Brexit or is it Brenaissance! Disability Snowsport UK Solent Challenge 2016 British Snowsports set to benefit from new Funding Initiatives
Winter Issue 122 OCTOBER 2016
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Contents 1 Brexit or is it Brenaissance!
1 Jaz Lamb Appointed GB 05 Team Coach for Interski
1 Notice of General Meeting 06
07 1 BASI News 08 1 Paul Mills 10 1 Disability Snowsport UK 11 1 Interski Presidium
Welcome to the bumper edition of BASI News 122 (October 2016) and the new biannual format. Moving forwards, we will publish BASI News in the autumn, prior to the winter season with a second edition in the spring, at the end of the season (see article in July E News 2016). We have tried to keep the key elements of BASI News, including a news and features sections. BASI News has been in existence since 1963 and for the first 35 years it was the most important communication channel between the Board and the Membership. It was first typed up on an old typewriter before being copied and circulated to Members (by hand). The next step in the evolution of BASI News came with a lithograph machine (very messy) before moving onto the modern printing press, which was a requirement as the Membership grew. BASI News has marked the passage of key events in BASI’s past as well as births, marriages and deaths, along with technical updates across all disciplines and the infamous Members’ letters page. Apart from
the telephone, it was the only communication channel between the Board and the Membership for many years, until the arrival of the digital age. With the availability of so many alternative digital platforms Members no longer have to wait three months for their next official BASI communication as this is now almost instant. The impact of digital is that the content of BASI News is usually repeated across a number of digital platforms well before BASI News is published; this is also supported by declining numbers reading their online version of BASI News. BASI News remains a publication for the Members with contributions and content provided by the Membership. So as this winter season gets underway remember to email BASI with content, pictures and news that you would like to share with fellow Members.
Solent Challenge 2016
1 An Instructing Module 12
17 1 British Snowsports set 18 1 A PhD in Skiing
to benefit from new Funding Initiatives
1 BASI’s Performance Athlete Sponsorship Programme
24 1 Our Man in Niseko! 25 1 Alignment Process and 28 1 Life Member
its relevance to BASI courses
1 Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation
1 First ever SIGB 35 Foundation Award given to Disability Snowsport UK 1 First BASI Courses in the Shanghai Qiaobo Snowdome
Tania Alliod email@example.com
1 BASI Pro Deal and Member Discounts
BASI Morlich House, 17 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey, PH26 3HG T 01479 861717 F 01479 873657 E Nick.Mckelvey@basi.org.uk E www.basi.org.uk
BASI News Its All Good 10 The Haughs, Cromdale Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3PQ T firstname.lastname@example.org W www.itsallgood.org.uk
Issue 123 April 2017 Booking Deadline: Mon 13 March 2017 Copy Deadline: Mon 20 March 2017 Published: April 2017 E email@example.com T 01479 861717
Wishing you all plenty of snowsports this winter season.
1 Flow Zone Vs Deliberate 39 Practice
BASI News is the official house journal of the British Association of Snowsport Instructors. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic or electronic means without the express written permission of BASI. Opinions presented in BASI NEWS are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of BASI or of the Editors. BASI has the right to refuse publication of any manuscripts which do not meet publishing standards or the BASI Code of Ethics. BASI invites the submission of manuscripts, photos and letters to the editor from its readers - (E&OE)
BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
6. The Eurotest validation agreement for Level 4 ISTD Snowboarders is a bi-lateral agreement, between the UK and France only.
or is it Brenaissance! Britain’s PM, Theresa May, has said that the timetable for Brexit will begin sometime in March of 2017, but the reality is there is still very little substance on what the UK’s negotiating position will be. With French presidential elections in the spring of 2017 and German elections in the autumn of 2017 this could take some time. That said, BASI has been busy setting up bilateral meetings with a number of countries including France (in the autumn) and we will continue to keep Members informed as we move through this period. Nearly 500 Members completed the Brexit survey and the interim report has already been presented to the Assistant Director at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. A final report will be produced and this will be made available to Members before Christmas. Member Statement on Brexit issued 13 July 2016 Following the outcome of the recent referendum on Brexit, a number of queries have been raised by Level 3 Members with regard to the validity of continuing to do the Eurotest. BASI is currently advising Level 3 Members to continue with their required modules in the usual way; this includes achieving the Eurotest. BASI also advises those Members looking to work in France once they achieve their ISTD Level 4 to make an application to the French for recognition and the associated Carte Pro (which currently retains a 5-year validity period) as soon as they have all of the required elements to apply. The UK’s exit process from the EU is still being considered by the constitutional experts and, until the process and timeline becomes clearer, BASI will continue to operate as we have always done. With regard to the status of the Eurotest, here are the facts as BASI understands them: 1. The Eurotest Agreement signed in 2000 is not an EU law. That is what the MoU stamp is all about – coming to an agreement and making an EU law (delegated act)
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which may or may not encompass the Eurotest Agreement of 2000. 2. France, Italy and Austria have stated during the discussions on the MoU and the Delegated Act discussions that they do not wish to change the Eurotest Agreement, and if the Delegated Act is to come into force, then these countries wish to see any Act adopt the Eurotest Agreement in its current state. 3. It is BASI’s understanding that the proposed Delegated Act surrounding MoU discussions will probably not be finalised in time to be signed for this coming season 16/17, and therefore we would expect the MoU stamps to be issued again this year for those Members who are eligible or who become eligible during the BASI membership year 2016/17. 4. The Eurotest Agreement for Alpine is a multi-national agreement which does not include all EU countries. 5. For those EU countries in which snowsports is a regulated industry (France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium and Spain), the Eurotest Agreement is written into those countries’ laws.
7. The Eurotest will continue to be a part of the BASI Alpine Level 4 ISTD qualification and continues to be recognised in Europe. In the absence of any clear plan from the UK Government on the Brexit process, BASI believes that the status quo will continue for 16/17 season and possibly for a further year beyond this one. All BASI Members who already have the recognition to work in European Countries, such as holders of the Carte Pro for France, will continue to be able to access and use this. Those BASI Members who are close to achieving their Level 4 are advised to complete the requirements for the ISTD qualification. Those who have the ISTD Level 4 qualification (including the Eurotest) but have not registered to work in countries such as France, Italy or Austria, are advised to do so immediately. Following a recent conversation with our French snowsports counterparts, they have confirmed that, so long as BASI continues to comply with the rules and the processes as they currently stand, there will be no change to the recognition of qualifications. The European Commission have also clarified the status quo: “Until the process foreseen in Article 50 TEU has been triggered and completed, the UK continues to be an EU Member State, EU law continues to apply to the UK and in the UK.” BASI will be monitoring developments on Brexit closely and we will adapt to whatever agreement evolves as a result of Brexit to ensure that UK nationals continue to be able to work in EU countries. In order to present the employment case for instructors in the EU, it is important we have up to date work status information on as many of the Members as possible. Nearly 500 Members completed the survey and the interim results have been presented to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The final data set is now being compiled into a final report. This report will be posted in the Member area before Christmas 2016. For now, there is no change. BASI qualifications are recognised worldwide and we will continue to ensure that this remains the case.
Jaz Lamb Appointed GB Team Coach for Interski 2019 Congratulations to Jaz Lamb who has been appointed as the Interski Team Coach for Bulgaria 2019. The candidates who applied for this position were of a very high calibre and thanks must go to all of them for taking part in the selection process. Tania Alliod caught up with Jaz shortly after his appointment… TA - What motivated you to apply for the role of Team Coach?
slope, and also the quality of workshops we deliver at the Congress.
I was part of the GB BASI Demo Team for the 2011 event in St Anton and 2015 in Ushuaia; naturally, being able to represent BASI and your country at an international event is an amazing honour and privilege. After coming back from Ushuaia I knew I wasn’t going to go for selection for the 2019 team, so when I saw the role of Team Coach being advertised, I applied, and I am really proud to be able to continue my involvement at this level.
People tend to perceive the Interski Congress in terms of the performances of each of the demo’ teams on the demo’ slope. Naturally, these ‘showcase’ runs are incredibly important in gaining respect and recognition from the rest of the world. If these runs are strong, the nations’ watching take away a positive impression of BASI and, by association, every Member wearing a BASI badge.
BASI is an incredible organisation and Interski has been a critical event in our history for the past 20 years and longer.
But we have delivered really strong workshops at previous congresses and want to continue to be seen as an innovative nation that always has something interesting to say.
I have seen how Interski has been the catalyst that led to BASI being recognised around the world. Without our success at previous Interski events our Association would not have the international respect we enjoy, our qualifications would not have the recognition around the world and our membership, at all Levels, would not have the work opportunities that are now available. I have always wanted to contribute to a positive future for BASI and its Members and I am delighted to be able to continue contributing through this event. TA - Can you give the Members an insight into what the role of Interski Team Coach involves? The key role of the BASI Team Coach will be to deliver a successful and memorable message at the 2019 Interski Congress, both through the quality and standard of the performances we deliver on the demo’
So delivering a strong demo and workshop are the prime aims for 2019 and there will be a lot of work required to do this; organising, planning and delivering the team selection, the training camps and the event itself. However, I believe also, the role of the coach is to deliver on a broader timetable, and not just be focused specifically on that one week in 2019. The Interski Team is a selection of our best skiers and educators so I would like to see the Interski Team being used throughout the 4-year cycle and not just for these ‘demo runs’ or the Congress in isolation. In fact, this is already happening as Roy is now using members of the Interski Team as the main educators and delivery team at the forthcoming Trainers’ Conference this autumn in Zermatt. I would also like to see the membership more closely involved in what the team and whole Interski
delegation actually do, not just at the Congress, but training camps, preparation, and other events. I see and understand the disconnect with some parts of the BASI membership and hear the natural questioning of how such a big budget event has value for our membership. I believe that we have not managed to communicate the importance of the Interski event and its value to all Members. I’d like the membership to have an insight into why different people go and what they are there to achieve. I’d like the Members to be introduced to the individuals who are selected to represent them. I’d like Members to have an opportunity to ask questions and understand more about the event and hopefully understand how important successful Interskis have been in our history, and will continue to be in our future. I feel that it is equally important for us to communicate clearly and connect with our membership as it is for us to have strong representation and communication at this international showcase event. TA – What personal attributes will you bring to the Team Coach role? Jaz – “As for my strengths; a passion for BASI, a deep understanding of our heritage and how the Fundamental Elements, Central Theme and Teaching content all evolved. A belief in who we are, a confidence in the excellence the Training Body delivers on behalf of the Association. I hope all these and many other qualities will be seen as the strengths I bring to the role.”
BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
BASI GM NOTICE
Notice of General Meeting – 29 October 2016 The British Association of Snowsport Instructors Limited First Issued 12 September 2016 Notice is hereby given that a General Meeting of The British Association of Snowsport Instructors Limited shall be held on Saturday 29 October 2016 at the SnowDome, Leisure Island, River Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 7ND at 5.00pm for the purpose of considering and, if thought fit, passing the following resolutions: “Ordinary Resolution 1” – Snowboard Director That Adam Kelly be appointed as Snowboard Director, with Full and Life Snowboard Members having the right to vote in favour of the candidate, as follows: i) That Adam Kelly be appointed as Snowboard Director; “Ordinary Resolution 2” – Telemark Director That John Eames or Michelle Blore be appointed as Telemark Director with Full and Life Telemark Members having the right to vote in favour of the candidate, as follows: i) That John Eames be appointed as Telemark Director; or ii) That Michelle Blore be appointed as Telemark Director; “Ordinary Resolution 3” – Secretary to the Board That Don Bates be appointed as Secretary to the Board, with all current Full and Life Members having the right to vote in favour of the candidate, as follows: i) That Don Bates be appointed as Secretary to the Board; NOTE – No Nominations were received for the post of Ombudsman, so this post will remain vacant. Dated: 12 September 2016. By order of the Board.
Gareth Roberts, Chairman. The General Meeting will be followed by a Members’ Open Forum Meeting 6.00pm -7.00pm. Online voting is open until 5pm Thursday 27 October and you can vote via your Member area. Remember that you will need to have paid your 16/17 subs in order to vote in this round of elections. All the candidate details and voting documents can also be found in your Member area.
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VIP Visitors to the BASI Office
BASI NEWS • BASI NEWS • BASI NEWS • BASI NEWS • BASI NEWS • BASI NEWS • BASI NEWS
Interski Presidium Meeting October 2016 We always enjoy welcoming members and visitors to the BASI office in Grantown on Spey. This autumn we welcomed the Interski Presidium and CASSI, BASI’s Chinese Business Partner.
Above from left to right:
Eric Sheckleton (Interski Vice President) from the USA
Klas Ã Strand (IVSS President) from Sweden
Riet Campell (ISIA President) from Switzerland Dave Renouf (Interski Vice President) from UK Petar Lankov (Interski 2019 Congress host Chairperson of the Bulgarian ski instructors association) Bulgaria Erich Melmer (Interski President) from Austria James Lister (Chairman of BASI) UK Fritz Mares (Secretart General of IVSI) from Austria Ruska Chalakova (Secretary General for Bulgarian ski instructors association) Interski Presidium at Work in Grantown BASI invited the Interski Presidium to host their annual meeting in Grantownon-Spey from 8 to 11 October. Members of the Presidium include the respective Presidents of IVSS, IVSI and ISIA and they flew into Scotland from all corners of the planet. The Interski Presidium is responsible for the planning and organisation of the 2019 Interski event that will be hosted by Bulgaria.
Peter Mall (General Secretary of Interski) from Austria
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BASI FEATURE NEWS
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To Ruth and Sam Tidswell a Baby Girl!
Nick McKelvey heads back to University! Nick McKelvey, who has been with us since 2014, left BASI in September to undertake a full time Masters in Sports Management at Stirling University. Nick looked after the BASI Pro Deals, Member events, shop orders and advertising for BASI publications and we miss him already! He will continue to help us from time to time on a casual basis with Member days and events in Scotland. We would like to thank him for his cheery manner and Irish humour and wish him all the very best at Stirling.
