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SWSC Blogs

Stratton Winter Sports Club Blogs: Your source for FUN this winter!

Year of Birth 2005 & 2006

The U14 program will focus on skiing skill development through technical free skiing, drill courses, video analysis, and gate training. Participants will continue to focus on free ski fundamentals with an increase in gate training and competition. The U14's compete in the Southern Vermont Council races with top performers advancing to the Vermont State's and the Eastern Champs.

FIS approved GS/SG Helmet, a GS suit, slalom protection gear, and properly sized slalom, giant slalom, and Super-G skis are needed. It is strongly recommend that athletes wear back protection when training GS and Super-G. Athletes must be members of the Vermont Alpine Racing Association, (VARA) and US Ski & Snowboard.

Times: 8:30am to 3pm (Lunch 11:30am to 12:30pm). Year of Birth: 2005 & 2006

U14 Plan-Feb 1-3, 2019


Last weekend was absolutely amazing! The coaches were all impressed with the progress, focus, and hard work the group put in. Well done!

A few things the came together to help make this happen....
1) The skis were sharp! Well done!! Keep them sharp and even with the new snow, the surface underneath is VERY hard. Tune EVERY day.
2) Repetition. The number of runs the group had over the weekend was very high. 5-6 SG skills runs on Saturday AM. 5-6 GS runs in the PM on Upper Standard. 12 runs on Upper Franks on Sunday. Volume matters!! 
3) Focus. It was remarkable to see the focus from the majority! Working on your skiing in and out of the course WILL change your skiing.

A few items we can improve on:
1) A few of you did a some lodge sitting. We had to go and get you out of the Sunbowl lodge. We won't be doing that anymore. A few rules on lodge 'warm ups'. You only need 5min to warm up. There's no need for breakfast and hot chocolate. Come out and train and no more lodge sitting. 
2) GS Suits. We need to train in GS suits more. Wear a tight light jacket if needed, but train in the suit. It's MUCH faster in a course and you need to be prepared for the additional speed. 

The Plan:

  • We will now meet at the Gate Shack every Saturday and Sunday morning and after lunch (except this Sunday due to the race). Please be there by 8:45am and 12:45pm

2/1 (Fri):    AM GS, PM SG
2/2 (Sat):   AM SG, PM GS
2/3 (Sun):  RACE DAY!  Stratton U14 GS
                  Please register in the West Wing of the base lodge by 8am. 
                  Meet the coaches at the Start (top of Franks Fall Line) at 8:45am for inspection
                  1st run inspection-    8:45-9:15am
                  1st run race-              9:30am 
                  2nd run inspection-  11:45-12:15pm
                  2nd run race-            12:30pm
                 Awards-                     2:45pm*
                  *All SWSC U14's MUST attend the awards ceremony following the event. 
                           Yes, I understand it's Super-Bowl Sunday (Go Pats!), but awards are mandatory.

Get fired up for another great weekend!!


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U14 Plan: Jan 25-27, 2019


What a crazy MLK weekend! We had an incredible 2 days of Slalom training on Friday and Saturday! The group worked very hard and made a lot of great progress. We are making big steps!! Sunday was a fun day of powder skiing all over Stratton in 20" of freshies!! I hope everyone had a blast! Monday..... -28 degrees.  :(    I guess this is the way the weather is in New England. Always be prepared for crazy weather!

This weekend we move into a SG/GS block of skiing and training. We will be doing some SG work mixed in with the GS training. For SG, U14's should be on a longer GS ski (10-15cm longer than their GS Skis). The longer ski adds stability at higher speeds and will run cleaner and faster and is better for their learning. If you haven't arranged a SG ski, you should call a few shops to see what they have for loaners/rentals/used.....I know some shops do this. For SG (and GS), athletes should be wearing back protectors (not mandatory, but highly recommended). 

We have a SG camp on Friday Feb. 8th and then the SVC SG race at Stratton on Friday Feb. 15th. I HIGHLY recommend the SG Camp on the 8th for ALL SWSC. More time on the SG skis will mean more progress. We will work on high speed turns, terrain, and jumping. It will be a great opportunity for learning and fun!

