Rick Schnellmann 

Ski Racing-Race Coaching-Online Ski Instruction


Janis's Blog

Ricks Blog


Hi everyone.  My name is Rick Schnellmann, and I'm the founder of YOUR SKI COACH.  I started skiing at the age of 6, on a hill behind my house on wooden skis with screw on edges and leather lace up boots that came just above my ankles.  It was love at first slide, and what has followed has been an intense journey with skiing that has encompassed almost 5 decades.

Learning to Ski

I grew up in a little ski town south of Buffalo, NY.  In an area of the country renowned for it's harsh winter weather, and living only a couple miles from a local ski area, I guess I was destined to become a skier.  I can still remember my first days of skiing on a real hill at age 7.  My mom would drop me off at the bunny hill to participate in the Buffalo Evening News sponsored free learn to ski lessons.  I would ditch my lesson, hike all the way up to the top of "big hill", and follow those cool instructor guys in the neat uniforms around trying to imitate their skiing.  I wasn't as stealthy as I thought, because they got a kick out of me and took me under their wings, giving me valuable tips.

Ski Racing

By age 8 I was on the Glenwood Acres racing team.  It was a powerhouse of a team for a small bump of a ski area.  Among my teammates at the time were 2 later to be US ski team members, and also a national slalom champion.  I was in good company.  I had plenty of success through my junior racing career, then after high school I joined the post Vietnam Army with the sole intent of trying out for the United States Military ski racing team stationed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.   Well, the truth is, I joined with full confidence that I WOULD make the team, and not be saddled with 4 years of the mundane duties of a peace time grunt.  Ah, the brashness of youth.  Well, in this instance fate smiled kindly on my gamble and I spent two years as the team's captain and top athlete, racing throughout Europe against World Cup level competition and filling quota spots for the United States in FIS competitions.  It's was a truly wondrous experience.

Race Coaching

After leaving the Army I decided I wanted to give back to the sport that had given me so much and taken me so far.  I went into coaching, taking a job as a head coach at Kissing Bridge, the next door neighbor resort that had gobbled up my beloved Glenwood Acres where I'd grown up skiing.  I stayed at Kissing Bridge for many years.  It was a powerhouse race program.  It was a 6 day a week training program with well over 100 racers, and we consistently had the most success of any local program in the state.  We were a major supplier of talent to academies around the Northeastern US, and had our share of profile athletes come out of the program.  Erik Schlopy is noteworthy example.  I eventually took over leadership of all of Kissing Bridge's racing activities, and held that duty for many years.  Also in between was a stint in Colorado as the program director for the Copper Mtn. race team.

The Mission

Now thirty years of coaching later I have a new mission.  For so long I consistently developed expert and World class skiers, and what always struck me was the gross disconnect between the skill level of the racers I worked with, and that of the average recreational skier.  From working with literally hundreds of different students, I knew the difference was not so much in innate athletic ability, but in access to the information and training methods my racer kids were privy to.  And I knew the cost of general ski lessons was such that the situation didn't have much of a chance of changing.  A new way of getting the information out needed to be devised, so that ALL skiers had access to the same training methods my students did. 

The Solution

That is my current mission, and YOUR SKI COACH is the vehicle I've chosen to accomplish it.  Recreational skiers deserve access to the skill based training methods that have consistently produced the best skiers in the world, which up until this point they have been very sheltered from their view, and financially impractical to seek out.  My goal is to bring that situation to a close once and for all with the BUILDING BLOCKS INSTRUCTIONAL SERIES.  This DVD series will provide in 6 installments all the skills and drills that need to be developed before expert skiing is possible.  It will not be your typical quick tip variety of instruction.  It will cover every skill area in skiing in an in-depth manner, providing training methods to develop a very broad foundation of skills upon which to build expert skiing.  It's the type of technical knowledge and skill that just can't be gained with a few ski lessons a year.

The Vision

I'm very excited about this project, as I see it having great potential to address the void of access to comprehensive information and quality training that has existed for way too long in this sport thanks to the high cost of lessons.  I truly believe YOUR SKI COACH can play a vital role in bringing that inexcusable situation to an end. Skiing is a life sport.  The more skill you can develop, the greater the pleasure you can derive during the many years you have to participate in it.  It's possible for anyone to amplify enjoyment of the sport through improving their ski skills, and I look forward to helping each of you on that journey.


Rick Schnellmann


Rick tells his story and his vision.


Skiing is a life sport.  The more skill you can develop, the greater the pleasure you can derive during the many years you have to participate in it.  It's possible for anyone to amplify enjoyment of the sport through improving their skills, and I look forward to helping each of you on that journey.


-Your gateway to our website


  1. -Our store, buy learn to ski DVD's


- Building Blocks Ski Instructional Series

- Tell me about the series

- Who's it for

- How to use it.


- Helpful tips

- Drills and exercises

- Technical articles

- Building Blocks support



   Founder Rick Schnellmann

-  His background

-  His goals for the site


- Ski tips for beginners

- Basic info beginners need to know

- Answers about equipment

- Beginner survival guide