For the past two months, the Whistler Mountain Ski Club K2s, aged 13 and 14, have been training for race season.
Under the guidance of WMSC coaches Rob Boyd and Pierre-Luc Dumoulin, the group of 55 racers is well-prepared for the season that lies ahead, starting with the first CIBC Wood Gundy race this weekend at Mt. Washington.
Starting with dryland training in the off-season and moving onto snow as the training areas became available, the coaches have focussed on developing well-rounded athletes that can ski and race in any conditions.
"We believe that the more conditions our racers master, the better they will be able to confidently react to anything thats thrown at them in a course, whether training or racing," said Boyd, a World Cup downhill winner and Olympian.
The coaches emphasized body position and stance, developing technique through training gates, drills and lots of free skiing. In fact, the group spends about 60 per cent of its time skiing steeps, moguls, powder runs, the terrain park, the snowcross course, and just about anywhere on the mountain but the race course.
This ensures that the skiers have fun, while giving them the ability to relax and ski in any situation. Racing is still important, but results arent everything.
"At this stage, we dont want to put too much emphasis on results, but it is important to know where you rank relative to other skiers. After all this is ski racing. What we want to do is develop good skiers with a solid foundation of technique," said Boyd.
Following the GS races at Mt. Washington on Jan. 11 and 12, the group will participate in a speed camp at Sun Peaks from Jan. 22 to 26.