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How did ski racing get to where it is? - Page 7

post #181 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioskier View Post
 

 But in the end I would put money my daughter will ski as well maybe not in timed gates but overall as the kids in the serious race and gate training.

 

 

I'll take that bet.  Even give you two to one odds.

 

If you have a quality junior race program available where you ski, and the means to let your daughter become involved if she has an interest, you'll be amazed what it does for her skiing.  You'll be giving her a gift she'll benefit from for the rest of her life.  The foundation of a good race program is broad based skill development.  That has to come first before success with the clock is possible, and it's those skills which will allow her to become the most amazing skier she has the potential to be.  A good race program is the most cost effective and time effective means to developing those foundation skills.   

post #182 of 187
My daugter did ski a lot from 5-6 but didn't enter a race program until she was 9/10. There were kids in the program who had been in training since they were 6.
Allthough she was late to the game, she has caught up with most girls in her group and ended up somewhere in the middle to the back of the top third last season as a 2nd year U12. But she did not win races. She's not on the podium. And she's ok with that. For now at least. We'll see how this season developes. It's been looking ok on the camps so far and we have a few more camps before regular training starts and races. Motivation is key.
I do not think early success has very much to do with later success. But what is more critical is that if you're starting out "late" (11-12-13) you will be beaten by the other kids, and the difference between a good 11year old skier who has never done gates and a kid who has been in race training since 6-7 is h u g e. It can be humiliating. If your kid is fine with that for a season or two and is motivated and think it's fun to practice a lot, she/he could very well be a top level skier 5-6 seasons later, provided she/he is given the opportunity to ski a lot and participate in quality race training. But it takes a lot of strength to enter ski racing as 11-12 (that's a 2nd year U12 or 1st year U14 in race terms). Perhaps the kid who has that inner strength will be the one who eventually reaches the WC?
Personally I think the sport would gain a lot on having more groups for kids who start out late. With current layout, we miss a lot of talented kids.
post #183 of 187

My advice to parents.  When your child goes into racing, don't focus on podiums as a measure of success.  Focus instead on individual improvements, and find a way to quantitate those improvements..  Base the bulk of the praise you lavish on your child on successes they experience within the context of  that individual measuring stick.  Every kid can be a winner via that outlook, as realizing success is directly within each of their personal control.  It will keep them motivated and focused on doing what they must do to become the best skier they have the potential to be, which should be the ultimate goal of racer, coach and parent alike.  

 

A ski race only has one clock declared winner, but a team that employs that philosophy can have a hundred winners.  Our biggest celebrations on our ride home from the races in the team van was not always for the clock winner, it was for the kids who had the major breakthrough, regardless of where it put them on the scoreboard.  

 

When their time in the program comes to a close, and they move on to other life pursuits, they'll look back and realize how far their efforts have taken them, and they'll apply those lessons learned about achievement and success into everything new challenge they embark on.  

post #184 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlsson View Post

My daugter did ski a lot from 5-6 but didn't enter a race program until she was 9/10. There were kids in the program who had been in training since they were 6.
Allthough she was late to the game, she has caught up with most girls in her group and ended up somewhere in the middle to the back of the top third last season as a 2nd year U12. But she did not win races. She's not on the podium. And she's ok with that. For now at least. We'll see how this season developes. It's been looking ok on the camps so far and we have a few more camps before regular training starts and races. Motivation is key.
I do not think early success has very much to do with later success. But what is more critical is that if you're starting out "late" (11-12-13) you will be beaten by the other kids, and the difference between a good 11year old skier who has never done gates and a kid who has been in race training since 6-7 is h u g e. It can be humiliating. If your kid is fine with that for a season or two and is motivated and think it's fun to practice a lot, she/he could very well be a top level skier 5-6 seasons later, provided she/he is given the opportunity to ski a lot and participate in quality race training. But it takes a lot of strength to enter ski racing as 11-12 (that's a 2nd year U12 or 1st year U14 in race terms). Perhaps the kid who has that inner strength will be the one who eventually reaches the WC?
Personally I think the sport would gain a lot on having more groups for kids who start out late. With current layout, we miss a lot of talented kids.

