Integrating Ski Tuning into the Athlete Development Model
A GUIDE FOR COACHES, CLUBS AND PARENTS, J6 THROUGH COLLEGE : PART 2 BY DAVE PESZEK
In the last issue of Ski Racing, we covered age-specific equipment and
tuning needs. Now it’s time define an executable program for your club.
We’ll start with some equipment and tuning principles that apply across the
entire program and all age classes.
Whether racing NASTAR or on the national team, athletes should tune their own skis.
Appoint, train, and empower one coach per age class to act as the point
person for training, questions, and advise at that age level. This coach
should have a great relationship with the local choice retail service center,
and should be actively educating parents and athletes in age class specific
Establish the importance of equipment and tuning (and their relative importance in relation to physical, mental, and tactical skills) as a core educational concept within your club program from J6 level onwards. This creates a building-block approach toward equipment and tuning that will allow
everyone to progress.
Provide clear, concise, logical steps for tuning that athletes and parents
can follow. These steps should be written out, posted in the club’s tuning
center, and available online at the club’s website. The step-by-step process
should be written separately for each age group. You get bonus points for
using modern technology, such as a YouTube video on your club’s website
that shows the exact steps for parents to follow in tuning their J4’s skis.
Pick a local retail ski-service center that the club works well with, and get
everyone on board. Good things can happen when partnerships are forged.
Provide the tech staff with copies of everything that you are sharing with
parents and athletes (regarding equipment and tuning) so that everyone is
working toward the same goal — consistency and happy ski racers.
Larger programs should have an equipment/tuning manager. This takes
an enormous workload off coaching staff and can lead to better building
blocks across the entire program.
Straps. Athletes and coaches need them, and they need to use them.