Snow ski: Narrabeen man's rewriting the rules on coaching skiers

NEVER SAY NEVER: Narrabeen resident Tom Gellie has been coaching advanced snow skiers online since the COVID pandemic hit. Picture: Simon Bennett
NEVER SAY NEVER: Narrabeen resident Tom Gellie has been coaching advanced snow skiers online since the COVID pandemic hit. Picture: Simon Bennett

Narrabeen resident Tom Gellie isn't going to let a little thing like the COVID-19 pandemic stop him from teaching snow skiing online to advanced skiers across the world.

"I'VE always thought about getting into education, like how you could probably go and buy a course from Roger Federer's ex-coach on how to be a better tennis player, I thought I could do that for skiing.

Before COVID hit I was mainly doing instructor training, like at Aspen ski school, I ran clinics for their instructors. I was at Whistler in Canada the year before, I ran clinics for their top instructors.

I've been on the Australian demo team for two four-year stints. I represented Australia twice so I went to South America and Austria with the Aussie team.

The demo team is the top instructors: they have to be able to coach, demonstrate and show all types of skiing from the beginning to expert, like pounding down mogul fields and ski race courses. You have to be a Jack of all trades and also be able to teach it.

I've basically created my own Netflix of skiing, or ski learning, like a masterclass of skiing.

I've basically created my own Netflix of skiing, or ski learning, like a masterclass of skiing. The website is really me combining 15 years of ski instructing experience with say six years of body alignment, biomechanics knowledge and delivering it. That's important if you're going to teach online, you really have to explain it and give good visuals and good analogies.

NEVER SAY NEVER: Narrabeen resident Tom Gellie, pictured at Narrabeen Lagoon, has been coaching snow skiers online since the COVID pandemic hit. Picture: Simon Bennett

NEVER SAY NEVER: Narrabeen resident Tom Gellie, pictured at Narrabeen Lagoon, has been coaching snow skiers online since the COVID pandemic hit. Picture: Simon Bennett

It's absolutely come out of COVID. I had my body alignment practice in Dee Why, it was really busy and then COVID hits and it's like 'oh oh'. I thought well this is my chance to do what I've always wanted to do and start putting my ideas on a website.

I have this website, Big Picture Skiing, of video resources that people can tap into, there's a whole bunch of stuff about how the ski works, how to set up the ski boots, how to get your body ready before you go skiing.

Then I take people who are not beginners, people who are already good skiers, and I help them figure out their stumbling blocks or their plateau level and what's going to get them to the next level.

It's via either an online course where I go through topics one-by-one or private one-on-one one-off coaching lessons where you send me a video of you skiing. I've looked at so many videos of skiing that I can just tell you straight away what you're doing wrong and show you how to change it.

I can share everything I've learnt through being on the demo team, being a body alignment therapist and working with people with chronic back pain, broken ankles, busted necks. I can teach people as much of that information as possible through this website. I can share that with the world and I think that's really cool.

As proof of that this season, two guys that I've coached made the American demo team. That's the top instructors in all of the USA, they try out every four years to get on a team which is maybe about 15 people, I helped coach two of these people and they'd both never been on the team before.

My goal is to be the best online ski coach the world has ever seen and to change the way people can be coached skiing."

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