SBINZ have been working to expand our relationships with other associations around the world recently. As part of this agenda, we’re doing an examiner exchange with APSI for this winter’s Trainer’s Training.

Tony Macri was the visiting SBINZ Examiner across the ditch to Australia last week and we’ll have one of the APSI crew joining us next week.

Here’s what Maccers has to say about the experience…

“We are always thinking how we can grow and evolve our alliance to help create more opportunities and education for our membership. As I pondered this thought I always wonder where we can look to for new ideas and inspiration. Sometimes we have a tendency to spend too much time looking within. So it occurred to me to look outside to our other friends in Australia and this year we decided to create an exchange between APSI and SBINZ.

APSI Trainer’s Training Day 1

The APSI Trainer’s Training is held over two days. The first day was focused on examiner staff. The first half was spent as a whole team (Alpine, Snowboard, Nordic, and adaptive). The GM Andy spoke primarily about the why they all are Trainers and as he got some great response from the audience of educatinal staff it was apparent that one of the main roles they described was one of a mentor. After spending some time discussing the importance that APSI’s strength is their staff, he then illustrated the great year they just had. This session was finished with showing the numbers of events and income they had just made from events in Aus and also Japan in the 2017 season.

From here he shared the opportunity to be able to reinvest some of that money back into the different disciplines for various projects and development opportunities.

Then from here we all split out into discipline groups. With the snowboard group Adam Federico (Snowboard Technical Director) spent some time going through their “red book” which is where they have all of their resources of outlines, scorecards, and course descriptions laid out. As he went through it he asked for some clarity about some commonly misunderstood areas as well as pointing out some recent updates. They had a in-depth conversation about the difference between what they call a skidded turn and a steered turn. These in-depth conventions are essential as our membership needs US to make sure things are clear.

Then Adam took a look at the pass/fail numbers between level 1, 2, 3 and 4. It was evident there was a huge drop between the pass rate at level 2 from last year to years in the past. After looking at the results closer it was clear they needed to spend some time on Teaching and Theory as this was the main reason for the disparity. From here there was some great discussion between old and new staff as to tactics and what they can do to increase the pass rate in the future. The main theme here was that the staff was taking responsibility and looking to make some changes.

APSI Trainer’s Training Day 2

This day has a slightly different audience. After day one was spent only with the education staff, day two was catered to all of the resort trainers as well as the education staff. Today we all met up at Perisher Ski Resort. With a brief introduction of the day from Andy explaining how the resort wasn’t yet open to the public and the lack of snow it was decided that we would spend a little bit of time indoors then go outdoors to do some work on the flats as there were small areas of snow that we were able to use.

The Snowboard group of about 50 people spent about half an hour indoors talking about the focus this year on teaching and theory that was discussed the previous day. Then the plan was set to go out side and to split into two groups. One group would work with Kylie Dwyer on tools for teaching training; primary how to train people for better more creative teaching through trainer questioning. The second group was going to hang out on snow with Adam and work on their J-turn demo. Adam discussed a few issues he had been noticing in this demo. Then he encouraged everyone to try a few different movement options to improve their performance of the demo. He also videoed these demos.

Then after a break for lunch we all reconvened indoors. First Kylie spent some time debriefing what she did outdoors with the two groups and the focus on giving them (the Trainers) more tools to help them train and prepare more of the members. Then Adam had everyone watch some riders and scored these riders from last years exams. This was to allow the trainers to calibrate their understanding to that of the Examiners.

Lastly, there was time for some general questions.

In summary

Overall it was a great experience to be able to see and compare what the APSI are doing well and to see what their challenges are.

My key takeaways are:
1. It is important to always look at the results and hold ourselves and trainers and examiners responsible for them.
2. It is important to be open to change for the good of the membership.
3. Let the more experienced Trainers and Examiners help train the younger crew but listen to some new ideas from the young crew.
4. Be transparent in what you do and why you do it.

Thanks to the team at APSI for having me and we’re looking forward to hosting Oscar next week.”

– by Tony Macri