Originally Posted by ZeroGravity
I think that NordtheBarbarian touched on it. Current practice is the whole 10,000 hour nonsense. To get to somewhere around that number requires almost 100% devoting practice time to the singular task. More is better, right? The idea of cross-training is largely dead because it isn't specific to the skill. You see it in many seasonal sports such as hockey and soccer that you are now expected to commit to only that sport 12 months a year now. I also believe at various personal and institutional levels the intent is to hoard talented kids in their program, which brings prestige to both the team/club/school and the coach(es). It's all about the winning.
I know that the the Alpine Canada Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model sets out guidelines fro each age group. From memory they expect a U16 in a competitive or train-to-race (I think) stream to get 110+ days on snow a year. You can do the math knowing that the snow season starts roughly mid to late November and is done mid to late March in most of Canada. That is roughly 120-140 days for a domestic season. How is a 14 or 15 year old supposed to get that many days on snow and still have time for school, social and family life or to just be kid. They get 10-30 days away from snow over a 4 month period????? Or, you go to 2 or three camps in the off season, well, guess little Johnny can't play soccer because he is going to miss too much or won't make a higher tier team because he can't commit to their 100+ days of training.
Wayne Gretzky is arguably the best hockey ever. He grew up in Canada and obviously played a lot of hockey but he has also said that come spring time, he couldn't wait to finish hockey so he could go play lacrosse. Same with a lot of players of his era, especially those in the Southern Ontario region. The greats of the 60's and 70's didn't play 12 months a year.
And they are finding the same thing today, I'm pretty sure.
Originally Posted by sibhusky
Let's see, the team all stayed together so they could put four kids in a room and have meetings. Would you suggest they stayed all over town? They find the best deal and the space. You're implying they could possibly be getting huge kickbacks from hotels. Not at the prices they charged me. More likely the hotel put up all weekend from noise complaints.
She went to some camps, but many kids went to commercial camps. It is possible that the coaches made some money from that. But, they are not rich, they need to eat.
Off season training to stay in shape hardly is doing just one sport. Even the kids who went to Chile (two out of 70) were doing things other than running gates.
You must live in a different world than I do. I know these coaches. I know the regional people. Most of these people just love what they are doing. You make a revenue stream sound like a bad thing. Do I want the coach making his money on lawn care? No. I want his focus on coaching.
Certainly I can't speak for all those commercial camps out there, but we certainly didn't see anything really horrifyingly self-serving over the years. Perhaps a blindness to a non-skiing life, but I think that's endemic to anyone who loves what they are doing and it certainly was not a pattern. If anything, the coach who says at the get go that a racer that's ten years old will never be an Olympian bothers me more. It's true for 98% of kids, but precludes the whole concept of trying to get there anyway.
I think you guys are talking about some different things -- I'm familiar with both ways of doing it. My niece races out of bfe in SW Colorado, and it's more like you are describing. I also have friends with kids at Vail, it's not the same at all, except for gates and snow.
From what I know (at least in the tennis world, etc), the $75K+ tuition for the academies is paid by the wanna-be's so that the will-be's get to go for free... or at least greatly reduced. I'm not saying it's that way in skiing, I don't know, but there are a lot of parents who feel like they are letting the kids down if they don't keep paying for the merry-go-round of camps and coaches and leagues and races and the like. Then half the time (or more), the kids just burns out and quits, or gets injured, even before all that was recouped with that elusive college scholarship or pro contract.
No, no one is getting rich, but when is the last time you knew anyone to turn down a buck? The latest thing that gets me is these "approved hotels" that the tournaments do. I coordinate all the travel for my daughter's soccer team, and the tournaments literally have a rule where you must stay in an "approved hotel" or be dq'd. So we get a list of places in Dallas, for instance, and choose from there. They say it's a discount, but it's not a great discount, usually. Sometimes it is, but those fill up really fast. Usually you are staying at a Residence Inn for $4.50 under the rack rate. I could always do better, but I'm not allowed to. I have learned to only stay at establishments with a bar on premises, for the sake of the chaperones.