Before showing of their on-snow skills, the candidates underwent extensive interviews and gave online video presentations. Candidates were scored on their online presentations and on-snow performance – all under the watchful eye of examiners and selectors assigned to separate the very best from the best. And the application process started in 2019, as candidates each submitted a packet that included a cover letter, writing sample, and introductory video. The process also included 20-minute video presentations.
“Being a great teacher takes more than being the best rider, or skier, on the hill,” said AASI Snowboard Team Coach Eric Rolls. “Team Selection measures a variety of skills. We want to know who can relate to their students to help them feel comfortable in a lesson while also helping their students understand the movements that will advance their skiing or riding – so they can learn faster and have more fun. People skills, like empathy and communication, are just as important as technical skills, how good someone is at riding or skiing, when teaching a lesson.”
“It is thrilling to watch these instructors; they display such a high level of expertise. Not only are they proficient skiers and riders, they’re also talented educators with a knack for reading and relating to their audience,” said Eliza Kuntz, chair of the PSIA-AASI Board of Directors. “They are truly top-notch athletes and passionate teachers, who represent our organization here at home, and internationally.”
The new PSIA-AASI National Team comprises 37 men and women selected from among the best instructors in the country. Each team member specializes in one of five disciplines – adaptive, alpine, cross country, snowboard, or telemark. Team members represent the association at the highest level, including traveling to international snowsports education events like Interski.
“The discipline-specific teams work together to support the association’s vision of ‘creating lifelong adventures through education’ and act as role models for other instructors,” said PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling. “As role models, they create resources for, and support instructors’ learning.”
The Role of the PSIA-AASI National Team
Under the direction of Team Coach Jeb Boyd and discipline coaches, Geoff Krill (adaptive), Michael Rogan (alpine), Matt Boyd (alpine assistant coach), Emily Lovett (cross country), Eric Rolls (snowboard), Tony Macri (snowboard assistant coach), and Gregory Dixon (telemark), the PSIA-AASI National Team members will be instrumental in charting the course of snowsports instruction in the United States. Chief among their duties will be working with ski and ride schools throughout the country, conducting clinics, and representing PSIA-AASI as the public face of the organization.
“The PSIA-AASI National Team represents our association at the highest level,” said Team Coach Jeb Boyd. “The job of the team member is to bring people together and meet the needs of our membership and resort partners. Team members work together to assist PSIA-AASI in developing and promoting educational material, programs, and activities as well as work to provide consistency for our certification standards across all eight divisions.”
Team members have many responsibilities and even more opportunities. Based on the needs of the association, team member responsibilities are to provide education support to PSIA-AASI divisions, support PSIA-AASI marketing and public awareness activities, participate in PSIA-AASI member communications, participate in national events (i.e., PSIA-AASI National Academy), support PSIA-AASI Official Suppliers, and represent PSIA-AASI at select international events.
The 2021-24 team will serve a three-year term.