We hope you are keeping well and keeping the stoke for snowboarding alive! Whether you’re getting your fix through snowboard videos, pursuing another sport, training towards next winter with a specific goal in mind or simply taking a break to refresh the mind and body so you’re ready to go when the snow flies again we know that snowboarding and CASI-ACMS are never far from your mind.

Summer time is never down time around here, and this year is no exception! All of our CASI-ACMS staff have been working hard planning for the 2020-21 season.

COVID-19

As you all know, COVID-19 is still front of mind and a concern for the snow industry as we look towards next winter. We have been working closely with our industry partners, and resort associations to ensure that we are ready to go when we are given the go ahead to do so. It is too early to know what we will be dealing with next season but we are preparing for various different scenarios so we can ensure that our members have the tools to be successful and that we can continue to meet the needs of the resorts. Look for more updates towards the fall when we hopefully have a clearer picture of the emerging landscape.

Member Services

As a member-based association, CASI is always working to provide great value to our members, and that work continues as the temperature rises.

  • We are working with the CSIA to streamline the dues payment process for dual association members. The CSIA will be ready to start accepting membership dues payment for dual members through snowpro.com in early September.
  • We are revamping our Member Sessions program to provide even more opportunities to train with our highest certified instructors and evaluators.
  • We are communicating with our Pro Deal suppliers to ensure continued relationships and even more strong offerings (keep your eyes peeled for some off season deals also!).
  • We are investigating ways to reduce our impact on planet earth by reducing the amount of paper and materials we produce and ship around the world each season. As a result of this we will no longer be offering plastic member cards. We realise that this will be an adjustment for some but it is simply the right thing to do in 2020. Current and paid up members will always be able to print a member card from their member profile page.
  • Dues renewals for 2020-21 are now live on the website.
    • Note: Your membership dues are valid from June 1st to May 31st each year so if you are planning on teaching indoors or overseas before the Canadian winter gets rolling again you’ll need to update your dues before doing so.
    • Paying prior to August 31, 2020, locks you in with no price increase and means you’ll be ready when those pro-deals go live in the fall.
    • For CASI only members, don't forget about our 2-year option...and save more!
    • Paying early also means no reinstatement fees! So, if you know someone who has let their membership lapse, be a CASI champion and give them a friendly nudge. We want them back!
    • Paying before October 31, 2020 you will automatically be entered into our Early Bird Contest and a chance to win your membership dues free or a cool prize from one of our pro deal suppliers! If you have already paid your dues this season or paid for 2 years last season, you are automatically entered in the Early Bird Contest!

We recognize that these are uncertain times for some people so rest assured that there’s no pressure to pay your dues before you’re ready. Our goal is to make your membership such a great value that you’re better off with it than without it.

  • It’s easy to save far more than your dues in Pro Deals…new board anyone?
  • A free on snow member session is something that every full member should take advantage of every season
  • And of course recognition as a paid up, certified member of one of the world’s leading snowboard instructing associations. Shout it from the rooftops! Be CASI proud!

Technical Updates

On the technical side, the National Technical Team has been busy planning and implementing program updates and improvements for next year:

Course Overview Tool

A course overview chart is being developed, providing a summary of all of our courses to act as a communication tool for staff, instructors, evaluators, and potential CAS I members regarding the process of moving from one course to another. Information will include prerequisites, standards, evaluation methods, components, etc.

Evaluator Training

Watch for a change in format on this year’s Evaluator Training programs, including an updated mandatory online component, as well as altered on-snow training requirements. New for this year, Evaluators will be required to attend one day of on-snow training for each level of certification they wish to teach that year (example: Level 1 Evaluators will complete a 1-day update, Level 2’s will be two days, etc.).

NEW! Trainer Update Days

New for 2020, in conjunction with Evaluator Training we will be offering course update days across the country for CASI members who may not be evaluators (yet) but still want to get the latest info on course content. These days will be open to all CASI members Level 2 and up.

Online Learning

A big focus for next season will be moving much of our theory information from all courses to an online platform, allowing us to spend the time on courses on the snow, working on practical skills. Watch for a new and improved presentation of online courses coming in the fall!

