Structure with Versatility – New Zealand Workshop

Written by Rupert Tildesley & Lynn Mill

The New Zealand workshop ran us through some of their technical course content with the overall theme that they have a technical structure to follow but encourage versatile use of this.

They encourage four movements and these are :

  1. Fore and aft
  2. Rotary
  3. Lateral
  4. Vertical 

Learners are encouraged to ski with a functional stance throughout these movements depending on what is required by the surroundings.

These movements can be split into different forms :

Duration
Intensity
Range
Rate
Timing

Known by the acronym D.I.R.R.T.  These movements are used in response to physics and more attention is given to the forces acting upon the body, rather than movements for the sake of movements.

The phases of the turn are like us, split into three phases and given the names :

  1. Initiation
  2. Control
  3. Completion (pressure control, rotary separation, release from one and gain connection with the next)

There was an emphasis on being ready for each phase of the turn without being too specific.  So rather than trying to rewrite the laws of physics, they take a different approach.  For example, when skiing ‘wedge parallel turns’ they talk about the tactics of speed and line and balancing the resulting forces, rather than standing on the ski at a certain part of the turn. I can imagine this could be quite hard to do with lower level skiers.

We also skied some long turns. Our aim was to create a platform to stay connected with the outside ski. Rather than trying to project the centre of gravity down the hill as fast as possible leaving the ski to catch up, they were looking for more of an up and forward movement at the initiation. In general, there was lots of emphasis on the centre of gravity versus the base of support. The NZSIA are really aiming to develop more understanding in their teachers of the forces acting on a skier, and other ‘real-time’ reactions that will be required by a performer in different conditions. That ‘structure with versatility’ message coming through clearly.   However, most of the technical side is similar to mainstream technical thinking, so there was nothing really that new.  This made the whole workshop easy to relate to.

Jaz and NZ for web

There is a very detailed write up by the NZSIA including supplementary videos on the following link :

https://interski.nzsia.org/ski-team-2019/on-snow-workshop-structure-with-versatility/

BASI Adaptive Summary from Interski 2019

Written by Marcus Upton

Summary of all the Interski Workshops

All the larger nations of Adaptive (GB, Australia, USA, Canada and NZ) all presented workshops based on teaching via the Fundamental Elements, Independence and Goals.

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It was excellent that the same message was presented and reinforced in different ways from all the nations, this has allowed the smaller nations to see that adaptive snowsports can be generated from their Alpine skills/manual and that an adaptive manual can be a supplement to the Alpine Manual.

Here’s a summary of each individual nations adaptive workshops.

 

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic team were made of 2 delegates who were presenting their research into prosthetic limbs for upper and lower leg amputees.

The clinic was entitled “Alpine Skiing of Lower Limb Amputees”

Indoor workshop

Various prosthetics were shown from a single manufacturer ranging from 5000€ to 50 000€, various pumps were shown and how the setup can be achieved.

Future areas would be rental of the lower leg prosthetic if the client bought their suction cup with then to interface with the prosthetic.

A booklet of the methodology in teaching with a prosthetic was handed out at the end of the presentation. 

Outdoor workshop

They focused on how 3 Czech teams member (who were various degrees of leg amputations) would ski with their prosthetic.

They did not show any progression or how the client would be taught they were showing the prosthetic made by a manufacturer and name-dropped the manufacturer many times in their presentation, all we were shown was medium to high-level skiing.

The prosthetic are good to see but they are defiantly are in the R&D phase as when being skied by their team member pressure control was the obvious issue they have whereby the double amputee and the below knee amputee found it difficult to keep the ski on the snow when the terrain got slightly steeper.

Key take-home message:

We can adapt the skier to have a range of prices for the prosthetic from 5000€ – 50 000€ dependant of the prosthetic you require. 

 

New Zealand

The New Zealand team were made of 2 delegates who are trainers and trainers for the para team.

The clinic was entitled “It’s just the same – adapting able-bodied skills”

Outdoor workshop

NZ integrate both snowboard and skiers into the same course content, so as not to have different adaptive ski and adaptive snowboard levels.

