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The Bryce Resort Ski Team

Parent’s Guide

 

Welcome to the "Friends of Bryce Ski Team". Whether you are new to the program or have been involved for many years, this guide, written by Ski Team parents will help answer some of the questions that inevitably arise during the year. In addition it will offer guidelines for parental participation and involvement. So … read on!

This is intended to be an overview of the program. Detailed information on racing and on our races in particular, is available in USSA publications and the SARA Guide, respectively.

What is the "Friends of Bryce Ski Team?

The "Friends of Bryce Ski Team" is dedicated to the education and development of young athletes to prepare them to reach their skiing and ski racing goals. The program’s goal is to help young athletes acquire the discipline and training technique they need to reach their true potential.

Who do I contact for information regarding the Bryce Ski Team program?

Horst Locher , Race Director, skischool@bryceresort.com, 800-821-1444 ext. 229.

Why couldn’t my kid just play basketball (or what have I gotten myself into logistically and financially)?

While racing does entail some travel to other ski resorts, the sport also allows for a great deal of family togetherness. The skiers develop friendships and camaraderie within the team (and even with kids from competing hills). In addition, families help each other out when parents are unable to attend a race. Like any sport, you don’t have to go out and buy all the latest gadgetry and gear – be a smart shopper and you can save some money. For example, toward the end of the ski season, a group of parent volunteers take orders for ski clothes (including those great ski jackets with the team logo) from Spyder. Traditionally, Spyder has given us a 50% discount. In addition, at the Parents Meeting in early December, we have an informal swap sale.

Unfortunately, a basketball is significantly cheaper than a set of skis and boots. While there is no way to get around the initial purchase, you can minimize the pain by using trade-in programs offered through many ski shops. Additionally, there are opportunities to buy equipment through coaches or used from other skiers on the team.

Finally, you and your child will need to decide the level of your commitment. Some kids starting out, and even kids who have been racing for years, choose to go to a limited number of races. For example, younger racers may choose just to race giant slalom races and forego the slalom races. You should talk to the coaches to get a better feel for what your child may be ready for.

Does my child need one of those fancy suits?

No. Many children have achieved racing success without special equipment. Especially at the J4 and J5 level, (more on the “J” thing later) competition (“comp”) suits are not necessary.

Note: As a matter of fact, some ski programs in Northern New England do not allow J5 racers to wear GS suits.

OK, what special equipment does he/she need?

Please dress them accordingly and make sure they eat healthy and filling meals. Warm fingers and toes are important! They won’t get much out of training if they are physically miserable. Also, all athletes are required to wear helmets. Please consult with a coach if you have questions about fit. As far as new skis and boots, before buying, please consult with a coach, they will be aware of the merits and demerits of various products and may be able to offer you a discount.

What about tuning skis?

Racing skis require razor sharp edges and constant attention. It would be like Jeff Gordon racing NASCAR in a Yugo – he wouldn’t win and it’s dangerous! The coaches provide the kids with some exposure to guidance on how to wax and tune their own skis. However, since most kids are not physically strong enough to tune their own skis, we suggest that the job be done by parents who have (or are planning to get) tuning experience or by folks who do this for a living.

When & Where do the kids train?

Clinics are generally held from 08:45 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There is also an optional Holiday Race Clinic over Christmas break. The team generally meets outside of the ski school. Please be aware of the schedule. Get your child to practice on time and make an arrangement to meet/pick up your child when practice is over – the coaches aren’t our sitters. The kids ski all over the mountain and ski gates frequently. And, because, unlike basketball, skiing is weather dependant, keep in mind that we’ll be skiing in all kinds of weather. Skiing in crud and slush just builds an appreciation of the perfect powder day and increases their skill in less than ideal conditions. Remind your child that other families will notice them and may ask questions about what they are doing. Please encourage your child to be a good ambassador of the team and answer questions courteously and behave appropriately on the mountain.

Can I observe my child while they’re training?

Observe being the operative word here. Come watch, even free-ski with them, but don’t smother them. They will become more self-reliant and, thus, better skiers, with a little “elbow room”. Come watch for a while and let them ski on their own.

What do the kids do while training?

Expand their skiing skills. Drills, calisthenics, bump skiing, skiing on one ski, and skiing gates. Note that skiing gates are only one of the things we will practice. A great skier will probably be a good racer. Very seldom does a bad skier become a great racer. Therefore by your child’s teenage years, if they stick with the race team, they will probably be an expert skier – something they will have the rest of their lives.

What is the best way to communicate with the coaches?

The coaches are generally available before and after practices, but please be brief as they usually have other duties to tend to. Mornings can be hectic as the coaches are setting gates to prepare for practices.

How about a brief explanation of all the organizations and acronyms?

Each ski racer must be a member of the United States Ski Team (USSA) www.ussa.org and the Southern Appalachian Racing Association (SARA) www.skisara.org. All races are conducted under USSA rules. SARA is the regional organization that sanctions all our races. The USSA has grouped children in age categories for competition purposes explained at USSA. Additionally, there are Master’s race categories (instead of living vicariously through your kids-go out and bang some gates yourself!). The coaches sometimes run masters clinics, and usually there are Master’s races held when the juniors’ races are going on. You can download USSA and SARA applications from their websites: www.ussa.org and www.skisara.org. Finally, we have our own Bryce Ski Team and Bryce SuperStars Team. Membership dues for both are $25 per family, and are used for coach’s gifts, team mementos, and end-of-season party, USSA and SARA club dues, race ponchos, clothing bags and to support other elements of the program.

 

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