There are different levels of training so you can get as involved as you like. This website has information designed for newer instructors, and very experienced instructors especially topics near the end.
Great teaching should convert many adult privates into repeat customers. It takes a combination of insight, awareness, personality, energy, fun attitude, physical ability, confidence, and knowledge to respond to the unique physical and emotional needs of each student. You may also have to shape their expectations by helping them with a deeper understanding of the sport and what it takes to improve.
Always seek to improve your teaching and review every lesson for what went well or could have been done better. When you get returning customers, keep a log of what you did and what you want to work on for the next time.
This is the age of video and social media, so mistakes will not just create one bad experience, they will be shared. In addition to being the right thing to do, we need to provide a high quality product for marketing, revenue, and liability reasons.
Most clinics are offered in December before the Christmas holidays. Emails will be sent with dates and times. Clinics can also be held any time there are groups of instructors and business is slow. We track your clinic attendance and require attending at least three clinics. Clinics are about 60 minutes and can cover any program such as student lessons, exercises, or how to evaluate students.
Every instructor should take the test below for either snowboarding or skiing. It is designed as a teaching tool so you will see the correct answer after you answer. The test can be stopped and restarted if you get interrupted. You can retake the test as many times as you want.
The purpose of the test is it is another form of learning, not getting a high score. The snowboard test is 25 questions and should take between 5-10 minutes, some small additions and changes were made but the test should still be quick to take. The skiing test is 20 multiple choice questions and there are no more than three answers to choose from so it is quicker to complete.
There are different test for each resort to keep the results seperate, the test are the same.
Options to clinics
It takes time to become a good teacher and is an endless challenge to maintain. Just like the customers we teach, improving our teaching is a process that requires clear goals and feedback. Here are other ways you can improve.
1)- Skiing/riding lesson- A clinic credit can also be earned by working with another instructor on skiing/riding improvement. One instructor teaches the other for an hour just like a lesson. At the end of the session each of you write a report here You will include: date, time, who did the teaching, what you worked on, what exercises you did, which ones worked the best. Each person receives a clinic credit.
V1- Certification- If you would like to be able to tech video analysis lessons we will be sharing the details of this in an email. You can start using V1 to do lessons with your peers that involve drawing tools, comparisons, and V1 content.
2)- Retake the skiing test until you score 100 percent. You can retake the test as often as you want. You will get a clinic credit.
3)- Self evaluation- here (and see below) is a list of goals skiers can use to assess your teaching performance. Use it as a guide to evaluate areas for improvement. The results will be sent to us automatically. You can see the items listed below.
4)- Peer review- use the teaching assessment goals here (and see below) to evaluate a fellow ski instructor teaching a beginner or wedge turning (yellow) level lesson. Shoot two demos on your phone during the lesson, one from the front and one from the side. Be ready to discuss the demo.
Each person will receive a clinic credit.
5)- After two seasons of teaching, you may request an assessment of your teaching. You must first complete all four of the steps above reviewing two instructor's teaching and skiing, and attend three clinics. If you score 2 or 3 on the formal assessment for every goal, you will be certified in our teaching system. You will teach a real beginner/yellow level lesson but then do a run through of each student lesson through red, and demonstrate slow synchronized parallel turns. Certified means you will be given preference in lesson assignments, a certificate, and a choice of goggles, gloves, or other options.
The online assessment for you to complete is here. Below the goals are written out-
1-Below the goal
Comments may be added
Level of lesson being evaluated-
1- Follows schedule
2- Clinic attendance
3- Two skiing improvement session with another instructor
4- Passing at 100 percent the online tests
5- Self evaluation of teaching assessment goals at this level
6- Two peer teaching review- doing the evaluation or being evaluated
7- Speaks loud, makes eye contact, smiles, pleasant, attentive, fun
8- Friendly and confident, ask if they have questions, focus on student's goals/experience
9- Checks clothing, boots, gear, ask if feet hurt
10- Good feedback from customers, repeat students
11- Neat physical appearance, wearing uniform
12- Does a summary and preview of what is next at the end, helps set expectations
1- Watches closely and responds to student's needs: equipment/clothing adjustments, walking, recognizing fear/excitement and managing it, balanced pace to keep it fun, assigns different task to different students when needed, ask questions, determines goals and learning style, has students ask questions, discusses expectations and process of learning.
