Coach Education Action Plan

Introduction

The Alpine Canada (ACA) coaching education 24-26 action plan aims to provide a strong framework for developing and supporting coaches at all levels of the sport. The plan outlines the vision, mission, values, goals and strategies of the ACA coaching education program, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders involved. The plan is based on continuous improvement, collaboration and alignment with the ACA strategic plan.

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Canadian Coach Profile

If you love skiing and want to share your passion with others, becoming a professional ski coach might be the perfect career for you.  In this section, we will introduce you to some of the best ski coaches in Canada, who have trained and mentored many successful ski racers. You will learn about their pathway, backgrounds, achievements, tips and advice on how to become a ski coach yourself. Whether you want to work with beginners, intermediate or advanced skiers, there is a place for you in the Canadian ski coaching community. Read on and get inspired by these amazing stories!

Canadian Coach Profile

How many years have you been coaching & tell us about your coaching pathway, teams/age groups you have worked with?

Since 2007. 16 years. U-6 to U-14. FIS Club level, NorAM, Europa Cup, WC. Started at the club level in Quebec and Alberta, worked at FIS level, provincial level men and women's side, Development team, FIS/EC European private team and national team.

Do you have a ski racing background?

Yes. I raced until 15 years old.

Do you have a coach mentor(s)?  If yes, who and what have you learned from them?

Yes. Different people had played a mentor role in my career. People with advanced experience in ski racing at different levels with different backgrounds (national team coaches, club program director, provincial team coach, etc).

What is your academic and specific ski coaching education?

Academic: Diplôme d'études collégiales en technique de Compatibilité et gestion and Baccalauréat en Intervention sportive (Université Laval) profile coaching. 

Coaching education : ACA Performance Level coach, NCCP Level 3, Reconditioning Level 1, continued education related to sport science, management, etc

How would you describe your coaching philosophy?

Teach, guide and support for the development of an athlete's autonomy. Give your best every day and make your best better! Alone you go fast, but together you go far! Listen to the athletes to understand them better. Coaching should be a two-way interaction between coach and athlete (not one way only). Reaching for excellence is the pursuit of the best self in all aspects: technically, physically, mentally, tactically, etc. The reason for being of the sport is being a tool for human development and growth.[JR1] 

What is your most proud achievement as a coach?

When the athletes succeed in reaching their biggest goals that seemed impossible especially when the process has been challenging.Your favourite ski racer of all time and why?.

What would be your feedback to a young coach that wants to become a career ski coach?

You can learn from anybody. Get to know you and your strengths and challenge yourself in the desire to growth with every opportunity. Invest yourself in projects you believe. Act with purpose.

Who is your favourite ski racer of all times and why?

Aksel Lund Svindal. For me he is the definition of excellence. Because of his skiing performances, but also through his human being. Always on top of his art even after multiple setbacks and always there to help and work with his teammates and the newcomers to reach the top with him.

What is one word that would describe your current group of athletes?

Energy!

How many years have you been coaching & tell us about your coaching pathway, teams/age groups you have worked with?

I have been coaching for 21 years and I have a degree in Sports Science. I’ve coached different age groups in various clubs, I was a full-time ski instructor for 2 years. I coached for a ski academy and Laval University Ski Team. I worked for the Quebec Ski Team for 12 years. I was the women’s coach for 11 years, and the head coach for the men’s and women’s teams for one year.

Did you come from a ski racing background?

Yes many years of ski racing

Do you have a coach mentor(s)?  If yes, who and what have you learned from them?

Yes, of course. Martin Durocher has been a colleague and mentor for many years. I’ve learned the concept of accountability and responsibility. We always value creativity and initiatives. Pierre Ruel has always been around to inspire me. I like his new school approach and his constant search of excellence. Tim Gfeller and Mark Sharp are also very positive models. I always respect their input, their communication skills and their passion.

What is your academic and specific ski coaching education?

Degree in Physical and health education & sport intervention+ performance level

How would you describe your coaching philosophy?

 am a very passionate coach. I see myself as a guide and I support the athletes in their journey. I like to think outside the box and create training environments that will stimulate the athletes’ learning and their curiosity.

What is your most proudest achievement as a coach?

I was the leader of the Quebec Ski Team from 2011 to 2023. We had success, but also a lot of adversity. So I am proud of my loyalty and resiliency through the years.

Who is your favourite ski racer of all times and why?

Erik Guay, He has inspired a generation of skiers, he’s accessible, still passionate and involved

How would you describe your current group of athletes in a few words?

extraordinary potential, a united group of girls

How many years have you been coaching & tell us about your coaching pathway, teams/age groups you did work have worked with?

12 years Have coached U12-U16 Alpine, including program director for a club team. I then moved to ski cross and have coached a provincial team and now the national team.

Do you have a ski racing background?

Yes, ski raced for 8 years

Do you have a coach mentor(s)?  If yes, who and what have you learned from them?

Jordan Williams, he has taught me to be creative in how I learn and teach to adapt to different learning styles and continue engagement.

