Stages of Skill Development







Benchmarking the Skills of Your Skiers

Coaches must be competent in assessing at which stage of skill development their skiers are at. This will allow the coach to realize the correct timing of moving a skier on to more challenging tasks of skill development.



What does Bronze, Silver & Gold mean for the coach?

The following terms explain the stages of skill development that a young skier will progress through when learning new skills. This progression will aid the coaches in determining where their skiers are on the continuum.


- Initiation

  • First contact with the skill and may have no idea what to do.


- Acquisition

  • The skier coordinates and executes the key components in the correct order.
  • It is in rough form, lacks synchronization, rhythm and flow.
  • Execution is inconsistent and lacks precision.
  • Skier needs to think about what they are doing during the execution.


- Consolidation

  • Coordination of movements begins to appear.
  • Skill is performed with control and rhythm under stable conditions.
  • Some elements of performance are maintained (when athlete is under pressure, conditions change or demands increase).
  • But performance remains inconsistent.


- Refinement

  • Performance is very consistent.
  • Precision is high in demanding conditions.
  • Movements are automated.
  • Only minor fine tuning may be necessary.
  • Critical reflection and correction is possible by athlete.



S5 Box