Who is developing our WC ski racers

sly_karma

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SL is the base skill builder for all of them though. Kids will spend far more time training SL than GS, partly because of run space but mostly because it teaches them more and hurts them less when they get it wrong. And they won't get near a speed course until their mid teens at earliest. I've often heard it said by coaches that no one ever won a DH without a string of SL wins back in their early career.
 
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Famos

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Zali Steggall, although Australian, lived and skied in France during her childhood.
Good point. I guess I wasn't giving her as an example of the Oz setup but the point remains that we have adequate terrain for SL training. The need to start from a young age and stay with it through multiple distractions takes a huge amount of dedication, let alone talent. How many of today's 8 year olds dream of being a pro scooter rider or skiing rocky Alaskan chutes backwards for ski videos? Many more than aspire to be the next Schiffrin or Hirscher I'd bet, at least in Oz.
 

climberman

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The sad thing about the decline in race training is that it's without question the best way for a young person to build a strong base of all-mountain skiing skills which will last a lifetime.
This is why I tried to keep my grommet in again this year!

Most of the skiers I truly admire in the big mountains had a child / teen race background.
 
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sly_karma

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I would hit 'like' on that statement a dozen times CM. The parallel grass roots program for freestyle is pretty good too (in Canada anyway). Kids who go through them, even just to the early years of competition, have skills for a lifetime.
 

sly_karma

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Once they're deep into competition then it all gets weird, but the base program is pretty good at ripping them around the mountain like the alpine equivalent. Either program when done right produces kids that can ski any terrain in any snow on any day.
 
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Nidecker

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The sad thing about the decline in race training is that it's without question the best way for a young person to build a strong base of all-mountain skiing skills which will last a lifetime.

Yeah, popped our child into race training for this very reason, but have now extracted her as much due to ******* parents around the periphery as anything else. Will probably just keep her going with a sprinkling of privates through the season, its not much point putting her into group lessons anymore, she carves better than most of the lower end instructors :(
 

Red_switch

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Another thought, here in NZ, most families that "grow up" skiing, see it more as a recreational past time I reckon. For me as a kid, getting up to the snow was a break from other more regimented sport - in the later years of high school it was literally what kept me sane while rowing at a high-ish level. As a result, the competitive side wasn't overly appealing, did do a few comps for a laugh, first time I dropped into the superpipe at Cardrona was in the heats for secondary school snowboard champs, bit of a step up from the ditch at Coronet!

There are lots of kids in Southland, Otago and Canterbury that are playing rugby/netball hard on winter Saturday mornings, and skiing on Sundays for "fun". Indeed, for all sorts of reasons, winter is the "main" season for a lot of sports here - school term structure being a key driver. It's just about impossible to keep most school level sports, team sports in particular, going over the long summer break. How does this go in Australia?

We had a handful of FIS racers at high school (growing up 2 hours south of Queenstown), one of whom was given a car by Salomon so she could commute to Coronet Peak for training. But it was seriously minority sport. I have always wondered how that might have been different if we had something like interschools.

But again, does it matter?
 

snowgum

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Interesting debate here.

For some oerspective on ‘talent pool’, I’d love to know the % of kids at Vic Govt. Primary & secondary schools that even see snow once or twice, never mind ski.

Except for Govt schl kids in the alpine valleys, we’re really only talking about ‘a%’ private school kids having ‘the chance’ to ski regularly.

So what maybe 25-30% of 25% population - & limited to SE capitals & towns.

So s pool of maybe 1-2 million people with a realistic chance of ski racing. And for the dec school or univ age divide by 10. Tiny pool.

Compare to Europe or Canada. We cant!
 

sly_karma

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Taking it to mere numbers is a dangerous path. All of Australia's conventional ski resorts happen to be in the most populated corner of the continent. 10 million people live within a 5 hour drive of a lift. By contrast, western Canada has only 8 million people within weekend driving distance of a ski area, and there aren't many skiers amongst them, only 11% are skiers or snowboarders, so just 800,000 participants. Yet of course this region sends many athletes to international competition in every snow discipline imaginable, and with great success. Surely by the numbers Australia should be more of a player? I'm being facetious of course, the great majority of those 10 million Aussies live between the four hour and five hour circles so it's a much bigger commitment in time and money for them to ski on a regular basis. And the conditions and terrain are not as enticing as what BC and Alberta can offer.
 

