Team Selection 2021: Impromptu Interviews & Group Facilitation

After a long day on the snow at PSIA-AASI Team Selection 2021, in Breckenridge, Colorado, alpine and snowboard candidates had to stay sharp for perhaps the most unpredictable, unscripted aspect of selection – impromptu interviews and group facilitation.

For the alpine candidates, impromptu interviews consist of being given five minutes to prepare a presentation on a new, previously unseen topic – such as, “What makes a successful learning partnership?” or, “How do you carry speed from one turn to the next?” – then having five minutes to discuss that topic in a compelling, comprehensive presentation.

Similarly, for snowboard candidates, group facilitation exercises assigned each candidate a topic – such as, “How do you weave the different types fun (hard, easy, social, serious) into your lesson?” – then giving them ten minutes to lead the other candidates in a cogent conversation.

“When you’re a team member, you have to be ready for a lot of different, often unexpected situations,” PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling said in explaining the purpose of each of the presentations. “Our membership pretty much expects you to know everything about the sport, from technical language, to sometimes general information.”

The two exercises test how well candidates can incorporate the fundamentals into a presentation on a particular topic, and also how they can lead other students, clinicians, or instructors in a group conversation.

“These two exercises focus on the Learning Connection,” Dave said. “Which means that the fundamentals aren’t just technically focused, but also include people and teaching.”

That’s why the alpine interviews could cover anything from “How to create inspiration in a clinic setting,” to “When to use pole plant, pole swing, or pole touch in a turn.”

And snowboard facilitation sessions comprised a gamut of topics from, “How do you train kids instructors on Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development?” to, “How do you have a clearer understanding of anticipatory movement and separation movement?”

In such a dynamic setting, the assorted replies included moments of stunning clarity and topic mastery, as well as moments of redundancy and digression. Overall, it provided special insight into the absolute depth of snowsports teaching, and the level of professionalism required to be a candidate at Team Selection.

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Watch Team Selection Live

Save the date to watch the team announcement live on YouTube at 6 p.m. MDT on Thursday, April 22, and follow along with fellow members, candidates, selectors, and other honored guests to learn who will serve on the 2021-24 PSIA-AASI National Team.

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