Nordic Ski Instructor

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Objectives of this manual

Who this manual is for

This manual has been written for Nordic Ski Instructors who wish to improve their skiing and teaching skills.

It may also be of benefit to Coaches of all levels - the content of this manual is aimed at all 'instructors' of recreational Nordic, or cross-country skiing. This manual is not specifically a manual for track techniques, nor is it, by the same token, focussed exclusively on XCD (Cross-Country Downhill) techniques.

Those readers who wish to specialise in these, or any other finely-focussed area(s) of Nordic skiing would be wise to use this only for the basis of their teaching method, and find appropriate reference material that delves into that particular subject matter in more detail.

This manual was written with the aim of assisting candidates of APSI Nordic Instructor courses, and should be used accordingly.

What this manual is aiming to achieve

As a prescribed text for the above-mentioned courses, this manual is aiming to provide a slice of the broad depth of knowledge that an instructor teaching Nordic skiing in Australia would be expected to know.

It cannot, and does not, purport to provide all of the answers, but merely hopes to open the minds of those who already have some, if not considerable, background in ski-teaching behind them. It is not intended as a basic manual of ski instruction, but rather to carry on where the bulk of manuals leave off. Some of the ideas herein you may find are different from those of other manuals: that is not to say that others are wrong in their approach, but only to show that there are many ways of teaching the wide variety of Nordic skiing techniques.

If this manual succeeds in providing you with yet another approach to your ski teaching methods, then it has achieved its aim.

How this manual intends to do this

A good ski instructor has the ability to perceive what it is that the student can realise in a given lesson or other arbitrary period of time. That ability comes from constant two-way communication with the student, and one of the difficulties of a manual such as this is that the communication between manual and reader can only be one-way.

A method of overcoming this is to provide as many alternative solutions to a given problem, and hope that the instructor can choose the one that suits their needs, and that of the student, best. Given that any manual that begins to look like a reprint of the complete works of Shakespeare will intimidate rather than encourage, a selection of ideas are presented here. Whilst attending your instructor course, we hope that you would have the opportunity to try out a wide range of approaches. But be careful, as we are all individual by nature and one 'successful' approach to a given scenario may well spell disaster to some instructors and students.

Share your ideas, and the ideas presented in this manual with other instructors on your course - it is rare to get a group of instructors together, let alone have the opportunity to try out new ideas and approaches to skiing. However, don't try a new idea out on an unsuspecting student if you really don't feel comfortable with it, unless you are prepared for the consequences (either good or bad!).

This manual should be treated like all other manuals written about skiing. They all reflect the experiences that accumulate over a good deal of instruction time, but may not necessarily work well for you. Nordic skiing (and Nordic ski instruction) is as diverse as the books written about the activity. Look at the range of books written about Nordic skiing - there are so many that there has to be a few with radically different ideas. Evaluate their ideas and try to discover the reasons for their approach. Ask: 'Why do they do things this way?', 'Will it work for me?', 'Will it work for my students?', and 'Can I adapt the idea for something else?'

Above all, ask 'Why?'

A great deal more will be learned from a good instructor, and not a good manual. A good instructor will be able to expose the student instructor to a wider range of experiences, and provide that all-essential feedback to ensure a thorough understanding of the elements of ski instruction. This is an on-going process and should not be limited to the time one spends on an NCIS course.

Ultimately, success for the instructor in these matters is based on the enjoyment that a student gains from learning or improving a skill, and of learning to ski or improvement of their general skiing ability.

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[ Contents | Preface | Organisation | Teaching | Techniques | Equipment | Resources | Appendices | Glossary | Index ]