SNOWBIRD, Utah – The U.S. Ski Team men’s alpine athletes and coaches spent the past week learning the latest teaching techniques from the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) at Snowbird Resort. In addition to earning PSIA Level III certifications, the group will now apply the latest knowledge of skiing fundamentals to foster faster skiing at all levels of the U.S. Ski Team development pipeline. U.S. Ski Team fundamental skills development coach Michael Rogan and men’s alpine head coach Sasha Rearick spearheaded the weeklong camp, which included all men’s assistant coaches and four Olympic athletes.
“The week we spent with PSIA brought our athletes and staff full circle through the process of teaching skiing from the true foundation up. From that, we’ve gained an invaluable perspective on how to be faster in every condition, every gate set, basically every variable that you can possibly be presented with on snow,” said Rearick of the experience.
“No one was 100% sure what to expect at the start of the week, but by the end there was a greater understanding of skiing and teaching by everyone involved,” noted Rogan. “From a PSIA standpoint, it was a tremendous confirmation of our strength. We are great educators of skiing and it is an honor to be a part of anything working with the U.S. Ski Team, specifically something that results in 22 new Level III certified PSIA instructors.”
Marco Sullivan, Steven Nyman, David Chodounsky, Jared Goldberg, and seven additional members of the men’s team participated in the event. In addition to Rogan, coaches and athletes also worked with PSIA National Team members Dave Lyon, Eric Lipton, Robin Barnes and National Team coach Rob Sogard in both on-snow and classroom style teaching.
“I enjoyed the simplicity in learning about skiing all over again, specifically as it relates to how athletes can learn from each other. We had 18-year-olds going through the same process with guys like Marco Sullivan and me. That helped create a common form of communication across every level, which will for sure help us learn from each other. I can’t wait to try some of these techniques out next season to see how they translate into racing,” remarked three-time Olympian Nyman.
“It was rewarding to see the curiosity and engagement of this group. They demonstrated that it doesn’t matter if you’ve coached an Olympic champion or won a World Cup, there is always much to learn about skiing faster and teaching it effectively,” said USSA Sport Education Director Jon Nolting. “Our relationship with these PSIA professionals is very exciting and critical to help us achieve our goals toward improving the quality of ski coaching in the United States.”
Release courtesy of USSA