Feb 4 (2011)
Adam Dooney and Keith Stubbs went to the Dutch snowboard workshop on the last day of Interski. Here’s the write-up…
Clinic title: The TEA Concept – Try, Exercise, Apply
Clinic synopsis: The Examining team from the Netherlands split there clinic into two sections. Firstly delivering an outline of there qualification system and then presenting their TEA concept.
Our summary: Starting by outlining the three levels of instructor qualifications, the Netherlands’ Examiners explained how the start of their system is governed by a complete lack of mountains and snow. The first level of qualification is therefore done completely on dry-slope/indoors and is used mainly by instructors teaching in Holland on the same surface. Moving on to the upper levels the qualification exams are run in the European Alps and are designed for instructors that will be taking clients to the Alps from the Netherlands. The Level Three qualification has just been introduced and is focused not only on teaching and riding techniques but also other aspects of taking clients on a riding tour around Europe.
The clinic then moved on to introduce a teaching concept that is used to plan lessons and develop riders skills. They introduced this as the TEA Concept; Try – Exercise – Apply.
Try – This is where the instructor observes there students ‘trying’ certain tasks or attempting to achieve certain goals. Through this section the instructor in encouraged to work on the students ‘awareness’ of body parts or board performance that may not be working that well. From this point of awareness the instructor can now start to work on a plan with the student to achieve their goals.
Exercise – Now that the student is aware of what will help them achieve their goals exercises, drills and tasks are used to help the rider develop the necessary skills. Starting with static introduction of a particular movement or stance and progressing on to more complex task. This provides the student with a smooth progression that can be advanced at the rider’s individual pace.
Apply – As the title suggests this is where the rider takes their new found stance or movements or board performance and applies them to free riding all over the mountain. The instructor will challenge the rider by using the new skill on new terrain or new tricks or any type of riding challenge suitable.
In summary, the TEA concept is not too different from our Static – Simple – Complex – Freeride. However, starting by focusing on the student’s awareness (in the Try part of the TEA concept) before leaping into any type of lesson is an idea that all instructors should consider. Without taking the time to increase the student’s awareness of a certain issue you will always struggle to make change. This will also help the student understand the Why in a task.
Working on a rider’s awareness is a concept that the SBINZ has been developing with their Trainers for the past few years, with a lot of success. I would also encourage instructors to give it some time and thought during their lessons. A couple of simple questions could very quickly help you find the level of your student’s awareness in a certain area before leaping into a full lesson plan.