Horst Abraham

Year Nominated: 2012

Year Inducted: 2012

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 throughout the world. 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 United States from his native Austria, Horst found that most ski areas were not interested in his highly individualized approach to ski instruction, preferring a "one size fits all" technique oriented approach. With the mentorship of Curt Chase and Jerry Muth, along with his appointment to serving as the technical director at Vail, Horst gained national visibility and influence.

He was appointed to serve as the technical vice president of the Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association and in 1971 was asked to fill the position of director of training and development of the Professional Ski Instructors of America.

In his work on the national level Horst was able to present 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 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 thinking and practices to becoming a pace setter in the development of ski instructional pedagogy. Ski instruction now focuses upon customer needs, gender and age differences, learning styles and personalized performance management.

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

Other significant accomplishments include: 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, December 2010.

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