What is your academic and specific ski coaching education?

I have a PL trained coaching certification, and I am currently enrolled in the NCCP Advanced Coaching Diploma Program.

What is your most proudest achievement as a coach?

Being the first female national ski cross coach in Canada.

What would you say to a young coach that wants to become a career ski coach?

Seek opportunity anytime you can swing it. My most impactful learning experiences were sought out by myself simply asking to shadow provincial and national team coaches any time I could to pick their brains.

Who is your favourite ski racer of all times and why?

Sandra Naeslund. She is an incredible overall athlete and although she has been dominant in the women’s field in ski cross she continues to push herself and seek more. She is also incredibly humble.

How would you describe your current group of athletes in one word?

Determined

How many years have you been coaching & tell us about your coaching pathway, teams/age groups you have worked with?

I've been coaching now for 15 years. I began while in High school and loved the path it has taken me on. I coached from 5-year-olds up to the FIS level and worked in New Zealand coach in Whakapapa before joining Alpine Canada. Worked with a very talented group of U14 girls for a couple years under Jim Davis, Glenn Thompson and Steve Smart. Their professionalism made me fall in love with higher performance sport and supporting athletes on their journey.

Do you have a ski racing background?

Not really, short and sweet. I grew up at the base of panorama ski resort and spent every moment we could on the mountain.

Do you have a coach mentor(s)?  If yes, who and what have you learned from them?

JS Labrie was definitely my mentor for the 7 years as we worked together at the international level. For me coaching at the different levels provided such different paths that are all amazing and individual. Saying this, to be able to survive and thrive at the international level you need a very separate set of skills from coaching. Relationships become everything, to create contacts and help people around you will be your lifeline later down the road. JS had an amazing group of people that he called on, We usually worked with other nations and supported them and through that we always have contacts to help us all over the world which makes the journey more enjoyable and logistically easier. JS also always looked to raise the bar of what is possible with our group, we travelled all over to new training venues and locations to bring new challenges to our athletes and create very special DTE’s.

What is your academic and specific ski coaching education?

Performance level, CSIA 2, Currently in the Pursuit 18-month program with OTP, mainly ski specific.

What is your proudest achievement as a coach?

I always feel the proudest when we arrive at the Games with a prepared staff and athletes. The feeling of knowing all the boxes have been ticked and you've learned from experiences is a very special moment. From that point on I try to enjoy the ride - ups, downs and everything in between.

What would you say to a young coach that wants to become a career ski coach?

Never stop looking to improve. The reality of coaching at the higher level is that you're rarely at the bottom of the hill 'coaching'. TAKE PRIDE IN YOU DAILY TRAINING ENVIRONMENT - Learn the timing system, make the dye, run dryland. Also go and volunteer at races! You learn so much from being behind the scenes from the other side and you'll become a confident coach on race day.

Who is your favourite ski racer of all times and why?

Currently I've been loving watching Marco Odermatt, it’s not always pretty or textbook skiing but it’s fast and in the end of the day - that's all that matters.

How would you describe your current group of athletes in one word?

Hungry.

How many years have you been coaching & tell us about your coaching pathway, teams/age groups you have worked with?

I’ve been coaching for 20 years. I started with I2, K1, at the Club level with Mont Ste-Marie. K2 and FIS with the National Capital Outaouais Ski Team and PSO level with the Men's Quebec Team. For CAST, I started with the men's Devo team and now with the World Cup group. I'm grateful to all those who supported me and gave me opportunities at every stage. I feel like every level of development emphasizes different soft skills and hard skills, so having experienced a progression is valuable. During my FIS / PSO coaching year, I would organize summer camps for younger athletes which helped hone my skill development strategies and revisit basic drills and progressions which end up being just as important with the older athletes.

I’ve also specialized in ski boot fitting which has been a journey in parallel to my coaching development.  I continue to work with many young athletes in Canada and of course support our World Cup athletes with consistent support for their feet and performance.  As a racer I always felt this was a gap in our system so I’ve really double down on my development in this area for well over 15 years.

 

Do you have a ski racing background?

Yes and no. My family was not involved in ski racing, I picked it up from friends who were in the ski club.  I learned to ski at 9 or 10, and ski racing at around 12 years old. I played mainly baseball, tennis and mountain biked but quickly became obsessed with ski racing. I raced 3-4 years of FIS and immediately transitioned to coaching.  Paul Cook (father of Madison, Rebecca and Dustin) offered me a job right away at Mont Ste Marie when I stopped racing. 

 

Do you have a coach mentor(s)?  If yes, who and what have you learned from them?

I’m incredibly fortunate to have been inspired by many different coaches both inside and outside of skiing.

I grew up skiing on a small hill in the Gatineau region, 140m vertical. It’s amazing the creativity and passion our coaches had to give us good training and a great experience, despite the lack of vertical! Mark Kristofic, Becky Picher, Derek Falls, David Jones all had a lasting impact on me as a person and coach.

