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Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors
NOVEMBER 2015 EDITION
Financial report....................................................Page II
- Tom Langtry...................................................Page 26
President’s letter...................................................Page 1
- Warren Feakes...............................................Page 28
Office notes..........................................................Page 1
- ‘A Team Supporters Perspective’..................Page 30
General manager’s Summary..............................Page 2
- Adam Federico..............................................Page 31
Technical Reports................................................Page 3
General Articles....................................................Page 35
- Adaptive.........................................................Page 3
- Calling all ski Instructors in the Canberra Area.Page 35
- Alpine.............................................................Page 4
Rookie Articles.....................................................Page 36
- Snowboard....................................................Page 5
- James Barbe-Winter......................................Page 36
- Telemark........................................................Page 6
- James Le Salle...............................................Page 37
- Nordic............................................................Page 6
- Jamie Dickson...............................................Page 38
Interski Reports....................................................Page 7
- Matthew Smith...............................................Page 38
- Team Australia...............................................Page 7
- Oscar Alston..................................................Page 39
- Chris Allen......................................................Page 9
- Shauna Rigby................................................Page 40
- Paul Lorenz....................................................Page 11
Sodergren Scholarship........................................Page 41
- Reilly McGlashan...........................................Page 16
Exam Results.......................................................Page 42
- Richard Hocking............................................Page 18
2015-2016 Japan Training Calendar....................Page 45
- Richard Jameson...........................................Page 21
APSI Partners/Supporters and Sponsors............Page 46
- Tom Gellie......................................................Page 23
Financial Report The forecast for the EOFY is a loss of $12,000. The expected loss comes as no surprise, as it is in line with the forecast made at the beginning of the year. There are funds available to cover the anticipated loss and to meet the significant expenses of the next several months arising from the seasonality of the business. Course and exam income is trending upwards, and there is a focus on putting in place strategies to retain and increase membership. The three-year membership is definitely the most cost effective option for members. However, this year has been expensive for the APSI. Large expenses were attributable to Interski, development of the web application and reprinting of the alpine manuals. The Board is pursuing strategies to enable us to continue to invest in services to members, for example:
• Better management of the Interski account – investing Interski savings in greater interest bearing accounts over the next few years • Developing business cases and prioritising products or services along with ongoing expenditure, for example, plans to update manuals, for forward planning purposes so we can smooth out the lumps and bumps in expenditure through a rolling four year forecast • Iteratively improving our book keeping practices to better align with accounting standards and streamline auditing and reporting, and • Considering how we can promote our brand to attract new members.
On the last point, and others, if you have ideas you would like to put forward, please email apsi@apsi. net.au attention Treasurer. Treasurer - Deborah Meehan
President’s Letter Mark Dixon
With Interski held in September we had a tight winter schedule. However, we were able to fit all the required training, courses and exams into a small time frame which went very much to plan, thanks to Andy and the technical directors. Congratulations to all of our members who were participated in training, particularly those that were successful in their exams.
Our APSI app was a great hit at Interski and if you haven’t already tried it, please do.
A big thank you to the ASAA and the snowsport school directors for your help and support over the past four years. I look forward to continuing and improving our strong and on-going relationship with all of the Australian resorts.
The APSI board of management are continuing to focus on our future needs, with an emphasis on growing the association, marketing, promotion and working on securing sponsors. I am pleased to announce that we are in a positive financial position, leading into the next year. This reflects a strong
Finally, I would like to thank Mt. Buller for the past five seasons supporting me in my role as the adult/ training supervisor. We are off to vail for another great winter and I wish everyone an awesome summer or winter and I look forward to seeing you all next year. Kind Regards Mark Dixon.
OFFICE REPORT LEXI COLVILLE What a great (and at times intense) season we’ve had! You can read all about it in the following pages, so I’ll keep my update short. We had lots of positive responses from the APSI neck buffs that were sent pre-season as a thank you to members and it was pretty cool to see lots of instructors wearing them out on the mountain. This season we debuted the APSI mobile app and hopefully you’ve had a chance to download it and try out the features. The app has been developed as a teaching tool with loads of common problems and suggestions for corrective exercises. The app is available to download for free on the apple and google play stores. You will need to be a current member to log in with your existing APSI username and password, so don’t forget to renew your membership before December 31st. Currently only alpine content is included in the app, but this summer will be spent working on adding other disciplines and improving the existing content.
First I would like to congratulate the APSI demo team members, supporters, families management and staff for an extraordinary performance and effort that they put into representing Australia and our organisation at the 2015 Interski congress in Ushuaia, Argentina. We can be very proud of our high skiing/riding standard as well as our teaching method which I believe positions us amongst the top nations in the world. Job well done and I’m looking forward to reading all the articles from our team regarding Argentina!
growth in membership and dedicated financial management by all staff and and board members.
Membership renewals for 2016 are now available through the online store. One year early bird membership is $100 instead of $125. However, renewing for 3 years ($280) is still the best deal! Early bird prices will only be available until December 31. At this year’s AGM we farewelled Dive Burton (Resort’s Rep), Tom Mitten (Adaptive TD) and from the board and welcomed Michal Bierczynski and Tom Hodges in their place. Once again, a big thank you needs to be extended to the board for volunteering so much of their time to help the association. Finally, a big thank you to Andy, the technical directors and the APSI board for their continued support and also to you, the members for your commitment to training and the APSI. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you again next year. Lexi
GENERAL MANAGER’S SUMMARY ANDREW RAE
On reflection, 2015 was a short season for training with a tight schedule due to Interski being held in the southern hemisphere. With Interski and some exciting new additions to your member’s benefits like the new app, the APSI managed to have a pretty solid year. Below you will find a short summary on the APSI as a whole followed by some specific information by each of the technical directors. Thanks to all who helped this winter to be a success and we look forward to seeing you on the slopes again soon!
MILESTONES • Participation: Total participation in course and exams was up 18% on last year. • Manual: By packaging the manual with some course products, sales increased this year and more level one candidates now have the appropriate resources to help with their development. • App: Of our total membership 30% have downloaded the app, keep supporting this so the product can continue grow! • Interski: When compared to any other Interski I have attended; this team was the most highly recognize and received the most positive comments and interest from the other teams that I have ever witnessed.
OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS On what was a short training season membership and participation was higher than average. Alpine training constitutes 75% of all APSI participation and these courses ran at an average of 1:6 candidate to trainer ratio (as did snowboard), well done team!
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS Revenue as of September 2015 is almost equal to the revenue across the full 2014 year. Although this year has been expensive for the APSI, many of the larger expenses have a significant benefit to members including Interski, the new app and reprinting of manuals.
NOTES WHEN LOOKING AHEAD • By becoming more inventive with the type of products we provide we should be able to increase membership and in turn, participation, particularly in regards to our smaller disciplines. • New innovations such as the app are essential in helping our members further their professional development. In the long run, the benefit to members of us investing in these products will far out way the costs of development. • Financially the APSI is operating well, with continued close management of our business we should continue to do well in the future.
Membership reminder 2016 Membership 20% off until 31 December 2015 3 Year Full Membership - $280 1 Year Full Membership - $100 ($125) 1 Year Associate - $70 shop.apsi.net.au/membership 2
Technical Reports Adaptive Tom Hodges- Technical Director The variety of adaptive lessons in its nature is simply vast. Disabilities do not stick to textbooks. They come in every different form and combination. To be faced with the unknown is the reality adaptive instructors face and as such we adapt. It makes every student and every lesson a challenge, making the time spent planning and thinking about a lesson a rewarding experience when your student has a break though. Their success is your reward, and the rewards of an adaptive lesson are so great. Every adaptive lesson, whether it is skiing, snowboarding, guided or sit-skiing, presents challenges that are absolutely incomparable and complex compared with non-adaptive lessons. The outcome is the same, giving someone the tools to enjoy the snow as much as we do. I could write pages on each of the students I saw this year; their frustrations and triumphs however a few do stick out as being especially memorable. One story of an amazing lady who had been dealt a pretty tough hand when at 15 she was hit by a car and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Since that day she has lost her short-term memory, and her abilities to walk unassisted as well as her fine motor skills. After three days of skiing with the help of a snowslider, she was becoming more and more confident and re-learning less each day. At lunch on the third day she spontaneously got up and walked un-aided to fetch a glass of water. Her carers and the other instructors were blown away. She hadnâ€™t walked in 15 years. A young snowboarder who has hemiplegia came down several times this year. His walking gate is so impaired it makes it difficult to play sport with his friends or even walk for long periods. However when he puts on his snowboard boots and rides his disability fades away and he is able to participate equally along with anyone. A girl who has severe Cerebral Palsy came down this
year; She cannot talk or control her body movements but she can communicate using her eyes and a purpose built computer. She has bright blue hair and once you get to spend some time with her it is very clear she is alert and quite intelligent. She went out in a sit-ski being guided around the hills, though tree runs and even at some speed. She would light up with the adventure. Her wheelchair cannot go that fast or over such terrain. She has never had the freedom of speed or exhilaration that sit-skiing can bring. I later received a letter from her thanking me for â€œallowing her the dignity of riskâ€?. Another young male in his twenties came to the snow this year after breaking his back. He was an instructor at Big White Resort in Canada over the northern winter. He took a fall during his level 2 course and became a paraplegic. Knowing how a board performs and understanding the progression, he took his time as he started out sit skiing. Over the course of the season he got more and more adventurous and skilled every time he went out. Now he is fully independent and goes out riding with his mates, absolutely ripping in his sit-ski.
advising and assisting a tight nit group of amazingly talented and dedicated instructors to be able to deliver such an amazing experiences to all these students and so many more.
For each of these lessons I wasn’t their instructor. I was lucky to have been around for a couple of days for each of them but I cannot take the credit. I got involved with the stories mentioned above when their instructors were assigned to their lessons and then got in touch to ask for extra guidance. 2015 was my first year as Adaptive Technical Director and I am so grateful to be in the position where I am training,
Alpine Richard Jameson - Technical Director An extremely compact and busy season for alpine events and staff this year. Thanks and well done to all of you who made this another fantastic winter in the Aussie mountains and for those that worked so hard on chasing your instructor training goals with APSI programs. I will try to outline some of the highlights, successes and areas of potential change to keep you all up to date on some of our alpine initiatives.
New Alpine Products and Achievements
Alpine Manual – revised edition
We took the opportunity to re-edit the 9th edition of the Alpine Teaching Manual this year. It was an opportune time to carry out this task as we needed to re-print the manual this season due to higher than expected sales last year. We corrected spelling, grammar and some layout mistakes found in the 1st release, however we kept all of the content and page numbers the same to minimize confusion when on courses or cross referencing page numbers for required readings when training together etc. A few extra QR codes were also added to the progression chapter to direct readers to the APSI Vimeo page
This season saw a huge number of Adaptive candidates and it was very encouraging to have increasingly high numbers interested in Adaptive certification across all the resorts. There is always opportunity for you to get involved with such strong and courageous people, to make a difference, be challenged and share their amazing stories. People with disabilities don’t live in textbooks or follow manuals. They can find a life here in the snow and that’s truly amazing.
where there are some new open accessed videos for you to check out to help with your training.
MA Training Video A new MA training video was also produced over the summer and released for all trainers/snow sports schools to use this season. There are now 3 of these videos compiled from previous exam questions that APSI and In-house trainers can pull from. If you would like to access these to help with your MA training, just contact one of your in-house trainers or resort training manager to get a copy of the resources.
APSI App It was exciting to have the Alpine App released and built upon this season since work began on this project in Dec 2014. Initial feedback has been very positive and it has proven to be a helpful tool that APSI members and staff were getting good use out of this winter. The App was also an integral part of the Australian presentation at Interski in Ushuaia. It demonstrated the APSI’s ability to produce a revolutionary, modern tool that other countries were interested in doing themselves but had not yet developed. The alpine team is still working on making the App even more effective for your day to day classes and we would love to hear some
feedback from those that have been using it to make it even more beneficial. Please send your thoughts through to email@example.com
Was an invaluable event held at the ‘end of the earth’ in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina to share, swap, gather concepts and ideas to move our association and all of our members to the forefront of modern snow sports instructing. I hope you enjoy the reports by the Interski Team members in this edition of the Snowpro as we start to disseminate some of the information gathered at the event. We gained a valuable insight into the rest of the world’s direction on snow sports education that will ultimately guide our own direction over the next few years. It’s always an honour to be a part of this National Demo Team that I strongly believe did a great job on behalf of our association at the congress. That’s all for now. I hope you all have a fun and safe summer or winter over the next 7 months and I look forward to seeing you again next year in the Australian Resorts. Cheers, Richard.
Adam Federico - Technical Director Well, what an interesting seasons 2015 was! For all the doom and gloom at the start of the season with many people predicting, “the worst season ever” it actually turned out to be a pretty decent one snow wise. Despite the lack of snow and terrain open early the results at the re-sit were good which came as pleasant surprise. Conditions and weather were excellent and I was delighted to see our first successful level 4 candidate since I passed 4 years ago! Big congratulations to Oscar Alston from Thredbo for sticking it out and what a huge achievement. After the re-sits were completed there was no
time to sit back and enjoy the success, it was straight into the courses. It was good to see big numbers for the level three course again for the second year in a row. Credit to the trainers and candidates who had to deal with some really tough weather conditions towards the end of the week. NTC days were successful and we had some fun and were productive in training and developing ideas to help the candidates and progress some ideas we’re working on for the future. Thanks to the resorts and everyone who hosted me for your hospitality. With Interski being smack bang in the time our exams usually are, the exams started about a week earlier this year but that had no impact on numbers, with participation rates actually higher at level 2 & 3.
Numbers at level one this year weren’t quite as good as I expected but I think that was to be expected with
the slow start and the Interski shortened season. We still managed to get 85 people through with a 98% pass rate so that was really pleasing to see. Numbers were up from last year at the NSW level two, which was encouraging to see. Mixed conditions over both days made it slightly tricky but we saw a decent pass rate up over 50% with 11 out of 20 successful candidates so congrats to those guys and girls.
