Monday, December 7, 2015

Remember that time I was going to post every week?

I'm back! I don't have an excuse for my lack of continued posting in CO. I will say though, the last few days of the trip were amazing. We seemed to get a bit of fresh snow each night and during the day! The training and free skiing conditions improved everyday, giving us plenty of mileage for the remainder of the trip. The girls did their best to keep track of their runs each day, give or take a run or two because sometimes they would miscount or forget to count or just use a number their friend used...BUT, we ended with the following numbers:

Days on Snow - 11
Total Runs - 1205
Approximate Vertical - 2,108,750 feet
Mileage - almost 400 miles!

Needless to say, we skied SO MUCH! The girls worked hard, improved their skiing AND their wallyball skills.

Since we have been home, it has not been quite as snowy. The Northeast seems to be in a troubling weather pattern as everyone is struggling for snow. We have been pretty lucky that Stowe Mountain Resort has been creative in setting us up with training space. We have bounced around a bit from Ridgeview, Lower Northslope, and have finally settled on T-Line. It has been netted and we will be able to get some productive training for the next couple of weeks. THANK YOU SMR and thank you to Igor for being so persistent in making sure we are taken care of on the mountain!

Here are a few shots from the last couple of weeks:

Copper GS

Finally home at Stowe!

Until next time!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 6 & 7 - Colorado Camp

Day 6 moved us into lane space for some apex GS on the upper lanes. When the girls are in a lane with brushes and being "told," where to turn for the first time, things can be difficult. The first few runs were no exception to that! The girls struggled to bring some of the skills they had been working on over the first few days into the lane. After the first couple of runs, we refocused and each athlete brought their individual focus to their runs. The progress we saw throughout the day was fantastic! Every girl made gains in their skiing and they have some stuff to think about as we move forward with our progression.

Day 7 brought us back into the lane space for more apex GS. Although fatigue was setting in as it was our 7th consecutive day on snow, the girls worked really hard and the level of skiing was completely different than the day before. The coaches were impressed with the way the pushed through the fatigue to have a successful day. We took the afternoon off and will roll that into a morning off to give them 24 hours of recovery without losing a day.

We will head out to do a bit of free skiing after lunch and then we have a 1:30pm lane for GS training.

Until next time!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 5 - Colorado Camp

Another perfect day on snow! The weather is hard to beat when it is 30 degrees and sunny! Although, tomorrow is looking like mid to high 30's and it could top today!

The girls really started to show some improvements today. We started off with three warm-up runs and then we slowed it down for some continued work on ankle flexion and separating the lower and upper body. We then moved to some sectioned free skiing, taking advantage of the vertical to break the hill into multiple sections for video.

We also took some time to enjoy the amazing scenery at the top of the mountain.

After lunch, we went back out for more skiing but after two laps, fatigue was starting to set in with all of the girls. We cut them loose for two more cool down laps to enjoy the sun and perfect snow before calling it a day.

Tomorrow, the girls will be on GS skis again as we will move back into lane space for some directed skiing. We will start with setting an apex GS with brushes and see how the morning progresses before adding some tall gates into the mix. They have worked hard to develop the top of their turn and it will be fun to see them transition that into a course of sorts.

Until next time!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 4 - Colorado Camp

Today was a classic Colorado day. With temps in the single digits over night and the storm clearing out, we woke up to blue skies and hero snow. We made the transition to GS skis today and things are always a bit challenging for the first couple of runs on the longer boards. After a couple of warm-up runs, we slowed things down a bit and worked on a few drills that really pushed building early edge angle and ankle flexion. The girls worked hard throughout the morning and everyone made noticeable improvements.

Kate smiles. She really does.
2,000 vertical feet each lap!

Angles giving some girls a tuning clinic
After lunch, we went back out and the girls continued to progress with the developing the top of the turn. It was fun for us (coaches) to watch all of them really start to engage the ankle first and resist the urge to simply drop the hip inside and ride the sidecut of the ski.

