New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Instructor courses

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I did a ski season in Meribel this season. Whilst I was there i got my BASI 2 ski instructors qualification. I'm writing just to say how much i recommend you doing a course for yourselves. If any of you have any questions regarding my experiences then please keep posting!!

Cheers for your time

James
post #2 of 29
One of the best ways of learning about and improving your own skiing is learning to share your skills with others.  Instructor training programs are among the best lessons you can take.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Have you done one yourself?
post #4 of 29
Click on the image beside my name.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

One of the best ways of learning about and improving your own skiing is learning to share your skills with others.  Instructor training programs are among the best lessons you can take.
A much better way would be to take a lesson (or preferably lessons). Then spend any spare time practicing your skiils. Unless you are already an expert, you have no business being an instructor.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post



A much better way would be to take a lesson (or preferably lessons). Then spend any spare time practicing your skiils. Unless you are already an expert, you have no business being an instructor.
 

The truth is that US ski instruction is organized around enthusiastic intermediate skiers giving the beginner lesson.  Higher level lessons are almost all specialized programs, and among those, instructor training courses are pretty good for intermediate skiers, conducted by the best instructors at the best time of the year for coaching, and cheap as well.

BK 
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
What qualification is that? Where does that allow you to teach?
post #8 of 29
If you're asking me, James, that's a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) LIII 40-year pin.

In the USofA, there is no licensing of instructors, so there is no "allow" connected with teaching. 

The certification (LIII) makes it easier to obtain employment, but ski areas here may hire and assign instructing tasks to whomever they wish with whatever qualifications they want to require. 

Earning the LIII requires many hours of clinic participation. Keeping current takes even more.  Despite my having had it these many years, I spent more than 100 hours in on-snow training last season, most of it led by PSIA trainers and examiners.  Few resorts offer that much training.  In the past, I'd be lucky to get 20 hours.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

If you're asking me, James, that's a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) LIII 40-year pin.

In the USofA, there is no licensing of instructors, so there is no "allow" connected with teaching. 

The certification (LIII) makes it easier to obtain employment, but ski areas here may hire and assign instructing tasks to whomever they wish with whatever qualifications they want to require. 

Earning the LIII requires many hours of clinic participation. Keeping current takes even more.  Despite my having had it these many years, I spent more than 100 hours in on-snow training last season, most of it led by PSIA trainers and examiners.  Few resorts offer that much training.  In the past, I'd be lucky to get 20 hours.
In other words, that pin makes him an instructor idol, close to god status. And I'm not being sarcastic. When one of the instructors on my staff got one, we all sat around the supervisor room just ogling the pin, with plenty of 'oooh's and aaah's'. Even the guys with their own 20 and 30 year pins were drooling. It makes those of us lowly LI's hang our head in shame.
post #10 of 29
Well put freeski 919!  Kneale's a legend! :D
post #11 of 29
It also sounds like something needs to be made clear about 'instructor courses'. These aren't courses that turn out instant instructors, at least none that I've come in contact with are. PSIA/AASI, CSIA (Canada), and APSI (Australia) all require anybody going for a certification to already be an active instructor at one of their member snowsports schools, and to have a certain number of instruction hours before you can be eligible to test for a certification. Your school's manager also needs to sign off your testing eligiblity. One can't walk in off the street and say 'I'd like to take an instructor course', and walk out a week later with a Level 1 PSIA certification. Completing a certification is the culmination of months to years of instruction and training, not a weekend course anybody can walk into and finish.
post #12 of 29
 James, do you need to be an instructor to take BASI courses?

Kneale, I didn't realize you were at Breck now. That's great, enjoy the mountain and snow!
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post



In other words, that pin makes him an instructor idol, close to god status. And I'm not being sarcastic. When one of the instructors on my staff got one, we all sat around the supervisor room just ogling the pin, with plenty of 'oooh's and aaah's'. Even the guys with their own 20 and 30 year pins were drooling. It makes those of us lowly LI's hang our head in shame.


 


Absolutely nothing godlike.

Remember that to get a 40-year pin you have to have spent 40 years at it, on top of having already achieved adulthood (age 29 in my case) when starting. 

Those years mean a maturity that both reduces your physical abilities and mutes any self-aggrandizement you might be tempted to apply.

However, knowledge is power!  My skiing may be less athletic but it still improves every season, even if my bravery doesn't.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

It also sounds like something needs to be made clear about 'instructor courses'.


One can't walk in off the street and say 'I'd like to take an instructor course', and walk out a week later with a Level 1 PSIA certification.
Uh...yes you can.  PSIA/CSIA etc all do that.  It is called Level 1.

