New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Race camp observations - Page 2

post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


That's hilarious! While there are no doubt some very very good masters folks out there*, there are a whole lot more who are pretty painful to watch, not to mention the beer gut and skinny legs all too well defined by speed suits. smile.gif

* I'm thinking Cary Adgate and similar

 hey, I resemble that remark!    biggrin.gif   beer gut (or swallowed a goat!) yes, skinny legs, no!

 

The difference of course in masters, especially once you get into the older age groups (>50) is that it is much, much harder to tell simply from physical appearance.   Lots of fit looking specimans still get crushed by less athletic looking folk.  A classic example of cunning and experience handily overcoming youth (or fitness) and experience.  

 

Or think Nascar, where the old guys or the Tony Stewarts can still come out on top

post #32 of 40

My daughter was up at Mt. Hood earlier in the Summer, she is also 8 yrs old, but she stayed at the camp for 10 days., by herself...mommy at home was not happy about it.

 

At drop off, I found the kids to be about the same age as you mentioned, 14-16 yrs old, and they all seemed polite and very inviting to my daughter.

 

My daughter has been in Dev Program since 4.5, and raced Tahoe League last year, and will ski with Squaw in their U Program (Far West) this year.

 

So it was a great experience for her to hear stories from the older kids on what it takes to be a racer, and they also sent her off at the airport with a couple cards that said "kick butt this year, see you next year at camp..."

 

Biggest highlight for her was meeting Ted in the parking lot after training one day, and Ted told her she was pretty and fast... She proceed to tell him that everyone tells her that... (smart azz :) )

post #33 of 40

Very interesting discussion, everyone. And I'm pleased to see you brought up the book! I'll be doing an AMA on Reddit at 7 pm on Monday 9/9, if you have any more questions that you'd like answered. 

post #34 of 40
So what do you think of Gladwell's article in the current New Yorker, with the recommendation to read The Sports Gene alongside Tyler Hamilton's new book The Secret Race?
Edited by NayBreak - 9/7/13 at 10:24am
post #35 of 40
Had not seen that. Thanks for the tip. I have that issue right here!
post #36 of 40

I have not read through all the posts, but as a coach, who also grew up going to camps at mt hood, I will say this - summer ski camps come in all shapes and sizes, just like kids who participate in race programs, and kids who play all sports. If your shocked by the lack of athleticism compared to high level youth soccer/baseball - possibly you should think about the comparison you are making. Also if you ask me, the best part about youth racing programs, is that they make an enormous impact on the skiing development of every kid, from the next ted ligety to future nastar gold medalists. 

 

If you want to see the most athletic young ski racers, you need to be at the right camp. And the really athletic kids from 8-16 are in very specific programs. Not because their parents buy them into it, but because they do really well at big events over the winter and the sport get segmented very quickly. Particularly around age 14, the listed middle band of the group. 

 

Example of this is as follows, I attended NASC, a camp that was hugely impactful for my skiing at the time and super fun. My memory is a bit foggy on this topic, but as I recall, the week before the camp formally opened all these rippers, like top 20 at eastern JOs would be out there training with the coaches and no random joeys. During the regular sessions there was a wide mix. (I was definitely one of the random joeys, but really benefited from skiing with the councelors who were generally noram level)

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Gladwell of course is far more nuanced than the 10,000 'rule' as well. He doesn't start with 10,000 hours. The larger point is that exceptional access tends to lead to outlier outcomes with the building of hours/coaching/experience along the way.

The only essay about sports in Outliers IIRC is the first one about hockey where he shows statistically that Canadian professional hockey players are by great majority born toward the end of the calendar year. His point is that this is because the cutoff date is January first for any age group in a country that has a very developed junior hockey program. When kids are young, a year of physical development is huge, and the December qualifiers are likely to be bigger/stronger/faster than the January qualifiers because they are nearly a year older. In a sport where it is likely more important early on to be big and strong and fast than say a great stick handler, being born close to the cutoff date is only an advantage for the older side. To be born in January you might need to be a genetic outlier (bigger/faster/stronger at a younger age), but statistically you'd be in the minority for age-date at least in the population that Gladwell presents.

