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Racing Coach

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A handful of the people in our ski club have an interest in learning to race. Not at an advance level, recreational only. We have a lodge in Vermont, South of Sugarbush. How would we go about getting lessons or finding a part-time coach. We'd like to get some instruction for 3-4 hrs each week on Saturday or Sunday. Should I call the resort and see if they have an instructor? Does anyone have other suggestions?
post #2 of 8
I would also try the Race program. See if they have a coach that could do some side work, but their time may be limited, or see if they have a Master's program that the people in your club could join.
post #3 of 8
You will have a few decisions to make and things to consider.

Most hills won't let you set up a series of gates especially on a weekend when the "real estate" is spoken for.

You may have to use the NASTAR course and pay the fee. Usually it's something like $5 to $7 for two runs or five to unlimited for $10 to $15. This isn't a bad option and you will get the benefits of actual timing gear and be able to chart your progress.

If you get in with an established coach, you may be able to train after or between the kids program sessions. Most of these sessions don't use timers so feedback may be limited to a radio/stopwatch thing.

Most hills won't let an instructor teach off the clock, it's a liability thing plus the hill is not getting a cut of the $ and instructor time is dear on weekends. At my past hill I "was not encouraged" to teach off the clock. If I did, it had to be out of uniform and I had to buy a lift ticket.

I have inquired regarding pre-season race lessons for my son at Okemo and found that it was possible though we didn't go any further than the inquiry.

Well worth it and great fun so it's worth a bit of effort and asking. [img]smile.gif[/img] Your skiing will be kicked up a notch even after a few shots down the course. [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ December 20, 2002, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #4 of 8
Many of the areas offering Nastar or a local copy of that format also offer a race clinic lesson. It's usually some gate running with tips on improving your approach and it often includes participation in the Nastar for that day. You might check around for that sort of offering.
post #5 of 8
I'd second the suggestion to look into Masters racing and Nastar. Depending on what you're looking for, either one will provide those members an outlet for their racing urges. Nastar courses are generally shorter and more open, which can be good for a group with a wide range of abilities. Masters courses are generally closer to the "real thing", and often they ARE the real thing. Masters racers come in a wide range of abilities, from former World Cup racers to late bloomers like myself, and the training is usually top notch. Town leagues are another option if you were looking more for racing than training. Check with the local ski club for what is available in the area.

Also, you might try a university racing program to see if there are any former coaches or former college racers that might be interested in taking your group on.
post #6 of 8
The USSA Masters clinics will provide the best training. After you attend a clinic, the Masters Division racing will provide the highest level of racing experience on a regular weekly basis usually on weekends. For more casual racing experience a few weekends a season or for local weekly night racing leagues go to your ski council. Another more casual racing option is NASTAR and it may be an excellent way to get a lot of gate time. The NASTAR season pass at your local ski area may be the least expensive option for improving quickly after taking clinics.

Here are some useful links.

The USSA has links to all of the Masters Divisions. http://www.usskiteam.com/links/linksmastalp.htm

The New England Masters Division website has a Training tab and a Schedules tab which should be useful. http://www.nemasters.org/

The USSA splits its classes based on age.

USSA Masters' Age Classes

Class Age on Jan. 1st

1 21-29

2 30-34

3 35-39

4 40-44

5 45-49

6 50-54

7 55-59

8 60-64

9 65-69

10 70-74

11 75-79

12 80+

The National Ski Council Federation has a list of all councils. Your ski club should be a member of one of these councils. http://www.skifederation.org/Councils.htm

Two councils in your area also sponsor races.

New Jersey Ski Council http://www.ski-njsc.org/

Metropolitan New York Ski Council http://www.metnyski.org/

NASTAR locations and race times http://www.nastar.com/index.jsp?pagename=wheretorace

Sugarbush NASTAR Info http://www.sugarbush.com/lessons/detail/nastar.htm

When: Friday through Sunday and Holidays from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM. NASTAR will be closed at certain times throughout the season for special events.

Where: Register at the Ski and Ride School Front Desk, ticket window, Season Pass Office or the Sugarbush Inn. Or sign up at the Start Shack at the Legend’s Race Arena located on Spring Fling. You can access the race course by taking either the Super Bravo high-speed quad or the Valley House double.


Lift tickets are not included in these prices.
Product Price
2 NASTAR runs $5.00
Unlimited runs per day $10.00
Sugarbush NASTAR Season Pass $75.00

[ December 21, 2002, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: Ski03 ]
post #7 of 8
I think Kneale has the right approach if it can be done. For usually a reasonable amount more than a couple of NASTAR runs, you get this prerace instruction. It is a good way to sample ski racing , and may be all that is needed to see if you and others wish to take racing more seriously. The down side, is all the waiting around time, until it is your turn in the gates.

Frankly, I would rather ski.
post #8 of 8
Here's a suggestion- contact Jim Cardenali and see if he might be able to set something up with you. He used to run the racing programs for psia and now does his own camps. I've taken a lot of his clinics and I can tell you he's excellent. Particurlarly in working with people who have no or little experience. The only thing necessary is a desire to try. I can't recommend him highly enough for what you want to do.

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