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Senior Specialist Education and Certification

Teaching to Unique Needs

Exam Descriptions

Welcome to the opportunity to enhance your teaching skills with older adults. Teaching older adults, from novice to expert level, provides a unique challenge; requiring both strong foundations in the fundamentals of skiing/riding as well as a solid grasp of the way older adults move, learn and engage in the sport. The purpose of the Senior Specialist program is to provide educational training for instructors of all ages and various abilities to gain the tools and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality teaching and performance enhancement outcomes for the senior skier seeking lessons. To this end, PSIA-AASI-C has partnered with other divisions to create a curriculum to meet the unique needs of teaching to the senior population.

PSIA AASI-C is offering a Senior Specialist credential program based on and adapted from the PSIA-AASI-NW Senior Specialist Standard referenced in its entirety in the appendix of the Senior Specialist Manual and on the Senior Specialist PSIA-AASI-NW website. The Senior Specialist Standard is derived upon existing National Standards including Alpine, Children, Telemark and Snowboard. (Note, this is not a PSIA-AASI National recognized certification. It is a divisional specialization credential.)

The premise of the Senior Specialist Standards is based upon the concepts of “levels of understanding” that define stages of learning within degrees of understanding. Just as certification is a measure of understanding, levels of certification represent stages of understanding. Although not a certification, Senior Specialist participants will be expected to meet levels of competency as defined by SrS 1. Participants will be held to the knowledge and performance standards of the level at which they are participating as well as the criteria for all preceding levels. Levels of participant expectations are based on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Remembering, Understanding and Applying. The SrS2 focuses on the beginner through advanced skier/rider and will include Bloom’s Taxonomy of Analysis, Evaluating and Creating a lesson for a senior profile skier/rider.

The Senior Specialist program is multidisciplinary. Alpine, Telemark, Snowboard, Cross Country, and Adaptive members will use the same manual, workbook and quiz materials. The manual covers Alpine Fundamentals. Specific Fundamentals for Alpine, Cross Country, Snowboard, Telemark and Adaptive members are provided in the resource links below. These disciplines will be included in the same, on-snow group.

Senior Specialist 1:

What: A two-day (12 CEU) course open to any Level I or higher PSIA AASI Central member. The Senior Specialist program will present instructors with educational training to gain the tools and knowledge necessary to deliver high-quality lessons for the senior skier — of all disciplines.

***Note: Exams will be available in either downhill or cross country venues. Please look for specifics in event registration locations.

How: The Central Senior Specialist 1 course encourages participants to apply the information included in the PSIA-NW Senior Specialist Manual, their professional knowledge, as well as an understanding of the fundamentals- both in the completion of the workbook and during the on-snow portion. The Central Senior Specialist On-Snow portion will add substance to the concepts and content introduced in the workbook. The On-Snow portion will use real-time & hypothetical scenarios to apply standard exercises, modified in both their approach and execution relative to the senior student. Participants will test the principles of senior-specific models, the teaching cycle, theoretical and applied professional knowledge to these scenarios. The practical portion will address how presentation framing & phrasing differs by the student; seniors are no exception.

A quiz will be part of the on-snow portion. An SrS 1 certificate is awarded based upon the degree of participation and understanding including the synthesis and evaluation of course material.


Prerequisites:

  • Current PSIA AASI Member
  • Must have attained a Level I Certification in any of the following disciplines: Adaptive, Alpine, Snowboard, Cross Country, or Telemark
    (Check out the Discipline-specific Senior resources below.)
  • Complete & Submit online in the LMS: the Senior Specialist Workbook. Must be successfully completed before registering for the On-Snow portion of the course.
    (Please bring a copy to your event).
    ***For help on using the LMS to access the workbook, check out the LMS Guide.
  • Be sure to check other prerequisites in the Certification Pathways Guide below.

Resources for discovering the answers to the questions and tasks found in the online workbook and on-hill quiz are listed in the Education Resources below.

