Education Events 2017-18

Earn your Credits;
Get ready for that Exam

Fall Rally, Dec. 10-11th at Mt. Rose
NorCal Rally, Jan. 21-22nd at Squaw
SoCal Rally, Jan. 28-29th, Snow Summit & Bear

Education Rally, March 18-19th at Mammoth

Here’s what to expect:

These events will help you improve your personal skiing, riding, teaching. Come prepared to have fun, hone your skills and receive updates on divisional and national material. Help yourself with a strong training program for the season to reach your goals.

Certification Prep Clinics:

  • Overview of the skills and knowledge required for all level exams, including materials and process updates.
  • On-hill teaching presentations, teaching methodol- ogy and movement analysis with personal feedback
  • Ins and outs of demos and tasks. What they are and

    how to perform them.

  • Personal and specific feedback on your performance in relation to the National Standards.

Education Improvement Clinics:

Education clinics will focus on Ski/Ride and Teach Improvement. You are guaranteed an amazing educa- tion experience and all mountain adventure no matter the snow conditions. All topics will include personalized coaching and feedback. Topics may include some of the following (weather and snow conditions permitting).

Snowboarders and Skier share the same patch.

Skiing/Riding Improvement:

• Skill development and tactics for steep and ad- vanced skiing/riding.

• Off-piste and bump skills.
• Tactics for the conditions of the day. • Maximizing efficiency and fun.

Teaching Improvement:

• New teaching ideas and tools, when and how to use them.

• Efficient teaching progressions.
• Improving your movement analysis.
• Understanding cause and effect and then devel-

oping a progression from those observations.

Children

  • New ideas and tools to teaching children.
  • In depth discussions of child behavior and how to

    work with all ages, stages and attitudes.

  • How to work with parents’ behaviors effectively
  • Special needs children in groups.

    More details on each of these events can be found at the links at the top of this article for each one. Also find all our events on the calendar.

    This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Alpine Discipline News – Fall 2017

Bryan Schilling, Alpine Chair

When asked for the solution to society’s woes, Henry David Thoreau famously quipped: “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity…” Well that quote has always stuck with me, partly because it’s brief (and redundant) enough so that a ski instructor like me might remember it, but primarily because it rings true to my experience about life, and more importantly – about skiing. As instructors we work hard to put things into simple terms for our guests. Straightforward makes sense. This season our new members will have one simple, affordable choice for Level 1 certification; a two day module. With input from trainers, resort operators, and accessing best practices from other PSIA-AASI divisions, we are working hard to implement this pathway to Level 1 certification. I believe this simplicity for prospective members portends many positives. We have revamped the exam outline to be engaging and experiential education-based. Resort Trainers will be relieved of the burden of administering the “in-house” certification, allowing them to focus on candidate engagement over evaluation. A simpler format decreases the ‘barrier of entry’ cost for the candidate and administrative cost to the PSIA-AASI West office. What isn’t changing is that there will still be level one tasks, demos, movement analysis and teaching. The national standard is still the standard. In conjunction with this change, as PSIA-W Education Staff training will focus on pedagogy with a capital P, the method and practice of teaching. This means facilitating ‘experiential education’ approaches to learning outcomes (not just lecturing on them.) Simplicity applies to all levels of certification, it’s what great instructors intuitively do. So, there you have it – simplicity in a nutshell – we are back to the basics again. So grab friends, spouse n’ family – tell them there is never a better time to train (or re-certify!) as a level one instructor! Can’t wait to ski ya on the slopes!

-Bryan Schilling

 

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Big Bear Mountain Resorts is Hiring Snowsport Instructors

 

Are you an enthusiastic, outgoing, people person who loves the mountains?  If so, Big Bear Mountain Resorts is looking for you to join our team of ski and snowboard instructors for the 2017-2018 winter season.  Enjoy the crisp, clean, sunny mountain air of Big Bear Lake.  Above 6,700’ in elevation, Big Bear is the place to ski and ride in Southern California.  Work alongside other outdoor enthusiasts.  Experience the joy and love of teaching others how to ski and snowboard.  Make some friends.  Have a lot of fun.  Earn some money and get multiple employee benefits, including free skiing and riding this season along with other discounts.

