“The icier it got, the better it was.” Luke Holmes

There is a reason East coast racers are the toughest of all. This week at the Skiway FS athletes have proven why we are one step ahead of the rest. Its easy to have a blast skiing perfect conditions under blue bird skies however, you know athletes truly love the sport when they show up on a 45 degree rainy day to ski on a sliver of snow. Lets just remember that at least 50% (most likely more) of this sport is mental! Bring on the rough conditions because Ford Sayre is ready to rumble!

The U12 group has completely rocked it this week with their positive attitudes and willingness to make the best out of the current situation at the mountain. The rain, lack of snow, and today’s shockingly chilly temps failed to wipe the smiles of their faces. The kids, eager as ever, have accomplished a lot so far in our Christmas camp week.

From apex drills, stubby gates and free skiing over difficult terrain, we certainly have tackled a number of new skills so far. Gerd and Matt have set multiple courses for the groups to ski. The apex drill has been a major focus over the past five days; this served as a perfect introduction to proper turn shape. It forced the racers to start their turns above the gate rather than below. The drill also enforced an athletic stance, forward motion with the hips and quick feet to stay on top of the short distance between the gates.

With colder temps ahead, the Skiway is bound to produce some better snow conditions in the next few days. It was agreed upon that walking off the slopes today as “human icicles” from all the snow guns was worth it for the variety of terrain that we will inevitably be able to ski in the near future.

Keep up the happy attitudes! And go Ford Sayre!

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“I just wanna ski! It’s a great day for skiing!” Ella Goodney

Another fantastic weekend at the Skiway is in the books for our u12 group! While the terrain is still quite limited, we have not let that prevent us from a fun and productive couple of weeks on the slopes. On Saturday and Sunday we split off into a few groups where we then focused on more balancing drills.

We added another element to our training over the weekend that planted a seed for a new focus in our skiing; smooth transitions onto the new edge. This goal allowed us to hone in on drills that helped emphasize what it feels like to be on the front of our skis, (by the way, this feels much better than the contrary!). From “hand claps,” and “doing the disco,” the group definitely had a fun time experimenting with new drills. By the end of the day we were moving our hips forward in the transition. This allowed us to be in an athletic position at the start of the new turn.

Sunday morning Gerd set up the “picket fence drill” for all of the Ford Sayre athletes. Ask your kid(s) what they thought of it and I am sure they will emphasize the challenge this drill presents. The short 1 meter distance between each brush gate forced us to move our hips forward, pole plant and perhaps most importantly, we had to be balanced on our skis. It is certainly worthy of noting that the picket fence course is a Skills Quest component and was at last year’s U14 CanAm event. Thanks Gerd for taking the time to set this up for the athletes!

Each weekend the conditions at the Skiway are going to get better and better. The kids have been great so far this season with their positivity, eagerness to improve their skilling, and most definitely are in the holiday spirit while we sang Christmas carols on the lift!

From all the coaches of the u12 group we wish you a wonderful holiday!

Let the season begin!

The U12’s are off to a fantastic start this season! Dryland was filled with lots of ladders, medicine balls, hurdles, speedball and cookies (yes, that’s right…we enjoyed our fair share of well deserved treats!).

Aside from the camp out in Colorado, we have had some solid days of on snow skiing at Bretton Woods, Okemo, Pico and the Skiway. Revisiting the importance of being balanced on our skis has been the focal point for us so far this season. We have spent most of our on-snow days just getting a feel for our skis again but with a focus on “rolling over onto the edge” and reminding ourselves to start our turns with our ankles.

Two weekends ago we ventured over to Okemo and skied under blue bird skis. The temps were chilly but a quick hot cocoa break reenergized us for a productive afternoon of drills that again, focused on balance and “railroad track” turns.

With the 10’ of fresh snow we were excited to have our first team ski at our home mountain. The Skiway was a great time on Saturday (and Sunday for most), but some of us were able to make the trek over to Pico for even more terrain.

It’s going to be a fantastic season! Keep thinking snow and GO Ford Sayre!