Upcoming U12 Events

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Year of Birth 2007 & 2008

The U12 program is designed to continue development of the athletes’ basic skiing fundamentals through free skiing, drill work, drill courses, gate training, and an introduction to video analysis. Strong skiing skills are a prerequisite with an emphasis on the ability to carve. At this level, there is an increase in the teaching of race tactics and competition but basic skiing fundamentals and free skiing will continue to be the primary focus. The U12 age class will also be introduced to speed elements training. There are various Southern Vermont Council races scheduled for this age group that the athletes are expected to attend.

Typical equipment needs for this group include: Helmet (no ‘soft ears’), slalom protection gear, a GS suit, and properly sized current slalom and giant slalom skis. Athletes must be members of the Vermont Alpine Racing Association (VARA) and US Ski & Snowboard.

Requirements: VARA Membership, US Ski & Snowboard, Helmet (no ‘soft ears’)

Times: 8:30am to 3pm (Lunch 11:30am to 12:30pm)

U12 Plan Friday 1/18 through Monday 1/21 2019

Hello Team U12:

Nice job at the Magic duals! Once again our team scored many podiums, but as importantly there were several nice finishes and notable improvement by many others.  Remember, ski racing is a process of gradual improvement. It takes a lot of time on snow and repetition of moves until they become second nature.  We work hard in training and then with every race we try to do better than we did last time.  As you get closer to the top of the result sheet it is harder and harder to move up, and once on the podium, it is difficult to maintain your spot as there are many others gunning for the same spot.  However, that's what makes this a fun and challenging sport.  I'm really pleased with the effort most of you are putting forth, and if you are seeing improvement in your results, congratulations; you have worked hard to achieve your accomplishments.  If you have yet to realize improvement on the result sheet, remember it is still early in the season, and there is plenty of time for you to shine. Oftentimes it takes a while for improved skiing to translate into faster skiing.  The key is to keep working hard and to try new moves as recommended by the coaches which may well be out of your comfort zone. Most importantly, enjoy the process; thrive on the challenge whatever level you you are at right now.

One other note on the race.  We changed our usual inspection process last week.  I noticed that when we employed the system whereby many skiers would slip behind a single coach with the coach doing all of the talking, there were several kids who did not listen and really did not get a lot out of the inspection.  Last weekend we switched to a station inspection system where the coaches placed themselves at a certain part of the course and the kids spread out and slipped at their own pace and met the coaches at various stations and had a discussion about specific sections of the course.  This is a preferable and more productive system because it fosters independent thinking on the part of the racers where they are more active participants in making the plan for how to attack the course.  In this method we encourage the kids to ask questions and we will ask questions of them, and in so doing they will be better prepared and have their own individual plan.  I think it worked well, but it is critical for the kids to tune in and participate and run their own show rather than simply following others. 

One final note, we were scheduled to having a tuning education session and pizza party this Saturday, but with the pending storm that has been rescheduled.  Here is a note from Christine Anderson:

 Due to the snowstorm this weekend, the Tuning and Pizza event will be rescheduled for 2/2 from 5-6:30. All money collected will be held and if anyone can’t make it that has paid, please let Christine Anderson know - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   802-380-6940


We have a great opportunity for an extended training block this long weekend. Here is the plan, although depending on the snow it is subject to change.  Friday should be solid, but after Friday, make sure to check with the coaches to see if there is a change in the type of skis needed for the next day.

Friday 1/18, GS skis.  GS training and technical skiing.  RSVP Required: RSVP FORM

Saturday 1/19, GS skis. GS training

Sunday 1/20, slalom skis, slalom training or powder skiing depending on the snow situation.

Monday 1/21, slalom skis, drills and training.

Please read Dave Edry's note on tuned skis.  Bottom line, as we have said many times, sharp skis are critical, so make sure to take care of that before coming out for training.

