Scott Dagg brings you a wrap up on his indoor presentation delivered with Keith Stubbs from SBINZ…

As you all should know by now the Overall theme of NZ this interski was Attract Retain and Develop.

Keith Stubbs and I presented the indoor lecture on “Student retention through Achievement”. We showed up at the indoor venue and got set up; we had Peter Clinton Baker and Toby Arnott there as helpers, their job was to welcome the nations, and give them a glass of Central Otago wine, we were lucky enough to get sponsored from some of the vineyards, and this was welcomed by all the delegates that attended, have you ever known an instructor to turn down some free alcohol.

The room soon filled up and we were ready to go, we had a video that would play at the start of every lecture, it’s on line now so check it out. We cranked the volume and the room went silent as they watched the screen, clapping broke out when it finished and we started with the introductions.

I started talking about “what” we were going to cover in the lecture, these topics included;

  • How we are dealing with the “Global Goal” of greater or higher retention of snowsports students in our industry.
  • Discussing a change in our teaching methodology to the “Recently adapted”, Safety, Fun, Achievement Model, and
  • Introducing the FUNdamentals program and showing how this will link directly to retention in our students and athletes.

I then gave a little overview of our student profile to set up why we had made some changes.

In the ski season our visitors come from all around the world but Australia makes up the majority of the visitor numbers, Both the Ausie and kiwi mentality is that you just go and have a crack. They are on average athletic and adventurist and want to explore terrain. They take lessons when they see that there is a problem, or are having trouble with some aspect of their skiing or riding.

What that means for the snowsports schools is that the lesson time frames are generally based on shorter periods, approximately 2 hours especially in the group lessons. We have a short period of time to make a large impact on the guest; this means that we must deliver a product that has something tangible for the guest to take away every time! We also need to change the mind-set of the instructors to deliver a product that has a result for the student. It’s not just about the Learning pathway that they are on, this is still an important part of the equation but we are having to adapt to be more outcome  based, With the end result , The student leaving with the feeling of their experience being something that they can measure, It’s got to be Tangible.

Definition of: Tangible

  • Able to be perceived by touch
  • Advantages
  • Clear
  • Definite
  • Real

This is when Keith spoke about the new model “Safety Fun and Achievement” more in depth; the model is made up of three bubbles intersecting in the middle with one word in each. He showed how we came about the new model and how it could be adapted to different types of students both physically and mentally as to their needs from the lesson, Keith did allot of the work in this area showing “How” the model can be used with some great animations of a house wife with three kids aged 4 to 17, The model could be expanded in the safety area to suit here needs as she had to still be a great mum at the end of the day on the mountain, Next there is a rocker dude that isn’t so concerned about the safety but wants to have more fun and achievement in his lesson, so you could expand those bubbles to accommodate his needs of having mean time. The middle bubble got revealed later in presentation as being “STOKED”.  This was well perceived within the room to be a good change.

Next I spoke about the FUNdamentals program, this is not a new idea by any means but there are some differences that the other countries were interested in, I’ll get to these later. I explained how the snow sports industry works in NZ, as to the different organisations that work together to make our industry function. Here is some of the lecture content.

“This program was set up by snowsports NZ, they are the governing body that now oversees Free skiing, Racing, Snowboarding, Adaptive, Cross country and Snowsports Coaching.  The creation of Snowsports NZ in 2009 brought all of these once individual organisations underneath one umbrella. In 2012 snowsports NZ joined forces with High Performance NZ, They created a high performance training centre in Wanaka, They have a great gym, tramps and physios, strengthening and stretching rooms.

Snowsports NZ is recognised both nationally and internationally, by Sport NZ, International Ski Federation (FIS), The Olympic committee and Paralympics NZ.”

I then gave a run down on the whole program and how it works within the industry, how we incorporated it into our exam process, and how we are encouraging it as a nationwide program so that we can get some continuity for the kids coming through the system no matter where they get lessons or training.

“The NZSIA is working with snowsports NZ to help improve aspects of the Fundamentals; we are incorporating the Fundamentals into our kid cert qualifications. This is showing the kids cert instructors how to more effectively work with the program. The NZSIA is helping the program gather speed nationally and we are working alongside Snowsports NZ to continue to develop more tasks that are better suited to each discipline.”

Areas that were questioned about were:

How we managed it nationally, This is new for allot of countries, they have individual programs that are run but they don’t link to each other, Both keith and I made it clear that this is still in the developmental stages and that some of the snowsports schools don’t buy into this program yet. However for the great good of the sport as a whole throughout New Zealand and the development and recognition of our kids that are coming up through the system that it would be good if all snow schools adopted this program and worked together to grow our industry not just thinking about themselves.

We were questioned about the fairness of the program in regards to the kids that are in the class, “What happens if one child achieves the level and one doesn’t”, our answer was that we are OK with this as we are trying to show that there are different levels of achievement within the children’s skill development and competency and not all children are the same. Life isn’t fair, everyone is not on the same playing field, but this program rewards them for what they can actually achieve as long as the Snowsports instructors stay true to the program and its Ideals.

The countries that attended were very keen to get their hands on the dog tags that we gave out at the end of the lecture. They saw this as a fantastic addition to a certificate for the kids.

In Summary, The two areas that we chose to show case at Interski work well together.

The Fundamentals builds the skill level, this allows the kids to get excited about their skiing and riding as they can get around the mountain showing off to their friends, explore more terrain at faster speeds, they end up feeling really good about themselves and what they have achieved, and they stay safe, have fun and end up stoked.

Both Keith and I felt that we covered the areas of the presentation well and that it was well received within the room. We had a lot of positive feedback from other teams about all the indoor lectures.

I really liked the fact the ski and snowboard worked together as “One team” to present all the lectures, As far as I know we were the only team that did this for their presentation.

Cheers Scotty Dagg and Keith Stubbs.