The Plan:

Jan. 25 Friday-      GS 
Jan. 26 Saturday-  AM-SG, PM-GS
Jan. 27 Sunday-    GS

Let me know if you have any questions regarding SG Skis!!


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Willard Race on MLK is -POSTPONED

In case you missed the emails, the Willard SL on Monday is POSTPONED.

A new date will be announced soon.

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U14 Plan-Jan 18-21, 2019

What an amazing weekend! Congrats to those that raced at Mt Snow and hopefully everyone is pleased with their progress. There is still A LOT of work to do and we need everyone ready to work hard to change their movements. We are racing SL on Monday at Willard and this race will be a fun one. We plan on training some difficult terrain over the weekend in preparation for the Willard SL. 

They are forecasting LOTS of snow over the weekend, so I highly recommend that everyone ski on Saturday, as Saturday afternoon through Sunday may be some Powder skiing sessions! 

I hope everyone has ready Coach Bob's blog 'We have a tuning problem'. If you haven't, please read it right away and get on the ski-tuning plan. Many of your skis are not adequate for training or racing, as they are not sharp or waxed. You can not make progress on dull skis and just adds to athlete frustration. TUNE your skis after EVER day of skiing. Tune=Wax & sharpen. 

The Plan:

Friday 1/18-     SL Training-RSVP Required: RSVP FORM
Saturday 1/19- SL Training- Bring Powder skis for the PM in case we can't train due to heavy snow. 
                                        We will decide the PM plan at the end of the morning session.
Sunday 1/20-   SL Training- Bring Powder skis for the PM in case we can't train due to heavy snow.
                                     We will decide the plan in the morning.
Monday 1/21-  RACE DAY!  Willard SVC SL. This does count for SVC Standings and all athlete must attend.
                                        Arrive at Willard Mtn by 7:30am. Registration is in the lodge.
                                        Meet at the lift at 8:15 for inspection. 
                                        *Willard is 1:20 from Stratton resort. Please give extra time for the drive, as it can 
                                               be hard to find.
                                        **Monday's weather forecast is super COLD! Please plan accordingly. 

See everyone this weekend!!


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We have a Ski Tuning Problem

Dull is not an option!


Parents/Athletes, we have a problem.

We need to talk, or at least come up with a plan, as we have a tuning problem! The courses we ski are very hard. Hard snow is considered to be the fairest surface to race on. All competitors get to race on essentially the same surface. The problem is racers with well-tuned skis will have a enormous advantage. Athletes who’s skis were tuned last week are a serious disadvantage.


Think I’m exaggerating? How many pairs of skis do you think Mikaela Shiffrin brought to the Olympics?  NY Times-Shiffrin.  35 pairs so she could have sharp skis for every run! Normally she travels with more. Everything is relative right, but it should illustrate how important proper equipment is.


After watching our runs the last couple of races it appears that several of our racers are training and racing on dull or improperly tuned skis. We will work with you to help figure out if your skis are tuned and if not, a path forward to get them that way. 


Here are the basics:

Skis need to be touched up and waxed after every training day. The edges should be race sharpened weekly and the bases should be ground two or three times a season. It is just as important train on sharp skis as it is to race on them. Sharp skis develop confidence in your equipment and help racers understand what they are capable of doing. 


My personal preference is to have my skis base ground and structured at a shop. I then set my base bevel to .5 degrees and grind my edge bevel to 3.0 degrees. Once this done I can generally keep it up with a stone and edge guide and waxing iron for a few days.

If you (parents or athletes) don't know how to tune, don't try to teach yourself. Tuning takes a lot of practice and needs to be taught by an experience ski tuner. If you aren't tuning your own skis, bring to a shop after EVERY training session! It sounds excessive, but sharp skis matter and will facilitate learning. 

Athletes at a U14 age class should be at the very least, waxing their own skis daily and using a guide and stones to touch up the edges. Don't start using a file on skis unless you're fully trained! U16's should be doing full-tunes them selves (wax, file, stone). 


Please don’t hesitate to ask for help. Let’s work together and come up with plan to keep our skis racer ready! The SWSC U14 coaches will put together a parent/athlete tuning clinic to help with this process so we can have more productive training sessions and race days. Keep an eye out for the details.

Coach Bob

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