That's it for now.  As always, feel free to email me with any questions.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again on either Friday or Saturday.  If you are planning on coming on Friday, please RSVP.  Thanks everyone.

U12 Coaches

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U12 Plan 1/11/19-1/13/19

Hello U12 Team:

Nice job at the skills competition at Mt. Snow last weekend! We had numerous top ten finishes and several other notable fine performances.  To repeat myself (and this will not be the last time), focus and effort are the two most important components of ski racing.  If you are putting forth a high level of both, then you are doing a good job.  Let's all strive for this in both training and races.

This weekend we have a dual panel slalom at Magic on Sunday.  It is an exciting format which brings out the competitive spirit, so let's have a good day or two of training on Friday and/or Saturday and race hard on Sunday.  It will be chilly on Friday, so be sure to bring plenty of layers and hand warmers.  Regardless of the weather, we will be training.

On the social/educational front, our parent advisors, Christine Anderson and Christine Collins have arranged a nice event for Saturday January 19th.  We will have a tuning clinic and pizza party in the Stratton Ski Club room which is above the ticket booth in the base lodge.  Here is the announcement from the Christines:

 U12 Pizza and Ski Maintenance Clinic

Saturday, January 19th will be the 1st U12 social event! Join us in the SWSC Club room (upstairs in the base lodge, above ticket windows) from 5-6:30 pm.  Please RSVP by FRIDAY, JANUARY 11th .   There will be pizza for all and kid drinks…feel free to bring your own beverage!  There will also be an edge and base maintenance clinic for all parents and kids. Come to learn the basics of how to keep the kids skis sharp and fast!   Payment of $15 per family will cover it...please pay Christine Anderson (Ava’s mom) or Christine Collins (Caroline’s mom) at the Magic Race this Sunday.   Or you can use Venmo.com to pay Christine Anderson directly at Christine-Anderson-81.
Here is the RSVP form:
Childs name
Parent name
How many will attend?
Please email a response to Christine Anderson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Notes for training:
Sharp skis are a must.
Everyone needs to train/race with more activity/aggression which basically translates into bigger angles and a more forceful push on the outside ski.
Leaning in appears to be a major issue across the board; establish and maintain separation and a 100% commitment to the outside ski.
If you have any questions about any of these items, be sure to ask the coaches.
The schedule is as follows:
Friday 1/11, Slalom skis, panel slalom and regular slalom gates and drills
Saturday 1/12, Slalom skis, panel slalom
Sunday1/13, panel slalom race at Magic.  Meet at Magic base lodge at 7:15 and register.  $35 cash or check. Meet coaches in base lodge near registration table after registering and head out for inspection by 8:15.  Make sure to have an active warm up on snow before racing.  The details of the start times will be determined when we register at Magic.  Given the large number of SWSC competitors, we will break up into pods for inspection and race prep.
It is important for everyone to stay for awards, so please plan on doing so.
That's it for now.  If there are any questions, please email us.  Looking forward to a great couple of days of training and a fun race on Sunday!
U12 Coaches


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A few thoughts for all racers...

Bacon’s (Bob) Theory of Relativity:


When it comes to measuring your performance at a ski race everything is relative. Amy Morin* says “Mentally Strong People Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control”.


How does this apply to your ski racing performance?


You can’t control who shows up at a race and how they perform that day. You (or your parents) have decided that you will be racing in Vermont, one of the most competitive places to ski race in US. In fact, I am 99% sure that some of the people (maybe you) who raced this past weekend will end up skiing for a national team. Vermont has good skiers and how you place at a ski race is relative to who you are racing.


How you did at a ski race is up to you to decide. Was your second run place better than your first? Did you move your race line higher like you have been working on? Did you achieve your personal objectives?


Even though Makaila Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher seem to be winning all the time, there are a lot of really talented people training and working hard to help them win less often. These are World Cup skiers, who aren’t giving up, they are motivated and working harder.


How will you measure yourself when you race?