The VIC level two was, a good exam overall and another result of over 50% passing with 6 out of 11 being successful.
The level three exam had not only the biggest group that I’ve seen in my examining career, but the strongest as well and it was awesome to see. Even though it probably doesn’t sound like it 5 out of 15 people passing was a strong result for us and there were a number of other people that only just missed 1 component so I look for them to be successful here in the very near future. I have to say a huge thank you
to Kylie and Tareesa who put in some ridiculously long days during the level 3 to get everything done. There were only three participants for level four exam this year and unfortunately none successful, but components were passed and improvements continued to be made so I look forward to keep working with those guys towards a successful completion in the future. Also worth noting is that 2015 marked the first time we took APSI snowboarding to Japan and ran some courses and exams. We will continue this in the future and are hoping to keep it growing every year to compliment with what the alpine side is doing. So after 11,000 + kilometers on the road, about 47 days away from home and a trip to Argentina in there for good measure that’s it from me for the wrap up of the Aussie winter 2015. Thank you to everyone who made it a great season!
Richard Hocking - Technical Director
Warren FEakes - Technical Director
Telemark for 2015 was once again quiet with only one level one and one level three course running. Two impromptu Spring Sessions days were organised and progress was made on running informal telemark training days at two different resorts.
Sadly the late start to the season caused early courses to be cancelled. However, the most successful course this season was again the Latrobe University Outdoor Education Ski instruction elective for 2nd and 3rd year students. The course is tailored from the syllabus of the level 2 nordic course over three days, but the students are examined on a separate full day with the aim of qualification at level one.
I have been been collecting content for an APSI Telemark Facebook group. The aim of the group will be to build a greater sense of community, offer training feedback and some theoretical training to members. The group will also be used as a marketing tool to sell courses and is planned to be implemented in winter 2016.
Nordic Manual. As a result of Interski and clarification on a couple of aspects of Race Technique - especially Double Pole, some final minor additions and amendments will be made to the Nordic Manual Skills Section. Amendments from various trainers will be incorporated in the first two sections and these will be uploaded to the APSI website where these sections are available for download.
interski reports AUSTRALIAN
In September 2015 after only four days of training (this year) the APSI demo team attended the first Interski held in the Southern Hemisphere. Sending the APSI’s most senior trainers and examiners to Argentina in a time that is usually slated for the end of season exams created some interesting challenges. Challenges that were met with the utmost of professionalism by a team of 10 who travelled over 80 hours to represent Australia, the APSI and snowsports at this international event. There with the backing of a support team of 15 they experienced every snow condition known to man, some spectacular mountain scenery, the odd BBQ and some experiences that will remain with them forever, this is what that team presented to the other 34 nations.
Australia’s theme and presentations “Connecting Australians to the snow experience” Australia’s big day was Tuesday 8th September where we were involved in the following: • 9:30-11:30 Demonstration runs • 11:30-1:30 On snow workshop • 17:30-18:00 Indoor lecture
Demonstrations runs For our demonstration runs the team got a chance to show five different runs, these have to be both interesting to watch as well as show our technique. These demonstrations are one of the main ways to attract other people to attend our workshop. These were our five runs: • A show run in a double diamond formation focused mostly on short turns. Photo: Diamonds. • A run of high-end riding performed in pairs. • A show run with shadow snakes in long turns. • A run performed in pairs with one rider performing an exercise that would help work on their partners
ski technique, this included voice over to promote our beliefs and our following workshop. • Finally, Richard Jameson and Paul Lorenz skied in a pair as a technical comparison to Canada, Netherlands, San Marino, Switzerland and Slovenia who all also performed on this day
Alpine Telemark Nordic Adaptive Coaching Snowboard
Alpine on snow workshop (Snowboard, Telemark and Nordic ran their workshops at other times during the week to suit the number of groups involved in those disciplines). For the on snow workshop, we wanted the participants of Interski to join us and connect with our techniques and teaching methods in a training style that we enjoy. We did this in pairs so that we could break into smaller groups, although this was still difficult with such a large number of people choosing to participate in our workshops. In two hours it is very hard to pass on everything we do in the APSI. So sticking to our overall theme we limited the on snow workshop to the following points:
Overview/Lead up to Interski
• The team introduced the Interski participants to our balanced approach to skiing and teaching. We showed them how this approach makes it easier to connect with our guests in Australia and help them improve their skiing skills whilst enjoying the whole snow experience. Diagram: balanced approach. • We did this in two parts. Firstly, by covering some of the core concepts of our high-end skiing and secondly by giving them some insight into how we experience these movements and teach them to others in a structured yet inventive way.
The core concepts we introduced in our high-end skiing were as follows: 1 Rotary movements: All the rotary movements we teach in Australia come from the legs under a stable upper body, creating an appropriate amount of separation to balance on the outside ski for the turn size.
2. Foot to foot balance: We balance predominantly on the outside ski (from outside ski to outside ski). 3. Inclination/angulation: We use a blending of inclination and angulation to develop edge angle.
4. Manage pressure created through the turn to efficiently achieve the above concepts without disrupting our balance and CoM.
Each one of those core concepts were areas that the team felt they had worked on in their own skiing in preparation for Interski. However, we also wanted to point out how we reach a “balanced approach” in our APSI teaching methodology. We achieved this by including training exercises/ analogies/tactics that targeted these core concepts/ mechanics (i.e. with structure), yet we encouraged experimentation and creativity when it came to choosing which exercises/analogies or tactics we used or could use in the future.
At the end on the session, it gave us a chance to invite everyone to join our indoor lecture where they would get an insight into our new APSI teaching app and see how we achieve this same balanced approach to teaching with our instructors back in Australia.
Indoor Lecture ‘Connecting people with the snow in Australia’ These days, most countries at Interski are aware of the importance of the guest experience, our team has also observed that the more successful a guest is then the more likely they will enjoy the experience. In Australia, our instructors will spend more time with the guest than any other employee, meaning instructors have the greatest chance to connect
people to the snow experience and hopefully convert them at the very least to returners or at best into lifelong enthusiasts. During our lecture, we used a combination of power point presentation and video content to connect the Interski participants to our unique Australian snow experience as well as introduce them to all our team members including showing them how far people are willing to travel in Australia to ski. Afterwards, we focused on the materials we provide our instructors in Australia to help them connect their guests to snowsports in a structured yet innovative way, we used our manual and the new app to show this balanced approach to teaching. Photo: indoor lecture 2 Summary, general impressions and feedback Interski is not a competition, there are no scores and there is no winner! However you do get a good understanding of how the APSI teaching system ranks in the world by the interest other countries take in our team and our presentations, this is what I observed over the week: • Our demonstrations were performed in relatively tough conditions (chopped up powder on ice), after experiencing the same conditions many members of the other teams commented on ‘how well the team rode in those conditions.’ • Our on snow workshop had an estimated 80 people attend, which was on the higher end of attendance for the workshops. • Our indoor lecture had over 80 people attend (above the rooms capacity, with people standing at the door), one of the highest attended small lectures at the event.
interski reports • Our uniform and team puff jacket was a highly sort after commodity by the other teams who wanted to swap for parts of their uniform. • Many individuals of the other teams were keen to approach our team members to discuss our technique, ride with us in our free time or simply pass on positive comments on our team’s performance.
When compared to any other Interski I have attended; this team was highly recognised, received the most positive comments and generally established the highest interest from the other teams that I have ever witnessed.
will find their way into our training program through the trainer’s coordination and the resorts over the following winter. However, it is just as important to reflect on where we are as an association, absorb this feedback and enjoy the fact that what we are doing now is not only interesting and innovative in the eyes of the world but also on track when it comes to enhancing the guest experience. I would like to take a moment to thank all the team members, supporters and official sponsors for adding to the success of the 2015 Interski.
You can see from the articles in this snowpro that all the team members have picked up new ideas from the countries that they attended. These ideas
What an exhausting winter leading into this event with the APSI calendar brought forward to accommodate our time at Interski. For me, one of the busiest winters I’ve had running six pre-courses then marking all exams. That the fatigue caught up with me not long after and to say I was concerned about my energy and enthusiasm level would be an understatement. These concerns soon went away as we started our run to Argentina with four days of training in NSW with Andy doing a good job of pacing the team as we continued our preparation.
From the first run on the demo slope the Italian team caught my eye as a team that looked like they worked well together and as the week went on it became more evident that they were well prepared and stood out as one of the top teams. Their skiing looked great on the icy slopes of the opening day and for me stood out in the crowd more than most with a natural style but with great ski performance. Although from a technique point, their transition in short turns used a pronounced up movement to release the skis, different to us but quite effective. An interesting point was the Italian team was riding G.S skis where most teams where on slalom.
The trip to Ushuaia was long with multiple stops and layovers, but thanks to my seat neighbour Wazza and his interesting stories, the time went by more quickly. On arriving in Ushuaia, the most southern city in the world, we were greeted by a penguin in the airport then off to our hotel downtown. Ushuaia is quite a scenic place with mountains to one side of the city and the ocean on the other. After settling in to our hotel and some well-earnt sleep we were off to the host resort Cerro Castor for a ski and check to the place out. We were greeted with some less than favourable snow conditions due to rain a couple of days prior then subzero temps. To say it was bullet proof would be a good description.
I attended Italy’s on snow presentation on teaching kids. It’s not surprising that AMSI has put a focus on teaching kids when you consider that more than 70% of lessons in Italy are with kids. Like us, they have seen that kids are very important to the ski industry and have been using a unique and fun way to introduce them to our sport. As you can see in the above photo they use mats laid out in the snow with lots of fun things along the way; mascot Leo Monthy the lion, colourful flowers, candy canes and signs. It was quite amazing to me that they could bring all this stuff to the end of
the world but I guess it’s one of the advantages of having their national airline (Airitalia) sponsor the team. The layout was quite impresive and teaches kids every aspect of learning to ski from getting mobile, stopping and turning all the way to parallel turns in a fun way.
One point that was made very clear by clinic leader Simone Eydallin was that you don’t tell the kids HOW to do it, the features will! At first this was hard for me digest as a big part of our teaching philosophy is to emphasise the “how to do it.” But as we progressed I could see that in the early stages the kids would work it out for themselves by following this fun path that was laid out. Even with the clever setup of the course the instructors would still need to guide the kids through the course and be ready to demonstrate as they move into more complex sections. Leo Monthy the skiing lion!! The concept of FUN in a kids lesson is an important one highlighted in our fundamentals of teaching kids SAFETY, FUN, LEARNING and the Italians tick those boxes with their course, but obviously it takes quite a bit of space and time to set this up, which could be an issue in our Australian resorts. Overall it was a well put together presentation of what Italy is doing to make it more fun for kids to learn the sport of skiing. For me the main takeaway was letting the kids learn through doing without a lot of interference by an instructor and letting the course do its thing.
On Snow with the PSIA
The USA have released a five fundamentals package as part of their national standards to bring consistency across the country. The PSIA is broken up into nine divisions with 32000 members so as you could imagine teaching and skiing philosophy can get inconsistent. The five fundamentals was released a couple of winters ago and the effect is definitely noticeable, bringing more consistent information and a stronger understanding of what should be trained in the schools of America.
Robin and Jenifer did a great job of delivering these fundamentals they worked quite well together. Bouncing off each other to keep things moving, which was great, and interesting to note they were on GS skis. The fundamentals are as follows. • Control the relationship of the center of mass to the base of support to direct pressure along the length of the ski. • Control pressure from ski to ski and direct pressure to the outside ski. • Control edge angles through a combination of inclination and angulation. • Control the skis rotation (turning, pivoting and steering) with leg rotation separate from the upper body. • Regulate the magnitude of pressure created through ski/snow interaction.
The trainers in our on snow clinic used drills to develop each fundamental and it seemed the drills were specific to the ability of the group, so the drills at times needed some thought and coordination to do them. It was interesting to see that the drills used didn’t target a movement you would like to have at final form. Their five fundamentals is very close to our basic skills of stance, rotary, edging and pressure control but the big difference is the amount of words that are used to describe the concepts. Overall the US team seems to be on a good track bringing more consistency via sound technical concepts to their skiing and teaching. My top takeaway from the US would be the importance of structure.
The BASI group led two on snow workshops which included a technical overview and also a mogul clinic. Given my passion for bumps I selected the moguls. The night prior we received a fresh foot of powder which unfortunately filled in all bumps in the resort. This meant that three out of the four runs we did involved skiing in a line so that we had bumps. The BASI guys were very relaxed and didn’t convey a large amount of information. They explained that they feel all BASI certified skiers should be able to ski bumps at all levels as they feel that this is a true test for a skier. They incorporate bumps into all levels of their courses and feel that the bumps are an excellent teaching tactic to force participants to improve skills that are required for the groomed. For example, if a student is having difficulty turning their legs, they may use an appropriate bump line to encourage this movement. The team from BASI talked about three main lines. A skidded line, a round line and a straighter line. The important thing was selecting the right line for the above tactic. Fortunately, there were no lines, so we had to ski in three bumps lines that were conducive to the above tactics. Through these different lines they brought out the skiing skills. The skidded line promoted stronger leg turning, the rounder line required more edge to cut into the slope and travel around the moguls, the straight line encouraged more pressure control skills. Throughout their clinic they constantly referred to the T.T.E.E.P.P. system to analyse. This acronym stands for:
Technique – (hard mechanics) Environment – (snow, terrain, bumps) Equipment – (boot setup, pole length, ski type/tune) Physical – (physical fitness and coordination) Psychological – (mental attitude towards the task i.e.
tentative, confident etc.) While a lot of countries use this acronym in a certain order, they didn’t seem too fussed about this. They emphasised a strong training of the understanding of this model to their instructor on course. I had a great time with the British guys and really enjoyed skiing the powder bumps. I like the idea of using bumps in every course and also the tactic of using bumps to bring out skills necessary for the groomed. Unfortunately during their clinic they didn’t talk about much else and they may have come out more in the technical workshop.
Tactics – (line etc.)
