By Ed Younglove, PSIA-AASI Board Chair A

s you head into Spring Break, the PSIA-AASI National Team and many members will be immersed in an event- ful scene of another sort – Interski 2019 in Pamporovo, Bulgaria. There, from March 14-19, hundreds of snowsports

instructors from around the world will gather to share their country’s teaching perspectives and innovations. Interski is an extremely worthwhile educational expe- rience for members and an unparalleled collaborative opportunity for the team.

INTERSKI IS INVALUABLE FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION I sometimes hear instructors describe Inter- ski as the Olympics for the world’s premier snowsports instructors. In some ways, that’s an apt description for this quadrennial sport- ing event. After all, it happens every four years and participants do have an oppor- tunity to demonstrate technical skill. But I think that comparison misses Interski’s key attribute as an educational congress. It’s focused much more on the educational aspects of snowsports instruction than on athletic competition. For proof, you need only look to the educational tenets that PSIA-AASI has devel- oped over the decades as a direct result of being involved in Interski. Center Line, the Skills Concept, and the Learning Connec- tion each debuted at Interski before they were refined and incorporated into curricu- lum to guide professional development here at home. Indeed, as former Alpine Demon- stration Team member Carol Levine points out in the accompanying video, participating in Interski helped PSIA turn the American Teaching Method into the American Teach- ing System (ATS). And, as Carol says, “a system is this interactive, galvanizing thing versus just a method.” Put simply, Interski presents a rare opportunity to explore all facets of instruction with leading educators from the other skiing and boarding countries of the world.

PSIA-AASI IS A KEY PLAYER ON THE WORLD STAGE Because it’s an international event attended by the leading educators from most of the world’s skiing and riding countries, PSIA- AASI’s participation at Interski has impacted

4 | 32 DEGREES • SPRING 2019

snowsports instruction worldwide, not just here in the U.S. When the team brought the American Teaching System, with its student-centered focus, to Interski, other countries were focused at the time on a “one-size-fits-all” method of fixed progres- sions for teaching snowsports. Today, every attending country has embraced the concept PSIA pioneered and touts its own “student- centered” approach. Interski’s education focus has become

even more clear in recent Interski events. While team demonstrations of technique are still part of the event, they have taken a backseat to the on-hill clinics and “small lecture” presentations where, in both instances, countries showcase their tech- nical and teaching innovations. And PSIA- AASI’s presentations – on and off the hill – are usually some of the most well attended. This was certainly true at the 2015 Interski I attended in Ushuaia, Argen- tina, where the PSIA-AASI National Team unveiled the Learning Connection.


For the 2015 Interski in Ushuaia, the team focused on great teaching and unveiled the Learning Connection. This became the framework for the new Teaching Snows- ports Manual that the team will share at Pamporovo, with its focus on teaching skills, technical skills, and – true to our student- centered approach – people skills. The desire to build upon the educational takeaways at Interski was what prompted former PSIA-AASI Chairman Eric Sheck- leton to seek and be elected to the position of vice president of the Interski Presidium. Since his election in Ushuaia, Eric has worked hard to muster support from other participating countries for the continued development of snowsports education through greater worldwide collaboration.


MEMBERS WILL BENEFIT GREATLY Interski 2019 offers a unique educational opportunity for PSIA-AASI members attend- ing the event, different from prior Interskis. While members have always been welcome to attend both the on-hill and indoor presen- tations, in Pamporovo they will benefit from the considerable expertise of Mike Porter and Rob Sogard, both of whom are former Alpine Team coaches who’ve attended many Interskis. Mike and Rob will personally help guide members through the event’s many educational and social offerings. The greatest benefit from this Interski, as

Get historical context on the importance of Interski in this video featuring former Alpine Demonstration Team member Carol Levine and other PSIA-AASI educational leaders.

We can trace a direct connection between

the ongoing development of the ATS and the team’s Interski participation. At Interski 2011 in St. Anton, Austria, the team focused on what constitutes great skiing and riding. This led us to define fundamentals of move- ment for skiers and riders and create new state-of-the-art technical manuals for the principle snowsports teaching disciplines.

in the past, will be when we see the innova- tions the team returns with after sharing and refining their presentations with their inter- national colleagues. If the past is any indica- tion, you and your fellow members will be the ultimate beneficiaries in the form of exciting new educational developments in future publi- cations and clinics. But you don’t have to wait for the team’s return; you can get real-time updates at, as well as through First Chair podcasts ( nowpros) and our social media platforms ( As this issue of 32 Degrees went to press,

the PSIA-AASI National Team was putting the final touches on its presentations. After getting a sneak peek at this fall’s Team Train- ing event, I’m certain Interski 2019 will be as groundbreaking and productive as past events.

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