Welcome Baby Farrah Baby Farrah was born on Saturday 23rd July at 9.03pm. Weighing 3.9kg (8.6lb). She is absolutely gorgeous and beautiful - and mum and dad love her to bits!
Life Members Congratulations to the following Members who achieved their Life Membership this year.
Jackie Bingham-Levine (1662) See page 24 Life Member David Craig (1192) Susan Whisler (2185) John MacLean (7347) Jonathan (aka Andy) Hall (1631) Callum Scott (632) Chris Mackel (1834) Jane McGarry (912) 8
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First BASI Courses in the Shanghai Qiaobo Snowdome in September 2016, full report from Kevin Edwards on page 36.
Office openin o ver Christm g times New Year 16/as and 17 Over the fe stive
period following o ffice hours. BASI will operate the Friday 23 De cember 16 9am to 2.30p Monday 26 D m ecember 16 Closed (Bank Tuesday 27 D holiday) ecember 16 Closed (Bank Wednesday 2 holiday) 8 December 16 10am to 3 Thursday 29 .30pm December 16 10am to 3 Friday 30 De .30pm cember 16 10am to 3.30 Monday 2 Ja pm nuary 17 Closed (Bank Tuesday 3 Ja holiday) nuary 17 Closed (Bank holiday)
Chinese Association of Snow Sport Instructors – CASSI
CASSI came to visit the BASI office with a dual purpose. They came to give a short presentation to each of the international bodies of the Interski Presidium as they have a wish to become members of IVSS, IVSI and eventually ISIA. This was an opportunity to explain to each of the Interski organisations who CASSI is, what they do and CASSI’s objectives with regard to snowsports in China.
BASI NEWS FEATURE
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The visit to BASI’s office was also an opportunity for the CASSI staff to meet the office staff in Grantown, discuss administrative tasks and consider the BASI course calendar for China in 2017. Both the Interski Presidium and CASSI visitors were impressed with Scotland’s unseasonably bright and sunny autumn weather. Once all the business was concluded there was an opportunity for the visitors to enjoy a visit to the Speyside Cooperage, Glenlivet Distillery and Cairngorm Mountain.
Dates for your Diary 1 Oct 2016 Note to self… pay 16/17 BASI subs 29 Oct 2016 BASI General Meeting, Tamworth Snow Dome - 5pm 27 - 30 Oct 2016 Ski Show London, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park 23 Dec 2016 – BASI Office Opening Hours 2 Jan 2017 for Christmas and New Year (see office hours page 8). 21 Jan 2017 BASI General Meeting – Alps (resort to be confirmed)
How to pay your 16/17 Subs 2016/17 subs are payable by 1 October 2016. You can login to your Member area and pay them directly there. Membership Subs for ‘16/17 will be: Full Members £77 Associate Members £52 Rejoin Fee (for lapsed Members) £35 + Membership Fee
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BASI FEATURE NEWS
Paul Mills 1967 – 2016
loved to be in the outdoors. It is always inspiring when someone with a passion for an outdoor sport and the environment also has the skill and empathy to lead and introduce others to that environment. Paul’s skills saw him gain his Nordic National Ski Teacher Award, Alpine Level 3 (ISIA) and Telemark Level 2 and, through his work with clients of all ages and abilities, he was able to share this passion for sliding and for the hills. He worked as a Nordic Trainer for BASI (retired some years ago) and a Tutor for Snowsport Scotland. I have had the pleasure to share many mountain days with Paul; there are so many memories from our time in the outdoors together it is hard to pick one to share, so here is a summary: Together we have wandered the hills of Glencoe, navigated through glaciers in Norway, ski toured in the Alps, Nordic skied in Norway, paddled through the gulf of Corryvreckan, kayaked the river Orchy, got drunk, stayed in Alpine huts, shared our troubles and worries, climbed on the north face of the Ben, been to concerts, camped, bivvied, dossed, hugged and helped each other through thick and thin, hugged again, shared stories, snow holed in Norway’s Jotenheim mountains, cried, soloed ice in Glencoe, ridden in helicopters, stayed up late, fallen over with laughter...............I have shared so much of my life with Paul and I’m proud to have been so close to him. Many of you reading this will have similar memories; Paul was a friend to so many. There is now a big hole in the outdoor community which can only be filled by us all remembering with a smile what Paul meant to us. The mourning has now passed, let the laughing and smiling begin when we think of this great man. I miss you my dear friend! Roy Henderson
Paul Mills took his own life on the 18th of August 2016.
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Paul Mills was also a skier. A skier in the true sense of the word; he loved to travel in the mountains on 2 planks whether they were Alpine, Nordic, Touring or Telemark. He had a passion for the hills and wild places and simply
OR TRAI N CT
KS SNOWOR A
Standing outside the village hall at 11pm, I decided it was time to go home and, with only about 10 others around me, it seemed an appropriate time to depart. I popped my head into the hall to say goodbye to anyone still in there and was greeted by what can only be described as a scene from an Ibiza nightclub; there were over 100 people on the dance floor giving it ‘large’ and many more still drinking and reminiscing. It all finished around 2am…….. what a send-off. A big ship leaves a big wake!
£250 / WEEK FOR BASI MEMBERS
A service to celebrate his life in the Ballachulish village hall was testimony to how popular this man was. It is estimated that the service was attended by more than 500 people and with a theme of “beach shirts” the mood was relatively uplifting for a gathering of this type.
EUROTEST, TEST TECHNIQUE & PRO PERFORMANCE TRAINING
As well as my friend he was a son, a brother, a husband, a father and friend to hundreds of people across the outdoor community and wider population.
SUMMER & AUTUMN IN TIGNES
I first met Paul in 1989 and we instantly hit it off, there beginning one of the closest and most rewarding friendships I have had the privilege to have.
He was my friend!
S EST, TE
TEL: FROM UK 0844 543 0503 FROM ABROAD +44 870 122 5549 EMAIL: INFO@SNOWORKS.CO.UK WEB: WWW.SNOWORKS.COM/PRO /SNOWORKSGAPPRO /SNOWORKSRACECAMPS
On Thursday 15 September, Disability Snowsport UK held its annual corporate team building event, The Solent Challenge. The event took place across the Solent, just off the coast of Portsmouth. The aim of the event is for companies and individuals to use the day as a team building opportunity whilst also raising money for the DSUK cause. As DSUK is BASI’s nominated charity, we supported the event by hosting one of the boats. The BASI boat crew was led by Sir Steve Redgrave (BASI President), Gareth Roberts (BASI Chairman) and Andrew Lockerbie (BASI CEO). The BASI Boat Crew was auctioned off at another of Disability Snowsport UK’s annual events, the ParaSnowBall back in April 2016 (yes people paid good money to spend time with this BASI crew). At this end of season gala dinner, Talentstream, a corporate training provider, purchased the boat for £2,500 and invited along their own guests to join BASI for the day. The ten member teams each received a crash course on sailing in the morning and then headed out on Sunsail’s fleet of Match first 40 yachts. Once out on the water, the participants, with the help of their
skipper and first mate, compete in a series of three races over various courses. Seas were favourable, even if the wind was a little light at times, and the BASI Boat came in a credible second overall in the afternoon race standings! DSUK’s event fundraiser, Keira Young commented; “This has been our best
attended Solent Challenge since its inception and we raised a whopping £8,000 from the day, thanks to the support of a whole range of generous companies like; The Cooperative Group, Kingsland Drinks, Cordorniu UK, Accolade Wines UK, Watermill Winery, Vinimports, Champagne Lanson, Boutinot Wines, Concha Y Toro, Greene King, Westons Cider Mill, Kopparberg, Pernod Richard UK, Vintage Cellars, Free Run Wines, Enotia & Coe, Tony Jenkin Jones and Famille Perrin Vineyards. On behalf of Disability Snowsport UK I’d like to say a huge thank you to all participants who supported the challenge this year.”
Disability Snowsport UK Solent Challenge 2016
The Solent Challenge will be returning again in 2017. If you’d like to take part please contact fundraising@ disabilitysnowsport.org.uk. For more information on Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK), please check out their website www.disabilitysnowsport.org.uk Kiera Young and Fiona Young, DSUK Challenge Organisers with Sir Steve
BASI Boat with Talent Stream Guests
crew looking at winners
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An Instructing Module with Required Teaching Hours should be Mandatory for Ski Racing Coaches Sega Fairweath
Sega Fairweather submitted this piece as her Level 4 written project. The paper struck a chord with the marker. The theme and content were both topical and relevant and raised interesting issues and so, he recommended it be published in BASI News so it could be shared with all BASI Members. Food for thought!
circumstance arises. As recreational teaching frequently puts the instructor with a range of different clients, the coach has a better chance to address some of the incidents that could occur, often in a shorter time frame. A competent recreational instructor can promptly discover each individual’s learning style and adapt how they teach to suit his or her needs. Using this ability to understand the athlete, first as an individual rather than another trainee in the group, could create a faster progression for each athlete. An essential component of an instructed lesson is enjoyment, and incorporating this more into training sessions could encourage the athletes at the ‘drop out’ age to continue ski racing. At the UK Snowsports Coaching Conference 2012, Paddy Mortimer, then Performance Director of British Ski and Snowboard, addressed the attendees with a presentation on an athlete development pathway. He highlighted that an athlete who specialises early, meaning high deliberate practice, low deliberate play, is more likely to drop out of the sport. The critical age that must encompass high deliberate play and involvement in multiple sports is between 6 and 12 years old.2 (P. Mortimer.2012). With drop out being one of the most pressing issues in
Pete Newell, the legendary coach and teacher, has said often that basketball is “over-coached and under-taught”.” 1(Bilas, 2015) Parallels could be drawn between this statement and that of British ski racing; this paper serves to highlight the current issues and to propose a potential solution. When the fundamentals of skiing are the same, it is strange that there should be such a divergence in the way skiing is taught for under 16’s between recreational skiers and ski racers. Adolescents in this age range quit many sports for various reasons; but as so many athletes are dropping out of British ski racing at this level, this is a worrying issue for the future of British Alpine racing. The paper proposes that teaching recreational skiers for 100 hours, as part of the coaching module, would help develop refined, adaptable and collected coaches. Proposed benefits of coaches having instructing experience Coaches who complete the extra 100 hours of practical teaching experience can benefit immediately, focusing on their predominant job: coaching. Currently, coaches are learning to manage groups, make effective training decisions, and deal with difficult situations, as each 12
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British ski racing, due to a lack of enjoyment, coaches can definitely learn from instructors’ inventive ways to keep skiing fun. Definitions of coaching and instructing In sport it is acknowledged that there is a difference between an instructor and a coach. According to The Oxford English Dictionary online, the definitions are as follows:“Instruct, v To furnish with knowledge or information; to train in knowledge or learning; to teach, educate.” “Coach, v To prepare (a candidate) for an examination; to instruct in special subjects; to tutor; also, to train for an athletic contest, as a boat-race.”3
Although there is an overlap, already the connotations of the job title imply a hierarchy. Teaching has a set list of objectives which remain impartial to its participants. It has a defined standard. “The measure of a teacher is not in winning, but in the fundamental soundness and skill level of the players taught.”1 (Jay Bilas 2015) Coaching has more focus on the individual and is all encompassing. The objectives are often not quantifiable, and frequently involve more inputs to achieve the end result. According to Olympic figure skating coach Frank Carroll, “There’s a difference between being a coach and being a teacher. Teaching involves being able to pass on knowledge about how to do a skill; how to teach someone to use their body to do a jump, or use their feet to create speed, or how to make a spin go faster. A coach is somebody who can prepare people for competition and give them a philosophy about how to be champions, how to deal with the disappointments and the triumphs, how to budget their time. And a coach teaches them the philosophy of being a competitor.”6 (Lucy Madison. 2014) Although Caroll highlights some of the differences between teaching and coaching, it is evident that teaching skills are critical for coaching athletes. Unwittingly building a picture of discrepancy between instructing and coaching, especially at grass roots level, is to the detriment of all snowsports teachers, as valuable methods of teaching skiing can be found in both instructing and coaching, and should be adaptable and interchangeable. Determining key factors that affect teaching techniques between instructing and coaching. There is a difference in attitude between coaching and instructing and there are a number of factors that could influence why coaches train athletes the way they do. The importance of FUNdamentals regardless of job title In the researcher’s experience, the way skiing is taught to the recreational child versus an athlete of the same age in ski racing is extremely different. To the recreational child, mileage over different terrain and keeping skiing fun is paramount, and although considered just as important in coaching theory, is sadly neglected in the endeavour for better technique and faster times. The CSCF Husky Snow Stars Parents & Coaches Manual states in their introductory paragraph; “The goal of Snow Stars is to encourage the development of skiers and ski racers of all ability levels in a fun and rewarding environment.”7 (Author Unknown. 2001) It is clear that particularly for young skiers, even though Snow Stars want to encourage development, it must be within a “fun and rewarding
environment”7, with the focus on developing their physical literacy rather than results. In contrast to this, up until 2011 there weren’t any under 10 ski programmes in the UK, so under 10’s used to join in with sessions for under 14’s. This meant a lot more gate training and racing than recommended for that age, and too much early specialisation. As a consequence, UK athletes are lacking fundamental movement skills and the “fun and rewarding environment”7 promoted in Canada. Paddy Mortimer also lectured at the November 2014 Common Theory course using an almost identical PowerPoint presentation to the one given at the coaching conference.2 This one was solely directed at instructors. The message from this presentation was that the development of ski racing also relies on instructors. Instructors are the ones who can get children excited about skiing at grass roots level, from sheer enjoyment and using FUNdamentals.
