Basi Alpine Level 1 Course

Reporter: Debra Bookbinder

If anyone is thinking in following in the recent snow tracks of Andy, Rik or Debra, you may be interested to know a little bit more about what is involved and what to expect if you embark on obtaining the first level of ski instruction award. So here goes...

In terms of what you may expect from changes to your own skiing, you may want to review two videos. The firstwas taken the last time I was on my skis a few days before the course. The second was taken on the morning of the final day. Before (7 turns on 1/3rd of slope). After (19 non wobbly turns on 1/6th of slope).

There were 10 assessment participants and, unusually, two assessors. One was leading the course, the other shadowing in preparation for delivering the course in Zermatt a few weeks later. The result was an intensification of the significant, detailed and specific analysis, which was to characterize the 5 days of the assessment. There was no avoiding their steely gaze!

One of the most striking features of the experience, compared to a course, was the absence of feedback on the quality and standard of our skiing. The feedback was exclusively directed at identification of issues negatively impacting on skiing and approaches to resolving it. This can be daunting. It can also be motivational as the group soon became very committed to improving and supporting each other to make the improvements, particularly with encouragement, which was absent from the examiners.

Day 1 & Day 2 focused heavily on our own personal skiing, at the end of which everyone was very clear on what areas they needed to focus on in order to improve, what they needed to do, and why.

On slope time was interspersed with short periods of around an hour in a classroom setting with more theory and including video analysis.

Day 3 saw much greater emphasis on the Central Theme, allowing us to implement some of the learning in the context of instructing new skiers up to the level of plough parallel. During the afternoon we were allocated our lesson tasks, both in terms of the technical skill to be taught and a 'profile' for the learners.

Day 4 was comprised almost entirely of delivering lessons.

One of the major learning points was the need to demo EVERYTHING.....

The learning was immense, in addition to the obvious learning as a mock student and learning as a mock tutor, it was also an opportunity to experience a great variety of approaches and styles in teaching and how it needs to be adapted to different learning needs.

The final day (Day 5) brought a further opportunity for folk to repeat lesson plans where required, implementing feedback gained the previous day and consolidating learning. We also had a 1-2-1 in which we learned if we had passed and what we need to continue to work on for the future. This feedback, along with scoring, was available in a report within 24 hours of the course.

(I shall provide my report as a sample).

During the course of the assessment a few folk asked if I was enjoying it. Enjoying is the wrong word. I found it very challenging and, at times, uncomfortable. However, there was a real sense of achievement in reaching the required standard and IT IS a standard. Having qualified to teach dive skills in a pool environment and also qualified as a level 2 trampoline coach, I can honestly say this was the most robust and rigorous process I have endured to gain a sport coaching qualification.

Of the 10 aspirants, nine met the required standard and we were advised it was the 'strongest' cohort thus far this season. We are now qualified to teach Alpine skiing in a controlled environment, such as a dry slope or a snowdome.

Was it so bad I wouldn’t do it again? Heck no! Andy and I are both off to do the Gapski BASI 2 in Tignes in January, so it can’t have been that bad!

In addition to the 5 day assessment there is a requirement to undertake an online child protection course at £25, get a CRB disclosure, a valid 2 day First Aid course and complete 35 hours shadowing a ski instructor following the course.