Interski 2023: The Importance of Community + Telemark & Snowboard Presentations
Every four years, the Interski Congress unites snowsports instructors from around the world to share their most effective methods of introducing and improving the skiing and snowboarding experience for everyone, no matter their ability, age, or background.
Guided by its 2023 theme, “The Guest Experience is Everything,” the Levi, Finland Interski has focused on growing snowsports participation, with instructors playing a pivotal role in welcoming and keeping people connected to the snowsports community.
“Ski and snowboard instructors are the key to the customer experience,” said Timo Welsby, president of the Finnish National Association of Snowsports Instructors. “The whole experience starts with the instructors.”
PSIA-AASI’s Learning Connection Model, which emphasizes that quality lessons rely as much on an instructor’s people skills, as their teaching skills and technical skills, wholeheartedly supports this mission.
Especially regarding the key People Skill Fundamentals, which are:
- Develop relationships based on trust.
- Engage in meaningful two-way
- Identify, understand, and manage your emotions and actions.
- Recognize and influence the behaviors, motivations, and emotions of others.
On Tuesday, the PSIA-AASI National Team highlighted each one of the People Skill Fundamentals in a range of interdisciplinary on-snow and indoor workshops including: Creating Partnerships in the Learning Environment (cross country), Decision Making for Learning (alpine), Building Guest Centered Outcomes (telemark), Creating Snowboard Community (snowboard), and Using Adaptive Fundamentals to Create Breakthroughs (adaptive).
Telemark Presentation Recap
The telemark presentation alone drew more than 60 attendees from every corner of the globe, including Argentina, Denmark, and Japan.
“I really enjoy skiing with the U.S. contingent because they are as focused as we are on keeping people coming back to the snow time after time, no matter what sliding device they prefer to be on,” said Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) instructor Guy Paulsen.
“For this workshop, we really focused on lead-change, terrain selection, and how we can adjust the application of the fundamentals in order to reach the varied skiing outcomes our guests desire,” said PSIA Telemark Team member Keith Rodney.
Snowboard Presentation Recap
The AASI Snowboard Team took the concept of reaching a larger audience to a new level with their indoor presentation, “Creating Snowboard Community.”
Led by AASI Snowboard Team Assistant and Development Coach Tony Macri and team member Stephanie Wilkerson, the presentation was a master class in how to get guests more involved in snowboarding, and potentially become a snowboard instructor, trainer, or coach and greater part of the snowboard family.
“It’s all about inclusivity, and letting people know that when they go snowboarding, or take a snowboard lesson, they are really connecting to a wider community,” said Stephanie.
From stories in PSIA-AASI’s 32 Degrees magazine, to social media, to a series of “What Do You Love About your AASI Community?” videos, to a #wherewereyouat3 callout to go riding initiated by team member Amy Bailey, the presentation focused on any number of ways riders can create and welcome new members to the snowboard community.
“This was the perfect thing for me to attend,” said Denmark’s Tim Kjaer. “We are right now creating our snowboard education program, and I am looking at ways to start and support that community. It’s as simple as introducing and welcoming people to a genuine community.”