specific tactics they’ll need to use to
be successful. You can also point out
that adapting to new and challenging
conditions will raise their game overall
and make them stronger athletes.
Lastly, you can use some cheerleading,
real-time praise, and positive energy to
create an elevated emotional state within
your class to raise their self-efficacy and
bring out strong performances.
STRATEGIES FOR STRUGGLING
While athletic, confident, and coachable
students make our jobs easy, you’ll want
to be more attentive to the self-efficacy
of students for whom snowsports do not
come naturally. When assessing student
performance, keep in mind that attitude
and emotional state may be obstacles to
learning. In these cases, here are some
techniques that can help: (from Margolis
and McCabe 2006)
Snowsports instructors with a high sense of efficacy
about their teaching capabilities may have an easier time
motivating their students and helping them accomplish their
goals. These instructors are generally able to rebound from
setbacks and are more willing to experiment with new ideas
or techniques. Instructors with low self-efficacy may rely
more on a controlling teaching style and be more critical of
students (Woolfolk-Hoy 2003–04, Bandura 1994). So how can
snowsports school managers and trainers help instructors
build their self-efficacy and, thus, become more effective in
their jobs? Here are seven useful tips (drawn from Margolis
and McCabe 2006).
1. Create mastery experiences for instructors.
Instructor training clinics should be designed to
produce positive outcomes, not, for example, to
embarrass instructors into realizing they can’t do
short-swing turns. Similarly, the most appropriate
lesson assignments will keep instructors within their
comfort zone yet allow them to take small steps
toward raising their game.
2. Leverage peer models for maximum benefit.
Sometimes trainers or supervisors don’t have as much
influence as they might like. In part, this is because
people in these positions are not necessarily peers. But
a peer can improve self-efficacy in different ways than
a trainer or supervisor can, and you can put peer-
modeling to good use. It’s important to recognize the
power of peer learning and to allow instructors to
learn by watching each other’s successes. You can set
up training partnerships and encourage instructors to
work together for mutual benefit. Peers may be drawn
from groups defined by gender, age, certification level,
social circles, or professional focus (such as children’s
instruction or freestyle).
3. Teach specific strategies.
Give instructors a concrete plan of attack for various
aspects of their jobs, rather than simply turn them
loose. For common situations an instructor is likely
to encounter, lay out each step of what the instructor