We teach all levels and all ages of skiers and riders, from beginners to experts.  You need to have a love for people, for the mountains, and working outside.  If you can ski and ride on blue, groomed runs, we will take care of the rest.  There are multiple levels of involvement, starting with Holiday only employees, to Part-time, all the way up to Full-time.  Our busy times are weekends and holidays, which works great around school and other work schedules.  

All applications are through our link below.  As of now, positions are open, and we are actively hiring.  Our typical season is from Thanksgiving through the first two weeks of April.  Expect as a first-year instructor to work from the beginning of December through the second weekend of April. 

Apply online at https://www.mammothresorts.com/jobs/bear-mountain-and-snow-summit-jobs

Joshua L Spoelstra
Director
Ski and Snowboard School
Big Bear Mountain Resorts
Tel. 909 866-5766, Ext. 193
jspoelstra@mammothresorts.com

Level 1 Exam Outline

View the New Working Outline for the Level 1 Online Exam

New Events coming April 3-15

If you still want to get your level 1 or your Snowboard Level 2 this season, we have some new events coming up!

You can go see them all and register at http://psia-w.org/calendar/

April 3 – Snowboard Level 1 Validation at Boreal

April 3-5 – Alpine level 1 exam at Mount Shasta Snow Park

April 4-5 – Snowboard Level 2 teach exam at Heavenly

April 9 – Snowboard and Alpine level 1 Validations at Bear Valley

April 9 – Snowboard Level 1 Validation at Mount Rose

April 15 – Alpine Level 1 Validation at Mount Rose

Ramp Up Your Park Game

 

Alex Baker at the Northstar Freestyle session in March 2017

Did you Know PSIA-AASI West holds Freestyle Session Events?  This is a 3 day focused freestyle training, you will have the opportunity to ride one of the best parks in North America with some of our best PSIA-AASI freestyle staff.

One of Mammoth’s parks. Photo by Mammoth Mounatin

Chris Ball Winds up for a 360

What is a Freestyle session?

A Freestyle Session is an education event and an exam all at once. While less structured than regular exams, attendees still have the opportunity to prove they meet the standards for PSIA-AASI Freestyle level 1, 2, or 3. It’s like an exam, but more “freestyle”, so to speak. When you sign up, you do not sign up for one specific level, but you attend and are given the level you deserve at the end. This way, if you do not have a level 1 but are  riding and teaching in the park at an advanced level, you may receive your level 2 or even 3. Likewise, if you are going with a level 2 as your end goal but do not meet all the standards, you can still walk away with a level 1.

Who can attend?

The group at Northstar Freestyle Sessison, March 2017

If you have at least your Alpine or Snowboard level 1 and are a current member, you can attend. These events are for skiers and snowboarders of all park abilities. You are split into groups based on ability after the first day, so you will be able to ride with people who will push you within limits. So if you are working on your 720s and hit 50 footers with ease, no need to worry about being stuck in the first-timers park. If it is your first time in the park, don’t worry about having to hit the biggest features or being left behind. There’s something for everyone.

Brian Norman, showing that the halfpipe is for skiers too

What can I expect each day going into a freestyle session?

Ronnie hitting a jump with style at Northstar

All three days are technically part of the exam, but each day builds up to the final day when you will receive the results of what level you achieved. Not only will you work on teaching in the park, but you will have the opportunity to work on your own ability and pushing your own limits. The first day is more freeform, and you can expect to receive coaching on your own riding. Expect to explore all the parks and see what the resort has to offer and become comfortable with the parks there. Day 2 focuses a little more on coaching, and you can expect to receive and give a few pointers with your fellow attendees. Although you will still have some coaching from the PSIA-AASI tech team, day 3 is almost all coaching from your peers. You will be observed not only on your riding, but your ability to teach the group a certain skill in the park. What you teach depends on the level you are going for.

Doug Fagel, one of the trainers, boosting out of the pipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos and writing by Hanalei Edbrooke

 

 

Still Time to Register for 2017 Women’s Summit

The 2017 Women’s Summit is still open for registration! New this year are Tele and Cross Country clinics.  Check out the  Event Guide for more details. Participants are welcome to attend one day or all three. Guest speakers and apres activities each night.

Register for 2017 Women’s Summit

If you are already registered…share the above link or the attached registration form with your lady friends or for those women you know that are associated with other snowsport professional organizations.

Hope you can join us!

