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USSA Level 200 Tips?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Gang, 


Anyone been to a USSA L200 coaching clinic?  I am heading to Waterville this weekend (in the rain :() for a Level 200.  Anyone been to one?  Any ideas on what to expect for on snow stuff.  Itinerary here.  



Level 200 clinic Schedule

Waterville Valley Ski Area, April 3-5, 2015

USSA Instructor: Peter Stokloza 

DAY 1 Friday April 3rd, 2015

Day 1 Goal: To teach the coaches about the interrelationship between the training environment, skiing performance, and program planning through a review of the mountain and gate drills that teach proper fundamental skiing.

8:30-9:00 Registration, introductions, goals of clinic, program & schedule overview (BBTS Competition center, to the left of the Valley Run Chair)

9:30-11:30  On-snow – training environment, ski the mountain

  • Group discussion while skiing:

                        Review the training environment

  • Brief review of Alpine Skills Fundamentals key concepts (Level 100): Athletic stance, parallel position, pole plant, carving turns & transitions, gliding, jumping & terrain, Skills Quest

11:30-12:30 Lunch  

12:30-3:30 On-snow – gate drills with technical emphasis and focus on the training environment

Discuss and set if possible

  • Corridor drills: standard corridor, outside corridor (turning phase outside of corridor), varying widths, varying slopes, varying fall line, center line  (WE WILL SET with coaches, coaches can run drills with proper safety equipment, helmets, proper skis and boots)
  • Turn shape drill: review setting with brushes, stubbies, to full gates; set SL or GS (or SG if space allows).  Spend most time here, have coaches take turns setting using recommended distances from ASF II CD (can download from To best use space, if possible  2 setting groups, one setting GS version and other setting SL version. (BBTS Athletes if available)
  • Angled gate drill (Review)
  • Diamond hitch drill (if time permits)

3:30     Review of on-hill activities


4:00-7 Classroom (Location: Waterville Valley Academy, Classroom Building, 86 Boulder Path Road, Waterville Valley, NH)

Review of day, relating it to participants and their training situations, open discussion

  • Review of on-snow time
  • Ski area relations –
  • Review training Environment CD
  • Drills presentation
  • Purpose of drills, evaluation of drills, creating a progression of drills
  • Training Environment Program Planning Part I pdf document from the Training Environment CD, Four training objectives –
    1. technical/tactical skill acquisition,
    2. technical/tactical skill adaptation,
    3. equipment testing or comparative timing,
    4. competition preparation, and how these objectives can be met or unmet based on the training environment.
  • Course setting trends and rules updates
  • Updated course setting rules
  • Review single pole SL course setting rules
  • SL course setting trends
  • GS course setting trends
  • SG course setting trends
  • DH course setting trends
  • Introduction to tactics


DAY 2 Saturday April 4th, 2015

Day 2 goal:  Give coaches a battery of gate drills and teach different ways to use brushes and dye as training aids.  Coaches understand the power of these self-discovery drills as teachers, by setting up the proper training environment the athletes will learn by trying to execute the drill properly.

7:45  Meeting (BBTS Competition Center)

8:15-11:45  On-snow – tactics gate drills (TRAINING w BBTS athletes)

  • Rise line drill (Placement  of the Apex)
  • Wagner drill  (Pressure distribution)

11:45-12:30  Lunch

12:30-3:00  On-snow – tactics/gate drills (TRAINING with the BBTS athletes)

  • Blue branch drill (COE TV)
  • Blue Line (COE TV)
  • 3 brush drill

3:30-6:00 Classroom – (Waterville Valley Academy, Classroom building)

Review of the day

Tactics CD Know Your Abilities section and gate drills completed on the hill

  • Intro presentation
  • Drills will lead the athlete to the outcome, they need to execute the drill, the fastest line choice may not be apparent without timing
  • Fall-line
  • Course line
  • Line for turn placement
  • Line for conditions
  • Tactics CD Know the Course section
  • This section centers around developing a race plan, but habits must be instilled and practiced in training, from course inspection, course preparation, course reports, and overall race day planning.
  • Coach responsibilities – Inspection: What are the different ages coaches are working with?  Based on this, what is their team inspection strategy?  How much does the coach vs. athlete dictate proper line?  How much talking goes on?  Are these strategies rehearsed and reinforced in training?
  • Coach responsibilities – Course reports: Again, focus discussion based on the ages/abilities of the athletes the coaches are working with.  What information do coaches give on course report?  What is a good report?  What is a bad report?  Individual vs. team reports. 
  • Talk about race simulation training, and using both race day inspection and course reporting strategies in training
  • Evaluation – risk vs. reward strategies
  • Lead into performance planning instruction.  Talk about the many demands and responsibilities on coaches on race day.  Cover the mental strategies for race day.  What mental skills areas are important?  Can comment here briefly about the Sport Science unit requirements for Level 200 certification and encourage participants to purchase the Sports Psychology CD to learn more about this area.
  • Review the Performance Planning chapter from the Take Your Brain to the Mountain manual pp. 64-71.  Goal is to have coaches guide the athletes into finding an effective race day routine, and to help them identify their ideal performance state.  As with other areas being trained, the coaches and athletes need to evaluate, plan, implement, and re-evaluate their race day plans.  For coaches working with younger athletes, the main thing is to develop a routine.
  • Wrap-up


DAY 3 Sunday April 5th, 2015

Day 3 Goal:  Coaches gain confidence in setting the gate drills so that they will effectively use them with their athletes.  Coaches leave energized and motivated to continue pursuing the remaining areas for Level 200 certification and future educational opportunities, and to apply this knowledge to their coaching programs. Coaches will work with 2-3 BBTS athletes who will be running their courses.

