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Advice on how to get a 12yr old started in racing

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, looking for some advice on how to get my 12 yr old son started in racing. He's been skiing since he was 2.5 yrs old (just recreational not racing) and for first time this year has said he would like to give racing a try.  We live in NJ and typically ski in Stowe, VT many weekends during the winter and usually take 2 weeks a year in Colorado. Ideally would like to get him some professional instruction to start or possibly connected with a ski racing club.  Any advice on how to get started and options on locations in north east would be appreciated.  Thank you.

post #2 of 22
There are race teams at Mountain Creek and Camelback, and I think Blue, that are all pretty serious for the area. The problem with Stowe would be the regularity of how often you go and it's a haul. See, most of the teams have the kids training at least every Saturday and Sunday. If the kid was younger it would be fine to be missing days, but at twelve it is time to get more serious. We used to live in NJ, but we had a condo at Camelback, so we were up there every weekend anyway. The better racers were more local and could even train midweek. Once we moved (daughter fifteen at that point), she was doing dry land training several days a week in the fall, then one day of dryland and four days of ski training in season. So, I'd pick based on how easily you can get him to training, along with the reputation of the program, which I'm pretty out of date with. What's the closest ski area to where you live?
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

thanks for the info. closest ski area is probably mountain creek (about 45-50 mins north of where we live). will look into the program there. while we go to Stowe about every other week during the winter, every week might be a bit much given the 6hr drive each way. thanks again.

post #4 of 22

I would also let the ski school director at Stowe know of your interest.  It seems strange that this resort has such a comprehensive instruction and race program, but doesn't serve Jr racers.  I'd be interested in hearing his feedback.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmrskikids View Post

thanks for the info. closest ski area is probably mountain creek (about 45-50 mins north of where we live). will look into the program there. while we go to Stowe about every other week during the winter, every week might be a bit much given the 6hr drive each way. thanks again.

Where are you? Heading north to get there like I would have had to have done actually took longer than getting to Camelback. CB is right off the highway. MC can be a lot of back roads.
post #6 of 22
At 12 he'd be a first year U14. If it's about the same training dosage as over here in Yu'rup, they practice ca 3 nights a week and race on weekends in season. So don't under-estimate logistics. I'd follow Sibhuskys advice and find a club close to home.
Does he have a friend who wants to start too? Are there other families in your area that have racing kids? Setting up a driving schedule, taking turns, will help a lot. Otherwise, be prepared to drive a lot.
Good luck.
Edited by Karlsson - 3/10/14 at 3:11am
post #7 of 22

At U14 it can start to get pretty serious, but it's not like all of the races are mandatory. If you'd like contact info for Mount Mansfield Ski Club and can't find what you want om their website www.teammmsc.org, send me a PM and I can try to help out. In the springtime kids are sometimes allowed to join in for a day and see what it is like. Things are winding down now, but he could probably do a day or two with the U12s before it is all over.

post #8 of 22
Check local schools for a ski program. Its probably they only real hope for a Jersey boy. If a local school has a program, you can transfer to it (great motivator to get good grades) and the school will handle the logistics and you can be a ski parent spending thousands on gear, race fees and your own travel to watch....all worth it I might add.
post #9 of 22
Living in Stockholm, Sweden, I guess my situation is pretty similar to a NJ- or Midwest parent. We have a small home hill and then have to travel.
Gear doesn't have to be very expensive, but it's certainly part of the equation, minimum 2 pairs of skis. The BIG cost is the camps and the travel that comes with them. I have a second year U12 and we've been on 4 extended weekend camps (out of 5 possible) this season. You might opt to skip camps and only do the regular practice sessions, but the camps are fun and usually take place at bigger, more challenging resorts. In your case upstate NY or Vermont, I'd suspect. Also season tickets to two different resorts (home hill and camp resort). In U14 travel intensifies. I think our club will have 6-8 weekend camps next season. If not before, here's where you really need to coordinate with other parents and take turns.
But hey, it's fun as hell and I'm not complaining, because I can (almost) afford it.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


Where are you? Heading north to get there like I would have had to have done actually took longer than getting to Camelback. CB is right off the highway. MC can be a lot of back roads.

