A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

PSIA cross country instructor training course

December 18, 2014
Emilie Phillips

I went up to Bretton Woods for a 3 day Nordic instructor training course. Last year I received my level 1 at a skate skiing event, so this was my chance to learn how to teach classic.

Last year, everyone except me had at least their level 1, and they were all really talented skiers. So I was surprised when 6 out of the 12 students at the instructor training course were going for their level 1. Many of them had not even skated before. On the other hand, all of them worked full time in the snow sports or outdoor education industry. I was slightly disappointed because the class was less challenging than expected, but now I know to highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn instruction and get their level 1.

The first day we started with plenty of natural snow, blue skies, and beautiful views of Mount Washington. The second day was soaking rain. And the third day it snowed nice fluffy snow.

I did learn a bunch of instruction techniques from the class; a number of which I can apply to my students at the AMC back country clinics. Another thing we covered in detail was how to effectively cover a maneuver in a short period of time

  1. Introduce the full maneuver and demo the final product to the students
  2. Break it down into stepping stones (drills) and work through those with the students
  3. Check to see if they think they have the maneuver
  4. Summarize when and where you would use it.

For each stepping stone make sure you present it three different ways for auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners.

The last day we focused on fine tuning. Both instructors spent one on one time with me improving my classical technique. I now have plenty of pointers to work on.

Both of them said if I studied up, that I was good enough to go for the level 2 this year, but I don’t think I have time. The biggest thing I need is more experience teaching.

[Update December 2015] I signed up to teach at the Weston Ski Track.