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Olympic level halfpipe coaching

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi all. I'm starting this new thread to try to find some info about private & semi-private coaching for 1 to 3 teenagers who are in need of coaching to take them from the amateur level to the pro level. As with most training programs, the focus is generally on large teams with a lot of younger groms learning basic tricks & staying on the smaller jumps. This is where the money is for Ski resort racing & freestyle programs. A lot of younger kids, & a few intermediate coaches who aren't paid very well. When the kids grow up, they find themselves attempting the bigger, riskier tricks without the full coaching support they need simply because the coaches who can teach at that level require better pay than the ski resorts are willing to pay. Most leave and go do something else. The few that remain end up teaching larger groups of younger kids basic tricks instead of staying with the older kids who really need an upper level coach, especially considering the increased risk factor associated with going bigger. At that level, the older kids who show enough potential to make it to the pro level either get picked up by private teams supported by sponsors, or they begin to get access to national level programs supported by the US Ski/Snowboard Team. The rest forge ahead alone, getting some coaching where they can find it. Many burn out or get injured. What I'm looking for are the few coaches who teach older kids at the elite level who aren't totally committed to a program that keeps the kids and coach sequestered at one mountain, without the ability to travel to the parks & pipes where the contests will actually be held. For these independent skiers & riders, it's important that they get the same access and quality coaching that the sponsored kids are getting, or get left behind. I'm putting my son right in the middle of the National halfpipe scene next season in CO, and am seeking the very best coaching that isn't held back by being stuck at just one mountain, answering to one company's management who don't usually have the athletes best training interests in focus. There are a few top level coaches in Colorado who have the flexibility to get our kids the top level training they need, where they need to be training, & not just when & where the company says. I'd like to make contact with some of these coaches & find out if any of them will be available next season to train 2 or 3 of these upper level kids, 2 or 3 days a week, in advanced halfpipe. Being from Tahoe & not CO, I don't know who these coaches might be yet. I'm asking the EpicSki Community to help me out in finding these coaches. They have to be capable and willing to teach at a very high level. I already have several coaches available who can teach at the intermediate level. Any of you industry pros and instructors know the guy I'm talking about? If so, please help me contact them. It could turn out to be a good coaching gig for the right coach.

post #2 of 22

First of all, consider my advice with the skepticism it deserves:  I know virtually nothing about freestyle.  What I would suggest, though, is to try to contact someone who may have knowledge of relevance.  I'd suggest David Oliver, a freestyle examiner and member of PSIA's national demo team.  He teaches and supervises at Breckenridge.  He's likely not a coach for your kids, but I suspect he'll know who the relevant coaches are in Colorado.  And given that Bobby Brown trains and lives in Breckenridge, I suspect he'll have some ideas for you.

 

I'd call the ski school at Breckenridge and see if they'll provide you with his contact info.

 

Mike

post #3 of 22

First of all, are you talking ski or snowboard?

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 


Thanks for your help. Throwing out a name of the top coaches & their trainers is exactly what we need. I can now move forward with contacting & meeting some people in the center of where we intend to be next season. Also, we're skiers. (I also snowboard, but Jasper is 100% skier.)

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 


Skiing. Our group of interested athletes and parents may also include a few snowboarders as well if this goes well for the 2 or 3 skiers already committed to moving closer to the action.

post #6 of 22

I'm wondering, if your son is that good, why isn't he already sponsored? You're saying you want the coaching available at the level of the sponsored team... well, that level of coaching is exactly where you said. On the teams. If your son has talent, he needs to hit up some of the open comps, get noticed, and get sponsored. Just don't expect Red Bull/GoPro or Armada to be knocking at the door right off the bat. Getting a little guy sponsor, like a local shop or smaller brand leads to bigger opportunities. 