Jeep Picher (Becky’s father), an Outaouais ski zone legend, would give me extra coaching on weekdays. My dad drove me to Edelweiss valley mid-week to ski with Jeep and a few other kids. We would mainly freeski super G type turns with no gates and mostly visualize the course setting and talked about reading terrain.  We also hit as many jumps and gaps as possible. 

NCO Ski Team

I joined the NCO Ski Team 2nd year FIS. Coincidently, coaching legend and Canadian Skiing HOF 1994 inductee, Don Lyon was making his return to ski coaching.  As a very raw and green developing racer I was lucky to have one of the most decorated Canadian ski coaches at the helm of our program.  Don was a SG/DH guy, I recall our first day on snow in Mt Hood was with SG skis on September Palmer re freeze – it was also my first EVER day on SG skis.  Without knowing it, I received my speed team orientation over the next couple years.  I still use some cues for position and inspection from Don. 

My main technical influence would be Mike Mclaughlin.  He was (and still is) a super strong skier and really emphasized fluidity, rhythm and efficiency, things I always talk about to this day. 

I was employed by an iconic Canadian retailer, Tommy and Lefebvre.  Kevin and Natalie Pidgeon took me under their wing and fully supported my ski racing journey as well as developing a racing service program which set the standard in Canada for helping athletes perform their best.  Ski racing was in our DNA, we lived and breathed it year-round.  It was formative time for me, and I will never forget Tom Macdonald, Freddi Rodier, Charlie Nichols, what a ride it was.  The Ottawa/Outaouais ski community at large is special and I am so proud to keep representing our region everywhere I go!

My current colleagues on the Men’s Speed Team are all intelligent and motivate people that push me to be better. I feel as though we’re developing a rapport that is contributing to everyone’s growth. 

 

What is your academic and specific ski coaching education?

NCCP and ACA Coaching levels. I came from the old level 3. Otherwise, lots of formal and informal learning and professional development. When it comes to understanding movement and the relationship between our joints, I was particularly inspired by Gary Ward. He’s a therapist that started as a ski boot fitter and valued the potential in helping people from the ground up, and the incredible impact of being able to move with structure, fluidity and efficiency. His courses offer a great perspective on human movement and posture. Understanding the body really helps make connections in your athletes skiing.

How would you describe your coaching philosophy?

To inspire and empower those around me through my work ethic, my willingness to innovate and desire to find solutions.

 

What is your proudest achievement as a coach?

It's difficult to say. I'm always trying to better myself as a person and a coach and it's not necessarily results that will impact my level of pride or satisfaction. Obviously at the end of the day, we are here to win, and that is important to our whole team, however, I think it's important to have a broader goal, and some patience, which will lead to results. Also in skiing, you could have 3 athletes on the podium, but most of the team not on the podium, so there is always a balance of pride. Yes, you're proud and celebrate your top performers on the day, but you know that you need to elevate yourself and the rest of the team to reach their goals. I have to say, the moments that get me are when athletes start to understand and communicate at a higher level about their skiing and strategy. Not necessarily with complexity, but with more confidence and specificity. As a coach you always try to cultivate the correct ideas, provide an environment for growth and empower the athletes to apply the skills, but when they do it independently and you know they understand the concept, that makes me proud.  Creating those learning opportunities is very rewarding part of the whole coaching process.

 

What would you say to a young coach that wants to become a career ski coach?

Coaching is multi-dimensional, become well rounded, seek knowledge from all aspects inside and outside of your sport. I would coach different sports and put yourself in a position where you're uncomfortable and have to overcome uncertainty and unknown. Always keep learning. Approach things with a beginners mind always trying to grow personally and professionally. Understanding the fundamentals will set you free. There are many different styles of skiing, grounded in principles. Studying the biomechanics and physics will guide your coaching and be more a more efficient use of time. Look to simplify. It's a complex movement, how simple can you make it? Coaching people. Work on communicating, connecting, modeling the behavior you're promoting. Technique and tactics are one category, but getting the most out of your athletes and communicating effectively is just as important.

 

Who is your favourite ski racer of all times and why?

Thomas Grandi. He showed Canada can win on the world stage, on the best tracks. I loved his skiing style and flow and his Alta Badia skiing is etched into my memory.

 

How would you describe your current group of athletes in one word?

Versatile

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

ACA Fitness Combine

Photo: Alpine Canada ACA Fitness Combine

ACA FITNESS COMBINE

The ACA Fitness Combine aims to implement a system-wide standardized testing protocol to ensure Canadian skiers are developing ski-specific physical fitness abilities as they progress through the athlete development pathway while tracking the progression of skiers. 

PURPOSE

The development of general physical fitness is a necessary component for elite ski racers. Physical literacy, the establishment of efficient fundamental movement patterns in coordination in various situations, and the development of general strength, power, and endurance are critical neuromuscular and physiological capacities required of elite-level ski racers. 

An athlete's fitness level will either support or inhibit technical skill development by greatly influencing their ability to tolerate the training volumes required across different stages of development. 