The workshop was based on how they assess clients and the use of the alpine drills.

Assessing the student involves observation, communication, testing and reassessing. As with all lessons we need to ascertain the student’s on snow ability level, their goals, the equipment they will use, lesson pace and the best teaching approach to take to create independence.

The use of able-bodied alpine skills were used to correct or assist the independence of the adaptive stand-up skier, various elements of the fundamental elements were taken out in the demonstrations to show we can still use alpine drills to enhance the skill of the clients.

Key take-home message

We teach adaptive disciplines using the same techniques as we teach all snow sport disciplines

 

Australia

The Australian team was made of 1 delegate who was a national trainer and trainer for the para team.

The clinic was entitled “Developing versatile instructors by bridging technique between mainstream and adaptive lessons”

Outdoor Workshop

The sending of 3 adaptive messages – Snowsport is for Everyone, Set Goals and Maximum Independence.

The workshop was centred on the way they associate Turning by either Steering, Carving or Pure Carving and Fundamental Elements of Stance, Rotary, Edging and Pressure and the blending of the FE to achieve each steering element.

Various demos shown were in the mono-ski and descriptive descriptions given were of each steering activity to achieve, backed by various drills to improve a client and by their fundamental elements.

Indoor workshop

A continuation of the outdoor workshop but with the introduction of the APSI Snowsports App a toolkit for the instructor on the go, with various how to fix it drills and videos.

Key take-home message:

All turns are created from the Fundamental Elements and used with Versatility and Creativity.


Canada

The Canadian team were made of 2 delegates who are trainers of ski and snowboard.

The clinic was entitled “Adaptive snowsports in Canada” 

Indoor workshop

This workshop looked at the fundamentals of CADS, Teaching Methodology and certification pathway.

This was an overview of the CADS system, interestingly they also use a modular system for their level 1 attaining so many credits before moving onto the level 2 module.

They looked at the comparison of ski and snowboard adaptive to create problem-solving instructors.

Implementing a plan via their AOT (ask, obverse and test) was the basis of their teaching methodology and the implementation of the fundamental elements within an interactive workshop around an autistic client.

Key take-home message

We teach adaptive disciplines using the same techniques as we teach all snow sport disciplines

 

USA

The USA team were made of 2 delegates who are trainers of ski and snowboard.

The clinic was entitled “Adaptive fundamentals across all disciplines”

Indoor workshop

This workshop looked at the introduction of the adaptive manual within skiing and snowboarding.

The manual 10 years in the making highlighted that this manual became a supplement to their alpine manual whereby all fundamental elements and teaching methodologies came from the established Alpine picture.

Also shown was their online publications and additional access for Interski participants for 1 month

Key take-home message

Adaptive skiing is just skiing and Snowboarding is just snowboarding with the use of some additional equipment.

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A Successful Ski Class by Team Germany

The German workshop took us through the six ingredients that they believe create a successful ski class. These ingredients could also be applied to other snowsports disciplines.

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The structure of the workshop was designed to give us an example of a successful ski class lesson with narration to highlight what is going on in the lesson and why. Specific attention was brought to the six key ingredients for a successful lesson (which you can see in the left of the picture below). I volunteered to be in the lesson which was delivered with creativity and energy. It was inspiring to ski with a World Cup hero, Fanny Chmelar. In the lesson there was a big emphasis given to an early, strong pole plant, this was a bonus to get an insight into some of their technical ideas during a teaching-focused workshop.

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Learner centred teaching and the Knowledge Picnic from Team Finland

The Finnish on snow workshop was set up with a brilliant introduction. The idea of a ‘knowledge picnic’ was introduced, this is when everyone brings some of their own knowledge to the group to share with everyone. We also had a pleasure of hearing how the Finnish were developing their use of learner-centred teaching.

My first chairlift ride was with experienced ski instructors from USA, Austria and Denmark, we were tasked to have a chat about learner-centred teaching. We had a great chat about the benefits and challenges to this approach of teaching.

