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post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
It's no wonder PSIA is in the state it is:

From Ray Allard in his opening in the latest PSIA mag:

"Upon reflecting recently about what makes PSIA-AASI such a strong force in the snowsports industry,......"


Is this serious? PSIA is a strong force? :
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Is this serious? PSIA is a strong force? :

It must be, given the amount of time and effort its detractors spend trying to knock it down. If it was weak, then any attack from someone with at least half an ounce of skill would have knocked it over years ago.
post #3 of 28
Hey Mods, can we get a "PSIA Sucks" forum added so that Volkskier1 only needs to bookmark one link and we can easily find all his postings without reading all the threads on the forum?

Thanks!
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Hey Mods, can we get a "PSIA Sucks" forum added so that Volkskier1 only needs to bookmark one link and we can easily find all his postings without reading all the threads on the forum?

Thanks!
Do we really need another? It already exists here.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
It must be, given the amount of time and effort its detractors spend trying to knock it down. If it was weak, then any attack from someone with at least half an ounce of skill would have knocked it over years ago.
1. Why is criticism from a member considered "knocking it down". Maybe what the organization needs is some bricks thrown through the windows to wake it up and improve it.

2. Are you in PSIA? I'm assuming you are not.So why do you care so much? Why do you feel the need to curry favor with PSIA? I'm asking because thats one of the big problems with PSIA. People need to play a very political game in order to advance. Rocking the boat is very bad.Disagreement is bad. Criticism is bad. It's more of a club. However, the result is stagnation and a group that is now ineffectual. Hardly a "Strong Force"

3. It's interesting that Allard categorizes it this way considering how adamant people here are about the fact that the mission is only to train instructors.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13 View Post
Do we really need another? It already exists here.
I was interested in getting feedback from other members on this statement by our leader
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
1. Why is criticism from a member considered "knocking it down". Maybe what the organization needs is some bricks thrown through the windows to wake it up and improve it..
Well, I didn't say who was knocking it, I don't believe your first post was criticism, as you made one comment:
"It's no wonder the PSIA is in the state it is"
and then asked two questions.

What "state" do you believe the PSIA is in? Why is it in that state? What have you done to try to change it?

Once you give some criticism, then maybe you'll get some better replies than mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
2. Are you in PSIA? I'm assuming you are not.So why do you care so much? Why do you feel the need to curry favor with PSIA? I'm asking because thats one of the big problems with PSIA. People need to play a very political game in order to advance. Rocking the boat is very bad.Disagreement is bad. Criticism is bad. It's more of a club. However, the result is stagnation and a group that is now ineffectual. Hardly a "Strong Force"
No, I'm not in PSIA or any ski instructor organisation. But I have worked with instructors from quite a few around the world.
I care, because I care about skiing, and the future of the sport. I care because I am interested in organisations that want to build up, not knock down.
I don't need to curry favour with anyone. People can take me or leave me as I am.
I can think of other organisations where if you even question the leader you are kicked out.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
It's no wonder PSIA is in the state it is:

From Ray Allard in his opening in the latest PSIA mag:

"Upon reflecting recently about what makes PSIA-AASI such a strong force in the snowsports industry,......"


Is this serious? PSIA is a strong force? :

It seems to me, good or bad, that PSIA is a strong force in the teaching side of the sport. They do some things better than the other skiing organization I belong to.

ST
post #9 of 28
Clearly PSIA is a strong force. In order to teach at most resorts in the US, PSIA credentials are either required, or are tied to pay rates.

PSIA has a virtual monopoly on ski instruction credentializing in this country - thank makes it a strong force.
post #10 of 28
Volklskier,

Strong farce or strong force? It can't be both. For those who claim that PSIA is to blame for the sad state of American skiing, there is the implicit acknowledgement that PSIA is a strong force within the industry.

The "strong" statement is both easily supported and easily refuted. On the one hand one could look at the vast amount of PSIA material that is used in instructor training material throughout the US, the influence of 30,000 members on the skiing public, the close interaction with NSAA, NSP and other ski industry associations, the long list of sponsors and the work that demo team members do with sponsors in support of product development, the influence of PSIA on Interski among many other areas to support the strong argument. On the other hand, there are those who say PSIA either gets bad results or no results out of these activities. Clearly, when you look at a resort, ski school is one of the larger departments by personnel count. Nevertheless it is only a small piece of what happens at a resort every day whether you measure it by task count, labor hours or money spent by the consumer. One could extend this analogy to the whole industry and say that ski school and, by extension, PSIA is a small influence on the industry. If you look at 30,000 members x $100 annual dues, the weight of PSIA in a multi billion dollar industry is truly puny. This is easily an example of a situation where one can easily see whatever they want to see.

