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Laura Graves on the Benefits of Remote Coaching

Remote coaching and remote learning can open up a world of possibilities, says Olympic dressage medalist Laura Graves.

by US Equestrian | Nov 2, 2021, 10:38 AM EST

Thanks to technology like Move ’N See’s robot cameramen, equestrians can now take lessons and clinics remotely—which

Laura Graves on Verdades at the 2019 FEI Dressage World Cup Final.
Photo: US Equestrian

translates into more convenience, more lessons, and even coaching with more distant trainers that previously might not have been as easily accessible. There can be advantages for coaches, too, who can reach more students and cut down on travel time.

We asked Laura Graves, who uses Move ’N See’s Pixio robotic cameraman system, to explain why she thinks remote coaching and learning are worth it, as well as her tips for students to make the most of a remote lesson.

What is so valuable about remote coaching with Pixio/Pixem for both students and coaches? Does it open up opportunities? 

Especially since COVID began interfering with travel, I’ve been using my Pixio system more than ever. Learning to use the system has allowed me to take and give lessons all over the world. It is hard to coordinate everyone being in the same place at the same time. And rather than having to load horses up on the trailer, I can just tack them up like normal at home. It saves lots of travel time.

Is remote coaching using a video a game-changer for both students and coaches? If so, how? 

Absolutely. The amount of coaching I am receiving is more, simply because of the convenience of the Pixio system. Same with giving lessons. I can sit in my office and warm students up at competitions in other parts of the country.

What tips do you have for students about setting up and using the Pixio/Pixem system?

Take the time to learn how to use it. I think, for most people who own the system, they get quickly frustrated and give up. But I promise, once you learn how it operates, it is very simple. I can set mine up in minutes and most troubleshooting can be performed with a simple restart.

What are your top tips to students to help them get the most out of a remote coaching session? 

Be prepared.

1. Do not wait for your first remote lesson to test your set-up. Call a friend and make sure it is all working. Otherwise, you end up paying for your lesson just to test your equipment. It is frustrating for everyone.

2. Have another set of hands ready to help. Even though the Pixio system works great, having someone available to help in case of issues will prevent you having to get off your horse.

3. Have all relevant information from your coach ahead of time: their username to call, their camera location preference, etc. It is easier the more you work with the same coach.

Earlier this year, we also asked famed para dressage coach Michel Assouline for his coaching tips for training students remotely. Assouline coached the bronze medal-winning U.S. Para Dressage Team, including 2020 double gold medalist Roxie Trunnell, for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Read his insights here