OET News

Senior OET Clinic at Ragged Mountain, NH

What a great day all had at the Ragged Mountain Senior OET Clinic on Feb 03, 2019! Conditions were primo, students were enthusiastic, and instructors were keen to work with individuals with such positive attitudes. Our day started with Instructor of Record Deb Brown with an informative introduction on objectives for the day and specific highlights of interest in skills where extra practice would be productive and improved upon with guided skill drills and developed muscle memory input.

Starting with ski demonstrations and feedback on participants’ performance and improvement with each segment was rewarding to observe by all three instructors. Sincere feelings of accomplishment from each student stepping it up a notch and challenging themselves was evident throughout the skiing segment of the morning. We worked on groomed steeps, gentle bumps and tight short radius turns by placing ourselves as slalom markers. This drill was fun and forced us to initiate and finish turns appropriately. The candidates were awakened to see and feel improvements in their own performance.

Skills came next with snowplow, sideslip, transition and pivot slips. All did quite well and concentrated on upper/lower body separation and shoulders and head facing down the fall line. Some commented on how much more efficient the task was when these positioning tips were followed.

Getting into the handles of the toboggan in the next segment of the program was fun, fast-moving and enlightening for the three instructors when we observed the receptive and adaptive thinking and resulting performance of our four students. Empty sleds in the gentle bumps and encouragement from instructors enabled the students to let the sled follow with a light grip of handles; appropriate short . . .

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The Five Fundamentals applied by OET Instructors

As National Ski Patrol (NSP) rewrites many of the curricula for its educational disciplines, Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) receives the benefits of this modernization. An advantage for OET has been the transformation that our sister organization in the snowsports industry has lead while rethinking education and coaching techniques for skiers and snowboarders. That organization is the Professional Ski Instructor Association – American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA – AASI) which focuses its efforts on credentialing snowsports instructors and providing them with a unified curriculum for teaching and coaching ski and snowboarding techniques.

PSIA and their snowboarding affiliate organization AASI began their transformations at the start of the decade. By 2014 PSIA-AASI published its newest collection of “Technical Manuals” along with a rewrite of their “Teaching Handbooks.”

NSP has been working together with PSIA for the last two decades with the intent of developing common methods and a common language for teaching patrollers. It continues to benefit from the best

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Teaching Technical from the PSIA’s Alpine Technical Manual

For decades the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) promoted a student-centered teaching method referred to as “Skills Concept” where the focus was communicating body movements to students. In 1987 PSIA wrote their manual titled “American Teaching System.” The teaching direction emphasized Edging Movements, Rotary Movements, Pressure Movements and Balancing Movements. Removed from the curriculum were the physics and the biomechanics of the skis interacting with the snow surface. This teaching method downplayed technical teaching.

At the same time, radical technological changes in ski manufacturing began creating equipment that became much easier to turn in all snow conditions. Skis just turned for students, let the ski designers handle physics and mechanics, teach the student to make the appropriate body movements became the goal. Besides claimed PSIA, students didn’t want to know the technical; they just wanted the skis to turn. Instead of teaching students to understand the technique, movements were used to generate outcomes without regards to whether they might be valid.

The de-emphasis of biomechanics and ski physics left ski instructors with a lack of understanding of how biomechanical movements might affect the physical interaction between the snow surface and the skis. Without this knowledge, adapting learning progressions for students skiing on technologically superior equipment became stagnant. Racing Coaches were the only ski professionals teaching students how to extract every performance benefits.

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Sunday River PATROLLER SCHOOL Registration

Eastern Division Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) and EMARI region asked NH to help register NSP members division-wide seeking to attend the SUNDAY RIVER PATROLLER SCHOOL.

EMARI and Maine Regions partner annually to organize the event, which attracts more than 80 NSP participants. Patrollers come from all over the division to attend a two-day Patroller School where Toboggan Enhancement and Snowsport Enhancement seminars are offered at all levels. NH Region was asked to help streamline registration using our web-based educational event and e-commerce computer servers.

The goal is to provide customers seeking ski patrol specific training to have a simplified registration page for choosing courses during the two-day event. Follow this link to the Sunday River PATROLLER SCHOOL Registration to see the course offerings. There are toboggan, skiing, and snowboarding events. Instructors looking for final certification and TE Candidates needing an evaluation, come together with Division Staff members and NSP members purchasing personalized ski patrolling educational seminars. It’s like receiving small group lessons on the terrain of Sunday River — choose senior level lessons or intermediate level for those who want an informative stress-free seminar. The Eastern Division Women’s Program also offers women-only events.

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TE Training Yields Better Instructors, “OP-ED”

Ny name is Jake Jacobson, I patrol at King Pine Resort in Madison, NH.  As a Ski and Toboggan "Trainer-Evaluator" for National Ski Patrol, I have found that the program excels at the Toboggan training aspect but has always lagged behind in the Skiing aspect of...

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