A few years ago, Bryan Salatino, head freeski coach of the Smugglers Notch FreeSki Team, was wrestling with ideas to help his athletes manage risk effectively. Bryan and Peter collaborated, and Bryan came up with a 15 page, 5 module program, the IFSA Flyin Ryan Decisions Program which he presented to 12 of his 20 athletes who volunteered to participate in the program. The program was delivered through five one-hour athlete meetings on successive Saturdays, followed by a potluck dinner where coaches and parents were invited to hear each of the athletes present themselves and their core values as a means for decision-making and the management of goals and expectations. You can catch the flavor of the program in the 11-minute documentary video that introduces Ryan Hawks and the Smugglers’ Notch program.

The success of this program has been evident. Following the successes at Smugglers Notch, it was presented to Scott Mahoney, president of the International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association (IFSA), and IFSA head judge Josh Mattison. Both wholeheartedly endorsed the Flyin Ryan Decisions Program as a productive and needed component for the freeride programs under the IFSA umbrella. The coaching certification committee also recognized the value of this instructional exercise of self-evaluation and has incorporated it into IFSA coaching certification standards.

IFSA Decisions Program materials

Letter from IFSA President Scott Mahoney

Introductory letter for coaches

IFSA Decisions overview


The IFSA Decisions Program has three founding partners. We are grateful to them for providing the means to make this program possible.

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