snowgum

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Taking it to mere numbers is a dangerous path. All of Australia's conventional ski resorts happen to be in the most populated corner of the continent. 10 million people live within a 5 hour drive of a lift. By contrast, western Canada has only 8 million people within weekend driving distance of a ski area, and there aren't many skiers amongst them, only 11% are skiers or snowboarders, so just 800,000 participants. Yet of course this region sends many athletes to international competition in every snow discipline imaginable, and with great success. Surely by the numbers Australia should be more of a player? I'm being facetious of course, the great majority of those 10 million Aussies live between the four hour and five hour circles so it's a much bigger commitment in time and money for them to ski on a regular basis. And the conditions and terrain are not as enticing as what BC and Alberta can offer.


Broad nos. May be similar to Canada. Hard to compare with say Vancouver with small ski hills like Grouse 45 mins from downtown, Whistler 2 ish hrs, & heaps in 5-6 hrs. Long reliable seasons & presumably a provincial Govt that supports kids from Govt schls accessing the sport vs Nada here. Chalky cheese.
 

skichanger

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Broad nos. May be similar to Canada. Hard to compare with say Vancouver with small ski hills like Grouse 45 mins from downtown, Whistler 2 ish hrs, & heaps in 5-6 hrs. Long reliable seasons & presumably a provincial Govt that supports kids from Govt schls accessing the sport vs Nada here. Chalky cheese.
Don;t forget the shark tank, or what ever it is in Canada, funding for moguls. My understanding this is for beginner level programs. A few mill goes a long way compared with nothing.
 

sly_karma

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Haha sports funding in Canada?
1. mostly weighted toward elite programs
2. medals means money (ie, some of the govt cash is in the form of direct payouts to athletes for olympic medal/s won)
3. zero govt dollars for grass roots programs
4. provincial organisations funding is directly linked to number of athletes registered, plus coaches and officials. Numbers game, direct competition with all the other sports
5. Quebec always seems to come out with more cash than the rest of us

Canadians have admired and envied the Aussie system with its institutes of sport for years.
 

skichanger

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Haha sports funding in Canada?
1. mostly weighted toward elite programs
2. medals means money (ie, some of the govt cash is in the form of direct payouts to athletes for olympic medal/s won)
3. zero govt dollars for grass roots programs
4. provincial organisations funding is directly linked to number of athletes registered, plus coaches and officials. Numbers game, direct competition with all the other sports
5. Quebec always seems to come out with more cash than the rest of us

Canadians have admired and envied the Aussie system with its institutes of sport for years.
Um you do realise that the institute of sport is for the elite of the elite don't you? Nothing for anybody but those they see as olympic medal prospects with runs on the board.
 
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skibear

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Bit late to this discussion. I got plucked out of a school holidays sport and rec camp in jindy into their race program. Started a few years of every weekend trips to jindy.

Thredbo used to open snow gums for us at 7am, so cold. It was lots of fun competing in the various races, particularly liked the slalom at mother in law at guthega.

We weren't rich, used to car pool with other families from sydney and got very cheap accom at sport and rec. Got pretty over it once i hit fis level, kids with four pairs of brand new skis each year, race suits, summer training in europe etc. All got a bit overboard. I think all this predated interschools.

Not sure if this system is still in place. It produced some pretty amazing skiers, many went onto WC, olympics and even the early days of skiercross. Here is a vid i uploaded!

The sport and rec race club was excellent and I think it is really missed. Serious racers put in a group and trained hard. No nonsense accepted. Some years it would win more podiums than all the other club combined. Jealous clubs worked against the government run club and eventually the government said if the sport does not support it neither will we. Those people should hang there heads in shame .
 
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Red_switch

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Haha sports funding in Canada?
1. mostly weighted toward elite programs
2. medals means money (ie, some of the govt cash is in the form of direct payouts to athletes for olympic medal/s won)
3. zero govt dollars for grass roots programs
4. provincial organisations funding is directly linked to number of athletes registered, plus coaches and officials. Numbers game, direct competition with all the other sports
5. Quebec always seems to come out with more cash than the rest of us

Canadians have admired and envied the Aussie system with its institutes of sport for years.
This is the same pretty much everywhere. The Olympics have a perverse effect on the non-professional sports in the "professional" age.
 

sly_karma

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Um you do realise that the institute of sport is for the elite of the elite don't you? Nothing for anybody but those they see as olympic medal prospects with runs on the board.
Yep, same in most countries. Nothing special happening in Canada, except maybe a focus on winter sports. Even that has mostly come about because of the medals attracts money system. Their summer performance was a lot better 20 years ago and earlier.
 

