Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vail Reflection

Now that we have all had time to decompress from our trip out West, I thought I would offer a few words and thoughts about the camp.  While working at the golf course this summer, we had to fill out “After Action” forms whenever we put on an event.  It was basically a reflection on how you performed your job, how well the staff worked together, what you could have done better, and what would have made the day more successful.  I recommend all the athletes sit down and reflect on their own about the camp.  If you choose to share with others that is fine, but it can be as simple as a private journal entry highlighting aspects of your skiing you were working on, things you want to remember, and perhaps things you felt helped you start the season.  It can also be things you feel you could have done better as an athlete, as a teammate, and as a daughter.

First, the camp was a great success.  We were able to work on fundamental skills for 5 full days.  In reality, we should probably spend the entire camp working on fundamentals but we do need to keep your interest a bit and having a lane to continue the progression is important.

One of the things the coaching staff is most proud of is your (athletes and parents) willingness to participate in the camp.  It is a lot of money and to have 100% participation shows great dedication and commitment.  We spoke a lot about COMMITMENT in our parent/athlete meeting.  Commitment between athletes/parents and athletes/coaches all of which shone through with your participation in the camp.  Had we not gone to Vail…where would we be in terms of a fundamental base right now?

While things may not have been the most fun or most entertaining, I can handle that.  Although it is fun to go to Vail and spend time with your friends, the main goal is to prep for the upcoming season.  By sending you to your rooms at 9:00pm and bed by 9:30pm, we are not trying to hassle you with rules to suck the fun out of camp, it’s to make sure the on-snow portion of camp is successful.

I think every athlete saw success after the first 5 days off free skiing/drill work.  By the 5th day, you were all skiing infinitely better than day 1 and perhaps better than you had skied in recent years.  Once we moved into the brushes it was clear that some were ready and some were not.  It does not make anyone a better skier or worse, it just means you need more time to build your fundamental base.  This is one area I feel the coaching staff needs to adjust next year.  We need to make sure we evaluate the athletes and the readiness for actual brush work and if they are not, we need to be able to offer them continued free skiing/drill work on the main mountain.

We succeeded in getting many miles on snow before coming home.  The only full day off-snow we had was to go to the World Cup and that is by design, albeit not traditional in terms of camps, but we want to maximize our mileage out there before returning home.  While the snow is not guaranteed at Vail, we can usually count on it more than we can here.

Something not to be lost in this reflection is all of the hard work that went into planning the trip.  Igor and the MMSC office staff did an incredible job organizing the logistics of the camp.  Be sure to say thank you at some point when you see him, Laura, Julie, and Caroline Mortimer (Ellis' mom).

The next few days may pose a few challenges in terms of on-snow productivity which makes the days we spent progressing at Vail all the more important.  The coaching staff thanks you all for attending the camp.

Lastly, I want to apologize for any typos.  While I want to proofread the reflection, I am still recovering from the trip and I am ready to go to sleep.

Thanks again for all of your hard work on and off the snow the last couple of weeks.  We are having a solid prep-period and hopefully we can transition that into solid results in the coming weeks.

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