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Jr. Ski racing program/Southern Vermont or NY

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello All;

I am interested in getting my kids invovled in some racing programs. They are 9 and 11 respectively. They've skied all of their lives, but never raced and I thought they might have some fun. I am thinking about one of those season long programs. I live in New Jersey (aggghhh) and would consider programs at Stratton, Mt Snow, Windham or any other Southern Vermont areas. Any one know any thing about these or have some personal experience.



post #2 of 12
Just curious, why not a race program---that typically take up lots of time---closer to home? Especially at those ages>


post #3 of 12
I have done some coaching for the jr. race program at Windham Mountain, and work off season with the supervisor for the program. Depending on where you reside, the commute to an area for the number of weekends the program runs may influence your choice. It runs from late Dec. to mid March. After the first few sessions, the groups are shifted around so there is a good mix of skiers in each group. The coaches are very experienced and blend a mix of drills, free skiing and running gates. They work on both technique and tactics. Some participate half day Saturday and Sunday and some do an afternoon session each day. If you would like more information, go to the web site www.skiwindham.com or call 518-734-4300, the area general number.
If you have any questions that I may help you with, feel free to ask.

post #4 of 12
Link to Mt Creek ski racing

Chris Heidebrecht

Learning and Athletic Programs Manager

Mountain Creek, NJ

973-827-3900 x 8171

Above is the link to the racing program at MC. I don't know much about it but I hear it's pretty good.

Chris is the new Learning and Athletic Programs Manager, I haven't met him yet but some of the other instructors who have are very impressed.

Hope that helps.
post #5 of 12
I race for West Mountain - I don't know how close you are to that ski area. Excellent insructors, and an excellent programme. I highly recommend it. I think, for their ages, the price is 825USD.

post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by skier_j
Just curious, why not a race program---that typically take up lots of time---closer to home? Especially at those ages>


I would agree with this. If you only race on the weekends, you are not going to improve near as quickly as if you are also having after school race training. I don't know about what Mountain Creek has to address that. The problem with training only on weekends is that races start to intefere with training. So, during the week you can work on fundamentals, leaving you freer on the weekends to apply them. Just keep this in mind when you are deciding where your kid should train. IF ALL RACE PROGRAMS WERE EQUAL, then the one you can get them to every day would be the best.
post #7 of 12
There are many many good race programs at very small hills. Check out where some of the best got their start.

My hill has produced the Smidinger twins and Heidi Volkler. All three made the US womens team(s) at one level or another. All from about 750 feet of vertical rise.

Heidi father has done quite well in masters racing---although I don't think he calls Bousquet home.

The thing is small hills, many times, have excellent race programs and are easier to get to and are many times, cheaper than going from where you are to the catskills or VT.
post #8 of 12

kids .... NJ? NY? VT?

You are right! Living in Noo-Joy-Z and getting involved in race is a jugggling act.

From the tone of your post (I'll assume), that you and your wife/SO have been spending weekends in Vermont. There are many issues that will arise and the answers are rarely easy. Much or this will depend on the kids and their level of progression and development and dedication.

I'll try to start with and focus on the basics. I do not have experience with the VT programs however.

When they start, they will be on the Development Team and unless they have exceptional skills, that's where they will be from a realistic point of view.
D-Teams are about having fun and most importantly, developing the skills and movement patterns to race. A high percentage of time here is on drills and free ski with only a small percentage in the gates. This weekend participation may be all they want or desire. The D-Team will give them skills that will put them way, way, way .... above the average "all mountain" skier. Being with coaches who care and the peer association is very powerful "medicine" and their level of immersion is way beyond what they will gain from the occasional private lesson. And .... when you "cost it out", these programs are the untold "bargains" in the industry. Basically (OK, it's been a while since I've crunched the numbers), your kid is getting the best instruction on the hill for about $2 an hour!

As their level of commitment grows, there are other options too, not ideal, but they are options to explore. If they progress from (D-Team usually stays on the mountain), to USSA racing (Travel Team), they will want some on snow time during the week. I know a few Jersey parents who are training with other local areas (for weeknight activity) and then race in NY or VT on weekends (you may only "declare" one USSA region) for racing. Try Hidden Valley or Mt. Creek to explore this weeknight participation. Hidden Valley seems to be a bit more "laid back" and they are small but friendly.

One of our parents had his son and daughter race weeknights for Pope John High School and then do the USSA Pennsylvania thing on weekends.

What part of NJ are you from?
post #9 of 12
I suggest Hunter Mountain- great program led by Jim Catalano. Tons of snowmaking, dedicated race hill and a long season. Belleayre is ok - more of a family feel. Holiday Mountain used to have the best teams and racers in the state but I think their program died.
post #10 of 12


I'll second the comment on Jim Catalano and his Hunter staff!

Great bunch, dedicated ....

My son has skied with them and they were GREAT!
post #11 of 12
Take a look at the Jiminy Peak program. Good program, easy getting in and out. Less hassel.
post #12 of 12
I have two young racers. It becomes a lifestyle choice for the whole family.

If you need to get them somewhere every weekened you need to think too about where you want to ski (unless its a local mountain where you might just drop them off -- but then that would limit your ability to go to Vermont on a weekend...). If they get into this you need to consider not only the mountain, the drive but where you might want to own/rent seasonally (and the cost of that).

We started by picking the resort we wanted to ski (they were too young to race then) and the kids later joined the program. Its interesting how thinking race program as you pick your mountain might steer you different places. Smaller, closer places could be more appealing if your main interest is racing. However, I know people that drive from NJ to mid-VT every weekend so it is do-able if that is where you want to be (I guess it depends on how far south in NJ you are and how much you like to drive). We drive 3.5 hours every weekend mid-November through mid-April (team ends in March but we ski till closing day).

I'd think about what you want to do as a whole family. If you all want to ski every weekend then I'd factor in both the race program and what resort you would enjoy. Personally, for myself, I'd drive a little further for a better (bigger, more diverse) mountain for me. The kids also will be exposed to longer runs (better stamina) and more diverse terrain if you go to a bigger mountain.

We have a circle of ski buddies that are mostly parents of the kids' race buddies -- the parents have a pretty good time skiing while the kids are at practice! It has to work for everyone for the family to be happy.
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