Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vail - Day 6

Today's guest bloggers are Sarah and Courtney.  We had another productive day with a double session of Apex GS.  Tomorrow we will have a single session of GS skiing, finally moving into some tall gates for the first time this season...

We awoke this morning eager for the ski day as well as for breakfast, which consisted of French toast, eggs, hash browns and a full array of fruit. After our stomachs were filled, we got on the lift at nine. The slope was filled with several courses and we were surrounded by many world cup racers and their coaches throughout the day.  Off the bat, we started our training with an apex brush course. The snow held up well in the morning but the afternoon sun started to shine through softening the snow.  So, we broke at 11:00 for a nutritious lunch of soft shell tacos. By 12:30 we were back on the slopes with the world cup racers alongside. Once we were all tired out we took off our boots and put on our sneakers. We enjoyed a fun co-ed game of Swedish, where many of us got intense grass stains. Not to mention we annihilated the boys (just kidding, but we did do well).  Now here we are at the dinner table, post tuning and getting ready for study hall. We look forward to more skiing, games and learning  ;)


Sarah and Courtney 

Panoramic view from the top of our lane

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vail - Day 5

Another day of great GS skiing.  The snow conditions are ideal for what we are trying to accomplish.  The girls do not have to battle ruts, rocks, or other poor snow variables.  They are able to work on progressing without having to worry about the snow surface...unless their skis are dull!  The coaching staff has spent some time in the tuning room with the girls making sure they are successful in their tuning so they can be productive on the hill the next day.

This afternoon we took to the field for an exciting game of "Swedish."  Swedish can be described as - man or woman for themselves massive game of dodge ball, but with the twist of if the person that got you out is knocked out, you are back in!  The game was intense, fun, and extremely tiring to play at altitude...especially for some coaches.  We all had quite a blast and have some very entertaining video from the game that will be incorporated into the end of the year video.

Another day of GS tomorrow and another day of 40 degrees and sunny!  Below are a few pictures from today.

Our lane for today

Michael and Igor

The disabled Aussie skier referenced in a previous blog

Pictures from our serious game of "Swedish"

Vail - Day 4

Our guest bloggers for Day 4 are Ingrid and Denali.  We had another fantastic day and we are looking forward to more GS skiing as well as sharing the hill with many World Cup athletes prepping for the Beaver Creek races!

Day four began with a breakfast of champions. Eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, juice, cereal, yogurt, and fruit fueled athletes for a day full of activity. After suiting up everyone stepped out into the cold morning ready to ski! Up on the hill we began with drills and then moved on to an apex drill consisting of brush course.  Athlete report: “it was good.” We continued in this fashion until 12:00PM, at which time the now hungry athletes rushed off of the hill in search of sustenance. There was a quick turn around after the midday meal with a 1:00PM departure time for the shuttle to Lionshead, where we were to free ski until 2:30PM. Returning by shuttle, athletes were set free for the afternoon, and most took this time to nap. Tuning also occurred. Then dinner, now study hall.

Over and out,

Ingrid and Denali

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vail - Day 3

As a new feature for the blog this year, we will be having guest bloggers throughout the season.  The guest bloggers will be used for the duration of the camp.  That being said, here is our first guest blogger entry of the season…

As our third day draws to a close, we wanted to share our great day with everyone. Our day started with a morning warm-up jog and stretch with a fabulous view of the mountain, followed by a nutritious breakfast. When we arrived promptly at 8:45am at the bottom of the lift, the sun was creeping through the trees, making us excited for the day.  We started our training with a few warm-up runs, followed by some interesting drills involving clapping, jumping, passing the pole, and Schlopy’s.  Once we nailed those, the brushes made an appearance, forcing us to turn on command and at times testing our patience.  Even with 9zies, 10zies, and 11zies, we were starving by 11:45. Lunch and a short break rejuvenated us. As we arrived back on the hill, we were extremely impressed by Resi Stiegler and a Para-Olympic athlete who was shredding slalom on one leg. All those in the slipping line, stopped to stare. After our intensive day of training, everyone enjoyed a restful afternoon with tuning and dinner.  Oh yeah, and study hall.

Lots of love,

Lucy and Neza.

Top of the training hill - AM

Base of the training hill

Top of the training hill - PM

Monday, November 26, 2012

Vail - Day 2

                Our day started with a 7:00am warm-up jog with some group stretching in the halfway through the jog.  I pretty much despise jogging but I must admit it was nice to get out there first thing in the morning to get the blood flowing.  Today was the first day on GS skis and the coaching staff was certainly impressed with the girls ability to make the transition from SL skis to GS skis.  We spent the morning doing a variety of drills working on body position, stance, and movement.  The morning session was from 9:00am to 11:30am and they finished up with a couple of free runs trying to implement the skills we worked on with the drills into their GS skiing.  Again, the coaches were impressed with the strides many of the athletes were making throughout the morning.
                After lunch, we went back out to the training lane where the girls were paired with a “training buddy.”  We had a short afternoon session in which the girls skied every run with their buddy and they were tasked with “learning about your buddy” while continuing on our morning progression.  Following skiing we finished up our day with a core session.