Whatever one's opinion concerning the accuracy of the "strong" statement is, that opinion won't have a strong force unless it's followed up by action. If you believe that PSIA is either not doing enough or doing damage, either exercise your voting privileges and/or get out there and start working on something on PSIA's behalf; or lend your support to alternative organizations. Personally, I try to help out here and there with little things (e.g. my participation on this site). What I do personally is not much, but I believe in the power of 30,000 butterflys.

When I look at PSIA, the strength that matters to me the most is their ability to help make me a better instructor. I've received far more help from PSIA than I have from my training at my home resort. For me, it's been worth every penny spent despite the fact that I spend more money on teaching than what I make.

Would I like to see PSIA do more? Certainly. When I see EpicSki become what PSIA's web forum should have become, it makes me sad to see such a missed opportunity. But when I see the "Go With a Pro" campaign grow into the current 1/2 hour video and series of short clips being broadcast on RSN and independent TV stations, it makes me certain that PSIA is committed to being a force within the industry.

To answer your questions, he is serious and there are many people who share his opinion and many who don't.
post #11 of 28
Walmart is a force too. Not everyone thinks they're perfect, don't have to be to be a force. And, Volklskier,,, your words are not a brick through the window, they're a pebble that doesn't even reach the fence around the compound.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
2. Are you in PSIA? I'm assuming you are not.So why do you care so much?
So let me turn the question around on you. I know you WERE in PSIA, but are you now? If you aren't currently a member then, why do you care so much? Could it be ENVY?
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Volklskier,

Strong farce or strong force? .....

Whatever one's opinion concerning the accuracy of the "strong" statement is, that opinion won't have a strong force unless it's followed up by action. If you believe that PSIA is either not doing enough or doing damage, either exercise your voting privileges and/or get out there and start working on something on PSIA's behalf

When I look at PSIA, the strength that matters to me the most is their ability to help make me a better instructor. I've received far more help from PSIA than I have from my training at my home resort. For me, it's been worth every penny spent despite the fact that I spend more money on teaching than what I make.

Would I like to see PSIA do more? Certainly. When I see EpicSki become what PSIA's web forum should have become, it makes me sad to see such a missed opportunity. But when I see the "Go With a Pro" campaign grow into the current 1/2 hour video and series of short clips being broadcast on RSN and independent TV stations, it makes me certain that PSIA is committed to being a force within the industry.

To answer your questions, he is serious and there are many people who share his opinion and many who don't.
I don't agree with a lot of the rational you use but I will say you're posts are always well reasoned and thoughtful. You really are one of the few people that understand many of the issues. My perspective is that they need to stop worrying about their status in the industry and start worrying about their instructors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Walmart is a force too. Not everyone thinks they're perfect, don't have to be to be a force. And, Volklskier,,, your words are not a brick through the window, they're a pebble that doesn't even reach the fence around the compound.
You're absolutely right. Why would PSIA care what members think.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
You're absolutely right. Why would PSIA care what members think.

Lot of that going around. :
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
I don't agree with a lot of the rational you use but I will say you're posts are always well reasoned and thoughtful. You really are one of the few people that understand many of the issues. My perspective is that they need to stop worrying about their status in the industry and start worrying about their instructors.
Thanks. Have you expressed to your division representatives specifically what you'd like to see PSIA to do more of for their instructors and less of for their status? Do you particpate on the PSIA web forum where PSIA executive staff has specifically solicited suggestions for improving the organization?
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
My perspective is that they need to stop worrying about their status in the industry and start worrying about their instructors.



In what way should PSIA "worry" about its members? PSIA's founding purpose is to provide training and certification of ski instructors. How is PSIA NOT providing training and certification?
post #17 of 28
Volklskier1-

The old adage is simple-

"If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem!"

As Fox asked (and you never answered), What have you done to help change the direction you obviously believe it is going?

I do get involved... I am an examiner, I was on the ED/CERT Committees, for both RM and for National, and I work my ass off trying to keep the standard high, and the content of my training accurate and contemporary.

I encourage my coworkers and peers to strive for excellence, to provide the best they can for their guestd.

I have spent countless hours working with individual and groups of instructors, helping them improve their skills and prepare for their exams, all on MY TIME. I act as a mentor for ski pros, both at my own area and from other areas.

So- I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED..... Other than shooting holes at something which does likely impact your livelihood if, in fact, you are a working instr, what have you done?

You wrote- "2. Are you in PSIA? I'm assuming you are not.So why do you care so much? Why do you feel the need to curry favor with PSIA? I'm asking because thats one of the big problems with PSIA. People need to play a very political game in order to advance. Rocking the boat is very bad.Disagreement is bad. Criticism is bad. It's more of a club. However, the result is stagnation and a group that is now ineffectual. Hardly a "Strong Force"."

