How To Be A Pro – By Mike Douglas

May 7th, 2009 by

Last night after a splendid dinner at the Jib Academy Finals, pro athletes, grommets, team managers and industry insiders gathered in a packed room for an insightful talk from skiing legend, Mike Douglas. The topic, “How To Be A Pro”.

Since the Jib Academy is all about gathering the next generation of freeskiers that will eventually represent our sport, this was a very important talk. Mike Douglas has been in the game for over 20 years and is affectionately known as “The Godfather of Freeskiing” in many circles. In his time in the industry he’s seen just about everything and has years of experience. Thankfully for us, he was willing to share some of that knowledge with us and give these very helpful tips on how you can be a successful pro skier.

Ski because you love it.

Ski sponsorship is a business!
Nobody is getting rich being a pro skier and everyone is here because they are passionate about the sport! Remember, you have to sell skis in order to have a marketing budget!

It’s a Job and you have to work at it!
Competitions, filming, blogs, testing, PR, it’s all part of the job! Stickers on skis and helmets –make sure they are your sponsors and they aren’t covering up your skis. At the end of the year you have to look at what you did and make sure you provided value for your money.

Be an original!
Copycats never get ahead.
Copying other sports just makes us look like wannabes!
JF Cusson, Eric Pollard, Seth Morrison, Anthony Boronowski and John Symms are just some examples of individuals in our sport.

Work with companies you like.
Bullshitting sucks and people can see through it. Be authentic.
Telling the truth will get you much farther in the long run.

Jib Academy finalists listen in while Mike D spits some knowledge.

Communicate with your sponsors
Unless you are winning all the big comps, it’s really hard to keep up with what you might be doing.
Send updates to your sponsors.

Work with your sponsors partners
The industry is too small to have everyone doing there own thing.
We need to work together to achieve greatness.

Evolve or die
Your career may change many times.
Me: old school freeskier – mogul skier – coach – jibber- backcountry freestyler – big mtn skier.

Even the pros were on deck to hear what Mike had to say. Here’s Matt Walker, John Symms and Mike Clarke.

Embrace social media
You need to be on Facebook.
You need to be communicating with your fans.
You need to be involved with your sponsors web objectives.

Respect always
Be professional.
Think before you act.
The team manager that you don’t like now might become your greatest friend at new company.

Many thanks to Mike Douglas for this very important talk. It was great to hear all the questions coming from the kids here at Jib Academy. Many realized that being a pro skier isn’t just about getting shots and skiing 24-7.

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