While you go to Interski to see and learn from everyone, Croatia had not necessarily been a team that was on my list of top priorities. Croatia initially captured my interest on the training day prior to the opening ceremony. We met the Croatians at the top of the chairlift on our first run at Cerro Castor and they seemed to be a very friendly and excited group of skiers. We exchanged pins and had a bit of a chat before heading off to train. The following day each team performed one run at the opening ceremony. Australia was very fortunate in that we were the 2nd team to perform which meant that we had the best seats in the house (the marshaling area at the bottom of the demo slope) to watch all of the teams perform their runs. It was at this point that I saw the Croatian team ski for the first time. Unlike most demo teams that are forced to make a compromise in ski performance and speed to ensure synchronicity, the Croatians seemed to be more focused on speed and performance. While they had the occasional bobble here and there, they were flying! It was very impressive to watch and as such, I feel that the Croatians were easily a standout team during the opening ceremony particularly in the above areas. With countries such as Austria, Hungary, Chile and Norway all scheduled to present on the same day as the Croatians, it was a difficult decision as to which workshop to attend. It wasn’t until I saw them perform their formations that I decided to go to their on-snow workshop. The night prior, the snow positively froze and with the wind scouring any loose snow off the top, the slope was boiler plate blue ice by morning (the kind you find on an injected world cup course). Once again they demonstrated incredibly dynamic skiing during their four formation runs, skiing at speeds that most would attempt only when on their own. Their performance was further enhanced by witnessing some of the other countries showcasing the difficulties of skiing such tricky conditions. This really sealed the deal and so Tom Langtry, Chuckie Stevens, Dave Stewart and I were
off to meet the Croatians at the bottom of the demo slope for their on-snow workshop. It was interesting to see the very large number of people flocking to the Croatia sign after they had skied their formations. The clinic was led by the Croatian coach and unusually they decided to keep the 50 odd attendees together to run the session as one large group. This was a little overwhelming, however the Croatian coach presented a very well structured workshop with the assistance of the full team demonstrating at his command to aid his explanations. The 1.5 hour workshop gave us a clear insight into their technical objectives and teaching model.
Technical Objectives FLEXION IN THE ANKLE: The Croatian’s first
technical objective is a balanced stance through pressuring the front of the boot. They believe that without a solid stance nothing is possible. With beginners when asked to flex and extend they see a lot of their guests flexing in the knee exclusively. As such, flexion in the ankle is taught immediately to beginners to help counteract the flexion in the knee. The Croatians explained that without this shin pressure it is not possible to stay centered or to engage the ski’s edge. They all also pointed out the need for shin pressure to keep up with the ski as it accelerates through a turn to prevent being left behind. They demonstrate this stance (with emphasised shin pressure) in all levels of skiing from beginner to advanced. They do acknowledge that in certain high end skiing the weight is clearly on the heals (towards the end of the turn), but “due
to human nature, that is people moving too far back too soon anyway, we try not to put focus somewhere which may become a problem. If the entry to the turn is clean and nice then we believe everything else is likely to be successful” hence the emphasis on shin pressure.
these concepts they like to ask: “does this work in the physical world with our body capabilities and anatomy? If this gets a tick then we play around with this further”.
ROTARY MOVEMENTS: The Croatians talk about
The Croatians have adopted the following teaching philosophies: give information. While they have a clear progression for teaching mechanics, they do not provide any hard mechanics initially when explaining a new manoeuvre. They prefer to focus on the above technical objectives and use teaching tactics to master a new task. They believe that by putting the guest in a situation where they need to process multiple concepts at once you are hindering their progress. As such they teach the absolute essentials (listed above). Anything that could be considered a result or happen naturally is left out and fixed using the hard mechanics if it is an issue.
LATERAL MOVEMENTS/SIDE TO SIDE: This is
NATURAL LEARNING: The Croatians like to give
a movement of the body to the inside of the turn to balance on their edges and gain grip. This movement also allows a “resistance against the centripetal force” that is created throughout the turn. This requires physical strength to resist against this force as well as movement of the body to the inside.
strong kinesthetic queues or reference points. They adopt a tactical “teach-by-feeling” style of instruction setting people up with sensation rather than a cognitive understanding of the movement. This allows the guest to feel what is happening and react accordingly. The Croatians also believe that this will give guests the tools to self-evaluate while skiing or “be their own coach”.
MOVEMENT ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE SKI: This
was also stated as finding the centre of the ski. It was explained that “as soon as anyone gets in trouble, the speed increases or the slope is too steep, this is the first concept to go out the window”. As such this is a strong focus within their technical objectives. The Croatians brought all of these together with a biomechanical/physical justification. With all of
Progression BEGINNER SKIER: As mentioned above their first step with beginners is too instill a strong stance with their guests. “When the ski moves, you move with it. If the ski moves without the skier, we are in the back
OPEN STRUCTURE: This describes the way they
rotary movements as coming from the lower body, i.e. the femur twisting inside the hip socket, as well as rotary movements coming from the upper body. As per most organisations, the Croatians prefer all turning to come from the lower body. They believe that the lower body is a stronger and more balanced method of turning the skis. However they did not talk at all about separation of the upper and lower body. When skiing at all levels they demonstrated a rather square (body facing the same way as the skis) position. There was no upper body rotation as such and the skis were first turned from the lower body however it seemed that the body followed through the turn.
seat and nothing works anymore.” The Croatians believe in giving the guests reference points to selfevaluate while they are skiing. Their two reference points for their beginners are trying to stand on the balls of your feet (without the heel lifting), and trying to form a firm connection between the shin and the front of the boot. This is emphasised before the skier makes any movement at all. They believe that this is paramount and if done correctly, the skier cannot be out of balance.
SNOWPLOUGH TURN: They then move with this
concept into snowplough turns. Choice of terrain is the priority and will affect the size of the snowplough and ability to perform the turn. At this point they begin teaching rotary movements from the legs. The demonstration performed by all demonstrators had exaggerated ankle flexion and little to no upper body rotation. However the body remained very square (facing the same direction) as the skis. At this point they do not talk about weight or balance on the outside ski as they feel that this is a result of turning and, if done correctly, should come naturally. If not, they will address this with a correctional exercise rather than teaching this concept from the start. PLOUGH PARALLEL: The Croatians next teach
the basic christie. Terrain and speed is the most important part here. They believe that “if you choose the right terrain and increase the speed a little bit, matching of the skis is going to start to happen naturally.” They try not to tell the guest to match but encourage more speed through terrain, size of plough and teaching tactics (i.e. follow the leader etc.).
EARLIER PLOUGH PARALLEL: Again, there is no
encouragement to match the skis earlier as they believe that this comes down to the guest’s ability and confidence. At this point they are still keeping a close eye on speed and terrain. They believe that angulation is very important to assist with weight on the outside ski allowing the ski to match more easily. “But again we won’t talk about it unless necessary.” The main point is “feeling the outside ski. If this doesn’t happen then we will teach angulation.”
PARALLEL TURN: “Parallel skiing is going to happen
on its own. The guest will feel more and more comfortable, and the matching will happen earlier and earlier. It is the job of the instructor to provide the correct speed, radius and terrain. Often the instructor will turn around and say, guys you have just done your first parallel turn.” Again, the Croatians believe that the guests have so much going on in their head at this point that talking about the mechanics will be a detriment and overcrowd the mental process. The mechanics are taught if the guest is struggling but too many focuses will hinder their progress. The Croatians did explain that if it was necessary to teach the mechanics to a guest that is not successful, then the focus is on releasing the edges and revisiting the pressure on the balls of the feet. They believe that if the skis are flat and the pressure is on the balls of the feet, the front of the ski will turn towards the fall line. This is then practiced using a traverse/edge release, side slipping or patience turn. Again this explanation/ progression will only be used if necessary. ADVANCED PARALLEL: At this point there is the
introduction of the pole plant through a simple explanation of what it is and where to plant. The Croatians will also start to discuss where in the turn the skis should engage their edges. They will encourage edging around/after the fall line but this will dependent on the ability of the skier, the terrain the instructor has them skiing and the speed they are traveling. As the skier progresses in ability the edge is encouraged earlier in the turn.
Areas of difference
As mentioned above, the Croatians demonstrate a very energetic style of skiing with high edge angles. I also very much agree with the way the Croatians convey information. Their instructors are taught the mechanics in a similar way to our system, however more emphasis is placed on training and understanding the correct speed, terrain and other tactics to create an environment that will foster success. They are training instructors to identify how much technical information is required to achieve a result and monitoring this on the go. I also like that they have identified movements that are consistent throughout their entire progression similar to our system.
I feel the main area of difference between the APSI and the Croatian system is their emphasis on pressuring the front of the boot. As we know, too much flex in the ankle can put the leg in a position that restricts its ability to turn (without the hip following). This explains their demonstrations being incredibly square despite their intention to turn with their lower body. As a result their upper body can at times be very loose at the higher performances. Lastly they promote quite an “upand-forward” motion to find the front of the boot during the transition. This can result in an extremely tall transition to the point of an occasional delay in standing on the new outside ski early in the turn.
Overview The Koreans are always a very strong skiing nation and cause a lot of controversy at Interski due to their very low skiing stance and cross under style of transition. I was fortunate enough to attend the Korean on snow workshop at the 2011 Interski in St. Anton and not a whole lot has changed since then. However, they brought some fluent English speakers to this Interski so they were able to communicate more effectively during their workshop. In Korea the slopes are not all that wide with B-netting lining the piste. With the number of skiers on the runs, it heavily restricts the speed and size of turn that they can practice. As such the short turn is much emphasised throughout their progression and is the sought after style of turn within the Korean skiing community. As such, the Koreans had prepared a workshop based around their short turn progression.
Their primary objective in high end skiing is speed and performance with a very disciplined upper body. They believe that maintaining a very low position will allow their legs to travel further away from them during the initiation of the turn, creating greater edge angles as the leg extends and a more loopy turn shape. They also seem to be very strict on arm position to portray a disciplined upper body. Apparently the height of the average male in Korea is 175 cm. As such, they emphasize an arm width of 110-115 cm when skiing.
Progression BASIC SHORT TURN: The basic short turn is performed in a snowplough position with emphasis on moving side to side to turn. There is no up and down whatsoever, and it seems that the “turning” comes from balancing one side and then the other. It seems to be performed at a skidded performance. BASIC PARALLEL SHORT TURN: The next stage is
All in all the presentation was excellent and provides some definite food for thought for our teaching system now, and into the future.
to perform the same movement with the skis parallel. This form of short turn seems to be performed at a performance similar to steering.
STANDARD SHORT TURN: This type of short turn
includes a heavy up/down movement during the transition to assist with rhythm. In this style of short turn they are emphasising tip to tail pressure similar to the dolphin turn without leaving the ground. This is performed at more of a carved performance.
PROGRESSIVE SHORT TURN: This is the Koreans’
highest performance short turn which is performed at a pure carved performance. Their objective in this turn is speed with a round, loopy turn shape. As mentioned above, they feel that this is achieved by staying very low in the transition. Unfortunately the presenter (Erin Min) did not go into too much more detail that what I have written. They demonstrated a lot, which assisted their limited explanations.
Competitions In Korea there are 4 major technical skiing competitions run each season. The biggest event offers US $30,000 purse for first place in both men and women. During these two day events, participants compete in two different styles of short turns, middle turns, longs turns, combinations of long/short/middle turns, moguls, gates, and finally an interview. The competitions are judged by a panel of five judges; two from Japan and three from Korea. The highest and lowest scores are discarded and the average number is taken for each run. The judging criteria for these events is speed (judged by sight), technical skills and ski performance. At the end of these competitions the top 20 male and top five female competitors are selected to display their basic skiing demonstrations and from here the Korean demo team is selected.
It is great to see a country that has speed and performance as their primary objective. This allows a very open mind to evolve their technique to better achieve these objectives. Due to the low position in the transition and large extension to the fall line, the Koreans displayed very strong pressure management skills which resulted in a very disciplined picture. The only not so positive point was that this low height in the transition and extension for edge angle was not terrain specific. This meant that on the flatter terrain or softer snow, they occasionally fell inside during the turn and back during the transition. This technique is excellent at speed when there are forces involved but can prove difficult when the environment is not conducive.
Reilly McGlashan Argentina Interski Ushuaia 2015 was an amazing time. Being at the end of the world was an experience in itself; add on the fact that it was the arena of Interski = double bonus! In between all the Lomo eaten and Pisco sour sipped, my thoughts and learning from Team Argentina and the NZ team are as follows: The silky smooth style and slinky legs of the Argentinian’s is what you notice first as they demonstrate. They have a disciplined upper body and a very nice softening of their legs to aid in the transition. This was the focus of their on snow presentation, or what we like to call the crossover. Diego Mazza was our course conductor. He is a nice guy with a great sense of humor. Their reasoning for focusing on the transition was due to the fact they think it is an important goal for students. Seeing as if you didn’t have a crossover or edge change you would just be doing circles in the snow. I kind of see their point.
Their technique or idea of a good crossover evolves softening the outside leg at the end of the turn, which leads into and becomes the new inside ski. Sometimes it looked like an active retraction, possibly for demonstration purposes. They like to use this technique because it uses the external forces to help enter the new turn, minimising energy expenditure. By softening the outside leg at the end of the turn, inertia will pull you into the next turn and let the COM travel directly into the new turn. A similar idea to what we do here in Aus.
We did a few exercises they like to use to get the feeling of not popping up and letting the leg extend after the edge change happens. They try and stay low at the transition like we do. The technique was overall very similar to what we are trying to do in a short turn at the crossover. They don’t have as strong of a focus on a disciplined hip and sometimes their midsection was a little wild but nothing major. In my opinion, the Argie guys showed great strong modern skiing.