Nidecker

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This is probably a worthwhile study to read for all aspiring skier racers, the most sobering stats to me is the nearly 80% of world cup skiers lived less than 1 hour from a resort, (kinda obvious) or the reverse, only 9% lived more than 2 hours from the mountains.

On snow days stats, say at U14 = 120. My child who skis a lot for a Sydney based skier, skied something like 65 days in Aus last year, about half of the WC skier stat at the same age.

Many of her friends, who only train, don't free ski much if ever, skied a whole lot less, yet they (or their parents) run social media pages for them, that would imply they are future olympians, can't help wondering who's dream it really is?
 

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Skichic2

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Have just had to unfollow a FB friend who is a recent arrival to Jindy with a young kid. Full race mum happening, like no other Jindy kid has ever done a PWSC program. 40 day program for a kid that’s never made it past regionals before. Should improve her skiing I would hope.
 
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skichanger

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OMG my mogul skier would have killed me if I had ever done more on facebook than share the AUSMSA pics of him. And not that I ever thought anything more than that was appropriate. Very sad.
 

Nozawaman

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The sad thing about the decline in race training is that it's without question the best way for a young person to build a strong base of all-mountain skiing skills which will last a lifetime.
I have never really thought about this , but on reflection 1,000,000% right . Although I never raced (apart from Nastar occasionally) you were either in the GS style of skiing or Slalom , and for me Stenmark was the bomb which reflects in the way I still ski today , but here here is the kicker . I watch kids skiing today and they are all over the place , arms dropping , shoulders twisting , back seat sitting . They might get down the hill quite fast , but it doesn't look very nice or safe .
Sorry if slightly off topic.
 

CarveMan

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I have never really thought about this , but on reflection 1,000,000% right . Although I never raced (apart from Nastar occasionally) you were either in the GS style of skiing or Slalom , and for me Stenmark was the bomb which reflects in the way I still ski today , but here here is the kicker . I watch kids skiing today and they are all over the place , arms dropping , shoulders twisting , back seat sitting . They might get down the hill quite fast , but it doesn't look very nice or safe .
Sorry if slightly off topic.
Completely on topic.
 
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Nidecker

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POFO. It's a thing.
Have just had to unfollow a FB friend who is a recent arrival to Jindy with a young kid. Full race mum happening, like no other Jindy kid has ever done a PWSC program. 40 day program for a kid that’s never made it past regionals before. Should improve her skiing I would hope.

LOL we have acquaintances (actually several families) who post the most outlandish sh!t about their children. One kid never even made nationals in Interschools, but he has a "team_insertnamehere" insta site, not sure what else, its #skiracer #futureolympian blah blah, one day they are gonna wake up and be so embarrassed. (or not?)

POFO laughed my ass of when I first heard steve say that.
 

crackson

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If your kids a wanker, race training won't help him.

If your kids not a wanker but you want him to be a lifetime wanker, send him race training.
 

Budgiesmuggler

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Bit late to this discussion. I got plucked out of a school holidays sport and rec camp in jindy into their race program. Started a few years of every weekend trips to jindy.

Thredbo used to open snow gums for us at 7am, so cold. It was lots of fun competing in the various races, particularly liked the slalom at mother in law at guthega.

We weren't rich, used to car pool with other families from sydney and got very cheap accom at sport and rec. Got pretty over it once i hit fis level, kids with four pairs of brand new skis each year, race suits, summer training in europe etc. All got a bit overboard. I think all this predated interschools.

Not sure if this system is still in place. It produced some pretty amazing skiers, many went onto WC, olympics and even the early days of skiercross. Here is a vid i uploaded!



Pretty sure I was at interschools in 1994 at falls. I grew up in the Kiewa valley so we were just a bunch of local kids that skied a bit.
 

Skichic2

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LOL we have acquaintances (actually several families) who post the most outlandish sh!t about their children. One kid never even made nationals in Interschools, but he has a "team_insertnamehere" insta site, not sure what else, its #skiracer #futureolympian blah blah, one day they are gonna wake up and be so embarrassed. (or not?)

