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How far did you go?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was doing nor-ams and europa when I got sick of it.

What's your story?
post #2 of 16
I raced in college. Blew out my knee first GS of freshman year. Came back for a couple of slaloms the next season, then blew it out again. Swore I wouldn't race anymore if I could just start skiing again. Miss running gates sometimes, never liked the waiting around much. Honestly, I wasn't a very good racer. One won slalom when I was 16, that's it.
post #3 of 16
4 years of High School racing. 2 or 3 years of USSA, including a couple FIS events per year.... (not freakin' Nor-Am, though!) I'm talking Mid-Am's, and finishing way out of the running.
4 years of college racing.

Now I'm 38 and I'm probably as good a racer as I've ever been. I just entered the Central Masters championship last weekend and took a 5th and a 2nd overall in the 2 GS's. I'm still not sick of it. I do live in Michigan, so if you don't race or hit the park, it can get boring quick.

If I lived in the mountains, I might never run a course again....
post #4 of 16
I didn't go very far racing as my dad was the head coach (anyone out there race for Bogus Basin from 77-87?) but when he stopped coaching I stopped racing. Thought I'd left it far behind until 2 years ago I was asked to coach. Who knew I'd get back into it? : Oddly, I now coach with someone my dad coached in his early years before I was born. I love it though and have taken many lessons I learned and the reasons I quit and do everything I can not to do that to the kids I coach. So far I've been quite successful at that.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post
I love it though and have taken many lessons I learned and the reasons I quit and do everything I can not to do that to the kids I coach. So far I've been quite successful at that.
Can you add more detail on the above. I hate to see kids get burned out but I see plenty of it. Your experiences and lessons would be useful for all of us involved with junior racing to read and consider.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Can you add more detail on the above. I hate to see kids get burned out but I see plenty of it. Your experiences and lessons would be useful for all of us involved with junior racing to read and consider.
Certainly. First, I coach Y7 racers so that's ages 5 & 6 so while we aren't as seriously into technique this year can make or break them as far as loving or hating racing life. A few things that I am keenly aware of on any given day is whether they're having fun, making sure they aren't miserable due to cold or equipment issues, and trying new things to challenge them. So, I'm open to warm up breaks (my coaches NEVER did that) when warranted. We try to do something new and challenging every week (we train 1 day a week). Last week was a bumped out black diamond. The first black diamond for some (bumped out was not in the plan but once we were there we had to go for it). And we did a tree run that the kids always love. On a bad day, when the kids are frustrated I'm not opposed to finding some stand of trees and having a snowball fight (away from other guests). I try to end every day on a positive note. Ask any of my kids what my number 1 rule is and they will tell you "have fun".

I praise the kids a lot and try to talk to them about what's going on. I won't post the whole story like I did over on SkiDiva but this weekend I had a major breakthrough with one little girl. She has issues related to a diagnosed disorder and starts most mornings in tears with me begging her to give me one run. Every time thus far the one run has helped her through the issues but until Saturday she'd been pretty ho-hum about training. This week something was different and she was beating the boys down every run, grinning ear to ear and just plain excited. I asked her what the difference was and her explanation was that she dreamed it would be a good day. Of course I told her she needed to have that dream every week but more importantly I told her I liked this little girl and that I was very proud of her. I NEVER heard those words as a racer, neither from the coaches or my father.

I communicate with parents weekly via an email talking about what we did the last week and what's coming up the next weekend. I also talk to parents about what level we should push them at. For example, I ask that they not fret over results at our first race. Don't push for winning, don't push for a certain time, just push for having fun and learning something.

But, that's not to say I'm a pushover with the kids. If we're doing a drill I expect it to be done. They can't opt out. Saturday I had a little boy tell me he didn't want to do a drill (holding poles horizontally out in front of them since they ALL have their hands practically in their pockets . His words were "I don't wanna" my response was "It's not an option, you're doing it" and he pouted for a bit but I'm guessing forgot about it halfway through the run. And I am the disciplinarian of the two coaches (I have a co-coach) and they know when I mean business.

