2021-24 National Team: Meet Robin Barnes

Robin is a member of the 2021-24 PSIA-AASI National Team where she will help set the standard for snowsports instruction. PSIA-AASI hand-selected the 37 team members – 8 coaches chosen last season and 29 team members selected spring 2021 – for their range of skills that allow them to serve as inspirational leaders and build enthusiasm for learning and having fun skiing and riding.

Meet PSIA Alpine Team member Robin.

Where is your home mountain?

Heavenly Lake Tahoe, California, and Portillo, Chile

Describe a teaching or learning experience that sticks out in your mind.

Due to Covid-19, I taught at Heavenly full-time this season instead of traveling and teaching clinics across the country. Most of my lessons were beginner family privates, and I feel I got really good at teaching these lessons by managing both my, and my students, expectations and helping my students feel comfortable sharing their goals, challenges, and observations. The best part, we all had heaps of fun while learning to ski.

What are your specialties as a team member? 

I have a personal training certification, but I haven’t put it to use in a few years! I’m also a wannabe cross country skier – I absolutely love my days out both skating and classic. I have a USSA level 300 certification.

Any other relevant certifications?

PSIA-certified Alpine Level III. Children’s Specialist 2 credential.

Who is your greatest inspiration as an instructor?

Ted Pitcher at Heavenly. He has kept me honest since my first season teaching skiing. He has exemplified all that I value in teaching skiing and is the first person I turn to when I want advice, an ear, or feedback. Thanks, Ted!

Best part of teaching?

I typically judge a day when I’m walking to my car or to a hotel at day’s end by my student’s confidence in what I feel my student(s) and I have achieved during our time together. Manipulating the environment to create autonomy is one way of doing that. I want students to feel like they CAN DO things, and that they possess the tools to self-coach.

What’s your favorite run at your home mountain?

Gunbarrel at Heavenly. It’s a long run, consistently steep and with BIG moguls. It’s a run that you can get fit on! And Roca Jack in Portillo, which has all of the same attributes as Gunbarrel sans moguls.

Anything else you’d like to share? 

I’m multilingual – English, Spanish, and Portuguese. I can also get into trouble in French and German. Also, I’m super grateful to be able to serve the membership for my fourth term on the team!

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