On this page you will find all the resources that Great Britain has collated from Interski 2015.
The information on this page will be added to throughout the interski event and after the event has finished and we hope it provides a comprehensive and useful resource for BASI Members and other instructors to share and use as part of increasing their knowledge and understanding of snowsports teaching systems throughout the world.
Many thanks to all the countries who have shared their information with us. If you would like us to add more information please email it to: email@example.com.
If you are involved in a ski school and are looking to recruit qualified professional instructors for your ski school, advertise your jobs (at no cost) on the BASI jobs board.
Australia’s workshop was based on performance skiing, high level aspects they looked for when assessing and training their instructors for courses. Basically their piste performance criteria and what they use to get people to that level.
The APSI have developed an App – you can download it here
Avalanche prevention – Alpine Sicherheit
Carving – experience the feeling
Insight for Output – Feedbackprozesse im Techniktraining im Skilauf
Risk awareness for skiers – Risikobewusstsein
Skiing in three days – Skifahren in drei Tagen
Presentation 2: Cross-fit through cross-country skiing
You can read Paul Garner’s summary of the Canadian off snow workshops here. Click on the presentations below to download the slides.
The Canadian on snow Telemark workshop focused on their ‘Tele Fundamentals’ or key points that make a good Tele Skier. Their Off Snow lecture looked at ‘How we learn – Experiential Education’.
On snow Workshop
On snow Workshop
Country Key Messages
The Croatians believe that you shouldn’t over-teach a student, but let a lot of their progression happen naturally. Using the terrain to help the skis move and leaving the rate of progression down to the student and choosing the right terrain for that progression to happen naturally. On the content they do teach, they are very form-based and not skill-based. They believe in keeping it simple and their entire ski school progression is based on 4 key moves. They do think carefully about how their trainee instructors can use their 16wks of teaching practice to improve delivery, leadership and presentation skills for use outside the skiing world. They see that skiing might not be their only long-term career but also a stepping stone to help individuals progress skills that will help them elsewhere in the future. Some instructors stay involved full-time and others are used on a purely part-time basis for the peaks week holidays in Croatia. They pride themselves on having highly skilled and qualified part-time instructors who are of a standard as high as their full-time ones.
Snowsports Instructors Unique Environment – Interdisciplinary skills for life success
I was at the small lecture and they were explaining some of their off snow objectives for their instructors coming through the system. They would like to encourage talented people to follow their dreams of becoming a snowsport instructor but also highlight the unique work environment they teach in and how it can develop a wide range of applicable skills to take to other professions. The idea behind this lecture is to help employability of snowsport instructors in other professions so that they can manage the peaks and troffs that the ski schools go through throughout the winter. By having a selection on instructors who have an alternative full-time job but bringing them in at peak weeks, they can manage and fill the hours of all the instructors employed both full and part time. Thus keeping them motivated, well trained and in work all year round. They also discussed the freedom that they give instructors to develop some of their own delivery techniques but do spend some time training emotional awareness – the ability to recognise their own emotions and those of others and using them appropriately to achieve a successful outcome. There are a number of slides with great information attached that is suited to our association just as much as theirs. It was a really interesting lecture delivered by Daniel who is a sports psychologist major but works in the Croatian Ski Association as a trainer.
Snowsport Instructing for Individuals
The Finnish lecture was run by two instructors, who are PHD students studying Sports Coaching. Like BASI and CSIA, they were looking at the application of sports coaching research to Snowsports instruction. This is an overview: Modern theories and concepts of motor learning reject the traditional view of “perfect performance technique” or “optimal template” of movement pattern for all learners. The fundamental attribute in the learning and performance of motor skills is the idea of three interacting key constraints; Organismic constraints refer to person’s individual characteristics such as height, weight, genes, connectivity of synapses in brain, motivations or emotions. Task constraints include specific rules associated with activity, task goals, surfaces or boundary areas such as posts or gates. Environmental constraints refer to physical variables in nature like altitude, ambient light, temperature or gravity. Constraints can be seen as boundaries that shape a learner’s movement solutions, cognitions and decision-making processes. It’s essential, that the instructor must offer “motor problems”, which allow individuals time and space to explore and discover coordination patterns and make decisions that are most appropriate for their unique constraints. It’s also crucial from a learning point of view to regard the treatment of failures as an important and unavoidable part of the learning process. Regarding this, teaching cannot only be the elimination of “mistakes”. Each learner perceives environment-based information individually and adapts movement behaviours according to that information, meaning that different surfaces and textures (e.g. snowy slopes and terrains) in the environment can afford different actions from different people in relation to individual constraints. Therefore, for a novice, the effort to mimic the expert-level demonstration of the instructor might be fruitless from the perspective of effective learning. The instructor can put these essential principles into practice by altering and manipulating key constraints. For example, instructor can organize lessons to support the intrinsic motivation (organismic), alter objectives (tasks) and adapt the learning environment (environment). Traditionally in the teaching of Snowsports, the instructor’s own technical ability and corrective performance feedback has been excessively emphasised. In addition to these, the modern understanding and knowledge of the learning process highlights the instructor’s pedagogic knowledge, interactive skills and especially the ability to motivate students in finding independent solutions to motor problems. A significant part of the instructor’s professional skills is the ability to adjust and select a learning environment that make it possible for individualised challenges and for a sufficient amount of practice to support the student’s learning process. Although the learning of motor skills is a complicated phenomenon, it can be adjusted in a relatively simple manner. Learning paths are one tool for this. A fundamental principle in the FNASI training system is that the learning paths are only starting points for the teaching and without any change, they are not necessarily the optimum for all students.
