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The insider’s peek into a life as an independent coach on the World Cup Circuit!
By: Erika Hogan

The excitement of early season training is always hard to beat! It means the race season is approaching rapidly and the pressure to fine tune your equipment and skills is constantly on your mind. It is the time to create an environment to turn that pressure into a feeling of confidence and pure excitement to get in the start gate with every detail taken care of and the feeling of  “Gettin sh*t done” or better yet “Got sh*t done!” Yes this is the infamous quote from the one and only Hailey Duke. The long hours this summer into fall of running around Ketchum with a quick trip here and there to Boise or Park City to raise money, or prepare equipment was always followed up with “Gettin sh*t done!” This was her way of not wasting precious minutes telling you exact details of what was going on in her life so that she can better utilize those minutes actually raising a buck or two, working out or locking herself up in her room to send off “thank you’s” to gracious donors and completing the last detail of the very important fundraiser coming up. So much more goes into independent ski racing at the World Cup level then most even realize. I get to live this life first hand with Hailey. Not only are we roommates in Ketchum, Idaho but I have the pleasure of coaching her this season.

When choosing a coach at this level there are many factors that are considered. Does this individual have the knowledge? Does this individual have the ability to motivate me? Will our personalities work well together? Is this individual capable of taking care of the logistics such as travel, budget, coaching, and setting up conducive environments to help me succeed? Not only are these viable questions but they are legitimate concerns. Gratefully, Hailey sees these characteristics in me. Her faith in me to help her succeed translates into my faith in her ability to succeed.  Our mutual faith in one another is unbeatable.  On top of that, having a person on the road with you that you can be honest and open with and bounce ideas off of are other qualities that Hailey and I share. Before this partnership we were friends. Being able to go through this experience together will be memorable to say the least. There will be many laughs, struggles, and victories along the way and I look forward to sharing the experience with you all throughout the year.  In my mind our mutual faith in one another and passion for the sport is our first story of victory!!! May there be many more ahead of us.

LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN!!!!!

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