However, the session did not continue with the same momentum as it evolved into a prescriptive task-after-task command teaching style.

The Finnish Snowsports Instructors have a great idea as this is the direction that most of the world’s snowsports teaching associations have gone in.

Great British, Denmark, USA and Austria Knowledge Picnic

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Teaching teachers to teach by developing reviewing skills

Training all-round snowsports teachers

The theme of Interski 2019 is ‘future snowsports’. Throughout the BASI system we prepare our instructors to be lifelong learners who will continue to develop their instructing skills to make them adaptable and prepare them for the future. In the on-snow session we outlined what reviewing skills are and we demonstrated and explained how we develop these skills through experiential learning in our instructor teaching courses.

In this off-snow lecture we bring attention to the why do we teach our instructor to review their teaching sessions. It is worth noting that since our teaching courses are the same across disciplines, the on-snow workshop and this accompanying lecture have been designed and delivered by a team of ski and snowboard instructors.

BASI aims to create employable, credible and autonomous snowsports instructors. We develop candidates’ reviewing skills in all our courses so that they review their lessons and make their next lesson better. BASI trained instructors can therefore adapt to a variety of workplaces, clients and conditions in the UK and across the world. As lessons are not from a template, each lesson is specific to clients’ needs and expectations.

Context – research quotes that support the power of reviewing skills

There is some academic research which helps put some context behind the idea that reviewing skills may help develop good teachers/instructors. Teachers and coaches report that their most powerful learning experiences come from two sources:

  • learning from colleagues and peers
  • learning from experience

These are some quotes which support this idea:

Learning from colleagues and peers:

“Good teaching is a collective accomplishment and responsibility” (Hargreaves and Fullan, 2012)

“teachers can only really learn once they get outside their own classrooms and connect with other teachers” (Hargreaves, 2009)

Learning from experience:

“learning takes place in everyday experience and occurs without intention, from “doing” and from both successes and mistakes” (Smylie, 1995)

“Teachers indicate that they learn through the activity of teaching itself” (Hoesktra, et.al, 2007)

“we do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience” (Dewey, 1938)

What qualities does a good snowsports instructor have?

Good snowsports teachers have a huge variety of qualities which can be placed into three categories: professional knowledge, interpersonal skills and intrapersonal skills. The professional knowledge is everything that would be in a snowsports teacher’s manual including snowsport-specific knowledge and the theory of how to teach snowsports. Interpersonal skills include social skills and communication with others. Intrapersonal skills include understanding of self and passion. BASI value all three categories which contribute to an all-round skilful snowsports teacher.

An instructor with effective reviewing skills will be able to develop all three categories that combine to make a good Snowsports instructor.

Reviewing in the BASI System

We teach reviewing skills in all our courses. BASI snowsports instructors develop their understanding, experience and ability with review skills from Level 1 courses through to Level 4.  We encourage instructors to continue using reviewing skills so that they can develop themselves in the workplace, therefore becoming adaptable, autonomous instructors. In the future BASI hopes to continue to develop our training and assessment of reviewing skills within our system.

Reviewing in practice

With the skills they have developed on their courses, a BASI instructor will continue to use review skills in the workplace. The following videos show examples of reviewing in practice. There are three sets of videos, the first in each set shows ineffective reviewing skills with no depth or reflection, while the second video in the set shows the instructor using more effective reviewing which will help them to develop their teaching.

The first set of videos shows the instructor at the end of a lesson reviewing the lesson with the client. The second set of videos show the instructor’s self-reflection about a lesson. While the third set of videos show the Instructor reviewing a lesson with his peers.



A teacher with effective reviewing skills will be a lifelong learner who will continue to develop all three categories of teaching skills autonomously in order to adapt to the environment in which they are working. Looking at the future, in line with research highlighting the value of learning from experience and from peers, BASI are looking to further develop the training and assessment of reviewing skills within our system.