A summary of the Hungarian workshop ‘The use of Radio Communication between Ski Instructors & Clients’ by Amanda Pirie can be found here.
On snow Workshop
Country Key Messages
There are 3 instructor levels in use at the moment, the 4th is currently being written. Korea is constantly striving to develop their courses to keep the instructors engaged. However as many instructors don’t leave Korea, they are less inspired to go for the ISIA badge as they don’t deem it necessary.
In Korea the instructors listen to what the clients want. The public believe skiing short turns with a narrow stance and wide arms looks great and so this is what they spend a lot of time teaching. However the instructors are capable of adapting and skiing in different styles.
They are limited by their narrow artificial snow slopes that are often crowded, so there is a very specific short turn progression to get intermediates skiing shorts as quickly as possible as this is the type of turn required by the terrain they have.
Teaching Short Turns – The Progression
We were shown 4 stages of progression for an intermediate (new parallel skier) to learn a quick short turn. Starting from a snowplough vertically down the fall line, the outer foot is pushed out laterally and the upper body weight placed over that ski to help it bite. Following this they move into a more parallel movement, much like braquage and then introduce a poleplant down the hill just below the ski to help timing. They timing of the poleplant is coordinated with a very vertical movement which allows the skier to swivel their skis around almost 180 degrees. But for the final stage, the vertical movements are reduced and they show more of a cross-under of the legs in transition and a push of the two skis out laterally. Therefore their shorts turns have very little shape and are in a very narrow corridor, its more of a wiggle down the hill. While all this was happening they explained that the clients like how a narrow stance looks, and so this is something they try to adopt all the time. They are also very descriptive over the width of the arms and their reasoning again is that the Koreans think this is a pretty style. They very much respond to what their learners want to learn, which is short turns in a narrow space (needed for the types of ski slopes they have in Korea, narrow and busy). They have little need for developing all mountain skiers unless it is to go out of the country to ski. It is very much learner based. But also a quick fix that isn’t teaching any core skiing skills or control outwith this style.
Snowsport Culture in Montenegrin Snowsport Schools
Summary of Den Norske Skiskole by Lynn Mill
Adaptive Snowsports – The New Emerging Market – Keynote Lecture by Houston Cowan
The Learning Connection
I had the pleasure to be allocated to follow the Americans at Interski 2015. The team had a really strong and deep amount of information to transfer to the other nations.
Long-time advocates of a student centred approach, PSIA-AASI have come to the conclusion that in order to be fully student centred, the instructors themselves are the key element to making this happen. The vast array of background knowledge needed to be able to do this has been categorised in to a three part model. To enable good teaching, the instructor needs to be able to combine these three key areas.
- Teaching skills
- Technical skills
- People skills
In this workshop they asked us “what makes a great session?”; “what happened in those sessions which you remember went really well?
The answers from the groups were as you would expect and each one was welcomed by the Americans’ facilitators. So being safe, feeling safe, being confident and supported, being engaged, being encouraged, connections within the group and to the instructor, buy in from the students, some learning from the students and an appreciation of achievement by the students. All good stuff.
The PSIA-AASI summarised their teaching approach as:
- Student Centred
- Experience driven
- Skills focused
There has been a big effort to develop a coherent technical approach since St Anton 2011. They have come up with five fundamentals which they believe can be the basis for any technical approach to skiing. Any actions, drills or technical goals should be able to be related to one of the 5 fundamentals. This allows the Americans to distinguish between their technical fundamentals and “coaching cues”, which may help people achieve better skiing, but are likely to be more individualised and must not be confused with the fundamentals.
They also have the skiing skills of edge, rotation and pressure; the tactical skills and the concept of a desired outcome. These are linked together in a pyramidal diagrammatic model which links through the fundamentals.
They have separated these from the teaching skills as they believe that they can have great teachers, who may perform well in assessments, but are not able to connect with colleagues or clients. They then can address the issue of instructors who are theoretically good at their job, but people don’t like to ride a lift with them.
This push has come from the snowboard section of the association, but the lessons are valid for all disciplines. They hope that through the development of their teachers, they will be able to improve their conversion rate (currently only 17% of all first time particpants will commit to the sport long term).
The key elements to these skills are in their handout below: