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Horst Abraham

Hall of Fame Class of 2012

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Horst Abraham is responsible for the birth of the American teaching Method (ATM), which, with its guest-focused pedagogy, has been a game-changer in ski instruction worldwide.

The “guest-and-skills” centered teaching methodology has become the backbone of American ski instruction and all national ski teaching systems in the world.

After moving to the U.S. from his native Austria, Horst found that most ski areas were not interested in his individualized approach to ski instruction, but rather preferring a “one-size fits all” technique. With the mentorship of Curt Chase and Jerry Muth, along with his appointment to serve as the technical director at Vail, Horst was able to gain national visibility and influence.

He was appointed to serve as the technical Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association, and in 1971, Horst was asked to fill the position of Director of Training and Development of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA).

Horst presented his ideas not only to U.S. ski centers, but also to the international ski community through the forum of Inter-ski in Sesto, Italy and later in Zao, Japan in 1976 and 1980. The U.S. teaching methodology had an immediate impact upon all ski nations and marked a clear global shift away from “teaching technique’ to a “guest centered” instructional process. This influence moved the U.S. from being a follower of European practices to becoming a pacesetter in the development of ski instruction. Ski Instruction now focuses upon customer needs, gender and age difference, learning styles and personalized performance management.

In 1983, Horst authored “Skiing Right”, PSIA’s official instructional guide. For many years he promoted instruction by writing articles in SKI and Skiing magazines. He continues to provide articles to the national organization’s “32 Degrees” magazine and its currently putting the finishing touches on a new book of effective coaching, “Coaching Right”. He is the recipient of the PSIA Educational Excellence Award.

Career Highlights:

National Certification of Austrian Ski and Alpine Guide certification (1959)

Graduated at the “Ecole Nationale Du Ski E Alpinism” in Chamonix with “Special Mention” – the highest award given by the French Ministry of Sports, served as the Technical Director of PSIA-RM

Director of Training and Development for PSIA National

Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2010

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