Team Training 2022-23: Top Takeaways for PSIA-AASI Members

The PSIA-AASI National Team kicked off the 2022-23 season in Colorado last week, fine-tuning its messaging around the association’s top initiatives to help PSIA-AASI members enjoy more professional success and personal growth this season.

Buoyed by a fast-moving storm that hit the Rockies just before training began, the team was able to pair indoor meetings in Breckenridge and on-snow training at Arapahoe Basin with a continued focus on Interski 2023 presentations in Levi, Finland, the implementation of strategic alignment, scholarship opportunities, and a ONEteam approach that benefits all disciplines.

Here, in an edited excerpt from this First Chair Podcast with George Thomas, PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling and Team Head Coach Jeb Boyd share how this annual event continues to benefit professional snowsports instruction.

What is the team training for?
: The two main initiatives are how the team can support the strategic alignment across the country and finalizing the messages that we want to take to Interski in Levi, Finland, this March. Both benefit our members in their ongoing education as we continue to give them more clarity and consistency on how they can continue to develop professionally.

So, is everything you’re presenting at Interski coming together right now?
: It actually started at Interski 2011 in St. Anton, Austria, with our statement about how our instruction embraced a wide variety of disciplines and equipment and the idea that no matter what a student showed up with to ride on, we would welcome them and teach them. But Interski is also about embracing technique, and when asked what the American Technique, we couldn’t explain that succinctly. That led us focus on the fundamentals, good technique, and what makes a great instructor.

Dave: We continue to build on what we’ve presented at earlier Interskis, which for the upcoming event and the past two events is really based on the Learning Connection Model (LCM). At the coach’s meeting when we were preparing for Interski 2015 in Ushuaia, Argentina, we were talking about how snowboard was looking at creating better engagement with our guests, alpine was focusing on technique, and the other disciplines were really thinking about teaching. Those were the key focus points of the Learning Connection Model, which was actually sketched out on a napkin at that meeting and is all about how we can create better a connection with the student on all three levels.

What does this mean for the membership as a whole?
: The LCM defines the skillsets of creating great learning. The assessments and new standards were built off the fundamentals of People Skills, Teaching Skills, and Technical Skills, which create the outcomes of what great teaching is all about. The ultimate goal is to try and find out what professional instructors do day in and day out with their guests, making the assessment of those skills no different than what good instructors are doing every day. If you go out and teach every day and create great experiences for your guests, then you’re doing it right.

We are not trying to create brand-new content. The guest experience is everything. With the focus of alignment and Interski, we are trying to create that same message all the time, so we can have better connections to grow the sport and keep people in the sport longer every year.