New Zealand The powerful athletic style of the NZ team was the standout point from watching their demo runs. Garrett Shore and Jon Ahslen were our course conductors for this clinic. Their focus for the presentation was on high end dynamic skiing and more importantly how they focus on the transition! (So I managed to go to two different clinics focused on the same thing, woohoo!). Unlike the Argies, the Kiwi’s had a different reason why they are focusing on this. They titled their workshop, “Achievement versus learning, Building skillful skiers”. They explained retaining lifelong skiers
has changed their view on getting guests to learn new things. Their big thing out of this was changing up the wording of “Safety, Fun and Learning”, which became “Safety, Fun and Achievement”. They said that giving the guest a goal or achievement to reach was more rewarding and letting them take control of their own learning has had a better retention of lifelong skiers. Like Australia, their mountains are small, lessons generally are 2 hours, and they get a bunch of goers and doers coming to their lessons. Making them feel like they have achieved something gives the guest a sense of worth.
The main focus comes from the foot. The outside leg at the end of the turn starts to soften and tip the ankle towards the center of the new turn. This is the basis of the whole idea; starting the turn with the new inside ski ankle, rolling and tipping movements of outside ski into the next turn, with a direct path for the COM to travel into the center of the next turn.
The transition was the big topic of this achievement session. By focusing on the transition it became a goal or something for the student to strive for. Their first point was the fore and aft plane of movement; or how they move along the length of the ski. This was the most important point for them because they said without it the student has a hard time staying centered at transition. We practiced a skating exercise to feel extending the leg and moving towards the tip of the ski. This was meant to emulate the feeling and movement as you crossover into the new turn.
They mentioned after moving along the length of the ski, strong edging (lateral plane) was required for a GS style turn, then strong balance over the outside ski. We then practiced a javelin style edge lock to get the feeling.
• To enter into the new turn on the tip of the ski to get early tip pressure. • Strong edging after the last two movements have been sequenced. • Strong balance over the outside ski from good “rotational separation”.
Over all, the countries that I attended had very interesting points and would have been great to get down and have a proper talk with them but there was not enough time with the two hour on snow clinics. Cheers, Reilly
The group was very big and there was a blizzard out so we only managed to get two runs in but the key points to take away were:
RICHARD HOCKING Telemark Ushuaia promotes itself as “Fin Del Mundo”, The End of The World, it’s an accurate description. Ushuaia, and the ski resort Cerro Castor hosted the 2015 Interski Congress and it was a long, long way away for everyone. It took all of the teams (other than Chile and Argentina) at least 30 hours of travel to make it to Interski, for Australia it took a mammoth 42 hours. Out of the 29 Nations which attended 12 countries sent telemark representatives (13 including the selffunded German Telemark TD), Andorra, Australia, Canada, Chile, Czech, Finland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, UK, USA. Sadly due to strange politics Andorra, Chile, Czech, Finland, Norway and the UK didn’t present on-snow workshops, but the Czech representative presented an excellent indoor presentation. Interski was an amazing event and the opportunity to network with other Telemark instructors and share technique, teaching and training ideas was
• Moving along the length of the ski patiently and staying stacked over the outside ski through the turn. This was meant to give the student a sense of achievement, which tied into the “Safety, Fun and Achievement”.
invaluable. However the Argentinians were terrible at organisation and with the race occupying a large part of the schedule the Telemarkers revolted and organised our own schedule to try to allow each delegate to attend each on-show workshop. During the closing ceremony an international demo run of Telemarkers was the final run! [Telemark Nation]
[Canadian Yas Kawasaki]
Czech Australia My on-snow workshop stuck with the team theme of ‘Connections’. Since Australian telemark students are almost always either self-taught or people who are crossing over from another snowsports discipline I presented on how the APSI uses the same skills and performance, training and teaching model across the snowsports disciplines. By using the same model the disciplines are better connected in Australia which benefits both students and instructors.
The Czech indoor presentation was on which leg muscles fire, when and for how long in the telemark turn and on how pressure is applied to the feet during the telemark turn. One experiment involved using EMGs for each major muscle in the leg and measuring muscle activity during the telemark turn. The calves, quadriceps and glutes were used the most.
[Richard Hocking at the start of the Australian Workshop]
I was happy that I was able to create some controversy. Some of the Europeans were unimpressed with how we separate the telemark movement from other turn mechanics and how as a result we are able to ski with a slow lead change. Some mistook the slow lead change for skiing in parallel through the middle of the turn and described the Australian style as parallel and not telemark. After some discussion however I was able to satisfy them that they saw a slow lead change in my style and not a parallel phase in my turn.
The Canadians had two presentations. The first was on arousal control and was consistent with how the APSI uses the concept. The second presentation was on the Canadian technique, which has a longer stance than ours, with a quick lead change at the top of the turn where the Canadians were losing pressure in their turns. The presentation emphasised a centred and mobile stance, steering comes from the lower body, how the skier’s weight should remain steadily balanced against the edges of both skis and finally rhythm and momentum.
The second experiment involved putting a pressure sensitive foot-bed in the skier’s boots and compared alpine and telemark techniques. Alpine produced more pressure and was more even throughout the foot. Telemark produced less pressure and more pressure was applied on the ball of the foot than on the heel.
[Diagram of foot pressure in a telemark turn]
The Italians have changed their style a lot over the last few years. They used to ski with a very long stance, lots of rotation, inclination and other
[Kiwi Greg McIntyre] idiosyncrasies such as double pole plants. The Italian indoor presentation was very well produced but was let down by their choice in method for communicating in English. Their presentation was translated by google translate and read to the audience by a Siri like voice. This made the presentation very difficult to understand with the unusual translation and intonation.
[Italian Roberto Parisi]
The indoor presentation was derived from the new Italian manual which emphasises even weighting on both feet, creating the telemark stance from ankle flexion and lead change dynamics, especially which foot moves in the lead change (front, back or both). The presentation also introduced the new Italian first telemark turn, a hybrid snowplough, parallel and telemark turn. A snowplough is used into the fall line to slow down the turn, then the skier enters a parallel and once the skis are together the skier finishes the turn in a telemark. The turn is as confusing as it sounds. The outdoor presentation was an on snow version of the indoor presentation.
Kiwis ski very similarly to Australia, except with a quick lead change at the top of the turn. The Kiwi workshop was on getting alpine crossover students started with telemark. The Kiwi method was strong on analogy with walking used as an analogy for running lead change and â€œhowdy-doodie turnsâ€? to teach counter rotation where the skier waved to an imaginary friend on the outside of the turn. The progression was very similar to how the APSI taught telemark to all students before Tom Gellie changed the APSI beginner progression.
Slovenia has a very strong race focus in their technique, which is not surprising since each member on their demo team had Telemark World Cup experience. The Slovenians ski with a very long stance, quick lead changes at the top of the turn, mainly weight the downhill ski and use a lot of extension, retraction and an active crossover in their transitions. The Slovenian TD purposefully made both of his heels lift off the skis during his transition because it was the only way to combine a strong active crossover, a quick lead change in the transition and a lot of extension and retraction. He could keep his heels down but he would then lose the active crossover. Their teaching style was very teacher focused and carving in all conditions is their goal with telemark skiing. The Slovenian workshop was on carving. The progression started with the stance (long with weight on the front foot), edge roll J turns, linked edge rolls and then went into extension retraction turns to improve transitions and to start working the ski. The progression was very direct but appeared to be very terrain dependant. [Slovenian Urban Simcic]
[The US Telemark Demo Team]
Richard Jameson Interski 2015 proved to be another invaluable event for the APSI to be a part of and a great learning experience for all of the team and supporters that attended the event in September this year. Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of Argentina was a difficult place to get to but an awesome cultural experience for all involved. Meeting with the other countries national demonstration teams, listening to their thoughts on snow sport education and watching their demonstrations is always the highlight, but the connections and friends made at these events can last long after the 48 hour flight home and be invaluable for the growth of the APSI in the years to come. Personally, this was my 3rd Interski congress as part of the APSI Demo Team and although different to all of the others I have been to, it will prove to be just as beneficial and memorable. Out of the 32 countries that attended the event there was a noticeable high standard of skiing/riding amongst all of the teams and although you may have liked some more than others, I definitely saw this year’s event as having a
USA The yanks ski the most like we do with a tall stance, late lead change and leg steering. The US has just released a new manual which has made the lead change a skill instead of stance or balance along with rotary, edging and pressure control. The US ideas about the lead change are very similar to the APSI thoughts.
much narrower gap between the stronger/weaker teams. The information gathered was also quite similar amongst the countries with a heavy focus on learning through experiences/doing and a clear shift away from being overly technical and bogged down in too many explanations.
The Swiss workshop was on making telemark fun for kids. Their workshop started with the stance and used a tug of war and telemark stance fencing to teach kids how to balance in a telemark stance. Then single J turns were introduced with linked turns following. Straight away switch telemark was introduced. First with a forward J turn followed by a switch J turn to complete a 3600 turn followed by linked switch telemark turns.
Then the group chose two tricks from the freestyle section of the Swiss telemark manual with one group learning the tele dog (squatting and holding onto both tips) with the other learning the telemark tip roll. The Swiss demonstrator could do a tele tip roll without poles! The workshop presented a great way to get kids started telemarking.
It’s hard of course to get a real gauge on this as I was only able to attend 3 on snow workshops during the week with 6-8 small indoor lectures in the afternoons. It is an honour though, to give you all an insight into a couple of the countries that I visited during the workshops and share some of their ideas with you. I hope I do their trainers, countries and concepts justice in the following report.
Hungary The use of radio communication between ski instructor and guest. Our clinician “Agoston Dosek” presented the use of the VOX one way radio and its usefulness during every day lessons with resort guests or during instructor training. The instructor skis with a small portable transmitter and the students carry a small receiver with earpiece so that communication can be continuous throughout the lesson. The devices
The Swiss were also had a very race inspired technique, with a longer stance, a quick lead change at the top of the turn and a lot of rotation in their steered turn. As performance increased the Swiss became more square to countered in their stance. The Swiss were very strong skiers including one member of their demo team who won a podium in each of the Telemark World Cup races last season.
are very similar to those being used by tour guides in destinations such as museums or art galleries etc.
The instructor can convey all sorts of information to their guests, including technical information about their skiing, tactics regarding the terrain ahead or just to point out certain aspects of the environment like the beautiful scenery, snow conditions etc. The devices are not used for every single lesson, but can be rented at the resort as part of the snow sports lesson product. The devices have a range of up to 200m so communication is effective for most trails as long as you stay close enough to the instructor. They were also quite helpful when used on the chairlifts as Agoston demonstrated how information can be given to the whole class during the chairlift ride as to minimise wait time when unloading at the top. It was suggested that this type of communication could add up to 20% skiing time to the lesson, making the technology useful during short lessons or large groups etc. Trying the devices personally during the workshop, I found them to be a fun and unique way to be guided around the mountain and through the clinic. It had many benefits especially in regards to safety such as where to stop, what the snow conditions were like ahead etc. It would be an interesting concept to try with group and private lessons as a novelty or something fresh to keep them motivated and to try something completely different. I’m not sure how relevant it was in regards to making tangible change in your students’ performance, though it would be fun to experiment with and see how these devices could have a real world application in the Australian ski industry.
Germany Workshop 2: Experience-oriented lessons: Awakening emotions through various learning / teaching process for varied and experiential lessons. Both workshops offered by Demo Team Germany had a primary theme revolved around “teaching”. I had the pleasure of attended their 2nd workshop on experience-orientated lessons conducted by German Ski Association coach Nina Perner and German Ski Instructors association trainer Alemax Meier. The session emphasised that each student learns differently and individually and their workshop aimed to show how a successful ski instructor can address all students by designing inspiring and motivating ski classes. The ultimate goal was to increase the student’s movement skills by empowering them to find their own solutions/strategies. Therefore, the ski instructor takes over the role as a coach and companion to support this development of skills. There were 3 chosen areas to help show this strategy of promoting movement skills, while creating a positive learning environment and to help trigger emotions in the learner. The 3 areas were: • Senso-motoric learning • Feel Effects - Stress Information System • Images and Active Language
Images and active language During the 1st part of the workshop Nina led the group through an imaginative story of travelling to Interski and at each step of the journey a task was given to the group to try. For example – “driving to the airport on the busy highway” was an early part to the story. During this segment we had to ski in pairs
Senso-motoric learning & Feel Effects
The information in this clinic again reinforced for me just how crucial it is to set up the learning environment and facilitate the learning process as an instructor. Rather than getting in the way of learning with too much information on how and why we should be performing each drill/task/progression etc.
Tom Gellie Where do I start when reporting back on such a big event like Interski? Well, I think the first thing that comes to mind is that Interski 2015 felt more social and interactive between the countries than it did in Austria four years ago. I think a big part of this was down to two things; the isolated location of Cerro Castor and the boom in social media since last Interski. I felt like I knew a lot of people already because we had either met over facebook, or read about each other through blog posts. These two factors were incredible in helping teams interact and share ideas outside of workshop hours. In St. Anton for example, people were more spread out and had countless options of where to eat and drink. In Cerro Castor, once we were up at the mountain there was no escaping back to town until your team bus was ready to leave at 4:00pm. As a result team members from different countries mingled at various times during the day and were able to connect more authentically and create great relationships.
Through pictures, stories, comparisons or metaphors the students were learning technique or movement skills by doing the pre-determined tasks, without much guidance as to why they were performing them from the instructor. The tasks are designed to be fun which invokes an emotional response in the learner, keeping them motivated and driving a deeper connection to the learning process.
Alemax then took our group for a run using all of the body’s senses to develop a change in movement by using various tactile and kinaesthetic tasks. We performed tasks with our boots unbuckled, eyes closed and in pairs to help each other perform the skills. Understanding how or what the student feels during these tasks were just as important, so as to develop a connection between the learner and the task.