I agree wholeheartedly but let's be clear this problem is not just in ski racing. If you start playing soccer for the first time at 12 the odds are not good that you will catch up to the kids who've been playing since age 4 and have been on competitive club level teams for 2 or 3 years already. Skiing is just more expensive. The best drivers don't make it to F1......the best drivers who have access to money make it to F1
post #185 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

I agree wholeheartedly but let's be clear this problem is not just in ski racing. If you start playing soccer for the first time at 12 the odds are not good that you will catch up to the kids who've been playing since age 4 and have been on competitive club level teams for 2 or 3 years already. Skiing is just more expensive. The best drivers don't make it to F1......the best drivers who have access to money make it to F1

True. But this is a forum about skiing, right? What are the problems and what can be done to get more kids/families involved? Soccer doesn't have that problem (perhaps motor racing?)
Personally I think different types of race programs aimed at the 'late starters' can be a contributor. Several clubs over here are trying alternative free skiing groups alongside the traditional race training as well.
post #186 of 187

@Karlsson Thanks for the input in regards to the late start. I hope your daughter does well and catches up soon. I also think along the lines of what you say a dedicated effort from 10 or 11 year old kid should net out peak potential. I could be very wrong though.

 

This thread is about how did ski racing get to where it is. The reality of my situation highlights the main issues. Cost cuts back on many kids that have the potential to be a world cup athlete from trying. It also puts kids into situations that they have not asked for and even if they did cannot understand what the future commitment and cost of the parents investment into there skiing. What happens when your kid that you have spent $50,000 in race training says to you at 12 I am done with it and would prefer to be a kid and play around in the terrain park or is burnt out? Parents could force them to race as they have a sunk investment of a college education or hold a grudge. I have seen this in other sports tear families apart.

 

 

The bottom line for me is as follows. I have a few different paths I can take one is to take her skiing do a minimal race training program and foster a bond with my daughter and love for a great sport with a minimal financial commitment. She will be a great skier and have the ability to ski anywhere in the world and have fun on any terrain. Just not as a professional and without the pressures of the race commitment.

 

Another approach is to move to Vail, Squaw etc and invest big money and go for broke to win an Olympic medal. With that comes a serious commitment that will grow financially as she enters teen years. Total investment would be somewhere between $200,000 and $500,000 with the risk that she burns out at 16 mentally and walks from sport in general or as she is performing at a top level injuries can happen to anyone wiping out her peak.

 

The other main concern for me is the fact she likes the terrain park and doing jumps. So when I commit to racing I wipe out her ability to choose that aspect of the sport as well. I also do know that I can take her through her current race program and terrain park although small into her teenage years and get her into the top of the sport as our home hill has one of the top slope style skiers in today's circuit that grew up here and left in his teenage years.

 

 

I think at the end of the day there is no wrong choice and every parent should talk and decide what is best for the kid and the entire family. I appreciate all of the insight and know that I will have some decisions to make. At the end of the day the goal is to have fun at a great sport.

post #187 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioskier View Post

performing at a top level injuries can happen to anyone wiping out her peak.

The other main concern for me is the fact she likes the terrain park and doing jumps. So when I commit to racing I wipe out her ability to choose that aspect of the sport as well.

I think at the end of the day there is no wrong choice and every parent should talk and decide what is best for the kid and the entire family. I appreciate all of the insight and know that I will have some decisions to make. At the end of the day the goal is to have fun at a great sport.


Whoa! Wrong-O! Not necessary at all. She'll gravitate toward whatever she's interested in, but there's no reason at all to keep a young kid out of the park. It develops loads of skills that will make her a better skier and commensurately racer as well, especially comfort in and with mandatory air that she'll meet both in speed events and big mountain skiing. Make sure her non-race free ski is some sort of all mountain twin tip ski. That guy I mentioned who was the only one that I knew who at 6 and stayed the best through his twenties? His kids are both excellent park/freestyle/big mountain riders. One a skier, the other a boarder.
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