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: Rick Lyons
Primary discipline: Alpine
PSIA-AASI Division: Northwest
You, Your Gear, and Your Favorites
When did you start skiing or riding? 44 years ago
What is your best skiing or snowboarding memory? Cat Skiing Fernie with my nieces who rip
What would you say to someone to encourage them to try skiing or snowboarding? Why not try doing something where you control your adrenalin rush in a dance with winter and the mountains? Try it now or you'll be one year older when you do.
What are your favorite off-snow hobbies? Mountain biking
PSIA-AASI and Your Snowsports Education Career
Certifications & specialties achieved: Alpine Level III, Children’s Specialist 2
Resort you work at: Whitefish Mountain Resort, MT
What inspired you to become an instructor? It was a great college job
Do you teach part-time or fulltime? Part-time
What other profession(s) or endeavor(s) are you involved in? Engineering; systems engineering manager for Grid Level Power Storage (big batteries for wind & solar)
What about your teaching style stands out? Ability to break it down and put it back together
What is you biggest accomplishment as an instructor? Being invited to participate in National Team tryouts three times
What’s your favorite PSIA-AASI member benefit? Education events
Who is your favorite PSIA-AASI Official Supplier – and why? Blizzard Technica - Best Sponsor Ever!
What are your current skiing or riding goals? Effortlessly directing pressure to the outside ski, by being aligned through transition.
What are your current teaching goals? Being reflective and listening to my students
Your Advice to Instructors
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor? Enjoy yourself, listen, and never stop learning.
What’s are some of your tips for teaching the following students…
Beginners: Have each student take a ski in hand and kneel down and play with it in the snow; make it slide, slip, edge, and help them feel how it grips when on edge and turns when flat. (You will need to hold the ski brakes up to do this.)
Intermediates: Explore terrain, range of motion, turn sizes, and speeds. Have them relate where they want to apply what and why.
Advanced students: Work on reducing the base of support while notching up accuracy of movements; like skiing on one ski in a medium-radius turn at slow speeds with no poles and having the shape be round and symmetrical.
What advice do you have for instructors preparing for certification?
Level I: Learn to identify the Skills and Fundamentals for skiing. Be able to show movements that affect each and know the Teaching Cycle and how it relates to your beginner progression.
Level II: Work though a number of progressions for skill development for students up through the intermediate zone. Be able to show movements and timing of movements that affect different skill blends and turn sizes up through blue and easy black terrain. Ski with others that are better than you and pick their brains.
Level III: Work though a number of progressions for skill development for students up through the intermediate zone. Develop your movement analysis with your peers. Be able to show movements and timing of movements that affect different skill blends and turn sizes all terrain. Ski with others that are better than you and pick their brains
Sound off… Anything else you want to share? Get out, have fun, and share the passion! I started teaching as a means to get a pass and training, I stay in it because of the community and shared positive experiences.
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!