Paul Lorenz making connections with the San Marino team
Reflecting on this interactive and connecting experience, it’s interesting to report that I found a common theme of experiential learning being presented by quite a few of countries in their workshops and indoor lectures. Experiential learning being the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”. I am going to discuss this idea of experiential learning from the perspective of the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI)
doing short turns one in front of each other. The task involved the person (car) behind trying to overtake the car in front so that the leader kept having to swap turns down the run. All of this was of course told as a story rather than a technical directive. All of the tasks through the story were designed to teach the student through an experience or by doing.
feet wider apart. They then keep going through the cycle of feeling, reflecting, thinking and doing as they continue to practice. I rode the chair with Jeff Marks from the CSIA and he mentioned they are using particular questions to help facilitate the experiential learning cycle. Some of these questions include: • Did you notice...? Fred Lepine (CSIA), myself and my fiancé Jenny connecting on the chair
and the Canadian Snowsports Instructors Alliance. Both countries referenced a model of learning developed by an educational theorist David Kolb. Kolb’s model is widely accepted as a good way of describing how we learn. It suggests that we go through a four stage learning cycle of doing, reflecting, learning from the experience, and then testing out what we have learned. What is vital in experiential learning is that the individual is encouraged to directly involve themselves in the experience, and then to reflect on their experiences using analytic skills, in order that they gain a better understanding of the new knowledge and retain the information for a longer time (Wikipedia, 2015).
Kolb’s Model of experiential Learning
Now you’re all probably thinking the APSI touches on this idea already but I thought it was nice how both the CSIA and BASI made understanding this cycle easy and talked of ways the instructor can facilitate the learner at each stage. To give an example the Canadians put up a video of two young girls learning to slide a box sideways for the first time. The video gave a good representation of the girls going through Kolb’s cycle as they went further and further into their lesson. The girls feel what it is like first to be on the box and gain a concrete experience of what a box is. The instructor helps at this stage because a box can be very slippery. The experience leads to observations and reflections of whether they have experienced that sensation before or anything similar (perhaps an icy ski slope). In having a go at sliding the box the girls slip and fall over. The girls then reflect on this experience to see what information they can gather. They are then encouraged to find out why they had this experience. The instructor can then help by explaining that it is easier to balance on a slippery box by having a wider stance and that a narrow stance is harder for balance. The girls think about this information and then have another go. They have a fall when they attempt the box and realize the fall was due to their stance being too narrow. They confirm this with the instructor and then try again but this time have their
• Why did that happen? • Has that happened before? • Why does that happen? • How can you use that?
I really like this idea because it gets the instructor away from trying to off load all of their technical information to the student. When the instructor gains a response from the student it will help guide them as to what information the student may need. Fred Lepine (CSIA), myself and my fiancé Jenny connecting on the chair
The BASI on snow bumps workshop The British association of Snowpsorts Instructors gave a great lecture Tom L, Reilly and I all enjoyed. BASI have adapted Kolb’s model to fit more with skiing. They call it the TIED model. TIED standing for task, information, evaluate, development. To take you through an example: The TASK may be to carve down a blue run, and to leave two clean lines in the snow. The students will have had this as a goal prior to learning and have a desire to achieve it. The instructor demonstrates the task and then allows the students to have a go. The INFORMATION stage is then evaluating what happened. Ideally the student is then asked if they feel like they achieved the task. This puts the students mind into motion and gets them more involved. The information stage is all about assessing and not yet trying to come up with solutions. This is opposed to telling them they did or didn’t achieve the task. How many times have we said to a student “great job you did it!” But then you can see in their face they are really thinking I have no idea? Perhaps the student gives the instructor feedback in the form of a feeling or visually looks at their tracks for the information. E.g. I felt a lot of pressure under my outside arch or I can see two clean lines. The EVALUATE stage is then working out why whatever happened, happened. One student for instance will evaluate why she felt lots of pressure under the arch of her foot? Another student may evaluate why they didn’t feel pressure under the arch of their foot. Is this perhaps because the slope
The BASI on snow bumps workshop
At the DEVELOPMENT stage the instructor can help facilitate learning by deciding how to proceed. If through evaluation the student and instructor discovered the blue slope was too steep for learning to carve, they would change that factor and see if that helped in developing the student.
The BASI TIED model lecture I really like the focus on the individual learning experience and actively involving the student in the process of understanding. There were several other nations that touched on experiential learning so it is definitely a hot topic right now. I believe as instructors we all have had lessons that flow with this type of experience, and a lot of the information I have written above is not new. However, I really liked seeing it broken down into a four-stage cycle that is simple and easy to follow. Next time you are teaching a lesson, or perhaps being the student, take a moment to think about Kolb’s model and how you can become more involved in the process of experiential learning.
3. The journey to Argentina although very long and arduous brought the team closer together. We were all so excited and pumped to finally make it after all the training we had done. 4. Watching the technical comparisons between the countries top demonstrators. Each country chose two of their best skiers (1 male, 1 female) and were asked to ski a corridor, short turn and long turn. So interesting to watch each countries style one after the other. The Canadians have put together a youtube video you can watch for yourself. https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnLk7GsnkX8 5. Meeting so many passionate skiers in one place.
Thanks to all of the APSI membership and everyone that helped support the team get to Interski. Special thanks to Andy Rae, Paul Lorenz and Reilly for helping me take my Alpine skiing to the next level and to the guys at Volkl/Marker/Dalbello Australia for providing me with the best ski gear on the planet. I look forward to sharing more of what I gained from interski with everyone next winter and continuing to help Australia move forward in the snowsports world.
was too steep? The task was too new and needs to be broken down into steps? The instructor’s role in this stage is to help guide the student through understanding why this happened through questions and feedback. In the APSI we would use our movement analysis system of soft focus and the hard focus at this stage to help in understanding why the student did or did not achieve the task.
Kolb’s Model explained https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ObQ2DheGOKA BASI TIED model indoor lecture video. https://vimeo. com/139437635
So finally in summary I wanted to leave everyone with my top five experiences from Interski 2015.
2. Performing the demos and feeling like the whole team did an amazing job in representing the APSI. I felt extremely proud to be an Aussie and have my fiancé there to support me.
1. Just above the start of the demo slope was a steep section of the most bullet proof ice on the whole mountain. Every demonstrator from each nation had to ski down this pitch before lining up for their demo runs. Everybody was watching each other ski this challenging slope and I remember a few skiers absolutely ripping it with style. I think most of the team would agree this is where we saw the best skiing at Interski. The BASI TIED model lecture
interski reports Tom Langtry
or ‘technique development’ or ‘enhanced ability for balance’.
They said they approached feedback with the guest as a two-way process. Rather than just telling them “This is what you need to do” they would ask the guest what they felt when skiing, and how they could relate this feeling to the instructor’s feedback.
Denmark presented their teaching philosophy and methods for running group lessons.
The focus was on creating an environment where guests get to know each other and bond during the lesson. By doing this the idea is to also help students form connections with each other and lose any self-consciousness they have about skiing in front of people they don’t know, thereby increasing their enjoyment of the group lesson and likelihood to want to return.
At the start of the on-snow session they asked all the participants to take off their skis and stand together in a circle shoulder-to-shoulder (which they called the ‘Circle of Love’). They then asked everyone to introduce themselves and share where they were from and what their favourite experience so far at Interski was. The close-circle arrangement helped everyone get to know each other, instead of just allowing the instructor to get to know the individual group members - as can happen when students are standing in a line with their instructor in front. Then when starting skiing they got the group to team up in pairs with someone they didn’t know, and ski down the run. The second run they then asked everyone to swap partners. Then same again third run. The result was that within the first 30-40 minutes of the session everyone in the group had had a little personal experience with at least three other group members they hadn’t previously known. This worked very well in achieving the goal of everyone relaxing and enjoying the group environment and lesson, forming small relationships/connections with each other. They also presented their method of ‘skier analysis and feedback’. Instead of the traditional ‘sandwich’ method (positive, negative to work on, positive) they presented the section to work on as ‘let’s focus on developing this area of your skiing which will give you greatest improvement’. The focus was on keeping the improvement experience as positive as possible, while still developing a change/improvement in the student’s skiing. They avoided using phrases like ‘fix your skiing’ and ‘weakest skill’, but instead used more positive phrases like ‘improvement in this area’
While we (the group) didn’t try this feedback method during the session I can see how it could maintain a positive environment for the students, when presented well. Throughout the session they continued to get everyone to pair-up with someone they hadn’t yet skied with. This continued to help everyone develop small relationships with each other. By half-way through the clinic everyone was cracking jokes and laughing together and having a great time. At the end of the session they got everyone to take their skis off and stand again in a circle shoulder-toshoulder. They asked everyone to share what they had enjoyed from the session. They then did the rest of their ‘lesson summary’. This again helped create a feeling among the participants as being a ‘part of the group’ and facilitated bonding with each other. Impressions The session they ran was in itself successful in getting the participants to relax and enjoy interacting with each other, thereby proving their method works. A number of the participants commented that this was their favourite session of Interski and that they felt like they ‘were part of the group’, again highlighting the success of the teaching methods. You could see from the smiles on everyone’s faces and the chatting that everyone enjoyed themselves. I personally thought the session was very effective and successful, and would help achieve an excellent guest experience in group lessons.
Japan Japan presented their 2 skiing progressions/methods for first timers to basic parallel turns. Method A was a traditional snowplough to christie to parallel progression. There was an emphasis on standing on the outside ski from the fall-line onwards, while moving the upper body and hips to the inside of the turn for increase
edge angle (while keeping the upper body vertical – not ‘tipping in’). Method B was for steep terrain: a skidded traverse, then with some pivoting of the skis uphill using the legs, then linked together with a quick stem turn on either side of the run (this resulted in a similar technique as a snowboard falling leaf progression), then the same with more edge angle developed to achieve a rounder turn shape, then into linked parallel turns.
Method B felt like it worked very well for myself skiing it, however the section going from linked stemtraverses to parallel turns seemed like it would be challenging from a fear-factor view-point for many students just learning. That said, the Japanese public in general have very strong mental commitment to learning and achieving, so I can see this progression having more success in Japan than Australia or other nations.
Indoor Lectures 1. Italy: ‘From Ski School to Racing’ • Italy presented their ‘4 Key Movements’ in skiing:
They didn’t say ‘why’ they exaggerated the up, simply that they did it. Impressions The range of ‘up’ motion through the transition in their high performance skiing is not something any other nation I saw does. It was interesting to note that I would have assumed this ‘up’ motion would lead to less-dynamic skiing. While this did look the case with the later edge/pressure in most of their turns, it obviously did not translate to a slow time down the GS course. With the strong up motion, the entire Italian team skied with quite a different ‘look’ to APSI and most other nations. While their style is different, as a team they skied very strongly, and two of their skiers were stand-outs in the entire Interski.
1. Up-down movements
United Kingdom - BASI
2. Fore/aft balance
• BASI presented their TIED model:
3. Legs inclination
• BASI use their TIED model for:
- Teaching Structure
Their theme was that the range of movement which the skier performed each of the above movements increases, as speed/performance increase. E.g. they ski with more exaggerated fore/aft balance movements when skiing more dynamically, compared to a lesser range of fore/aft balance when skiing less dynamically at lower speed.
- Performance Analysis
One key point they presented was their up/down (flexion/extension) movements, and how their extension movement was very exaggerated in their high performance skiing. Watching the Italian skiers through the week you could see their COM rise up lot through the transition/initiation (more so than any other nation I saw). While this appeared to result in later edge/pressure in their turns (after the fall-
Method A seemed like the moving of the hips and upper body would end up being useful as the student progressed to higher speeds, however it wasn’t as obvious why this was the desired technique at slower speeds. It seemed like this movement could put students’ balance on the inside ski.
line), their advanced skiing was still very strong and dynamic. For reference - the Interski GS Race event was won by Italian skiers in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
- Assessment - Reflection • The TIED system appears to work as follows: a) The instructor presents and demonstrates a goal for the student to achieve E.g. to ski short turns. (Develop) b) The student has a go at doing short turns. (Task) c) The instructor watches the student ski to gather information. (Information) d) They then assess what skills are lacking (Evaluate) and give the student a drill or exercise to improve skills (Develop) and help then perform better short turns.
d) The above system is similar to the APSI model of Skier Analysis – Feedback & Correction.
e) The main difference between the APSI and BASI teaching systems seems to be that BASI doesn’t have a focus on ‘progressions’ for the instructor to use with students to learn new turn types. Instead they jump straight into the task and the improve skills by practicing drills.
Impressions • The TIED model has a key strength in that it is simple for instructors to follow, and gives them a method for achieving student skill improvement. • This model by itself may not give instructors as many tools to work with, when compared to a combination of this model together with using ‘progressions’ for skill development.
Video is available: http://www.basiinterski.org.
Warren Feakes NORDIC
My third Interski and it was unexpectedly good on the Nordic side of the skiing pentagram. It was a slow start because all that was written on the program before arrival was an Italian lecture on “Ski School to Racing”. But we chook footers found each other on day one by looking for skinny skis amongst the maddening crowd and arranged the rest of the week.
FINLAND The Finns worked on downhill skills on XC Skis citing the fact that this is where the skill base is missing in many XC skiers. Their aim was to ensure that all skiers have the skill set to tackle any terrain on XC skis using the basic set of turns and braking skills. Workshops were a concentration on a solid snowplough and step and skate turns appropriate to the slope and snow conditions.
The USA have a new manual to be released this December based on the common discipline model of student centred instruction. We workshopped a chart (shown below) with the Americans that caused us to think about the relationships in the following table. It causes you to isolate function to stages in all XC skiing actions. For instance, think about where the power would come from in double pole in push off, weight transfer and glide modes, what is the basic timing for each? What are the fundamental movements and what are the body positions during the three stages? I
will workshop this session at trainer’s coordination in 2016. It was an interesting session to trim off the “fluffy stuff” from each part of the technique and get down to the basics. The US trainers saw these boxes as “snapshots” of technique whereas my slightly different view was that they were short bits of “video”, given that we are considering dynamic events. Either way, I considered it a good matrix to analyse what fundamentals we really need to teach. Make a chart and try it yourself perhaps?
Switzerland The Swiss demonstrators concentrated on “teaching with pictures”. I would call this “using analogies” within APSI. I believe cross country ski instruction in the APSI framework has this a fundamental already. Certainly, it is what we trainers should be concentrating on during courses and recalls so our instructors can have a “bag of tricks” and hopefully a visual image for every student’s learning style based on his or her past experiences. In an on-snow session, we concentrated on video analysis of basic movements with and without skis. It was a valuable session that caused me to discuss the video analysis in totally non-technical terms. We will workshop this methodology at trainer’s coordination in 2016. A good basic rule was discussed for video taking for XC skiing. You will see my scribbles that I took at the time on the diagram to the left and a better explanation below. The video should not be taken outside the equilateral triangle described, with the photographer at the point of the triangle and the clip taken along the base.