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

freeski919, You are right on the mark with that one. Jasper, my son, is right where you just described with sponsorship. He has a number of small companies providing certain benefits. Mountain Menace Apparel pays 1/2 of his race fees, Armada Skis provides gear and clothing at about 40% off of retail. Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort pays my gas to travel from Tahoe to the Rockies whenever he gets a podium. We have some help. The dynamics of freekski/snowboard competition, however, have created a "gap". I described it in earlier posts. "Tons of little kids, very few older, advanced kids in the ski resort teams." This gap has been created by the ski industry's need to stay profitable. We understand this need, but it doesn't change the need to get around the problem. This dynamic leaves a gap between the pros and the top amateurs. Getting from the top of the ski resort teams to the Open Class teams and coaches is the crux. Jasper is starting to go Open just this year. He's been competing in Rev Tour and several independent "Red Bull" and other sponsored events in Open Class. Making the the jump from the "pack" to the top 10 in these events is where a top level coach not already committed to the US Ski Team or one of the high paid corporate teams, would make the difference. This "top 10" already have that, and are going to be difficult to catch, now that they have the resources to go even bigger. Your suggestion to start getting him exposure has been our plan all along. Getting him to stand out amongst an elite requires that he start doing the same super-advanced maneuvers that the elite are doing. This is where top coaching would really come in handy. Jumping that "gap" safely is going to require some special help. It's going to be difficult to set up, but there are a few out there that fit the bill. Not every top level coach is already spoken for. Newer, younger, and unproven top-level coaches are emerging all the time. I'm asking the EpicSki "Pro" community to help us find those few. We also get a little access to some of these coaches through summer programs like Windless and Woodward. Unfortunately, they are very expensive, the exposure is very short in duration, the snow/park conditions in summer are not ideal, and most importantly, the need to stay profitable fills those programs with tons of little kids needing most of the coaches attention. Again, we get it. We can't have Windell's going out of business for lack of business. The Ski Industry needs tons of newbies to survive, but, also again, it creates a gap that must be jumped at the top, hence the plan to acquire some top level coaching to get noticed doing tricks of similar skill to the ones already on the uphill side of the gap. I've been studying this dynamic for 20 years as a former coach myself. The situation for amatuers trying to go "pro" has improved some with the "Woodwards" and "Windell's" of the world emerging, but again, the need to stack those programs with a lot of little kids reduces their effectiveness for the older kids at the top. We'll get him there, especially if we can get access to the coach we're looking for. Do you know the right guy for the job, freeski? Do you know the guy who knows the guy? We could sure use your help. It could turn out to be a decent extra gig for the right person. As I said in earlier posts, we've already found several intermediate coaches who want that job, claim to be "top-level", but who don't quite possess the coaching skill or skiing ability to fit the role. Now that we're actively searching for him, I know he'll be found.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBruce View Post
 

freeski919, You are right on the mark with that one. Jasper, my son, is right where you just described with sponsorship. He has a number of small companies providing certain benefits. Mountain Menace Apparel pays 1/2 of his race fees, Armada Skis provides gear and clothing at about 40% off of retail. Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort pays my gas to travel from Tahoe to the Rockies whenever he gets a podium. We have some help. The dynamics of freekski/snowboard competition, however, have created a "gap". I described it in earlier posts. "Tons of little kids, very few older, advanced kids in the ski resort teams." This gap has been created by the ski industry's need to stay profitable. We understand this need, but it doesn't change the need to get around the problem. This dynamic leaves a gap between the pros and the top amateurs. Getting from the top of the ski resort teams to the Open Class teams and coaches is the crux. Jasper is starting to go Open just this year. He's been competing in Rev Tour and several independent "Red Bull" and other sponsored events in Open Class. Making the the jump from the "pack" to the top 10 in these events is where a top level coach not already committed to the US Ski Team or one of the high paid corporate teams, would make the difference. This "top 10" already have that, and are going to be difficult to catch, now that they have the resources to go even bigger. Your suggestion to start getting him exposure has been our plan all along. Getting him to stand out amongst an elite requires that he start doing the same super-advanced maneuvers that the elite are doing. This is where top coaching would really come in handy. Jumping that "gap" safely is going to require some special help. It's going to be difficult to set up, but there are a few out there that fit the bill. Not every top level coach is already spoken for. Newer, younger, and unproven top-level coaches are emerging all the time. I'm asking the EpicSki "Pro" community to help us find those few. We also get a little access to some of these coaches through summer programs like Windless and Woodward. Unfortunately, they are very expensive, the exposure is very short in duration, the snow/park conditions in summer are not ideal, and most importantly, the need to stay profitable fills those programs with tons of little kids needing most of the coaches attention. Again, we get it. We can't have Windell's going out of business for lack of business. The Ski Industry needs tons of newbies to survive, but, also again, it creates a gap that must be jumped at the top, hence the plan to acquire some top level coaching to get noticed doing tricks of similar skill to the ones already on the uphill side of the gap. I've been studying this dynamic for 20 years as a former coach myself. The situation for amatuers trying to go "pro" has improved some with the "Woodwards" and "Windell's" of the world emerging, but again, the need to stack those programs with a lot of little kids reduces their effectiveness for the older kids at the top. We'll get him there, especially if we can get access to the coach we're looking for. Do you know the right guy for the job, freeski? Do you know the guy who knows the guy? We could sure use your help. It could turn out to be a decent extra gig for the right person. As I said in earlier posts, we've already found several intermediate coaches who want that job, claim to be "top-level", but who don't quite possess the coaching skill or skiing ability to fit the role. Now that we're actively searching for him, I know he'll be found.