Analysis and research have shown that the following physical fitness factors are characteristic of top ski racers:

  • Good aerobic work capacity (high maximal oxygen uptake/VO2Max)
  • Great muscular strength in terms of dynamic muscle function
  • Significantly prolonged muscular endurance, in terms of dynamic muscle function in given submaximal work
  • Well-developed muscular coordination

The assessment and quantification of these qualities can help identify potential performance deficits and track long-term performance trends. This document provides an overview of Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) nationwide physical fitness combine protocol. As ACA collects data and builds normative trends for each gender and phase of development, the ACA Fitness Combine will identify target areas for later development to promote the development of successful elite-level ski racers. 

There may be certain situations where teams have access to more sophisticated testing methods. This nationwide physical fitness combine program does not prevent the inclusion of additional testing. Instead, it provides guidelines for benchmarking ski-specific fitness abilities that are important for all ski racers in the development pathway. A coach can use the data gathered from each test to more accurately determine an athlete's starting point with their developmental and physical fitness stages and track subsequent progress through re-evaluation. This will promote the construction of an appropriate training program that serves the athlete's needs in the context of their sport, ski racing, and is suitable for their capabilities. 

The ACA Fitness Combine protocol represents a critical step forward in Canadian alpine ski racing. Standardized physical fitness testing implemented across various stages of development contributes to this cohesive pathway. A development pathway is not a series of independent stops as a skier ascends the ranks to international competition. Instead, it should be one continuous effort on behalf of all stakeholders to provide a fun, cohesive and exhilarating experience for all athletes. 

PDF FILES

ACA Fitness Combine (Fall 2022 v1.1) Protocol

ACA Fitness Combine Performance Evaluation Tables (PDF)

ACA Fitness Combine Benchmark Tables (PDF)

ACA Estimated 1RM Calculator and Weightlifting recording sheet (Excel)

ACA Weightlifting Recording Sheet (PDF)

FAQ - ACA Fitness Combine (Spring 2023) for Clubs/PTSOs (PDF)

Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) 2023

ACA Fitness Combine Equipment, Facility and Administration Checklist

ACA Fitness Combine Athlete Performance Report (Example PDF)

AUDIO FILES

AIS 20m Shuttle Run (Beep Test)

Max Push-Ups (Tempo Imposed)

Sit Up (Tempo Imposed)

Online Metronome (set 20 BPM)

VIDEO FILES

AIS 20m Shuttle Run (Beep Test)

Hexagonal Obstacle

Standing Long Jump

Double Leg Penta Jump

Max Push-Ups (Tempo Imposed)

Pull Ups

Brutal Bench

90s Box Jump

Technique - Full Squat

Technique - Deadlift

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Resources

Gilgien, Matthias & Reid, Robert & Raschner, Christian & Supej, Matej & Holmberg, Hans-Christer. (2018). The Training of Olympic Alpine Ski Racers. Frontiers in Physiology. 9. 10.3389/fphys.2018.01772. 

Lloyd RS, Cronin JB, Faigenbaum AD, Haff GG, Howard R, Kraemer WJ, Micheli LJ, Myer GD, Oliver JL. (2016) National Strength and Conditioning Association Position Statement on Long-Term Athletic Development. J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Jun;30(6):1491-509. https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/NSCA_Position_Statement_on_LTAD/

Pritchard, J and Taylor, J. The Science of Alpine Ski Racing. New York, NY: Routledge (2023). 

R Turnbull, J & Kilding, Andrew & Keogh, Justin. (2009). Physiology of alpine skiing. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 19. 146-55. 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.00901.x. 

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

ACA Skills Combine

CAST athlete James Crawford (2021 season) Photo - GEPA ACA Skills Combine

ACA Skills Combine

Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) introduced an innovative approach at the U16 National Championship in Mont Tremblant, QC, launching the first skiing skill and fitness Combine. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to underscore the significance of mastering fundamental skiing and physical fitness skills, as outlined in the newly established athlete development matrix (ADM). The Skills Combine specifically focuses on a curated selection of skills from the ADM rather than encompassing the entire range of skills listed.

This new ACA Skills Combine strongly emphasizes the skill proficiencies deemed crucial for achieving elite levels in ski racing. Moreover, it aims to enhance the recognition of the vital physical fitness attributes that significantly ensure long-term success in ski racing. By doing so, the Combine is a valuable resource for coaches, providing them with essential information to tailor training programs effectively.

One of the critical features of the ACA Skills Combine is its focus on practical assessment, particularly the importance of presenting results in a way that quantifies training progress and evaluates the effectiveness of training strategies. Enabling coaches to leverage the data gathered from the ACA Combine to refine training programs, ultimately aiding ski racers in enhancing their skills and abilities. The ultimate goal is to support athletes in reaching the pinnacle of success in ski racing.

Furthermore, ACA is committed to offering both coaches and athletes education, leadership, and support, including the facilitation of tracking results over time in partnership with provincial organizations. Such efforts are designed to foster a more collaborative and informed environment within the ski racing community, ultimately contributing to the development and success of athletes at the national level.