7:45  Meet group (BBTS Competition Building)

8:15-11:45  On-snow – hands-on drill course setting

  • Each participant should get a chance to set some of the drills covered in the previous 2 days.
  • We will be working with 2-3 athletes (Wagner Drill, Rise line drill)

11:45-12:30   Lunch


Review Classroom  – (BBTS Competition center)

  • Review key concepts from the clinic
  • Review remaining requirements for Level 200 certification
    • Complete on-line exams for this clinic – Chelsea will email them with the instructions, encourage them to complete this right away so they don't forget to do it
    • Complete 2 sport science requirements – review 2 of 3 Elite Performance Series CD's (Sport Psychology, Sport Nutrition, or Strength & Power) and complete corresponding on-line exams (exams ordered at
    • Complete 2 sport management requirements – George Washington University on-line courses, order at
    • Complete Level 1 referee certification
    • Make sure most current First Aid/CPR copies are on-file with USSA Sport Education (email to or fax to 435.940.2790)
    • Continuing education credit every two years
  • Review Level 300 GS, SL, or Speed DVD's to learn more about each discipline, be prepared in advance for Level 300 clinics
  • National Coaches Academies in the spring and fall, once their Level 200 certification is complete they will be eligible
  • Encourage coaches to become a fan of USSA Sport Education on Facebook and Twitter to stay current: and
  • Center of Excellence TV
  • Participants fill out clinic evaluation forms. 


post #2 of 5

Sounds like getting tips is the main reason to attend.  They will probably have plenty to share there.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks CR.  I figured that.  


Anyone been to one of these?


I meant in terms of what to bring / expect.  What skis?  pads? measuring tape?  vid camera?  other equipment?  How much skiing are we really talking etc etc?  What are the best bars near Waterville?  Crucial info like that.   :)


Sure does not look like a PSIA blab-fest on paper but you never know. ;)

post #4 of 5

Peter Stakloza is a level 5 coach with ussa with international coaching experience.  BBTS runs a great weekend and academy program.  I spent 7 yers with BBTS in the nineties.  Should be informative for those who attend.  YM

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Level 200 USSA Report.


Waterville was a great venue for this clinic.  We had a large length of World Cup at our disposal served by a T bar.  Though this wore out the 46 year old legs a bit after three days, it was mega efficient. Peter Stakloza the director at WVA was an awesome clinician who kept things moving and fresh!  Thanks Peter for a very enjoyable clinic focusing on course tactics and training drills outside of "gates courses."  Lots of new ideas about how to mix up training using the apparatus at our disposal  (Mostly gates, panel gates, brushes, and dye.)  The training seemed more suited to advanced u12s and up and emphasized guiding athletes to push themselves and experiment with line rather than keep running down the same groove.  Great stuff.  PS.  Beers and snacks during the academic meetings at WVA were much appreciated!


The clinic was attended by 10 Students - Everyone but 2 were experienced race coaches ranging from 20 years old to over 60.  Several had just finished attending their course setting pre-req.  Many were collegiate athletes or academy kids. We had coaches from Loon, CO, Okemo, Wachusett, Waterville, and Burke.  I was perhaps the second worst skier there and I am a single digit handicapper.  What a group!  I can take some small comfort in that most of them were half my age -  but not all!


As you can imagine with a group like this, the courses and drills we set were irresistible and the program ran more like a 3 day masters clinic with a bunch of hotshots!  The young guys (all guys and 1 woman) killed it and could not have been nicer or more supportive.  


Weather threw EVERYTHING at us and I mean everything.  Sun -Rain - High Winds - Fog - Blue Skies - and finally 3 inches of power folloeed by blue skies again.  Nuts!  Great snow though.


As far as my original question of what to bring is concerned, bring everything.  We skied on a moderate training pitch at full speed in full gates, SL and GS.  So bring your Stealths, shin pads, hip pads, race gloves, and/or SL poles.  On day one I wore no pads and regretted it.  Day 2 I wore my circa 1985 Spider SL sweater which was both a sweet fashion statement as well as provided adequate protection.  However, it did not cover my hips or knees which are SORE.


SL skis were what most of us wore though for GS training I preferred my 175 Race Tiger Cheaters (19m) which were a blast.  TUNE.  Were were down to slick ice in many spots and a good tune was essential.  Bring a stone to touch up.  I have to imagine we averaged 20 training runs per day, setting and lugging and riding the T-Bar in between.  


So today I am exhausted and sore but in a good way.  This clinic was sweet - way better than PSIA clinics I have attended though obviously different focus.  Now for the test and referee course.  





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