A while back I had the chance to share a bit of my story with the crew at Honey Stinger for their Hive Podcast. While it was really cool to be invited to be on their show, I have to say the other episodes are far more impressive, with really cool stories about fitness, nutrition, and life from world class athletes. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a new podcast series!
From Honey Stinger:
Episode 20 features our first conversation with a winter athlete. Snowboarder and master snowboard instructor Chris Rogers. Rogers travels the world working as an instructor and trainer for multiple organizations as a member of the Snowboard National Team of the PSIA/AASI (Professional Ski Instructors of America & American Association of Snowboard Instructors). These are the world’s largest organization dedicated to teaching people to ski and snowboard.
In addition, Rogers also works as an Examiner in the organization’s Rocky Mountain chapter, which means he certifies other snowboard instructors. With decades of riding, competing and coaching behind Chris, he knows as much about the sport as anyone. He talks about the unique joys and quirks of snowboarding. He even talks about how a single Honey Stinger waffle has saved the day for him on many occasions.
Best of all, Rogers and Willey go deep into the importance and the value of teaching and learning. Chris accidentally built a career out of his passion and you can too.
Last week I submitted my application to try out for a second term on the PSIA-AASI National Team. This video is just one part of the application process, the next step is the on-snow selections in April.
Serving on the 2016-20 National Team has been an incredible honor. We worked hard to create the future of PSIA and AASI, and I’m trying out for a second term because I want to continue serving the membership and the organization, and to continue the work that this team started.
I started filming and editing this year’s application video months ago, but in the end, threw it away and started from scratch right before applications were due. Much of the video work we do goes through multiple rounds of edits and cuts, and for this year’s application video, I was feeling like trying something different.
So here it is: 5 minutes of unscripted, live video, shot sometime around 2am, sandwiched between travel home from clinics in Minnesota for PSIA-AASI Central Division, and a Level 1 Exam in Rocky Mountain Division.
Let me know what you think about the video in the comments!
For the last several months my good friend (and AASI Teammate), Nick Alfieri, and I, have been working on a new project. It’s a podcast about life, the universe, and everything, but centered around our lives and careers in the snowsports industry.
With this show, Nick and I will both tell our stories about snowboarding, competition, careers, passion, and struggles. Many of these stories and themes will be areas of the snowsports instruction career that we’ve wanted to tell, but haven’t previously had the right venue.
This is a weekly show. There are 6 episodes out now, with new episodes released every week on Wednesdays at 6pm mountain time. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and most other sites that list podcasts.
When I started promoting my new project Get AWSM a few years ago, it was founded based on the idea of using instruction and training to help others to “Get Awesome.”
After a few years of creating content under the name Get AWSM, I’ve had other thoughts about the name, and this year, with moving to New Zealand for the “summer,” and chasing winter around the world, I made the decision to rebrand Get AWSM to Live WNTR.
Live WNTR better describes my goal as an instructor, trainer, and coach. It was never about becoming awesome, it was about helping others find and connect with a passion for winter.
In many ways, the naming behind Get AWSM and Live WNTR are the same. But Live WNTR is meant to be a little bigger. It’s about connecting with the experience of winter, not just about becoming good at skiing and snowboarding. It was never meant to be about the accomplishment, and I think the name Live WNTR embodies a connection to the culture and the soul better.
Today was my first time leading a clinic in the Southern Hemisphere! So stoked on the training culture and crew vibe here at The Remarkables in New Zealand. Humbled by the amount of instructor experience gathered in this cool little corner of the world, and honored to get to be a part of it. Thanks to all the attendees for the warm welcome and great discussions this morning!
My clinic today was described as “How to train an improve yourself and get ready for exams while you’re teaching your lessons.” As I was wrapping up the day, I wrote down these four points to recap the clinic for anyone that was working and couldn’t make it today… thought I’d share them here as well!
1. It’s not actually about the results.
Exams are designed to evaluate what you do every day as an instructor, but the nature and format of exams can make them more stressful and don’t always feel representative of our daily work. Remember that it’s not the end goal or result that matters, it’s the actual process of working towards that goal – the hard work, the long days, the tough lessons with splits, he tech talks, and even the failures along the way – that actually improve you. A certificate or a pin doesn’t suddenly make you a better instructor, the pin verifies the journey you’ve been on!
2. Find a training buddy / squad, and ride with intention!
The schedule of our days here at The Remarks creates some great opportunities to develop yourself. Find a couple of buddies that will encourage you and hold you to making a few laps between lineups. It doesn’t matter if they have the same goals or certs, what matters is that you can motivate and encourage each other. 30 minutes is enough time for some reciprocal feedback or a mock teach. Quick videos on phones make for easy conversations on chairlifts or between lineups – even if it’s raining. Take video of your students so you have video review material anytime you have a squad. The important part is setting that intention (“I’m going to ride this whole lap switch,” or “This lap I’m working on down unweighted large radius carves,” etc) and having someone to watch or video you.
3. Own your training and development!
Learn your strengths and weaknesses, and take the time to continue working on feedback you receive. Training managers, trainers, and clinics create a great framework, but it’s up to you to put in the work between sessions. The staff lounge chairs are always calling, but they’ll still be there after you make a couple of laps with your training buddies. You might not always have a trainer with you, but the time you spend riding, teaching, and developing between clinics is the best way to prepare so you can optimize time when you are out with a trainer.
4. Go snowboarding!
This last one is by far the most important, and I can’t say it enough. Go snowboarding. Go skiing. Go snowskate. Go roll in the snow and make snow angels. Have FUN! Training, preparation, work, clinics, studying, video review, conversations in the locker room and over beers – they’re all important. But not as important as maintaining a grasp on the passion that drives you to pursue this as a career. Getting out and riding for fun, that’s good for the soul, and if your soul is fed, working on the rest of it is so much easier!