The way the vocabulary is used in the definitions makes the assumption that coaching is one thing and teaching is completely separate, but as shown below, they can be used interchangeably. The BASI website includes an important example of this in its use of language regarding coaching and instructing. The candidate about to take his/ her instructing course is referred to as a student, whereas the candidate about to take his/her coaching course is referred to as a coach. On completion and pass of each course, the candidate will have clients, although this is not the word used. In the coaching summary they are referred to as ‘athletes’ and ‘competitors’, and in the instructing summary, ‘learners’ and ‘others’4,5. (BASI 2015)
The last slide of his presentation said this2:
In other words, kids need to learn to ski first before they are subjected to long gate slalom. Have fun – ski powder, all terrain skiing, learn to jump, to play in the snow… Instructors ensure that lessons for children are fun and enjoyable, yet coaches need to be reminded to include this element in their sessions. An element of ‘fun’ not only increases athletes’ participation, but is also the fastest pathway to success. If coaches were already doing this, it wouldn’t have to be mentioned in the annual conference, or reiterated in the Canadian AIM 2 WIN pathway.8 (2007) Working in an instructing environment where this approach is practiced each day would allow coaches to rehearse this without the pressure of their child having to perform. In the Canadian AIM 2 WIN pathway, Mike Sharp, the National Development Director of Alpine Canada talks about the training that Anja Paerson and the Kostelic siblings had as children. It was summed up in a very succint sentence: “It was relatively simple; be an all-around athlete, ski, ski, ski and stay happy.”9 (M. Sharp 2007). Distinguishing between the athlete and the client As in most sports, the decision to become a competitor over recreational participation brings about an attitude change within the athlete; the individual wants to be there and has chosen to try and excel. With this commitment from the athlete, the coach’s primary objective seems to shift away from athletes needing to enjoy themselves. “According to Ericsson et al., engagement in deliberate practice requires effort, generates no immediate rewards, and is motivated by the goal of improving performance rather than inherent enjoyment.”10 (Côté, Baker, & Abernethy 2003) The athletes’ satisfaction comes from succeeding and mastery of skill rather than deliberate ‘fun’. That an athlete typically has a set of goals to strive towards links in with this idea. A coach implements programmes with an idea that motivation is based around achieving these short and long term goals. Thanks to the coach/athlete ratios being smaller in racing (usually), and the coach spending more time with the BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
Altitude Ski School in Verbier has a comments book and feedback forms for clients to leave messages and review their lesson experience. Of all the positive reviews of ski instructors the researcher has seen, more emphasis has been put on the instructor’s demeanour (patient, knowledgeable, enthusiastic) and the overall enjoyment the client had, rather than their teaching ability or skill. This is also clear from reading reviews on www. tripadvisor.com from clients at Performance Verbier Ski School, European Snowsport, Adrenaline Ecole de Ski, and Altitude Ski and Snowboard School.15 In opposition to this, those appraising coaches place a higher value on the results of current and former athletes. “This programme is results orientated and the coaching staff’s success will be judged, in part, on these results”25
Sega Fairweather picture by Altitude Ski School, Verbier athlete than the recreational child, they can afford to fully focus on the individual athlete’s goals, without detriment to the group. With a group lesson, goals are portrayed as a group endeavour - to complete a set of tasks to achieve their level badge, or to ski a red run for example. With the goals being based around a group (or at least changing difficulty within the same task if there is a broad ability level) the overall tasks are constructed around the lowest in ability, and therefore should be achievable for the whole group. The goals set are also short term, simple and therefore should be easily accomplished. “If the feedback shows performance to be at or above the level of the goal, the individual evaluates his or her performance positively and is motivated to maintain the level of effort.”11 (Locke & Latham 1985) Additionally, most goals are quantifiable within instructing. If a child is making discernible achievements day by day, they will feel proud of what they have accomplished and encouraged to keep working hard. “When feedback is given in relation to a standard, individuals evaluate their own performance and this motivates further action”12 (Bandura 1997). Distinguishing between the coach and the instructor For the recreational skier, and particularly those who ski only one or two weeks of the year, the greatest improvements are made with mileage across a variety of snow and terrain rather than technical input. “Free skiing as many miles (vertical feet) as possible is the most simple and effective method to encourage skill development at the entry level.”13 (Unknown Author, 2001). This is probably why instructors can focus more on making lessons entertaining, having development of technique as a by-product, whereas ski racing coaches tend to go for a more technical approach, and then adapt drills and tasks to make them fun. “As athletes improve in skill and performance and progress to the next level of competition… Coaches tend to focus more on results than on effort and skill development. The emphasis in the training environment shifts from creativity in drills… to tactics and performance in competition. As a result of this change in approach, many talented athletes never reach elite levels of competition, retiring due to declining interest and competence”14 (Weiss & FerrerCaja, 2002) 14
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This creates pressure on the coaches to achieve their athletes’ goals, and another incentive to keep striving towards results. This isn’t just apparent in skiing however. Jay Bilas, a collegiate basketball analyst in the US writes for ESPN “Coaches, especially at the grassroots and high school levels, seem more interested than ever in winning rather than developing well-skilled and fundamentally sound players. They are impatient, and too focused on winning games instead of developing players.” He summarizes that this is happening because “Coaches do not have enough time with their players anymore”16 (Bilas, 2015). If this is happening in basketball, a sport that is hugely accessible in the US, then it should come as no surprise that British ski racing coaches, with their limited time on snow, feel the pressure to win rather than developing fundamental skills in their athletes. Examining the past experience of race coaches can give us an idea of why these habits are in place. Most people who choose to become ski race coaches have an invested interest in the sport from their past experience as athletes. In the survey conducted by the researcher, all but one of those surveyed were athletes in ski racing, and the solitary person who hadn’t been an athlete became a coach because “sons got involved” [in ski racing].17 (Anonymous, SurveyMonkey 2015). When starting out as a coach, most people only have one to three mentors plus the weeks’ required for the qualification. This means that their idea of a “model coach” before taking on their own programmes, comes from their own previous coaches, or perhaps an accomplished mentor. “Most youth sports coaches often do not have extensive formal training; they have to construct their own approach to coaching without role descriptions or performance outcomes for guidance.”18 (Gilbert & Trudel 2004). Gilbert, Gallimore, & Trudel 2009 cite various studies19 for results from assorted research investigating how coaches learn to coach. “The results of these studies show that there is consensus among coaches that the day-to-day learning experiences in the field is considered the most valuable method for learning how to coach.”20 (Gilbert, Gallimore, & Trudel 2009). Meaning that although the ski coach may be excellent on a day to day basis, if there is no change in their coaching environment, they are unlikely to learn other equally essential skills that are second nature to those instructing. Although every coach who completed the survey had at least one instructing qualification, a third of those surveyed had less than two years’ instructing experience, and another third had no experience of instructing at
Instructors can be faced with a different client daily. “Different” on any given day could be in gender, age, group size, ski ability, weather and snow conditions, a client’s personal goals, and a client’s learning style. The instructor has to make more decisions throughout the session, and with enough variations day to day, they will become confident not only in making a choice, but making the right choice for the progress and happiness of their client. Distinguishing between the instructor and the coach regarding regulations Under section 3.1, test technique; the publication from the International Ski Instructors Association entitled ISIA minimum standard for the ISIA stamp and ISIA card declares; “The candidate will have had technical, methodological and multi-sports training. S/he will be able to teach the technical forms to the highest level (expert) with competence. S/he will also have passed the racing test to standardised measurable parameters in the main discipline.”22 (unknown author, 2008). Clearly being competent at coaching is imperative for an instructor wishing to make a career out of teaching. This is juxtaposed to ski racing where, despite grass roots content being focused on fundamentals, the coaches are under no obligation to learn how to teach these basics. As previously mentioned, there can be a heavy focus on results in racing, but having proper training and experience in teaching the basics could actually create a faster pathway to success. Interestingly, in the survey, the coaches over the age of 30 had the most experience in both instructing and coaching, and had spent equal time doing both. This is possibly due to the fact that coaching opportunities weren’t as plenty, and coaches had to supplement their coaching with instructing. The individuals that had in excess of 11 years in both instructing and coaching have been successful in both their coaching and their racing programmes which cannot be mistaken for coincidence, but rather attributed to more experience in how to teach skiing, using their experience as both coach and instructor. The 21-29 year olds have the least experience in teaching, and this is worrying because these are the same inexperienced coaches who generally lead the U14 age categories - the years that coaches are told they have the most sway over athletes and their advancement both in the sport, and as an individual. It is likely, when learning on the job, that these coaches will make mistakes, but when working closely with an athlete for long periods of time, and acting as a role model, these mistakes have a bigger impact than if they were to make the same mistake as an instructor teaching a child for a week. Learning how to deal with these mistakes, where it doesn’t impact a coach/athlete relationship or the programme, will eventually give the coach the ability to approach problems in a professional manner in a coaching situation. Conclusion Arguments could be made against having mandatory teaching hours as part of the UKCP/ BASI coaching pathway. The most pressing concerns would be in regard to the time and money it would cost candidates to complete.
However, the required hours wouldn’t necessarily just have to be shadowing or volunteer work - plenty of ski schools take on extra personnel in peak weeks, and this could help alleviate the concern about money, whilst achieving the mandatory hours. In regard to the time lost in accomplishing the suggested number of hours (100), it equates to approximately 2.5 weeks working as an instructor. The researcher has been present in an academy’s coaching programme and has seen first-hand the extra hours that coaches can work in order to resolve issues that have arisen; issues that could have conceivably been prevented by having prior experience teaching. Fixing these issues ultimately means the coach’s focus is taken away from the athletes in their care.
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all and therefore are missing out on valuable time with variable clients on snow.21 (SurveyMonkey, 2015)
Ultimately, it is not a disadvantage, as a higher qualified coach can command more athletes and better wages. Collectively, more qualified and experienced coaches could increase participation through the “drop out” age, and create more “inner system competition”23 (M. Sharp. 2007) both for athletes and the coaches themselves. This in turn, will keep athletes within the sport and therefore maintain a high demand for coaching jobs. This potential grievance of lost time and money spent by the candidates is grossly outweighed by the positive outcomes stated above. If it were to become normal practise, then the inconvenience of doing the extra modules would soon be forgotten. Instructing can offer coaches the opportunity to practice teaching the basic skiing movements, to simplify how they convey technical movements they want their (sometimes very young) athletes to accomplish. It allows them to practice this whilst keeping things fun for the learner, without any pressure of performance from either the learner or teacher. It gives them the opportunity to make many decisions, and harness instant feedback - if it was the correct or best decision they could have made at the time. If it wasn’t the best outcome, it is just as important to realise how it became a mistake, to acknowledge it, and assess how it could have been done differently. As the clients are short term compared to coaching, this can be done momentarily and addressed straight away, instead of happening months down the line with greater consequences. Instructing can teach coaches how to manage a group of differing personalities so everyone gets the most out of a lesson. This promotes quick thinking for an alternate lesson plan, adapting to deal with differing abilities and desires within the group, and the ability to carry out these changes without doubt and with complete authority. If nothing else; in the same way a teacher would set the task to ski with boot buckles undone so the learner feels more secure and confident once they are done back up, becoming an instructor and teaching complete beginners can make the coach appreciate that they are usually able to ski fast everywhere on the mountain with a group of talented skiers. The onus of the future of British Alpine Ski Racing is in the current coaches’ hands, and changing the coaching route in order to create better coaches cannot be detrimental to anyone involved in the sport. To continue with the prevailing pathway is to believe all that can be done has been done to produce the best athletes Great BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
Britain has to offer; and when you look at the quantity of prospective talent in the UK compared to the number in the World Cup, this is not the case. It is not a magic fix for all of Alpine skiing’s problems, but it could remedy some of the issues that arise in the system we have.
11. E. Locke & G. Latham. 1985. The application of goal setting to sports. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, p205-222.
As proven in the Canadian system, we need to “be confident that we are always doing the best job possible”24 (Aim2Win) and only by striving to emulate other successful nations can we hope to succeed.
14. M. Weiss & E. Ferrer-Caja. 2002. Motivational orientations and sport behaviour. Advances in sport psychology p116-160
Bibliography 1. J. Bilas. ESPN. 07/01/15. http://assets.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/bilas_ jay/1488688.html 2. Paddy Mortimer. Coaching Conference Manchester 2012.
13. Unknown author. Husky Snowstars Parents and Coaches Manual. 2001. Page 8, Skill Development. http://canadiansportforlife.ca/sites/default/ files/user_files/files/Husky%20Snow%20Stars%20PArents%20&%20 Coaches%20Manual.pdf
15. Various Authors. Trip advisor. 2015. www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ Review-g198848-d4718833-Reviews-Performance_Verbier_Ski_SchoolVerbier_Canton_of_Valais_Swiss_Alps.html http://www.tripadvisor. com/Attraction_Review-g198848-d3648109-Reviews-Verbier_Ski_ School_European_Snowsport-Verbier_Canton_of_Valais_Swiss_Alps. html http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g198848d4930686-Reviews-Adrenaline_ESI_Ecole_de_Ski_Verbier-Verbier_ Canton_of_Valais_Swiss_Alps.html http://www.tripadvisor.com/ Attraction_Review-g198848-d6434246-Reviews-Altitude_Ski_and_ Snowboard_School-Verbier_Canton_of_Valais_Swiss_Alps.html
3. The Oxford English Dictionary online.
16. J. Bilas. ESPN. 07/01/15. http://assets.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/bilas_ jay/1488688.html
4. BASI website, Level 1 instructor course. www.basi.org.uk/content/alpineski-level-1-course.aspx
17. Anonymous, surveymonkey, 2015 www.surveymonkey.com/results/SMM57VGMRQ/
5. BASI website, Level 1 coaching course. www.basi.org.uk/content/alpinecoach-level-1-.aspx accessed August 2015
18. W. Gilbert & P. Trudel. 2004. Role of the coach: How model youth team sport coaches frame their roles. The sport psychologist 2004. 18. 21-43.
