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THE SNOW LIFE


AN INSPIRATIONAL SEASON OF WATCHING THE LEARNING CONNECTION COME TO LIFE


W By Nicholas Herrin, PSIA-AASI Chief Executive Officer


hen the PSIA-AASI National Team introduced the Learning Connection at Interski 2015 – with its empha- sis on blending technical, teaching, and people skills to


give students an exceptional learning experience – I didn’t realize One group member told me how amazed he


just how impactful this approach to teach- ing could be. Now, having seen the Learning Connection woven so effectively into the new Teaching Snowsports Manual and applied in numerous clinics, I’m truly impressed. I can’t think of a stronger educational focus for finding new ways to connect with and inspire whoever you’re teaching. Our national team and other educational


leaders across the country are committed to delivering contemporary teaching methods to members and the industry, and after attending various educational events this winter I believe that is exactly what we’re doing. In embracing the Learning Connection, we’re continuing to improve the way we deliver snowsports to the general consumer, now and for years to come.


DIVISION EVENTS CEMENT CONNECTIONS


At Eastern Division’s Snowsports School Management Seminar, I skied up to a group deeply engaged in a conversation with PSIA Alpine Team member Matt Boyd about using the Alpine Skiing Fundamentals to enhance their staff’s training experiences. During the following run, I watched Matt truly bring the Learning Connection to life, showing them how to apply it with their instructors and inspire leaders from across the East Coast to incorporate it into their schools. After experi- encing the exceptional product Matt delivered on snow, it was even more exciting to listen to this First Chair podcast, where he goes into more depth about the Learning Connection: tiny.cc/LearningConnectionPodcast. At Central Division’s Snowsports Direc-


tors’ Seminar, Executive Director Ron Shepard and his leadership team put together an exceptional educational event, with perfect snow as icing on the cake. I had the pleasure of working with PSIA Alpine Team member Stephen Helfenbein and, on the last day, our two groups found ourselves lapping a chair that just opened to fresh powder. Listening to his group laugh on the chairlift and banter back and forth, it was easy to recognize the incredible job Stephen does in creating connections.


10 | 32 DEGREES • SPRING 2019


was by Stephen’s ability to instantly establish a level of trust to provide the perfect learn- ing environment for everyone involved. That assessment of his people skills made me want to continue to find ways for all members to experience a clinic with Stephen and the other equally talented educational leaders who are a part of PSIA-AASI. In the short-term, I’ll have to settle for listening to Stephen’s 4-part podcast series on preparing for the certification process. (See the webpost at tiny.cc/FiveCertTips – for links to thoseand as well as more input on the Learn- ing Connection from national team members.)


BEING A STUDENT AGAIN… WITH GLEN PLAKE


At my third stop, I had the chance to meet with Western Division Executive Director Kristi Prochazka and some members of her strategic taskforces. Walking into the North- star California Starbucks to meet everyone, I found out legendary freeskier – and PSIA- certified Alpine Level III instructor – Glen Plake was going to join us for the morning. Once on snow, I was enjoying this special opportunity to ski with and discuss industry trends with the group when, out of nowhere, Glen broke out a few freestyle ballet moves that honestly made my head spin. A spontaneous lesson broke out, where he took me through a short progression for a


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Legendary freestyle skier – and PSIA-certi- fiHG /HYHO ΖΖΖ LQVWUXFWRU Ȃ *OHQ 3ODNH ULJKW turns PSIA-AASI CEO Nicholas Herrin into a student again.


move he called “The Shea.” I instantly turned into a student again, laughing at his analogies and falling when trying the new move. I was entranced by Glen’s ability to connect with me as a student and clearly roll out a lesson plan connecting The Shea to the Skills Concept and how to manipulate specific skills to perform the move. While blown away to be getting a lesson from Glen Plake, I also realized how perfectly he employed the Learning Connec- tion. Check out this short clip Kristi took of the lesson in action: tiny.cc/hgms2y. Remembering to be a student is key to


our profession and our personal growth as instructors. These experiences with Matt, Stephen, and Glen left me wanting more. I’m looking forward to taking more clinics from a diverse pool of educators in every division. I encourage you to explore all that our clinics leaders have to offer. In the end, you’ll be learning… and you’ll be making the connections at the heart of PSIA-AASI’s guiding framework for lessons.


RAVE REVIEWS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN CLINIC WITH HORST ABRAHAM


Inspiring clinics, by the way, don’t always happen on snow. I recently received a packet of letters from members who participated in Rocky Mountain Division’s indoor presen- WDWLRQ RQ H[SHULHQWLDO OHDUQLQJ OHG E\ QRQH RWKHU WKDQ 8 6 6NL +DOO RI )DPH PHPEHU (and former PSIA education director) Horst Abraham. As shown by the following TXRWHV +RUVW LV DQRWKHU HGXFDWRU DGHSW DW PDNLQJ FRQQHFWLRQV


“Most Important clinic in my 11-year, full-time ski instruction career.”


ȊΖW ZDV P\ fiUVW ȆRff VQRZȆ FOLQLF LQ RYHU \HDUV DV D PHPEHU 7KLV HYHQW ZDV H\H opening, mind-expanding, and left me with a palpable excitement for my personal upcoming ski season, as well as for the direction our profession is heading.”


“These two days were some of the most valuable I can recall in 20 years of taking clinics.”


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VIEW VIDEO


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