The NZ Coaching Pathway

A Snow Sports NZ – NZSIA collaboration.

About the Coaching Pathway

The Coaching Pathway will sit alongside current NZSIA certifications, allowing current and new members to move in and out of the education over a longer period of time, whether their goal is to be a fully-qualified coach or simply increase their knowledge and skill base.

The Pathway has two levels to it:
1. The Development Coaches Accreditation (with no coaching assessment element)
2. The Performance Coaches Certification (a final coaching assessment is included)

All off-snow modules within this pathway are non-discipline specific, i.e. alpine racers, freestyle skiers and snowboarders learn together.

The Goal

To create a world-class coaching pathway for alpine ski racing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding, that integrates with the current NZSIA qualification system, whilst utilising the in-depth knowledge, vast experience and valuable resources from Snow Sports NZ.

As part of this, the Coaching Pathway will help expand the knowledge of current coaches working throughout NZ; provide a pathway for new coaches to become educated and certified; provide an alternative career pathway opportunities to current NZSIA members looking to side-step into the world of coaching; and offer further education to members that will help develop their establihed teaching skills.

Ultimately, the goal for our two strong organisations is to bring the instructing and coaching worlds closer together.

Development Coaches Accreditation

The Development Coaches Accreditation is a qualification aimed at those coaching at the development level in New Zealand. It is made up of two parts: the Intro to Coaching Seminar and an on-snow course.

Pre Requisites

Any of the following three NZSIA or SBINZ certifications will be required before starting on the coaching pathway:

Exceptions to the above will be made for the following experience: Olympic-level coaching experience; previous or current carded or World Cup athletes; Freeride World Tour athletes; Freeride World Qualifier athletes that have extensive experience; any competitive coaches with three seasons of discipline specific coaching experience within the last 10 years (must be national level). However ALL Coaching Pathway candidates must have a Level One instructing certification at the minimum, regardless of experience. Please apply to the ski or snowboard Course Managers with proof of your experience before signing up.

Intro to Coaching Seminar

The Intro to Coaching Seminar is usually facilitated over three two-hour evening sessions, but can be a one-day course upon request. See the ski calendar or snowboard calendar for dates and prices.

The seminar will be comprised of three indoor presentations/workshops:
1. What is Coaching?
2. Who are we Coaching?
3. How are we Coaching?

These sessions can be attended in person in Wanaka or joined as a live stream online. When booking you can choose to attend in person (preferable) or online – please ensure that you select the correct option.

Those attending online, through a group live stream, will be expected to participate continually, with one of the presenters facilitating the online audience at all times.

At the end of this seminar participants will be given a log book to record coaching or shadowing hours.

Alpine Race Coach

The focus of this six-day qualification is to develop race coaching skills including course setting, on-snow training environment and appropriate race demonstrations, whilst building on coaching concepts introduced during the Intro to Coaching Seminar. There is a course setting assessment as part of the course but no coaching assessment. Note that to join this coaching course you must be a Level Three instructor or have proven race background. This may be through previous FIS race results, the ISIA Speed Test.

Read more here.

Park, Pipe and Freeride Coaching

This is the on-snow component to the Development Coaches Accreditation for freeskiers and snowboarders. This non-assessed, three-day course builds on coaching concepts introduced during the Intro to Coaching Seminar and takes these concepts into a live environment, looking at two main aspects: i) coaching the athlete, and ii) coaching in the environment. The course is specific to the environment (i.e. park, pipe and freeride) not the discipline, so freeskiers and snowboarders will be working together for most parts.

Read more here.

Performance Coaches Certification

The Performance Coaches Certification is still in development and will roll out in full during the 2019 NZ winter season. This will be the gateway qualification to high performance coaching in New Zealand and will become recognised around the world.

Referee / Judging Module

To complete this stage, participants must attend either of the following sessions:

  • Alpine Race FIS Referee Course
  • C-grade FIS Judging Course

These are both FREE modules, provided by Snow Sports NZ throughout New Zealand (must join as a member of SSNZ). NZSIA does not handle these bookings. To enquire or book on the judging module please email To enquire or book on a race referee module please email

Off-snow Training Module

This dry-land training module includes ABCs physical training and basics of trampolining (safety being a big focus). This module is a one day course.

Sports Science Theory Modules

These modules are all theory-based. The five sessions would be delivered over five evening sessions or a two-day block course. The topics include:

  • Long term performance planning (how to create and work with IPPs)
  • Athlete physicality and robustness
  • Performance analysis
  • Mental skills preparation
  • Contest day performance
Logged Experience

This module involves logged coaching or shadowing experience, using the logbook facility provided in the Intro to Coaching Seminar. The candidate must track the progress of one athlete during this period and build an IPP (Individual Performance Plan) that is specific to this athlete. The logged experience must total 40 hours or paid coaching or shadowing hours (can be a mix of the two) and needs to include:

  • At least one off-snow training session
  • At least one national level contest
  • One session as a judge or referee / gate judge (can be an event of any size)

Performance Coaches Assessment

The final step of the Performance Coaches Certification is a one-day assessment. It includes a verbal assessment of the IPP and log book created during the logged experience module, plus a 30min coaching session. The objective is to review the candidate’s logbook and IPP, and assess how they set up and deliver a coaching session for their discipline. The session topic will be selected from the candidate’s IPP and presented to the other candidates.