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CSIA Level 1 - What should I do to prepare for it?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've skiied four years now, but I've only ever taken lessons at the beginning. The rest I learned either in sessions (where you don't get a lot of instruction, but a lot of practice with someone who occasionally gives pointers) and by myself.

I can parallel competently (like the CSIA site said that I should be able to do). I can ski down a black hill without much trouble.
 
I did have an instructor one time tell me to distribute my weight evenly, but isn't the point of parallel turning to shift weight from one ski to another?

What else should I do to prepare for it? I don't think I can afford a one-on-one lesson, but I can definitely go into another group lesson or something. Is it hard?

Also, what would be a good way to practice my parallels a bit more? How can I keep my skis together a bit more closer without losing balance? I find that I can keep my skis close together when I'm skiing on an easy run, but once it gets steep, I start to lose that closeness.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 7
Go to your local hill, tell them what your up to and that you are looking for a group lesson at a high end. Chances are if you go during the weekday YOU will be the only person looking for that lesson. You get a private for the cost of a group usually. The instructors arnt busy anyway. If you are in the Barrie area you might go to Snow Vally and ask Rob Butler what he thinks, he is very aprochable and loves the sport. Dont pester just mention to him what you are looking for and he will help im sure ( Sorry Rob LOL)
post #3 of 7
Was just thinking Blue mountain has a program for $199 a year. You actually go and assist the certified instructors and get lots of lessons yourself from the instructors.( you must commit a minimum of 1 day a weekend for the season of group lessons) In return you get a seasons pass to Blue and they will assist you in getting ready for the LVL1. also if you take the LVL1 course at Blue you save the monies on the lift tickets for the course. If you pass and get your LVL1 the resort looks at hiring from within first for next year.
All in all its a fantastic deal.
If Collingwood is too far, you may again ask about somthing similar at your local hill.
Good luck and have fun with it. ( believe it or not it can be stressful on course)
post #4 of 7

The regional Level 1 programs have assessment days which will tell what you should be working on to prepare for the course.

If you're in Ontario, there's one coming up at Mt.St.Louis on Sat, Feb 20.
http://www.csiaontario.com/certification/level_1/e_prep/

If you're in Alberta, call call 1 888 777-0444 for dates & locations.
http://www.snowproab.com/skipro/levelone_dates.htm

The current CSIA Level 1 focus is very consciously towards preparing new instructors for working confidently and effectively with beginner skiers, so high-end ski improvement is not necessarily what you want for L1 prep.

post #5 of 7

Find a mirror and breathe on it. If it fogs, you're good to go.



Actually, you can use that mirror to check your smile. An honest sincere smile will go a long way towards making a good impression of your teaching skills.

 

Have you read the level 1 guide? That's got some clues about where your skiing skills should be. Frankly, without lessons you should not expect to be able to improve much to prepare for the course. But CSIA Level 1 is a course, they expect to be teaching you how to ski. Be prepared to learn and do what they ask you to do. From your description, if you're not at the required skill level, it is likely that they will teach you up to the required level during the course.

You can practice your teaching skills. Pick a simple skill (any skill - e.g. juggling) and teach it to 5 friends in 5 minutes. Include an introduction, description, demonstration, practice, feedback and summary. Squeeze that all into 5 minutes and you'll be ready to impress when they ask you to practice teach some skiing tasks.

post #6 of 7
Maybe the hardest part of getting your PSIA 1 is the requirement that you have x amount of hours teaching?  And many people (like myself) wouldnt feel comfortable teaching unless I had a psia 1.  I was told by Shasta ski park that all the skiing skills you need is to be able to paralell on marmot chair, which is low intermediate.  Heck, even Shasta toughest run is high intermediate most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Find a mirror and breathe on it. If it fogs, you're good to go.



Actually, you can use that mirror to check your smile. An honest sincere smile will go a long way towards making a good impression of your teaching skills.

 

Have you read the level 1 guide? That's got some clues about where your skiing skills should be. Frankly, without lessons you should not expect to be able to improve much to prepare for the course. But CSIA Level 1 is a course, they expect to be teaching you how to ski. Be prepared to learn and do what they ask you to do. From your description, if you're not at the required skill level, it is likely that they will teach you up to the required level during the course.

You can practice your teaching skills. Pick a simple skill (any skill - e.g. juggling) and teach it to 5 friends in 5 minutes. Include an introduction, description, demonstration, practice, feedback and summary. Squeeze that all into 5 minutes and you'll be ready to impress when they ask you to practice teach some skiing tasks.

post #7 of 7

In Canada, the theory is that a level 1 cert means that you are ready to begin teaching. In the US, a level 1 cert means that you can teach a quality beginner lesson. In the US, the presumption is that you get trained how to teach by a resort, they hire you, you continue your training and you get real world experience to practice the skills they have taught you. Thousands of people do this every year. It's not hard to meet the hours of experience requirement. The requirement in the Eastern division is 50 hours of combined training and teaching experience. Most new pros are going to get at least 20 hours of training before they even teach their first lesson. Even part time pros should be able to meet this requirement early enough in their first season to take the cert exam in their first season. Whether you learn to teach skiing via a national program (e.g. CSIA) or a local program (e.g. Vail ski school) won't make much of a difference for your first 30 hours of teaching.

It can be very helpful to think of instructor certification as a road map for improvement instead of proof of level of teaching and skiing ability. Many excellent skiers and teachers either never take or fail certification exams. On the long road to becoming a better instructor, certification is just someone else's observation that you've passed a certain milestone. The intent is that you stay on the road after you get your cert. In Canada they want all new pros to see the long road ahead before they leave home. In the US, most of the pros who aren't serious about teaching never get a map because they never leave their home town (e.g. teach part time and/or only for a few seasons). The ones who are serious get the map when they are ready to leave town.

From far away, it does not matter much whether you are at the milestone or slightly before it or beyond it when PSIA or CSIA says you're certified. The pins they give you don't make you ski or teach any better. But they do represent your commitment to improve and a rough approximation of what you've accomplished in your teaching career. At the moment of certification a PSIA level 1 cert means slightly more than a CSIA level 1 cert if only because more work is required for the PSIA 1. But both mean that you have only begun your ski instructing "trip" and that you are following a path mapped out by highly successful instructors. At the end of the first season of teaching, there is not much difference between a CSIA level 1 and a PSIA level 1.

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