Britain’s number one female alpine skier and 4-time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott has been skiing since she was a toddler. Born in London, Chemmy started competing at the age of 8 before embarking on a career that would see her work her way up to being ranked 8th in the world. Since retiring from alpine skiing in 2014, the talented athlete is keen on educating others on the value of sport.
Whilst coaching with her new company at CDC Performance, Chemmy recently used our Kenwood ProTalk LT PKT-23 two-way radio’s. Communication while skiing is very important for safety reasons and thanks to Kenwood’s ProTalk radio’s, Chemmy was able to keep accurate accountability of everyone at the touch of a button. Read Chemmy’s blog to see out how she got on:
Communication is Key - Kenwood Radios Blog NZ Summer 2015
7.35am sunrise Cardrona mountain resort, South Island NZ.
“Okay racer. Get that outside hand down at the apex of the turn. Course is clear. Let’s charge”
18 words that can make or break an athlete’s run. Technical advise. Safety and words to motivate, inspire.
As the coach your success is measured by your trainee’s performance, for CDC however our aim is to develop people through sport, so we want to make happy, confident individuals ready to attack life. Either way, you have valuable runs to make marginal gains. You have to optimise every run. Every turn. You also have to make sure that the piste is clear - no wayward free skiers lost off the mountain, veering into your gates. With all the undulating terrain nature blesses skiers with, rarely can you see a whole run from the start. You slide down checking the snow - sliding out old tracks as much as possible. You stop on the knoll bathed in the pink hues of the sunrise. But the most important thing you do as a coach is to communicate.
As they say ‘communication is key’ and there are few places this is more important than when the safety of 9 young skiers hurtling at speed down a mountain is in your hands.
The radio at the start. The radio at the end. The radio at the cafe. The radio in each of the coaches’ right chest pockets. Each radio has its own personality - its own role. But equally without one you are running below efficiency.
Mr start Radio is always positive, wearing rose tinted glasses seeing the best in everyone but equally as sharp as a tack. Their job is brief but all important. Check in with the coach. Get the course clear and then those precious few words that can dictate the whole run - individually inspirational.
Mrs finish radio is sensitive, always there to relay feelings of new techniques, new lines tried. To check that the feelings and what the clock says are on par.
Mr cafe radio has the cushiest job of all. All day he stays warm nestled in the spare clothes of a rucksack in the cafe. He is there for freezing cold hands to awkwardly grab to ask coach for a break, then hot-chocolate-mug warmed hands to eagerly communicate that all is well and ready to go back out and brave the weather and attack the course once more.
Mr and Mrs coach radios are the motherships. They are there to make sure everything goes smoothly, optimizing efficiency, communicating ideas for change and improvement and perhaps uttering those golden words that can help change an athlete’s day.
Ski racing demands a lot from radios. It demands them to be small and light for ease of transport and tucking into pockets. It demands them to work when fingers freeze in sub zero temperatures. It demands them to be able to function through snow capped trees, valleys and lips, jumps and bumps.
The success of our NZ camp was that everything worked as a whole - we were one team. We were one team because we communicated at all times. Kenwood radios, to quote one our athletes, helped our trainees ‘have the time of our life.”
What more can you ask for?