I live near Morristown, nj so easiest route is to get on 287north to route 23 north. will have to try CB. thanks

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

thanks everyone for the advice. I will check in with Stowe ski school and the Mount Mansfield ski club. great suggestion of trying to see if he can try it for a day this season, would give him a chance to see if its something he would be interested in or not. thanks again.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

and forgot to add, I will do the same with the local hills at CB and Mountain Creek.

post #13 of 22
My daughter started at 11, we lived in Hillsborough. BUT we had a condo at the Village at Camelback. Huge difference. By the way, in the mid Atlantic, the travel is NOTHING compared to the northern Rockies. Lots of ski areas not really that far apart. Here, everything means a hotel... And maybe an airplane..
post #14 of 22
And there's always the send him away to the ski schools. Expensive but a great experience and education if the kid is that motivated. Plus you see him on weekends at ski races which is fun for you as you can ski a bunch of different places.
post #15 of 22

Another option between Stowe and NJ is Southern New England or Catskill resorts.  Many families in the Western Mass race system come up from NY/NJ/CT Saturday AM, spend the night and return after skiing Sunday.  The skiing is better than your local options and the ride is half the trip to Stowe.  Some good coaching as well.

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post
 

Another option between Stowe and NJ is Southern New England or Catskill resorts.  Many families in the Western Mass race system come up from NY/NJ/CT Saturday AM, spend the night and return after skiing Sunday.  The skiing is better than your local options and the ride is half the trip to Stowe.  Some good coaching as well.

thanks for the suggestion, have not skied any of the resorts in that area so will need to try them

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx View Post

And there's always the send him away to the ski schools. Expensive but a great experience and education if the kid is that motivated. Plus you see him on weekends at ski races which is fun for you as you can ski a bunch of different places.

yes, that would certainly be an adventure, for him and for us. at this point just want to have him give it a try to see if its something that he likes and would want to get more serious about

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

My daughter started at 11, we lived in Hillsborough. BUT we had a condo at the Village at Camelback. Huge difference. By the way, in the mid Atlantic, the travel is NOTHING compared to the northern Rockies. Lots of ski areas not really that far apart. Here, everything means a hotel... And maybe an airplane..

will have to try Camelback as well as I have never been there in years and never with the family.

 

thank you all again for the suggestions

post #17 of 22

I am also in NJ, further South of you.  My 12, 10 and 8 year olds race in the Poconos.  My daughter just went to the State Derby and then went on to Piche's in NH last weekend.  We ski out of Jack Frost.  It is 20 minutes further than Camelback, but that change in elevation makes a big difference in snow and also crowds.  We travel weekends.  They offer midweek, but 2.5 hours each way is not gonna happen with a school aged child.  Poconos has some great race programs.  Blue Mountain has the most serious program. They have 50 coaches!! The hill is the steepest to train on.  I saw lots of NJSRA jackets at the piches and many of them were from Mountain Creek/mount Peter.  

post #18 of 22

Campgaw has a very good race program and is easy to get to from Morristown.  They practice during the week as well as the weekend, which may work if you go away on the weekends.  Mt. Peter and Mountain Creek have good programs too. 

post #19 of 22

You might want to consider Belleayre, Hunter and Windham.  They all have solid race programs and are probably about 2 hours away from you.

post #20 of 22
We also live in New Jersey and would like to get some feedback and recommendations for a junior developmental race program for my 7 year old and a separate season long instructional program like a kids camp or ski wee for my twin 5 year olds.

My 7 year old spent this past season in the Superstars program at Mountain Creek, which was pretty good, but there was no corresponding season long kids instructional program for my 5 year olds. I was stuck with a week to week , ad hoc program and my twins never made it off their magic carpet. Consequentially, I am now exploring our options for next season and was thinking of going to the Poconos or maybe Tuxedo Ridge, NY but I know nothing about those areas. Also, I am limiting myself to about an hours ride or so from Essex County northern NJ.

Who has the reputation for the best ans safest program for the younger kids. Thanks.
post #21 of 22

jack frost has a great developmental program.  My son started when he was 4.  He just had to be able to get off and on a lift.

post #22 of 22

Because you guys are just trying this out, I would recommend one and only one thing. Stay local. 2-hour drives are doable but nothing more. If he does get hooked and has good success once started, then you can think about different options such as away camps, academies, etc.

At this point, ski racing season is just about completely over. What I would do is to think about signing up to a holiday program over the Christmas/New Year break (and you don't have to stay local for that). It is the best way to test out a race program or see how any race program is like.

As others suggested, don't overlook the logistics. At U14 (under 14) things get a bit more serious. It wasn't quite the case before the reorganization of levels by USSA two seasons ago. In my state, more travel days have been added to what used to be just less-than-an-hour trips on only Sundays. When your son gets to U16, race days will become race weekends and the season is shortened. What that means is that the only time he gets to train during race weeks is on weeknights.

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