Finally, when they do something well I am over expressive. One run, a few weeks ago I finally saw every kid in parallel and was following them down the hill. When they stopped at our designated stopping point I skied up whooping it up and high-fived each of them. The rest of the day they all kept saying "Coach, watch my french fries, watch!" They love that praise and if that gets them doing what I want while having fun I'm willing to loose my voice over it (which I just about do every weekend).
post #7 of 16
Raced USSA from age 12. Did the ski academy thing in high school, and raced FIS in all four disciplines and NorAms in DH and SG. Injured my back during freshman year of college, when I raced independent. Coached at a summer camp at Blackcomb during the summer of 1992, but didn't have the fire to race the following winter (academia had bitten). Came back to race another year in college back in New England in the mid-1990s (USCSA Thompson Division), then hung it up, save for the occasional citizens'-class DH. Likely going to race USSA Masters during the 2008-09 season.
post #8 of 16
COSkiGirl:

Great post.

If I had a kid, I'd want her in your program.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post
Finally, when they do something well I am over expressive. One run, a few weeks ago I finally saw every kid in parallel and was following them down the hill. When they stopped at our designated stopping point I skied up whooping it up and high-fived each of them. The rest of the day they all kept saying "Coach, watch my french fries, watch!" They love that praise and if that gets them doing what I want while having fun I'm willing to loose my voice over it (which I just about do every weekend).
I had a 10 yr old that was pretty average.

One day, I told him "Dude, that's the best I've seen you ski. You're really doing great."

Then he cranked it up a couple of notches, and even started trash talking the stars in the group...... he got a podium finish at the end of season the very next week. Nothing short of WOW!

Never underestimate the power of positive praise.
post #10 of 16
I did alright, all things considered. I started late (skiing at ten, racing at 15), but was racing in downhill at a level just below Nor-Ams by 18. I was still improving rapidly, but then I ran out of time and money. You have to be REALLY good if you want to impress any coaches past the age of 18, and that takes a lot of cash for training and racing, especially if you live on the prairies hours away from the mountains and Mom and Dad ain't payin' anymore.
post #11 of 16
I was going great until I got hurt at age 12, that set me back a little, then up to last year I was doing Continental cups here and there and then I realised I had to get an education of some sort so I called it quits, now I coach K1.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
COSkiGirl:

Great post.

If I had a kid, I'd want her in your program.

Thank you!
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
I had a 10 yr old that was pretty average.

One day, I told him "Dude, that's the best I've seen you ski. You're really doing great."

Then he cranked it up a couple of notches, and even started trash talking the stars in the group...... he got a podium finish at the end of season the very next week. Nothing short of WOW!

Never underestimate the power of positive praise.
Nice job! I wish my dad had said that to me when I was racing rather than waiting until 6 years later to tell me I was a great ski racer.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post
Nice job! I wish my dad had said that to me when I was racing rather than waiting until 6 years later to tell me I was a great ski racer.
I can't say that my parents never supported me... That would be quite hypocrite of me. But I feel your pain as far as positive feedback. I always found that whenever I did good and skied to my potential (which did not happen that often unfortunately) I received a small "Not too bad but **** still beat you" or the classic "Good run for the win, but you only beat **** by 1 second, you got him by more on a smaller course"

God forbid I DNF'd though **** hit the fan... Or even better, finish but not do as well as I usually do.

To put you guys in context I don't tend to judge my skiing with a result or a point score, if I finish 10th and score 100 I can be happier than if I finish 1st and score 50 if you kinda get where I'm getting at. I have been mad about a run at a run that I destroyed everyone by 3-4 seconds and happy at a race that did nothing for my points just because I was able to accomplish something and bla bla....

Anyways I always found I got more words when I did poorly in my parent's eye than if I did good :/
post #15 of 16
Just so that nobody thinks my dad is a terrible man he's had a huge change of heart in the last 8 years or so and I can't wait to ski with him March when he comes for a visit. It's just the way he was raised and how he learned to coach.

Sorry for the hijack!
post #16 of 16
Oh I'm with you but its unbelievable the effect comments can have on a kid trying to make it.
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