Think Tank Clinic & Seminar Descriptions
You must be registered for Think Tank in order to participate in any of these clinics and seminars. Each registered participant will receive a special bracelet that must be shown in order to enter the rooms where clinics and seminars are conducted. Certain clinics require that participants be current members of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports (USA-WSWS).
Two clinics covering the fundamentals of forward barefooting and progressing to forward barefoot tricks, backward barefooting, and advanced barefoot techniques. Each clinic will be tailored to what participants want to learn and can include show ski barefooting and traditional barefoot competition. Any and all barefooters are welcome and encouraged to attend either or both barefoot clinics.
This clinic covers the basics of 3-event water skiing. Topics include equipment, competition categories, how to get involved, and basic techniques.
Intermediate & Advanced 3-Event
This clinic is designed for those who wish to take it to the next level. Topics include body position, theory, and what it takes to go beyond just competing.
This clinic is lead by some of the best freestyle jumpers in the country. They will help you improve your skills and proper techniques from the beginning phases of riding over the jump to becoming comfortable with your equipment through the high-flying advanced inverted maneuvers.
Kneeboarding and Trick Skiing
This clinic covers spinning, flipping, and showmanship for kneeboarding and trick skiing. Learn how to get the most out of your team’s individual talents to create a fast-paced, exciting act for the audience. Learn proper technique, form, showmanship, and equipment to maximize talent and points.
Show Production & Operations
Advanced Show Boat Driving
Learn from the best tow boat drivers that the nation has to offer. How to you become a lead boat driver for your team, create boat patterns for your show, drive ballet patterns and how to communicate with your driver/show coordinators while driving. What kind of toothpaste do you use for a bright white smile, when do you switch from closed toe Crocs to open holed Crocs, when do you hang up your strap belt and wetsuit to get behind the wheel and what speed do you flip your hat or visor backwards? How do you keep your drive team and show directors open to new patterns, learn where pickup boats should be seen/not seen and any other questions you have? This clinic will also cover all the changes made to the Tested Driver Program.
Docks, Jumps, and Site Install/Maintenance
This clinic is designed to cover almost everything that needs to be done to maintain and utilize your team’s site. Proper dock and jump installation and how to set up and maintain your site. These needed actions are the unsung necessities to be able to function and perform your shows.
Intros & Payoffs (Choreography)
Instructors will discuss choreography for ballet lines as well as other acts in the show. Learn how to choreograph an easy dance routine and final endings/payoffs for your team. Do not leave showmanship points on the beach.
Observing, Riding, and Pin Pulling
Being a show ski boat rider is one of the most important duties in our sport. Not only are you responsible for the safety of the skiers behind your boat, but you also must be a good partner and communicator for the driver. This clinic ncovers what you need to look for when observing and pulling pin as well as how to be an effective and trusted member of the boat driving team.
Rope Making & Repairs
Need a twink? How about an extra jump handle? Maybe a ballet leader? You can learn various techniques for making jump braids, pyramid ropes, swivel and trick handles, ballet ropes, etc. Learn how to repair ropes too.
Not only will you learn how to build excitement, incorporate acts into a theme, keep the show going, and integrate music and dialogue into your show, but you will also learn how the announcer and sound crew work together to make it happen. Learn how to direct the audience and keep the show moving even during the roughest of ski shows.
Show Barefoot Acts
Learn to design barefoot acts that maximize the talents of your individual skiers. Learn how to improve the flow of the act while providing the best barefoot conditions possible for a great fast-paced show act. Remember that a good face plant can add crowd appeal.
Show Boat Driving 101
If you are thinking of volunteering to drive one of the tow boats for your team or are an experienced driver,this clinic is for you! Learn what you need to know, how to go about getting tested, and what's in store for your future as a Tow Boat Driver. There is so much more to jumping in a boat than slamming the throttle down and turning the steering wheel. The instructors will help you navigate through the new rules and regulations for show driving, all with an emphasis on keeping your skiers safe. Learn the tricks of the trade to drive great patterns, help your skiers ski their best, make your show flow better and to communicate with your drive team. This clinic will also cover all the changes made to the Tested Driver Program. Instructors will help you keep your team up to date with all the new information and requirements for sanctions.
What is funny? More importantly, what is not? We will answer questions regarding what is comical and enjoyable within water ski shows and offer suggestions on how to get more smiles, laughs and applause from your audience. You do not have to score comedy to have it in your show.
Show Directing 101
Don’t be afraid to direct and lead your team. National champion show directors will help you identify your roles and responsibilities as a show director. They will help you establish a timeline to use as a guide for your show. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from their experiences and mistakes.
Show Jump Acts
This clinic will focus on the act. You will learn how to utilize the individual talent on your team to create the best possible team jump act. Instructors will cover the do’s and don'ts of a jump act, what order to perform your jumps in, when to re-run a failed jump, what can go over the jump and how to tighten up flow for the best possible score. Learn how to maximize your teams jump difficulty scores by using the difficulty chart. Jump is not just for the boys anymore; girls flip for it too.
