Krebs says the goals of their project are to develop the basic skills in gliding, gliding turns, aerodynamic position,
terrain, jumping and air time. “These skills all translate to skiing the whole mountain and other events, too.” says
Krebs and Smith have built a J3/J4 speed development program that uses the region’s tight proximity, shorter winters (compared to the West) and population density to their advantage — bringing speed skill development to Eastern skiers.
While the West has the superb Flight School, and Rocky/Central has a 10-year tradition of a highly effective late
spring J3 fundamentals camp (at A-Basin and Winter Park), Smith says they needed to do something that was accessible to everyone in the region, that was not cost prohibitive and that was during the Eastern winter. Says Smith,
“Not everyone can get on a plane to reach late-season Western training snow.”
Rather than setting up a camp with a small number of invitees, Krebs and Smith have taken the speed fundamentals
camps on the road, involving local coaches, sharing educational resources, and trying to reach as many athletes as
possible. Some 250 J4s this season will have speed fundamentals opportunities at Labrador, Okemo and Dartmouth;
123 J3’s will get to experience speed fundamentals training at Camelback, Stowe and Cannon. And 40 J3’s will get a
more in-depth refresher of speed fundamentals at Sugarloaf. It’s clear that Krebs and Smith are taking the approach
that anyone might become a future World Cupper, and not focusing on any one small group at such a young age.
Athletes work on the same basic skills that World Cuppers are showing their mastery of — aspects such as low,
medium and high tucks while straight-running and during in-glide turns; pole-hops in a traverse; and downhill terrain,
jumps (approach, press, take-off, landing), and wave tracks. With local program coaches involved, it allows these
skills and the environmental set-ups to go home with the athletes with the hope of reaching everyone region-wide.
“Do it,” says Johno McBride, now head men’s speed coach for Alpine Canada. “Get them started when they are
young — 10 years old is no problem to be learning about speed elements in safe scenarios. You’re not sending them
down the Hahnenkamm, but look at how much kids want to fly — let’s teach them!”
Check out the East’s YouTube video channel
and more importantly, the Youth Skills Assessment Project
It’s not just the East that is getting serious about
speed fundamentals; see this article from the Vancouver Sun
tinyurl.com/85md9rs) about regional speed training camps in