You are right thou, APSI and NZSIA for example require you to first take a "Hiring Clinic", this is equivalent (in theory at least) to L1.  You then work the season, "apprentcing" while taking the L1 course over the season, then you take the exams at the end of the season.

In reality thou, there is little difference in the calibre, a PSIA/CSIA L1 that worked a part time seaon, would be the same as a APSI L1.
post #15 of 29
A Level 1 pass is not a sure thing.  I've seen people screw up a Level 1 exam.  It's hard to do, but you can screw the pooch.  They came in expecting to pass, had not prepared, did not know how to teach, couldn't ski at the level expected, and were cocky and didn't listen when they should have been.  There is a minimum that is expected.  If you don't meet the minimum, you don't make it.  Passing the exam is not a sure thing.  (I was talking to a Nordic Downhill examiner.  He had a Level 1 Alpine instructor come into a Nordic Downhill Level 1 exam who had never been on Telemark skis before.  The guy rented teles to take the exam.  He didn't know the first thing about a Telemark turn.  He got irate because he did not pass the exam.  )

I know a number of PSIA examiners.  During a Level 1 exam most of them will get a good feeling for the group right from the start.  (They should, they're examiners.)  If the group is made up of knowledgeable people that will pass, the examiner will get the examination portion over quickly and shift into a teaching/clinic mode.  If there are people that need more time being examined, the examiner takes the time required to give those individuals a chance to pass.

Level 2 and 3 exams are entirely different.  You better dang well come ready or else.  No quarter is given if you don't know your stuff.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post



Uh...yes you can.  PSIA/CSIA etc all do that.  It is called Level 1.

You are right thou, APSI and NZSIA for example require you to first take a "Hiring Clinic", this is equivalent (in theory at least) to L1.  You then work the season, "apprentcing" while taking the L1 course over the season, then you take the exams at the end of the season.

In reality thou, there is little difference in the calibre, a PSIA/CSIA L1 that worked a part time seaon, would be the same as a APSI L1.

 

Actually, no you can't. In PSIA, you must be employed at a member school (which, to get hired anywhere, you need to do a hiring clinic), be signed off by your school's manager, and have 25 hours of teaching completed before you can go for your level 1. So, just like I said, a random member of the public can't walk in off the street and be eligible to take the level 1 exam.
post #17 of 29
I've witnessed something similar to T-Square's story. Alpinos will come thinking they can ski. I tried to tell the kid to at least try to do what the examiner was asking him to do, but he would make parallel turns instead after seeing some of the others doing it. The others had already displayed proficiency, but the kid needed to show some effort. He had much better skills generally speaking than the Marine who had only trained with the military, I forgot the name of the program, some kind of mountain warfare school, where they might have used moonboots. I don't remember, but he might not have been on modern telemark gear before. 

For the teaching part, at the examiner's request, he taught the progression that the Marines use to teach skiing, which was very interesting. To make a short story long, the Marine kept fighting, trying, improving. He passed, the kid did not. A funny thing, an elderly woman who already had her level one insisted that she receive an evaluation anyway. He gave her failing marks. She had been fake-a-marking and not seeming to attempt to change that, despite the coach's and the rest of our encouragements.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post




Actually, no you can't. In PSIA, you must be employed at a member school (which, to get hired anywhere, you need to do a hiring clinic), be signed off by your school's manager, and have 25 hours of teaching completed before you can go for your level 1. So, just like I said, a random member of the public can't walk in off the street and be eligible to take the level 1 exam.

Maybe he is thinking about the "registered member" level. I don't know what is required to take that, but it might be open to the public, for people interested in ski teaching.
post #19 of 29
I know they've changed the process of joining PSIA since I joined, so I'm not 100% sure what the requirements are. But when I joined, and I'm pretty sure it's still the case, you need to be an active instructor at a member school in order to join PSIA. After all, it's Professional Ski Instructors of America.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

After all, it's Professional Ski Instructors of America.


I always thought it stood for Personal Style Isn't Allowed

-nerd
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Absolutely nothing godlike.

Remember that to get a 40-year pin you have to have spent 40 years at it, on top of having already achieved adulthood (age 29 in my case) when starting. 

Those years mean a maturity that both reduces your physical abilities and mutes any self-aggrandizement you might be tempted to apply.

However, knowledge is power!  My skiing may be less athletic but it still improves every season, even if my bravery doesn't.

Darn!  I drank beer with god at the Dillon Dam Brewery last fall and didn't get to see the pin.    I'm still working on upgrading my pin. 