Mandatory Riding Maneuvers

Following the lead of the Level 3 and 4 exams, starting this year, Level 1 and 2 courses will also include mandatory riding maneuvers, as a means of evaluating riding skills in addition to the on-going overall skill evaluation. Specific maneuvers are still in development, but will align with existing course riding standards.

Reference Guide Updates

The CASI Reference Guide is undergoing numerous edits, updates, and a facelift. Watch for the new guide to be available via your member profile in late summer.

National Technical Team Selections

The current Technical Team’s term will expire at the end of the 2021 season. Team selection events will be held during the 2020-2021 season. Watch for details on the selection process coming in the fall.


Stay tuned to our social media channels in the coming months for updates on all the improvements for the 2020-21 season!

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

 

UPDATE: APRIL 27, 2020

CASI continues to monitor the situation as it evolves around the world. Our primary focus is the safety of everyone involved in providing CASI programs from candidates to evaluators, and even resort staff. CASI certification courses are currently on hold in all of our locations around the globe. We will be following the recommendations of local authorities and will re-launch our programs when it is safe and responsible to do so. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we look forward to sliding with you again soon!

 


UPDATE: MARCH 14, 2020

 

Dear CASI-ACMS members,

The situation, as the world is dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19), is evolving very quickly. In light of today’s events, which include a number of resort operators suspending operations, we are suspending our CASI Operations and Events until further notice effective March 16, 2020. If we are able to resume operations during the 2019-2020 season, we will do so with an amended schedule.

For those of you that are currently registered for a course, or participating in a course currently running, we will be refunding your full course fees ASAP, please be patient as we process the large volume of refunds.

These are extremely challenging times. Please stay tuned to www.casi-acms.com for updates, as well as our social media channels. We will be posting Q&A’s and additional information as soon as we can. 

Thank you for your continued understanding,

Simon Holden
Executive Director & CEO


MARCH 13, 2020

As the world is dealing with the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situaton, we want to assure you, that your health and well-being is our highest priority. 

We are closely monitoring the situation via https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At this time, all of our Domestic Programs are operating normally. Domestically, should the Health Authorities issue any changes in any region or issue any restrictions or recommendations, we will immediately adjust our operations and communicate those adjustments to you. As a recommendation, we are asking Evaluators to refrain from shaking hands going forward.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC recommends the following:   

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough in your elbow or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

  • CDC recommends that face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19, to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

It’s important that we all pay close attention to the above information and remain calm. We will be sure to communicate any changes in our operations to each of you, immediately, should this highly fluid situation change at any time.

If you are at all concerned about attending a course or event that you are registered for either because you think you may be exposing others to the virus or because you fear being exposed to the virus yourself please contact Lewis Hopps This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a full refund with no penalty fees.

In addition, should there be any questions about the CASI-ACMS response to COVID 19, please direct them to Simon Holden This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 519-624-6593 x101 or Jeff Chandler This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 519-624-6593 x104.

Thank you,

Simon Holden
Executive Director/CEO

Jeff Chandler
Director of Education and Programs 

Well, it’s already August and you know what that means…only 100 or so days until snowboarding starts! We’ve been busy getting ready for our 25th anniversary season, and there have been quite a few changes in store for CASI over the past while.

We recently received this great story from one of our instructor training program (GAP Program) partners. Canadian resorts across our country are host to many excellent programs geared towards becoming a certified CASI snowboard instructor. There are many to choose from, and each of them provides training with their own flair from top-notch CASI instructors and current course evaluators. Thinking of becoming a snowboard instructor? Check out Scott’s story below, do some research, and take the leap!

Strategies for Successful Lessons

You’ve taken the CASI courses, learned about the skills, the drills, the “A’s” and the “I’s”. The funny part is so much of what we do in a successful (or unsuccessful) lesson comes down to the other stuff - the non-technical stuff that really doesn’t have a lot to do with snowboarding. It’s true - the best instructors have that ability to connect with their students using a combination of humour, empathy, conversation, and trust. Think back to a really great experience you’ve had in your past learning something or participating in a lesson of some type...chances are it had little to do with the technical info, and more to do with the experience as a whole.