Wow! Change the PSIA to PMTS, and truer words have never been spoken. Think about it... if the statements are still true if the names can be changed so readily, then what base are you coming from... What do you have that's any better than what PSIA is offering right now?
And if you can say PMTS with a straight face, while that name fits so perfectly in your statement, then you are a hypocrit!


If you have a problem with something, and you care enough about it, then get involved, and help fix it! Otherwise, I don't see where you have much of a leg to stand on... (stance or otherwise...)
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Rusty:

wondering what you make of this e-mail just received. What is the motivation:

It’s not too late to participate and apply a little “March Madness” to our ongoing Member-Gain-a-Member campaign. The campaign runs until April 1; that means you still have plenty of time to recruit members and put yourself in a position to potentially win more than $1,000 in events, educational materials and equipment!

How the “MGaM” works:
This is a campaign whereby you, our existing members of PSIA-E/AASI, will personally promote and recruit colleagues that are non-member snowsports instructors to join the organization. For playing the role of “sponsor” to the new member, as the recruiting member you will be eligible for various levels of incentives. The membership application now has a line for “Member Sponsor” that will serve as the qualifier for credit and tracking. It will be up to you as the sponsor to make sure the new member identifies you as his/her membership sponsor in order for you to receive credit. At the end of the 2006-07 season, sponsor credits will be reconciled and member sponsors will be notified of their award level. All incentives and contest awards will be redeemed to sponsors during the 2007-08 season.

Lots of prizes and awards for Individual Members!
1) Every member that sponsors 3 or more members gets a SnowPro mention plus PSIA-E/AASI promo pak or premium item.

2) Top FIVE producers in EACH REGION gets $100 “ed bucks” credit plus promo pak or premium item. Must have minimum of SEVEN new members to qualify.

3) Anyone bringing in 10 or more members qualifies for GRAND PRIZE and FIRST PRIZE drawing plus gets SnowPro mention, $50 in pro shop credit and promo pak or premium item.
post #19 of 28
Volklskier1,

I guess this answers the question of whether or not you are still a member of PSIA-E. I got the same email today. I'd say that someone with some marketing experience is having a little influence in the division. Despite PSIA-E already having over 11,000 members, there are many working instructors who are not members. As with any professional organization, membership churn is part of the deal. The search for new members is never ending and can always be helped with new ideas. I believe this program was announced in an earlier Snow Pro, so the email is not news. I briefly skimmed it, then filed it, then moved on with my day.

This year, with approximately 150 new instructors added to my resort's staff, I've been approached by several people asking about PSIA/AASI. If I was motivated by money, this kind of a program would incentivize me to be much more active in recruiting these people to join, organizing a level 1 event locally and handholding them through the process vs merely answering questions and doing impromptu coaching sessions. To the extent that other members may get credits for taking on the "active" duties, I am grateful and hope that this program is successful. Personally, I already have much more work to do at my resort than I'm able to perform. As much as I think membership is beneficial for some people, I don't have the time or energy to add "actively selling PSIA" to the tasks that I perform. I prefer to sell the benefits of membership by demonstrating by my skiing, riding and teaching skills on the job and helping others to become better pros. I have enough trouble supporting the people who are already sold on the idea.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
It's no wonder PSIA is in the state it is:

From Ray Allard in his opening in the latest PSIA mag:

"Upon reflecting recently about what makes PSIA-AASI such a strong force in the snowsports industry,......"


Is this serious? PSIA is a strong force? :
That quote didn't really concern me as much as a little bit of snobbery that seems to be creeping into The Professional Skier.

Chris Kastner (Demo team member) introduces a picture in this way:

"When you look at a photo of a World Cup ski racer, or, say, a member of the PSIA Alpine Team such as myself demonstrating upper level skills . . ."

Mark Weinberger writes this paragraph:

"While working with my weekly advanced ski group last season, one of my students made an astute observation. He and others pointed out that whenever I take off from a position in which my skis are facing across the hill, both skis turn at the same time. According to students, I didn't stem, step, or hesitate as I turned my boards downhill. While I always paid attention to doing the cleanest demos possible, I sure didn't expect my class to notice something that seemed so insignificant."


I kind of get the idea that Kastner made his comment in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, but Weinberger's tale about how his students were so enamored with his skiing really didn't add anything to the article. Both comments add to the "People Say I'm Awesome" and "Peons, Stand In Awe" sense that I get when I read the articles in the magazine. It already contains articles where the author talks up instructors (What makes 'em great), Instructors shouldn't feel the need to talk up themselves. (I mean, I talk up myself all the time, but only in anonymous forums, not within articles with my name on them).

The articles seem benign, though, compared to the letters:

Pierre Bustanoby writes a letter to complain about a Fischer ad and mentions:

"Chris Fellows writes a good but misplaced piece and appears to ski beautifully, but it seems pretty irresponsible for a family man and educator to be pictured extreme skiing without a helmet. I guess it's kind of hard to be lookin' good in a helmet."