What could possibly be bad about the Italians? They had three Maestros including a multiple World Cup skier, now a ski instructor. Perhaps I should clarify the Italian “levels” system. There is only one! The course to be a ski teacher is residential 90 days with a course cost of € 2500, just for the course. To be an instructor, you have to be the best of the best from the ski teacher course, complete many hours of teaching and then take out a mortgage and do another 25 days residential course. Trainers must also qualify as coaches. One fun presentation by the Italians was setting up a complete kid’s fun park on snow with hoops, loops and obstacles, cones and soft ice hockey sticks. We got some of the kids from the local area and ourselves and had a wonderful game of ski busting hockey. The Italians had a common system to present across the disciplines and it was quite unique to me from the cross country perspective. Their workshop and conference presentation was called “Ski School to Racing” and covered their methodology of encouragement through four levels of expertise and how to progress through these levels. The chart below is from their Student Classification Card or Log Book. Note that they have three basic skill areas, Classical (Classica), Skating (Pattinaggio) and Downhill skills on XC skis (Discesa).
The one point about their on-snow presentation and workshop that I found interesting is that their demonstrations are only of the basic level of the skill to be taught. In other words, taking Classical, to ski smoothly but “badly” at first with both skis on the ground at all times, and a relatively upright body. We, in APSI, tend to do an “end form” demonstration, at “Gold” level, even at the basic lesson. Of course, we then enter the demonstration and feedback loop and as good instructors, we can demonstrate the stages in “getting there”. But it has encouraged me to contemplate another method of entry, particularly if we are going to have a longer term relationship with a client as opposed to the indecent “hurry up and learn” approach we often have to adopt with interschool students. Let’s deal with this at the technical committee level to see if a change of process is warranted.
I have purchased a copy of the Italian Manual and an associated interactive computer program containing 400 video comparison clips. It is in Italian, but it easily interpreted by the video message. This program clearly presents defining features of ability for the levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold. In basic skating for instance, skating effectively but with the centre of gravity (C of G) still inside the skis is Bronze, closer to the ankle is Silver and over or even just outside the foot is Gold. It is a similar analysis for position of C of G for almost all of the techniques in “Classica”, “Pattinaggio” and “Discesa”. We will have fun with this at trainer’s coordination 2016.
beyond the average human being to achieve or would take you a lifetime to achieve and by then you would be too old to teach or enjoy it. I exaggerate but not by much. Maybe an Olympic level athlete with world class Alpine Randonee skills would be close.
Diamond, or blue level ski touring is pretty much
It was strange but exciting to go to the first Southern Hemisphere Interski and at the end of the world in Ushuaia as well. The Cross Country area is magnificent being the end of one of the loops of the recent 42 km Ushuaia Marathon course and right at the Cerro Castor ski resort base. The valley has a magnificent ambience about it and encouraged me to do some long slow kilometres by myself. The camaraderie of the Aussie Team and all the Nations was excellent and the disciplines had time to have some individual social events after the punishing daily schedule. I have a lot to pass on to my Trainers and Instructors.
A TEAM SUPPORTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Wendy Lorenz - Team Supporter
If your skiing is not quite up to making the Aussie Demo Team – which for most of us is very much the case – then going along to Interski as a Team Supporter is the next best thing! As a member of this year’s 16-strong Supporters’ group I got a unique insight into the team experience, travelling and staying with the team and sharing in the excitement of taking Australian technical skiing to the world stage. Add to this the opportunity to visit exotic Ushuaia – literally the city “at the end of the world” – and you have the recipe for an unforgettable adventure. The excitement already began to mount in the weeks leading up to Interski - thanks to the excellent APSI Team Supporters’ Facebook page and the daily youtube “Webisodes” which kept us up to date with the team’s preparation and training right up to their departure for Argentina.
However the magic really “hit home” the moment we caught sight of the Chilean coastline, where the snow covered Andes almost meet the sea. Flying over those mountains was awesome in the true sense of the word – only matched by the stunning descent into Ushuaia, which clings to the southern tip of Argentina amid soaring mountain peaks. After a friendly airport hug from the resident life-size Interski Penguin, we were driven through yet more unbelievable scenery to our great little hotel – right in the middle of town. Staying here along with the team – and with the Bulgarian team into the bargain! – really made us feel part of the “action” and helped build a great sense of team/supporter rapport. It would be hard to choose between the highlights of the week that followed – but here are a few that really stand out for me: One obvious highlight was watching the various
As supporters, our package included entry to all the sessions – both on and off snow – as well as a lift pass for use throughout the week. Together with
Other highlights included the many great meals shared with team and supporters at the iconic and ubiquitous Argentinean Barbeque restaurants – fillet steak of both size and quality beyond belief, the apparently impromptu tango dancing that one came across in the streets of Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, the wonderful historic steam train ride through thick falling snow on the “End of the World Train”, the best and thickest hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted and last but not least, the pervading atmosphere of shared excitement and stimulation which is generated when dedicated, top class skiers from all over the world meet, interact and share their knowledge and passion. My one disappointment was that it went by so fast – but only three and half years until Bulgaria hosts Interski 2019. Hope to see you there!
Adam Federico SNOWBOARD Wow! What can I say? What a crazy trip. They call Ushuaia the end of the earth and it really is. 42 hours travelling from the time we left home in Sydney to the time we landed in Ushuaia, Via Auckland, Santiago and Buenos Aires. Definitely one of the longest trips I’ve ever done and I almost wanted to kiss the ground when we finally stepped off the bus upon arrival at our team hotel. Our first day on the ground we spent wandering around the town trying to stay awake to beat the possibility of jetlag. The surrounding scenery was amazing and it was a pretty cool little town. Day 2 we headed up to Cerro Castor the resort hosting the event for a practice day and to have a little look around the resort to scope out terrain we could use to conduct our oh-hill workshops on. I think the long trip down there took its toll on the entire team as we all struggled during the
An unexpected highlight for me was the daily early morning bus trip taken with the team from Ushuaia town to the Cerro Castor resort – about half an hour each way. The waters of the Beagle Channel and the towering peaks of the Andes in the morning light were sights to behold – quite a way to start each day!
other supporters, I made the most of the latter to explore the ski slopes of the Cerro Castor resort – another definite highlight! Especially memorable was the breathtaking view that opened up as one skied through the rock “arch way” at the very top of the resort before beginning the long descent.
day working on the demo runs in what can only be described as the iciest conditions ever!!!!! Everyone was pretty stressed out and nervous by the end of the day but we were able to shake it off and put it behind us as soon as we got off the hill. Tomorrow was opening ceremony day and would be a totally different story. Day 3 (Sunday) started with all the teams getting a few hours in the morning to practice on the demo slope for the first time and then every nation had to do one of their demo passes in the afternoon at the opening ceremony. Once the nervousness of the practice runs were out of the way everyone started to relax and enjoy the moment and the interaction with the other countries started to be more free flowing. We were all in much better form this day after some good rest. The opening ceremony was definitely a cool experience and the boys all skied exceptionally well.
teams’ alpine demonstrations which began each day’s program of events. Our team really did us proud with their performances and presentations throughout the week – beginning with a terrific run at the Opening Ceremony and following up with a first class series of alpine demonstrations on the Tuesday morning – despite near blizzard conditions! Lined up behind our flag with the other Aussie supporters – all cheering madly as our team came down to a remix of the “Land Downunder” will not be quickly forgotten by any of us! That evening their indoor lecture attracted a full house – standing room only. This excellent presentation, which included the “unveiling” of the cutting edge APSI Instructor’s App created a real buzz.
Monday was the first official day of Interski so after we arrived at the resort and got our gear on it was time to head over to the demo slope to watch the first handful of countries do their demo runs. Again the snow was absolutely bulletproof so sitting there I wasn’t envious of those teams at all. Once the demo runs were over it was time to go and meet up with the snowboarders from the other countries for the start of what was supposed to be the first of the on snow presentations. The way the schedule worked was that the countries that were on the demo slope in the morning were scheduled to do the on snow presentations in the afternoons. This worked for the alpine guys but we soon figured out quickly once we gathered this didn’t work for snowboarding as not every country brought snowboarders and in some cases even if those countries did have snowboarders not all of them were doing on snow presentations. After trying to figure out who was meant to be presenting and then figuring out that none of the countries that did a morning demo were actually presenting anything we had a bit of a group discussion to try and see if anyone else was ready to present, nobody was prepared. Not a great start to the week! Snowboards being snowboarders we decided that since we’d come to the end of the world we might as well not waste an opportunity to go riding so the group pretty much split in 2. A group that hung out and lapped the park and then a group that went freeriding around the mountain. Will the snow conditions the way they were I wasn’t all that keen to ride a slightly sketchy park with concrete landings so I decided to go freeriding. While it wasn’t ideal to have that situation happen it turned into an opportunity to meet and get to know the other snowboarders there and ask them questions about the way they ride and examine within their systems in a relaxed environment. It was also an opportunity to see the level of the top snowboarders from the different countries as it being my first time I was curious to see where we sat as a nation in terms of skills and performance. Everyone ended up having an awesome afternoon and it will definitely be an idea we explore to be able to do again in 2019 if we can fit it into the schedule. That afternoon we got off the hill and the Kiwi boys were hosting the first indoor snowboard lecture, it
was being held as an open forum for ideas and what we would like to get out of Interski as there seemed to be some dissatisfaction carrying over from the last Interski about the snowboarders representation there. First thing first we decided to re-jig the on-snow workshop schedule as there were 2 days during the week where all the countries presenting were scheduled and then no presenting countries on the other days we all had our input and came up with a schedule that worked best for everyone. I was now due to present on Friday instead of Tuesday. The main thing to come out of that meeting was that the snowboarders feel that Interski is solely organized with alpine in mind and the other disciplines are just expected to follow on with whatever the alpine guys are doing. There were suggestions of doing away with Interski and creating a whole separate event just for snowboarding but after discussion the more logical idea was to stay under the Interski umbrella but to try to push for all disciplines to control their own schedules and events etc. as most of the snowboarders don’t feel like those demo runs are an accurate representation of what snowboarding is all about. Tuesday morning had us wake up to some snowfall and everyone hopeful for a reprieve from the bulletproof ice of the last few days. This was our day to demo so we climbed on the bus and headed up to the resort. There was a mix of nervousness and focus in the air. When we arrived at the resort it was time to get changed and head straight up for our 1st run. By this stage it was absolutely puking and visibility was not good at all. We could barely see 30-50m in front of us so needless to say the crowd could not see the start of our run. The new snow made it tricky as there was 20-30cm of snow on the ground so it was really hard to generate and keep the speed that we were looking for but everyone still managed to kill it and we were all pumped up. By the 3rd and 4th runs the demo slope had become treacherous with patches of shiny, see through blue ice in between massive bumps of soft powder that had been pushed around by all of the demo runs. After we finished the demo’s I jetted off to meet the rest of the snowboarders at the bottom of the park where we had organized the on-snow workshops to start from. Canada and Switzerland were due to
present. I chose to go to see Canada as we see a lot of Instructors that go over and get their Canadian cert and them come back here to teach. They had 3 topics to choose from with 2 presenters for each group. Women in snowboarding, the level 4 riding tasks and riding competencies.
That afternoon it was our turn for our indoor presentation. It was awesome to see such a big turnout for it. I’ll let you read Andy’s report for more info on what we presented. Wednesday saw more good snow so I decided to only stay for a couple of the demo runs in the morning then linked up with a few of the Finnish snowboarders to ride some powder before the workshops started for the day. Presenting that day was the USA, NZ and Slovenia. I decided to go with NZ as it had the most relevance for us as we see people coming to work her with NZ cert. I’ve worked for 11 years in the US and I had seen a preview to theirs anyway when I was working at Canyons last winter. The Slovenian’s were showing a portable rail set up they had for teaching that was multi sided so you can progress students from boxes to rails more easily.
– Increase awareness by switching boards taking care to avert your eyes and guess the characteristics of your partners board, i.e. length, camber profile, stance width, angles, etc. – Back to our own boards, riding to the bottom trying to be as diverse as possible within our own riding, while also paying attention to the feelings and sensations from the top of the boot down. – Discussions around what we did in our own riding to be more diverse and increase the feelings in our lower legs and feet (bringing in the NZ’s four directions of movements during the discussion). – A few runs working through some selected tools and tasks in their Level One and Level Two certifications, showcasing how these tasks help to increase foot sensitivity as an entry level instructor.
The idea is to work with the rider within those competencies to create a more fun lesson and give the students a better understanding of what they are improving in their riding instead of always going back to isolating a skill and doing drills to help that skill. Obviously to improve someone you need to improve their skills but the actual riding is broken down into those areas first and then skills are worked on in those areas.
Here’s a quick overview of the NZ clinic content:
– Presented the Development Options Model and show how this is used to balance the importance of Freeride, Freestyle and Carve within the NZ system. – Work through three different Level Three tasks (one from each strand in the Development Options Model), with a focus on foot sensitivity and the required standards to reach L3, while also bringing in the Principles of Form model to help quantify the movements. – Share some versatility-orientated tasks from the other countries, selecting one specific task to ride through together, and then use the NZ’s Principles of Form model to break down the task. – Step up the level of riding with an extra-versatile task that is beyond any requirements of our different systems (toe-totoe euro carving in this case).
I went along to the riding competencies workshop and learned that when teaching and training they look more towards 4 outcomes when looking at improving students rather than always going straight for a skill. The 4 competencies they look for are, Strength & flow- basically using strength to create stability while riding and being able ride without having to stop and start or the time or ‘flow’. Arc to arc- which is turn shape and consistency and being able the move from turn to turn simply and efficiently. Load and deflection- which is basically using edging and pressure to create load on the snowboard and managing the deflection or rebound as we call it after the load has been created. This differentiates from beginner to advanced riders as beginners will have no load or deflect. The final competencies they look for is steering versatility. Being able to change or alter the path of your snowboard during the execution of the turn. Usually this comes from either changing edge angle when doing more of a carved turn or changing the amount rotational force during the turn.
