As we celebrate and reflect on the past 20 years of New Gen, we realise we’ve come a long way. And along the journey, we’ve learned numerous lessons from instructors, team members, clients and partners. Everyone we’ve worked with has contributed to our growth and made us the company we are today. We’ve spared you the 10-page essay we could write, and have narrowed it down to our top 20 things we’ve learned over these 20 years.
20 Things We’ve Learned in 20 Years
1. Everyone loves hot chocolate
Whether you’re 7 or 70, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate chaud in a cozy mountain hut.
2. Working with people who believe in what you believe in is brilliant
It means work can be fun, and you can achieve a lot because everyone is pulling together.
3. You’re never too old to learn
Whether it’s taking your first lesson after skiing for a long, long time, or giving something different a go, you’re never too old. We’re still learning every day.
4. Take the time to sit down and define what you value
About four years ago we defined our values as a company. It’s something the whole team can get behind, and we try our best to use it as a sounding board and reference when making decisions, big and small.
5. There is no magic wand
There is no one magic trick or drill that will help you get better. Only with working with your coach or instructor, and spending plenty of quality practise time on slopes, will you start to master new ski skills.
6. Perservere and be persistent
We launched our first Austrian ski school, St Anton, last winter. But it didn’t happen overnight. It took lots of phone calls, meetings, paperwork, conversations lost in translation, but we eventually got there.
7. Fat skis change your life off-piste
Back when skis were only one shape – long and skinny – only the best of the best skiers could head off-piste. But fat skis have opened up a whole new world of off-piste adventures to more skiers.
8. Take kids to the toilet before going up the gondola
Just, trust us on this one.
9. Businesses have the power to create positive change in the world
For a few years now, we’ve been tying in charity giving into our everyday business activities. And we believe it is something all businesses can do, and have a responsibility to do.
10. Italian instructors need big pasta pots
If you want to keep your Italian instructors happy, make sure they have a massive pot in their apartment to cook all their pasta. :-)
11. Onesies should have never gone out of style
Seriously, had we known they’d make such a comeback, and actually be the most valuable piece of fancy dress you could own in a ski resort, we would have never donated ours. Hmmmm, new uniform idea for next year?
12. There’s no set template for something new
If you are doing something no one else has done before, there isn’t a set template. This means it can take a long time, require a lot of persistence and you will have A LOT of paper work to get there. It also means you have to be constantly out of your comfort zone.
13. Keep looking forward
Being a trailblazer means it’s easier for people to follow your path and copy what you’ve done. You need to focus on what’s ahead, not what’s behind or beside you.
14. Rear entry boots aren’t all they were cracked up to be
RIP rear entry boots. We miss you not.
15. Instructing is so much more than an analysis of skills
Especially important for our trainee instructors, is learning that teaching is more than just looking at someone’s skills. You need to be a motivator, friend, presenter, have patience and empathy, amongst a myriad of other skills as well.
16. Make decisions when you’re in a good frame of mind
Such as at 2am after skinny dipping in a pond in the Cotswolds…
17. It’s all in your head
For clients and trainee instructors alike, taking in feedback and improving is a mental game. Translating feedback into changes in your skiing and pushing yourself beyond what you imagine possible, is all about your mental commitment.
18. Half Term Mondays are fueled by multiple cups of coffee
We recommend approximately 3 espressos before 9.30am, in order to make it through the day in one piece.
19. We live for the moments when clients finally ‘get it’
No smile is bigger than on a person who’s just completely surpassed their own expectations. Whether it’s going down a red run for the first time, doing your first boot hike and skiing off piste or suddenly finding that magic spot in the middle of your ski when you’re completely balanced. Those moments of ‘ahhhh I get it, that was AMAZING’ are what we live for as instructors.
20. The thrill of the mountains never goes away
Being able to share our love of the mountains with other people is such a privilege. It’s humbling to work on one of the most beautiful places on our planet.