Team Selection 2021: Indoor Presentations Set the Stage

With the on-snow portion of Team Selection 2021 set to take place at Breckenridge, Colorado April 18-22, the 78 top snowsports instructors vying for a spot on the PSIA-AASI National Team have already given their 15-minute online presentations.

In response to COVID-19 and to meet social distancing precautions – which resulted in PSIA-AASI postponing Team Selection last year – PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling said, “We did virtual indoor presentations for selection since we’re not doing any indoor gatherings in Breck.”

The online presentations, which are scored alongside each candidate’s on-snow performance, started March 5 and continued through April 2.

A New Skillset for Top Instructors: Online Presentations

One of the many shifts that took place this season is more instructors are now seeking online training opportunities, such as webinars and e-learning courses.

“I feel that pivoting to a digital interview is the easiest decision we have made during this different-than-normal selection process,” said Matt Boyd, PSIA-AASI Alpine Assistant and Development Coach. “Although in-person is always preferable, the comfort we have all gained with platforms like Zoom made the decision to use online presentations a no brainer.”

Matt said there still have been challenges to overcome. “The selection process is structured to find candidates who possess a variety of skills required of team members. For example, team members should be comfortable presenting indoors – whether it be a prepared presentation for National Academy, or an impromptu indoor session on a wind hold. This usually means two indoor presentations at Team Selection, but this year, indoor gatherings are off the table.”

He explained that the past season we saw a huge demand for team members to deliver webinars, which previously were not part of selection, and require a different skill set than delivering indoors.

“Moving to an online presentation format for selection gave the selectors an opportunity to see a new skillset from the candidates,” said Matt. “This new skillset will serve our members in the future as they participate in more online learning opportunities.”

New Team Will Lead Education Initiatives to Serve Members

Alpine Team Coach Michael Rogan said that selection starting is a major step forward for the candidates, and for the association, to help progress education initiatives such as the Learning Connection and new Certification Standards.

“It is great knowing that we are going through with selection,” Michael said. “I am looking forward to seeing all the candidates give their best.”

He said that the decision to extend selection by a year, “Was the right thing to do,” continuing, “I hope there is a pent-up desire to get on snow together now, and with the new team next season. I want to make up for lost travel and clinics on the road.”

As this next term for the new team members will be three years – compared to four – Michael said, “That will put pressure on all of us to prepare for Interski, relay that information to the membership, and quickly get comfortable in a new role as a PSIA-AASI National Team Member.”

Hear more about Team Selection in this First Chair podcast with Jeb Boyd, head coach for the PSIA-AASI National Team about how this event will help PSIA-AASI to select the nation’s best instructors to represent the organization at its highest educational level.

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