 *13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin


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U12 Plan 1/4-6/2019

Hi Everyone:

Many of you participated in the race at Okemo last Sunday and got a race start in before the council races begin.  All of the coaches were pleased with how well all of the U12s approached the race in terms of preparation, focus, and effort.  There were some nice results across the spectrum, so congratulations!  

We are now on to our council races which begin this Saturday 1/5 with a skills/terrain day at Mt. Snow.  The skills which are being tested are 1) pole jumpers in a tuck, 2) lane changes, and 3) side slip pivot turns.  We practiced all of these skills on Monday and we will re-visit them again on Friday.  There was a rumor that there is also a panel slalom on 1/5, but that is not the case.  Instead, there will be a "terrain" session in the afternoon.  This involves skiing over knolls and some bank turns along with some other skills to get kids to adapt to changing terrain and perhaps get comfortable with a little air.

Here is the schedule:

Friday 1/4: slalom skis, skill work and panel slalom

Saturday 1/5: Skills/Terrain day at Mt. Snow. Slalom skis.  Arrive at Mt. Snow at 7:15.  Registration is on the second floor of the base lodge. Bring $25 cash or check for registration. We will enter all of the SWSC U12s in the competition, so there is no need to sign up online as we did for the Okemo race.  Meet coaches on the second floor of the base lodge after registering. Skills will be contested in the morning and the afternoon schedule will be announced when the skills are completed.

Sunday 1/6: GS skis for GS training at Stratton

Please advise us if you will be here for Friday training RSVP FORM,  and please email any questions you may have.  Skills are an important component of the U12 curriculum, so we should all focus and do our best.  Awards will be given to the top 10 for both boys and girls.  However, where you finish is not important; your best effort to perform the skills is all we ask.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on either Friday or Saturday.

U12 Coaches

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U12 Race Plan for Sunday 12/30 Slalom at Okemo

Hello U12 Family:


We have our first race this Sunday, 12/30 at Okemo.  It should be a lot of fun, and we are looking forward to it! If you have not registered for the race (registration is now closed) Sunday will be a day to free ski on your own or with your family.  There will be no supervised training at Stratton on Sunday.

Here is the schedule for the day:

7:15 AM arrive at Okemo and pick up your bib at registration.  Registration is located to the right as you walk under the clock tower in the main Okemo base area.  There should be a sign pointing you in the direction of registration as you walk under the clock tower.  After picking up your bib, proceed to the base lodge and go to the second floor which is where the coaches will be meeting you.

7:55 AM Boots on and head out the door with coaches to load the lift at 8:00 AM.  If you are bringing your lunch, bring it with you up the first lift in a back pack and leave it at the mid mountain lodge.

Proceed with coaches up the second chairlift to the top of the course for inspection.

Inspect course with coaches.

Take a warm up run or two.

9:30 is the U12 girls' start. Boys will be running immediately afterwards starting at about 10:30.  Make sure that you are at the start on time.  Remember, everyone has a different start time and each individual is responsible for getting to the start on time for their own start.  Don't hang around in the mid-lodge and wait for others who have bib numbers much higher than you.  Operate on your own schedule. There will be coaches at the start to get you ready to go and check your equipment.

After the first run, take a break in the mid lodge.  Be sure to ask the coaches when the second run inspection begins, and meet at the top of the course for inspection on time.  Again, before run two make sure to get a good warm up run or two in.

After the race, everyone should continue to ski until awards are given and then stay for awards.

There are many levels of skiers in these races, and only three will be on the podium.  However, it is important to remember that there are many different definitions of success depending on your current level of skiing.  The main objective for everyone is to go out and make a plan during inspection and to try your best to execute it.  Putting forth your best effort is the only thing we are looking for from you.  Enjoy the competition and do your best.

Please email us with any questions.  Let's have a good focused day of training on Saturday and we all will be ready to roll on Sunday.

U12 Coaches

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