Without coaches, we would not be able to compete against the best in the world. National Coaches Week is a time to celebrate the impact that coaches have on athletes across the country. Alpine Canada is lucky to have some incredible coaches working with the Canadian Alpine, Para-Alpine and Ski Cross Teams, supporting them in their quest for the podium.
We are excited to take this opportunity to recognize all ski coaches across the country who are helping skiers develop a love for ski racing, skiing and the great outdoors.
All week we’ll be highlighting some of the coaches who work with our Team Canada Ski Teams.
Name: Stanley Frank Hayer
Team: Canadian Ski Cross Team
Role: Head Coach
1. How long have you been a coach?
I would say that I started my coaching career back in 1999, spending time with various camps in Mt. Hood, Hurricane Race Camps and Sailer Racing Camps to help me stay sharp during the summer since I was a self-funded World Cup Slalom athlete. I fully immersed myself into coaching when I retired from ski cross in the summer of 2010 after the Vancouver Olympics. I started out with Alpine Canada in the ski cross development stream and have spent the past six years as Head Coach of the Canada Ski Cross Team.
2. Why did you decide to get into coaching?
I had various reasons for moving into coaching, but the main reason was, and still is, that I feel I still have a lot of knowledge and experience to help Canadian athletes reach their full potential.
3. What is the best thing about your job?
For me, the best thing about the job is seeing all the pieces fall into place. Working with the World Cup team we have many experts in different fields and, like a good puzzle, getting those pieces to fit is a challenge but when they do, the results are amazing.
4. What is the best moment of your coaching career?
I would be lying if I said it was anything other than the 2018 Winter Olympics. There was a lot of effort put into creating a system of trust and belief that could withstand the pressure of the Olympics. The staff and the athletes, with a calm purpose, went into race day at the Olympic games with clear heads. Three medals from three amazing athletes, lucky most were too busy to see the tears of joy and relief.
5. What’s the toughest part about your job?
Being away from family has to be the hardest part of this job. With all the camps, races and planning, it is more than a full-time job. Having a good team dynamic really helps keep the time on the road enjoyable, but nothing beats hugs from your kids after a long day.
The other difficult part is watching the events at the finish in real time on the jumbotron. I can sometimes see the decisions and outcomes before they happen, yelling at the screen does not help the athletes, they are on their own and as a coach, I am pretty much helpless.
6. What are you most looking forward to about this season?
I am excited to see the depth of the Canadian Team this year. We have a strong team of ladies that just needs some more experience and a lot of new young guys chomping at the bit. I do like to cheer for the old guys the most, putting it all on the line when you know the consequences is always a challenge. However, seeing a new athlete get their first podium always creates a different kind of excitement. Either or, if one succeeds, we all succeed. Go Ski Cross Canada.