2- Assisting on/off the carpet, support on back and side of hips, maintain proper spacing, quickly set up the student, demo stance, position student and push if necessary, loud positive reinforcement
3- Loading the rope, positioned to support student and rope, push if necessary, spacing
4- Works well as a partner if team teaching, on top of rope, supports students on back or side of hips if necessary, sets up students exiting support and setup, focus on rope use first then proper task and feedback, verbal feedback- start in a skiing stance: hands up, forward, look downhill, good that is it!
5- Knows how to use tools for beginners, ski ring, T-bars, wedge maker, tip ties
6- Reviews skiing stance and ankle flex knows other exercises on flats if needed, can see the common problems with stance and provide exercises.
7- Short explanation and demo, keeps students moving, skis in fall line using slight turns with beginners.
8- Specific feedback during or immediately following performance, positions students if needed
9- Positive verbal reinforcement when student performs well, ability to spot natural defensive moves
10- Proper pacing: appropriate flat work, wedging, location on the slope(not too high)
11- Explains safety on the chair, straps off, hold side of chair, how to exit
12- Warm up runs before teaching blue and above; follow the leader
13- Uses the big 5: use a gentle slope, centered stance, small wedge, ski straight downhill with speed, slightly turn both feet or flex one ankle then the other
14- Links small turns, with a shape that is not very far across the hill to match
15-- Teaches early weight transfer and smooth down and up for matching
16- Turns the inside foot until matched if needed
17- Hand to the outside knee to help transfer weight and then match
18- Knows static drills for matching after and before the fall line, christie 1-2
19- Knows proper exercise; progressions, opposite/extreme, variety, (fundamental drill uphill christie)
20- Evaluation skills: natural moves verse ski moves, body motion relative to feet - flex&tip
21- Teaches to the students goals: skidded turns for infrequent recreational skiers rather than carving the top half of turns
1- Skiing stance- including proper arm position. Verbal : hands up, look ahead, forward, stand up
2- Wedge- small gliding, wedge change up, straight run to wedge stops
3- Wedge turns- linked in fall line, speed, very slightly turn feet. Turn straight turn, flex ankle(or push on big toe), or both. Small/large. Link turns to a stop. Bottom of turn first, not starting in a traverse.
4- Matching- before or after fall line. Big 5: gentle slope, centered stance, small wedge, speed and slight turns. Also outside hand to knee, earlier weight transfer, smooth down and up, and turning both feet
5- Parallel turns with pole touch- slow/fast, gentle/steep, small/large, skid/carve, moguls
1- Speed in the fall line for 3 seconds to reduce friction, build momentum, & align with gravity
2- Does not: over turn, start from a traverse for wedge turns and do the top part of the turn first, do one turn to a stop at first, ski too slow, or try to turn right away.
3- Explores two turning options and combinations, turning feet, flexing ankles or both. Knows the difference between moving the knee to the inside verse flexing the ankle forward. Can see when the hip moves to the side and flattens the ski, or if bending the knee is done rather than flexing the ankle.
4- Teaches both small and large turns. Turn across hill more, or skid for speed control
5- Knows when to do the bottom part of the turn verse the top part first
6- Teaches appropriate goals for students, for most this means: turn feet, look more downhill, and angulate
7- Progressive Ankle flexing and Tipping moves the skier continuously toward the new turn and uses use the whole ski from the tip. It requires the proper Stance, Weight transfer, and Inside lead. To remember think ski like PAT and SWIFT
8- Skiers naturally move back, rotate, and bank. The forces of the turn reinforce these moves. Many skiers flex their knees too soon and too much relative to their ankles which puts them on the back of their skis. Ski moves take a lot of work to develop, and constant effort to maintain. Students will naturally move back on their skis especially as the slopes get steeper.
9- Smooth flow - body moving forward and over the feet while loading the skis, and continuing after release
10- Knows the visual skiing image and that Big Mo using the front of the skis is the key to great skiing