**The Senior Specialist Workbook is also available as a PDF if necessary. If you would prefer to complete the workbook as a handwritten PDF, instead of online, the completed workbook must be submitted to the Central Office prior to registering for the event. (Participants have the option to re-enter questions in the Online workbook form) After mailing your workbook, please allow at least 1 work week for the information to be entered into your account. Please allot adequate time for this option.

**PDF Version: Central_SS1_Workbook(1)  — Please note in order to fill the pdf electronically you must have a basic pdf reader application. (Free versions are available through most app stores. (Adobe PDF Reader)

**For email workbook submissions, submitted workbooks are added each week on the mornings of Monday, Wednesday and Friday(Holidays may affect these days). Please allow for at least two business days for your workbook pass to be added to your account. If after the two days you are still unable to register online please contact us at info@psia-c.org or at 231-335-4627. For postal mail, allow at least 7 business days after submission. Please note sending your workbook via the submissions email is highly recommended.

Senior Specialist 2:

Two-day course available to Level 2 or higher PSIA AASI Central member who has successfully completed the SrS 1 course at least one season prior to the SS 2.

The SrS 2 includes a teaching component and a rigorous curriculum focusing on the beginning through advanced skier applying concepts, tactics and theory specific to coaching the senior learner. This includes a deeper exploration into the cognitive and effective attributes of a senior as well as identification of movement pattern techniques for the advanced level skier. There is a mandatory workbook for this course that both need to be successfully completed two weeks prior to the on-snow event. The quiz will be part of the on-snow portion. A SrS 2 certificate is awarded based upon the degree of participation and understanding including the synthesis and evaluation of course material.

***Note: Exams will be available in either downhill or cross country venues. Please look for specifics in event registration locations.

Prerequisites for the Central Senior Specialist 2:

  • Current PSIA AASI Member Must have attained a Level II Certification or higher in any of the following disciplines: Adaptive, Alpine, Cross Country, Snowboard or Telemark
    (Check out the Discipline-specific Senior resources below.)
  • Have successfully completed the Senior Specialist 1 course.
  • Complete the Senior Specialist 2 Workbook  — currently only available as a PDF (Download HERE: Central_SRS2_Workbook_11.7.2019) All Workbooks must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the On-Snow Event.
    Please forward all workbooks to the office at submissions@psia-c.org or P.O. Box 2144 Frankfort, MI, 49635. 
  • Resources for discovering the answers to the questions and tasks found in the online workbook and onhill quiz are available in Education Resources below.

Education Resources

Senior Specialist Outcomes and Movements

Ski/Ride Outcomes – Senior Specific

SENIOR SPECIALIST OUTCOMES (Alpine, Telemark, and Snowboard)

  • Minimize muscle fatigue
  • Minimize impact of joints
  • Conserve energy
  • Improve current skills
  • Allow for exploration of more terrain
  • Increase their enjoyment of the mountain experience
General Skiing/Riding Characteristics –Senior Specific
  • Consistently link turns with sustained rhythm
  • Maintain consistent speed by controlling the shape of a turn
  • Ski/Ride a variety of turn sizes with a series of turns while maintaining speed control
  • Maintain a balanced stance with skeletal alignment as needed throughout a series of turns to be able to positively affect any of the skills at any time
  • Display continuous flexion/extension movements and lower/variable edge angles
Alpine Fundamentals — Senior Specific
 

Senior Specific SKIING Performance on all Green and Blue Groomed

Terrain Balancing Movements and Stance:

  • Maintains an open stance displaying rotational, lateral and fore/aft alignment
  • The skeletal frame is aligned and joints are stacked, minimizing muscle fatigue and stress

Pressuring Movements:

  • Demonstrates a progressive and smooth transition of pressure to new outside ski at turn initiation
  • Uses forward/diagonal movements to maintain boot cuff contact (fore/aft movements)
  • Demonstrates continuous flexion and extension movement patterns to enhance flow and smooth transitions and reducing impact stress

Rotary Movements:

  • Demonstrates progressive steering of the legs to assist in turn shape and speed control
  • Demonstrates an ability to blend rotary movements with edging movements
  • Develop counter through turning the legs more than the upper body

Edging Movements:

  • Demonstrates progressive edging and de-edging movement patterns
  • Demonstrates appropriate skidding movements to minimize pressure loading on joints utilizing a long (tall), slightly inclined stance for skeletal strength and to reduce muscle fatigue.
 
