National Team 2021-24: Meet Jonathan Ballou

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

Listen to PSIA Alpine Team member Jonathan Ballou in this podcast.

Where is your home mountain?

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

What other occupations are you involved in?

I’m a musician.

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

The first time I worked as a guest trainer with the Danish association and Danish National Demo Team. It was humbling and an honor to be asked to coach a European association. The biggest learning curve was the importance of, and how to move past, the dogmatic constraints of national techniques and pedagogy. The importance of speaking simply, clearly, accurately and from one’s heart cannot be overstated. This, while keeping an open mind to other artistic interpretations, is what led to success with this venture and others internationally.

What are your specialties as a team member?

Alpine training, advanced educator training, snowsports management training, leadership training.

Do you have any relevant certifications?

PSIA-AASI Alpine Level III, Children’s Specialist 2 and Freestyle Specialist 1 credentials. New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance (NZSIA) Trainer, Children’s Certification, Freestyle 1, and Snowboard Instructors New Zealand (SBINZ) Level 2.

Who is your greatest inspiration as an instructor?

So many to choose from, but I have to give credit to Al Anstead. He was an iconic instructor in southern Michigan and my health teacher in middle school. He got me started as an instructor and coached and inspired me through the early stages of my career.

Best part of teaching?

Connecting with others deeply and helping with their growth.

What’s your favorite run at your home mountain?

Anything in Deep Temerity or Golden Horn after it has been race prepped.