From great coaches come great coaches.
That’s Rob Kober’s humble estimation of where many of the skills came from that earned him the 2018 Jack Donohue Coach of the Year award.
The award was presented in Ottawa recently to the Penticton resident whose career spans more than a quarter century, including working as head coach of Canada’s men’s moguls team from 2002 until this year.
“The one thing I said about Peter Judge (Kober’s coach when he skied competitively) was he always had a way of making you feel like you were going to succeed,” said Kober, in a telephone interview Wednesday from Calgary where he is now working as head coach of the Alberta moguls team. “Peter always made you feel like he believed in you and that, more than anything else, for me is the sign of a great coach that embodies having the ability to convey that to your athletes.
“It’s important that they (athletes) know that you care about them and that you believe in them is the number one thing.”
That was the trust which Mikaël Kingsbury recently said Kober was able to instil in him on his last race at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, a gold medal run.
Named after the late Jack Donohue, who coached the Canadian men’s basketball team to bronze medals in the 1976 and 1984 Olympics and a Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame member, the award goes to the coach who exemplifies his qualities of honesty, integrity, positiveness, competitiveness and love of sport.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Kober said about his selection which he learned about in September. “I mean it’s not the reason that I coach, or most people coach, to get awards, but it is super, super nice, a tremendous honour to be singled out and have my career recognized in that fashion.
“It’s especially a tremendous honour in the current sports climate in Canada where there are so many good programs and coaches in our country who are kickin’ butt around the world.”
He added being passionate about coaching and conveying that commitment to the team is another important aspect of the job.
“So it’s not always clear unless we as coaches do a good job of communicating that,” said Kober. “It’s our ability to show that belief and how you connect those dots.”
Kober also played an important role at the international level for many years, serving as the coach representative on the International Federation of Skiing (FIS) technical committee on rule changes.
The Penticton family’s name is synonymous with moguls, Kober’s oldest son Josh is in his second season as head coach of the B.C. Moguls team on which daughter Chloe competed last season.
Youngest son Jordan also competes on the Nor Am circuit.
“I stepped away from the national team to work with the Alberta program and so now I’m able to collaborate with Josh a lot more now, there’s a lot of interaction between the two programs,” said Kober. “We just back from a training camp in Switzerland and to be able to have that opportunity to work with my son is pretty cool, pretty special.”
Reaching his potential as a coach is something Rob hopes and believes his son with aspire to, following in his footsteps to greatness.
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