2024-28 PSIA-AASI National Team Coach Interview: Zeke Fashingbauer

The 2024-28 PSIA-AASI National Team Coaching Staff was announced Jan. 31, solidifying the educational foundation for the upcoming new team selection, goal-setting process, and hosting of Interski in Vail, Colorado, in 2027.

In this new interview series, the coaches discuss how they plan to continue to build on the current team’s success and innovation as they prepare to guide the 2024-28 PSIA-AASI National Team into the future. Here, incoming PSIA Cross Country Team Coach Zeke Fashingbauer speaks about his new role and vision as coach, as he succeeds Emily Lovett in that capacity.

Q: What does it mean to you to coach this new team, and how do you challenge yourself to make sure you and everyone on the team are in a position to give their best?

A: Coaching the team will mark a transition from being supported and mentored within PSIA-AASI to taking on a supporting and mentoring role for other teammates. In my experience, seeing our ideas supported and promoted until they develop into tangible results is what motivates all of us as team members. To this end, I am eager to promote the initiatives and projects of our team within the association and in collaboration with industry partners to produce results.

Q: I think everyone in PSIA-AASI would be fascinated to know how you take a group of self-motivated instructor/athletes and give them opportunities to keep improving. How do you do that?

A: Most everyone who attends Team Selection has already proven they are hungry to grow and improve. The coach’s job is to encourage that growth and support improvement through meaningful training, events, and projects that are rewarding for teammates and PSIA-AASI members.

Q: One of the most impressive traits of the current team is how they worked together for the benefit of PSIA-AASI members by collaborating across disciplines, with a “ONEteam” approach to identify best practices for all snowsports instruction. What is key to keeping the momentum going?

A: For the Cross Country Team, we have gone out of our way – and at times our comfort zone – to join other disciplines on and off the snow. We will continue to seek opportunities to build PSIA Cross Country as an integral component of the greater association. We will also keep on our gravity dependent teammates to come track ski with us.

Q: What are some of the key leadership traits you’ll be looking for as you identify who will make the new team at Team Selection in April at Big Sky, Montana, especially as you build a completely new “ONEteam?”

A: I am looking for motivated individuals who can work collaboratively and deliver results.

Q: Are there specific opportunities you see in your own discipline, and how might the new team take advantage of them?

A: Cross country skiing has seen unprecedented growth in the U.S. over the past several years. There are many instructors, coaches, and schools operating with little or no training that are seeking the type of education we provide. PSIA Cross Country has an opportunity to meet the educational needs of the growing pool of instructors and have a much larger positive impact on the growth of the sport nationwide.

Q: The 2024-28 National Team will enjoy hosting Interski 2027 in Vail, Colorado. How does having this event in the United States galvanize the team and provide a generational opportunity to promote the benefits of all snowsports instruction?

A: Hosting Interski will focus our efforts over the coming seasons as we strive to bring this event to more instructors across the U.S. than ever before. It is also an opportunity for American snowsports instructors to witness the scope of snowsports instruction globally and feel what an integral component we truly are to the outdoor industry.

Q: There are so many ways this team can enhance the member experience for all PSIA-AASI members. How do you think this team will take us into the future of U.S. Snowsports Instruction?

A: I believe this team will continue to shorten the time it takes for information and ideas to circulate through the association from video and web-based media to on-snow events. With larger alignment initiatives well underway across regions and disciplines, we will continue to strengthen and support the PSIA-AASI community.