– Wrap-up with why they feel that versatility in their instructors is so important in retaining students and how it has helped to make a difference at some specific snowboard schools in NZ.
I attended the Canadian indoor lecture that afternoon which was handy as it was in our team hotel so I didn’t have to travel anywhere. Their lecture was entitled, Turning… The original trick. Basically getting back to the soul of snowboarding and showing that while everyone looks in awe at all the triple corks etc. turning can be super fun and cool too when done right. Then they went into more detail about the outcomes they look for when analyzing snowboarding. If you would like to see it, here is the link for the entire presentation.
On Thursday it was Italy, Argentina and Finland’s turn to present. After hearing the pitches from each country I decided the Italians sounded the most intriguing so I decided to go along with them. Their workshop was all about their new manual they just came out with and their new teaching methodologies which was probably the most interesting thing I saw during Interski. They talked about the traditional ways of teaching by giving beginners specific tasks potentially sets them up for failure and therefore is not as fun and there being more of a chance they will not return and stay in the sport. Their idea is to use basic motor functions that everybody has (walking, climbing, grabbing, jumping etc.) that they weren’t necessarily taught ever, to help the students learn to snowboard in their own way with there being no incorrect movements ever. For example, everybody has jumped forward sometime in their life so the movements you use to create that jump are also movements you need to edge your board on the toe side. Using those familiar movements to enable the student to be able to achieve the task. Also it was interesting to hear them just give the students outcomes and then let the students get to the outcome however they need to. E.g. in a heel side falling leaf just telling them that they need to get from point A to point B and to get there the nose or tail of the board has to point down the hill slightly in the direction of travel but how they do that is totally up to the individual student. This ensures that each student achieves more in the lesson and does not spend as much time falling and failing at a task even if they’re not making the most efficient movements.
The information was very interesting but the workshop could have easily been run inside as we stood in the same spot for an hour and a half while the explained it then did 2 free runs to break it up a little then came back to exactly the same spot and talked for another hour. I then attended their indoor lecture in the afternoon as they assured us it would be clearer and easier to understand. It then went into some more detail about what they had explained on snow for the higher levels and how it’s all set out in their new manual. After a slightly late start on Friday morning due to the Interski general assembly. We headed up the hill and it was my turn along with the Dutch snowboarders to present. As we were the only countries presenting I ended up having quite a big group and I took them through some of our core beliefs of our technique and how it’s applied to our high end riding. I took them through some of the riding tasks at level 3 & 4 and let them have a go and ask questions. I finished off with an explanation of the functionality of the new app and how it will help instructors in the future. I used the alpine to demonstrate because the snowboard isn’t finished just yet. After that was all over it was time to head back to the demo slope for the closing ceremony which was pretty close to resembling the opening ceremony and then it was time for can only be described as the great clothing swap. Everybody scrambling to swap items of their uniform for another country’s! It was pretty funny to be apart of as everyone seemed to want something with a kangaroo on it. After that it was back to Ushuaia for dinner a few celebratory beers with the boys and then up early for the long journey home. I’d just like to give a huge thanks to everyone who made it possible for us to attend especially all the sponsors and supporters, you guys are awesome! Also a big congrats and thanks has to go to the team and the coach for all the hard work. Definitely a worthwhile trip and something I’ll remember for a long time to come.
general articles Calling all Ski Instructors in the Canberra area. If it wasn’t for the faded photographs on the wall there were few reminders left of Canberra’s forgotten ski resort when new owners arrived at The ski run was grown in, the rope tow was lying rusted on the hillside, the old Kassbohrer snow groomer was home to many different species of wildlife and hundreds of sets of straight skis and rear entry ski books filled the collapsing ski patrol hut. Located 45 minutes from Canberra city in the Tidbinbilla Mountains at an altitude of 1200m Corin Forest would surely earn the prize for Australia’s most bizarre snowfield, if only for the fact that it almost never snows there. Ahead of its time perhaps, Corin Forest had a 100% reliance on snowmaking at a time when snowmaking was not commonplace at Australia’s ski resorts. A product of the wild 1980s, a victim of the recession we had to have in the 1990s and charred by the 2003 bushfires Corin Forest was an amazing concept that never quite found its feet in reality. New owner Dane Liepins hopes to change this. After two years of operating a snow play and tobogganing area the business will expand for the 2016 ski season to offer skiing and boarding. Corin Forest aims to offer the closest and cheapest day on the snow for those in Canberra and Sydney.
“We are starting from scratch on a new slope with a new moving carpet lift. It won’t be huge but it will hold 150 persons at once and be more than sufficient to give people their first day on skis or a board equipping them with the basic skills they can take with them to the bigger resorts”. Corin Forest intends to operate the ski field on a half day “sessions” model – where customers will pre book a 3 hour session with rentals and lessons in advance of them driving up the hill. This is similar to the system currently in place for the snow play area, and the ability to pre book has been critical in managing the huge demands placed on the small snowfield on the doorstep of 350,000 residents. Corin is looking to recruit a ski school director and casual ski and board instructors for the upcoming season and would be interested in hearing from any APSI qualified instructors in the Canberra area. Employment options can be very flexible to fit around exiting work and university commitments. Peak demand will be during weekends, school holidays and evenings for night skiing. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register you interest, or drop in for a visit over summer during weekends or school holidays.
Gradual improvements on site led to a successful 2015 season with over 25,000 visitors and planning is
already well advanced for the return of skiing in 2016 as Dane explains.
Corin Forest in late 2013.
Photo 1: State of the art snowmaking has been critical to the success of Corin Forest in recent years.
Photo 2: Skiing at Corin Forest in 1983
ROOKIE articles James Barbe-Winter
The three core qualities that make a great instructor? The qualities I hold in highest regard within the instructing profession are professionalism, technical knowledge, and riding skills. I have chosen these three aspects as the centre pieces of a great instructor based on my own experiences. My time as an instructor has let me experiment with various methods of extracting the best results from clients with regards to developing their skill and enjoyment. I have also spent lots of time training under various highly qualified instructors and have used the experience of being on the other side of the table to note what did and didn’t work for the trainers in different circumstances. It is only through the careful manipulation of these three aspects in unison that will lead to a clear instruction being issued from a respected figure and then showing you the movements. This last point of demonstrating is key in order to break down the apprehension associated with a new task.
Professionalism I view professionalism as the holding of peoples trust and respect. In order to gain these it is important to give them as well. The key quality of a trustworthy person is always following through on commitments and thereby never give a reason for anyone to doubt you. Respect is gained predominantly through leadership. I believe leadership is best portrayed by those who put others ahead of themselves. In my experience it is the people who possess these characteristics that not only make the customer feel
exceptional but they also draw the best from their colleges and vastly improve the functionality of their snow sports schools.
Technical knowledge An intricate knowledge of the sport in terms of the physics of riding is essential to any instructor. The instructor that stands out from other is the one whose technical knowledge extends beyond the basic movements. A great instructor will have an understanding of the psychological restrictions and physical limitations of a customer. As such they will also be equipped to help that person overcome their issue. This might be doable through the use of an unorthodox piece of equipment or a change of teaching tactic.
Riding skill The feature that brings the whole learning experience together for most people is seeing their instructor, coach or trainer riding impeccably. If a picture says a thousand words then a demonstration certainly does the same. A great demonstration shows the correct movements but also shows that the task is possible which can be one of the hardest things for people to get their head around sometimes. The final point about riding skills I feel is worth noting is that if you are being taught by someone that can really ride well you’ll tend to admire that and in turn want to ride the same. This can be hugely valuable for people’s motivation and should not be overlooked. Ambition is key to keeping customers not only attracted to the sport but also coming back for further instruction.
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James La Salle
Communication is another very important quality of an instructor/trainer. We need to be able to clearly and concisely communicate with our students. Keeping in mind the different learning styles, Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Reading and Writing, our communication doesnâ€™t have to be verbal. We can draw pictures in the snow, we can use hand signals
Lastly, we need to be Passionate. Instructing can be a rewarding job, helping people reach new goals and begin new career pathways. There are hard days with horrible weather, early starts and lots of travel. Itâ€™s the passion to instruct or train students that makes the long drive, the early morning and the wind hold day worthwhile. We are not simply teaching a person to ride down a hill, we are giving somebody a skill they will have forever and, for some, it may lead onto a career pathway most could only dream of. Our passion will fuel our thirst for knowledge, furthering our own understanding of snowboarding. It will help us get to know out students and their goals so we can help fulfill them, it will build our reputation as an approachable trainer who is there to guide and mentor students and instructors to reach their potential.
I believe all great instructors/trainers should first and foremost have an excellent standard of riding. It is our job to teach and demonstrate the correct and most efficient movement patterns to our guests. As such, we need to be able to demonstrate these movements with ease and fluidity. It is our job to translate the auditory explanation to a clear visual representation. More importantly, when we are riding around the mountain, we are the representation of how to ski or board correctly. When we ride past somebody they should feel compelled to watch our grace and style. We should be the standout riders on the mountain, setting the example of correct technique and ultimately setting the standard that all skiers and boarders should aspire to reach.
to indicate when itâ€™s time to go or we can, with the students permission, assist them by physically putting them in the correct position so they have a chance to feel a movement or body position before translating that into their riding. It is important to remember when communicating that we control our Volume, Pace, Inflection and Intensity as well as our general body language such as eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures and our physical distance from the student. Communication is a two way street, as well as instructing our student, we need to be actively listening to their questions so we can offer the most appropriate response.
We, as instructors or trainers, are all teachers. We may all teach the same first time lessons or we may be more specialised in our instruction, teaching race programs, advanced public lessons, freestyle lessons or developing instructor skill sets. So what defines a good instructor, what separates the good instructors from the greats?
‘I don’t see myself as a ski instructor, I see myself as a person who simply loves to teach skiing.’
Jamie Dickson As we progress through the APSI certification pathway, it is important to not lose focus of the overall goal, to be a great instructor. To one day become the full package, it is essential to embark on a journey of knowledge fulfillment, ski improvement and safety awareness. The job we do on the hill is always under scrutiny by our employers, colleagues, customers and hopefully ourselves. Those instructors that are most inspiring and who tend to be ahead of the pack all possess three strong qualities which they keep striving to improve; Professionalism, Passion and Performance.
Professionalism is Chapter 1, Section 1 of the
APSI manual for a reason! It is how we portray ourselves and our profession to external and internal customers. All the top instructors have excellent customer service, they minimize risk to all stakeholders in their workplace, they present themselves impeccably and they are constantly trying to improve themselves, their skiing and everyone around them. Passion is infectious and can inspire people to try
new skills, improve themselves and create self-belief. It is a quality that helps great instructors engage with each other and their customers. Passion not
The role of a snow sports instructor is one that has undergone a lot of changes in recent decades. It is no longer acceptable to simply shout commands at a line of bewildered guests, these days an instructor must provide a very high level of service and professionalism. Mountain guests invest a great deal of time and effort into a snow holiday and as instructors we are perfectly positioned to help our guests create an amazing experience which they will want to repeat. A great instructor should have a clear passion for learning and teaching. Just knowing the progression is not enough to deliver ongoing quality lessons, and even the amazing sport of skiing can become
only means for the love of skiing, but for the love of teaching itself. If an instructor is evidently passionate about the whole experience of a ski lesson or ski training, it often rubs off and produces greater results for the student/s. Think back to a charismatic high school teacher or sports coach that had passion bursting out their ears for the message or skill they were trying to convey. Were you engaged? Inspired? Perhaps it was not so much the particular skill they were passionate about, but in fact, they were more spirited by YOUR understanding of the topic. Performance is essentially ‘the bottom line’. Great
instructors place high importance on not only the performance of their own skiing, but that of their students. But alas, there is more to this quality than purely skiing. A customer’s satisfaction can be an indicator of performance. Another area to look for results to get feedback on performance is lesson sales and lesson requests. I’m sure everyone’s Ski School Director would love a chat about this particular indicator. The one attribute that the truly great instructors amongst us possess is CONSISTENT EXCELLENCE of the above qualities; Professionalism, passion and performance.
less interesting if every day is about the same words, the same exercises and the same explanations. The sport of skiing is continually evolving and changing, and attending clinics is a fun way for instructors to learn from other enthusiastic people. This helps to constantly change and evolve their methods of teaching, and to ensure that teaching skiing remains an exciting and fulfilling profession. An engaging personality and teaching style will allow a great instructor to entertain their guests creating a powerful learning experience. Learning to ski or snowboard is much more enjoyable for the guests if they can do it in a relaxed environment, and an instructor that is able to relax the guests while they’re learning will ensure that the lesson is an experience that the guest will want to return to. The well timed
addition of interesting mountain facts or history, or a funny story about a previous experience, can help to break up a lesson and provide an opportunity for the guests to take a step back from the lesson and remember to enjoy all aspects of their holiday. Most of our guests do not take lessons to become Olympic racers, they simply want to enjoy their time in the alpine environment. For instructors who live and work in the mountains, the alpine environment is a relaxed and familiar place, but for many of our guests this is not the case. The alpine environment is not one that they have a great deal of experience in and this can put people out of their comfort zones before they have even rented skis. In addition to this, many mountain guests have occupations that keep them inside and do not require a high level of physical fitness or coordination. All this can make learning to ski a very different experience for the guests and it is very
important to take this into account when teaching lessons. Great instructors are able to empathise with their guests, and remember that the guests are dealing with a whole range of issues on top of simply learning a new movement or skill. All instructors will experience frustration at some point, but great instructors see the lesson from the guestâ€™s point of view and adapt their teaching styles to continually accommodate the changing needs of the class. These qualities are core elements of the ever expanding range of personal traits of a great snow sports instructor. As instructors it is important to continually revisit these ideas and collaborate on how we can keep evolving so as to keep delivering the highest quality product for our guests.