6. F. Carroll. deadspin.com. 2/19/14. Lucy Madison. http://deadspin.com/ the-coach-who-doesnt-care-how-one-man-turns-skaters-in-1525870117 7. Unknown author. Husky Snowstars Parents and Coaches Manual. 2001. page 2 http://canadiansportforlife.ca/sites/default/files/user_files/files/Husky%20 Snow%20Stars%20PArents%20&%20Coaches%20Manual.pdf 8. Dr. S. Norris, M. Sharp, D. Ellis, B. Lalande, K. Read, M. Gartner, P. Goodman, P. Ruel, D. Grasic, Dr. J. Vickers, L Lemieux, R. Lepage, J. Davis, M. Marpole, J. McGee, Dr. K. Amirault, K Robinson, H. Metzger, S. Applegarth. Canadian AIM 2 WIN pathway. 2007. www.alpinecanada.org/sites/default/ files/attachments/Aim2Win_en.pdf 9. M. Sharp. Canadian AIM 2 WIN pathway. 2007. page 2, Foreword. www. alpinecanada.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Aim2Win_en.pdf 10. J. Côté, J. Baker, & B. Abernethy 2003. Sport specific training, deliberate practice and the development of expertise in team ball sports. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15, p12-25.
12. A. Bandura. 1997. Psychological Review, Vol 84, No 2, p191-215.
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19. The various studies cited by Gilbert, Gallimore and Trudel (2009) are: Erickson, Bruner, MacDonald, & Côté, 2008; Gilbert & Trudel, 2001; Gould, Giannini, Krane, & Hodge, 1990; Lemyre et al., 2007; Rodgers, Reade, & Hall, 2007; Vargas-Tonsing, 2007; Wright et al., 2007. 20. W. Gilbert. R. Gallimore. P. Trudel. (2009). A learning community approach to coach development in youth sport. Journal of coaching education, 2009. 2. 1-21. 21. Surveymonkey, 2015. www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-M57VGMRQ/ 22. Unknown author. 2008. ISIA minimum standard for the ISIA stamp and ISIA card. www.isiaski.org/download/rules/Minimumstandard_en.pdf 23. M. Sharp. Canadian AIM 2 WIN pathway. 2007. page 2. Foreword. www. alpinecanada.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Aim2Win_en.pdf 24. M. Sharp. Canadian AIM 2 WIN pathway. 2007. page 2, Foreword. www. alpinecanada.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Aim2Win_en.pdf 25. P.Telling. Team Evolution Coach’s Contract. 2016.
BASI Trainer Lesley Page
Recently, the University of Edinburgh advertised a PhD scholarship to anyone who would like to conduct research around the title “Developing through Skiing…”. I decided to apply for the scholarship and, after submitting a research proposal and having an interview, was accepted. The general response I have received when telling people about the opportunity has been an amused “Really? There is a PhD in skiing?!?” This article will hopefully go some way to explaining the PhD and what it means for BASI and the BASI membership. The University of Edinburgh (Institute for Sport, PE and Health Sciences) staff and BASI Members, Dr Pete Allison and Dr Andrew Horrell, noticed that there was a gap in academic knowledge about ski teaching. Although some research has been conducted in the ski industry, this research tends to focus on climate change, snowsport businesses, injuries in snowsports communities, or the history of snowsports. There has been some empirical research into the coaching of skiing in Canada but the evidence suggests that research into the development process of skiing and teaching is ready for new contributions. The University of Edinburgh has a Memorandum of Understanding with BASI; both parties are passionate about the PhD contributing to knowledge about ski teaching and hence directly benefitting the BASI membership.
I have been a ski instructor for fifteen years and, over that time, I have worked on British dry ski slopes as well as in Switzerland, France and New Zealand. I have collaborated with instructors from many different backgrounds, Snowsports UK, coaching backgrounds, BASI, NZSIA, PSIA, CSIA to mention a few. I have also been coached and taught as someone who was going through the BASI system and before that as a (very) amateur ski racer. I am currently a BASI Alpine Trainer and BASI Level 4 Ski Teacher. Throughout these fifteen years of developing my skiing and ski teaching skills I have been fascinated by the question “How can I enhance development and learning?” This question has led me to do a lot of amateur research through reading, chatting with instructors and trainers from around the world, and experimenting with ideas and concepts. Recently I gained a post-graduate diploma in Coaching and Mentoring from Oxford Brookes University. When the PhD ‘Developing through Skiing’ was advertised, I realised that this was an opportunity for me to conduct research into this question with the support of Edinburgh University and BASI.
BASI MEMBERS FEATURE
A PhD in Skiing – Really?
There are two clear outcomes from the PhD. The first outcome is that the research and consequent thesis will have to contribute to knowledge. The contribution will be within pedagogy and sport as this is where my interests lie. My research will focus on how learning is facilitated in snowsports, both from the perspective of developing snowsports teachers, and the perspective of developing more skillful skiers. The second outcome is that the research will have to contribute something back to the BASI membership. In my case, the research will aim to give BASI evidence that what they are doing already is effective, but also provide further research evidence that BASI will be able to use to continue to develop BASI courses, that produce effective teachers with the right skills and knowledge. As a consequence of this research, I hope that the already good reputation of BASI Members, as teachers of snowsports, will be enhanced. I hope that it will also enhance an already internationally recognised qualification with academic credibility, building on the work achieved through the alignment process. BASI is the first snowsports body to be involved in something like this and I believe it will put BASI at the forefront of worldwide knowledge regarding learning and development in skiing. So, come October 2016, I will be starting this new challenge. The first six months or so will be about doing a lot of reading and then designing a more in-depth research proposal, before starting to conduct some empirical research. I hope to keep the BASI membership informed on how the research is progressing through BASI News and the BASI Blog page. I also hope to speak and learn from you, the BASI Members. I am not sure I will ever get used to the novel idea that there is a PhD in Skiing. As so many of you know, being involved in the ski industry can offer up the most wonderful, and sometimes, surprising, opportunities. BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
British Snowsports set to benefit from new Funding Initiatives Issued by BSS September 2016
Following the success of Team GB and Paralympics GB at Rio 2016, and with it, the proof that sustained funding is integral to international sporting success, this month sees the announcement of two new initiatives aimed at revolutionising the funding of skiing and snowboarding in Great Britain. The two initiatives, The British Snowsports Fund and The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, aim to bring in additional funding to grassroots projects, to the rising stars of skiing and snowboarding and to elite British athletes, which alongside current funding, will help spearhead the medal ambitions of British snowsports ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. In a significant move by the UK snowsports industry, The British Snowsports Fund will target the passion of the UK’s recreational skiers and snowboarders by asking them to make a small donation when they make a purchase from one of the confirmed industry partners. This is the first time that a scheme of this scale has been launched in UK snowsports, and funds raised will go to support Britain’s future Winter Olympians; from those on the cusp of qualifying for PyeongChang right through to kids who are just entering their first competitions, as well as to projects that support increased participation in the sports. Confirmed partners are AMS Management Services, AMS Rentals, Ben’s Bus, Butler & Wilson, Crystal Ski Holidays, Element Ski School, Ellis Brigham, Esprit, Inghams, Le Ski, Mark Warner, Meriski, Ski Bartlett, Ski Club of Great Britain, SKISET, Ski Total, Ski Weekends and Stanford Skiing. The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation is a new grant making charity which will provide financial support for talented young skiers and snowboarders. Grants will be available to cover costs such as competition travel and accommodation, coaching and equipment. It will also encourage grassroots participation in skiing and snowboarding by funding projects that offer young people ways of becoming involved in the sports and developing their talents. Sir John Ritblat, Chairman of the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation said “The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation has been established to be a major force in providing national support to talented young skiers and snowboarders.
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Our support at the early stages of their schooling and careers will enable more athletes to progress in snowsports by relieving some of their financial burden. We will see more people participating in snowsports and more young people realising their full potential.” Rory Tapner, Chairman of British Ski and Snowboard, the national governing body for snowsports in the UK, said of the launch; “The success of Team GB at Rio and in London has shown that Britain is a sporting superpower. Our aim is for our snowsport Olympians to replicate the success of their summer compatriots. The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation and the British Snowsports Fund will help us to fulfil this ambition by providing long term sustainable funding with which we will be able to support our coaching programmes and athletes, and increase the pool of snowsport talent in the country. We are thrilled that so many industry partners and other supporters share in our aims and join with us in planning a successful future.” Cara Brown, a member of the Delancey British Alpine Senior Squad and a BASI Sponsored Performance Athlete said “Funding is vital to the success of the British snowsports athletes. The biggest skiing nation in the world is probably Austria and the funding they put into the sport is reflected by how many athletes they get on the podium! We’re not miles behind these guys, we’re less than seconds and any kind of support makes a huge difference in a sport which is all about marginal gains!” Lesley McKenna, GB Park and Pipe Team Manager said “There is a huge amount of talent within the UK Park and Pipe scene and I am thrilled that we are launching these two new initiatives that will bring more funding into the sports. Additional funds will help us to nurture new and existing talent and will also help to support our more established athletes fulfil the potential that they have clearly demonstrated.” Paul Carter, Chief Operating Officer of Inghams, one of the confirmed partners of the British Snowsports Fund, said “It’s been proven that the success of elite athletes drives participation amongst the general public, and it is our hope that by supporting our future Winter Olympians we’ll see more people putting on their skis or boards and joining us in the mountains! I’m sure that Hotelplan’s customers will get behind this initiative, and I hope that it will be supported by the whole of the UK snowsports industry for many years to come.”
It has been proven that there is a deep pool of snowsports talent in the UK, with the 2015/16 season being a breakthrough year with seven British athletes on international podiums. With rising British skiing and snowboarding stars not only holding their own in the world scene, but in many cases leading the way, there is real medal potential in both PyeongChang and beyond. With the 2018 Winter Olympics only 18 months away, British Ski and Snowboard are looking to secure multiple medals in South Korea, a realistic target after Jenny Jones’ bronze at Sochi 2014.
Frank McCusker, Chief Executive of the Ski Club of Great Britain said “The Ski Club of Great Britain, which represents the UK’s recreational skiers, is proud that, through our participation in the British Snowsports Fund, we’ll be supporting both the development of UK athletes and grassroots activities. It is incredibly exciting to see the industry as a whole back such an initiative and it can only be good for participation in the sport longer term.”
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Lottery Funding and must fund their programmes from other sources.
To find out more about The British Snowsports Fund and The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation visit www.bssnf.uk or contact Su Moore, Director of the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation. E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 07703 136827 To see how BASI is continuing to help support the UK’s Performance Athletes see the article on page 18.
The Government, via UK Sport, funds a team of snowboarders, freestyle skiers and Paralympian hopefuls who are judged to have the potential to win medals at the next two Winter Olympics. Snowsports athletes from all the other disciplines; Alpine, Cross Country, Ski and Snowboard Cross, Aerials, Moguls and Ski Jumping, as well as the Park and Pipe athletes not on the UK Sport programme, don’t receive any UK Sport/ National
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BASI’s Performance Athlete Sponsorship Programme supports 4 more talented athletes this year… Cara Brown
professional instructor and coach; their BASI qualifications have helped them open new doors beyond their racing careers. BASI CEO, Andrew Lockerbie, spoke of the benefits of the programme; “The Athletes’ Programme allows us to take a much more proactive approach in supporting British Team Athletes, helping not only to promote their personal achievements but, most importantly, supporting them through internationally recognised BASI qualifications that will allow them to carve out a career for themselves beyond their competition years.”
BASI’s Performance Athlete Sponsorship Programme was created with the aim of helping to support Britain’s finest winter sports athletes through their BASI qualifications and develop the next generation of world class coaches and instructors. The programme supports the athletes with awards which allow them to complete their BASI instructor/coaching qualifications whilst continuing to follow their competitive training programme. The programme has been running for a number of years and former athletes including Graham Bell, Jenny Jones and Chemmy Alcott have all benefited from the awards. BASI recognises the importance of planning for the future and over the years it has helped high profile stars like Graham and Chemmy make the transition from world class athlete to 20
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British Alpine Team members Cara Brown, Ashley Breese, Graeme Price and Iain Innes are the most recent athletes to join BASI’s Sponsorship Athletes’ Programme. Ashley Breese, member of the Delancey British U21 squad, has been working through the BASI system for some time. Currently working through his Level 3 ISIA modules, Ashley spoke of the benefits of joining BASI; “I joined BASI because they have highly recognised ski qualifications and I want a career in ski instructing and coaching after I finish racing. The BASI courses I have done so far have been very useful, I [have] improved my technical skiing a massive amount as there were many technical aspects / drills I had never really done before.” Like many skiers and boarders in the UK, former British junior slalom champion, Ashley, learnt to ski on dry slope as a member of Telford Ski Club. Plastic is a surface that has been a starting point for so many of Britain’s top competitors
over the years. Currently he trains with EDEP (European Development & Excellence Program) and fits his BASI training in during the off season. With season 2016/17 fast approaching, Ashley plans to kick start his season on the new BASI coaching course in Saas Fee, before moving on to a base in Italy for the season. Iain Innes who is a member of the Delancey British U21 team also, will be joining Ashley on the BASI sponsored athlete programme. Iain has been a British team member for the last 6 seasons and was one of two Alpine athletes selected to attend the 2016 Youth Olympic Games. With two top 20 results in those games, Iain has shown he has a real talent, but still finds time to work with young racers hoping to replicate his success in the future. When asked about his motivation for joining BASI he said; “I wanted to be able to teach the younger athletes coming through the system and learn more in depth about skiing technique.” Iain is also a member of the Rossignol Hero programme and has a number of other sponsors, but holding a BASI qualification allows him to source some much needed funding between training periods. “My BASI Level 1 has allowed me to work a lot with a couple of British ski groups and this helps fund my own skiing career. Through the summer I teach younger athletes when I’m not training, thanks to my BASI qualifications. I plan on doing my BASI 2 at the end of this season.” Hoping for another successful season, Iain will be based in Meribel, France for the winter where he trains with Orsatus Ski Racing. BASI is pleased also to be supporting Delancey British Alpine Senior Team member Graeme Price. Learning to ski in Breckenridge, Colorado at 2 years old, Graeme has continued his love affair with the USA and currently trains with Killington Mountain School on the east coast of America as part of a post-graduate programme. Whilst Graeme has spent a considerable amount of time in the USA, it was back in his native Scotland, where an 8-year old Graeme, started a racing career at Glasgow Ski Centre. From here Graeme is now on international podiums in North America and at the British National Championships. Like many professional athletes Graeme
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recognises the need to plan for the future, stating that “I wanted to join BASI so that I had something at the end of my racing career, something that I enjoy.” Graeme is back in Scotland for the time being but will be travelling back to the east coast of America to continue his training with Killington Mountain and coach Pavel Stastny. BASI wishes Ashley, Iain and Graeme the best of luck for the coming season and look forward to supporting them on their journey through the BASI pathway. You can keep up to date with them on the BASI website, or through their own social media channels listed at the end of this article. Cara Brown started ski racing when she was 12 years old, and after completing her schooling in 2012, she took the decision to train full time and since then she has gone from strength to strength. Cara has been British Ladies Champion for the past 3 years in a row and is currently also British Giant Slalom Champion. Other highlights for Cara so far include finishing 34th in her first World Cup Super G in Val d’Isere and moving into the top 150 world ranking in Giant Slalom and Super G. She is currently finishing rehab’ after tearing her ACL in April and is looking forward to returning to skis this autumn. Her main goal for this season is the World Championships in February and after that, she is looking to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang! Commenting on her decision to apply for the BASI Performance Athlete Programme Cara said; “I had never really thought about doing my BASI before my injury but now I think it’s vital to have a plan that complements my racing. It will be really interesting to learn more about the technical and teaching basics of skiing and I’m looking forward to maybe coaching some younger racers and helping them achieve their goals!”.
