2024 Team Training Celebrates Accomplishments, Focuses on Future Growth

American snowsports instruction’s countless accomplishments and upcoming opportunities came together in a flurry of events centered around the PSIA-AASI National Team’s 2024 Winter Training session in Vail, Colorado, this week.

On snow, the current team began to close out their last season together with a focus on professional development and the ongoing evolution of their Interski 2023 presentations from Levi, Finland.

“In terms of the team training event, it really was a great time for everyone to focus on their own development and growth and ride together and learn from each other on the slopes, which we didn’t get the chance to do at our fall training,” said PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling. “It felt like a celebration of a term, but there were also obviously conversations about how all current and former team members can continue to work for the benefit of the entire association.”

Schuiling said that thanks to the contributions of Vail residents Kent and Vicki Logan, longtime advocates for the benefits of instruction who first created the Winter Training Event, those team-to-association benefits are already happening.

“Because of Kent and Vicki, team members got to work with many of the Vail pros during Team Training,” Schuiling said. “That kind of interaction is key to building relationships that help other instructors realize what kind of goals they might set for themselves in years to come.”

The Impact of Interski

For PSIA Alpine Team Coach Michael Rogan, the sense of coming off “a big win” at Interski 2023 in Finland helped fuel the energy on snow, especially in regard to how the next team can begin looking at hosting Interski 2027.

“As a group, we have gotten to a place where we could say, ‘how would you measure what we did at Interski 2023?’ and I feel like we won that,” Rogan said. “We had the most on-snow presentations, the most indoor presentations, a keynote address from [PSIA Alpine Team member] Ann Schorling that is still drawing attention, improved demos, the largest team at the event, and the largest delegation.”

“Beginning with how we approached Interski 2011 in St. Anton [Austria], to how we’ve developed the Learning Connection, it’s really been a positive arc,” Rogan said. “And I think that’s been key to how comfortable we were in wanting to host Interski 2027.”

Key to that evolution, Rogan said, is the ongoing work of PSIA-AASI Task Forces, educational leaders across the country, and team members to make strategic alignment a reality, while creating a better member experience for everyone.

“There’s a lot of hard work going into this – as CEO Peggy Hiller likes to say, ‘Creating a premier member experience for every member,’” Rogan noted. “And I feel like when it comes to reaching that goal, all cylinders are firing.”

Better Coaching = Better Learning

Across disciplines, team members said having the room to focus on their own development, and how they improve and learn, will result in a better experience for every association member they ride and clinic with this season, especially at National Academy and Rider Rally in Big Sky, Montana, in April.

“We were able to do some skiing together that did not consist of preparing for Interski,” said PSIA Alpine Team member Zoe Mavis. “This allowed for some great collaboration and peer coaching. It is important for us to understand each other’s perspectives on skiing and how we communicate about it. This allows us to serve the membership to the best of our abilities.”

PSIA Alpine Team member Brian Smith said the fact that so many disciplines were interacting with each other only increased that level of understanding.

“I think the only other place you can experience a learning environment like this is at National Academy,” said Smith. “The diversity in collaboration you have there will be fun and strengthen your overall understanding of the Learning Connection.”

“The whole event was a fantastic opportunity for us to coach each other and receive feedback from each other,” added AASI Snowboard Team member Lyndsey Stevens. “On Tuesday, the snowboard team turned our focus toward the upcoming National Academy and Rider Rally at Big Sky, Montana. We discussed feedback from previous academies and shared ideas on how we can collaborate to provide another outstanding experience for participants. We’re all very excited to get together again for Rider Rally and Shred with the awesome AASI community.”

PSIA Cross Country Team member Zeke Fashingbauer, who will coach the team in the upcoming term, said working with other disciplines is a great way to bring a fresh perspective to your own teaching – and to anyone vying for a spot on the next team, some new ideas on how to finalize preparations for PSIA-AASI Team Selection.

“Training in Vail was great for priming us for Interski 2027 and gave us the opportunity to build relationships in the Vail community that will ensure a successful event,” Fashingbauer said. “It also provided time to focus on springs events, including Team Selection. Those two weeks in Big Sky can be very demanding.”