Appropriate sense of humour: First and foremost is connecting with complete strangers on a daily basis. Having a good sense of humour will allow you to break the ice and keep a fun environment for any learning to thrive. Part of this humour is knowing your audience and choosing suitable jokes or comments for any given situation. An easy way to start is keep things age specific for example refrain from using complex reasoning with younger guests or making childish comments to older guests. The longer you have a client the more you will get to know their sense of humour and will be able to keep everything on the same page. Judge of character: Knowing your audience is key. The sooner you can summarise someoneâ€™s interests and disinterests the quicker you will be able to build rapport. Figuring out your guest will allow you to use the most effective teaching tactics. Remember always keep things simple and accurate unless you can tell the guest has a hunger for more in depth
A stoke for snowboarding: The biggest facet of instructing is promoting an idea, a feeling, a goal or a belief of snowboarding to someone else. If you donâ€™t believe in the lifestyle and the joys of sliding sideways down any and all hills then there will be no audience that wants to hear your sales pitch. Keeping a genuine love for the sport will resonate from you and allow others to see the happiness it brings. There are several ways to manage this excitement through the highs (epic powder days, sunny park laps, riding with friends) and lows (injuries, blizzard conditions, icy firm snow). One good way is to keep in mind some personal goals (short term and long term) to always strive towards. After considering these three traits above, there are, and always will be a monumental list of good and bad characteristics towards making a great instructor. Everyone has a unique style, life experience and avenues of commination that will alter their approach to any given teaching task. It is for this reason that the 3rd trait I have chosen is by far the most important. Keeping the stoke for snowboarding strong and passing it on generation to generation will add fuel to a thriving industry promoting creativity, individuality and progression.
information. Applying different teaching styles and experimentation can lead you to greater knowledge of your guest.
The basic idea of it is guiding a group of people of undetermined age, ability and interests towards their specific goal of snowboarding proficiency. This but only skims the surface of what an instructor does in any given lesson. Knowing your students and their goals can sometimes be the most difficult thing to master on the fly. Sometimes having only a narrow window in which to meet, assess and build a plan can be challenging. This is why I have chosen the three traits we are going to talk about below.
ROOKIE articles Shauna Rigby
Like many of the universal questions of life such as: ‘Are the runs better at Hotham?’ and ‘Why can’t I ski off the Sundeck Chalet roof?’ This is a difficult one to answer. Ski instructing looks easy but it can be extremely demanding. Collecting a group of eager first time skiers and heading up the slopes can turn into a challenge when your clients can’t turn to save their lives, they forget to go to the toilet and now need to leave urgently or the Oh My God! Oh My God! Oh My God! I’m moving! I don’t have time to even consider the problems of people wearing boots from the 1950s, having skis that are too long or who could hear perfectly well at the base of the chairlift but now, at the top of the mountain appear to be deaf! What I do know is that the challenge of being a successful APSI ski instructor can be overcome by focusing on the main qualities that will guarantee a well delivered, memorable lesson with positive outcomes. In my opinion, the three core qualities that make a great ski instructor are: 1. Passion 2. Motivation
If you ask most APSI ski instructors why they are in this industry, they will respond, “We love it!!” In other words we all share the same PASSION. We are driven to teach and inspire others to enjoy carving crisp corduroy, driving through fresh powder or getting down a gentle slope without falling. We know, when our guest embraces a hot chocolate after the lesson they will be telling their friends ‘I did it! Let’s do it tomorrow! But make sure we book the same APSI instructor again!’ As an instructor it’s my PASSION to share this thrill with the rest of the world. Whether it’s in the drowning depths of Japan’s powder, the peaks of Blackcomb or the bowls of Corchauvel. Getting to the mountains is often a challenge. Most families planning a ski holiday spend a great deal of time saving, booking the right accommodation
Top of Rusutsu, Japan teaching the Australian Navy.
and airfares. As the departure date gets closer kids will talk about how many snowmen they’re going to build, roasting marshmallows over the fire and who their ski instructor might be. As APSI instructors we play a significant role in enhancing the family holiday experience by delivering a safe and enjoyable lesson. Our guests should go home and talk about their first ever ski holiday until their next trip and, in some cases, for the rest of their lives. Not because the instructor owes them money for the cappuccino they bought him or her halfway through the lesson, but because the PASSION of the instructor means the thrill of skiing across the snow remains on in the memory long after the cost of the instruction has disappeared. Then there is MOTIVATION. I feel this is a hardcore quality for serious ski instructors. Anyone can enjoy skiing but being MOTIVATED enough to wake up early every morning, drag yourself to the mirror, ignore the insane goggle tan that is developing, and splash on the cold water before beginning the pilates stretches and preparing the mind to push through the onslaught of school holiday kids, weeklong bookings, or deal with the need to smile sweetly while interacting with Mad Max can be tough. MOTIVATION is what drives all my APSI colleagues and I. If a ski instructor is passionate, committed and MOTIVATED to do the best they can no matter what then their lesson is guaranteed to be successful.
helps to deliver a successful outcome from which our guests learn and progress. My message is a simple one and I call it loudly from the chairlift. As an instructor show your passion, stay motivated and share your knowledge to deliver a successful and enjoyable learning experience for your clients. Remember, that this approach could make your guestâ€™s lesson their most incredible and memorable experience yet, and not to mention your most rewarding lesson to date. See you on the slopes!
Sodergren Scholarship The APSI offers a scholarship fund in recognition of the rising potential of snowsports instruction within our resorts; it is called the Sodergren Scholarship.
Applications will be assessed on the following criterion:
In 1997, the APSI Board of Management established the Sodergren Scholarships in memory of Mike and Mim Sodergren, very well respected trainers/ examiners that were tragically taken from our association as a direct result of the Thredbo landslide.
One scholarship will be offered in each of the following disciplines: 1. Alpine 2. Snowboard 3. Other (Nordic, Telemark, Adaptive)
The scholarship recipients will have all their course and exam fees covered by APSI for one season (in their chosen discipline only). The APSI Board of Management have reviewed the selection criterion and application process for the 2016 Sodergren Scholarships.
1. Commitment to education, training and accreditation
I believe the importance of knowledge overcomes technical ability in producing a great lesson. An aspiring APSI instructor can be an excellent skier, however, if they cannot command the attention of their clients and dispense the knowledge to help overcome each and every one of their clients skiing challenges then they might as well stay in the workshop and wax skis. Without ski knowledge communicated effectively a client suffers. KNOWLEDGE imparted with clarity and commitment
Having a blast with a kids group in Perisher, Australia
3. Contribution and service provided to the industry 4. Future direction and commitment to the industry
The APSI understands that the traditional written application process, while great for many, does not showcase everyoneâ€™s true talents and abilities. While we still accept written applications we will now also accept video applications for applicants to show why they should be awarded a scholarship and how they will use this opportunity to further their snowsports career. Applications for the 2016 Sodergren Scholarship Fund are open now until April 30 2016. Go to http://apsi.net.au/members-services/ scholarship-fund for more information or to apply!
The final, core quality that turns an aspiring APSI instructor into a great APSI instructor is KNOWLEDGE. If you have an understanding of the mechanics involved in teaching skiing and you know how to correctly analyse and fix your guests without performing brain surgery, then your lesson will be a complete success.
EXAM RESULTS LEVEL 4 ALPINE Hugh Brooks Guy Dale
Scott Hannam Bradden Kiley
Aaron Lord Austin Miller
Ju-Hyung Lee Katrina Miller-Little Hannah O’Connor Christopher Painter Jack Percy Sam Robertson Emma Stafford
Richard Stewart Adam Streete Leon Tarbotton Ashley Thomas Heath Wallace Nicholas Wells Andrew Wunderlich
SNOWBOARD Oscar Alston
LEVEL 3 ALPINE
Kate Alouker Will Ames Mimi Bennett Jesse Bertram Melissa Cameron Jeonghwa Choi Ann Felthaus
Jeremy Golden Peter Hillman Mike Holland Sean Horne Yeseon Kim Matthew Kwon Sevie La Roche
SNOWBOARD Sean Alexander Kyle Browning
Chris Bush Isaac Howard
Damien James Sean MacPhee
Adam Rigby Cameron Velkov
TELEMARK Trevor Greenwood
Hugh Adams Benjamin Aggar Dana Armour Michael Benson Thomas Cherny Rebecca Clark Austin Crowe Duane Dinham Katherine Esposito Marion Falloux Morizet Dominic Farrell
Thomas Forster-Williams Sarah Gilkison Kaela Glasbrenner Isabella Hackworth Mollie Hall Sonia Hilder Keith Jeffers Madeleine Johnson Tamasin Jones Charlee Kelly Bobbi Kelly
Yuka Kobayashi Attila Kovacs Adam Lacey Allison Lane Joshua MacMahon Nicole Martin Melanie McCoy David More Lisa Murphy Shawn O’Halloran Sean O’Neill
Sarah Osborne Jeremy O’Sullivan Scott Parker Elizabeth Plummer Jacinta Poon Melissa Rennard Elsa Roberts Elliott Russell Sylvie Saisch William Saugez Jan Scott
Charlotte Simson Harinat Siriwan David Slingsby Scott Smith Eva Stockdale Alexander Warncke Jessica White Toby Wood Constance Wright Long Zhang
SNOWBOARD Andrew Batley Melissa Campbell Joshua Danet Erik Flekander James Foster
Teagan Gentle Samantha Hamilton Stephen Hosie Anthea Hung Simon Kelland
Bridie McDougall Jason Moore Sam Northwood Billie Oram Dylan Pettinari-Smith
Coby Schulz Ross Turner Micheal Williams
NORDIC Friedrich Bartsch
LEVEL 1 Alex Abrahams
Nicolas Torres-Don Stevie Trembath
Amy van Dongen
Cheuk Sing (Edison) Cheung
Sound Poon (Alex) Cheung Leanne Christie Graeme Clennett Oscar Cleveland Peter Collings Michael Corbett Alice Corkill Lucienne Croft Sarah Cumming Tom Dahmen Eloise Davie Leroy Dean
If somebody in your class is just not getting it: Get it.
SNOWBOARD James Armstrong Holly Armstrong Jack Atherden Oscar Ballintyne Angus Banfield Mimi Bennett Stefan Berg Jordan Black Amy Brennan Dylan Brown Stuart Burns Matt Burton Bethany Cairns Max Carroll Alana Cashion Pearl Cescato LinLin Chang Yun Ju (Joy) Chen
Hiu Yan (Gloria) Cheung Sean Claydon Katie Craig Patricia Darrell Jack Daskey Leeia Dayment Mollie Dent Alvaro Enriquez Liam Faulkner Erik Flekander Damiean Fogden George Foot Kate Forwood Pui Sze Fung Gaurav Ganesh Andrea Gibson Jeremy Golden
Lachlan Grant Sonya Grichina Shane Guest Sam Gunderson-Briggs Gerard Hawkins Georgia Herring Sean Higgins Tia Hill Jack Howlin Nan (Josh) Hu Tony Jenner Anna-Lena Kaul Lewis Kostjasyn Leevi Lagerspetz Sunok Lee James Lewis Cheng Feng (Sam) Liao
Xiao Tong Lin Nicole Martin Jake Martin Nichole Masland Jessica May Hamish McDonald Luke Metzeling Andrea Mills Jason Moore Sam Northwood Kate O’Brien Tom O’Hanlon Billie Oram Lachlan Pagett Scott Parker Alexandra Parsons Damien Pennycuick Julian Peters
Daniel Renehan Coby Schulz Nicholas Spencer Marshall Stay Emma Suhodobnik Charlotte Thompson Brendan Toll Yung Li (Michael) Tsao Rindert van der Veen Karl Van Goor Timothy Wallace-Smith Methee Winaiwat Lachlan Wood Christopher Woodward Cheung Hei Owen) Wu
NORDIC Ella Carmichael Adele Clark Patrick Eastment Luke Fitz-Gerald Jackson Green
Nina Hamilton-Grundy Kiani Harte Madeleine Mejak John Morris Kath Samball
Jack Schenk Ellen Smith Nick Wall Ashton William Brent Wilsmore
TELEMARK Katie Corbett
Adaptive William Ames Tristan Armstrong Sebastian Blake Tess Boller Scott Cairney LinLin Chang Alasdair Coates Matthew Conroy Mollie Dent
Scott Ferguson Erik Flekander Ashleigh-Jane Greaves Keith Jeffers Madeleine Johnson Arriana Keeys Hector Laiglesia Corrina Long Nicole Martin
Tom O’Hanlon Flynn O’Leary Kirsty O’Sullivan Jeremy O’Sullivan Jack Percy Katherine Purvis Samuel Rogers Elliott Russell Shelley Tait
Miles Thursby Anouk van der Bilt Rebecca Viney David Walker Timothy Wallace-Smith William Warrington Michelle Wilson Bennett Zeller
coach ALPINE Bobbi Kelly
Charlee Kelly Trevor Reeves
2015-2016 Japan Training Calendar Alpine
Cost (inc. GST)
Course & Exam
5 - 8 December
Course & Exam
10 - 13 December
Course & Exam
19 - 22 February
14 - 16 December
24 - 26 February
$465 or $115 / unit
3 - 4 March**
Demo / Freeski Resits
$115 / unit
Teach / MA Resits
$115 / unit
17 - 21 February
5 - 6 March**
Teach / MA Resits
$115 / unit
Demo / Freeski Resits
$115 / unit
$115 / unit
6 - 7 March
$115 / unit
Demo / Freeski Resits
$115 / unit
Course & Exam
Level Two - Three - Four
Date TBA (January) TBA (February)
Cost (inc. GST) $945* From $115
APSI events may change or be cancelled. Please check the online shop for the most current information. Please read the condition of use for more information regarding cancellation and eligibility. All candidates attending training must be a current financial member and agree to the release of liability (conditions of use). *Level one price includes membership and manual. Please check with the office if you require a discount ** All alpine theory exams for level 2 and 3 in Niseko will be held on March 2, 2016.
go to shop.apsi.net.au to register 45
THE APSI DEMO TEAM THANKS THEIR SPONSORS FOR THEIR SUPPORT TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL INTERSKI:
APSI GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGES THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS: