Fail Early

Professional Ski Instructors of America

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I spent yesterday on the snow taking a mock exam for my PSIA Level 2 Certification.  I failed it.  The exam is made up of 8 maneuvers.  You have to pass bump skiing and the basic parallel alone, and then have to have an average score of at least a 4 for the other 6.

This is how I did:

Linked Railroad Track Turns: 4  passed

Wedge Cristie: 2 FAIL

Linked Hockey Slides/Stops: 2 FAIL

Medium Radius Turns on Smooth Terrain: 4 passed

Variable Terrain and Snow Conditions 4 passed

Switch Basic Parallel: 2 Failed

Basic Parallel: 3 Failed

Linked Short Turns in Bumps: No Score (the examinar said he laughed, he said ripping the bumps like Johnny Mosely in a bump competition is cool, but he needs to see some turn shape, he said to mix it up, a little zipper line with some actual turns and I’ll get a 5 or 6, I can do it, so I’ll give myself a 5)

My exam is April 13-15th.   Yesterday was only the second time I had tried many of these maneuvers.   It was awesome to have had the chance to get out there and fail early.   I now know where I’m weak and what to work on to make sure I pass.  These maneuvers are very, very technical.  Who can’t do a wedge right?  Clearly me. 🙂   PSIA is looking for very specific movements, executed properly.  They take practice.  Failing early was big for me yesterday. It showed me where I stood and what I need to do to pass.  At the end of they day I quickly called a friend of mine who is a PSIA examiner and told him I failed.  We’re building a plan to fix it.

Failing early is huge.  It gives you a chance to make things better.  It allows you to pivot, correct, and realign with little damage or impact.   Failing is an awesome tool if you use it right.   There is a time for failing and it’s the earlier the better.

My exam is in a month.  I have 35 days to fail some more, then the failing has to stop.

Fail when it’s OK, not when it’s not.




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