of synergie elements between the Ski Federation and the Ski School Association.

2. Focus on good and effective public relations work to create (positive) awareness of wintersports in the public eye to attract corporate partners! The web portal is a good start but only a little piece in the marketing mix!

B. The Coaches Seminar

Level of Skiing> The overall skiing level of the coaches was OK. Their carving skills are good but there is a shortage of overall skiing skills, especially the lower end. Mastering the low-end skiing perfectly is a must to refine and tune the higher level of skiing. Unfortunately in some cases there seemed to be a lack of motivation to improve the skiing fundamentally but rather a contendness with the status-quo. Out of personal experience I can say that the better my skiing got the more I wanted to improve it by any means possible.
This point proves my argument that the Ski Federation and the Ski School Association (and to some extent the BEFSA) can work together, e.g. to train (esp. young) coaches in the very basics of skiing by letting (or making) them take part in first instructor exams.

Level of Coaching: Generally the was a medium to good level of understanding of the mechanics of high-end skiing. There was a lot of enthusiasm to learn more details. What was lacking to a certain degree was the understanding of the overall mechanics of skiing, or the so-called big picture. This seminar was a good start to improve the cognitive knowledge. Personally I would recommend a theory lecture of how the different segments of alpine skiing (and, on the next level, all winter and balance sports) are related to each other and overlapping.

From my point of view the seminar was a move in the right direction and a good initiative to create awareness and the need for such training seminars among the coaches. The next on-snow seminars could, should funds and time allow, have a lower teacher : participants ratio, e.g. 1 : 8. On-snow lectures should also include gate setting and specific drills in and out of the gates, additonal to the demonstration and personal improvement sessions. With such a ratio, a two day seminar would be effective.
Personal observations for future improvement are a better discipline of the participants in terms of concentration at the lectures on and off the snow, no cellphones during lectures, and better punctuality.

The topics of the sessions on and off the snow were a very good choice by Svet, and I think that the seminar was a great success, illustrated by the high number of participants from various age and background! This reflects Svet's high level of organisational skills and competence.
I am very honoured to having been invited and hope for more opportunities to work together. I had a fantastic time in Bansko, and the hospitality of the Bulgarian people is outstanding... I will definitely recommend Bulgaria as a ski destination.

Please note that all these observations and suggestions are my personal opinion.

Stephan Skrobar
April 04 

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