2024-28 PSIA-AASI National Team Coach Interview: Gregory Dixon

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.

We would like to congratulate the coaches and team on the upcoming completion of their current PSIA-AASI National Team term and thank them for their commitment to the 2021-24 PSIA-AASI National Team’s success and innovation.

In this 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, PSIA Telemark Team Coach Gregory Dixon talks about how connection and communication can continue to strengthen the professional snowsports instruction community.

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: Being selected to be the coach of a national team is a great honor. It means you’ve been entrusted with the leadership and development of our teams and membership. The job is a challenge in and of itself. Most coaches have spent a lifetime developing their skill sets to get to this point. Our team can do its best when we support each other. My job is to let my teammates know they have my support and that of the organization.

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

A: The self-motivation is what will help you make it to the national team. Once you are on the team, it is important to realize that you are in a position to help others find that motivation in themselves. Understanding the influence that we have as team members, and how we can use that influence to motivate others is how we can keep improving.

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: I’d like to address this question by asking what is the benefit of the ONEteam approach to our members? How has it helped build a premier member experience? The ONEteam approach has allowed experienced educators from different disciplines to share their expertise with each other. It has allowed for a broader view on what snowsports education really is. To keep the momentum going, we need to recognize the areas where we still are not working across disciplines and work to remove barriers that are limiting our development.

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: Connection. Someone who can create relationships with our membership and foster growth on a personal level. Communication. Someone who has the ability to share knowledge in a relevant way so it can be fully absorbed. Community. Individuals who go out of their way to bring people in and make them feel connected to our group of snowsports enthusiasts.

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

A: The telemark discipline has always looked for opportunities to grow our numbers. That seems to be one of the larger challenges we face. Working with companies that produce telemark equipment and building events where we can have equipment and education provided will help us reach more individuals. We could also look inward at our current community and how we can encourage their access to education.

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 in America gives this team the opportunity to reflect on tradition and the lessons that have come before. There is a lot of history in American snowsports education that I believe we could highlight to better understand our path ahead.

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: With the current work on strategic alignment, the teams have been very focused on certification and how we can align to create a more consistent examination process across the country. The consistency that we are looking to create will be a progressive move toward a more accessible educational experience for our members.

Another push that the team is looking to understand and implement is that of the talent pipeline. How can we do a better job of recognizing and developing those individuals who have the potential to be great contributors to our organization? How can we help to put them in leadership roles and in front of our membership?