The following tips can help you in the lessons you teach to create that experience for your students. Be careful though - get too good at this stuff and you’ll be booked solid, raking in the dough from request lessons!

1: Use Your Own Techniques
In short, believe in the techniques and methods that you are giving your students. Over the years, I’ve often overheard from instructors something along the lines of “when I’m teaching I use CASI-riding, but if I’m just out freeriding I don’t really use it”. Uh, pardon? This has never made any sense to me. It’s like a restaurant owner that won’t eat his own food! In effect what you’re saying is that the techniques you’re passing on to your students are good enough for them, but not for you.

In today’s industry, lessons aren’t cheap. Today’s instructors need to have the ability convey the value (financial and otherwise) of a premium product. Believing 100% in what you’re teaching to your students is crucial in being able to then sell a full-day private lesson to someone for many hundreds of dollars.

2: Ride Well
You’re being watched! Pay attention to the details in your riding even when you’re not necessarily demonstrating anything. You’re passing on movements, techniques, and methods to help your student’s riding...keep up your “street cred” by using and showing those when you ride. And you never know, you might just get better because of it. This stuff works, after all!

3: Eat Well
This extends beyond just what you eat, and should maybe be called “take care of yourself”. Our physical state is intimately linked to our psychological state, and teaching snowboarding is a physical job. You will bring a better product day in and day out if you feel good, look good, and are riding well.

We all know how it feels to be injured, hungover, tired or just run-down and still try to do a good job or just be a good person...it’s hard! Enjoy the resort lifestyle we all are here for, but try to create the circumstances in your life to avoid these negative states of being. Your students can tell when you’re just “phoning it in” and not only will it lead to sub-par lesson experiences (for both of you) but could also lead to increased chance of injury, which puts you out of a job you love.

Pro-Tip: Some after hours efforts here will go a long way. Stretch, snowshoe, walk, lift, jump, yoga, sauna...all of these will help you feel better than cooling down from a day on the hill at the bar.

4: Use Their Names A Lot, And Look Them In The Eye
I’d be willing to bet that most people are interested in hearing their own name more than any other word available, because it feels good! People are more likely to remember a lesson as a great experience if they feel that they had a connection with you. And one of the most basic ways to create a connection is to use their names. It shows you care.

Perception is reality, and saying “bud”, “dude” or “blue coat guy” gives the perception to your students that you don’t really care enough to learn or remember their name.

Also, convey sincerity by looking your students in the eye when you are speaking with them. Not only does this also show that you care, but it also conveys confidence, which will pay huge dividends in getting buy-in and trust from your students. You want them to believe in you as a leader, and leaders are confident (but not cocky).

Pro-Tip: Repeating names a lot will also help you remember them better...start immediately after the introductions by using their names in a sentence or question. Also, things can get really awkward when you get to the end of the lesson, and you can’t use names because you didn’t remember them from the start!

5: Follow Through On What You Say
In short, small things are big things. If you say you are going to work on 180’s today because that’s what your students have asked for, then work on those 180’s. If you say that you will do X run as a warm-up because it’s their favorite one, do that run.

Lessons are a stressful experience for many people, and surprises will only increase that stress. Give lots of clear indication about what your plans are, and as best as you can, stick to that plan. There will always be reasons why you can’t follow through on certain plans (weather, run closures, student ability, safety, etc.) but be clear and open with your students about why. It’s all about getting them to trust you.

6: Welcome Feedback (And Don’t Be Defensive)
Snowboarders are naturally interested in continually chasing improvement. As instructors, we are even more inclined to make ourselves better (who else do you know that would spend as much time as we do perfecting turning left and right?). Be open to taking feedback on your riding, teaching, or any other part of the lesson experience you create and avoid the urge to be defensive about it. It’s easy to get into the mindset that as the instructor, you should know it all, but the reality is you don’t (nobody does) so be open to getting better by taking criticism positively. Look at criticism as feedback and an opportunity to get better!

7: Admit When You Don’t Know Something
Related to the previous point, you might be the instructor, but you don’t know it all (who does, really). You have a duty to your students to know as much as you can about the sport we all love, which builds credibility, but there will always be things that you don’t know. Use these times where you’re not sure to expand your knowledge and let your students know that you will find out.

