PIRATES! A Boot Full o’ Pirates to be exact!
So, a few days ago I posted this sample ad on several ski industry groups on LinkedIn
“Instructors Wanted : Wages are $80 to $240 per hour.”
Immediately and predictably someone commented with the usual stuff about Forest Service leases and monopolies and getting arrested…yada yada blah bla blah. PIRATES! POACHERS!! That is just so very inside-the-box. Inside-the-box for so many decades that few are even aware the box HAS an outside. SO Cap’n Mike is going to shoot the locks off the treasure chest for you Yo HO!
So, what is in the treasure chest?
Just another piece of technology?
Or, a Genie-in-a-Bottle with the ability to render borders and monopolies and insular, national organizations asunder? I contend it is the later.
Imagine! The PSIA D team and USSA racers in your boots, on your phone and in your ears!
With 3D accelerometers, 3D gyro-sensors and an insole that maps pressure changes on the bottom of your foot, we can now see what is going on inside your boots. If you couple that with an inexpensive phone app that has a full progression of video lessons, drill videos AND, a voice that coaches you WHILE YOU ARE SKIING!!! ..if you are doing it right or not…well…live ski instruction has a very serious competitor.
Why? Live instructors cannot see inside your boot/ This gizmo can. So why is this something you need to take seriously? Read on dear Reader..Read on…
What does a ski instructor do? They watch you ski and try to pick out that one thing they can work on that might give you a break through. It might be a flat-light day and the snow is blowing. Seeing exactly what is up with your skiing can be tough sometimes.
Good skiing starts with the feet. The one thing NO instructor can do on the snow is look inside your boot and see what is happening…UNTIL NOW..and the fun part is that this technology separates you from the need to be in the presence of the client.
Your coach can be on the other side of the world and look into your boots. You send them a video and they can do a much better analysis OFF the mountain than they could ever do in the snow.
How?? So glad you asked!
The skiing modeled in the Carv app is PSIA style skiing. According to their CEO, the skiing modeled in their software is the direct result of joint development with PSIA and USSA. This includes Freestyle skiing and being able to evaluation your best jumps, grabs…everything including the height in the air.
The voice their users will hear in their ear is, for all practical purposes, the voice of the PSIA Demonstration Team..shhhhh! It’s sort of a secret.
So what, you say?
Because…the app and hard-technology can be in ANYONE’S boots. From ANY country, at ANY time, from ANY where in the world the client is having issues, to where YOU, their favorite instructor, happens to be.
From Chile to Canada. From the Alps to Australia. From Vail Resorts to Aspen. There are senior skiers everywhere, year-round..Artificial barriers that have locked customers into the ski school at the resort they are currently skiing..NO…Longer…Exist.
A French ski coach in Megeve can now reach out and work EFFECTIVELY with a client anywhere in the world.
A lot of people are skeptical on the value of technology and remote coaching, but it has already started and products like this are the kind of techno that seniors love to load up on and they have the do-re-mi..
I had a couple of senior skiers, a guy and his wife from New Zealand, in a lesson a few years ago and was able to do them some good…It rolled like this…..
Mr And Mrs NZ : “…(praise) yada yada..wish we could take you home with us..blah..blah”
Me: “Yes well so do I. It has been a pleasure spending the day with you.”
M& M NZ: “Why don’t we send you some video once in a while and you can look at it and see what you can do with it….”
Me : “Umm….sure..OK…”
So, we trade email addresses and phone numbers (something you should do with every client) and I thought that was the end of it… until a week later when I got an email from them with an attachment. It was a video of their skiing…with the Matterhorn in the background! I was frying eggs in Montana 5,072 nautical miles away.
M&M NZ: “We are having fits with the heavy deep crud here..HELP!”
My thought was that without being able to show them what was wrong it would be hard to help. A simple voice-over would not be much help. So, I went a-Googling and found a cheap phone app called Coach’s Eye that allowed me to do the voice over plus slow motion, stop action, montage. draw lines and circles and boxes and more. So, I loaded their video into the tool and did the analysis. It took about 15 minutes. I sent them the Movement Analysis and a link to an old Youtube video of a drill that would help.
They were beyond happy. They sent me an email asking for my snail mail address and I didn’t think much of that so, I sent it to them. I was thinking I was going to get a postcard from Switzerland or maybe a box of Toberlone..To my surprise, I got a small box with …a postcard, two sticks of Toberlone and a check for $200.00. 15 minutes…$200 you do the math. That was late March of 2014
Over the course of the summer, I got videos, postcards, candy and money from them in Australia, NZ and Chile. I also got requests from them to help a friend here, a friend there. Friends Here and There sent me postcards, candy and checks.
I now have Paypal and Hubspot and 3 dozen happy seniors skiing all over the planet. At $20 a pop for five minutes work,it can add up fast. A session can take 5 to 15 minutes. That’s $80 to $240 an hour.
Some might view the Carv product as a direct competitor but I don’t believe that is the case. They will be going to market with the consumer model in November 2017 to be followed in the Spring of 2018 with a “coaches version” that will hopefully include an embedded Movement Analysis tool and a rudimentary Customer Relationship Management app (CRM). AT least that’s what I suggested to them. If they don’t, other tools are readily available and very affordable
This suite of tools would give you everything you need to help your clients no matter where in the world they are. You will stop being just an “instructor”. You become their ski consultant. A collaborator conspiring with them to take on any mountain, anywhere.
About 90% of the folks out there either use DVDs, books or free Youtube videos to teach themselves.
Even if they don’t buy the boot hardware, the phone app provides a set of tools and a common progression of lessons that can be used to structure their practice and your relationship with a client. Maintain contact, direct their progress, get them through hard times and you have a customer for life.
When they are away they can send you a 30 second video and a note like “Having trouble with Exercise 21.b #crap” (or whatever) and you will know immediately and exactly what they are talking about and how to approach the Movement Analysis of the video clip.
If your senior skier does have the boot product then you are home free. The data from the boot sensors give you a highly detailed look at what is going on over there half way around the world. Sync the video with the data and BAM!
Carv could be a threat to on-snow coaching or it could be the best thing that ever happened to your wallet. You might as well get on the band wagon or, some more enterprising snow coach in Chile or Oz or NZ just might be poaching your regular client from you with these tools!
Technology like Carv give you the opportunity to maintain contact with your clients when they aren’t with you. It will help you to CONSPIRE with them to take their game through the roof! And, when you both feel it is time for some in-person work, you guide them to make that decision together with you. That’s a world away from saying good bye and hope they come back someday.
No,Carv isn’t a competitive product. It can be the best thing that ever happened to your coaching career. It can mean the difference in struggling with cash through each season to
Living large Coaching-from-Your-Couch
If that sounds like a good deal to you, SUBSCRIBE to this blog and Share it with other instructors. There will be a series of articles over the summer showing you exactly how to build your client base, and use software tools, and social media marketing.
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