Every year our club heads out and over-takes the slopes of Jasper during the February break. Jasper is one of the closer mountains, has great terrain to give kids some new turf to try out, and this year had AMAZING weather!
I love that the kids are experiencing things they’ve never tried before, jumps, double black diamonds, tree skiing, I think every athlete there tried something they haven’t tried before and it was amazing to see their smiles when they came inside from these runs. The whole purpose of this trip is not necessarily about the skills, it’s about the confidence that they earn. They realize it’s not that hard and once you have the confidence to try these challenges that they don’t have at home, their skill level will increase. Without actually “teaching” them a new exercise to practise or work on, they are increasing their skill levels and they are having fun doing it. To me, that’s the biggest thing you can do for a young athlete.
If you’ve never been on the mountain training trip, I think one of the biggest building blocks in an athletes life, happens off the hill. It happens in the hallways of the hotel or at the pool, it’s something that seems to happen more when you spend a few days together than just the one day at the hill, it’s the friendships that are made. Sure they see each other every saturday at Table Mountain and ski after lessons are over, but spending the evenings swimming and having chicken fights in the pool, playing mantracker and hide and seek in the hallways or beanboozled it really allows for the kids to connect and grow and get to know each other. They may be spending the next few years together and this can often be where the friendship starts.
While the kids play and ski and work on their skills the adults do the same. We get to visit, meet the parents we see weekly in the chalet, but never really talk to and the coaches have down time to chat and come up with ideas and talk shop. Overall, it’s a great trip and I hope to see everyone out there next year!