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How do I get PSIA Certified without a ski school? - Page 2

post #31 of 49
Howdy, just dropped in from Hyperchangecafe. There are a lot of familiar names in this forum.

Rick H
post #32 of 49
Rick H
Welcome to Epic ski.
I just chatted via email with JR. It's good to have some other opinions/voices. It also looks like JohnH started posting over there too. Pierre has been a great asset. I suspect everywhere he goes as I read some of his posts over there.
Again, welcome.
BTW, Have fun in Austria <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 02, 2001).]</FONT>
post #33 of 49
Maybe we can just get JR to come over here. I find Buzzword a real pain. And for the last couple of hours, it seems to have been down. The only other concern I have with Buzz, is that I searched over the list of messages and was only able to count a total of 10 or 11 people who have posted to it. Not a big audience. Sure, there may be lurkers, but that does us no good if no one is willing to provide input. I'd rather see something like a forum or topics here that we can use for those discussions, with the caveat that it may be too technical/managerial for some. But so what? I wonder if AC would be accomodating?
post #34 of 49
I like the idea!
post #35 of 49
Love it!
post #36 of 49
Well, looks like we've got two customers! I like Pierre's idea of people getting feedback for future development. It would be a good way for people to put some structure to their learning.

I'm not sure if there'd be any point in people who are not teaching getting level 1 though. The skiing part isn't really hard at all and wouldn't indicate that much. For someone to say "I can ski up to level 1 standards" would mean little to anyone who knows.

Level 2 would have some meaning but really only Level 3 skiing has much meaning. The real meaning in level 3 though is the teaching/movement analysis, you've really got to know your stuff. Perhaps these "exams" or clinics could be called something else though to disassociate them from teaching.
I was going to go for level 2 this year but I never got the prereq in. Didn't feel all that comfortable with the teaching part anyway. I'd signed up and paid for a 3 day prereq at Killington. But ya see there was this race clinic... at the same time at a different mt. I called to see if I could skip the first day and still get credit. That would give me one day racing, and then on to the other. But after the first day of severe slalom thrashing with big breakthroughs there was no way I was going to miss the gs the next day! Turned out well, because those two days were big. I traded talking mumbo jumbo and demos for ski improvement. (Though I still would have learned alot there). Tried to sign up for prereq at Whiteface but it was already full. Oh well, I feel better about doing it next year anyway.

Won't next year change level 1 so you become like an "associate" first, then go on to take the exam? Doing this would give access to clinics.
post #37 of 49
But then again, aren't d-chan and I somewhat unique in this way? Even my own fitness colleagues, most of whom are far more advanced skiers than I am, are not quite as interested in the biomechanics and nuances of skiing.
That being said, there are many aspects of this idea that intrigue me. Many of the courses that are offered by the PSIA have a direct relationship with the kind of stuff I teach. Courses on teaching women, dealing with fear, and movement analysis are very relevent, especially living in a college town with a few local ski teams. Perhaps marketing this type of program to physical therapists and athletic trainers would be profitable.
Tog, I was interested in what you said about your choice involving the racing clinic vs. the certification clinic. In a way, its a shame that was a matter of choice. I'm thinking about that stunning piece you wrote to me about gates. Clearly the racing clinic enhanced your teaching skills, regardless if they helped you earn a higher level, vis a vis level # of your certification.
But for those of us whose advocation is also our vocation, that always becomes an issue.

Prior to learning to ski, I would spend most of my free time on weekends at professional development workshops. I took so many of these, that my students suffered from information overload. Now my season is divided. In the winter, I spend time learning more about the things I do for enjoyment {skiing} and in the spring and summer, I learn about the things that I enjoy teaching.

But there is an overlap. By being a student, I learn more about being a teacher.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #38 of 49
I'm pretty much like Lisamarie and dchan- I'm fascinated by the focal points in skiing and the relationship therein (the hip bone's connected to the...). I'm probably nowhere near their level of comprehension, but it still is a subject of great interest to me whenever a small suggestion by an instructor turns into a major breakthrough.

