John Wolcott

April 2010


I constantly speak and write about the process involved in improving one’s skiing.  Expert level skiing is an attractive goal that most skiers would love to attain, but the process of getting there is little understood, and seldom followed.  That’s why there are so so few expert skiers populating the slopes, and why they draw so much attention from the admiring masses when they gracefully flow down the mountain.   

Building Blocks provides a road map for realizing one’s potential as a skier, but that destination can only be reached through a dedicated pursuit by the student.  A commitment to doing the drills and consistently including practice sessions in one’s time on the slopes needs to be made, and stuck to, if success is to be experienced. 

This award is being given to John Wolcott, for the impressive manner in which he’s adopted and implemented this formula for improvement into his skiing.

I first met John in February of 2010, when he wrote to me with questions about my Building Blocks program.  Specifically, he wondered how our self training program compensated for the missing outside feedback of an instructor.  When I explained the tools the program contains to do that, he purchased the complete program.  After receiving the DVDs John sent me this feedback:

”I had the opportunity to go through all the DVDs, and my first reaction was WOW!    This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for but I didn’t know it.” 

Now motivated, John proceeded to intensely devote himself to following the Building Blocks training program.

Over the remaining months of the season, John and I developed a close student/coach relationship.  As he worked his way through the program he would email his questions to me, and I would provide suggestions designed to help him experience the greatest possible success at each step along his learning journey. 

It was so much fun hearing the incremental reports of progress John was making in Building his skiing skills, one by one, as he worked his way through the program.  Here’s an account he sent me early on in our communications, of the first of many enjoyable skill building moments he experienced in the program. 

“As you know, I was very skeptical of the effectiveness of improving my skiing by DVD.  Today proved to me you are in fact on to something.  Although I started skiing in 1960, I knew there were gaps in my skill set.  Consequently, I have diligently worked my way through each exercise, although some I started on blue runs because I knew I could do them at that level.  It took me about 6 hours to work through the basic balance drills spread over 3 days (I’m still working on the outside lift on blues), and about 4 hours (1 day) to go through the basic edging exercises.  It was exercise #13 in the basic edging series, fall line finders at 90 degrees, that turned out to reveal a real weakness in my left turn initiation.  After a complete run I still couldn’t figure out what was wrong so I pulled out the exercise cards.   The exercise cards are turning out to be an extremely important part of my program.  Reading the hints, I discovered I was not leaning forward and getting on the balls of my feet on my turns to the left.  After solving that problem on a blue run, I took my new skill to a blue/black run, then a steeper blue/black run, then a black run, and finally a bump run.  I was delighted with my performance, especially on the black and bump runs.    The results were amazing.  I wish I had a before and after video.”

John’s approach to his training serves as a model for all who desire to take their skiing to its highest potential.  The great results he’s achieving is directly attributable to the dedicated commitment he’s made to doing the work.  He also understands the that learning and improving can be a life long pleasurable pursuit.


“What I really like about the program at this point is the ability to keep practicing the drills week after week.  With the typical lesson, I’ve forgotten what we worked on by the time I get to the slope again.  Also, I like that I will be able to use these drills season after season.”

I want to congratulate John for his outstanding work and achievements, and thank him for the model his approach to training provides for all our Building Blocks students.  I expect I’ll be hearing more from John on a regular basis, as he continues on in his pursuit of excellence in the sport, and continues to reap the rewards. 


About John


Outstanding dedication to training