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Becoming an adaptive ski instructor... is it possible for me

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi , not sure if my thoughts are brought about by this season’s doom and gloom about ski holiday plans... but l suddenly got an idea that l would like sometime in the future to try to become an adaptive ski instructor to combine my two passions in life. Now ... question is how realistic is this plan for someone like me. I am 40 , have an ok corporate career, school age kids and my skiing has been forever stuck at an intermediate level , given that l am 1-2 weeks a year skier. So l can ski most pistes , maybe some light off piste when with instructor but not much else. I am also mildly dyspraxic and have two kids with additional needs. So is it a good or bad idea? And how would l go about it?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bella2015, message @rungsp. His daughter is an adaptive instructor.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@BobinCH, thank you. Will do
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@Bella2015, no real knowledge, I used to volunteer with a group in Scotland (now merged into Backup - which while in existence doesn't seem quite so skiing focused) - very fun, very rewarding. Wonder if volunteering with one of the DSUK local groups would be a fun way to get started? https://www.disabilitysnowsport.org.uk

There's a BASI adaptive "pathway" https://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Adaptive/Adaptive_Level_1/BASI/Courses/Adaptive/Adaptive_level_1/Adaptive_level_1.aspx?hkey=0a9faeee-16cb-4020-94cc-2e748401919c

From my observation, ordinary BASI level 1 doesn't need a particularly high technical level of skiing - I'd imagine the adaptive pathway would be parallel?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@under a new name, thank you. Will look into this... I would love to start out as a hobby/volunteering and see whether it leads to something. Have looked at the prerequisite levels of ski required for L1 and L1 adaptive and yes, does not look like you need to be an Olympic skier to do it
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Check out DS UK and ask to shadow a lesson in a snow dome or dry slope.. If you are near Hemel they run loads of sessions and it would be a good intro to understanding what it is all about and what you need to be able to do with clients. Working with Sit-skis or teathering a disabled skier requires a reasonable level of skill and strength.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Bella2015, If you're not sure whether it's for you, or not then, as others have mentioned, I suggest that you get involved as a volunteer/helper first.
As @under a new name, suggested there are DSUK local groups who meet regularly at various venues around the UK. DSUK also need volunteers to go on their "Activity Weeks" to help out on and off the slopes.
Whereabouts are you based?
There are also other groups around the country who are not part of DSUK. Let me know where you are - I might be able to point you in the direction of a group.
If you're near Hemel, Snowbility https://snowbility.co.uk/ would be worth a look.

In my experience, adaptive instructors need to be fairly strong skiers - you have to be able to move to where you need to be without thinking about what your own skis are doing. Saying that, I know some excellent adaptive instructors who are very aware of their own skiing limitations and choose students who they can confidently ski with. Adaptive ski teaching is not necessarily about teaching people to ski the most difficult terrain at high speed!

There is an IASI (Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors) adaptive pathway https://iasisnowsports.ie/education/adaptive/ I am an Adaptive Educator and Examiner for IASI.
At L1 it is possible to complete one module at a time. So, if someone only wants to teach "stand up" skiers in the UK they can just do the Hidden Disabilities module and not worry about if they are strong enough to ski with a biski, for example.

Any questions, give me a shout - I'm happy to help Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Start with L1 normal.
It doesn't require a particularly high standard of skiing but it does teach you to better understand the details of how you are skiing, even if not to a particularly high standard.
I have seen quite a few 'stuck' intermediates improve their own skiing quite a lot via doing L1.
L2 requires a fair bit more skiing competence but it's really only with L2 qualifications that you can do a bit of work in the field, At L1 you're pretty well stuck in the kindergarten looking after toddlers.

My son was very interested in the adaptive thing.
iirc you can do L1 + L2 normal and go straight into L2 adaptive.
OTOH, there's no reason not to do L1 normal, L1 adaptive, then move onto L2 for each, if that's what you'd prefer.

The salient question though is, what's the goal?
Are you just looking to improve your own skills for personal satisfaction and helping out your own family or is your desire to get to a point where you work/get paid in the role?
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@skimottaret, @SaraJ, thank you. Volunteering with DSUK sounds like a great idea. I am in north London so not too far from Hemel
@SaraJ if you could give me a pointer, would be greatly appreciated.
I admit that l am not particularly physically strong and on a petite side so my preference would indeed be helping skiers with hidden disabilities , as this is also what l have experience with , through my own kids
With regards to qualifications is L1 something l could in a snowdome like Hemel? Thank you
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@admin, thank you for your insights! Very helpful. In terms of my goal, at this point l don’t know. What l am hoping is to start with doing this as a part time volunteering thing and see if l can get to the level where it can progress to something more.. as it stands l don’t think l plan to or can afford to quit my day job just yet:)
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L1 can be done indoors, yes.
There tend to be courses for BASI or IASI qualifications running at Hemel.

