Founding Partner, Gold Mettle
Former CEO of Alpine Canada
Coach of the Year
Canadian Ski Hall of Fame
Max Gartner, a native of Linz, Austria, is a former professional soccer player who spent five years at the famed Stams Ski Academy in Austria. After joining Alpine Canada as an assistant coach in 1982 he went on to excel in a variety of coaching and management positions over the next three decades.
An outstanding coach and team leader, Gartner spent many years working with both the men's and women's alpine teams. He coached many of Canada’s biggest stars, including Thomas Grandi, Cary Mullen and Ed Podivinsky and in 1991 the Canadian Ski Coaches' Federation named him Coach of the Year.
Gartner took on the role of Chief Athletic Officer in 2003 and oversaw Alpine Canada's ski racing programs before he succeeded Gary Allan as president in 2010. During his time as president and CEO of the national governing body, Gartner emphasized the importance of safety in ski racing and in 2011 he hosted the first annual Ski Racing Safety Summit in Calgary. A year later, a second summit was held with a special emphasis on safety in the sport of ski cross. A number of the recommendations announced at the summit were later accepted and adopted by the International Ski Federation.
Max’s Coaching Philosophy
RESPECT | DEVELOP | EMPOWER
Attending the Ski Academy in Stams was the goal for any young skier growing up in Austria. I was a natural athlete from the flatlands, and making the cut for the exclusive sports school at age 14 was a huge accomplishment. My ski racing peak came at age 18 when I won the Tyrolean Championships. I was a decent skier, but by no means was I an outstanding racer. But I was most definitely the best soccer player! In my last year at Stams, I tried out and was selected to play on the Innsbruck 1st Division soccer team. A racer turned professional soccer player and all through the route of the Stams Ski Academy! I thrived in the team environment of my new sport, played in Austria and Germany before a severe back injury forced me to retire from soccer and pursue my education.
At the University of Innsbruck, I focused on psychology, philosophy and sport. It was during the studies of teaching athletes that I quickly realized my true calling was coaching. I wanted to assist athletes to grow and realize their potential. Throughout my education, my coaching style emerged and much of it was based on lessons I learned as an athlete and the impact from the many different coaches in my life. I learned something from every coach, I also learned what I didn’t like in a coach, but I learned.
No one influenced my coaching philosophy more that Baldur Preiml, the athletic director at Stams. Through his leadership, the Austrians experienced Ski Jumping dominance in the ‘70’s. ‘Baldi’ had incredible energy and he had an aura that made you believe you could do anything.
His focus on developing the ‘whole person’ gained him respect and as an athlete, you felt that Baldi really cared about you as a person, not as a ‘performance object’. I was drawn to sport psychology because of the mental training he incorporated into our daily programs. I saw the importance of not only building a broad foundation of skills but also strengthening mental awareness and empowering the athlete which exposes their true mettle.
Through my 30+ years in high performance sports, my coaching and leadership philosophy still remains very true to the principals that Baldi instilled in me many years ago. Working in partnership with elite athletes allowed me to exercise those principles and continue learning every day. Needless to say the athlete I learned the most from was Kerrin!
My coaching philosophy is defined by:
RESPECT the person
DEVELOP the foundation
EMPOWER the athlete