Andover Outing Club/Lebanon Outing Club
Sutton Mills, NH
Sutton Mills, NH
The Whoopie Pie War
For a number of years our family was a member of both the Andover and Lebanon Outing Clubs. My older son Chris was at Proctor Academy then, skiing for Tim Norris. He wanted to practice on the Lebanon K48 the nights that Proctor was not on the Blackwater K38, so we made that trek to Lebanon most Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays His younger brother Danny would come along to jump too, and he was getting pretty comfortable on the Lebanon K25 under the coaching of Jon Farnham. Jon felt Danny had gotten solid enough to get started on the K48, so one evening he shifted Danny over to Casey Colby who was the K48 coach that season. It went OK for Danny; nothing great, but no problems either. One night in the lodge after practice Jon asked Danny how it was going. “Pretty good” Danny said, “I had one really good ride tonight.”
“That’s great Danny” said Jon, “I’ll look forward to seeing you jump at our meet this weekend. I’ll be jumping on the 48 too.”
“If I jump like I did tonight Cannonball, I just might beat you” Danny joked.
Jon came right back with, “Maybe, but I’m jumping pretty good too. (which was total BS that season, but incredible motivation for Danny) Want to have a little bet to make it interesting?”
Danny thought for a moment and said, “OK, but it can’t be money, I don’t have much of that.”
“No, not money Dan”, Jon responded, “How about one of those whoopie pies over at the snack bar where Mrs. Colt is. Winner gets a whoopie pie from the guy with the shorter rides, distance only.” And it was on.
It wasn’t even close that Saturday. Danny jumped ok, and Jon jumped ok, but Jon’s ok was a good bit longer than Danny’s. Danny was stunned, I actually thought he was going to cry for a moment he was so disappointed, but he didn’t. He walked right up to the counter and bought Jon a huge whoopie pie; which he graciously accepted, and praised Dan’s effort. The bet kept going all season long, and Jon ate a lot of whoopie pies. My wife Ann took to making whoopie pies before each meet as we were pretty sure Danny wasn’t going to win any, and at least that way Danny got one. But he was creeping closer, and seriously motivated. Exactly the way Jon wanted it. At the Bill Koch meet at Andover he finally tied one of Jon’s rides, but couldn’t match the other one. It was within reach now, Dan could taste it, and the Whoopie pie as well. “Next year Cannonball” he vowed.
” I’ll be waiting, Danny” Jon shot back.
Well a 12 year old boy can do a lot of growing and maturing in 9 months. A 40+ boy; not so much, and the growing that’s possible isn’t usually helpful to ski jumpers. Still the bet was on, and right out of the gate Dan was longer than Jon at the Andover meet. Finally the long awaited whoopie pie. One problem; they don’t sell whoopie pies at the Blackwater Lodge snack bar so Jon couldn’t get Danny his long awaited prize. Of course we had whoopie pies with us, having no idea this was going to change this quickly, so Ann gave Jon a whoopie pie to pay off Danny. Then at practice in Lebanon the next night Jon made the bet good by buying Danny the real prize he was waiting for. This continued again for the entire season, and this time Dan was the one eating all the whoopie pies. I don’t think Jon had one all year that he didn’t have to buy. You could see though how much he loved having to buy those Whoopie pies for Danny, for he’d won something much larger; knowing he’d helped get a kid to ski well beyond where he might have because of the motivation he gave him to reach this goal.
Great coaches not only know how to technically teach the sport they are involved with; they develop bonds of friendship and trust with the athletes they are working with. Not always, but quite often they can figure out what buttons to push to help that athlete achieve at a higher level. For Jon Farnham that button was shaped like a whoopie pie and he pushed it to help Danny to a successful and fun filled ski jumping experience.
A COUPLE of LINKS
Jon Farhams’s USANS Story from 2012 CLICK HERE
Great whoopie pie recipe (if coaches need new motivation tools) CLICK HERE