This program is for kids who are interested and ready to commit to a more intense competitive program. The focus absolutely remains on having fun and developing fundamental skills. However, the level of competition kids will face in this league is decidedly greater than that of Interclub. As participants in this Tri-State series, kids are now part of the USSS National talent development pipeline. As U12s and up in this program, our kids will begin to become eligible for training and racing selection and opportunities at a regional and national level.
While we encourage the drive to compete, to improve, and to win, we discourage premature focus on results and elite performance ambitions; more often than not, that approach backfires. If your child shows special promise, we nurture it but stay sober about it. As parents, it’s easy to get excited about the Olympic podium potential of a fast 12-year old, but at that age (well, at all ages really), it’s critical to keep it fun!
Our coaches focus first and foremost on improving our young athletes’ technique in short and medium radius carved turns. They will also be exposed to a variety of snow conditions and mixed terrain, so that they can further develop an ability to be athletic, dynamic, and make tactical adjustments. Training includes freeskiing all over the mountain in every possible condition, drills to isolate and improve specific skills, and SL and GS gates. Physical conditioning and mental training are also introduced as ways to become better skiers and faster racers.
While it is not a prerequisite, most of these athletes have participated in our Devo and/or Interclub Programs, or they may have previous experience as a member of another program at another mountain. Ultimately, each child’s eligibility and fit with the USSS Program for U12s and older will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Training is primarily during the day on Saturdays and Sundays, and on Friday nights, typically beginning mid-December, conditions permitting. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, we typically offer the Holiday Race Camp, which is included in the Tri-State program. .
A typical training day begins at 8:00 am. Athletes are required to help coaches set up and take down courses and safety equipment, such as B-Net (as directed). Athletes are also expected to perform routine stretching and warm up activities. Practice usually wraps up at 3 pm, after equipment has been taken down by athletes and coaches.
Athletes and coaches work together to develop mutual trust and respect. Athletes are expected to ask questions when they don’t understand or need clarification. Athletes are expected to keep coaches informed of any issues that may impact training or racing performance (e.g. homework, injury, lack of sleep, appointments and other obligations, etc.). It is the combined responsibility of coaches and athletes to make the most of each day out on the hill.
-- Training does not necessarily imply gates --
A substantial portion of training, in fact, will not be in gates. Coaches determine the appropriate training, based on a variety of factors, including the athletes’ skill, development, and needs. Training activity may involve gates, fitness, video review, focused freeskiing, drills, powder skiing, glades, etc., at the discretion of the coaches.
Includes 5 days of training a week, Wednesday-Friday nights and all weekend days.
Interclub parent membership in the Parents Association is required. The Parents Association mission is to support the events and activities of the Catamount Ski Team in ways agreed upon with the director of the racing program. Joining this association is a wonderful way to plug into our racing community, learn some of the ins and outs of the sport from veteran families and experienced ski racing parents, and help support some of the great events we host here at Catamount.
*** Note *** In the interest of providing safe, fun, and productive experiences, all training and racing activity is subject to cooperative weather and snow conditions.
Interclub kids compete in a handful of races at other mountains where they can test themselves against peers from other programs in western Massachusetts. Most of the races are Giant Slalom. Families are responsible for registering their athletes for competitions.