This was the first of 3 workshops presented by Snowsport Sweden during Interski and was lead by Interski Team members Fredric Ericsson and Tess Axen (pictured).

The 3 on snow workshops are based on the new work model for Swedish Snowsports which consists of 3 pillars. The main goal overall is to get more people on snow.

The three pillars are:

  1. Towards the Ski Schools and their instructors
  2. Educational ski organizations and their trainers
  3. The Snowsport Sweden Network

The workshops are connected to these three pillars, and this particular workshop’s theme of “Self Leadership for Ski Instructors” mostly relates to the first pillar above and was about how they work with different experiences to increase the ski instructors competence and motivation to stay longer in the ski industry. (More info on the 3 pillars will be in a subsequent blog). This makes it easier to set goals for both the instructors skiing and leadership.

A large factor behind this is the desire to find ways to keep instructors in the industry for longer. Currently the average amount of time an instructor teaches in Sweden is just 1.6 seasons. The flow on effect from this is that those who are still in the industry after around 5yrs, generally move to working in an office in Snowsports Management, meaning most are not able to be available to work on snow to support new/developing instructors.

During the workshop Tess and Fredric created an interactive session utilising the theories behind experiential learning. This was done by applying the model to ski technique whilst ensuring the focus stayed on using the model, and was not about right or wrong in each persons skiing. This worked well as the group was able to trust the process and learn from using the model. This exploratory approach also meant that group was further interested in their own experience and learning.

This was done in the workshop by pairing people up with different tasks given each run. Awareness of what each person was doing was created by asking appropriate questions pitched at the level of the person being worked with. In a Snowsports School environment this could mean more technical questions for instructors, versus a beginner skier. In the Swedish system, this is used with all types of learners (instructors, athletes, clients/guests etc.) as they believe that by creating more self-awareness of one’s own competence and one’s own movements, means people can enjoy skiing by being a bigger part of their own process and learning. This makes for a better skier who can also then develop themselves to a greater degree. This is very much in line with what we are doing within the NZSIA, and fits in with the changes made to our Teaching Cycle in the last few years. Here is the Swedish Model (or clearer version here: Self Leadership for Ski Instructors ):

In addition to the above, “The Learning Pyramid” was also introduced and put into practice in the workshop. This was really interesting as it gave concrete information about ways of ensuring retention and recall of information is maximised by varying how it is taught. Most of the layers of the pyramid were put into action through the workshop which was a great example of how to use active learning methods (participative learning) to achieve a more in depth understanding and retention of knowledge. Below you can see this Model (or clearer version here: The Learning Pyramid ):

The theory behind all of this, is that by using knowledge in different contexts, activities, and groups, and then reflecting on the result and effort, you become more and more aware of your leadership and improve your skills as a leader. Development and learning are based on previous individual experiences and knowledge, but also how the activity itself has developed and thus personal development grows. Snowsports Sweden believe that motivated and conscious ski instructors increase the guest experience.


Below is a video taken with Tess explaining some of the main information/takeaways from this workshop:

By Interski Team Member, Yolinde (Yoyo) Magill