                So far the weather has been amazing and it looks like it is going to continue…athletes will be coming home with some solid goggle tans!

Training Buddy pictures

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Travel and day 1 at Vail!

Traveling tends to not go without some kind of speed bump, or in this case, a dip in the driveway leading to a beached bus…

Come on!
After multiple attempts to free the bus, it was clear we would not be taking the bus to Manchester and needed to load up parent vehicles and caravan to the airport.  Major kudos to parents for rallying together and making it possible to get everyone and all their gear to Manchester with plenty of time to spare, thanks for all your help!

After a day of travel, we finally arrived at Manor Vail around 3:30pm and we were greeted by old friend Sarah Reilly!  We had a fairly mellow night and athletes were in their rooms at 8:30pm for lights out.  While Vail does not have much terrain open compared to years past, “not much terrain” still dwarfs the available terrain back home.  The width of the trails in the west never ceases to amaze me.  We had a morning free ski session on phenomenal snow.  It is the type of snow that puts a smile on your face and stokes the burning fire inside that we all have for skiing.  After a break for lunch and a study hall session with Lori, we went out onto the training hill and slowed things down a bit with some drills and more directed free skiing.  Although it was only our 4th day on snow, 5th for some, we were seeing some nice adjustments made in the afternoon session.  Tomorrow we will be getting onto GS skis for the first time this season which is always an exciting day.  Here are a few shots from today to start off the camp blogging.

View of the training hill from Manor Vail

Demo master Garrett

Last but certainly not least, Michael and Andy deserve some serious props.  They left on Tuesday afternoon with a van full of gates, brushes, stubbies, tuning benches, and other important gear for the camp.  They drove through the night to Andy’s parents’ house in Michigan (13 hours), spent the night there, had a brief Thanksgiving LUNCH, then they hopped back on the road on Thursday around 2pm to complete the remaining 18 hours of their drive to meet us at the airport in Denver.  Way to go fellas, thanks for being awesome!

For now, we are off to yoga with instructor Lucy Merriam!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's finally here...

November 10th.  Finally, the date we have all been waiting for, opening day of MMWA kicking off the 10 day opening session for both MMWA and MMSC! From November 10th through the 20th, the student athletes went through multiple orientation sessions, a nutrition session, goals setting, workouts, skied for three days (some athletes four) and somewhere in there they managed to fit in time to go to class, do their homework, socialize, and sleep.  Oh, and they had to squeeze in our first team dinner of the year last Wednesday!  What a busy and productive start to the season.

Since this is the first blog of the season, I thought I might do some goal setting of my own.  The blog is a great tool for us as a program to involve parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, get the picture.  I love the blog.  I brag about the blog.  I brag about all of our fantastic athletes and most importantly, what great young people we have here.  That being said, the blog can be a bit time consuming and when push comes to shove and I have other things that need tending to, then blog seems to fall by the wayside.  However, the first goal I am going to set will be to make sure the blog is updated daily while we are at our Vail training camp.  Not a lofty goal by any means, I see this goal as very attainable.  As the season progresses, things will slightly change.  I think an appropriate goal would be a weekly blog.  This would give me the opportunity to have ample material to blog about as well as give some athletes the opportunity to do some guest blogging.  Of course, if we have any exciting team news or events that need blogging, I will make sure they are blogged about right away.  Those are two blog goals that I feel I will be able to reach this season...time to put in the work and attain my goals.

While reflecting on the first 10 days, I am still amazed at the solid friendships and bonds our athletes have developed over the years.  It is as if they never left during the spring to return home, as if they didn't spend the summer catching via text but rather in person, or as if they didn't spend the last month and half counting the days until November 10th, but continued in the academy program all year.  Here we are November 20th and it feels like things never stopped.  While we graduated a few wonderful girls and saw some leave in pursuit of other endeavours, we gained a few new faces for the upcoming season who have fit in seamlessly.  In the words of Lucy Merriam..."the family is back together again," and it is growing!

Below are a few pictures from the first 10 days...

The human knot...that ended up as two knots forever linked!
Michael in the knot!

Attempt #2, Sophie as the director!

First team dinner of the year, Chenny and Emma holding up the line... everything ok?

Thanks to Jamie for the veggie stir fry and all of the desserts that people brought over!

Vail?  Nope, just a beautiful day at sunny Stowe!

First team picture of the year - thanks Dave Merriam for taking the photo!

Our Monday skiers

Is that Diane Leach with Chenny?  

 The next post will be from Vail!  Have a great Thanksgiving and get fired up to ski!