The Last Lesson

By Crook Rusty

 

My wife and I were having dinner one night when the phone rang. It was an old friend from my past. This man was not a bosom buddy, but he had been a friend for years. We had worked in the same ski school for years, and in the last years he had worked for me in my senior program. He informed me that he had moved back to town, after his wife passed away and now was living with his daughter in Carson City.

He told me he was 94 years old and that he had not skied for 10 years, and had never used the new shaped skis. He had been anALPINE avid golfer and had lived for quite a while in Palm Springs, California. Now that he was back in town he wondered if he could still ski and he wanted to try the new shaped skis. In the old days, he was a certified instructor and was more than adequate as a skier and instructor.

I informed him that a couple years ago I had a stroke that left me with double vision, so he was asking the walking wounded for help. I asked him why he wanted me, of all people, to help him. He said that he trusted me because he knew that I was so politically incorrect that he could believe what I said and there would be no B.S. I told him if he was willing to put up with me, I would certainly try to help him as best I could. I offered to pick him up, but he informed me that he was still driving and would meet me at the ski area.

We met in the cafeteria, had a cup of coffee, and mapped out our plans for the day. I told him that being an accomplished skier was actually a detriment because he was so used to the old-school methods. I asked him to forget all the things he used to teach and do. I told him what we would do is work on some basic skills, focus on function, and have fun.

It is my belief that older people still have good thought processes and can have their mind do the work their body no longer is able to fight through. It was good to be with an old friend to try and make the most out of function while having fun at the same time. It is my belief that if you don’t understand what you’re trying to do and can’t really feel it, there is little hope of accomplishing anything.

I was able to get my buddy a pair of high-performance shaped skis, good boots, and a pair of ski poles. We were now ready to take on the mountain.

We started with a review of what the stance should be. He agreed with most everything that I said except he thought the weight should be on the balls of the feet, but he told me that being flat-footed made a lot more sense.

The first little drill that we tried was a straight run to a gliding wedge. Here we used flexion and extension. It is a known fact that many older skiers are quite stiff in their body movement. I think by finding out what body movement does for you, he could see how movement helps you with what you are trying to get the skis to do. We took at least two runs doing our change-up drill. By doing this, he could actually feel how the up unwaiting of the extension made it easier to operate the skis. I think that feeling this is very important.

We were working on relatively flat green runs. We were having a good time and no one was bothering us. We were on a long run that gave us plenty of time to work on different maneuvers. The next thing we worked on was keeping a good body stance. After we worked a little on the stance, we worked on the ability to flatten one ski. In doing this, we obviously made a long radius turn in the direction of the flattened ski.

We did this at the top of the rise and it became quite easy to feel what was going on with the skis. In the wedge, people have their weight on the two inside edges. When one of the inside edges is flattened, the other ski becomes dominant, and makes a skier turn.

It was at this stage of our drill that we started talking about a strong inside body. As we flattened the inside ski, we raised our inside hand, elbow, and shoulder to help our body cross over and change the side of the ski that was flattened. This is a simple drill, but it seems to be the biggest help to keep from stepping off the new inside ski to the outside ski. This stepping movement is old school and is referred to as the up and over move. Instead of stepping, we are looking for a flow towards the new turn. I think a lot of the really good skiers still use stepping as they have for many years. It seems to me, this simple drill can help them be more current and flow towards the next turn.

In the natural progression, we take this wedge turn into a wedge Christie. As long as we keep doing the same things we did in the first drill, we maintain good body mechanics and flow. We like to call this the silky-wedge Christy and it seems to be a very important thing. If you get it right, it can help you in most of your general skiing.

Our next drill was obviously the wide track parallel turn and by using almost the same maneuvers, we found it very easy to make a few changes. It is still important to flatten the inside ski and to keep involved all the other things that we were doing. As we go on to the more advanced turns, it all seems to fall into place. By the time we were through, my old friend and I looked around and determined we were more than likely the most contemporary and functionally sound skiers on the hill. Of course, we could have been a little prejudiced.

My friend called me the next day and told me that after the two and a half hours of skiing his legs were not tired at all. I think that was a good testimonial of how well contemporary skiing helps seniors. After 60 years of teaching skiing, it was more than likely my last lesson, and was a great way to end my career. This lesson put me on a high that lasted for weeks.

Interested in finding out more about teaching seniors? Check out our senior summit event on March 5-6!