POFO laughed my ass of when I first heard steve say that.
In his farewell speech last year, he said he wanted to spend more time developing the COPOFO (children of). Got some laughs.

Day one of training yesterday, 4 posts, each multiple photos, only kid in group with WSC ski jacket. Has done national assessment, complete with photos plus private race lesson, multiple photos. Kid is in D team for regionals.
 
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Tonester

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Inter schools has been amazing at entry level but after that the pathway falters badly.
And yes it is high cost so I cannot understand why more parents don’t demand value for money . The coaching level it a lot of clubs is hopeless. There is no substitute for a coach what has raced at a high level. A two week training program does not make a good coach . I see time after time we bring in so called coaches from overseas and when I question them they are not even coaches back home. Austrian clubs would not have a race coach who had not raced at descent fis level . And then when u go higher up ie state teams many coaches have been at least at Europa cup level.
Well I’m hoping Jono Bauer might make a difference with his new program at Thredbo. Our last regular male World Cup skier and one of our best coaches.
If we look at the top tennis players most of them have coaches that were very good in their prime. Same applies to skiing.
Last time I looked the alpine race coaches at Perisher WSC had previous fis race experience. Head coach is ex-british olympic race team member. My experience (from a few years ago) was that they had credentials and race experience. In recent years the head coach has recruited strongly from the euro pool of coaches.
 

Whatever really

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I grew up a surfer and it’s a lot different but
From the outside looking in the biggest problem is the parents, Second The cost and thirdly the lack of actual racing.
It’s a shame because like others have said all the good big mountain and park/pipe skiers did race training like the Wells and Sam Smoothy in NZ in particular.
 

skichanger

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I grew up a surfer and it’s a lot different but
From the outside looking in the biggest problem is the parents, Second The cost and thirdly the lack of actual racing.
It’s a shame because like others have said all the good big mountain and park/pipe skiers did race training like the Wells and Sam Smoothy in NZ in particular.
Some of them did moguls training.
 

skibear

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Last time I looked the alpine race coaches at Perisher WSC had previous fis race experience. Head coach is ex-british olympic race team member. My experience (from a few years ago) was that they had credentials and race experience. In recent years the head coach has recruited strongly from the euro pool of coaches.
Not correct . Very few have fis experience and I don’t know on any that got under 50 points. Euro does not mean race coach. Most are not race coaches in Europe as u would not get race coach job without race experience. I have dual nationality and often quizz the coaches we get here. Conned do many times
 

skibear

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So I know the Austrian system well and think it important to clear up the misconceptions that they have this high number in there ski pool. Like us racing is expensive so they do not generally go on to fis racing . But they do have ski academies something like our selective sport high schools. They have entry tests and usually take on around 20 a year . They train intensively all year and have top coaches. I know the born 91 class at schladming academy produced 5 World Cup racers . Roland Leitinger was not even in state team when he entered. Vincent krckmayer was good but not at top, but with the right trading and support to go on they do well. Even if we could do the same with 2 athlete each year we could do well . That sport and rec video we saw posted was the way to go.
 

Tonester

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Not correct . Very few have fis experience and I don’t know on any that got under 50 points. Euro does not mean race coach. Most are not race coaches in Europe as u would not get race coach job without race experience. I have dual nationality and often quizz the coaches we get here. Conned do many times
Fair enough. I'm speaking from my last involvement at fis training (not me, my daughter) in 2010. So, no doubt, things might have changed
 

dawooduck

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I trained #1 son up to top 10 in Interschools moguls, 15 days on snow a season, 90% free skiing training using the terrain available, never got a sniff from "the establishment".

Talent search programs, if they actually exist, only operate within resort run "teams" where there is usually one or two experienced second string "coaches". Italians on holiday ....

We had so much fun and he is a kick arse technical skier.

Proximity to snow, overseas training time and resort club immersion (cheque book) are the key ingredients. Get the kid adopted by Austrians .....

Pay to play
 

skichanger

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I trained #1 son up to top 10 in Interschools moguls, 15 days on snow a season, 90% free skiing training using the terrain available, never got a sniff from "the establishment".

Talent search programs, if they actually exist, only operate within resort run "teams" where there is usually one or two experienced second string "coaches". Italians on holiday ....