Cara Brown Sponsors: AMS, AMS Rentals, Thomas’s London Day Schools, Insure and Go, Kandahar Ski Racing, Ladies Ski Club, Atomic Skis and Ortema.
Ashley Breese EDEP (European Development & Excellence Program) Sponsors: BASI, Reusch, Buff, Polar Bottle, Mojo Clothing Instagram: @ashbreese Facebook: Ash Breese
Iain Innes EDEP (European Development & Excellence Program) Sponsors: BASI, Reusch, Buff, Polar Bottle, Mojo Clothing Instagram: @ashbreese Facebook: Ash Breese
Graeme Price Killington Mountain School Sponsors: Atomic, Leki, Uvex, Protan Facebook: Graeme Price
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Clyde, Helen MacDonald, Alan Bell, Fraser Gormley, Willie McMillan and head Trainer at the time Ian Dunlop. I have very fond memories of my 10+ years as a coach to the Cairngorm Ski Club and all the “bairns” I taught. After my marriage to Keith came to an end, I decided to go on a two-year teacher exchange programme to British Columbia, Canada, and teach Physical Education at Abbotsford High School outside Vancouver. I exchanged skiing in the Cairngorms to skiing in Whistler/Blackcomb. Then, I returned to Aviemore and my teaching position at Culloden Academy, Inverness.
Jackie Bingham-Levine From Cairngorms, Scotland to Crested Butte, Colorado, USA Kilwinning, Ayrshire was not the place to be brought up, at least not in my day, if you wanted to become an ardent skier. My first introduction to skiing was in 1976. As part of the Outdoor Education Programme at Dunfermline College of Physical Education, final year students attended Glenmore Lodge for a week long ski course. John Cheesmond, who is also a Lifetime Member of BASI and a long-time dear friend, was the Outdoor Education Lecturer at the college and responsible for organising the course. Because of a second week cancellation I had the good fortune to fill the opening. Two full weeks of skiing cemented my passion for skiing. After qualifying from College in 1976 my first position as a Teacher of Physical Education was in the Outer Hebrides. Not the most ideal of places for someone who had just acquired a love of skiing. After two highly enjoyable years on the Isle of Lewis I decided I had to return to the mainland to pursue my career as a teacher. And equally important I could ski at weekends. I went from an itinerant teacher working in small schools throughout the island to one of the largest schools in Scotland at the time, Larbert High School, Falkirk. I had a great three years at Larbert High although it was a very steep learning curve for a newbie mainland teacher. The pupils were not, as I quickly discovered, as amiable as those in the Outer Hebrides! It was, all in all, a great learning experience which was to set me up for the rest of my teaching career. My weekends were spent driving up the A9 to ski at the Cairngorms.
In 2000, I married Brian Levine, an American I had met during my travels in North America and moved to Crested Butte, Colorado where we still live. I didn’t want to teach in the American school system, so it was a good time to try something different. I became a full time ski instructor working for Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Giving recognition to my old BASI Level 3, I was granted PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Level 1. The following year I passed PSIA Level 2 and then Level 3 a season later. Crested Butte is a small ski town between 9,000 and 12,000 feet. Although small, it boasts some of the steepest terrain in North America. After the winter season, I had summer to consider. I decided to become a tennis coach. I taught at the Crested Butte Country Club for a time. As well as tennis, I started a swim club which was very successful and became very popular. I am now the head Tennis Coach for the town of Crested Butte, which is a full time job in the summer! However life is not always smooth. In 2007 I was diagnosed with Diffuse Systemic Scleroderma and kidney failure. After five very tough years, including one year on dialysis I have had, what my doctors regard as a “miraculous” recovery, all be it in remission. It has been a “long road back” but I am physically and mentally back to where I was. I have great respect for the BASI system and the quality of the Instructors it produces. I feel my training as a BASI Instructor gave me the solid grounding to go on and reach PSIA Level 3. The adverse weather conditions in Scotland play a huge part in developing strength of character in Scottish skiers. As the saying goes “if you can ski in Scotland you can ski anywhere” and I truly believe that. I have had some of my worst days’ skiing in the Cairngorms but I’ve also had my best days. When asked where I learned to ski, which is often, I am proud to say Scotland. I am delighted to have been awarded my Life Membership. I wish everyone at home well.
Three years later I married Keith Geddes and moved to Aviemore. After a few positions as a supply teacher at Kingussie High School and Grantown Grammar I got a full time teaching position at Culloden Academy, Inverness. When Peter Fuchs was tragically killed in a car accident on the A9, Keith took over as Trainer to the Scottish Ski Team or “Espoires” and the British Junior Ski Team. I became a “goffer” along with others such as Gordi Fraser, Charlie McCreath with Ali Robb as Physio’. School holidays, both summer and winter, were spent in the Alps skiing. Because of this my skiing could only improve! When back in the Cairngorms it was Clive Freshwater who encouraged me to take the old BASI 3. After passing my Level 3, Clive then asked if I would work for the Cairngorm Ski Club as a weekend coach. I was honoured to follow such great coaches/skiers as John Clark, Colin Grant, Lisa Fuchs, Paul Rennie, Chris Barling, Fraser 24
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Jackie Bingham Levin e with Cairngorm Ski Clu Trainees 1980’s b
Moving away from resort-life, Niseko has the normal selection of green/red/black pistes, with a few unpisted itinerary routes thrown in too. Off-piste is allowed anywhere within the resort boundary, similar to the American system. Combined with the frankly ridiculous snowfall received every January and February, this can be excellent! However, the real blower powder is accessed via manned gates which are controlled by the pisteurs. Runs off the shoulder of the peak towards Hanazono and through the back bowls to Annapuri, as well as back-country touring on Mt Yotei, have easily entered my all-time top days riding. Exiting the resort, other than via a gate, involves ducking a rope and getting caught doing this will result in your pass being confiscated - effectively ending your season. Life in town is fairly quiet by European standards. The après scene isn’t going to excite anyone familiar with Val d’Isere or St. Anton. Instead, try heading home and showering and then going out for an izakaya all-you-caneat-and-drink restaurant, followed by one of the Japanese or Western bars. On the whole, the on-mountain canteens tend to be a lot more rudimentary than European offerings, although there are a couple of Michelin starred options for those with clients who prefer to end their skiing day around lunch time!
Hokkaido isn’t a secret any more, but that doesn’t stop it from being an excellent choice for instructors looking to work a season. The rapid development of its biggest resorts has vastly increased demand for lessons in this northern powder mecca, and there are now several resorts with a large English speaking clientele. I spent the 15/16 winter season teaching based out of Niseko, and hopefully this article will provide some hints and tips for anyone interested in doing likewise. Niseko United is a collection of four pre-existing resorts, linked together via some precarious single-seater ‘pizzabox’ lifts to form something around the size of one of the 3 Valleys. The height ranges from around 100m → 1308m, with lift accessed terrain up to around 1200m. While it is possible to buy individual valley passes, realistically, you want the full mountain pass. It’s fair to say that Niseko is not the most Japanese of resorts; its alternate moniker of ‘Little Australia’ is well deserved. Language proficiency beyond ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is strictly optional in town and Australian rather than Oriental culture dominates the nightlife. However, the town is not entirely devoid of Japanese influence. While there are certainly some intriguing eastern bars and restaurants, for me this was best reflected in the beautiful and unique (and seriously high level!) Japanese snowboarding crews you’ll see all over the mountain. Look out for a copy of the Gentemstick sponsored ‘Snowsurf’ DVD; the tuck-kneed, openstanced, wide-board surf style shown is both effective and distinctively Japanese. Outside the resort boundaries the Australian influence ends very quickly. Anyone living down the hill in Kutchan, taking a trip to Sapporo or Hakodate, or riding other resorts such as Rusutsu, Teine or Kiroro will quickly find themselves immersed in an authentic experience.
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Our Man in Niseko!
Nowadays, Niseko has a wide choice of ski schools. There is a large school in each of the 4 mini-resorts (Niseko Village, Go-Snow, NISS, Niseko-Annapuri Snowsports School), that tends to be busy throughout the season. While hourly rates in these mass-market offerings are not the highest, this can be mitigated by the number of hours taught. Amongst the smaller, ‘boutique’ ski schools there seemed to be a lot of variation amongst the packages on offer – living standards, wages and employment levels all varied greatly. I’d recommend doing your research thoroughly and, if possible, speaking to previous employees (check out BASI’s top tips section if you are applying for jobs – see the BASI jobs board page www.jobs.basi.org.uk ). As around 80% of Niseko’s instructors have to be replaced each year due to being ineligible for sponsored visas, anyone applying well and early should end up with a good selection of offers to compare. Finally, anyone with higher level qualifications can find themselves highly ranked in the allocation at the larger schools and doing very well financially! I really, really enjoyed my time in Hokkaido, and will take away many fond memories of epic powder days; the frequency and volume of snowfall being matched only by the BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
BASI MEMBERS FEATURE
good access to cheap food – my school provided a weekly shopping trip. • Consider learning the two Japanese alphabets Hiragana and Katakana before you come out for a real head start towards your language skills. Kanji is not for the faint hearted though! • Take care with your equipment choice. In Europe I ride a cambered park board, which is fine on and off-piste. In Japan I often found myself wishing for something much floatier! • The season follows a similar pattern to Europe, with high periods over Christmas / New Year – Chinese New Year and then Easter. With a late Easter in 16/17 your serious earning potential could be over by the start of March. • The vast majority of lessons are delivered in English to Australians/Hong Kongese/Singaporean/South East Asians and Western expats living in those areas. Languages in demand are Mandarin and Cantonese. • When flying out, consider your luggage allowances carefully – it’s worth paying a bit extra for extra capacity. Flights tend not to be included in your contract. • There are great opportunities to travel at the end of season, but watch out for Golden Week which increases the air-fares and the crowds. • Take advantage of the ultra-cheap and reliable Black Cat (Takubin) service to send your winter luggage ahead of you. This avoids lugging too much around on domestic airlines during post-season travelling. incessant announcements from the on-mountain speakers. I’m already missing the ever-handy vending machines and convenience stores, the ridiculous amount of packaging that was then thoroughly sorted away and dispersed amongst 7 or 8 different recycling bins, the must-experience onsens, the food and my colleagues who all seemed to be having just as good a time as I was. Getting back to Japan is going to be hard – sponsored visas require 36 months of experience, which is a good 7-8 years when you consider that most instructors work only 5 months a season (something which should have been a consideration when voting in the EU referendum). However, I’m really happy to have made the most of my Hokkaido experience. I’m sure that this amazing island will feature again in my not-too-distant future.
Top Tips for prospective powder hounds:
• Niseko is the coldest resort I’ve ever worked at – much colder than Europe. Bring some thick layers! Y
• The teaching terrain is not ideal and is frequently very busy – get advice as to where to take each level of student in your training period. MY
• Pay attention to where you live. Hirafu is the main resort, but is fairly spread out, with a lot of staff accommodation on the outskirts of town. Kutchan is the nearest large town, located down the mountain. Anyone living here will generally be provided with a van, but watch out for the quality of housing. Anyone offered accommodation between resorts should check very carefully that it is in a suitable location as the bus network is limited.
• The only supermarkets are in Kutchan, a few miles down the mountain. Anyone living in Hirafu will need 26
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• Many of the ski school heads and senior instructors occupy high-up positions in Australian and New Zealand schools. With a bit of networking, Niseko can be a great choice for anyone looking to get into southern hemisphere winters. BASSPro-advert.pdf 1 23/09/2015 19:10
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Enhancing the Value of your BASI qualifications: – Working with the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
An Insight into how the Alignment Process is constructed and its relevance to BASI courses By Andrew Horrell, Dave Renouf, Roy Henderson, Pete Allison, Sally Anderson and Kotryna Fraser An exciting recent development at BASI has been our work with The University of Edinburgh on achieving recognition for our courses in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). You can find out more about the SCQF at www.scqf.org.uk. It is a national framework that allows courses from all types of education and training experiences to be recognised and given credit. While this credit-rating process does not tell BASI what to do in its courses, it has asked questions that really challenge BASI to clarify exactly what skills our Members will develop on our different courses. In turn, this helps you to state very precisely what you have achieved on each course, and also makes it easier to demonstrate to employers in which markets and environments BASI qualifications equip you to work. We thought you might like some insight into this creditrating process and the ways in which it is informing the enhancement of courses. Once we have nailed down exactly what the expectations are for each course, we capture these in learning outcomes. The purpose of each learning outcome is to articulate clearly what competences course participants will have developed and what they will be able to do at the end of the course. There are advantages for course participants and for trainers when the learning outcomes are explicitly stated, and for most five-day courses there are now at least five specific learning outcomes (for longer courses there may be more). Once the learning outcomes have been established we have then developed examples of the kinds of learning experiences that can be used to help candidates to develop their capacities towards achieving these learning outcomes. Of course, we don’t make these prescriptive because every trainer has freedom to develop their course in ways that work for them and their participants, but the possible learning experiences are indicative of the ways they might approach running the course.
