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PSIA-RM wraps up 2012 Fall Training

A group of educational staff members discuss concepts and ski technique at Loveland Ski Area.
A group of educational staff members discuss concepts and ski technique at Loveland Ski Area.Kevin Jordan

The Rocky Mountain Division of the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-RM-AASI) held its educational staff training in Silverthorne and at the Loveland Ski Area. Each year, PSIA-RM gets together in the Fall to discuss changes to the certification process and other updates to the credentialing process. Typically, the event is held in Breckenridge, CO. However, this year, PSIA-RM split up the educational staff training and the Member School Management seminars into two separate events. The Member School Management event is happening right now in Breckenridge.

Skill acquisition is what's new for the 2012-2013 season. It has been around for quite a while, but there is a new, heightened awareness surrounding the issue. In seasons past exams, namely the Level III or full certification exams, candidates perform a series of ski tasks to test their skiing proficiency. These tasks or maneuvers only tested how well a candidate could perform the specified maneuver. It did not show the range or mastery of a skill that a candidate possessed. So this season, candidates are encourage to practice and gain ownership of the skills. The skills in skiing are edging, rotary, and pressure control movements which, when blended correctly, the skier is said to be in balance. However, balance in skiing is illusive and instead skiers are striving for balance or balancing versus in a static balance state.

This means that as candidates train towards the Level III, full certification exam, they should practice a range of maneuvers and tasks that highlight different skills. In other words, they could be asked to perform a wider range of maneuvers, but they are also given the opportunity to show that they own the skill in question. In other words, if a skier is deficient in a certain skill, let's say rotary or turning the skis, it will show up in a wide variety of tasks. It is the job of the examiners to verify any assumptions made about a skill deficiency or proficiency. Perhaps, the candidate has a fundamental misunderstanding about the skill in question. Being asked to do a variety of things also helps to show that a candidate is truly versatile and deserving of the Level III certification.

For more information and detail check out PSIA-RM's website.

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