The Competition Team (Sanctioned)
Ages 10-19 (U12 through U21)
Vision Statement: to provide the athletes with a structured program to promote success as defined by the athletes competitive racing goals. To develop strong athletes with the desire to compete at high levels by honing their racing skills in accordance with the USSA Sports Education Program. Each athlete’s perceived level of ‘fun’ is directly related to their personal competitive desires and goals. Through challenging our athletes, our goal is to instill personal values and life skills as leadership, independence, perseverance, dedication, strong work ethic, good sportsmanship, teamwork, responsibility, honesty and integrity.
The emphasis of the Competition Team is directed free skiing and drills, rapid gate training at higher speeds and more difficult terrain. The program incorporates the USSA SkillsQuest program as a means of promoting technique to develop strong ski athletes. Skill development and athletic skiing is achieved through directed free-skiing mileage and focused drills. Gate training focuses on quality as opposed to quantity and is offered at different levels based on individual progression and the SkillsQuest results. Practice structure is at the discretion of the coaches. Athletes will be placed in groups based on their age, skills and/or maturity. Placement is determined by the coaching staff.
The Competition Team Group Guidelines – “Only a great skier will make a good athlete.”
The table below is only a general guideline for initial placement. Movement will occur based on a combination of the U category, age, athlete’s SkillsQuest mastery, maturity and/or goals. All changes will be at the coaches’ discretion.
**Expectation of all competitive athletes is to participate at the sanctioned races. If an athlete cannot participate in a race, then the athlete will join a practice group close to their level and train at the available coaches’ plan.
|U||Age||USSA SkillsQuest Level Focus||
|U10||8-9||Phase 2||Directed free-skiing. USSA SkillsQuest. Focus on technique. None to very limited gate training.||To hone skills in preparation for competition as a U12. Coaches will evaluate athletes for select races.|
|U12||10 - 11||Phase 2||Directed free-skiing. USSA SkillsQuest. Limited gate training with focus on technique.||To compete in sanctioned races as an exposure to competitive ski racing|
|U14||12 - 13||Phase 3||Directed free-skiing. USSA SkillsQuest. Moderate gate training with focus on technique and tactics.||To compete in sanctioned races|
|U16||14 - 15||Phase 4||Directed free-skiing. USSA SkillsQuest. Heavy gate training with focus on technique and tactics.||To compete in sanctioned races|
|U19||16 - 18||Phase 5||Directed free-skiing. USSA SkillsQuest. Heavy gate training with focus on technique and tactics.||To compete in sanctioned races|
|U21||19 - 20||Phase 5||Directed free-skiing. USSA SkillsQuest. Heavy gate training with focus on technique and tactics.||To compete in sanctioned races|
It is important to stress that a large amount of training time will still be spent as directed free skiing, including drills for balance, edging, rotary and pressure. At this age, it is more important to build fundamentals which will translate into the gates. If the athlete’s fundamentals are strong, then it is easier to teach gate tactics.
Practice for the Competition Team is Saturday’s and Sunday’s (except race days) and based out of Jack Frost Mountain.
Because of the higher skill level and terrain difficulty, all participants must be advanced skiers. Age limitations are enforced and comply with USSA recommendations for physical and emotional maturity.
As a member of the Competition Team, the racers attend events at other ski areas in Pennsylvania. For the younger age groups, these events take place at areas located in Eastern & North Eastern Pennsylvania (ex. Blue Mtn, Camelback, Elk). As the racer progresses into the older age categories, events typically happen throughout the entire Pennsylvania region (ex. Seven Springs, Wisp, etc.) Post –season competition is a strong possibility and will require travel throughout Pennsylvania and/or the New England states.