We had so much fun and he is a kick arse technical skier.

Proximity to snow, overseas training time and resort club immersion (cheque book) are the key ingredients. Get the kid adopted by Austrians .....

Pay to play
Hey in his 1st year doing any sort of moguls training my mogul skier matched or passed all the "guns" his age who had been training for years. We have spent a small fortune on him and he has been ranked as high as 5 in Aus with only the guys who went to the Olympics being ranked above him at that time. Never got a sniff either and we were told early in the piece that he never would. Basically if they do not pick you by the time you are about 10 you will never be picked unless you have the right contacts ;) or really excel, which is really hard to do without help.

One of the guys who went to the Olympics got there despite serious resistance to picking him from the powers that be. But he perfomred so well that he eeffectively forced them to pick him.

Would love to see the system audited. Probably the worst thing I know about was the changing of selection rules during a selection meeting so they could pick the person they wanted.So a couple of people had met all the criteria, had been told by the coaches they would be selected only to find out that the rules had been changed and the reason why was rather obvious.

Sadly I would never recommend anyone to get as involved as we have. We have worked really had at not being angry but still feel pretty frustrated by what has happened over the years.

It is so good when you stop :headbang:
 

dawooduck

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Hey in his 1st year doing any sort of moguls training my mogul skier matched or passed all the "guns" his age who had been training for years. We have spent a small fortune on him and he has been ranked as high as 5 in Aus with only the guys who went to the Olympics being ranked above him at that time. Never got a sniff either and we were told early in the piece that he never would. Basically if they do not pick you by the time you are about 10 you will never be picked unless you have the right contacts ;) or really excel, which is really hard to do without help.

One of the guys who went to the Olympics got there despite serious resistance to picking him from the powers that be. But he perfomred so well that he eeffectively forced them to pick him.

Would love to see the system audited. Probably the worst thing I know about was the changing of selection rules during a selection meeting so they could pick the person they wanted.So a couple of people had met all the criteria, had been told by the coaches they would be selected only to find out that the rules had been changed and the reason why was rather obvious.

Sadly I would never recommend anyone to get as involved as we have. We have worked really had at not being angry but still feel pretty frustrated by what has happened over the years.

It is so good when you stop :headbang:

A frustrating tale but not uncommon. Having "industry experience" we went in with eyes wide open and worked away quietly on the fringe. There was a moment at about Yr 8 where we could have got serious but as a two person team decided to just relax and enjoy the skiing.

The take away is that we met some awesome people along the way that remain friends to this day. :thumbs:
 

Nidecker

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Last time I looked the alpine race coaches at Perisher WSC had previous fis race experience. Head coach is ex-british olympic race team member. My experience (from a few years ago) was that they had credentials and race experience. In recent years the head coach has recruited strongly from the euro pool of coaches.

Setting aside the absolute myth that a good athlete makes a good coach. Gabriele MINGHETTI who coached at PWSC last year, not sure if he is back, was a FIS racer who hovered between 50 and 100 points during his time racing, I would suggest he was (when racing) very young as compared to other FIS competitors, and there were several Italians who certainly worked the FIS circuit as coaches / ski techs (invaluable knowledge on ski prep, unlike the bullsh!t spouted by others in AUS).

Personally I would rather see a coach with Level 4 ski AND race coach quals, who motivates the kids to stay on the snow in good and bad conditions.

There is much more value gained from having a dynamic / charismatic motivational teacher / coach vs an ex (probably failed) ski racer.
 

skichanger

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Setting aside the absolute myth that a good athlete makes a good coach. Gabriele MINGHETTI who coached at PWSC last year, not sure if he is back, was a FIS racer who hovered between 50 and 100 points during his time racing, I would suggest he was (when racing) very young as compared to other FIS competitors, and there were several Italians who certainly worked the FIS circuit as coaches / ski techs (invaluable knowledge on ski prep, unlike the bullsh!t spouted by others in AUS).

Personally I would rather see a coach with Level 4 ski AND race coach quals, who motivates the kids to stay on the snow in good and bad conditions.

There is much more value gained from having a dynamic / charismatic motivational teacher / coach vs an ex (probably failed) ski racer.
In the moguls fraternity coaching/instructor experience/quals are a rare beast. The 2 (maybe 3) people best qualified as both instructors and coaches are not working as coaches this season.
 
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