By Tony Macri
This summer I had the pleasure of meeting up with some of my PSIA/AASI RM cohorts in a beautiful location they call the “Edge of the World.” As some of you may have already read through the various social media outlets, Interski 2015 was held this summer in Ushuaia, Argentina. I was in a unique situation with being on the AASI National Team as well as the New Zealand Demo Team. This allowed me to be involved with both helping the US and NZ teams develop their educational message. Similar to the last Interski in 2011, there was a main theme sent to all the cooperating nations to prepare both their on-snow workshops and their indoor evening lectures. This theme of “Student Retention” is one in which we are all very aware of and continue to try to make an impact on.
Prior to leaving New Zealand to head over to Argentina for Interski, US teammate Scott Anfang and I were able to put some final tweaks into the on-snow workshop that the US team was going to present. When your audience is of such a high caliber, you really want to make sure to engage them without boring them. We wanted to make sure our clinic was built around real time situations versus imaginary or hypothetical scenarios. The cool thing about this clinic was that the information wasn’t new as we have already been working on a Personal Connection Model from the last team training. It was really about putting it into a format that we can illustrate to our audience the importance of the four elements of this model to create that student connection. More about this clinic and model can be found by clicking on this link.
I was also quite busy putting together the on-snow workshop and indoor lecture that I was helping present at Interski from the New Zealand team. It was cool that we were dealing with the same overall theme of student retention but utilizing some slightly different approaches. From New Zealand, we were more focused on Learning vs. Achievement. This has become such a focus in the system and methodology in New Zealand that we changed the motto from Safety/Fun/Learning to Safety/Fun/Achievement. So our clinic was based on this concept. To read more on this workshop click on this link
As you can see, Interski is a lot more than just about synchro. It has actually become more about the education sharing and learning from the different methodologies and concepts that are being practiced all over the world. Therefore during the day when workshops are being delivered, it is important that we spread out our resources and try to get to every nation’s workshop. This again meant that the US team could benefit without having to send someone to watch the clinic that I helped present for New Zealand, as I was able to share that later with my teammates on the US team. I was so proud to have the unique perspective of seeing the US team present from outside the group looking in and hearing what my New Zealand teammates were saying about how dialed the message was and interesting the approach PSIA/AASI were taking towards student retention.
The most important piece to this whole experience is getting the information and experiences that we all were able to receive at Interski and bring it back to our membership. It was great seeing not only all my US teammates over in Argentina but also my Rocky Mountain Division teammates. I look forward to being able to share these experiences and concepts with you all as we continue to grow and challenge ourselves with the thirst for more education.