Skier's age: 6-10 years old | Years in skiing: 1-4 years | Age Classes: U8 & U10
Phase 2 skiers are starting into an important period for motor development. The foundational skiing skills they learn at this phase and in the next tend to stick with them throughout their career. For this reason, exposure to a wide variety of skiing (and other sport) experiences with an emphasis on proper movements and good training habits are important in this phase. Fun is absolutely essential. Coaches should use the SkillsQuest skiing assessments to measure progress, while designing training around a blend of free play, guided freeskiing and drills in a game-like environment. The drills for this phase were selected as basic tests for each skill area that also emphasize coordination, agility and balance. Essential building blocks for this phase, such as carving and pole plants are also introduced. Click here for activities to track and reward athletes in the area of skiing.
Conditioning and Nutrition
Skiers in this phase need to be active year-round. Participation in many sports, whether organized or unorganized, will help them develop the athleticism necessary for ski racing success. Emphasis is on the ABC'S of training: agility, balance, coordination and speed. Skiers should start to learn healthy eating habits and show up for training well fed and hydrated. Click here for activities to track and reward athletes in the area of conditioning and nutrition.
One pair of skis is all that is needed for a phase 2 athlete to train and race on. Course setting rules are based on the expectation that racers have only one pair of skis, and by using one pair of skis in slalom, giant slalom, kombi and SkillsQuest exercises, the skier will become more versatile. Boots should fit snugly but comfortably, and it is critical that skiers can flex their boot. Skiers at this age should learn how to keep track of their equipment and to carry it on their own. Click here for activities to track and reward athletes in the area of equipment.
Perhaps the most important thing for this phase in this area is to instill a passion for skiing. Activities should be fun and designed such that skiers are challenged but are able to successfully complete them. Teamwork and sportsmanship are emphasized. Click here for activities to track and reward athletes in the area of mental strength.
Competition may be fun for some and intimidating for others at this age. Races should be fun and should validate the skier's training effort. SkillsQuest Tournaments are an integral part of the competition calendar. Racers should guard against over-racing and sacrificing valuable skill development training time. Click here for activities to track and reward athletes in the area of competition management.
Olympic Medalist's Take on Skills
Olympic and World Championships medalist Christin Cooper recalls the skills work that helped her reach the top levels of ski racing.
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