Ski and Snowboard Club Vail begins
construction on Human Performance
Center, secures funds for Golden Peak
expansion BY GEOFF MINTZ
When it comes to strength and conditioning for competitive skiers
and snowboarders, there hasn’t been enough study on developing
athletes age 16 and younger.
That’s something that John Cole, the director of human performance
at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV), is hoping to change in the
In August, SSCV and its academic partner, Vail Ski and Snowboard
Academy (VSSA), broke ground on the Human Performance Center
adjacent to the school building in Minturn, Colo., just outside Vail.
The 8,500-square-foot facility will represent the latest and greatest in
strength and fitness training for club-level athletes.
FLEXING THEIR MUSCLES
But that’s not to say it’s going to be all bells and whistles with no nuts and bolts.
“I hesitate to use the term ‘state of the art,’” said Cole. “At the end of the day, I’m very much a traditionalist as far as how we performance train our athletes. … That being said, what we have recognized is there are certain trends in the industry that definitely
assist and mirror our type of programming.”
One of those trends, which will be a distinctive feature of SSCV’s fitness center, comes courtesy of NASA — or, more accurately,
the California-based company Kaiser Pneumatics, which years ago was contracted by NASA to develop lightweight strength training equipment that could be transported into space. In developing air-driven resistance, compared to weight-driven
resistance, engineers discovered the technology was not
only incredibly lightweight, but also allows the athlete to
train with a full range of motion with very little shockload to
“A lot of the things that we’re doing on the floor are going
to incorporate pneumatics,” said Cole. “They take up very
little space, they’re easy to operate, they use very little
power … and they’re way safer.”
In addition to the pneumatics, the facility will feature other
unconventional pieces of equipment, such as force plates
The interior of
A rendering shows what the Human Performance Center
will look like upon completion in Spring 2014.