Please reach out the Jennifer Stielow with any questions at jstielow@alpinecanada.org.

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ACA-CSC Registered Coach

Photo taken by J.Stielow Speed Training Camp Panorama Mountain Resort, BC Spring 2017. ACA-CSC Registered Coach

Coach Registration Categories 

Coach in Training (CIT) Licensing Program

The coach-in-training (CIT) licensing program has two streams based on the level of experience of the candidate and their on-snow role. This licensing program ensures that all individuals working with children on-snow have met the insurers minimum requirements. All coach/athletes, volunteer coaches and 1st time CSIA instructors must meet the minimum insurers requirements to better ensure the minimum safe in sport standards are being met. All CIT registered coaches must declare their club affiliation during their annual membership renewal per CSA, insurers, requirements. 

CIT Supporting the Coaching Staff License

The coach-in training licensing programs serves as an introduction to alpine ski coaching for athletes transitioning from competitive ski racing (15 years of age and older), volunteer coaches, and parents interested in assisting a certified coach with the management of a group of ski racers at the Gliding Start and Skier Essential stage of development. This program is meant to pair up a prospective coach with a mentor coach during the initial stages of learning how to be a coach while supporting young developing ski racers.

CIT Existing CSIA Member License

If you are current CSIA Member and NOT a ACA-CSC Member and have been hired by a club to coach athletes under the age of 12 years, the CIT program enables you as a CSIA member to meet the insurers minimum requirements when you initially begin to coach. CSIA certified instructors are able to lead a group independently under direction of an ACA-CSC certified mentor coach once the entry level coach in training licensing requirements have been met. CSIA members who are 1st time hires in a ski club are required to complete the entry level course within 12 months of their initial hire date per the ACA policy for Accreditation from 2015.  

Regular Registered Coach

Regular registration is for coaches who are actively coaching with an ACA member club or who wish to continue taking training courses or coaching evaluations that further certification. Regular members access all member benefits. (Exception CGL for members working for SQA or SQA Clubs). All Regular members must declare their club affiliation during their annual membership renewal per CSA, insurers, requirements. 

Associate Registered Coach

Associate registration  is an option for those who are not actively coaching, but who still want to keep their coach registration in good standing. By changing your registration to an Associate status, you will avoid paying a reinstatement fee in the future. Associate registered coaches  have no CGL Insurance coverage under the ACA-CSC-CSA CGL insurance program unless they are taking ACA-CSC accredited/approved courses and only while taking ACA-CSC accredited/approved courses. 

Affiliate Registered Coach

Affiliate status is intended for foreign coaches who wish to work in Canada and have a job offer in a Canadian program or who want to take an ACA-CSC course in Canada. Affiliate coach registration  is not available to coaches already living and/or working in Canada. Affiliate registered coaches  can take advantage of ACA-CSC registration benefits. For more information and an affiliate coach application form, refer to the ACA-CSC Policy for Integrating Foreign Coaches - Affiliate coach registration.  All affilitate coaches must declare their club affiliation during their annual registration renewal per CSA, insurers, requirements. 

Alpine Canada, provincial organizations and local ski clubs employ coaches both on a seasonal and full-time basis. Discover current coaching opportunities at https://alpinecanada.org/careers

Annual Registration & Licensing Fees

You will find there is an increase to membership fees for this 2022-2023 season. This is due in large part to the re allocation of CGL insurance across all registrant categories and the associated risk assessment across said categories.  Safety is paramount for our members and ensuring you as ACA Coach members have the appropriate protection is of utmost importance.. If you are an ACA-CSC registered coach only, you can pay your annual fees by logging in to your coach profile page on the ACA Snowreg Interpodia platform.

Coaches who are also a member with the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) and/or the Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors (CASI) will benefit from dual and triple license fee reductions as viewed below.

To obtain the fee reductions, dual and triple CSIA members must pay their annual dues through their CSIA member profile page at www.snowpro.com

We encourage all coaches to pay registration and licensing fees on line.

Payment of annual registration fees is dependent upon the type of registration

*The  portion of registration fees sent to ACA represents the gross amount due to ACA-CSC for registration and licensing fees and does not include fees paid to CSIA  for processing and the collection of taxes. See the registration fee schedule from CSIA for more information below. 

**Coach in Training license year one (1) covers the cost of introduction to ski coaching courses and their season licenses only for the CIT Supporting the Coachin Staff and CIT CSIA Exsiting Member License ($65.00). Cost in year two (2) equals the licensing fee for volunteer/non-CSIA members, CIT Supporting the Coaching Staff ($25.00). CSIA instructors are not eligible in year two (2) for the CIT licensing  program, they must attain the Entry Level Trained accreditation status. 

*** New entry level coaches who have completed and passed their course will not need to pay dues until the following season. However, a new Entry Level coach must complete all other licensing activities to be licensed in the current season (year) they gained their accreditation of Entry Level Trained to be eligible to work with athletes on-snow in a club program. 

