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Old 12-11-2012, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Snowboard Instructor (20 years experience) How to??

So basically I am looking to become a snowboard instructor. I have 20 years under my belt and have been giving lessons for about 3 years on and off with friends and friends of friends and everyone raves about it and how I can drastically change their skills within an hour (not boasting).

I was offered a position about 7 years ago at Windham mountain by the head of their snowboard school which I didn't take advantage of because I was at a different point in my life. I was late to the game this year since I just got a house up at Stratton mountain for the season and I just put in last week.

I was just wondering if there is anything I should know about, is there any short training to become certified in any way? My whole key thing is that I understand the core fundamentals of snowboarding extremely well and can deliver it in a clear decisive manner which people can understand. I have played other sports in my life (division 1 golf in college, could have also played basketball) and I give golf lessons also which is a very fundamental sport.

Any guidance would be appreciated.......thanks.............
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First, check out the mountains in your area and see who is hiring. A typical resort will put people through both off and on snow hiring clinics which help to teach how to teach snowboarding. From this pool of people they will pick instructors to hire. It does help to be able to ski as well.
If you make it past this point there is typically training provided by the school to improve your skills and get ready for exams with AASI. In AASI after becoming a member there are three levels of certification. I, II, and III followed up by variety of accreditations in children's, freestyle, and TA(trainer's accreditation).
The training for the cert I is pretty short and straight forward; as the clinics and exam are usually wrapped up into one. For higher levels of cert it is necessary to do prep clinics for the exam.
You might be able to obtain the first level of certification with a prep clinic. To be able to do that without working for a ski school you would need to contact the Eastern region AASI to sign-up and to see if they would let you. One thing to note. If it doesn't workout don't try to poach (i.e. teach at a mountain you don't work at for money). It's cool to show friends how to board. However, when it crosses the line into making money, you need to understand that you are taking money away from the resort, and its instructors. You are also screwing with liability of the mountain, and exposing yourself legally. And in this day age the legal ramifications can be down right scary.

I wish you luck and hope it all works out.

Last edited by gjsnowboarder; 12-11-2012 at 09:53 AM. Reason: spelling. etc
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am a christian and a very giving person. I do not charge for lessons, I just devote my time and ask that they give me the same respect by listening to everything I say and doing EXACTLY what I say. I've done it with a group of girls but also individuals at the same extent. Lots of them don't have the discretionary income to pay for lessons to begin with but badly want to learn the sport.

I will look into what you told me. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by gjsnowboarder View Post
First, check out the mountains in your area and see who is hiring. A typical resort will put people through both off and on snow hiring clinics which help to teach how to teach snowboarding. From this pool of people they will pick instructors to hire. It does help to be able to ski as well.
If you make it past this point there is typically training provided by the school to improve your skills and get ready for exams with AASI. In AASI after becoming a member there are three levels of certification. I, II, and III followed up by variety of accreditations in children's, freestyle, and TA(trainer's accreditation).
The training for the cert I is pretty short and straight forward; as the clinics and exam are usually wrapped up into one. For higher levels of cert it is necessary to do prep clinics for the exam.
You might be able to obtain the first level of certification with a prep clinic. To be able to do that without working for a ski school you would need to contact the Eastern region AASI to sign-up and to see if they would let you. One thing to note. If it doesn't workout don't try to poach (i.e. teach at a mountain you don't work at for money). It's cool to show friends how to board. However, when it crosses the line into making money, you need to understand that you are taking money away from the resort, and its instructors. You are also screwing with liability of the mountain, and exposing yourself legally. And in this day age the legal ramifications can be down right scary.

I wish you luck and hope it all works out.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think you read into my reply too much by the capitalization of my word. I am here to coach and do suggest, but if you are going to have a tantrum for 20 minutes in the middle of the slope and you are a 28 year old female then I am not willing devote my time because I am not getting paid for it and takes away from me riding the mountain that I paid a pass for.

That just occurred this last weekend. Obviously any proper training is needed to learn how to teach. I have been doing comprehensive financial planning for the last 8 years so I am pretty good at suggesting and coaching people with major decisions of their life (snowboarding is on the smaller spectrum). So I am sorry if you took my comment in the wrong manner.

I coach golf and used to coach basketball. You can't force anything in sports, everyone progresses on their own terms but you can show properly what to do and then obviously the horse has to drink its own water. Thank you for the reply and I will still look into the AASI training.



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Well, you can suggest things to people and they may or may not take the advice. Even as a paid instructor for a resort for 8 years, I don't TELL people what to do, I coach them. Snowboarding is not boot camp and I am a coach not a drill sergeant. Don't expect adults to do "exactly what you tell the to do". Based on what you wrote, I don't think you are a great match for a ski school. I think you might be better off working with your local high school ski and snowboard team or with a youth group in some fashion.

At a ski school, you will be expected to coach to AASI methods and as an uncertified new hire, you will be low man on the totem and taking kids and group walk ins. You will have to go through the AASI procedures to obtain your certification levels. It sounds to me like you might have an issue not being allowed to teach the way you want. You might want to give Michael at Snow Motion a call. He runs a pretty cool private coaching operation out of New York and operates at Stratton.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh ok, thanks!! I will look into it.


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I wasn't passing judgement here, I was giving you my advice about the direction that in my opinion might be the best direction for you to pursue based on your experience and teaching style. From what I read, I don't think you would be that satisfied operating within the confines of a resort ski school. I think you would find the protocols frustrating and limiting based on what you are used to. I think private coaching whether race or freestyle camps would be more fulfilling to you that is all.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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All Div. ! golfers I have met are pretty awesome. This guy sounds cool. Hire him!!

Let us know when you are in Colorado and we can make some turns!

best,
matt
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Golfer dude!

I think you should give Michael a call at Snow Motion. You seem like an ideal candidate to work with him as a private coach. I am here in the Portland market helping Michael if and when things are ready to take off here and we get some of these permitting issues addressed ( leave it to the government to screw things up!) I think you might like the program and since you are at Stratton, you would be an ideal candidate. Michael is a great guy and easy to work with!

http://m.snowmotionsports.com/

Just spoke to Michael. Awesome guy. Gonna try to maybe meet up sometime on the mountain. Thanks man!!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I used to teach at windham and not to bash them, but its a totally different game there, than when I taught at Bromley. Windham sort of ruined snowboarding for me...They had a very thin 'hiring clinic' and though that was almost 10 years ago and new management took over, some things never change.

When I worked at Bromley they had 3 weeks of hiring / training clinics off snow before you were even allowed to strap a board on. It was an awesome experience and I really stepped up my game as far as understanding different types of learning techniques, dealing with certain behaviors, etc. Really a great process.

I think there is / was OSI or something like that? ASA as well for certs, etc. Some mountains threw a few extra bucks at you for having those certs, others required the certs but often times if your teach and riding skills speak for themselves it doesnt matter. They just want to make money and get those beginners from the magic carpet to the chair as quick as possible. I have a few contacts back at Stratton if you are interested in trying to get a hold of a few peeps. Let me know and I'll see what I can do.
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