SHORT-TERM PROGRAMS GIVE SKI
RACERS A BURST OF THE ACADEMY
LIFESTYLE By Dave Peszek
Many parents mistakenly believe that if their child is starting to excel in ski
racing, that they must be shipped off to a ski academy. But we know from the
principles of long-term athlete development that your wunderkind rarely goes
on to excel when forced into early-sport specialization. What if you could test
out an academy without fully commiting to a winter?
Academy programs teach young athletes independence, time management,
creative thinking, self-sufficiency, travel, interpersonal skills, academic skills
and other sports (such as soccer, cycling or nordic skiing). And, of course, top
notch skiing skills. Athletes also learn to be fit and active for life, an approach
now rarely taught in traditional school settings.
The BOOST program at Killington Mountain School (where coach Tom Sell,
pictured at left, works with athletes) allows 7th, 8th and 9th grade athletes and
their parents to dip a toe in to the shallow end of the ski academy lifestyle.
“It’s a great avenue for the parent — helping them to determine fit,” says Greg