Welcome to the Member Spotlight, an online feature on TheSnowPros.org that gives well-deserved shine to some of the incredibly skillful and devoted ski and snowboard instructors who make up PSIA-AASI. Whether instruction is a full-time career or a part-time pursuit balanced with other endeavors, PSIA-AASI members have valuable insights to share, gleaned from their experiences on snow.
Enjoy getting to know your colleagues from far and wide who share your passion for teaching skiing and riding! (And fill out this questionnaire for the chance to share YOUR story and insights in Member Spotlight.)
Name: Brian Feucht
Primary discipline: Alpine
PSIA-AASI Division: Northwest
You, Your Gear, and Your Favorites
When did you start skiing or riding? 20 years ago
What is your best skiing or snowboarding memory? Hard to pick one, but my favorite this year was lapping the Red Chair at RED Mountain on a powder day. A day of pure joy and exhilaration.
What would you say to someone to encourage them to try skiing or snowboarding? Riding is one of my favorite things to do. Few things compare to the feeling of sliding over snow through the trees. Take a lesson and be patient with your personal learning process.
What are your favorite off-snow hobbies? Mountain biking seems to scratch my gravity itch when snow gets scarce.
PSIA-AASI and Your Snowsports Education Career
Certifications & specialties achieved: Alpine Level II, Children’s Specialist 1, USSA Level 100
Resort you work at: Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon
What inspired you to become an instructor? I wanted to share my love of the sport and obligate myself to spend more days on the mountain.
Do you teach part-time or fulltime? Part-time
What other profession(s) or endeavor(s) are you involved in? I work remotely as a software architect for a company out of Boston called Litmus. We build tools for email marketers.
What about your teaching style stands out? I tend to start with snow/ski interaction outcomes first. Once I believe a student has a good understanding of the outcomes I am looking for, I work to be patient to allow the student to work through the learning process to reach those outcomes.
What’s your favorite age group to teach, and why? Teenagers are so much fun because I can enable them to take ownership of their learning and having fun. I remember skipping lessons at their age, so I love the challenge of celebrating their independence in my lessons. It forces me to keep our lessons challenging, engaging, and entertaining.
What is you biggest accomplishment as an instructor? My skiing and teaching has improved every year that I have been a ski instructor. Those improvements make me hungry to go out and train more.
What’s your favorite PSIA-AASI member benefit? The training. I love the access to all the great teachers being a PSIA member affords. All the great instructors I have access to inspires me to become a better student.
Who is your favorite PSIA-AASI Official Supplier – and why? I love my Patagonia gear because it all fits well and always performs, even in the worst weather.
What are your current skiing or riding goals? There are movement patterns I have that prevent me from continuing to move through my turns. I'm hoping to displace those with other movements that enhance
my ability to flow from turn to turn.
What are your current teaching goals? I'm looking forward to adding more mentoring next season. I love the multiplier effect of sharing the stoke with new instructors who will go out and share the stoke with new skiers.
Your Advice to Instructors
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor? Trust in experiential learning. Your first lessons will not be as bad as you think they are. Great instructors provide experiences for their students to learn; so as long as you are skiing and having fun, your students will be learning.
What’s are some of your tips for teaching the following students…
Beginners: Understand your beginner progression and why it works. More often stick with it versus skipping steps.
Intermediates: Challenge your students to ski on a flat ski and then get mileage. Go explore the mountain.
Advanced students: Pick one simple fundamental or task and get a ton of mileage. Every time you stop and talk you are trading that for an opportunity to practice.
What advice do you have for instructors preparing for certification?
Level I: Go to all the clinics you can and start a notebook to write down your thoughts and takeaways after every clinic.
Level II: Write lesson plans for the tasks you are responsible for teaching. Seek feedback for those lesson plans and be prepared to teach any of them on exam day.
Level III: Take ownership of your own ski improvement. Coaches can help provide guidance, but you should be directing your own development. Watch lots of video and develop a framework for movement analysis. That framework should be based on snow ski interactions.
Connect with Brian on Instagram: @bfeucht; and/or Twitter: @brianfeucht
Want to see yourself in our next "Member Spotlight?" Fill out this questionnaire for a chance to be featured across our social media platforms, the eNewsletter, and our website. You could even make it into 32 Degrees!