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Club News

Athlete News, November 11, 2016


Last Weekend, our Alpine U16 and U19 teams stayed in a LaQuinta in Silverthorne. We received a message from the Groups Manager that a number of guests mentioned how respectful the athletes were in the rooms. Kudos to these teams, for wearing our logo and representing our Club in a professional, respectful manner!

A message from Alpine Competitive Program Director, Adam Chadbourne:

Two weeks ago I had the great fortune to reconnect with a former athlete of mine who now happens to dominate the women’s technical circuit on the world stage.

Most of us at least know who Mikaela Shiffrin is; and most of us know that she’s good.  But do you know just how good she really is?  A few stats for you:  In just five years Mikaela Shiffrin has amassed 20 World Cup wins, 31 world Cup Podiums, 2 World Championship Gold Medals, and one Olympic Winter Games Gold Medal. Not bad for a 21 year old.  This year, she has huge goals (some expressed to me by her coaches, some by her):  Win both the WC SL and GS titles, compete successfully in World Cup speed (score significant points on a regular basis), win two gold medals at World Alpine Ski Championships, oh, yeah, and win the Women’s Overall World Cup title.  Even for an athlete at the level of Mikaela Shiffrin that’s a lot to bite off, but, I for one, wouldn’t count her out.

The purpose of my trip was simple:  Help Mikaela and her coaches execute on their preparation for the coming World Cup races in Finland and North America.  My mission was to work hard, ask lots and lots of questions, shoot hours of video, and bring as much information as possible back to the coaches and athletes at The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club as I possibly could.  Mission accomplished.  With a sore back from hauling gates and a blind eye from shooting video in the bright glacial sun I have come home loaded with useful tools.

In the coming weeks we will have several technical and tactical discussions with the coaches, and from there we will move on to presenting information to the athletes.

While in Europe I was thrilled to learn that Mikaela works on almost every facet of skiing that we work on here.  To say that our coaches are on the right track is an understatement.  They know their stuff and are delivering a message in much the same way that Mikaela goes about her business already.  Her focus on fundamentals is laser sharp.  Most days begin not with high speed turns, but with slow, deliberate drill sessions usually lasting 1/2 to a full hour.  Just like here at SSWSC, we believe that strong fundamental skiing is the foundation for fast skiing.  It’s a simple equation:  good, disciplined skiers are fast!  Nobody is more disciplined in all that she does than Mikaela.

At SSWSC we’ve spent much time talking about transitional movements and the importance of the nuance in those movements.  Mikaela is very much focused precisely on some of those very same movements.  This past weekend, the entire FIS and U16 coaches and I had the opportunity to talk for a few hour about just this topic.  The dialogue was wonderful and inspiring.  Our men and women coaches know what they’re talking about and know what they’re doing to teach it.

I am deeply grateful to both the US Ski Team and SSWSC for affording me this invaluable opportunity.  I bring back both an affirmation of what we’re working on, and also a deeper understanding of the precision required to execute at a world class level.  Mikaela was kind enough to record the video below for our athletes. It is well worth the watch.  I believe you’ll have to copy and paste it into your browser.  I hope you enjoy. Please do not share the link.  Mikaela is extremely famous in Europe and “her people” are very sensitive about what is posted on the web.  If you have any questions for me please reach out.  We all have so much to learn and to teach.

Please feel free to join us with your children this coming Wednesday, 9/16 at 4:00 in Olympian Hall.  I will be giving a relatively short presentation with lots of video from my recent trip to Austria.  I hope that you and your children can attend.  This will be geared toward the athletes and is intended for all ages within the competitive alpine program.  Again, though the focus is on the athletes, parents are welcome to attend as well.

Adam Chadbourne
Alpine Competitive Program Director