Posted on October 22, 2012 15:33 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works Programs became renowned for its ability to push the pace of aeronautical innovation without special interest oversight. Interested solely in the future of flying, the group’s autonomy helped it create the U2, the F-117 Nighthawk and the Raptor 22, all icons in the history of aircraft.
Such is the role of the PSIA-AASI Teams, which strive to advance the level of U.S. ski and snowboard instruction for the benefit of members across the country, regardless of their on-snow discipline or home state. Including the advent of the Skills Concept, and snowboard and adaptive instruction innovations among others, they too are bent on embracing the future, but always with the sense that they are building on the successes of the past.
“Our group has a duty to try and push the envelope of instruction,” AASI Snowboard Team Coach Lane Clegg said as the 2012 PSIA-AASI Teams Workshop opened under brilliant blue skies at Colorado's Copper Mountain on Sunday. “But we have to pay attention to the fact that we are doing that for all of our members, in a way that’s relevant to each division. We’re focused on progression, as well as the idea that we can’t move so quickly that we leave someone in the dust.”
Innovation can often walk a fine line between immediacy and irrelevance. Move too far too quickly, and you may outpace your target market. Which is why, as the new teams assemble for the first time since last spring’s selection process, they are interested in providing members with insight they can use right now, as well as breakthroughs that last.
“With all of the changes in technology and different things people want to do on their skis, I think instructors have been hungry for some clearer communication on exactly what we’re doing when we ski, and how we do it,” said PSIA Alpine Team Member Matt Boyd. “The expectations for us as a team are to define exactly what’s important about how Americans ski and precisely how we teach that, and I think that’s a conversation that’s important to all of us.”
And “conversation” may be the most important word of the week. That’s because rather than just ripping up and down the one run Copper has open for the teams this week, there are, instead, in-depth dialogues taking place, from the summit to the flats to each chairlift.
“What we’re really trying to do is create a clear content picture that works to everyone’s benefit,” PSIA Nordic Team Coach Scott McGee said of his team’s goal to rewrite the instruction manuals for both cross-country skiing and telemark. “We could all come up with endless numbers of drills and exercises for people to present, but what we think is more effective is to focus on what kind organization and cohesive structure will benefit the members, the resorts, and organizations such as the USSA alike.”
“We’re just at the beginning right now,” McGee added. “But that’s what we want to create.”
— Peter Kray
Photo by Peter Kray