- Practices are held from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings through the ski season. The season is defined from when Snowstar Ski Area opens for the season, and concludes at the beginning of March at the conclusion of the race schedule.
- Racers are encouraged to arrive at Snowstar by 5:30pm so that they are dressed and ready to practice prior to 6pm. Most families and racers will get dressed in the lower level of the Snowstar Lodge.
- The meeting place at the beginning of practice is outside of the Lodge as indicated in the picture below:
- The team endeavors to keep a coach to athlete ratio of 1:10 for all practices and races. This is not always possible to maintain due to forces outside of our control, but it is the goal for the team.
- Practice format: there will be a 10 minute warm-up at the beginning of practice. Following that the skiers are organized into groups depending on the goals for the practice. Depending on the time of the season the racers will be doing skill work on the hill with a coach, running gates or drills, or participating in directed free-skiing. All of the activities will be directed by the coaches.
Skier Equipment & Expectations
- Skiers need to have the following equipment to practice:
- Helmet (Hard sided only, no soft sided helmets)
- Snow Pants
- Layers and other gear as needed for weather
- It is required that all racers can ride the chairlift on their own without assistance from a coach. If assistance is required for the athlete to ride the chairlift or for any other aspects of the night then the athlete’s parents must be present to assist the athlete.
- It is expected that the athlete can manage their equipment and conduct without assistance from the coaching staff. If assistance is required then the athlete’s must have their parents present to assist.
- Skiers should be prepared for adverse weather conditions that will make practice uncomfortable. Races are generally not cancelled for adverse conditions, so practices will be held is similar conditions. The Snowstar Lodge is there and athletes are able to go inside for restrooms breaks and to warm-up during cold nights as well though. The athletes are expected to self manage this, and to notify the coaches if they are going inside to warm-up during practice. The coaches will do their best to monitor the athletes and if they see signs of frostbite or other issues will address the issue with the athlete promptly as well, but athletes are ultimately responsible for themselves.
- The race shack at the top of the hill is not a location for athletes to go inside of unless directed to by the coaches. It is for team operation and training purposes only.
- Older athletes are expected to assist coaches if asked with aspects of practice such as carrying equipment or assisting a younger athlete. This may or may not be a common occurrence depending on the task, and is considered a normal part of the athletic development process.
- All athletes are expected to be respectful and helpful of coaches, parents, volunteers, and other athletes on the team.
- Parents are expected to assist their athletes as necessary.
- If there are questions that parents have regarding practices, training formats, equipment, etc., they can be asked to any of the coaches and/or other parents on the team.
- If the parents have questions or concerns regarding conduct of the team they can be addressed to the head coach or to the Snowstar Ski Team board if necessary.
- Weekend races are exciting and fulfilling opportunities for athletes to see how they are progressing in their journey of skill development, and how they compare to other athletes in a competitive environment. These weekends can be intimidating and stressful, but the goal is to make them fun and exciting events that athletes look forward to. If there are any concerns leading up to a race please direct them to the coaches and they will do the best they can to address your concerns.
- Parents and racers should arrive early on Saturday and Sunday. The team will try and get a couple of tables together in the ski area chalet for each event, and try to stay together as a team during the weekend. The coaches will all have radios, and there will be one radio inside at the tables during the day as well.
- Racers are expected to be dressed and ready to go for when the lifts are open in the morning, usually 7:30 or 8am depending on the venue. Racers will be led through the course in a group with coaches prior to the race starting. This is called “Inspection”.
- Following inspection the racers are expected to warm up if they will be starting soon. For racers that will have sufficient time before their runs, they are expected to help shuttle coats and pants for other members of the team, and to be free skiing.
- There will ideally be a coach at the start of the course and a coach at the bottom of the course for the race. The coach at the top will help the racer get into the lineup in order, and help prepare them for their run. The athlete is expected to be responsible and be on time for their run. The coach is not able to hunt around the entire hill for athletes.
- The coach at the bottom of the course will be watching all athletes and will be available to athletes in the finish area. The athlete is expected to check in with the coach following their run and receive feedback for their next run. This ongoing discourse is necessary for continuing development of the athlete.
- If athletes are not racing, inspecting the course, preparing for their run, or eating lunch, then they are expected to be free skiing during the day.
- If an athlete or parent has concerns or questions during a race they should find a coach and the issue will be addressed. The coaches cannot provide assistance if they are not aware of the issue.
- In the evenings the team will generally as a group share a meal together at the hotel or at an area restaurant. This is not mandatory, but is a fun part of team camaraderie.