Canada Day!

Today was our turn to share with the world, we hosted workshops this morning and afternoon with a focus on sharing a little piece of our teaching methodology; the SAFE concept. We also hosted an indoor workshop where we gave an overview of our system, more on that later.

The SAFE concept is nothing new to us, it has been part of our course content for many years but sort of fell out of view slightly, overshadowed by many of our excellent teaching concept we’ve brought to the members in recent years, most notably the Competencies and the Practical Teaching Skills. The SAFE model provides a tangible lesson structuring tool for instructors to introduce, develop and refine new skills. Initially used as a beginner teaching technique, the SAFE model can be adapted to more advanced manoeuvres and concepts.

S: Explanation / Demonstration of the tactic. A: Practice in a controlled environment, lots of feedback. F: Mileage and Practice. E: Add variation to the movement (edge / slope / movement change).

5 of us presented this session today, offering different presentation style and giving almost all of us a chance to teach snowboarders from all over the planet, not an opportunity you get very often, if ever, for most of us. I headed out with 2 Americans, 2 Polish, 1 Australian, 2 Swiss and 2 Slovenian riders; incredible amount of knowledge in one group… slightly intimidating! The pressure to perform was definitely felt.

First step was to ensure understanding of the SAFE model by using a very basic piece of our Quickride, more specifically skating, every country has skating as part of their beginner “progression”, naturally, as it is how we all get around the flats and load any type of lifts, finding common ground on a manoeuvre was the objective to ensure a focus on the teaching methodology and not get caught up into a “we do it this way in our country” type of scenario. Once clear on the model, it was time to up the difficulty to keep everyone engaged, we settled on Short Turns, another consistent tasks amounts the various systems present in the group.

Static: The good old twist the disc analogy to use the feet to turn the board (turning with the lower body), while this tactic as almost as old as CASI itself, much to my surprise, not many had heard this analogy before. A black groomed run (albeit very slushy) was the venue. Time for a demo.

Active: Time for everyone to give it a try. Very interesting to observe the various movement patterns from different systems. Feedback is next… which had to be prefaced by “my goal is not to make you ride like me or the Canadian way” as this is not a CASI certification course, which brings an interesting dynamic within the group as you can tell they are comparing this to their own way of performing this task. Everyone was a good sport and gave it a try… lots of questions ensued.

Free: Time for mileage while guiding them safely. Very cool to watch that many high end riders tearing apart a slope and having a good time.

Experiment: Let’s add a variation. I started by giving them a variation to try. Building on twist the disc I had them attempt to twist one disc at a time, separating the turning effort between front and back foot relating them to phases of the turn. I then followed it up with having them come up with a variation of their own, lots of good stuff came out there and we all gave them a try accompanied by some great discussions.

With a bit of time left I took them to the park to discuss how this model can be applied to any riding environment and together we came up with a manoeuvre that we can apply to this model to; in this case ollies and nollies. For sake of time we skipped A and F and went right to E, having them do ollies and nollies on various features of their choice while cruising through the park, super fun way to wrap it up!

Well received, great times and discussions were had with everyone. I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity to present at Interski for the 3rd time, career highlights for sure, a huge thank you to you, the members, and the Interski comittee for giving us this opportunity.

Thank you CASI!

Luc Belanger

La Suisse!

Journée 3 du congrès Interski et aujourd’hui j’ai eu le plaisir d’assister à la session sur neige de l’équipe Suisse, un pays qui est toujours très branché et toujours en recherche d’innovation pour améliorer l’experience des étudiants des écoles de glisse de la Suisse, c’est bien aussi de jaser en Français avec eux, un de leurs languages officiel.

Le but de leur session étais de partager leur façon d’enseigner un mouvement ou une manoeuvre de façon simple et efficace; la manoeuvre du jour… Le Harry. Le Harry est facilement décrit come un nose press avec un backside shifty. Le but était de créer une position stable en nose press et en même temps envoyer le tail en contre rotation avec le haut du corps et une extension de la jambe avant pour produire un effet dramatique et un style sans égal! Assez difficile pour nous garder engagé!

La méthode d’enseignement fut simple… 1: On essais la manoeuvre après avoir vu une démo. Sur une piste verte damée, conséquences potentielle minimale. On en discute, on échange des impressions et on pose des questions…Similaire à la découverte guidée. 2: Quelle sorte de méthodes d’apprentissage sont les plus efficaces et quand les mettre en pratique? On déconstruit la manoeuvre en étape. Sur une surface plate on commence avec un nose press, on explore l’amplitude des movements avant, la position des hanches et les sensations recherchées. On se met par deux et on va encore plus loin dans notre amplitude et on ajoute le shifty, mon partenaire me tenant les deux mains pour stabilité lorsque nous somme statique; pas facile! Nous sommes en Acquisition des mouvements.

3: On glisse! Maintenant c’est le temps de mettre les mouvements acquis en pratique, toujours sur du terrain vert ou les conséquences sont basse pour assurer une performance optimale. On nous donne beaucoup de temps pour la Consolidation des mouvements de la manoeuvre. 4: Application et Variation des mouvements (manoeuvre): Comment individualiser l’enseignement pour pouvoir adresser tout les types d’apprentissage? On trouve des analogies pour contribuer davantage à la simplicitée de l’enseignement et assurer la comprehension… dans ce cas ci: Bowling! On peu aussi comparer à une autre manoeuvre commune: Frontside Boardslide, Nollie, speed checks, etc. On se met en partenaire pour l’équivalent du bon vieux Top Gun, on varie en utilisant du terrain varié (les bords de piste, on essaie en switch) et en augmentant la difficulté et le défi. Tout ça soutenue par une analyse individuelle de la performance.

5: Création et Supplément des mouvement: Que puis-je faire comme enseignant pour aider les étudiants à atteindre leur but(s)? Dans ce cas ci on nous emmène dans le parc pour utiliser les modules; des Harry sur les jointures des sauts et gérer les pressions associées aux changements de terrain, vraiment le fun et un bon défi pour tous.

Donc un modèle d’enseignement simple, individuel et efficace pour une progression plus rapide et une expérience durable avec une progression similaire au modèle Canadien du développement des habilitée motrice (IARCV). Bravo les Suisses; très bonne présentation.


Luc Bélanger

Day ONE on snow!

First day at the congress is done and dusted! We all did our first ever turns in Bulgaria at Pamporovo Resort, our hosts.

The conditions were definitely variable with some warm weather in the area at the moment (only getting hotter as the week progresses…) so spring riding it was. We had a chance to dial in our show runs and opening/closing ceremony runs with the SKI and TELE team on the DEMO slope. The slope starts off steep and mellows towards the bottom, requiring us to adjust so that we can maintain a consistent speed all the way to the bottom, they even built us a nice little jump at the bottom which we will incorporate in one of our show runs (keep your eyes out for a little teaser video our YouTube channel later today).

All the teams (SB, Ski, Tele) are working really well together to showcase the 3 Canadian Techniques in our opening ceremony show tomorrow afternoon; everyone’s always watching Canada closely at this event as we are a very well respected nation and we have many international members in our Association. No pressure or anything…

We have already met many of the Nations here for the week; the US, San Marino, Holland, Ireland, Australia, Croatia, Slovenia with more teams rolling into town as we speak. We look forward to represent all of the members to the best of our ability, on and off the snow.

More coming!!! Watch this space…

Yours in Snowboarding ( I stole this from Greg “cheeseball” Daniells),

Luc Belanger