It takes TEAM to be Best in the World. Just ask World Champion Jessie Diggins. Or any USSA national team athlete, for that matter. Jessie is a cross country skier. But she could just as well be an alpine racer, snowboarder, freeskier, aerialist or jumper. Her SkiTrax.com blog post Why This Team Works So Wellcapsulizes one of the "secrets" to being Best in the World.
Two years ago when we announced that we would be establishing an elite ski and snowboard academy at the Center of Excellence, that announcement was met with enthusiasm by some and with consternation by others. Some were concerned that running a school would be a financial drain on other programs. Some cautioned that the demands of running a school in addition to our elite athlete and high performance programs would be distracting and take focus away from our core mission. Some believed that we had underestimated how demanding it would be to run a school, and how difficult it is to delive
The USSA's culture is built across many factors, including four "cornerstones" of athletic success - elite athlete programs, sport science and medicine, national development systems, and education. As a Best in the World organization, oftentimes elite athlete programs take center stage, leading to the impression that USSA is strictly focused on the elite end of the sport. However,the USSA embraces the idea that Best in the World is a manifestation of excellence at all levels of the sport. The USSA is educationally based and athletically focused, and for good reason!
The 2013 USSA Congress was a successful event bringing hundreds of USSA club leaders, athletes, coaches, officials and experts together for education sessions, informational presentations and policy decisions at both the sport and the board level, as well as social activities and informal sharing of best-practices across programs. The six days of meetings were highlighted by extremely constructive work, with a clear goal of Best the World. Best in the World is a manifestation of focused, specific, performance-oriented work at every level of the pipeline.
Mike Brown, the executive director of the Sisu Foundation, a successful nordic program north of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, sent a note over after the USSA Club Excellence conference.
"I wanted to say thank you for the USSA’s commitment and recognition that strategic, financial and operational are not done well enough by clubs and that shared best practices are needed." - Mike Brown, Executive Director, Sisu Foundation, Willernie, MN
On Friday, May 17, USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt delivered his keynote address to club leaders, staff, coaches, officials and more gathered in Park City, UT. In his address, he discussed the coming 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, the importance of club development and the future of the USSA. Watch his keynote below.
Executive Vice President, Athletics, Luke Bodensteiner spoke to a full room at the USSA Club Excellence conference. In his opening remarks, he shared the importance of culture in an organization at every level. He also spoke on the significance of USSA clubs and the role they play in the future of skiing and snowboarding in the United States. Watch his remarks below.
Brian Krill is the USSA's newly hired Club Development Manager in its Sport Education Department. Krill has worked in education, competitive mountain athletics and the nonprofit sector throughout his career, having served as Dean of Athletic Education at the Crested Butte Academy, Interim Director of the Crested Butte Snowsports Foundation and pioneer of Peak Nonprofit Consulting, LLC.
This year's USSA Club Excellence conference kicked off yesterday with a speech from USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. In his speech, Marolt emphasizes the importance of clubs to the USSA, saying that clubs are the heart of everything the USSA does.
The USSA's recent self study, facilitated by an independent third-party consultancy well-versed in organizational effectiveness, revealed significant opportunity for improvement in the USSA's national governance structure. At the local level, the USSA's membership and programming is managed and controlled by a network of loosely affiliated associations, each with their own boards, their own decision making processes and their own missions and goals. In one sport alone, there are 17 different such organizations!
Over the past years, the USSA has used a variety of mediums to communicate updates with fans, members and everyone else who has taken an interest in skiing and snowboarding in the U.S. Today, we've launched an athletics blog to add a new element to our already existing coverage. The athletics blog presents us with the opportunity to provide thorough information on things as they are happening, straight from the people responsible here at USSA.