I find that when I ask instructors to rate me according to the PSIA scale, they tend to talk around the subject. One resort's 8 may be another resort's 6, because of varying terrain difficulty and conditions. It could be they feel that an honest assessment of my skiing skills might discourage me or sour me on the experience. There is some validity there, as egos may be more fragile at the higher levels. However, how do you account for the differing standards from a major resort to a small one? Do I have a greater chance of success on a Mt Trashmore than on a Telluride, even though my core skills are the same on both?

With the wife's blessing, I hope to start instructing part-time next season. Perhaps I'll find more questions than answers. I sure hope so...
post #39 of 49
LOL, Mike! I may have the greater "understanding", but you certainly have the greater skills.
I know what you mean about the ski school levels; mine genrally ranges from 4-6, depending on the school. If I went to Whistler again, I'd probably still do 3, because the level 4s do bumps on the first day.
I realized this year, that if I had done the majority of my skiing at Bretton Woods and Okemo, by now I'd think I was really good. It really does depend on the terrain. Jay Peak, which is more challenging than most places in the east, has me at a level 4, while the last time I was at Bretton, the mellowest {albeit most beautiful} terrain in the east, I was told that my next class should be a level 6.
Keep in mind that if you teach, whatever resort you are at is where, to state the obvious, you'll be doing most of your skiing. So you may be able to achieve a higher level at a more "mellow" resort, but will that be where you want to ski for most of the season?
Although I'm not an instructor, my guess is that anyone's progress through the various teaching levels is not solely based on how well you ski, but how well you can TEACH specific skills. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm only guessing. Of course, skill level is essential, in order to demonstrate well. For myself, I find that I can give a pointer to someone who skis infinitely better than I do, buts thats only because I have a trained "teachers eye" for movement.

In reading many of your posts, it sounds like you are a natural athlete. Quite possibly, your teaching challenge may be to find ways to communicate the essence of skiing to people to whom the sport does not come so naturally.
Good Luck

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #40 of 49

I found that message on hyperexchange. It does seem like an interesting idea. I don't think it would have a huge market, but it might attract the egos of enough people to make it work. There definitely does not seem to be any negative to it (from a ski school standpoint). It would just be a scheduled event at the ski area, which people would sign up and pay for. So, to the ski area, it would be treated as a lesson, and bring in income. The one drawback I see would be "passing" and "failing" people. You know how upset cert canditates can get when they don't pass an exam, and sometimes get quite rude to the examiners for not passing them. As if it was something personal. I like the idea, a little better, of grading people with the skill evel (1 through 9), and just making it an evaluation of their skiing. Then, if they meet the criteria of, say, a level 2 or 3 cert, they would be handed their pin and certificate. That way, if someone comes in thinking they are going for the equivalent of a level 3 cert, and they aren't there yet, they would possibkly walk away with a silver pin, a certificate, and the equivalent of a level 2 cert skiing ability, as well as a thorough evaluation (in writing), of their strong and weak aspects.

I do, however, think it should be run in a clinic/exam type of format, asking people to demonstrate specific skills and moves, and that each participant should get in front of at least 2 to 3 "examiners", with outcomes based on a 2 out of 3 basis, as cert exams are.

I think it would feed the competitive nature in people, and would be fun for the instructors/examiners too. Not to mention, it would bring in a few extra bucks for the ski area, and the instructors could get paid pretty well for it too. If you charged $100 per person for 3 full days, then you are bringing in $700- $800 per group, and paying out probably less than $400 (3 six hour days = 18 hours at $22/hr = $400. And that's a lot of pay - I make a lot less than that per hour for teaching).

Good thought! Run it by your SS director, and see if you can do some next season at your ski area. I'll try to do the same. Remember, it doesn't need to be a Nationally or Divisionally sanctioned thing. It can be something you do on your own. Ind if you do it on your own, it gives people a reason to come to your ski school, rather than another ski area.
post #41 of 49
He has a wife, you know. Nalabalana.
post #42 of 49
If Nolobolono is JR, the She would have a husband.