I suspect that hockey is a sport that magnifies this effect, but Gladwell didn't write a sports book and he only used a sports example that fits the mold. Even though it is obvious that genetics are a dominant factor in most sports, the hockey example was a point that even in athletes 'where you come from' (Canadian, older than age group peers by birthdate, access to very formal national level development program) can be as important as 'what you are' (a genetically gifted hockey player).

I'm not arguing Epstein's point (haven't read it, but will), just that the positioning (not yours) of raw genetics as opposed to 'Outliers' probably completely misses the point on both sides, despite grabbing some headline attention.

 

And this was the whole the point of Gladwell's book. He never says that genetics, ie born talent, isn't an important factor just that it isn't the only factor. In fact there's a whole section about a guy with one of the highest IQs in the world who still works on a farm  and he blames it largely on the guys circumstances growing up.

 

Anyway, for the OP it sounds like the overall the camp you attended sounds like it was for beginners/less skilled athletes and if the median age was 14 then I'm not surprised at all that the kids you saw weren't as athletic as you were expecting. If they were 14 that means they were getting ready to enter High School this year and if they were still attending a beginners camp then they really weren't all that gifted as skiers at the very least.

post #38 of 40

I'm hoping to be able to send my son next year to this camp. He going to try free style skiing this year. 

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Gladwell of course is far more nuanced than the 10,000 'rule' as well. He doesn't start with 10,000 hours. The larger point is that exceptional access tends to lead to outlier outcomes with the building of hours/coaching/experience along the way.

The only essay about sports in Outliers IIRC is the first one about hockey where he shows statistically that Canadian professional hockey players are by great majority born toward the end of the calendar year. His point is that this is because the cutoff date is January first for any age group in a country that has a very developed junior hockey program. When kids are young, a year of physical development is huge, and the December qualifiers are likely to be bigger/stronger/faster than the January qualifiers because they are nearly a year older. In a sport where it is likely more important early on to be big and strong and fast than say a great stick handler, being born close to the cutoff date is only an advantage for the older side. To be born in January you might need to be a genetic outlier (bigger/faster/stronger at a younger age), but statistically you'd be in the minority for age-date at least in the population that Gladwell presents.

I suspect that hockey is a sport that magnifies this effect, but Gladwell didn't write a sports book and he only used a sports example that fits the mold. Even though it is obvious that genetics are a dominant factor in most sports, the hockey example was a point that even in athletes 'where you come from' (Canadian, older than age group peers by birthdate, access to very formal national level development program) can be as important as 'what you are' (a genetically gifted hockey player).

I'm not arguing Epstein's point (haven't read it, but will), just that the positioning (not yours) of raw genetics as opposed to 'Outliers' probably completely misses the point on both sides, despite grabbing some headline attention.

 

I think you have the hockey example backwards. The cutoff of Jan 1 means those boys born in Jan are going to be stronger and get more attention and coaching than those born later in the year. This is why so many players in the NHL are born in Jan/Feb/Mar.

 

The age makes a big difference especially around ages 12-15. This happened when we moved to a new town and my son's end of July birthday was now near the Sept 1 cutoff ( the cutoff from our original town was Dec 31). Many parents of boys with similar birthdays held their boys out of kindergarten for a year saying they were not mature enough. Now my son was competing in junior high school with about 10 boys who were a year older than him, yet in the same grade. This continued in high school. He was able to earn varsity letters in 3 sports but was just not as physically strong as the boys who were held back. He was able to compete when the teams were aged based but in HS he did not start any sport until his senior year when he finally had a growth spurt and physically caught up.

 

Check the age of a next college football star that is touted as a "true freshman". They are usually a year (or even 2 years) older than their class.

post #40 of 40

in my unscientific study of kids sports in any group of twelve there are 4 "athletes" that are ready to go and be athletes, follow direction, apply themselves etc.

the second 4 may have the athletic ability but ony given day just mill about

the other 4 smell dandelions in the summer and/or look for squirrels in the winter

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion