Archive September 2020

How my ski dream turned to reality- My Story Freefloski

‘Ski teaching is not a proper job… Get a proper job…’ is what everyone would tell me.

My story is different from most other stories. The majority of ski instructors come from a ski racing background. They are people who are born in the mountains and on skis. Just like you, I was an ordinary British person who was born in England where there was no snow or large mountains to ski down. A career of being a ski teacher was not recognised as being a proper job.

My first ski experience:

I will never forget my first ski experience. I was on holiday at nine years old with my family. We started skiing in a small resort in Spain and the whole week was a total disaster and a bad memory for me. I hated every moment of it, carrying my skis, wearing heavy and uncomfortable boots and being cold.

My instructor didn’t speak any English and had very little patience. To make matters worse, my brother picked skiing quickly up and was zooming effortlessly down the mountain. Next was my sister, with a full face of make-up, who adopted the perfect ski technique. I was a total disaster. I couldn’t turn left, I couldn’t turn right and I couldn’t get up to the top of the slope on a lift. It was a real struggle and not easy. I was scared and I didn’t understand anything. I didn’t know the ‘How to ski..’

skiing
Mastering the technique of falling over at 10 years old

At the end of my first week of skiing, the instructor did manage a sentence in English. He said to my parents, “Skiing is not for your daughter. ” Hearing that sentence just destroyed me and gave me no confidence at all. 

However, my Dad had other ideas. I wasn’t allowed to give up. Through his eyes giving up was a failure. Because of my Dad, I was back skiing again with the family on the next winter holiday.

A few years past, like millions of other people I found myself going down the path of getting a proper job. I finished my GCSE’s then my A’levels and started University in Nottingham. But I wasn’t motivated, fulfilled or happy and I knew deep down that something was missing.

After University:

After one teaching term, against my parent’s wishes, I left University. I started the next winter as a chalet girl in the ski resort of Courmayeur in Italy with Ski Inghams. The drinking and party culture of being a chalet girl had completely influenced me. One Sunday I was hungover and sitting on the chairlift in resort when I found myself talking to a stranger. The stranger’s name was Brian Fern. At the time he was a ski trainer for BASI which is the British Association of Ski Instructors. I remember thinking WOW, how cool is that he skies for a living. ! Working your passion.  I then saw him ski for the first time and I thought to myself that he was a SKI GOD…because he was amazing and made every turn with no effort. I was in love!

off piste skiing
European Mountain Safety in Chamonix     2007

That was the beginning of a fourteen winter struggle through the ski instructors system. I gave up everything and followed my dreams. I was a ski bum in pursuit of a ski teaching career in France! It wasn’t easy. Most summers I was working two jobs to finance the winter training and exams. I slept on some floors to save accommodation costs and sometimes I would sleep in my car. 

I remember starting my APC Level 3 Ski Coach course in a pair of twin tips skis and baggy pants. At the time I couldn’t afford the race skis and a nice shiny lycra race suit.

The ISTD level 4  is the last level out of the four levels of the system. It was the hardest and took me five winters to complete. The training and exams took their toll financially and physically. I remember the start of my 30’s being the broken years. I had encountered so many injuries, several broken bones, a couple of dislocations, torn tendons, concussion and a fused c8 vertebrae. Despite all the injuries and lack of funds I still had the drive and determination to finish the diploma. I didn’t want to be old in my rocking chair and have any regrets about life.

The turning point:

What was a turning point for me in this difficult time? I looked into how to improve different parts of my skiing. With research and speaking to others, I tested new strategies.  I developed ways of becoming a better ski athlete. I listened and made the changes and improved my skiing. From the inspiration of reading the book the Inner Game to Skiing and later the Inner Game to Tennis I also started to train my mind and to improve my mindset and as a result, my skiing and understanding went to the next level. I still coach these methods today and you can read another post on the Here and now in skiing that I have written.

It was the difference between night and day and in December 2012 with bib number 75 in Alpe D’huez I passed my euro test. I was the fastest girl in the race and .92 of a second inside the time. This achievement was the passport to my career in teaching skiing in France. I was so thrilled and overjoyed!!!! I was the 37th British woman to have ever passed this particular ski race. 

Today:

Now I teach people all the lessons I have learnt. The lessons. The mistakes. The secrets. The ski adventures. The ‘How’ …

If you’d like me to take a look at your skiing or give you some invaluable ski holiday advice drop me an email to [email protected]I have some free available one to one call sessions available.

I will look forward to hearing from you soon.

All the best

Floss

P.S: For more skiing advice and tips subscribe and like us on youtube.

Ski Touring
Jocelyn Cockle, Director of FREEFLOSKI

P.S.S: Further reading that I recommend to help you to control your mindset is The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters. It is a fantastic read which can help you in your day to day routines.

 

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: basi, british female instructor, british ski instructor, Espace Killy, Uncategorized

Skiing for Prostate Cancer UK – A Great Man We Lost Due To COVID19

Skiing for Prostate Cancer UK – Plateau to Summit Ski Adventures
A Great Man We Lost Due to COVID19

Where and when will these events take place?
New and for a part of this winter 20/21, I will be skiing for Prostate Cancer UK. I will be offering guided ski touring adventures, ski coaching, charity events and ski lessons in the ski resort of Tignes and surrounding areas. All proceeds and money raised will go to one of my late father’s charities, Prostate Cancer UK.

Life can be so cruel sometimes and so erratic. Tragically and unexpectedly we lost our lovely strong and fit Dad, the late Terry Cockle to the indiscriminate pandemic killer COVID19 last May 2020.

https://terrycockle.muchloved.com

With a kind and caring soul, Dad approached everything in life with good thoughts and an abundance of good humour. As a family man, Dad showed immense love, unconditional support and allowed us to go on our journey, trusting in us as we did in him. Life without him will never be the same and I will always carry him in my heart forever.

In the honour of my Dad and to all those people that have been affected by COVID19 and cancer, I want to continue my support and to raise further funds for one of Dads charities.

Therefore, this winter I am offering selected guided ski touring adventures, ski coaching and lessons where a course fee will not be paid or a percentage will be donated to Prostate Cancer the UK.

Where and when will these events take place?

Selected ski adventures and events will run through the winter season 2020/21 in Tignes and surrounding areas. Time allocated will depend on the snow conditions and weather. The details and dates of these events and adventures will be advertised on social media networks nearer the time. Keep up to date with these events by following us on Facebook or dropping me an email.

I need your help to run these events!!!

If you are keen on supporting families that have been affected by Covid19 and cancer and you would like to help me to run an event. Or if you are a guide or instructor who can legally work in France and you want to give up some time to help to instruct or guide an adventure please get in touch. You can message me on Facebook or drop me an email to [email protected] ‘Together we can ski, have fun and make a real difference…’

For more details about Dad’s tribute and if you would like to donate please click on the logo below:

 

I will look forward to skiing with you. Together we can have fun and make a real difference.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Floss

Ski Touring

Jocelyn Cockle (Floss)
Director of FREEFLO
ISTD International Ski Teacher
MTA Mountain Leader

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: skiing