The next thing the SCQF asks us to think about very specifically are the assessment activities. As the name suggests, these are the kinds of activities that candidates are asked to do to show that they have achieved the learning outcomes. Finally, assessment criteria is written to help make it clear what is needed to achieve the required standard and what kinds of performances fall below the standard. These all apply to both the teaching and the technical aspects of BASI courses. To summarise:
A statement of what is expected to be achieved on successful completion of a course The experiences candidates have to Learning experiences enable the knowledge and skills required for the learning outcomes to be addressed Assessment Tasks the candidate will engage with to provide evidence that they have achieved activities the learning outcomes Assessment A clear description of levels of achievement, and what performance is criteria required at each level Not only is the integration and coherence that this way of thinking useful for the credit-rating process, it is really beneficial also for our trainers: it sharpens the focus on why they are doing what they do, and how they will support candidates to achieve the learning outcomes. It also helps them to adopt effective approaches to assessment and apply criteria consistently. Most importantly, it provides consistency and a clear framework that can be explained to and understood by candidates on courses. These concepts might all seem rather abstract – this is to be understood – we have been working on these ideas for some time and in usual BASI style – we believe that a demonstration (example) might be helpful in explaining things. Here are two:
Example 1. We have been using the concepts and the SCQF framework to credit rate the Level 3 Alpine Teachingnew BASI 5-day coaching course.
Learning Outcomes At the end of the course students will be able to: 1. Set a course which complies with the discipline relevant competition rules from FIS and review strengths of the course. 2. Be able to prepare, and articulate the rationale behind a programme of training using appropriate activities, showing knowledge and understanding of strength & conditioning, nutrition and sport psychology. 3. Be able to review and analyse own and others’ performance, identifying the main aspects for improvement and their relation to appropriate theory and resources. a) Be able to demonstrate the ability to draw on a wide pedagogical repertoire to plan, deliver and review group training sessions. Their own role as a coach and the ways in which they can continue to improve their professional practice during and beyond this course. b) At the end of the course, candidates will be able to use their professional judgement to lead training sessions in an open Alpine environment, managing a group in ways which not only enhances their enjoyment and learning, but also keeps them safe.
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c) At the end of the course candidates will be able to articulate clearly how both emotional and physical states affect the learning environment; and be able to communicate effectively in an engaging manner using a range of methods relating to preferred methods of learning in the group. 4. At the end of the course, candidates will be able to analyse, evaluate and make suggestions for enhancement of ski performance, not only for the elements of the Central Theme (see appendix 4) but moving beyond to deal with the more complex Five Strands. At the end of the course, candidates will be able to participate actively in ethical professional practices when working within the group environment, demonstrating the ability to consider a range of perspective on ethical situations and decide on appropriate courses of action 5. Be able to articulate the roles of the relevant governing bodies, their purposes and the way in which they may be useful in their role as a coach.
Over a 5 day period of on- and off-snow teaching and practical sessions, the candidates will be provided with examples by the trainer of the tools associated with teaching models, learning phases, teaching and learning styles and feedback methods. The candidates will be given opportunities to develop their skills in the use of these tools during practical sessions and through question and answer sessions. They will participate in teaching episodes, during which they may teach, take the role of a student, or observe. All candidates participate in reviews of these teaching episodes. Candidates also work on a reflective self-directed workbook to reflect on their own teaching practice as well as the ways in which various teaching methods fit with the requirements of ski technique and group dynamics. 1. Over a 5-day period of on- and off-snow teaching episodes, the candidates will be provided with examples by the trainer of the tools and methods associated with safeguarding a group of clients. The candidates will be given opportunities to develop their skills in the use of the risk assessment and safety tools during practical sessions and through question and answer sessions during teaching episode reviews when developing peers’ performance. Completion of the reflective self-directed workbook will help them to better evaluate and self-assess their own teaching. a. Engage in discussions about and have practical experiences of setting competition courses according to relevant FIS rules. b. Descend the course. 2. Explore the creation of training programmes, discussing and considering strength & conditioning, nutrition, and sport psychology. 3. Review own and others’ performance of the learning experiences in 1 & 2 and create an action plan to development knowledge and understanding of the outcomes achieved. 4. To understand the positive and focussed performance results that can be achieved and changed to bring about different performance levels and focusses. 5. Research the roles and responsibilities of governing bodies and consider the implications for their own work and working with others.
Assessment Activities 1. Candidates participate frequently in question and answer activities. Candidates will undertake a number of teaching episodes during the course. Having observed a peer-led teaching session, candidates are also required to review these sessions using an appropriate model. 2. During the course, the candidates’ teaching episodes will be evaluated as to their effectiveness to develop individuals within a group’s performance. Candidates will be required to be actively involved in review sessions of the candidates’ own teaching sessions as well as those reviews of their peers.(similar to the one just introduced for L4 tech). 3. During the course, the candidates’ teaching episodes will be evaluated as to how effectively they develop empathy with learners, and their awareness of learners’ needs within a group’s performance. Candidates will be required to be actively involved in reviews of their own teaching sessions as well as those of their peers in regard to how they have achieved ‘buy-in’ from the individuals in the group.
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Candidates will be able to demonstrate the ability to draw on a wide pedagogical repertoire to plan, deliver and review group training sessions.
Candidates will be able to use their professional judgement to lead training sessions in an open Alpine environment, managing a group in ways which not only enhances their enjoyment and learning, but also keeps them safe.
Candidates will be able to articulate clearly how both emotional and physical states affect the learning environment; and be able to communicate effectively in an engaging manner using a range of methods relating to preferred methods of learning in the group.
Candidates will be able to analyse, evaluate and make suggestions for enhancement of ski performance, not only for the elements of the Central Theme but moving beyond to deal with the more complex Five Strands.
The candidates will be provided with examples by the trainer of the tools associated with teaching models, learning phases, teaching and learning styles and feedback methods; and the tools associated with safeguarding a group of clients. The candidates will receive opportunities to develop their skills in the use of risk assessments, safety tools, teaching models, learning phases, teaching and learning styles, and feedback methods during practical sessions and through question and answer sessions during teaching episodes when developing peersâ€™ performance. They will participate in teaching episodes, during which they may teach, take the role of a student, or observe. The candidates will also participate in the reviews of these teaching episodes. They will also work on a reflective self-directed workbook to reflect and selfassess own teaching practice as well as the ways in which various teaching methods fit with the requirements of ski technique and group dynamics.
Candidates will be able to participate actively in ethical professional practices when working within the group environment, demonstrating the ability to consider a range of perspective on ethical situations and decide on appropriate courses of action.
Figure 1. Visual representation of complex relationships between learning outcomes, learning e 30
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Assessment Criteria Demonstrate reviewing skills that engage participants in the decision-making process, highlights the areas of interest and show evidence of questioning of participants and gathering of different opinions.
Frequent participation in Q&A sessions. Effectively develop individuals within a group’s performance.
Take part in a number of teaching episodes and review the peer-led sessions.
Accurately provide technical analysis of skiers’ performance, demonstrating knowledge of the central theme and the five strands in all environments.
Show clearly how ambience setting (both emotional and physical surroundings) affects the learning atmosphere.
Active involvement in the reviews of their own teaching sessions as well as those of their peers.
Demonstration of the candidates’ ability to maintain the safety of the group and other slope users at all times.
Within the delivery session the candidate will demonstrate that they can ensure the session is enjoyable and delivered in an engaging manner. Active involvement in the reviews of their own teaching sessions as well as those of their peers in regard to how the have achieved ‘buy-in’ from the individuals in the group.
Evaluation of how effectively the candidates develop empathy with learners, and their awareness of learners’ needs within a group’s performance.
Effective communication is evident in an engaging manner, using a range of methods relating to preferred methods of learning.
Elements of their own professionalism will be used as a measure of their adherence to ethical codes of practice, awareness of different facets of ethics and maintaining respectful attitudes to group members and course personnel.
Proactive involvement with ethical issues within the group setting.
experiences, assessment activities and assessment criteria of Alpine Level 3 Teaching Course. BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
Assessment Criteria 1. During the course, the candidates’ teaching episodes will be evaluated with regard to their effectiveness in developing individual’s performance within a group. Throughout the sessions, the candidate will demonstrate reviewing skills that engage participants in the decision-making process. Successful reviews will not simply describe the session and/or the opinion of the reviewer; they will highlight areas of interest and show evidence of questioning of participants and gathering of opinion from a number of angles. 2. For Session Safety the candidates must demonstrate their ability to maintain the safety of the group and other slope users at all times. Within the delivery session the candidates will demonstrate that they can ensure the session is enjoyable and delivered in an engaging manner. 3. Show clearly how ambience setting, both emotional and physical surroundings, affects the learning atmosphere. Effective communication is evident in an engaging manner using a range of methods relating to preferred methods of learning. 4. Accurately provide technical analysis of skiers’ performance, demonstrating knowledge of the central theme and the five strands in all environments. a) Candidates will be assessed on their proactive involvement with ethical issues within the group setting. Elements of their own professionalism will be used as a measure of their adherence to ethical codes of practice, awareness of different facets of ethics and maintaining respectful attitudes to group members and course personnel.a. Set a course/competition which meets FIS rules. b) Set a course which meets a specific training need. c) Technical performance – to descend safely a competition area for an international in a mountain environment whilst carrying equipment. d) Produce a programme verbally and/or in writing for at least two different types of athletes (e.g. teenager & Eurotest).Winter programmes to comprise training and events, and also includes effective use of strength & conditioning, nutrition and sport psychology. e) Verbally and/or in writing, produce review of own and others’ performance including: accurate feedback on what happened plus why and how the performance can be improved. The review and analysis must cover all parts of TIED model. 5. a) Verbally and/or in writing, explain the roles of the relevant bodies so that those being introduced to competition would know which body they would need to approach to address their specific questions and concerns. 5. b) Verbally and/or in writing, explain the roles of the relevant bodies in relation to self-development as a coach. Example 2. The following has recently been credit rated – the Level 3 Mountain Safety Course. Note that LO1 relates to LE1, AA1 and AC1. The following has been written to try to explain why the Euro Speed Test is a technical exam which objectively shows a level of technical performance which improves the teaching performance of the ski instructor.
Learning Outcomes (LO) 1. Demonstrate the ability to make informed judgements about environmental factors (such as recent and current weather conditions, snowpack history, terrain, snow conditions, etc.) which have an impact on safe practice in mountain environments. 2. Demonstrate the ability to make a systematic assessment of terrain before leading groups appropriately equipped for off-piste activities. Demonstrate facility with the use of safety equipment. 3. Manage a group to perform search and rescue techniques effectively, selecting appropriate methods and equipment in challenging terrain. 4. Demonstrate expertise with a range of navigation techniques appropriate for off-piste environments. Interpret information from navigational tools and technologies to assist in making route choices appropriate for the conditions and also for the abilities and requirements of the group.Through experiential learning understand how to develop own and others’ performance of the fundamental elements.
Learning Experiences (LE) 1. Over six days in the Alpine environment, attend theory sessions and perform practical activities relating to mountain safety. Develop facility in analysing conditions and terrain to make informed route choices. Demonstrate this by leading a group activity safely, and articulating the thinking behind decisions made. 2. Over the six-day course, attend theory and practical sessions and participate in trainer/peer discussion on group management strategies, including communication, safety, client wellbeing. Practice ascents and descents in a variety of snow conditions at different levels, aspects and steepness of slope using a variety of techniques. 3. Over six days in the Alpine environment, attend theory sessions and perform practical sessions using shovels, proves and transceivers. Practise searching for transceivers with and without time constraints. Discuss critical decision-making relating to which transceiver signal to follow, plus when to remove a ski/board. Practise organising teams for probing and digging in a structured way. Over the six-day course, attend theory sessions covering interpretation of map information, use of a compass, 32
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Assessment Activities (AA) 1. On the final two days of the course, undertake practical assessment activities, participate in question and answer sessions and lead a group activity safely in the Alpine environment. Undertake a written theory and case study examination covering snowpack stability, weather conditions, impacts of various mountain conditions on client well-being, as well as flora and fauna on the route. 2. Personal performance, demonstrating ability safely and consistently to ascend and descend a variety of slopes and snow conditions at different altitudes. Demonstrate peer group management leading an off-piste route assessing snow, weather and terrain for avalanche risk. Undertake a written examination. 3. Individual candidates search for a transceiver and identify its location with a probe within a time constraint. Successfully complete other practical activities. Complete a written examination. 4. Undertake a written examination covering the above theory and interpreting for scenarios presented. When leading a group, demonstrate the ability to provide accurate grid references, identify location – current and intended, landmarks and hazards.The test takes place on a giant slalom course. 5. The design of the course is to the criteria laid down by the International Ski Federation. 6. There must be at least two reference skiers who have been calibrated within the rules laid out under the Eurotest agreement. 7. The minimum performance required for the candidates’ time to be successful is 18% for males and 24% for females of the reference skiers.
calculation of bearings and distances. Bring these skills to bear in practical situations, identifying current location with accurate grid references, major landmarks and potential hazards. Using professional judgement, make appropriate route choices. By training for the Eurotest the student will: 4. Receive explanations, demonstrations and practically show the effects of changing the inputs of the fundamentals to achieve different outcomes in performance of control of line and speed.
