PSIA-AASI National Academy and Telemark Academy 2018 wrapped up Sunday evening in Big Sky, MT. This was the largest Academy in PSIA-AASI history, with more than 400 attendees, coaches, and staff coming together at Big Sky, which had a 128-inch base on the upper mountain, and an 85-inch base on the mid-part of the hill.
PSIA-AASI Team members and coaches shared their top takeaways from this epic event. See more highlights below, then check out previous takeaways right here.
PSIA-AASI Team Manager Jeb Boyd
Personal highlights: I can't recall an Academy that topped this one. From the weather to the conditions, Big Sky as our host resort and the sheer size of the event, it was amazing. To serve this record-breaking crowd, we had to ask many of PSIA-AASI's Team alumni to help work this event. It was fantastic to work shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the legends I looked up to as I was coming up through the ranks. It was a true honor to work with these individuals and I think the participants were psyched to have so many new folks to ski with as group leaders. It was a fantastic event and the bar will be high as we start looking forward to Big Sky 2019!
For anyone who couldn’t attend: They can still benefit from what was learned. For me, and I think many others, the challenge we accepted as we all pushed our limits is something we can take into next season. For example, work to ski or ride terrain you wouldn't ordinarily try, challenge yourself to get involved as much as possible at your school and at PSIA-AASI, and commit to becoming a better instructor by using the upcoming new Core Concepts manual to stretch your teaching and people skill sets. All of this is what occurred last week and it shouldn’t be limited to just one week a year.
Most pertinent: The direction PSIA-AASI is heading in regard to teaching. With the preview of the Core Concepts manual, our organization's American Teaching System is stronger than ever. For example, we're focused on what is truly important to instructors, directors and our guests, and are developing stronger technical, teaching and people skills and the fundamentals within each of these categories. Not only did detailed presentations at this event cover the new material, the course conductors did an amazing job of illustrating these fundamentals throughout the entire week.
PSIA Telemark Team member Gregory Dixon
Telemark is alive and well: We had a strong and dedicated group of telemark instructors join us at Academy. The group showed there is still a strong desire for nationally-led telemark events. The hope is we can use the momentum from Telemark Academy to run into next year’s Academy, while also putting together other events from our PSIA Telemark team.
Telemark is a close-knit family: Possibly the greatest highlights from this event came in the form of creating new friendships with instructors from every corner of the country. Though our discipline is relatively small by numbers in comparison to others, we make up for it with a strong connection to our sport that has helped create amazing bonds of friendship.
Our organization loves our alumni: The number of alumni at both academies was impressive. In Telemark Academy we had former PSIA Nordic and Telemark team members Rich Caballero, Steve Hindman, Herb Davis, Scott Mcgee, and Tom Marshall, and Jim Shaw make an appearance. The membership really appreciated their presence and participation. The contributions they have made to the organization were recognized and awarded. It has allowed the current generation of Team Members and Education Staff to strive for more and to work hard to keep up their momentum as well as blaze new paths.
- Peter Kray