Ski team coaches must manage teams first, racers second (letter)
March 30, 2018
Dear editor: In response to the article by Chris Freud ("As season ends, U.S. Ski Team faces depth issue," Saturday, March 24), ski teams tend to have just a few standout racers. But while each country fields a ski team, ski racing is still an individual sport. The racers that rise to the top tend to be very single-minded and very focused on their goals. This takes dedication and the right kind of support and training. The intensity rivals, Peyton Manning who was legendary for analyzing every detail.
An essential part of any athlete's success is the quality of the information they can access. Mikaela and her mom reportedly pour over video of the races to find even the slightest details that might yield hundredths of a second.
The dilemma is that coaches need to manage the teams first and the racers second. The coaches also need to understand the technique and the equipment at the highest level. It is not clear that in past years the technique was really well understood. The technique does evolve. Ted Ligety had success when he found some adjustments sooner than his competition.
One of the questionable areas of U.S. coaching philosophy is that ski racers should be "skiers," as well as racers. That is, skiing recreationally is necessary to becoming a great racer. The reality is that racing on skis, like other specific sports, is not about recreation. Nor is platform diving or weightlifting or discus.
Buck Hill in Minnesota was the beginning of careers for several top racers. This is a small hill that focuses entirely on racing. The coaching is good and the competition is intense. The skiers learn excellent fundamentals. There is plenty of time after racing careers are over to continue skiing recreationally.
It might be good for Chris to interview Lindsay and Mikaela about how to design a program for more success.
Recommended Stories For You
Trending In: Opinion
- Have a safe and sober ski season; leave the drinking for apres (letter)
- Our View: Vail Mountain doesn’t open early very often, so let’s enjoy the gift (editorial)
- Did readers recognize the message of elitist bigotry in Noble’s column? (letter)
- Eagle County sheriff: Suicide breaking records in Eagle County; help is available (column)
- Noble: Collective delusion: Tell the people what they want to hear (column)
- Vail, Beaver Creek to open early for 2018-19 season
- Forest Service authorizes Golden Peak plan, Vail Mountain’s first expansion since Blue Sky Basin
- Arson on the mountain: Vail’s 1998 arson fires at Two Elk were country’s worst eco-terrorist attack
- Line cut leads to CenturyLink internet outages; service expected to be restored by 10 p.m. Tuesday
- Vail Valley winter air service includes more flights from several cities