There is more to a ski show than just skiing. Learn from National and World class show directors on how to produce your show. When to use skits, communicate with show coordinators and drivers, create a fluid show and get the most out of your talents off the water. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from their experiences and mistakes.
Show Safety & Pickup Boats
The focus of this clinic will be the show safety rules and pre-season review. This is a great refresher course for all team personnel who are responsible for safety. Learn where your pickup boats should be throughout your show.
Sound & Audio Presentation
Learn what it takes to be a successful sound crew working hand-in-hand with your announcer(s) and stage crew. Discover best practices for using music, volume, sound effects, and other audio techniques to enhance your show. Share and discuss sound systems and equipment. Additional discussion may include using recorded lines, song/genre selection to fit your theme, and editing music.
Learn how to maximize the talents of your ballet line skiers. Instructors will share best pratices and techniques for creating a high-scoring ballet line from hop dock to payoff. You'll also learn how to communicate and work with your boat driver on patterns, speed, and landings. You must be a current member of USA-WSWS to participate in this clinic.
Trios & Conventional Doubles
Trios and conventional doubles are staple acts in every water ski show and oftentimes part of a larger "big" act. Instructors will cover many of the typical trios and conventional doubles moves and poses. Learn about proper presentation angles and maximizing the talent of your team. Bring your trios partners and/or conventional doubles partner. You must be a current member of USA-WSWS to participate in this clinic.
This clinic is for beginning swivelers. If you want to learn or just started dabbling with swivel skiing, this clinic is for you. Learn about equipment, body position, basic techniques, and basic moves to get you started. Proper technique and mastery of basic moves is required to advance your skills. Bring your ski and handle/rope. You must be a current member of USA-WSWS to participate in this clinic.
Beginning Strap Doubles
Intermediate & Advanced Strap Doubles
Intermediate & Advanced Swivel
Pyramid Building for Teams (by application only)
Team members will learn and review the basics of pyramid basing and climbing with safety as the number one priority. Learn to properly and flawlessly climb 3-tier and 4-tier pyramids. Receive feedback on what it takes for your team to progress to bigger pyramids and be prepared to hit the water together when your season kicks off. This clinic is for teams who applied and were approved for participation. All participants (base and climbers) and spotters must be current USA-WSWS members.
Show Ski Officials
Division I (NSSA) Judges Q&A
This is an open forum question and answer session. NSSA senior-rated officials will be on hand to moderate and answer your questions relating to setting up a tournament-ready show. This is a great place to get answers to your questions before making your final preparations for the upcoming ski season. The focal point of this Q&A is Division I (nationals) competition.
Division II (NSSA) Judges Q&A
This is an open forum question and answer session. NSSA senior-rated officials will be on hand to moderate and answer your questions relating to setting up a tournament-ready show. This is a great place to get answers to your questions before making your final preparations for the upcoming ski season. The focal point of this Q&A is Division II (nationals) competition and those teams considering show water skiing competition for the first time.
Show Scoring, Box Scores, and Forms
Show Tournament Preparation
How to Dissect Your Scores
Scoring sheets can be very confusing. Learn from top-rated official on how to understand the scoring documents. Instructors will explain how acts are scored, box scores, difficulty charts flow, and everything to make the most of your show. This clinic is a must for show directors and anyone who wants to better understand show scoring.
Preparing for Individual Events Competition
Topics covered include completing your judges form (pass list) for competition, undertanding the rules, and what the judges are looking for in your routines. Get mentally prepared for competition now so you have plenty of time during the summer to practice and master your routine.
Join senior-rated officials as they go through the dedicated team's show and answer questions regarding how it was scored, breaking down flow, execution, difficulty, box scores and overall crowd appeal. Learn how to translate this into your own show production.
Incidents, Issues, and Compliance
Come to this clinic and learn how to manage the everyday risk of running your ski team. Discussion will include identifying risks, and how to minimize those risks. Learn what to do if you have a major injury incident, and what to do afterwards to minimize the impact on your team and board of directors. Discussion will also include compliance.
Safety Coordinator Class
The NSSA is conducting a safety coordinator class for those who need it or want to become a safety coordinator. This clinic is NOT included in Think Tank registration. You must signup for this class separately. Please refer to the signup instructions at the Think Tank registration desk. Additional fees are required for your participation in the safety coordinator class.
Social Media & Communications
Learn why your team should invest time and effort in social media and communications to engage your community, sponsors, donors, supporters, and members. Discover which social media platforms appeal to certain audiences and the strategies you should employ for creating a communications and tailored content plan for each. You'll also learn about social media metrics and local tourism metrics to quantify and justify your ask of sponsors and donors. Share best practices for increasing awareness of and attendance at your on- and off-the-water events.
Team Challenges & Solutions
Join the current and past NSSA presidents to share best practices and experiences with others who are board members, elected leaders, and those who have a vested interest in the business management of your team/club. Topics may include fundraising, insurance, membership, site issues, team communications, governance, recruiting new members, etc.