Where is your home mountain?
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
What other occupations are you involved in?
I am the training manager for the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen, a Rocky Mountain Division education staff member, and a member of the Rocky Mountain Division Alpine Committee, and a Rocky Mountain Division emeritus Children’s Specialist examiner.
Describe a teaching or learning experience that sticks out in your mind.
Recently, I’ve spent time working on how boot alignment affects our enjoyment of skiing. Fit has a strong correlation on our motivation to learn and improve. People who feel their equipment works for them are often willing to put in more time to improve their skills.
What are your specialties as a team member?
I specialize in how instructor training translates into transformative guest experiences. I focus on how to train future trainers in outcome-based training so that we can share our knowledge with other instructors in inspiring and relevant ways.
Do you have any relevant certifications or accreditations?
Alpine Level III, Cross Country Level I, and Telemark Level I. Freestyle Specialist 1 and Children’s Specialist 2.
Is there anything we missed asking?
I’m interested in shaping instruction techniques around how people learn motor skill sports in mountain environments. The measure of a successful lesson is the student’s excitement for the sport and ability to independently repeat what they learned.
Who is your greatest inspiration as an instructor?
My wife, Molly Irwin, always steps up to challenges, knows when to ask for help, and makes others around her feel good about themselves.
My mom, Nancy Chapman, showed me how learning to turn and stop on skis can change people’s lives, how they feel about themselves, and how they interact with others.
At Mt. Abram in Maine, Larry Todd and Rik Dow showed me a career in ski instruction was possible.
At Sunday River, Maine, Alan Sadler, Eric Schandelmeier, Rick Skelley, Troy Walsh, and the entire staff who inspires me to keep improving.
In Aspen, Colorado, Jonathan Ballou, Andy Docken, Katie Ertl, Mike Kaplan, and the entire team who inspires me through their belief in mission, their critical thinking, and their insatiable pursuit of excellence.
Also Joel Munn who inspires me by doing what he believes is right and showing me that paying attention to how you regard others is far more important than worrying about how they regard you.
Best part of teaching?
The best part of teaching is being invited into opportunities to witness someone learning. Learning is such an exciting activity that we all experience. It is fascinating seeing our bodies learn new movements, gain physical skills, and polish/refine our coordination. Sometimes we are completely aware of what is happening and other times we aren’t. Regardless of whether we “know” it or not, our bodies learn to do things like skiing and riding that connect us to the mountain environment and the people around us.