 “the most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning” (Dewey, 1933)

The lecture was designed, developed and presented at Interski 2019 by BASI National Education Team members:

Lesley Page, Paul Garner, Giles Lewis, Ben Arkley, Kevin Edwards, Dave Morris and Amanda Pirie

 

Using the TIED Model to Develop Adaptable Technicians and Adaptable Teachers

The production of adaptable teachers is BASI’S overriding theme at this Interski conference.

BASI has undeniable success in creating instructors that can fit into any school anywhere. A BASI instructor is unbound by a prescriptive technique or an imperative lesson plan. It is not a new achievement. BASI has long embodied pragmatism and inclusion. A BASI instructor has always been considered a safe-pair-of-hands however disparate the situation.

BASI instructors work far and wide, from dry slopes and snow domes at home, to rolling carpets in South Africa, to the Alps, Rockies, Southern Alps, Snowy Mountains, Andes, Hida Mountains, and the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains of this congress. British instructors have always had to adapt or fail. This lecture explored a process BASI uses to continue to develop and augment versatile teachers.

The TIED model (Task-Information-Evaluation-Development) was presented as a means to sculpt an adaptable instructor. Specifically, the lecture focused on the Evaluation element: why is the student not able to achieve the desired outcome. The lecture highlighted the need for an adaptable instructor to find solutions that are not merely technical, but may be resolved in other Performance Threads.

 TIED

EQUIPMENT

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The lecture expressed the importance of trainee instructors to understand specific blockages in performance that equipment can cause, from ski choice and tuning to boot stiffness, last, cuff adjustment, leg alignment.

ENVIRONMENT

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  • Visibility
  • Temperature
  • Snow conditions
  • Difficulty of terrain
  • Altitude

The lecture emphasised the importance of relating back to the TIED model, for instance adjusting the difficulty of the task.

PSYCHOLOGICAL

Manu-Tuilagi-009

Can you imagine tackling this??

  • Attentional focus
  • Arousal levels
  • Emotional thresholds

The lecture reinforced the need for aspirant instructors to be trained on the psychological aspect of performance and basic tools that they should have knowledge of.

PHYSICAL

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  • Strength/Power
  • Agility
  • Physical application when performing
  • Stability

There are two sides to this:

1.The actual physical strength/power/agility of the performer and how they can be better prepared.

2.The application of whatever physical power they have in the live performance. Are they underpowered/overpowered?

HOW MUCH TRAINING DO INSTRUCTORS GET IN THIS AREA?

TACTICAL

Dunlop-Spaghetti-Junction-1

  • Methods of speed control
  • Turn shape

At this point the lecture turned to the strand of bumps as a salient means to highlight the tactical thread (and indeed no other strand so immediately pulls together the requisites of equipment, environment, physicality, psychology, tactics, and technique).

TECHNICAL

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  • Steering
  • Movements
  • Posture and balance

It was suggested that trainee instructors understand this is sometimes the least important area that can be developed, and the other threads should have been attended to as effectively as possible.

 

Conclusion

The lecture affirmed the general target of BASI, to produce well-rounded, adaptable teachers. It used the TIED model and the evaluation element to show one way that BASI is striving to achieve this, and make the skill of versatility ever more important in the training and assessment of aspirant teachers. The lecture asked a pertinent question: how much emphasis is put on the training of instructors outside of the technical strand? By embracing the performance threads, where technique is a mere element, a coach can develop a rounded and pragmatic skier, able to react and make decisions at will. By embracing the performance threads, a trainer can develop rounded and pragmatic teachers, able to better performance efficiently and effectively.

Meet the team – Jas Bruce

We sat down with BASI NET team members and asked them about their journey through the BASI system. We all know that going through the BASI system (or any other instructing system) can sometimes feel hard. We wondered how these BASI members were successful in their journey. What we found were stories that are universal to anyone trying to develop at something. We thought we would share these stories with the hope that they inspire snowsport instructors to continue learning and developing in the sport they love.

