Interski 2023: Eric Rolls Finds Joy in Sliding On Snow
Held every four years, Interski is an international event that brings together top snowsports instructors from more than 40 countries. The PSIA-AASI National Team attends to present their latest teaching techniques and get insight into new ideas to bring back home to members. The discussions that take place at the event help PSIA-AASI refine its approach to training instructors and improving the guest experience.
Here, AASI Snowboard Team Coach Eric Rolls provides a preview of what the team will present at Interski 2023 in Levi, Finland, March 26 through March 31.
What are you most excited about in anticipation of Interski 2023?
Ever since meeting the Finnish Snowboard Team at the 2011 Interski in St. Anton, Austria, I’ve been fond of the Finns, their culture, their rich snowsports history, and their welcoming demeanor. For the event itself, I am most excited to learn from snowsports experts from all over the world.
What are you presenting and how does it complement the team presentation?
Along with a wide range of on-snow technical topics, I’m specifically focused on presenting an indoor session with PSIA-AASI Adaptive Team Coach Geoff Krill. We will promote the concept that collaborating with students and adapting to their needs is one of the most important aspects of teaching snowsports in the United States. This ties seamlessly with the entire team’s message because it showcases the Learning Connection and partnership between the teacher and the student.
Has preparing for Interski affected how you approach your clinics, lessons, and coaching?
Interski preparations help us simply describe and summarize our teaching philosophy and methodology. Specifically, it has helped me better explain the skillsets of the Learning Connection Model and its relevance to modern snowsports instruction. Distilling down what we do helps engage new PSIA-AASI members and people outside our organization.
What are you interested in learning from the other countries and their presentations?
I love it when I learn something new about snowboarding or a new way to describe something familiar. Learning from other countries helps me maintain an open mind. I’m specifically interested in the soft skills other countries are promoting that align well with our people skills.
What does the Interski 2023 theme, “The Guest Experience is Everything,” mean to you and PSIA-AASI’s approach to snowsports instruction?
We have been promoting a student-centered approach since the 1970s. It’s what we do. If instructors do a great job at creating a great guest experience, students will find joy in sliding on snow throughout their life.