Assessment Criteria (AC) 1. Complete the Euro Speed Test (GS) within a prescribed time. 2. Demonstrate practical abilities and knowledge relating to all relevant factors. Achieve a minimum of 70% in the written examination. 3. Safety is demonstrated to be paramount. Leadership is clear and decisive but also pragmatic and negotiated to reasonable client desires. Communication is clear and audible or by sign. Demonstrate consistent ability to control speed and line in a variety of off-piste snow conditions. 4. Demonstrate the ability to organise coherent search strategies. Locate a transceiver in under four minutes. Attain a minimum of 70% in the written paper. 5. Attain a minimum of 70% to pass the written paper. Consistently demonstrate the ability in practical contexts to use navigation techniques and aids to identify location and significant land features, and provide accurate grid references. In this article we have summarised the underpinning concepts that are informing the SCQF credit rating process for BASI and also the curriculum development work which is ongoing. The intention is to not only make this as transparent as possible but also to provide tools that we believe will be useful for all BASI members to improve their teaching, learning and pedagogy. Furthermore, we hope that this helps to dispel the myth, such as; ‘that there is a particular type of BASI turn or method’ but rather that BASI is a skills based system because this helps to develop not only great snowsports performers but also great snowsports teachers which BASI is well known and respected for. We hope that this gives you even greater confidence in the careful developmental strategy we apply to the courses in which you participate. Watch out for the next article in this series, which discusses in some more detail, how we think about and design learning outcomes.
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BASI MEMBERS FEATURE
Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation – An Injury Recovery Angel Kim Richardson
My career as a BASI ski instructor started in the winter of 2010/2011. After leaving school that summer, I was planning originally on doing just one ski season before starting university. After a failed attempt at being a chalet girl (I lasted three weeks!), I enrolled, last minute, on a Gap Course in Val d’Isere where I passed my BASI Level 1 and 2. After deciding that first winter that I wanted to pursue a career in ski teaching, I rejected my place at university and headed to Australia to gain some valuable teaching experience at Thredbo resort. The following years I worked the seasons back to back and, by the end of winter 2013, I had completed my ISIA qualification. Since finishing the BASI Level 3, I’ve focused mostly on working full time as a ski instructor and training for the Eurotest whenever possible. After coming so close to passing the Eurotest in March last year (2015), I was back to training in Tignes for the autumn. Despite having more than one “yard sale” in the first couple of weeks, where I walked away un-scathed, a seemingly minor fall at the start of December saw me in the dreaded blood wagon, heading straight for the doctor’s surgery in Tignes. An MRI scan in Switzerland a week later confirmed a ruptured ACL. As the accident was before the start of the season, unfortunately I wasn’t covered by my ski school’s insurance, and therefore wasn’t eligible for surgery and rehabilitation in Switzerland. I was advised to head back to the UK to have the reconstructive surgery there. After arriving back home, I decided to pay privately to see a knee surgeon in the hope that he might advise me on the quickest way to get surgery through the NHS. I was told that because I only had an ACL rupture and no damage to the meniscus (it was later discovered during surgery that I had actually damaged the meniscus as well!) that I would be put to the bottom of the waiting list and could expect to wait 6-9 months for surgery. In my head, I had a deadline of having surgery by March 2016, in order for me to get strong enough in time for the following winter, so I knew that wasn’t feasible. The only other option was to go through the “Choose and Book” system in the NHS. The waiting list for this was 6-8 weeks and I could choose the surgeon I wanted. This was my best option and I spent the next couple of weeks frantically ringing doctors and hospitals trying to chase up and hurry along my surgery. The whole; “I’m a ski instructor, this is my livelihood, I need the operation
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urgently to get back to work”, didn’t go down as well as I would have hoped! Around the middle of January 2016, with no pre-surgery consultation date in sight, let alone a surgery date, but plenty of time on my hands, I spent a lot of time trawling the internet searching ACL injuries and advice. I stumbled across a Facebook post from 2012 from someone who had their operation funded by a foundation. Out of curiosity I decided to follow the link to the foundation’s website. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is based in Colorado in memory of a mountain guide and ski instructor who passed away in a mountaineering accident in 2007. Kees had previously gone through orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation; as well as witnessing many of his friends and colleagues struggle financially to pay for their own treatment. The Foundation was set up in his name to financially assist ski instructors, mountain guides and ski patrollers to have surgery so that they can return to work. Although the Foundation was based in America, and all the testimonials were from American applicants, I decided to apply on the off chance! After filling in the initial application online, I was promptly sent a further, more detailed application. I had to provide a personal statement from my ski school director, records of all my qualifications, my financial history and future plans and aspirations, to name a few! On completion of the application, I was told that the Board of Directors would make a decision within 2 weeks. A few days later, I received an email saying that I had been granted funding for my ACL and meniscal reconstruction! I had the operation privately, two weeks later, on February 4th 2016. The Foundation covered the full cost of the operation and any physiotherapy I would need for 9 months following it. I was told by the Foundation I
Applications now open for year two Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) have become the first-‐ ever beneficiary of the Snowsport Industries of Great Britain (SIGB) Foundation Award, a new award set up to make a contribution to a good cause within UK snowsport. The award is funded by income from the Slide industry trade show, which is owned and organised by SIGB. The SIGB Foundation Award is open to any registered charity involved with skiing and snowboarding in the UK. DSUK, who operate to provide equal access to skiing and snowboarding for the disabled, were chosen for the inaugural award due to their huge remit and limited resources available to carry out their good work. Specifically the money was needed for the ‘Save Our Ski Schools’ campaign, a campaign aimed at ensuring the national adaptive ski school programme could survive. Ed Hewison, Trusts and Grants Fundraiser at DSUK said of the Award: “We are hugely grateful for the fantastic donation of £4,000 from SIGB towards our ‘Save Our Ski Schools’ campaign which will be used to secure the future of our national adaptive ski school programme. The fundraising environment has been extremely tough over the past few years resulting in DSUK struggling to deal with the costs of delivering our ski school programme. “This funding will help us to secure the future of our adaptive ski schools across the UK by enabling us to invest in new equipment, recruit new instructors and cover the administrative costs associated with the programme. This donation will show our members that the rest of the UK snowsports fraternity is fully behind adaptive snowsport and that SIGB understand the importance of access to our sport for all members of society and for this we are extremely grateful.” Sam Noble, President of the SIGB said: “We are delighted to present our first ever SIGB Foundation Award to DSUK who have been working tirelessly for years to provide could have as many physiotherapy sessions per week as I felt I needed. After a few complications that were found during surgery, that meant a slower start to the rehabilitation, I am now 7 months post operative. I still see my physio every couple of weeks and the Foundation is funding this along with a custom-fitted brace to wear when I return to skiing. The communication, efficiency and generosity of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation still amazes me! I feel extremely lucky to have been fully supported by them through this process. Without their financial support, I doubt I would have been able to return to instructing this coming winter. The rehabilitation has been a long and (sometimes) difficult process. I still have a long way to go before I
access to snowsports for people with any disability. The ‘Save our Ski Schools’ campaign was deemed as a clear project that needed support, and we hope the SIGB Foundation Award can make a difference to ensure adaptive ski schools across the country can continue.
First ever SIGB Foundation Award given to Disability Snowsport UK “Running the Slide trade show allows SIGB to bring money into the industry and invest it into worthwhile activities, such as the SIGB Foundation Award, for the better of the UK snowsport industry. We are now welcoming applications for the second SIGB Foundation Award, and hope we can continue to make an important contribution to a charity within our industry.” Following the success of the inaugural Award, the SIGB will now make the SIGB Foundation Award annually, with any registered charity able to apply for the £4,000 award. Applications must be snowsport related (for example wider participation or improved accessibility) and submitted by 1 November 2016. Applications should ideally take the form of a simple video (not a major production, it can be taken on a phone or a POV camera), maximum one minute. Written applications might be considered but priority will be given to video applications. Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive not later than 1 November 2016. The award will be announced in December 2016 and there will be a presentation of the award at the SLIDE Trade Show in Telford on Wednesday 25 January 2017. It is intended that the award is presented annually – subject to the success of the SIGB organised Slide Trade Show for snowsport in the UK. Find out more about SIGB and it’s activities: Sigb.org.uk Twitter/SnowIndGB Facebook.com/TheSIGB
am back to my original strength, physically and mentally. I have accepted that the majority of my free time will be spent in the gym for the next couple of years! My aim for this coming winter is to return to ski instructing and the sport that I missed so much this year. Race training may have to wait a bit longer but my aim is to continue and achieve BASI Level 4. As I was the first applicant to receive funded treatment in the UK, I am now trying to help expand the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation’s outreach in the British snowsports industry. If people feel they may be eligible for financial assistance you can apply online at www.keesbrenninkmeyer.org. Equally if you would like to make a donation to this amazing foundation, please do!
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BASI MEMBERS FEATURE
First BASI Courses in the Shanghai Qiaobo Snowdome Kevin Edwards
My initial “Shanghai Snowdome” Google search threw up Yinqixing Snowdome. Apparently it shut down in 2011 and is set for demolition! The dome we ran the first indoor Snowboard and Alpine Level 1 courses in was Shaoxing Qiaobo Snow World, which is approximately 3 hours from Shanghai. Mike Crawford and I had the pleasure of breaking new ground for BASI in Shanghai in September and here’s what went down. The dome is two slopes separated by a travelator. Both sides are approximately 200m long and about 8-10 degrees’ gradient, much like the lower sections of most of the domes in the UK. There was an upper part but this was shut down as a cost-saving exercise, from what we could gather. A pity because the upper part would have added an extra 100m length, at around 17 degrees’ gradient. One of the reasons BASI’s Chinese Business Partner – CASSI wants to use the BASI qualification pathway in China, is to create and instil a safe teaching and learning environment. We had our work cut out! Here at the snowdome there was little evidence of safety on the slopes. People were allowed on the slopes to teach themselves. This basically involved them straight-lining from the top of the slope and hopefully not hitting anyone on the way down. There were some reassuring big signs at the bottom of the slope stating: “Fall over before hitting anyone”! First impressions set aside, we met our students and they were excellent. Very open to learning and hungry for information. They even stayed late on two evenings to practise. 8 out of 10 passed on my course, with 2 Technical re-sits; both I believe will be going to Chongli later in the year to be reassessed. The students were all very respectful. They are very much used to a command style of delivery and like to be told what to do and when, and are not familiar with self-exploration. Because of this, and the extra time needed due to translation, I had to shorten some of my guided discovery sessions and 36
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Working through a translator with 10 students is one of
the most mentally challenging and exhausting course deliveries I will ever do as a Trainer, and most days overrun as you try and get everything and everyone covered. Our hotel was built-in under the slope structure and this made it really convenient for the course. We had buffet style breakfast and it was plentiful, so that set us up for the day. Being close to city life, we had loads of restaurant choice and found ourselves trying out some very unusual dishes! The food was always an epic adventure and we were reminded: “The only things with 4 legs we don’t eat are the tables and the only things with wings we don’t eat are the planes!”. “Eat first, ask later…” – They said after we repeatedly asked “what’s this?” The list included; Fried ants, duck tongue, bull frog, pig’s feet, chicken feet, congealed blood, cow’s stomach, eel, live shrimp, the list goes on… We did have KFC for lunch one day though and we lived to tell the tale!
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BASI MEMBERS FEATURE
converge a little prematurely. Many of the students were either self-taught (with the help of YouTube!) or their friends had tried to teach them, and for the majority this was the first time they had had their riding critiqued and they were hungry for everything they could get.
BASI PRO DEALS
BASI Pro Deal and Member Discounts 16/17 BASI Pro Deal Member offers for 16/17 are up and running and available via your Member Area. Once you have paid your 16/17 subs you will be able to place your kit orders. You can view the Pro Deals and Member Discounts from the BASI Pro Deal button on your own profile page.
Login to your Member’s area and click on ‘Member Pro Deal’ and ‘Member Discounts’ to access the offers. Respectful Reminder: Offers are provided in good faith by suppliers and they should not be abused by Members as this may jeopardise future offers. Abuse includes but is not limited to: purchases for non personal use or on behalf of friends and family and purchase with the intent of reselling. These actions are unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action.
In order to access the current discounts your membership must be current for season 2016. BASI relies on the goodwill and generosity of the providers in supplying these discounts to Members, so we ask that you do not abuse them. Discount suppliers do conduct random checks with BASI Membership & Marketing department to ensure that users are legitimate BASI Members. Membership checks may be carried out by suppliers prior to order confirmations. 38
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Becci Malthouse will be presenting a workshop on teaching and learning at the first ever LEAD Snowsport Instructor Conference to be held in Morzine in December. This will be a development day open to all BASI Members. BASI will post further details of the conference and how to book on the BASI web site in due course. (Or, why should I spend money on a BASI performance course when I could sign up for the assessment and have a chance at passing?) The statistics in Fig.1 below show the percentage pass rates for Alpine Level 3 technical from 2011/12 to 2015/16. The lowest pass rate is 41.7%. This means that, on average, only 3 out of 8 candidates passed the BASI Level 3 technical assessment during that season.
to work on your action plan and go for the assessment course when you understand you are ready. I can hear you thinking, ‘that’s going to be expensive’. Travelling to a resort twice, with all the expense that involves, will add up and it’s going to take so much longer. So, how do you make the right choice to have the best chance of success? Consider some of the pros and cons for each option. Option 1: Pro’s – It’s the cheapest option. You get a shot at passing. Con’s – Whatever the type of assessment, you will experience the pressure of having to perform to criteria. Is it really possible to put the goal out of mind and focus on the process? Assessment requires a climate of ‘performance’; the trainers will be setting tasks that help candidates get into a ‘flow state’ where they are able to ski to their very best.