Tomorrow, we will be back on GS skis for continued work on the fundamentals. It is supposed to be another amazing day with temps providing a perfect surface!

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 3 - Colorado Camp

Day 3 brought us fresh snow! After 6 to 8 inches of snow fell overnight, we were able to get some of the first tracks down Main Vein...along with 1000 of our closest friends!

The snow underneath the powder was AMAZING. With Main Vein opening today, it completely changed the amount of vertical the girls can get in daily. The American Eagle lift provides about 2,000 feet of vertical each run. The trail was chopped up early on in the morning and we took advantage of the conditions to work on balance and recoveries. Undoubtedly, athletes are required to make numerous recoveries in both training and racing as the terrain changes, surface changes, turn shape changes, etc. Making laps in conditions like today forces the girls into those situations while they try to maintain a medium radius turn shape. They get bounced off their line, pitched forward, back and inside, all from the rapidly changing terrain and they have to dig into their tool box to find ways to recenter, keep the skis on the snow, pole plant, and move into the next turn. We made laps throughout the morning, skiing until 12:45 when fatigue finally set-in and we needed to pull the plug.

An early season trip to Colorado would not be complete without a sighting of the best GS skier in the world, Ted Ligety. While taking a quick break in the mid-lodge, he graciously signed autographs and took pictures with any young ski racer who approached him, pretty awesome! Rachel and Josie were not shy...

Prior to dinner, we made our first appearance on the wally ball courts for an hour of heated competition. We had some amazing games and everyone contributed to some impressive rallies. We are all looking forward to our next set of games on the courts in Colorado. The high altitude wally ball training will bode well for our games back in Vermont.

The forecast for the next few days is looking spectacular - Thursday 29/sunny, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 37/sunny. With temps in the teens every night, we are in for an incredible surface to get some work done!

Until next time!
Photo Cred: Ashley Houser

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

2015-16 Blog is LIVE!

The 2015-16 season is officially underway! We nearly have a completely new squad this year, with only two returning athletes from the 2014-15 U18 Women's Team - Ashley Houser and Katelyn O'Toole (disabled list last season). To make a long story short, we have combined our U16 and U19 teams to have one women's team. We are off to a great start with a fun group of girls. Once we have the full team, we will have 13 athletes.

Session 1 MMWA athletes started on November 2nd and went through a week of classes and dryland before departing for our Colorado camp on November 8th. Over the first week, they participated in a variety of activities. We began with a full team hike up Sterling to the top of Main Street. The terrain on Main Street looks without snow is wild and it is so impressive to see how much snow it takes to get the trail ready for us! Tuesday they went through a rigorous sprint workout, followed by Wallyball on Wednesday, then a hike up Pinnacle on Thursday, and finished the week with an initial goal setting workshop on Friday and physical testing.

Monday, November 9th was our first day on snow! While the space wasn't ideal since Copper did not have the Main Vein open, we still had a great first day! It is always fun to get your boots and skis on make those first turns of season.

Day 2 provided better space for us and we had a very productive day. The girls have been working on GS fundamentals while skiing on their SL skis. Skiing on the shorter ski allows them to focus on the body position and movements of GS without the struggle of turning the bigger GS skis. They did a fantastic job progressing today and everyone made some strides in their skiing.

Apparently, I am a giant.

We also ran into a couple of former MMSC/MMWA athletes who were part of the 2015 graduating class - Sandra Schoepke and Ingrid Klinkenberg. It's always fun to see our former athletes and teammates continuing to pursue their skiing dreams. Sandra is currently enrolled in a PG program at with the Park City Ski Team in Utah while Ingrid in skiing in a PG program in Aspen, CO. We wish them the best of luck this season!

Over the first two days on snow, the girls have taken a total of 183 runs. Tomorrow morning, we will continue with our GS progression with some directed freeskiing in lane space. In the afternoon, we will transition to GS skis.

Until next time!