Registration & Licensing Benefits

ACA-CSC licensed registered coaches can take advantage of a range of programs and services:

  • NCCP certification programs and recognition
  • Professional development programs and licensing recognition
  • Tax receipting for all ACA-CSC courses and seminars
  • Third party liability insurance coverage (While working for ACA member Club (Excludes SQA), or attending any ACA-CSC Course
  • Accident and disability insurance coverage (While working for ACA member Club (Excludes SQA), or attending any ACA-CSC Course
  • Professional Code of Conduct regulation as a condition of registration
  • Discounts on coaching resources
  • Periodic communications annually, including monthly bulletins during the fall and winter

Criminal Background Screening

As part of Alpine Canada Alpin's (ACA) Safe Sport initiatives, mandatory criminal background screening has been implemented to enhance the safety of the training and competition environments for all athletes in our sport, PTSOs and club programs. 

Conducting criminal background screening with ACA-CSC, Canadian ski coaches assists in the selection of safe, honest and ethical individuals reducing the potential risks to athletes and employers. 

Policy Statement

Alpine Canada Coach Education as a department within ACA, mandated the application of this policy to all ACA-CSC accredited coaches as of the 2017 - 2018 season. To ensure consistency, ACA has engaged Sterling BackCheck to undertake the formal screening process. 

Criminal background Record Checks

  • Criminal background record checks are valid for two (2) years/seasons.  
  • All Criminal record checks must be valid for the entire season at the time of dues payment and renewal.
  • Coaches will be required to complete a new criminal background check at the time of registration renewal if the criminal record check will not be valid for the entire season, i.e., 2020 - 2021 season. 

Where to obtain your criminal record check

ACA and SnowReg Interpodia are partnered with Sterling BackCheck to provide a police background check service. ACA would like ALL active coaches to use this service to expedite the processing of a coaches annual license. Please note this service does take 48 hours to process electronically before being transferred to your ACA-CSC coach profile for licensing. 

The cost for this service is offered at a discounted rate of $25.00 (plus taxes) and can be paid for during annual dues renewal in the ACA SnowReg Interpodia platform

To complete a Sterling Criminal Background screening, coaches can also visit: https://snowreg.com/#!/memberships/aca-canadian-ski-coaches-20202021/background-check/1

Access to Results

Coaches will be notified by email from Sterling BackCheck of their results within 48 hours. In addition, ACA will receive a copy of the results. 

Results of the criminal record check will be recorded in the ACA- Canadian Ski Coaches (ACA-CSC) database and will be made available to club and PTSO employers of professional and volunteer coaches working in ski racing programs across Canada. Employer access is provide through the ACA SnowReg Interpodia platform club and PTSO portal. Only recognized organizations, PTSO and Club Admins, who have completed a confidentiality agreement are permitted access. 

ACA-CSC Safe Sport Screening Policy


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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

ACA-CSC Coach Policies

Alpine Canada Alpin - Canadian Ski Coaches (ACA-CSC),  in partnership with the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), oversees the development and delivery of educational resources for Canadian ski coaches. This Program also ensures that individuals are able to enter and progress along the ski coaching pathway.

We know you work hard as a coach to create a safe, supportive, performance-driven environment for your athletes. In other words, you have their back so they can focus on doing their job. The ACA-CSC program is designed to serve that same role for coaches. As the skills required by athletes to win at each successive level increase, so too do the supporting tools required by coaches. By following the standards outlined by ACA-CSC, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you're well equipped to help athletes reach their athletic potential while at the same time minimizing your personal risk. 


Coach Licensing 

Alpine Canada and the ACA-CSC require coaches who are actively coaching in the current season to complete annual professional development to maintain the required annual "Licensed" status. Coaches must first apply for and obtain an ACA-CSC coach license before being able to work with athletes. Coaches then apply for the renewal of this license every year. 

The pupose of the program

  • To promote continuous improvement and life-long learning for coaches 
  • To help reduce the risk of accidents
  • To promote coaching excellence at every level in the Canadian development system
  • To help professionalize ski coaching

Only coaches who are actively coaching are required to be "licensed" registered coaches in good standing in the current season.

  • Active coaches must registered and be licensed annually by ACA-CSC. 
  • Obtaining the "licensed" status is the responsibility of the coach. 
  • The annual license cycle is September 1 - August 31
  • Coaches should be "registered" and "licensed" before starting to coach athletes, supervise other coaches or implement programming 
  • The deadline to be licensed is January 31 annually. This accomodates coaches who are working in all coaching contexts of the ACA LTAD 3.0
  • If coaches are not "licensed" by January 31, they lose their registered  in good standing designation with ACA-CSC

Coaches are considered "licensed" registered coaches in good standing once all requirements have been met including:

  • Payment of annual coaching dues 
  • Sign the annual release waiver 
  • Sign the code of conduct agreement 
  • Complete or have a current Criminal Record Check on file that is inclusive of the full licensing cycle ending on August 31st of each year
  • Sign the Rowan's Law acknowledgement form (Ontario coaches only) 
  • Complete Safe Sport training (https://safesport.coach.ca
  • Complete educational and risk management credits 
Coach Accreditation Level Educational Credits Required Risk Management Credits Required
Entry Level Trained Two (2) One (1)
Entry Level Certified Four (4) One (1)
Level 1 Certified

Four (4)

 One (1)
Development Level Trained Four (4)  One (1)
Development Level Certified Four (4)  One (1)
Level 2 Certified Four (4)  One (1)
Performance Level Trained Four (4)  One (1)
Performance Level Certified Four (4)  One (1)
Level 3 Certified Four (4)  One (1)
High Performance Four (4)  One (1)
Level 4/5 Certified Four (4)  One (1)

Clubs, regions, and provincial organizations can deliver professional development that counts for licensing credits.

For more information please review the ACA-CSC Licensing policy. 

ACA-CSC Minimum Standards

One of the pillars of Alpine Canada Alpin's (ACA) strategic plan and priorities is coach development. Coaching excellence at all levels is the cornerstone of effective long term athlete development. The most effective athlete development programs are athlete centered, coach driven, administratively supported and based on the ACA LTAD 3.0. Quality coaching is not a destination; it is an ongoing process of continual improvement across the athlete and coach development journies. Quality coaching does not always guarentee championshps and medals, but it can ensure the quest for such outcomes are worth it and inspire individual athletes to enjoy skiing for life. 

The ACA-CSC policy for coach accreditation reviews the minimum standards for hiring coaches and representing athletes at major competitions. The ACA-CSC minimum standards are intended to:

  • Provide the foundation for more effective long term athlete development
  • Increase the number of Certified vs. Trained coaches 
  • Increase the number of experienced coaches (Certified and Certified Advanced) at all levels in the development system

ACA-CSC Policy for Coach Accreditation

Professional Development 

Alpine Canada and the ACA-CSC require coaches who are actively coaching in the current season, to complete annual professional development to maintain thier annual status as a "Licensed" registered coach in "good standing" status. ACA-CSC tracks annual professional development activity in personal records for each member in the ACA SnowReg Interpodia coach platform. 

The purpose of the program is:

  • To promote continuous improvement and life-long learning for coaches
  • To help reduce the risk of accidents
  • To promote coaching excellence at every level in the Canadian development system
  • To help professionalize ski coaching

A listing of professional development opportunities available to coaches and coach developers has been listed in the tables below. While the list contains over 175 different professional development opportunities, every club and/or region offers professional development opportunities at the beginning of the season and/or throughout the season. Please contact us via email: coach@alpinecanada.org to review qualifying professional development opportunities. 

Professional Development Hosted by ACA-CSC Partner Organizations

Professional development events can be hosted by clubs, regions, Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO), ACA-CSC, Alpine Canada National Team or the CSIA as an ACA-CSC partner organizations within the skiing community. ACA-CSC provides an on-line management tool that assigns professional development credits to individual coach records. Professional development events are assigned educational (ED) and risk management (RM) credits by ACA-CSC depending on content and duration of the event. 

  • It is the responsibility of the event host (ACA-CSC partner organization) to manage the processing and recording of professional development events for coaches in attendance at professional development events they host on the ACA SnowReg Interpodia platform. 
  • Coach Developers, Learning Facilitators and Evaluators, are responsible for completing course and evaluation records; only completed courses and evaluations count towards required professional development for both coaches and coach developers. 

Professional Development Hosted by Outside Agencies

Coaches must send ACA-CSC proof of attendance and completion of the event for credits purposes. The event must be relevant ski coaching professional development. ACA-CSC will determine whether the activity qualifies for licensing credit and assign activities appropriate credits. To inquire or send ACA-CSC proof of outside agency professional development please send an email to coach@alpinecanada.org.

Facilitated Professional Development 

Evaluation Professional Development 

eLearning Professional Development 

NCCP Professional Development 

General Professional Development (Outside Agencies) 

CSIA Professional Development 

FAQ

Coach Licensing

Why do coaches need to be licensed?

  • To promote life-long learning and for coaches to take responsibility for that learning.
  • To promote coaching excellence at every level in the system. High quality coaching at all levels is the cornerstone of long term athlete development and is one of the main goals of Alpine Canada Alpin-Canadian Ski Coaches (ACA-CSC).
  • To be current in the business of ski coaching to better meet the needs of athletes and to help reduce the risks of injury. 
  • Coaching in alpine ski is being seen more and more as a professional endeavor.
     

Who needs to be licensed?

  • Anyone who is actively working or is planning to work in a program as a coach, mentor, evaluator, program designer or coach educator needs to be licensed annually by ACA-CSC.
  • If you are not coaching, you do NOT need to be licensed.
  • If you are teaching skiing in a ski school and not coaching, you do NOT need to be licensed.
  • If you are coaching outside of Canada, you do NOT need to be licensed.
     