Pro-Tip: This small step of saying you will take the effort to learn about something that you don’t know will actually build your credibility in the long run; because by admitting you don’t know one thing you are actually saying that you do know the other things and not just BS-ing them on everything!

8: Be The First To Arrive, And The Last To Leave
If you really want to be a leader, show commitment and build trust by showing that you’re motivated, energized, and ready to lead your students. At the end of the lesson, stick around as your students leave so you can address any questions, offer some last minute feedback, or even better - sell another lesson!

Pro-Tip: Being the first to arrive will show your supervisors and co-workers that you’re there for the right reasons and good things will come to you. Get in the habit of telling yourself that the lesson start times are 15 minutes early, so you’re there when your students show up to get to know them and ask some questions. Carry business cards to give out at the end of the lesson along with some indication of what else there is for your students to learn.

9: Don’t Complain, Whine, or Make Excuses
Complaining, whining and making excuses are contagious diseases, and in a snow school environment, they can move through the ranks like a cancer. Sure, when it’s your twelfth day in a row on the magic carpet with beginners on rental equipment and it’s minus 21 it’s easy to complain. Just remember what you’re getting paid to do...keep the big picture in mind and remember it could always be worse! Somewhere, someone is screwing the caps on toothpaste tubes at the Crest factory.

Take on the challenging lessons, and use them as a way to make yourself a better instructor...it will pay off in the long run.

10: Smile!
Simply, smile. As an instructor, in a sense you are a one-person business owner responsible for your own success and earnings, and as your own shopkeeper your smile will indicate you’re open for business.

Remember these numbers: 7, 38, 55...

  • 7% of communication is what you say (the actual words).
  • 38% of the effectiveness of those words comes down to the tonality, inflection, volume,emphasis that you place on them.
  • 55% of your communication is about body language. Your students can tell your true motivations, mental state, and willingness to create a positive atmosphere by your body language.

A smile will set up this body language and will put you in a mental state to allow the other things to fall into place in a great lesson. Think about a time when you’ve been speaking to someone on the phone - you can often tell whether they are smiling or not by the sound of their voice! In person, this becomes even more powerful.

Pro-Tip: Think back to point #9 about complaining...the next time you feel the urge to whine, try a smile instead. That alone can turn things around for you.


Disclaimer: This information has been adapted from an excellent video that I ran across by trainer and gym owner Ben Bergeron titled “10 Ways to Lead From the Front In Your Gym” (Chasing Excellence with Ben Bergeron). Check it out here on Youtube.

 


Jeff Chandler
CASI National Technical Coordinator

 

A Technical Tip by Yukiko Kawada

Riding in harmony with the terrain, and using the whole mountain as a playground is the ultimate goal for many riders. When this is working, the rider receives information from the environment (snow conditions, type of slope, etc.) to determine how to ride efficiently, fluidly, and working in sync with the terrain. This allows a rider to be more independent; being able to explore the mountain on his/her own. It also promotes fun part and freedom of snowboarding!

On February 28th 2018, CASI was recognized and honoured on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, when our Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, most graciously accepted an Honourary Level 4 status and a Lifetime membership in our Association, granted to him by the Board of Directors of CASI. It was indeed an exulted platform for recognition of CASI, while at the same time, in the Prime Minister’s words, “a great honour for him". What follows is the historical background, and synopsis of what transpired on this momentous occasion.

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Mission: To promote the sport of snowboarding, snowboard instruction and the profession of snowboard teaching in Canada by training and certifying snowboard instructors to ensure that a national standard of safe and efficient snowboard instruction is maintained.

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REGIONAL COORDINATORS

 
GENEVIÈVE PILOTTO, QUEBEC & ATLANTIC REGIONAL COORDINATOR
acmsquebec@casi-acms.com
ANDREW MCCRANEY, ONTARIO & MANITOBA REGIONAL COORDINATOR
casiontario@casi-acms.com
JOHN SMITS, ALBERTA & SASKATCHEWAN REGIONAL COORDINATOR
casialberta@casi-acms.com
GREG DANIELLS, BRITISH COLUMBIA & YUKON REGIONAL COORDINATOR
casibc@casi-acms.com

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