It would appear that IASI has the advantage being that their qualifications remain recognised within the EU next year. BASI (as I understand - although I'm not a member so my perception may not be accurate) is struggling, in the absence of any clear guidance/support/plans/clue from UK.gov, to assure its members that even its highest qualifications will have any official standing in EU countries from next year.

Of course, if you're coming at it from a personal development perspective, this is of far less relevance.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@admin, thank you. You are right qualification recognition in EU may not be so important to me at this stage, so will look into both? Thank you
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Bella2015, If you are looking to work more with those with hidden disabilities and inclusion into skiing contact Snowbility who are based out of Hemel and would be ideal for you to get started with. Ask for Richard Fetherstone who is the main person.

Once you are in the system so to speak, moving onto the L1 would be a good step and either IASI or BASI would be a fine choice but imv not that necessary to start with if you wish to help out. BASI tend to run more courses than IASI as a larger organisation and have more skiers looking to do their "second discipline" during their L3 exams. SaraJ is a fab teacher who spends a lot of time with adaptive clients in Hintertux.

@SaraJ, if you haven't worked out my screen name it's Scott the Yank here, hope you are well Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewforum.php?f=44
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
admin wrote:
Start with L1 normal.
It doesn't require a particularly high standard of skiing


It requires you to demonstrate certain techniques correctly (like the famous BASI snowplough Happy ) and to know the BASI manual. Whether you call that a "high standard" or not depends I guess. It is not a high level of skiing but I would still think L1s are better than the average British holiday skier.

There are plenty of people who consider themselves "good" skiers who have failed BASI L1. Greg talked about his L1 where 6 out of 8 people on the course failed. It doesn't tend to suit grizzled old self taught skiers, it can suit people with less weeks on snow who have learned through lessons and are flexible and can adapt well on the course to what they are being told. Also there is some talk of the snowdome L1 courses not being the same standard as the alpine courses but I have no idea about this.

On another recent thread someone hightlighted the SSE ISIA pathway which looks like it could be a better bet for the OP.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It's not necessary to have Alpine L1 to do Adaptive L1. I know several Adaptive L1s who did adaptive first, although all either have since done Alpine L1, or are about to. It definitely helps an adaptive instructor to have Alpine quals though, especially for stand up / hidden disabilities where the progression is the standard alpine progression. You need to be a competant parallel skier and also have a strong snowplough.
Size isn't a major problem in reality, in DSUK instructors have a weight limit of client for bi-ski based on their own physical size/ strength / confidence. E.g. as a consequence some only teach children / small adults in bi-ski. More of an issue on the course when you will have to manage an adult in the bi-ski (although my experience was that the trainer was sensitive to this factor and when people were struggling would pair them with someone lighter)
As others have said volunteering with DSUK either helping with lessons or with the local group is valuable experience for the course. Over the last few years the DSUK manager at Hemel has run a few training evenings over the summer for volunteers to get hands on with the kit ahead of autumn courses, which I and others certainly benefitted from.
If you're interested in doing some volunteering with DSUK at Hemel drop me PM and I can let you have some contact details. Be aware that DSUK are currently on shutdown due to Covid situation until January. As others said Snowbility are also good (Richard taught my son) but are only stand up / learning disability - which if you were looking to get ahead of the game for a BASI adaptive L1 wouldn't expose you to bi-ski which is the bigger learning curve IMHO.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bella2015, There's a club who meet monthly at Milton Keynes, though I don't know if they're operating at the moment.
If you're happy to travel to Hemel then Richard from Snowbility is very helpful and communicative.
We had an IASI L1 Hidden Disabilities module at Hemel for the Snowbility guys pencilled in for May this year, but of course it didn't happen. Hopefully, next year we'll be able to run it.

A lot of people associate adaptive skiing with sit skis because that's what they notice and consequently are intimidated by the idea of getting involved. All of the ski lessons that I deliver are adaptive to some extent whether I'm changing the language I use or using specific equipment.
http://alpinefreedom.co.uk/what-is-adaptive-skiing/

@skimottaret, Hi! Nice to hear from you Smile I'm well and patiently waiting for the lifts to open rolling eyes
I hope all is well with you.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@davidof, what is SSE ISIA, any chance you can post a link to the thread...
Not sure what is “BASI snowplough” , guess l am just average holiday skier... but hoping to improve.

@Tubaski, thank you , will drop you a PM.

@SaraJ, will PM you too if ok , just some questions about your courses.
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Bella2015 wrote:
@davidof, what is SSE ISIA, any chance you can post a link to the thread...
.


Have a read of this thread.

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=153267


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Mon 7-12-20 0:05; edited 1 time in total
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@davidof, I think you haven’t posted the link. Never mind will search for it
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I have now, don't know why it didn't show up. Read the whole thread although it isn't directly relevant to what you want to do it gives some information about Basi L1 / L2 qualifs and on page 2 about SSE which may be of interest to you.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@davidof, thank you!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Bella2015, To avoid confusion it is NOT required to do your Alpine Level 1 before the Adaptive L1. As TubaSki mentioned they are separate pathways and a lot of the information posted by admin and davidof relates to the Alpine L1. The alpine L1 is a good license to hold and the technical skiing side of the award would be similar to the Adaptive L1. As I mentioned earlier on a Adaptive L1 course you will have L3 Alpine aspirants participating and they will be skiing to a much higher level which can be daunting..