I do know of an instructor at another resort who has twice failed their AASI Cert 1 riding tasks.  It isn't for lack of trying or lack of enthusiasm.  She just doesn't look like she's having fun on a board.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_nerd13 View Post


I always thought it stood for Personal Style Isn't Allowed

-nerd
I get the impression they have an undue interest in the contents of my wallet.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post




Maybe he is thinking about the "registered member" level. I don't know what is required to take that, but it might be open to the public, for people interested in ski teaching.

Registered is just that, you have registered with PSIA.  No exam, nothing.  You get a membership pin only.  However, since you are now a member you can attend PSIA training clinics at the member rate, get the PSIA magazines, and you get the PSIA catalog so you can buy training material easier.

Its a good way to introduce people to PSIA and all they have to offer people who want to start on the pathway to becoming better instructors.
post #24 of 29
One of my locker room friends, a LII alpine instructor with maybe 10 years teaching full-time, took up boarding a couple seasons ago and decided to try for LI last spring.  He spent all his time off last season taking boarding clinics and practicing.  He was told he was one of the best instructors the board examiner had seen, but he didn't pass for LI because he couldn't do two of the required elements, neither of which would be part of a beginner board lesson.

PSIA is getting tougher.
post #25 of 29
 Damn, I'm glad I got my level one nordic DH and AASI before they had standards. No way I'm going for level two.
post #26 of 29
 I thought PSIA stood for Probably Still Inside Arguing.
post #27 of 29
That is not at all fair.  PSIA has never limited the arguing to inside.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

That is not at all fair.  PSIA has never limited the arguing to inside.

Yeah but sometimes it's too cold to stay outside and argue.  Better to hit the mahogany reef inside the pub.
post #29 of 29
Ahhhh - it's so nice to see the "usual" "Seinfeld type" discussions returning to Epic. Must be time to check the basement for ski swap fodder.

In limited situations it has been possible for people without teaching experience or a job to get "PSIA" level 1 cert. AASI-E experimented with "intro" programs that offered L1 cert to non-employed folks. The idea was to take a 5 day clinic that nominally had 3 days of training and 2 days of cert. The reality was that it was 5 days of training and if you "had it" at the end, they said you had passed. The idea was to "create" more snowboard pros for resorts to hire. In Canada, the CSIA level one certification is intended for prospective pros who don't have a job yet, but like the US, prior certification is generally not required as condition of employment.

When I took my level 1 exam you had to be employed as an instructor and the examiner just happened to be our assistant director. He already knew all of us (how we skied and how we taught) and knew we would pass before the exam started. We just spent 2 days skiing with him and having a lot of fun. Oh yeah - we got "tested" and also learned some stuff too. But there was no pressure and there was no doubt about all of us passing. That was a long time ago. Partly as a response to low level 2 pass rates, PSIA-E made the level 1 exam tougher. The idea was to give candidates a dry run at the kinds of things they would be asked to do in a level 2 exam. Still, the last I checked, the pass rate was around 95%. The primary purpose of the level 1 exam is to welcome pros into the organization. The primary purpose of PSIA level 2 certification is to focus skill development for ski pros.

A PSIA level 1 certification means that the pro is qualified to teach beginners. A successful candidate must be an effective communicator, manage groups safely, demonstrate beginner skiing movements without significant flaws, be able to comfortably ski on expert runs, demonstrate some technical knowledge of the sport and demonstrate guest service skills. The difference between level 1 and level 2 is primarily intensity. A level one has the outline of everything where a level 2 has all of the areas filled in with detail. Nominally, a level 2 certification means that the pro is qualified to teach through the intermediate level. At one level the practical difference is the difference between a good lesson and very good/great lesson. At another level a level 2 certification displays really smooth teaching and skiing where a level 1 displays "some" awkwardness.

Here's a highway analogy to describe certification. On the road to becoming a good instructor, certification is only an organization saying that one has passed a certain mile marker. Many pros become great instructors without an organization watching them pass mile markers or even by taking different roads altogether. Once a pro has certification there's no saying if they have stopped at the mile marker, backed up, got off on an exit or moved forward after the certification was achieved. But the intent and the assumption is that certified pros keep moving forward. And just because an organization certifies that a pro has passed a certain mile marker does not mean that the pro has not also already passed subsequent markers. Once certification has been achieved, one can comfrotably know that a pro has at least been past that mile marker on the highway. One benefit of the certification process is that it provides a road map for how to become a better instructor.  Not everyone needs a map, but having a map can make the journey quicker and more enjoyable.

James - can you tell us more about your certification experience? Was it easy or hard? How much extra work did you do to prepare for it? Did the certification process make you a better instructor or skier? Will certification have any tangible benefits for you?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching