Vail Daily column: Creating life-long opportunities | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Creating life-long opportunities

Aldo Radamus
Perspectives

If your 6-year-old child is having fun skiing or snowboarding, can ski or ride Golden Peak and get on and off the chair by themselves, or has fundamental Nordic skiing skills, it may be the right time for them to join Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. The lessons your child will learn both on and off the hill through the vehicle of a competitive snow sport can create life-changing opportunities. I witness this daily, from Future Stars to full-time student athletes at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail's Academic Partners, Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, Vail Mountain School and Winter Tutorial as high schoolers.

Academic Partners

Starting as early as fifth grade, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail's Academic Partners embrace and support Ski & Snowboard Club Vail full-time athletes by accommodating their training and competition schedules. With a student body comprised solely of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail full-time athletes, Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, the first public ski and snowboard academy in the country, is able to provide a heavier, faster paced academic load in the first and third trimester. This enables Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy students, from early November through early April, to have a lighter academic load, and on Tuesdays through Fridays, no morning classes during their training period and an extended academic day. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail hires a team of four to five academic coaches at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy who supplement classroom teachers, in particular for athletes with extensive travel and competition schedules.

Vail Mountain School offers afternoon tutoring during the winter season for its Ski & Snowboard Club Vail full-time athletes. Any missed class work is reviewed and the skiers and snowboarders are able to excel on their rigorous dual track pursuing a college preparatory academic curriculum and snow sports.

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Winter Tutorial is taught one on one by tutors allowing studies to be individually paced for students following their home school curriculum.

Both Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy and Vail Mountain School allow their Ski & Snowboard Club Vail full-time athletes to lighten academic loads during the school year by adding summer classes. Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy and Vail Mountain School also offer online platforms which house grades, homework assignments and a means for remote collaboration as well as support the college application planning and admissions process. Wherever full-time athlete training and competition may take them, they can be "plugged in" via technology to support their academic success.

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A differentiator

A great differentiator for college applicants is to be able to demonstrate the maturity to balance academics and athletics in a setting that involves time away from home, family and their traditional classroom. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail full-time student athletes exhibit the independence, maturity and self-discipline needed to maintain strong grades while pursuing their sport. These student athletes personify the characteristics needed to succeed on their own in their college years.

The demands of pursuing personal excellence in athletics and academics are significant. It is the skills developed through this process that uniquely prepare our kids to be successful in life, studies, careers and relationships. A passion for the process of self-improvement, an active lifestyle and the grit to overcome obstacles are among the many great outcomes.

College and beyond

There is no limit to what full-time student athletes can accomplish with the opportunities they have seized during their time at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. This is reflected in full-time athlete college acceptances to a full range of schools such as McGill, Middlebury, Westminster, Sierra Nevada, Harvard, Columbia, Montana State, Michigan, Bates, Dartmouth, Bowdoin, University of Vermont, University of Denver, CU Boulder, Williams and Colby, to name a few. When it comes time for our alumni to settle into a profession, the opportunities of the well-rounded platform they have created is a springboard to successful careers.

Try the Club Days

Why not jump-start these extraordinary opportunities and outcomes for your child at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail? Complimentary Try the Club Days for our weekend and part-time programs are listed below. For details and registration requirements, go to http://www.skiclubvail.org and click the "Events/Other Events" tab.

Alpine: March 13

Freeski (park and pipe and big mountain): March 20

Freestyle (moguls): March 20

Snowboard: Sunday and March 20.

For information on Ski & Snowboard Club Vail's entry level Nordic programs and all full-time programs, contact Ski & Snowboard Club Vail at sschmidt@skiclubvail.org or 978-621-8738.