I wouldn't recommend looking at the Snow Sport England "SSE" pathway as they don't offer adaptive courses so you would be going down a dead end with them.. As far as I know you would not be able to get recognition of any SSE courses for the BASI or IASI Adaptive pathway.
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skimottaret wrote:
@Bella2015, To avoid confusion it is NOT required to do your Alpine Level 1 before the Adaptive L1..


I don't think there is any confusion.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
This thread doesn't read that way to me Wink All the various pathways and organisations can be very confusing. For instance, the thread you linked to was talking about the Alpine L1 not Adaptive L1.

"On another recent thread someone hightlighted the SSE ISIA pathway which looks like it could be a better bet for the OP."

There is zero crossover between SSE alpine awards you mention and adaptive courses so that wouldn't be a good bet. Also IASI is a course provider ISIA is an association for ski instructors.. Just trying to steer her in the right direction when she is doing her research... snowHead


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 7-12-20 9:43; edited 1 time in total
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skimottaret wrote:
This thread doesn't read that way to me Wink All the various pathways and organisations can be very confusing. For instance, the thread you linked to was talking about the Alpine L1 and there is zero crossover between SSE awards you mention and adaptive courses. Just trying to steer her in the right direction... snowHead


as I said

Quote:
it isn't directly relevant to what you want to do


hope that makes things clear


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 7-12-20 11:53; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
skimottaret wrote:
The alpine L1 is a good license to hold and the technical skiing side of the award would be similar to the Adaptive L1.


If you're talking about the Central Theme (which, for the benefit of others, is the alpine progression from total beginner to basic parallel) then yes. But there is no personal performance element to L1 Adaptive (no short turn / carving etc.). And your skiing doesn't need to be at that level (I have a friend who passed Adaptive 1, but subsequently failed their first attempt at Alpine 1 on the performance). I've just confirmed this by checking the criteria in the Adaptive L1 workbook, and it's definately not there. By the way, the BASI website currently gives seemingly incorrect assessment criteria (disciplines not included in the course!) on the L1 course page - so don't take any notice of that. I'm dropping the BASI office a line to let them know.
On my L1 Adaptive course the vast majority of the time was spent on the adaptive knowledge and techniques. The two candidates who did not hold an Alpine qualification got an earlier start one morning to go through central theme with the trainer, and peer support from others within the group - but it wasn't a major part of the course. There's a lot of material in the course and there isn't time to cover much of the alpine material. I'm sure there are a veriety of opinions whether Alpine L1 should be a prereq. My feeling is that may put off some people who would subsequently aspire to the Alpine L1 to improve their adaptive teaching - so although it's not ideal I think it does kinda work.

Also to add , if the goal is to work with a specific organisation it would be worth checking what qualifications they accept prior to comitting to a course.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Tubaski, yes when I mentioned "technical skills" I was referring to the progression from beginner to parallel skier but that would not be clear to a non instructor Smile. Thanks for clarifying ...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thank you all. Very helpful ( if a little confusing) advice. Will keep doing my research. From what it looks like to me is that l should try some volunteering work first and foremost to familiarise myself with the world of adaptive skiing. In terms of qualification, potentially worth doing L1 Alpine to improve my general skiing ( even if l end up failing it) and then L1 Adaptive.. these are my thoughts right now but will keep researching
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
[thread drift]
Quote:

I would still think L1s are better than the average English holiday skier.


FIFY [/drift]
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@under a new name, As BASI is a Scottish organisation that may very well have been the original criteria. Although I suspect the principal difference between English and Scottish holiday skiers is that the former talk about how bad the weather is and the latter spend most of the week telling anyone who will listen that it isn't really cold at all.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Tubaski, indeed! Very good. As my mother says, "there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing".

Although, that is the same person who maintained that my feet didn't hurt when we first went skiing, despite the blood.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The other option is to look at Snowsport England Level one training, shadowing and assessment, then do one of the UK Snowsports (UKSS) disabled awareness courses:

https://www.snowsportengland.org.uk/ukss-adaptive/


The level 1 info is here:
https://www.snowsportengland.org.uk/ukss-ski/

I did a weekend course some years ago with Mike Hammond as the tutor.
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Quote:

Thank you all. Very helpful ( if a little confusing) advice. Will keep doing my research. From what it looks like to me is that l should try some volunteering work first and foremost to familiarise myself with the world of adaptive skiing. In terms of qualification, potentially worth doing L1 Alpine to improve my general skiing ( even if l end up failing it) and then L1 Adaptive.. these are my thoughts right now but will keep researching


I think you've got it spot on. I've done the L1 Adaptive and happy to give you more details should you need them.
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