Interesting to read about what you're trying to do (and have already done and gotten sponsors, etc.), but a little forum tip - PLEASE try to remember to put in some paragraphs. My eyes get lost trying to read one giant one like that, to the point where some folks might actually not read it. In fact, you might want to go edit your first entry here. Something shorter and easier to read might get more response.

post #9 of 22

Have you asked on newschoolers.com? Far far more elite freestyle skiers and coaches on there than here. Good luck!

post #10 of 22

Aspen Valley Ski Club or Team Summit,  both have good programs that won't bankrupt you.  One of my buds son went through both and he just won the Freeride World Tour.

That being said, George doesn't make shit, the chances of getting injured are high and the prospects after your career is over, aren't good.  There's just not much money in skiing.

 

I'd recommend golf.

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the tip. I'm familiar with Summit County Freeride already. I've hired one of their coaches privately before, & he was great for support during comps, but not really up to the job of advancing Jasper to the next level. This is where the men get separated from the boys, so to speak. There are a lot of coaches at what I call the intermediate level, who can coach great in support roles for older kids, & can train the little kids to an advanced level. In fact, I must say that the individuals I'm referring to are excellent kids coaches, and I wish I had found them 10 years ago. Jasper might already be on the US. Ski Team Rookie Team. (Not that the coaches he did have as a kid weren't up to the job. He's had some good ones.) Sometime into the teen years, those little kids, grow up, usually overnight, and become young adults.

They now possess skill and size, and can easily go big. This is both the goal and the problem. More mass and airtime go hand in hand with higher scores and also, unfortunately, RISK. This is why it's so important to have a coach that still can do the super advanced tricks safely, and more importantly, to teach them to our teenagers in as safe a manner as possible. I've found a few coaches that fit this bill over the years, but every one has either gotten too old, gotten injured, or gotten a better job. (Ski resorts generally under pay these coaches horribly, and offer little financial protection for them against injury.) Out of the few who stay, the best get jobs working for an elite team such as the US. Ski Team, Red Bull Pro Team, Summit County Freeride, or Squaw Free. These positions usually come with better pay and sometimes medical benefits that actually provide a quicker, healthier path back to full mobility after an injury. The downside to them getting these dream jobs for us is, of course, that their no longer available to coach independently.

There are however, a very few who work independently, or are looking to form very small new independent teams with up to a 1/2 dozen elite level teens. These are the guys I'm looking for. Since joining EpicSki and asking for some leads, I'm actually getting a few. Thanks so much everybody in the community whose willing to throw out a name or program. I actually have some leads to follow.

My only problem with EpicSki so far is that I haven't gotten a single lead with contact info, just names. I remember reading something about not posting phone numbers and emails in the EpicSki rules. Can anybody clarify that for me?