Fig. 1 BASI Alpine L3 Technical Pass Rates Taking any BASI course should be an enjoyable and inspiring experience but these figures suggest that many readers may relate more to feelings of anxiety and frustration. The question is, how do you create a pathway to success? How can you set your goals and put the right processes in place to get you there?
Pick Your Pathway Okay, so picture the scenario, you’ve spent all summer working your socks off to get the money together to do another winter season. You’ve ticked all the boxes of BASI Level 1 and have been clocking up teaching hours to move on through the system at Level 2, 3 or 4. Let’s take Alpine Level 3 as an example. Ask anyone who has been through the BASI system and everyone will agree there is a large leap in commitment going from Level 2 to Level 3; financially, physically, technically and in terms of personal time commitment. Commitment made, you have three obvious options available for the Level 3 technical module: Option 1. Go directly for the assessment course. It’s the cheapest way forwards and anyway, BASI runs continual assessment and training so you’ll get a week of training and have a chance at passing. Bargain. Option 2. Attend the performance course and assessment course back to back. Great, only travel once and get a good deal on a longer stay. Option 3. Attend the performance course, plan time
BASI MEMBERS FEATURE
Flow Zone Vs Deliberate Practice
This is very different to the training you need to create the building blocks of performance so unless you are already close to, or at the level, there is a limit to what you will be able to take away from this course. Option 2: Pro’s – It is cheaper than doing the courses separately. Con’s – Two weeks on a BASI course is intensive, both physically and mentally. Can you be sure you’ll still be at your best by the end of the second week? You get an action plan at the end of week one and a whole weekend to work on it. The performance course sets a learning path to success on the assessment week. Give yourself a chance to follow the path and earn the success you deserve. This option can work if all you need is to sharpen up and get focussed, ready for the assessment. Option 3: Pro’s - The performance course is training only, no assessment. It will provide all the information you need to develop towards the assessment criteria without any pressure. You receive an action plan that sets a learning path to success. Give yourself time to follow the path and earn the success you deserve. You will gain the knowledge to understand when you will be ready to put yourself forward for assessment. You will be in control of choosing when that moment has arrived. It’s cheaper than doing either of the first two options plus one or more additional 5-day re-assessment course. You attend the assessment course relatively stress free; ok there are always nerves but you will know that you are ready to ski to the level. You have the best chance of passing and saving money. Con’s - I can’t think of any just now. BASI NEWS ISSUE 122
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Here’s the Science Bit To consider how you can achieve success with the lowest cash spend, we need to dig a little deeper. I’m going to look at the process backwards, starting from success and working back to examine how to get there.
What Does Success Feel Like? Flow Zone  When you perform at your best you may recognise being in a ‘flow zone’, which you can see on Fig. 2 below as the white ‘Flow Channel’. You feel like you are not consciously thinking about what to do, you are simply skiing ‘in the moment’ or ‘in the zone’. To be able to get into the flow zone requires the right balance of challenge (the task) and skill (your ability). For example, BASI Alpine Level 3 technical requires a minimum speed in bumps. If this is faster than you feel comfortable, the tendency is to try really hard to remember all the bits of feedback you’ve been given as you travel down the hill. This becomes over-load, and the result is that you can’t ski as well as you know you normally do. You’ve ended up deep in the red ‘Anxiety’ zone. It’s a very uncomfortable place to be, you can’t perform to your best.
which is used to temporarily hold new information when learning new things. It is thought that working memory generally has four slots  for new information. Each bit of feedback is new information, and with only four slots to use at a time, it’s easy to see how too much feedback will very quickly scramble the brain. Each new item needs to be deeply understood and practised, so that it can be moved from the working memory into long-term memory, ready for use whenever you need it. Once stored, we can free up more slots for more new things.
Focussed & Diffuse Thinking  Focussed thinking is when you really concentrate on the task in hand. The working memory is creating new neural pathways of understanding. It’s hard work and can be tiring so it’s not feasible to keep it up all day. Diffuse thinking is more like ‘big picture’ thinking. Ever had a situation where a word has been on the tip of your tongue? Hours later it just pops into your head when you’re not thinking about it. By not actively thinking about it (focussed thinking) your brain is still doing the work for you in the background with diffuse thinking, and finding the solution for you. You can trigger the diffuse mode by changing task, going for a free run, go for lunch, taking a break. You are not quitting; you are giving your brain an opportunity for diffuse thinking.
Fig. 2 Flow Channel It is possible to get back into the flow zone if you make the task a little easier by skiing slower. Your “flow zone” needs to be at or above the Level 3 criteria to be sure of passing. In plain terms, you need to understand the Level 3 criteria and know that you are able to perform consistently at the level.
The Road to Success How do you get from where you are now to the skier you need to be to pass the course? How do you go about learning all the things you need for success? Understanding more about learning will help you train smarter and get more out of your snow time.
Memory Memory is more than remembering facts and figures. Memory holds instructions, as neural pathways in the brain, for everything we already know how to do, like riding a bike or making a cup of tea. There are two key processes, long-term memory which you can think of as a vast library of instructions that you can draw on to achieve any task and, working memory, 40
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Fig. 3 Taking a bath gave Archimedes the diffuse thinking time he needed for his eureka moment. The solution to a problem that his focussed thinking brain had become stuck on. You need focussed thinking time to understand and make sense of new information but you also need to give yourself opportunities for diffuse thinking to allow ideas to consolidate in your training day.
Chunking  Consider a complex action that you can do well, like riding a bike or driving a car. Both are made up of hundreds if not thousands of small abilities, or chunks, that link together unconsciously to get the job done. Chunks are sets of the neural pathways (or small abilities) I mentioned above in memory and they initially form in the working memory. As they become more practised, the pathways solidify until they can be stored away in long-term memory. More than that, chunks can link to other chunks to undertake more complex tasks. By linking chunks and creating a ‘ribbon of ability’, they are then, compressed
You need to get all the skiing/ snowboard chunks and set them deep enough so that you can call on them whenever needed. Think of the Fundamental Elements as the chunks or ingredients of skiing. Once you have grasped what they are and how to use them, you then need to add context. Context is the ability to judge how much of each element to use in different situations. Use the right blend of each ingredient and you get the skiing outcome you need to pass the test. There are three key steps to creating new chunks: 1. Focus – You need to concentrate on the new thing without allowing distractions to interfere. 2. Understand – You need to understand the new thing. Putting it into action, trying it out, will help develop your understanding. In fact, whatever you think your learning style is, watching, having it explained and trying it are all invaluable when trying to get your head around something new. 3. Context – Once you have grasped the new idea, you need to learn when to use it and how much of it you need to achieve the desired outcome. Chunks of ability or knowledge can be used to link to new ideas. If you know what it feels like to pedal a bike, you can translate the bending and stretching of the legs to skiing much quicker than someone who doesn’t.
Deliberate Practice  Once you have some new things you want to get a handle on, you need to practise. Just doing the same thing, day in day out, is not good enough. You need the right kind of practice. Deliberate practice is when you are doing things that are challenging enough that you must focus really carefully to get it right. Doing the practice correctly is important too because if you practise the wrong thing, the mistake will become engrained instead. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to make mistakes as long as you have the opportunity to reflect and work out how to make the correction. It will help you deepen your understanding. Practising tasks that are too easy won’t help you learn either. You will just be repeating stuff you already know which does not contribute to consolidation of new neural pathways and you’ll be in the grey ‘boredom’ section of Fig. 4. Deliberate practice requires focussed thinking. It’s difficult and can be uncomfortable. It is not sustainable for long periods of time so build in opportunities for some diffuse thinking (fun!) during your training day too. Remember, your brain won’t stop working, it’s just chugging away in the background for you.
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like a zip file to take up less space. (Leaving more slots free in your working memory to take on new stuff).
Think back to what we said about Flow. Notice how different Flow is to Deliberate Practice. You can’t do both at the same time.
Muscle memory (the retention of new motor skill) is a phrase often used to describe when a sportsperson can do something automatically because that is what it feels like. Remember, memory is held in your brain, your muscles need to get the instructions quickly and easily to allow you to flow.
Sleep Sleep allows new neural pathways to settle and become organised as well as new learning to consolidate and clarify. A good snooze will allow important memories to strengthen and less important ones to be erased. Interesting research also suggests that during sleep which follows a practice session, the brain continues activity in the areas that were involved in the practice.  Good practice is to bring to mind what you have been practising during the day to give your brain a cue, as to
Fig. 5 The model above (Fig. 5) shows the green line of Deliberate Practice moving out of the Flow Channel to the upper end of ability where it borders the ‘Anxiety Zone’, which is where effective learning takes place. Only as skill develops, does it eventually drop back into the Flow Channel.
Spaced Repetition  All of the above suggest that just banging away at something until it sticks is not the most efficient way of learning. Research suggests that repetition of the new thing is needed, but leaving spaces between practice sessions enhances your ability to solidify the new neural pathways and get them logged in the long-term memory. Fig. 4
Taken a step further, as you become increasingly confident with the new information, leave increasingly longer gaps between returning to it.
what you want it to be doing overnight while you are catching some ZZZ’s.
More reasons to take a break and know that it is doing you good.
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Interleaving  So by now, you’ll have a wide range of activities that you are practising to develop your skill. As long as you have a good enough grasp of each of them, you will derive learning value from spending time working on different things. Interestingly, the early research for this, was based on sports rather than academic learning. Dipping in and out of different skiing strands also helps creative thinking. It can help you make links between ideas or knowledge to create new solutions. This is your Diffuse Thinking mode in action. However, a word of warning; make sure you have a clear understanding of your development areas before starting to skip around from the bumps to piste performance, otherwise, you risk just getting confused. Anyway, the point is, it can be difficult to be motivated to do things you don’t enjoy or find difficult. Make an effort to eat your frogs first each day, once you’ve warmed up of course!
Don’t like the sticky, elephant snot variables? Get a couple of runs in before lunch (your reward), ride high on the knowledge you’ve made a good call and that you don’t have to tackle them last thing in the afternoon when you are tired and have heavy legs.
Self-Testing How do you really know if you can do something unless you test it? Self-check drills and activities are a great way to test your ability. You need a clear understanding of how to gauge the level of success. For example, to test balance on outer ski, take inside ski off the ground. Are you able to lift the ski from edge change to edge change, do you fall back onto the inside ski at any point of the turn? If you are aiming for cleanly carved snowboard turns, go back up the slope and look at your tracks. Can you see clean, thin lines in the snow through the whole turn or are there parts that have left a wide track where the board hasn’t carved? If the ability to accurately gauge success eludes you, ask for support or guidance rather than battle on alone.
Conclusion To pass an assessment you need to perform. Performing consistently to the best of your current ability requires that you should be able to get into your Flow Zone. Learning consists of many facets, all of which take you out of Flow Zone. Learning and performing are very different. During a BASI performance course, your trainer will use many different strategies to help guide you through the learning process and leave you with an action plan to help you achieve the performance level you need to reach your goal. 42
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The more we learn about ourselves as learners, the easier it is to understand what we need to guide us through the development process. It becomes clear that time is the essential ingredient required to allow this process to happen in a comfortable and enjoyable way. On the assessment course, the trainer’s job is to clarify understanding of the assessment criteria and support you getting into your Flow Zone while skiing to the relevant BASI technical level. The further away from the assessment criteria you are, the more time you will spend in the ‘Anxiety Zone’ which results in frustration and failure to learn. Now go back to option 1., 2., and 3., and choose wisely. Which option now looks like it could save you money? This is just a quick overview of some aspects of learning that you can implement for yourself. If you can use some of them to learn how to be a more effective learner, just consider how you could use them to be a better teacher. If you are serious about being a better teacher, the BASI manual has an abundance of information about learning. Consider how the sections on ‘structure of practice’, ‘skill acquisition’ and ‘task presentation’ relate to the sections above. Check out the references used to write this article for further reading. Let me leave you with one last idea. Whichever BASI qualification level you aim for as your ultimate goal, that doesn’t have to be the end. In fact, it is only really the start. Thirty years into a teaching career and I am inspired every winter to explore and understand more about learning. If you are delivering the same lessons as last year, five years ago or ten years ago, it’s time to take a look and think again.
Bibliography / References  Mihaly Csikszentmihályi (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0-06-016253-5.  Cowan N. The magical number 4 in short-term memory: a reconsideration of mental storage capacity. Behav Brain Sci. 2001; 24:87–114.  Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by Dr. Barbara Oakley, Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, an online course offered through Coursera. www.coursera.org/course/learning  Chunking: Neath, I., & Surprenant, A. M. (2003). In Taflinger M. (Ed.), Human memory (2nd ed.). Canada: Vicki Knight.  Sleep on It: Sleep Consolidates Memory of New Motor Task, Pam Harrison. September 8 2014. www.medscape.com/ viewarticle/831299  The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance (1993) by K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, Clemens Tesch-romer  Psychology of Study by C. A. Mace. First published by Methuen 1932.  Learning one task by interleaving practice with another task by Sarit F.A. Szpiro,Beverly A. Wright,Marisa Carrasco. Publication Vision Research, Publisher Elsevier, August 2014.  Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. January 1, 2007. www. simpletruths.com/inspirational-books/eat-that-frog.html Fig. 1 Basi Level 3 Technical pass rates – British Association of Snowsport Instructors. Trainer conference 2013. Fig. 2 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow Channel. Adapted from 1990 Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Fig. 3 Cartoon originally from the National Weather Service, NOAA, Website. Thought bubble added. Fig. 4 Sleep. https://pixabay.com/en/sleeping-bed-asleepbedroom-tired-28861/ Fig. 5 Adapted Flow Channel Diagram by Malcolm McCulloch (http://malcolmocean.com/2013/06/flow-vs-deliberatepractice/#comment-154338) Based on p74 of Flow by Mihaly Csiksezentmihalyl Fig. 6 Tree frog image, clipart.
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