303-987-9390
info@psia-c.org

Senior Specialist Education and Certification

Teaching to Unique Needs

Senior Specialist Events

Education Clinics & Workshops

Education Clinics:

Please send clinic ideas/requests to info@psia-c.org.

Online Webinars:

Please send webinar ideas/requests to info@psia-c.org.

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 in good standing
  • 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.)
  • Use Central Events Calendar to register for Senior Specialist 1 Exam.
  • Watch Video “Snow Day: Life, Death, and Skiing” (Video Link shared in course registration confirmation email)
  • Complete prior to first virtual Session: Senior Specialist 1 Worksheet. (See Education Resources below)
  • Spend 2 two-hour virtual sessions wiwth Clinician
  • Prior to on-snow event: Access and read online in the LMS: the Senior Specialist Workbook. (See Education Resources below)
  • ***Worksheet must be submitted prior to the first virtual meeting. Submit to submissions@psia-c.org
  • 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.


Senior Specialist 2:

Join the Senior Specialist Educational staff on your pathway to Senior Specialist 2. Come prepared to this one-day on-snow event with a topic of your choice to share with your peers to develop and test your material. This is a deep dive into a topic that you have researched and started to develop material related to the Senior Model. Topics could include common chronic conditions, approaches to teaching seniors, or other topics related to CAP or VAK.

This event is an educational opportunity to dive into numerous topics and work with your peers to complete your Senior Specialist 2 presentation. You are encouraged to develop your topic with research materials and answer the Who/What/When/Why/How questions, however you are not presenting the “final version” of your presentation. You will have a willing group to be your test peers and provide feedback to complete your topic presentation.

Upon completing this educational event you will have 2 years to submit your final presentation for approval and at that time be promoted to Senior Specialist 2.

Example: 31% of seniors have a form of Arthritis, either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Develop a presentation on what this condition is and how to modify your lesson content to teach a senior who still enjoys sliding and wants to continue to learn new skills. Specifically, they want to learn how to slide through bumps to keep up with their grandkids.

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.)
  •  Senior Specialist 1
  • Taught a season that includes senior lessons
  • Use Central Events Calendar to register for Senior Specialist 1 Exam.
  • Refresh by reading 2021 PSIA-C SrS1 Workbook
    (See Education Resources below)
  • Watch Video “Snow Day: Life, Death, and Skiing” (Shared in course registration confirmation email)
  • Complete prior to first virtual Session: Senior Specialist 2 Worksheet. (See Education Resources below) Submit to submissions@psia-c.org
  • Spend 1 two-hour virtual session with Clinician
  • A written rough draft of your presentation must be submitted two weeks prior the first day of the event. This rough draft can be in outline form but must state the topic that you will be presenting during the event.  Submit to submissions@psia-c.org.
  • Present your topic to your peers
  • Work with your peers to develop your final presentation
  • Submit your final presentation as a publishable article (1000-1400 words), Slide presentation w/ audio, video presentation or any other acceptable agreed upon format.

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