Growing up, we became a ski family somewhat by circumstance. My Dad’s father died when Dad was only one, so my grandmother raised him as a single Mom until she remarried when my Dad was a young teenager. To pass his time, he played sports – baseball, basketball, hockey, football, swimming, and at some point, skiing.
Mom grew up on various farms and was athletic herself. They met in college when Mom asked Dad if she could get a ride to Stowe to go skiing. After they both graduated from the University of Vermont, Dad became a teacher and a sport coach at Windsor High School where he coached baseball and skiing. At that point, skiing became our family’s winter sport. My siblings and I learned to ski at Mt. Ascutney and raced in the Lollipop Races held every Sunday.
From my earliest memories, I was fascinated with children – the younger, the better. By the time I was an adolescent, I knew I wanted to work with kids.
In junior high, to support my efforts as a ski racer (before this country became health-conscious), I lifted weights, jogged, and stretched to develop strength and cardiovascular fitness; I ate balanced meals and began to study nutrition. Skiing was my #1 sport. By the time I was in high school, I, along with my siblings, made the U.S. Ski Team and competed throughout the world.
After I ended my ski racing career, I finished college. I realized I wanted to be a teacher, but of what? I became certified in Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences which incorporated my interests in sports and children. Eventually I began teaching in the Vermont public school systems.
By my mid-thirties, I realized teaching school still left me feeling unfulfilled somehow. I liked teaching, but what I loved more was sports and coaching. I coached field hockey, skiing, and eventually one year of Little League baseball. I also loved teaching people how to ski.
Over the years, as I was asked to speak to various teams and groups about what being a gold medalist was like and what it took to become one, I developed my ideas about “How to Gain the Competitive Edge”. Athletes began working with me to improve their performance; I talked to teams about the mental preparation to win.
As my sport program evolved, I also taught coaches and parents of aspiring athletes how to understand and support their athletes.
This web-site is a culmination of all my interests in sports and children: as a mentor to athletes, coaches, and parents; as a member of the “Skiing Cochran’s”; as a ski instructor; as a teacher of parenting skills and childcare; and as a resident of Vermont.