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The Time is right. The time is now.

When opportunity comes along you have to seize it with both hands especially when it creates passion and excitement that lights a fire inside of you. And when this kind of opportunity presents itself the time to act is NOW!

The Professional Ski Instructors of Europe PSIE is now a reality and we are OPEN for business.

Since we announced the creation of the PSIE on the 6th of March there has been a mixture of response and reaction! There are many, like myself, that are super excited about this new European organisation for training and certifying ski instructors. They have responded positively to this development in our industry and are keen to know more and get involved. Of course not everyone feels the same way and there are those who are more skeptical about the PSIE and have had a more negative reaction. And then there is a third group who don't really care one way or the other and are perhaps more on the fence. I would be naïve if I were to believe that simply writing this blog post would change the minds of those who see the advent of the PSIE as a bad thing and a threat. But, if you are in the 'reaction' group or the 'on the fence' group then please read on so that you at least understand why I am so excited about the PSIE and why I believe that this is a truly great development for the snowsports industry as a whole and will ultimately strengthen all of us who train and certify snowsport instructors. Your conclusion may indeed be that I am naïve but then again you may see that what is happening is plausible, workable, and sustainable?

Now those who read my blogs & books and listen to my presentations know that I love acronyms. I used the word 'OPEN' earlier when referring to the fact that the PSIE is now open for business. But it nicely sums up why 'the time is right, the time is now':






Opportunity is about being in the right place at the right time but also having the awareness to recognise that opportunity

Success requires many attributes such as creativity, resilience, discipline, growth mindset, persistence, grit, emotional intelligence and the list goes on. But those who have succeeded in business, sport, and in life will tell you that you also need opportunity. To be in the right place at the right time. Now this sounds a little bit like 'luck' but I believe that we make our own luck by noticing when opportunity comes along. And for me this is exactly what has happened with the advent of the PSIE. If you read my previous blog, 'Skiing - A lifelong adventure' you will know that the opportunity has come from my intrigue and subsequent excitement with the creation of the Professional Ski Instructors of Canada PSIC and this, in turn, has led to the idea that what they have set up and delivered in season 2023/2024 could work over here in Europe. And so after a season of conversations and a lot of work the PSIE has been born and will run a full schedule of courses for 2024/2025.


Passion when combined with perseverance towards a worthy and lofty goal requires grit.

In my book Learn, Enjoy Flow, and Grow I talk about passion and how it is the emotional fuel. The PSIC has given me that emotional fuel because of the synergy between their values and those of positive psychology. I am genuinely passionate about creating a system of ski instructor training that is based on positive education - combining what's good in traditional education with a strengths based focus - where we develop people's strengths and enhance their mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Working together the PSIC and the PSIE can build on what has already been put in place and encourage others - and by that I mean other ski instructor associations - to do the same. Truly living by the values you set is not easy and it will take constant work at all levels to uphold them. A combination of passion and perseverance towards this very worthy goal - a system based on positive education - will require what Angela Duckworth defines as grit.


Being excited is a wonderful feeling. That excitement should emanate from every part of our organisations. From the leadership team, to the trainers, to the members (instructors) and ultimately to our guests (the general skiing public). For me, that excitement means creating something good, it means having a growth mindset, and genuine love of learning where there is a zero ceiling approach to everyone's learning. That means that certification, while important, is not as important as the learning journey itself. The PSIC talk about celebrating the milestones while recognising that the journey itself is filled with adventure and this includes making progress, social connections, experiencing a range of positive emotions, and appreciation of our wonderful environment in which we get to enjoy snowsports. The PSIE is very much on the same page when it comes to process vs. outcome.


So why is this the right time for a change in the ski instructor training and certifying industry? Change is inevitable. Some change is good and some is bad. But the reality is the snowsports industry is changing. We face many challenges with regard to our climate and sustainability, competition from other leisure industries, the mental health crisis, gender equity, diversity, and inclusion. The structures that are in place are not allowing us to deal effectively with these challenges. The advent of the PSIC and now the PSIE is challenging the status quo offering a more flexible structure where action can be taken now! Building on the earlier mentioned positive education we also need a JEDI approach to education where we promote Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.


Opportunity, passion and excitement have led to the PSIE team taking action now. As already mentioned we are open for business however, we are also open to collaboration with ALL our industry partners, open to learning and how best to help our industry, and open to the challenges that we all face with the likes of climate change etc. Together we can all achieve more, we can grow our sport, and grow the demand for ski and snowboard instructors. We can make the pie bigger. Competition is healthy when it spurs us all to be the best we can be and to do something great!

The time is right, the time is now to do something great for the ski instructor training industry.


Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit : the power of passion and perseverance. Vermilion.

Seligman, M. E. P., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 293–311.

Tate, D. N. (2020). Learn, Enjoy, Flow and Grow: Using the principles of positive psychology to help find passion and meaning in life (First). Parallel Dreams Publishing.

About the author

Derek Tate is an alpine skiing coach and director of British Alpine Ski School Chamonix. He is the President of the newly formed Professional Ski Instructors of Europe, a mental skills coach, positive psychology practitioner, strengths practitioner, and author. His recent books include, "Six Steps for Training the Mind", "Learn, Enjoy, Flow & Grow" and "Transformational Flow Coaching". You can learn more from his author page. He is a member of PSIE, PSIC, BASI, and IASI.

The Professional Ski Instructors of Europe PSIE established 2024

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