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TRUE LOCALS
Zeit.los Magazin

von Zeit.los Magazin

December 05, 2022

TRUE LOCALS

You would have to be a ski instructor...

... then women's hearts would just fly to you. Is that really the case?

Or is this well-known myth a thing of the past?Admittedly, there are indeed worse jobs than spending winter days on the slopes, waving down the pistes in fancy uniforms and teaching guests from near and far how to ski. That goes for women and men alike. Other essential ingredients for being a ski instructor are friendliness, patience, understanding and, above all, the joy of dealing with people. And of course not to forget: the appropriate qualification.

"We have the most rigorous training in Austria".

Ulrich Strauß, Head of the Ski School Alpinpower in Seefeld

Ulrich Strauß, Head of the Ski School Alpinpower in Seefeld

Snow sports instructors are the new name for the well-known ski instructors, because not only the ski industry is constantly evolving, but also skiing itself. Freeskiing has long since become a trendy sport among young people, and slopestylers and freeriders have become indispensable in our ski resorts. The beautiful and healthy skiing also not.

View from Rosshütte to Seefeld

The training path leads from the ski instructor candidate via the state ski instructor and diploma or state ski instructor to the ski guide. The crowning achievement. Even during the candidate course, in addition to the technical skiing training, the pedagogically correct handling of children as well as alpine safety play a major role. So far, so good. So not just anyone can be a ski instructor.

But what about the image of ski instructors? Do they still have the image of heartbreakers? Uli Strauß has to laugh a little. "Well, Ballermann has completely disappeared from the scene here in Seefeld. The myth that après-ski is part of our job has not been the case for a long time. Maybe that was the case 30 or 40 years ago," admits the long-serving ski instructor. "Today, the guest has completely different demands, the length of stay is much shorter and people want to make intensive use of the valuable vacation time.

Children's skiing course - Seefeld

Parents like to enjoy their time on the slopes, while the children are well looked after in the ski course and learn skiing with fun in the group. After the ski course, guests today prefer to go snowshoeing or take advantage of their wellness offer at the hotel. It's no longer true that the whole group goes out for après-ski every day," says Uli. But he also knows of other times when it was quite common to go out partying in the group after skiing lessons."

In the past, we already knew our guests, as many came back every year. That's when we went out a lot with the whole group and a few rounds were made. And yes, of course it also happened that we had a friendship or two," smiles Uli and adds: "Before we were married, of course. There was always flirting anyway, it's part of our job. I can remember a few love affairs that are still married today, where my colleagues moved to Germany or Holland for love."

Rosshütte terrace in winter

Uli's career as a ski instructor began while he was still at school at the HTL in Fulpmes during the Christmas and semester breaks in 1976. Once he caught fire, he quickly completed all possible training courses up to state ski guide and was active in the Seefeld Ski School Society until five years ago.

"Toni Seelos was my mentor for many years. All the ski schools based in Seefeld today have grown out of his ski school."

Toni Seelos skiing

In 2017, Ulrich Strauß founded the Alpinpower ski school with his brother and two partner friends. The stories he can tell from his life are numerous. Much more lasting for Uli are the numerous friendships that have developed over the years. "We were on the road with Jordanians for weeks at a time in Seefeld and other ski resorts, teaching their children to ski and then being invited to Jordan. We still have good contact with some of the guests today. It's really nice when a few ski lessons turn into such long-term friendships."When selecting his ski instructors at the Alpinpower Ski School, Uli Strauß pays particular attention to who can best use their strengths with which students. "That is the secret of our success, that we use the ski instructors in the areas where they are also good. In addition, we have learned from the mistakes of the past and pay our ski instructors well and treat them as equals. That's our style and I think the success proves us right," Uli is convinced.Ski schooling has long ceased to be a purely male domain, just as age no longer plays a role. From 17-year-old schoolgirls to young-at-heart and sprightly retirees: in addition to their technical skiing qualifications, ski instructors need above all a good gift for motivation and a good knowledge of human nature. "In addition to our 15 to 20 full-time ski instructors, we also employ many male and female students."

And what does a ski school director do in the summer? "For over 30 years, I have been working at the golf course in various functions during the summer months. As head of the ski school, however, the work already begins in the summer with various preparations such as pricing or creating brochures. And in winter it is exciting every day in the morning to see if all the instructors are present and all the booked courses and lessons can take place. It's all the nicer when everything runs smoothly and our guests can enjoy a beautiful day of skiing," says Uli, already looking forward to this winter. The booking situation looks good and hopefully nothing will stand in the way of a successful winter. Whether there will be as many love stories as in the past, that remains to be seen. Perhaps the myth of the ski instructors as heartbreakers will also experience its renaissance at some point.

All information about skiing in the Seefeld region can be found here.

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