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Educational Sessions
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On-Land and On-Water educational sessions designed specifically for ACA Instructor Trainers and Instructor Trainer Educators. 

Significant Updates / Changes to the Instructor Trainer Process

Over the past year, the Safety Education & Instruction Council (SEIC) has approved a series of changes to the process of becoming an Instructor Trainer.  These new polices and procedures will go into effect on January 1st. This is crucial information that every IT and ITE needs to know.


The Challenges of Evaluating Instructor Candidates Consistently

How do ITs and ITEs from across the country and across various disciplines provide fair and consistent evaluations of Instructor Candidate’s?  It’s not as easy as you think, aka does an Instructor Candidate truly earn a Level 3 certification or do they just barely squeak by?  Do they 'Pass' at Level 3, but get 'Continued' at level 4?  How do you decide on the last day of an ICE or IDW? If you’ve ever wrestled with this decision, join a panel of fellow ITs and ITEs to share how you determine what to write down on your Instructor Certification Course Report Form: Pass, Fail, or Continued 

     Confirmed Panelists:

  • Josh Hall, Outdoor Program Manager of CCPRC, L5: AOWCK ITE; L3: Surf SUP ITE
  • Cindy Scherrer, Shellback Paddle Experience, L2: ESUP IT; L4: OWCK I
  • Anna Levesque, Girls at Play, ACA IT
  • Laura & Jeff Liebel, WEKANU, ACA ITs
  • Trey Knight, L4: AWWSUP IT 
  • more to come...


The Motionize Stroke Analysis Technology will revolutionize the way we coach participants on stroke technique and efficiency.  Representatives from Motionize will be on site to guide you through how to incorporate this technology into your teaching repertoire.


Olympic Level Technique Evaluation

Through ACA's partnership with USACK, several National Team Coaches and Olympic athletes will be on site to provide on-water evaluation of stroke technique from a High Performance (aka making the boat go fast) perspective.


New Paddlesports Coaching Program   

As part of the ACA and USACK partnership, more to come...

Gender Communication in High Stress Situations for Effective Learning & Teaching

There's more and more science to back up the neurological, hormonal and biological differences between men and women...improve your learning and teaching ability across the gender spectrum.  Join Anna Levesque, a leading expert on whitewater kayak instruction and yoga for women for this can't miss presentation that will truly enhance your ability to connect with members of the opposite sex. 

Social Media Primer for Instructor Trainers - Become the Social Guru You Are

Everyone knows social media skills are key to driving new customer acquisition in 2016, but who has time to manage it all??  While a plethora of tools promise an easy road to success, how we apply/manage social media matters when our primary goal is to stay on the water with students.  We'll cover the 'rules of the road' for social media ethics when working with students/groups, and have a quick overview of three top social media marketing platforms (HootSuite, SproutSocial, and IFTTT) designed to simplify managing multiple profiles and multiple social media networks.   You'll walk away with tips and tricks designed to kick start new social media interaction for the beginner along with serious shortcuts for more seasoned social media mavens and those wishing to supercharge their own social media management.  Presented by Tim Chandler of TRY Standup out of Dana Point, CA.   

ITEs - Pitfalls to Avoid while Mentoring new IT Candidates

Join ACA's Chief Operating Officer, Chris Stec (who is also a multi-discipline ITE) and SEI Coordinator Kelsey Bracewell for a guidance from the office (aka the people who process all your paperwork!) on things to do, and not do in regards to mentoring new Instructor Trainer Candidates.


Boat & Board Design

Sure we talk about boat and board design in our certification courses, but what do you really know about the nuances of boat and board construction and design characteristics.  Join Instructor Trainer Educator Steve Scherrer of Shellback Paddle Experience (aka he was involved with the design of the Wilderness Systems Tempest series of sea kayaks) for a unique hands-on educational experience! 

Can Teaching Paddling on Land be as effective as Teaching on the Water?

Of course it can - join Ben Lawry, Confluence Outdoor's National Technical Instructor and multi-discipline ACA Instructor Trainer Educator to find out how...He will relate key aspects from his famous 'Dry Land Rolling' presentation and his infamous 'On Land Forward Stroke' presentation.


Discipline Specific Updates for ITs and ITEs


Have you ever wondered how the sausage is made?  There will be time on Friday afternoon for you to meet in small groups with the current chair of each ACA Discipline Committee.  They will provide specific updates in regards to changes in curriculum or policy that directly effects your discipline.  Plus - bring your ideas to share on how to make your discipline better.

     Discipline Committee Chairs:

  • Coastal Kayaking - John Browning (Wisconsin)
  • River Kayaking - Larry Ausley (North Carolina)
  • Surf Kayaking -  
  • River Canoe - Beth Wiegandt (Virginia)
  • Touring Canoe -  
  • Stand Up Paddleboard - Josh Hall (South Carolina)
  • Safety & Rescue - Sam Fowlkes (North Carolina)
  • Rafting - Marcel Bieg (Oregon)
  • Adaptive - Joe Moore (South Carolina)


New National Standards that Affect Paddlesports

Yes, there are two other groups that are developing national paddlesports standards.  What does that mean for your instruction programs?  Learn from former ACA Executive Director Pam Dillon, now the Education and Standards Director for NASBLA, and Brian Dorval, the facilitator for the new On-Water Standards Project.


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