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

I agree about the money thing for sure. The only skiers I know who made money out of their pro careers either stayed in college while competing, a very difficult thing to pull off while on tour, (But not impossible. South Lake Tahoe's golden girl, Maddie Bowman, manages to do both very well. All of Tahoe is extremely proud of her fine example.), or used their fame and endorsements to spawn new businesses, which they transitioned into new careers and companies. The guys from TGR and Armada Skis are both great examples of this. You just can't keep some people down, no matter what life throws at them. Who knows? Making skis by night? PGA Tour by day?

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the advice on making my posts shorter and with some paragraphs. I'm so new, I don't even know how to edit an already posted post. Do you?

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBruce View Post
 


Thanks for the advice on making my posts shorter and with some paragraphs. I'm so new, I don't even know how to edit an already posted post. Do you?

 

There's a little pencil icon in the lower left of each post you make. Click on that, and it will let you edit your post.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBruce View Post
 


Thanks for the advice on making my posts shorter and with some paragraphs. I'm so new, I don't even know how to edit an already posted post. Do you?

 

There's a little pencil icon in the lower left of each post you make. Click on that, and it will let you edit your post.


TeleBruce, if you do not see the pencil icon, could be because you don't have access yet.  Can't remember when that kicks in for a new member.  You can always copy & paste your original text, then edit, and re-post.

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBruce View Post
 

[snip]

My only problem with EpicSki so far is that I haven't gotten a single lead with contact info, just names. I remember reading something about not posting phone numbers and emails in the EpicSki rules. Can anybody clarify that for me?

Posting a phone number for an individual on the Internet for the entire world to see is never a good idea.

 

If you would like to follow up with a member, you can use Private Messaging (PM) within EpicSki to send a request for more info.  That's the usual way members of any online forum exchange info such as phone numbers or email addresses.  Easiest way to initiate a PM is to hover over a username to get the drop down menu, then click on the Envelope icon for Send PM.  Most members get an email to let them know about a PM.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm not seeing the pencil, just a little red flag?

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 


Ok. Now that I hit the submit button, the pencil appears, but just in the post I most recently added. None of the older posts have it.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 


Ok. Now I see the pencil in my last 2 replies. I think Ur right, I may have just graduated from "Newbiedom!"

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 


I looked into Aspen's summer program at Buttermilk. The price is right, and it's a great excuse to spend a little time there, & make some new contacts. We could blast out there for a week before Squaw Free gets their new facility at Granlibaken up and running this summer. Their program is going to include tramps and airbags this summer, plus the very best coaching I've found so far. The winter gig is still going to be the trick, though.

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 


Sorry about the headache reading. I'm able to edit now that I graduated from the Rookie Posting Team, but I don't get the magic pencil for these early posts. Joining EpicSki has already paid off. I've found Aspen Valley Ski Club's summer program now, thanks to Shredhead.

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey all. Just chiming in to say thanks to all who contributed to this thread. In searching for "Olympic level halfpipe coaching " in Summit County, I didn't really find any that wasn't already totally committed to a private or closed system. I did find coaches at Aspen who completely fit the bill. I also found a lame attitude about the whole thing from Vail and other "Big Box" programs who "sell" it to you, but don't actually deliver. I understand well, why most top competitors bring their coaches with them to Summit County from far away. Too bad for Vail. We're finding what we need outside their sphere of influence.

 

One week doing summer training with the Aspen Valley Ski Club at their summer bag camp brought my son right to the edge of sticking his Cork 1080. That's exactly the quality I was looking for, not a salesman with skis on. Thanks again AVSC. Your coaches are some of the few who can deliver the goods. The majority of the other programs can barely deliver a box of diapers for all the those little "money" kids they over-pack their programs with. No wonder there is a brick wall holding back so many of America's older athletes from bridging that gap. Other standout programs I found were Squaw, Mammoth, & Winter Park. The rest that I looked into stink, mostly because the coaches don't stick around for more than a few seasons due to extreme low-balling on coaches pay. A lot try to get a 2nd job, which makes them tired and distracted, leading to mediocre coaching. This is a systemic problem. Real Estate Brokers and Accountants make extremely crappy coaches. There are a few good ones still out there, and even fewer still available for hire, but they do exist. We just have to find them before the big companies do, so they don't end up quitting and getting a job building tacky ski villages.

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