Hyperex is definitely a small group with big opinions... My kind of folk!
post #43 of 49
Miles; What are you talking about?
post #44 of 49
If there is one good thing that would definitely come out of this, its the fact that your students will finally understand and appreciate what goes into being a ski instructor!
Time and again, there will be some "aerobic bimbo" at the front of any class, who loves to tell instructors how to do their jobs, and thinks she is capable of teaching.
Then they try to get certified. If they make it past the exercise physiology and movement analysis, they have to deal with counting and correcting simultaneously, plus giving alignment cues, while staying on the phrase of the music. In general, its humbling.
You guys don't have to deal with staying on musical phrases, but you have these simple challenges, such as keeping people safe and alive!
I sure hope you get at least some of the gratitude you deserve.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lisamarie (edited May 03, 2001).]</FONT>
post #45 of 49

Sounds really good. Do you think you might have a problem with people who get their pins telling instructors how to do their jobs? "See I've got my gold pin and I know what she (the daughter) needs..." etc.

You mean to tell me Jennifer Grey did all that movement analysis, counting/correcting and alingment cues ? I had no idea aerobics was so technical. Mostly women in those classes right? Wearing spandex? hmmmm...maybe I should look into this fitness stuff!

post #46 of 49
I've taught a few kids, whose parents turned out to be instructors, and I have to say, usually they were fine! Once they'd established that they were instructors, and felt that I was paying attention, they would give their opinion but leave it at that.
One of my last privates was a 4 year old, it emerged that both parents had taught at Taos for years. They actually came with us up the chair, exchanged some great SS gossip, then dad went to the black terrain and mum hung around as she was getting the hang of snowboarding. They seemed pretty happy with what I taught the kid, gave me a nice tip and said that if I went for a job at Taos, be sure to mention their names to the Director. Which was nice.
post #47 of 49
No matter what the industry is, there will always be someone who feels they can tell an instructor how to do their jobs. Tog, this is the antithesis of that "culture of learning" thing you spoke about awhile ago.

And yes, if you approached your lovely, spandex clad aerobics instructor, and asked her is she'd like to go out for a drink and discuss alignment and movement analysis, she may surprise you with how much she knows!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #48 of 49

I don't think it will be too much of a problem for a couple of reasons. One - we wouldn't be teaching them to teach, only teaching them to ski better. It's really just a hook to get them into lessons. The only difference is the outcome of the lesson is more focused on thelling the student where they fit in, in ability, to other high-end skiers. Two - Those higher-end skiers taking the lessons, don't want to spend time teaching their kids on the hill. They want to hand the kids to ski school, and go out and have fun on their own.

Pierre - Use video. Free, quick, on hill video analysis is a great hook. Especially if you have fancy computer, such a Neat, that we use, and that they use for golf, tennis, and other movement analysis instruction. You can put the skier's video clip side-by-side with another skier, such as one of your ed-staffers, to show the skier what they are doing right and wrong. If you can get it up on a laptop, on the hill, it's an *instant* hook. You don't need to aks them to come back to the pro room at x o-clock, and they never show up. A lot of those people have never seen themselves on video, and as you know, it's a humbling experience.
post #49 of 49
>>>First, we have a lot of PSIA ed staff and level 3's doing nothing.
Two, we have a lot of junior instructors to work the bugs out with before trying it on the GP.
Three, our present base of high level instruction is totally non existent. Any interest is new business.
Four, we have a large base to draw from. <<<

I hope you succeed in your endeavor to get high level skiers to take instructions at BM/BW.

I really had to grin this past season when an advanced skier told me that he went to a "bigger resort" to take a lesson from a top notch level-3 instructor.

When his instructor found out he was from Cleveland and skied at Boston Mills he asked the guy to say hello to Rick, John and Bob at Boston Mills since they were his examiners when he made his level-3, and then asked why he would come there, when he had all these examiners, more than a half dozen, right in his back yard.

It's all in the perception, and the realization that top skiing talent is plentyful when three million people live within an hour's drive from the hill.

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