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Development Team

 

Our introdu ctory weekend program for new members aged 7-9 years old (born 2002 or later) with no racing experience.  It's designed for skiers who want to improve their skills, and are looking for a fun weekend program.   

  • Focuses on alpine fundamentals, with an introduction to giant slalom racing and gate tactics.
  • All Development Team participants are asked to participate in 75% of the practices. (New!)  The optional December Holiday camp is strongly encouraged but not required

 

Ages:  

  • 7-9 years old for new members, and up to 10 years old for returning members (New!) 
  • All new members 7-9 years old are enrolled in the Development Team until evaluated
  • Ages are as of December 31st. 

Minimum Requirements:

  • Able to ski 'Blue' trails at Liberty Mountain (i.e. Upper Heavenly) in a parallel stance comfortably at speed and with no wedge turns (i.e. no snow plow)
  • Demonstrate a willingness to ski ALL available terrain at Liberty Mountain (skiers will not be evaluated in how they ski other trails, just their willingness to do it) (New!)
  • Demonstrate a willingness to participate in group skiing tasks, receptiveness to coaching feedback, and a desire to improve (New!)
  • Self sufficient and able to:    
  • Get on the lift without any assistance    
  • Put on their own equipment (skis, jackets, gloves, etc.) and recover from falls without assistance  
  • Able to ski by themselves if necessary, and go to the restroom by themselves  
  • Commitment to participate in 75% of the practices (New!)   
  • New members that have not completed a Trial Clinic must attend the first weekend of practice in December to be evaluated against our minimum skiing and equipment requirements.  (New!)

Required Equipment:

  • Appropriate ski equipment, including:     
  • One pair of properly sized multi-event (‘combi’) race skis (rental skis are not sufficient; full race slalom or GS skis are not recommended) (New!)
  • Properly sized high-performance (4-buckle) junior boots (or race boots); the skier needs to be able to flex them in cold temperatures (and very easily at room temperature) (New!)    
  • Snowsports helmet is required; Race helmets are required for USSA races (hard shell must cover the ears)  
  • Appropriate ski clothing (speed suits are unnecessary and are discouraged for DevTeam members). 
  • DevTeam members are not eligible to purchase the Uniform Jacket until they graduate to the Travel Teams. (New!)

Format:

  • The Development Team focuses on building strong alpine skiing fundamentals, and this takes place outside of gates. 
  • Gate training is an opportunity to learn gate tactics, and sharpening skills an athlete already has developed to a point of proficiency.  
  • Saturday and Sundays, 8AM-3PM from resort opening (usually the 2nd weekend in December) through the 2nd weekend in March (roughly 25 days plus optional December Holiday Camp training included free).
  • Focuses primarily on alpine fundamentals and building strong skiing skills 
  • Includes an introduction to giant slalom racing and gate tactics    
  • Methodology includes free skiing drills, directed free skiing as a group, gate drills, periodic giant slalom gate training on moderate terrain, video analysis, goal setting, and other group activities.  
  • Technical goals include: strong alpine stance; proficiency at parallel C-shaped turns; beginning to carve long radius turns on medium to moderate terrain; proper active use of lower body; consistent, appropriate pole plant/touch; hockey stops; skiing a variety of challenging terrain; and applying carving skills to the race course.   
  • Tu/Th Training is NOT available for DevTeam participants.  2nd year DevTeam members can be approved for Tu/Th PM practice when the course is set on easier terrain and with prior Head Coaches’ approval.  Parent or guardian supervision is required.

Participation:

  • Ski racing is an inherently risky sport.  Strong skiing skills are needed at an early age to reduce the risk of injury, and to prepare athletes for the USSA ski requirements for older athletes. 
  • On-snow time is the single biggest factor in developing strong skiing skills. 
  • Therefore, Development Team participants are required to participate in 75% of the practices for their specific program option. (New!)  (The optional December Holiday camp is strongly encouraged but not required).
  • On major powder days (12" or more), formal Development Team practice starts at 11:45AM.  But come ski as early as you can get to the Mountain safely (or stay at a Team hotel the night before). 
  • Participation is not required on severe weather days (e.g. major powder, ice storms, etc.).  Please do not risk your safety in order to attend practice.   
  • Athletes should not come to practice if they are injured or sick and unable to ski. Participation requirements can be waived in cases of extended injury or sickness.

Recommended Races:

  • LMRT Giant Slalom USSA Race
  • Whitetail Giant Slalom USSA Race
  • Roundtop Slalom USSA Race
  • Roundtop dual-GS USSA Race