Elyse Burandt of the Spokane Ski
Racing Association and Eva Shaw
of Burke Mountain Academy
enjoy training at Copper.
Young racers get some arly season training at an NDS camp in Copper.
THE NATION’S TOP JUNIORS CONVERGE ON COPPER
FOR AN EARLY SEASON NDS CAMP By Eric Williams
The USSA’s National Development System (NDS) gathered 24 of the country’s top J3 racers at
Copper Mountain, Colo., from Nov. 5-12 at the Junior Champions Camp.
“Our goals were to bring the best kids of this age group together and try to get pace within all the
regions together and get kids to meet each other,” said Rich Smith, the USSA eastern development
director. “Someday they could all be on the same team, so if they can start that bond now, it helps.”
The racers, many of them hitting the snow for the first time this season, experienced an especially
charged atmosphere as Copper’s new speed center was opened to the U.S. Ski Team for the first
time. During nightly sessions, national team coaches spoke to the NDS athletes who could be under
their leadership within just a few years.
Copper’s ample snowmaking, complemented by several timely storms, provided an excellent surface for training. “The on-snow goals were fundamentals,” said Smith. “We did a lot of one-ski work,
trying to get up over the ski — “owning the ski” is what I like to say, where the kids have the ability to
use the skis as a weapon for finding speed.”
The skiers spent much of their on-snow time slowing down the pace to work on their technique and
simplifying their movement to dissect the basics of solid skiing. “Sometimes we get too excited and
skip the fundamental phase because we, as coaches, are just as competitive as the kids and we want
those results, too, but we have to think about the future and if we can make this our future, those
results will come,” said Smith.
JENN WILLIAMS; ALEX CREBS
SkiRacing.com NOVEMBER 21, 2011 | 69