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Jim McCormick

Jim McCormick

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Jim McCormick was one of the first dedicated coaches of water ski champions starting back in the 60s. He started with a ski school on the Lake of the Ozarks and was a national level competitor in all events until his competitive career was cut short by a knee injury. He realized that in order to further his ideals as a coach, he would have to move from his native Missouri to central Florida in 1967 where he could coach year-round to a growing international list of competitors. Jim’s initial ski school in Florida was located on Lake Dexter, close to Cypress Gardens. His reputation as a coach quickly blossomed and his ski centre swiftly outgrew the confines of Winter Haven. Jim found an ideal spot in Seffner, Florida to develop his three-lake site, which he designed with the help of Ed Brazil. But make no mistake, Jim was the visionary that foresaw the rise of international skiing as it is today. McCormick ski school in Seffner was developed as a three-lake competition site and was soon host to the AWSA Southern Regionals in 1983. Since then, his site has hosted the Pan American Championships, the 1997 USA Team Trials and continues to this day to host numerous international R/L tournaments each year. Recently, the ski school has expanded, and the third lake is now dedicated to cable skiing and wakeboarding. Jim McCormick was the first to develop bevelled edges and bottom grooves on tricks. He pioneered the movement to shorter tricks as well. Jim invented numerous training techniques in all three events. He was the first coach to utilize video instruction and used that technique effectively to elevate the skiing of his students. Jim continued to develop his coaching skills and was mentor to some of the best skiers in the world for decades. Jim was instrumental in the development of many water ski coaches during his decades long career.

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