Jas

Jas has a goal in everything he does: “to be as good at it as is possible”. He has dedicated himself to this mantra throughout his career as a skier and ski teacher. Jas started ski racing while he was at school and when he left school he committed himself to the sport as a full time athlete and was selected onto the British Ski Team. During this time he did his first instructor exam on a dry ski slope and loved it, so he combined racing and teaching when he could. When he traded his catsuit for textbooks to study for a sports science degree in Edinburgh, Jas continued ski instructing part time at Hillend dry ski slope, in the Alps and in New Zealand. Jas recommends ski instructing as a fun and lucrative student job. However more importantly, he believes it was during the hours at the dry ski slope that he developed the foundation of his ski teaching skills and his determination to forge a career in ski instructing.

Jas’s passion for skiing and ski teaching is infectious and his drive to continue to develop his skills is inspiring. Jas has learnt from a variety of mentors during his ski career who have helped develop a strong toolbox to teach in a variety of situations. His mantra still holds true as he is open to new ideas about teaching and technique, as well as seeking personal technical skills training opportunities whenever he can.

Jas is a full time BASI Trainer which means he delivers the whole range of courses to candidates throughout the year. He does this alongside managing New Gerneration Ski School in Val d’Isere.

Message… Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the teaching, learning, developing your skiing and being part of the snowsports community, so you can reflect with fond memories. You grow with time, be patient and never stop seeking knowledge: give yourself time and be open to new ideas to grow into the best ski instructor you can be.

Jas Bruce perf 1

 

Meet Dave Morris

We sat down with BASI NET team members and asked them about their journey through the BASI system. We all know that going through the BASI system (or any other instructing system) can sometimes feel hard. We wondered how these BASI members were successful in their journey. What we found were stories that are universal to anyone trying to develop at something. We thought we would share these stories with the hope that they inspire snowsport instructors to continue learning and developing in the sport they love.

Dave

Dave earned a degree in English Literature and Philosophy and it is apparent when you speak to him that he approaches his coaching/teaching practice in a philosophical manner. He comes across as incredibly conscientious about doing the best job for the people he is teaching/coaching.

Dave skied from the age of three because of a ski mad dad and then ski raced until 18 years old starting at 10 on the dry ski slopes of North England – a bit like Dave Ryding but not as good! He has balanced a ski coaching career with an instructor and trainer career.

When you speak to Dave about his journey through the BASI system you realise that he has used his experiences in each role to inform his understanding of his other coaching practices. So for example his experience as a race coach has helped develop his trainer practice and vice versa.

What strikes you when talking to Dave is that he has been able to learn from his experiences and that he has the humility to keep learning. As a extremely experienced trainer (since 2003) and race coach (since 2000) and instructor (technical director for New Generation) it could be easy for him to assume he knows more than other instructors. However Dave spoke about learning from a young instructor who worked for him. He saw what a great job this instructor was doing and was inspired to adapt his approach to teaching ski school clients.

Message: No matter how much knowledge you have always be ready to learn from others around you. Dave has continued to experience, watch and question within his coaching/teaching practice. This is what makes him such a successful coach and trainer.

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The Perils of Dogma in Skiing, the Perils of Dogma in Life

Ru G

Dogma is “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.” 

I remember an argument that two industry friends had about skiing. It is not the theme of the argument I particularly recall- perhaps it was about the use of lower leg versus hip in a turn, or the adjustments to technique needed when skiing the sand dunes of Namibia. The way things were argued was memorable. I remember a vehemence of conviction from both sides. More menacing, I recollect a mutual unwillingness to contemplate the possibility of being wrong. What started as a chat over a brew escalated to a verbal brawl, into personal attacks on each other’s skiing and personal hygiene. I could not help but see an allegory here: dogma leads to anger and fanaticism, as the world daily and bloodily attests.