Snowboard Fundamentals — Senior Specific

Senior Specific RIDING Performance on all Green and Blue Groomed Terrain

Fundamental Movements in Snowboarding:

  • Flexion and Extension / Rotation

Board Performance in Snowboarding:

  • Board performance refers to the actual outcome within the snowboard or what is physically happening to it during a turn or trick. (Tilt, Twist, Pivot & Pressure)

Balancing Movements and Stance:

  • Maintains a balanced athletic stance, weight 50-50, knees bent, back straight
  • Focus on the Reference Alignments; Shoulders, hips and board aligned with the terrain

Pressuring Movements:

  • Demonstrates a progressive and smooth transition of pressure to create, manage, distribute and release flex and bend in the snowboard
  • Movement options:
  1. Vertical- moving the body or parts of the body up and down
  2. Lateral- moving the body or parts of the body (COM) across the board toward the toe or heelside
  3. Rotational- turning the body or parts of the body around an axis
  4. Longitudinal- moving the body or parts of the body (COM) towards the nose or tail of the board.

Pivot (Steering, Spin & Rotational movements):

  • Maintain awareness of rotational movement by mixing and blending upper and lower body rotation with other movements
  • Developing efficient rotational movements allow a rider to create, store and apply power and performance effectively

Tilt (Edging Movements):

  • Demonstrates progressive edging by changing the tilt of the board
  • Demonstrates the amount of snowboard tilt to maintain a skidded turn where a rider needs to keep their speed down or maintain balance while maintaining a fairly tall stance for skeletal strength and to reduce muscle fatigue

Twist (Torsional):

  • Demonstrates movements to torsionally twist the board to pivot around an axis or flex and bend the snowboard
  • Rider demonstrates the use of twist to initiate turns by lateral and vertical movements.
Telemark Fundamentals — Senior Specific

Performance on All Green and Blue Groomed Terrain

Lead Change Skills:

  • Demonstrates simultaneous lead change to promote proficient skiing under most circumstances
  • Able to retain pressure on trailing foot to create better balance and allow for efficient blending of the other skills
  • Demonstrates the control of size, duration, intensity, rate and timing of the lead change to manage fore/aft stability

Edging Skills:

  • Demonstrates progressive edging and de-edging movement patterns
  • Demonstrates the ability to take advantage of the modern ski’s “self-steering effect” to reduce the need of significant muscular input from the skier
  • Demonstrates appropriate skidding movements to minimize pressure loading on joints utilizing a long (tall), slightly inclined stance for skeletal strength and to reduce muscle fatigue
  • Demonstrates the control of edge angles through a combination of inclination and angulation

Rotational Skills:

  • Demonstrates progressive steering of the legs to assist in turn shape and speed control
  • Demonstrates the ability to blend rotary movements with edging and lead change skills
  • Develop counter through turning the legs more than the upper body to effectively “stack” the bones and muscles to help deal with the forces created in a turn
  • Demonstrates control of the turning of the skis with rotation of the feet and legs in conjunction with discipline in the upper body

Pressure Control Skills:

  • Demonstrates control of the fore/aft relationship of the center of mass to the base of support to manage pressure along the length of the skis
  • Demonstrates control of the lateral relationship of the center of mass to the base of support to manage pressure from ski to ski
  • Regulates the amount of pressure created through ski/snow interaction with flexion and extension movements.

© Professional Ski instructors of America - American Association of Snowboard Instructors - Central Division