Finally, Steve Miller (probably not the guy with the band) writes in to complain:

"I do object to steel rails, which represent the absurd intrusion of skateboard practice and "culture" into the realm of snow. The resources required to build and maintain terrain parks could always be better used elsewhere, and at my home area a terrain park will deprive me of a favorite teaching run."

C'mon, guys, lighten up. One of the biggest problems I see with PSIA is that so many people take themselves so seriously. I quote Aspen Extreme: "We're teaching people to slide down hills with sticks on their feet, not curing cancer". Complaining about people wearing helmets? Lamenting the influence of "Skateboard Culture"? Seriously now guys, what did those people do to you? I'm glad the magazine took the bull by the horns and followed Mr. Miller's letter with a cover story on Terrain Park teaching methods. Who knows? Maybe later we'll see Steve Miller in the terrain park, learning to "Fly like an Eagle".
post #21 of 28
volklskier1-

I see that you have conveniently allowed this thread to slip to the bottom of the page without answering any of the very direct questions asked of you...

Is this your style, state some trash, then run away and hide?

I would like to hear your replies to the questions Fox and I asked...

That is, if you have any answers... or the sand to face up to your own line of questioning!
post #22 of 28
A great skier is a great skier regardless of the affiliation.

IMHO, PSIA fosters better communication of skiing technique, hence a part of the solution but also part of the problem.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro View Post
volklskier1-

I see that you have conveniently allowed this thread to slip to the bottom of the page without answering any of the very direct questions asked of you...

Is this your style, state some trash, then run away and hide?

I would like to hear your replies to the questions Fox and I asked...

That is, if you have any answers... or the sand to face up to your own line of questioning!
I didn't run away and hide. I's hard skiing all day and then writing about it. It's also hard to wadw through all the nonsense here.

I didn't realize that posting a direct quote from our leader was "State some trash"

I'm not interested in contributing to help change PSIA. It's become obsolete. I would much rather support HH or Epic or anyone else to set up alternatives that cause a real tipping point to be reached that really changes instruction in this country.

Ski school monopolies on leased forest service land should be broken now and work visas for uncertified instructors need to be stopped.
post #24 of 28
OK, since you're not interested in trying to change the PSIA, can you tell me what is wrong with it, and why has it become like that?

If the problem is just that it's obsolete, at what point did it become obsolete? Why?
What has replaced it?
What is the shelf life of the replacement?
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
..........

Ski school monopolies on leased forest service land should be broken now and work visas for uncertified instructors need to be stopped.
Well on this I agree.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1
..........

Ski school monopolies on leased forest service land should be broken now



I interviewed a Colorado Forest Service "regulator" on this topic. His opinion was that the competition of different resorts was sufficient to not consider a single school a monopoly. He was however, very open to discussing the topic and listening to different opinions. I had called him seeking information on the freelance debate. If you want a change of policy, the people implementing the policy are willing to discuss it with you. The Forest Service goes to great lengths to get citizen input into their policymaking process. but you still have to be active on your part to get your opinions heard.
post #27 of 28
volklskier1,

Quote:
work visas for uncertified instructors need to be stopped.
This is not a job or mission of PSIA. Students from other countries work at many resorts and fill the jobs that the local population either doesn't want or can't fill. This is b/c it is too costly for locals to live in a resort town and work for minimum wage, or don't have the work ethic to take these jobs.
At my resort, many of the older seasoned instructors won't do the age 4 to 7 childrens program when needed, so the SSD has hired 4 students to fill that void. I don't see it as taking work from anyone b/c many of the staff doesn't want it. Some of the foriegn students have actually become PSIA members and earned their LI to take back to their country b/c it is recognised by their ski schools as a valid certification.

PSIA cares very much about their members sence they represent the origanization, resort and the ski industry. Many of it's members have (and are) brought to the origanization ideas that have taken instruction to a level that is envied by many countries.

RW
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Ski school monopolies on leased forest service land should be broken now ...
The inclusion of ski instruction in Forest Service leases only reflects the industry standard practice. It allows lessees to follow the same business model as the vast majority US resorts. If the USFS changed its leasing policy, the value of leases (and the revenue) would be reduced.
The so-called "monopoly" doesn't harm instruction at all. There are premium programs all over the country all season long. Some are run by the resort schools, but many are not. It may be true that if you randomly show up for a lesson, the quality is pretty random; but if put in the effort, and schedule in advance, it's easy to find a program that meets your needs. Some of those programs are pricey, but others (especially early season) can be cheaper than a regular ski school.
I'd rather see them break the monopoly on the food service. That would improve my experience more.

BK
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