Let’s ride this conceit back to skiing. Having principles alone is not dogmatic. As ski coaches, we probably all have a set of principles we wittingly or unconsciously purvey. Some may call these techniques. Others more may call these skills. But even the skill-based agnostics have their favourite skills to impart. We have biomechanics at hand, Newtonic laws to apply. We are experts at specifying tasks and exacting outcomes. The sport is not as open as some would perceive. I don’t know many people who set off without any intent at all when they ski: most will choose to turn, some may even choose a rounded turn that promotes ski performance and its accompanying delicious sensations. We would be flaky coaches to have no beliefs on skiing. It is the notion that these principles are incontrovertibly true, however, that defines the dogmatist, and stands in the way of imagination.

As a world-weary pragmatist, I have spent my ski career siding up to certain things that work for me and appear to work for students, only to listen, discuss, engage and argue with colleagues around the globe, and cherry pick new things. I do not forget or forsake my old notions, merely add to them. I will share an example below, focusing on Long Turns.

Build

I used to actively incline at the top of the turn, to create extreme space between skis and Centre of Mass. I became very good at the white-pass turn.

I am now more focused on establishing edges when on top of the ski by articulating the feet, ankles and legs, particularly on a longer radius ski. As such I changed a gross movement of the mass down the hill and away from the skis to a subtler movement with the ski and towards the work phase.

I would not stop coaching a white-pass turn to develop the skill of using old lateral separation to beget extreme early angles into the new turn, or indeed to prolong a light feeling for a slight smudge were that my intent.

Work

I used to focus on equal edge angles and aligned shins.

Now I accept that to use a greater range of hip laterally, it will be hard for the inside knee to point overly inside the turn.

Some may use too much hip in the build phase and so counter the hips in the work phase, making a focus on aligned shins a viable one.

Release

I used to focus rotational separation towards the fall-line which helped me create an extreme throw down the hill.

Now I try and line my shoulders towards the work phase (apex) of the next turn, sometimes even using a swing of the arms to move me early to the new outside ski before an edge change.

I have begun to overdo this and probably need to focus on more rotational separation as I square up too much and lose energy out of the turn!

Now the above is merely a distilled example of my own process, and a process that I relate, hopefully without bias, to students. Nothing above is right. Nothing is wrong. I still practise and preach what I did, as well as what I’m changing. I am merely exploring more pathways, being curious, and fighting against simplification. If I had a dogma, I could not be curious, and coaching skiing would be rather stale.

Interski is a congress, a place for discussion. As with all discussions, whether the existential ones about skiing or the trivial ones about religion, it’s not how passionate our views are or how robustly we defend them that we should be weary of, it is about how open we are to revision and others changing our minds. It is about engaging.

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Meet Tom Waddington

We sat down with BASI NET team members and asked them about their journey through the BASI system. We all know that going through the BASI system (or any other instructing system) can sometimes feel hard. We wondered how these BASI members were successful in their journey. What we found were stories that are universal to anyone trying to develop at something. We thought we would share these stories with the hope that they inspire snowsport instructors to continue learning and developing in the sport they love.

Tom headshot

Tom has always been a keen sportsman. He played competitive rugby to a high level before pursuing his first sporting passion, skiing.

Tom’s skiing career is a story of two halves. The first half was a rather easy route through the BASI system. He had been inspired to stop pursuing a career in the city when his good friend suggested that he come to work with him as a ski instructor at in Italy. Over the next few years he found the BASI qualification system very enjoyable and didn’t come up against many barriers until the eurotest. He said, “I backed myself and believed in myself but I kept failing the eurotest”. This is where it would have been easy for Tom to give up. Instead, he swore to himself that he would never stop learning and pushing himself, especially after the qualifications were finished.

When Tom got his eurotest he realised that he had learned something key and fundamental, that “better never stops” – a quote taken from one of the best cricketers of all time, Sachin Tendulkar. This is his main philosophy in life. It is something that he continues to embody through his choices, but it is also something that he hopes to teach others.

After Tom became full cert he continued to develop his technical skiing and knowledge by competing as a FIS athlete in NZ and working with Dave Ryding and the British team. He is currently learning more about human anatomy and biomechanics.

Message: Better never stops. Tom confronted failure head-on. Instead of giving up he became creative in his methods to achieve his goal. Be inspired by Tom and turn a perceived failure into a success.

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