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Ted's Cert Notes

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This site is provided by Ted Amenta, Breckenridge Ski School Ski & Snowboard Instructor,
available for private instruction upon request.

These are the notes I put together getting ready for my PSIA full certification test. These notes are not intend to be of much use to anyone other than ski instructors getting ready for their PSIA testing.


Biomechanics is the branch of science which combines biology and mechanical engineering. Quality of movements in terms of D.A.D.I.T. should combine the basic skills in such a way as to achieve the most efficient state of balance possible.

Inefficient movements can result from fear and poor skiing habits. Inefficient movements in any terrain will causes the skier work harder and even to loose balance in all types of terrain.

See common threads bellow. Failure to exhibit a common thread at the intermediate level will inhibit advancement to higher skill. Time must be spent addressing common threads on terrain the skier is comfortable with before tackling more challenging situations.

Lateral learning involves intentional deviation from the centerline for the purpose of targeting a specific fundamental skill. This should be done on terrain the skier is confident on.

The centerline represents the most efficient mix of the fundamental skills.


  • Control Precision: fine tune of large muscle groups.
  • Coordination: work various parts of body together.
  • Response Orientation: correct reaction to given stimulus.
  • Reaction Time: delay between stimulus and reaction.
  • Rate Control: duration, frequency.

Seven Parameters of Learning Effectiveness

  • Learning style (see student profile).
  • Info Processing (how much).
  • Feedback (PNP).
  • Interpersonal Control (balance).
  • Patience and Process/Outcome (realistic goals).
  • Attention & Concentration (match lesson to attention span).
  • Integrity (teach for heart).

Accelerate the learning process

  • Keep it fun and interesting.
  • Remove barriers: critical-logical, intuitive-emotional, ethical-moral.
  • Ask what they want to learn.
  • Describe that learning is a slow process, set realistic goals.


Skier responsibility code:

  • Ski in control, able to avoid...
  • Uphill skier responsible.
  • Stop where visible an out of the way.
  • Check uphill before entering a trail or after a rest.
  • Observe trail signs.
  • Wear straps or brakes.

ATS is:

  • Student Centered: collaborative effort.
  • Outcome based: must have some success.
  • Experiential: learn by doing.
  • Learning-Partnership Based: synergetic partnership.
  • Guest service driven: student is a paying guest.
  • From the heart: don't care what we know till know we care.

ATS is combo of Teaching Model, Skiing Model, Biomechanics, and Movement Analysis.

Student Profile:

  • Characteristics and Background.
  • Learning Preferences:
    • Sensory Preference: visual, auditory, kinesthetic.
    • Learning Style:
      • Visual: watch and imitate.
      • Kinesthetic: feeling, outside forces.
      • Proprioceptive: feeling, inside forces.
      • Cognitive: verbal-auditory.
      • Trial and Error: just keep trying.
  • Motivation.
  • Beliefs, attitudes, values.

The Teaching Model: (not always linear)

  • Introduction.
  • Assessing the Student: student profile, ongoing process.
  • Determine Goals and Plan Objectives:
  • Presenting Information: consider profile, info processing, lots of demos.
  • Guiding Practice: PNP feedback.
  • Check for Understanding: ask (cognitive) and watch (physical).
  • Summary: review, preview, address as individuals.

Teaching for transfer: Draw on students previous learning and set up for future.

Teaching styles:

  • Command: instructor is center of and in full control of lesson (1 hill).
  • Task: instructor describes task, demos, sets 'em loose, necessary feedback.
  • Reciprocal: buddy system task.
  • Guided Discovery: instructor uses series of experiences or questions to lead students to discovery (sideslip: try knees, ankles, extend, etc.).
  • Problem Solving: students given problem and time frame (easiest way down).

Class arrangement: line up, semicircular, circle around, within circle, huddle, follow, call down, free practice, peer matching, demo.

Skiing Model:

  • Skills: Rotary, Edge, Pressure, Balance.
  • Appropriate blend for conditions = centerline.
  • Centerline milestones: wedge, wedge turn, wedge christie, open parallel, dynamic parallel.
  • Lateral learning involves deviation from centerline.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

  • Physiological: food, water, air, heat, etc.
  • Safety/Security: feeling of well being.
  • Social: approval of others.
  • Self-Esteem: feeling of value.
  • Self-Actualization: peak experiences.

Common Threads

  • Balancing Movements
    • Natural relationship between legs.
    • Tall yet flexed stance.
    • Movements centered over middle of foot.
    • Appropriate slight counter.
    • Quiet upper body with dynamic relationship to skis.
    • Turns are linked with continuous flow of mass.
    • Active guiding of both feet.
  • Rotary Movements
    • Leg movements complement one another.
    • Support active guidance of skies.
    • Complement edge and pressure movements.
  • Edge Movements
    • Progressive edging.
    • Fine tune ankles, knees, and other alignments to complement rotary and pressure.
  • Pressure Movements
    • Progressive shift to outside ski.
    • Dynamic flexing and extending through turn.

Domains of learning

  • Sensory/Motor: skilled movements.
  • Affective: feelings, attitudes.
  • Cognitive: thinking.

Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognition

  • Knowledge: recall.
  • Comprehension: grasping the meaning.
  • Application: using learned material in new ways.
  • Analysis: break down material into parts.
  • Synthesis: assemble material in new ways.
  • Evaluation: value of material for a given purpose.

Turn Initiation Forces

  • Rotation.
  • Counter-Rotation.
  • Anticipation-Release.
  • Rotary-Push Off.
  • Bracage.
  • Heel Shove.
  • Fulcrum.


  • Duration.
  • Accuracy.
  • Direction.
  • Intensity.
  • Timing.

Movement Analysis Model

  • Observe and Describe.
  • Cause and effect relationships.
  • Prioritize needs.
  • Lesson Plan.

Breckenridge Ski SchoolBreckenridge Ski School
This site is provided by Ted Amenta, Breckenridge Ski School Ski & Snowboard Instructor,
available for private instruction upon request.

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