Team Members and Snow Pros Share Their Certification Secrets

With winter winding down across the country, we hope you had a very successful season teaching others, working on your own on-snow skills, and achieving your professional goals.

As part of an online series created to share some tips and insight from colleagues who have reached their goals, we asked several team members about some strategies that worked best for them. Here are a few highlights from that series.

Tandem Training + Cross Discipline Fun
PSIA-AASI Alpine Team member Jennifer Simpson is well known as a top instructor and trainer, so it made sense to ask about some her “certification secrets.” What wasn’t so obvious is how diverse her tips were. From training with her father to preparing for her Alpine Level III by snowboarding, Simpson’s insights focus as much on enjoying the entire learning process as they do on achieving your goals. Read more.

Proper Preparation + Overcoming Nerves
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden led his UCLA team to 10 NCAA Championships in 12 years. Along with the talent of his players, he credited hard work and focused practice sessions. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” he once said of the value of preparation. PSIA-AASI Snowboard Team member Tony Macri has a similar take, especially when it comes to overcoming nerves before a certification exam. “Whether it’s going into an exam or teaching your first private lesson, there are expectations that you’re going to be ready to perform,” said Macri. “The better you prepare for that moment, the better you’ll be able to succeed in that situation.” Read more.

Take a Road Trip
PSIA-AASI Alpine Team Freestyle Specialist David Oliver says that by starting his career in New Mexico, he typically found himself driving to places like Vail for exams and clinics. While he said there are more opportunities for instructors from New Mexico to take exams locally now, what he discovered on those short drives north helped him as an instructor and a skier. See why he thinks all snow pros could benefit from a road trip.

What’s Your Secret?
On the PSIA-AASI Facebook Page, we also asked, “Think back to your last certification – what was the number one thing that helped you prepare?” See more responses and add your own insight by clicking here.

Teaching skiing…a lot, to all levels and ages. To see the results of my studies put into application is what confirmed to me I was ready for certification.
– Stacey Gerrish

Study group with others at our school.
– Grant Nakamura

Dedication and consistency.
– Shannon Rucker

Leading weekly clinics.
– Anne E. Francis Mattack

The amazing support from my director, clinic leaders, peers and family… lots of commitment on my end. Lastly taking responsibility for my outcome!
– Cindy Tillman Dady

Great mentors, plus a lot of work and preparation and a passion to ski and succeed.
– Deann Stewart Miller

Constant practice and study helped however, knowing the money spent was the family soup funds proved to be the number one motivating factor.
– Brad Miller

A lot of Sunday afternoon clinics with my peers under the scrutiny of an examiner. Coaching peers at the level of exam I was taking.
– Terry Carey