What do I need to do to be "Licensed" by ACA-CSC annually?

How do I get credits that count towards a coach license?

  • Coaching education sessions offered by ACA-CSC,Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO), regions or clubs may qualify for credit depending on their content and duration.
  • Most CSIA courses qualify for licensing credit. Coaches may also apply for credit for courses taken outside of skiing and ski racing.
  • 1 ED credit = half a day on snow or indoors on relevant topics.
  • 1 RM credit = a minimum of 1 hour of ski racing specific risk management content
     

Will I lose my certification status if I am not licensed annually or if I stop coaching for a while?

  • No, once you have achieved a certification status (e.g. Development Level Trained, Entry Level Certified etc.) you will never lose it. However, if you start coaching actively again, you should accumulate the required number of licensing credits before you start coaching again. 

How are licensing credits accumulated?

  • The annual license cycle is August 1 – July 31. If enough credits have not been accumulated by July 31 for the next cycle, coaches may continue accumulating credits for the new cycle until “Licensed” status has been achieved.
  • All credits earned between Feb 1 and July 31 count for BOTH the current cycle AND the next cycle.
  • Credits from any individual PD activity cannot be split up with some credits applying to one cycle and some applying to the next cycle.

Is there a deadline date to become licensed each year?

  • Yes, the deadline date to be “licensed” is January 31 annually. Otherwise, you will lose your status as a “member in good standing” with ACA-CSC. Coaches should be licensed before starting to coach athletes, supervise other coaches or implement programs. Employers are encouraged to include, in coach agreements, reasonable deadline dates for licensed status (in advance of January 31) based on when the coach starts working.

Where do I go to check my licensing status?

How do I register professional development activity at my club to count for licensing credits?

  • Licensing events are posted and managed by the organizing event host. Only organizations (clubs, provincial sport organizations, regions, ski schools etc.) are permitted log in accounts to ACA-CSC SnowReg membership platform. Individual coaches are not permitted accounts. There is only ONE account per organization. To acquire a new ACA-CSC SnowReg membership platform account or if you have forgotten existing log in details email coach@alpinecanada.org.

How do I get credit for professional development I did on my own?

  • You must contact ACA-CSC directly and provide documented proof of what you did (e.g. a St John’s Ambulance First Aid course). ACA-CSC will decide whether the professional development will count for credit and how many credits it will be assigned. To inquire about credits please email coach@alpinecanada.org.

If I don’t complete required professional development annually, do I lose my ACA-CSC certification status?

  • No, you will always retain your ACA-CSC certification status (e.g. Development Level TRAINED, Entry Level CERTIFIED etc.). However, if your professional development activity has lapsed and you no longer meet annual licensing requirements, your ACA-CSC record will indicate “Not licensed yet” status. As soon as you satisfy licensing requirements and the ACA-CSC has recorded your PD activity, your licensing status will change to “Licensed”.

Am I covered by third party liability insurance?

  • If coaches HAVE achieved “Licensed” status with ACA-CSC they ARE covered by the ACA-CSC liability insurance coverage. If coaches have NOT achieved “Licensed” status with ACA-CSC and are actively coaching, they are NOT in good standing with ACA-CSC. In this case, coaches may not be covered by ACA-CSC liability insurance coverage. This depends on circumstances of the incident and the situation of the coach. This is only a judgment that can be made after the incident.
  • Coaches who are free-lancing on their own and not affiliated with a PSO recognized club are NOT covered by ACA-CSC liability insurance.
  • For more information on this policy, the CSA Ski Club Risk Management Manual is available for download from Alpine Canada Alpin web site.

Current Coaching Opportunities 

Alpine Canada, provincial organizations and local ski clubs employ coaches both on a seasonal and full-time basis. Discover current coaching opportunities at https://alpinecanada.org/careers. 

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

ACA LTAD 3.0 Team

ACA LTAD 3.0 Team

ACA LTAD 3.0 TEAM

Since the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina, ITA, where Lucille Wheeler won the bronze medal in downhill to Erik Guay's esteemed career we are proving to the ski racing world we can be amongst the best. Since our first Olympic medal, Canadian ski racers have been inspiring and supporting the next generation. Anne Heggtveit, the winner of Canada's first ever Olympic gold medal in alpine skiing in the women's slalom at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California, shares some great advice for all developing Canadian ski racers and key stakeholders. 

"I would tell them to aim for the top. Go for the gold. It takes determination and hard work. But you can do it. If that is really what you want to do and you've got the talent, you can get there with hard work," interview by Jeremy Freeborn with Anne Heggtveit for The Canadian Encyclopedia (2014).

This new ACA LTAD 3.0 website produced under the leadership and direction of Jennifer Stielow in conjunction with an LTAD working group, consultants and critical partners proves that we have not only produced world-class ski racers; but world-class race venues at world-class ski areas, world-class ski clubs, race organizing committees, officials, volunteers, coaches and world-class development pathways as presented within this long-term athlete development plan. The ACA LTAD 3.0 is aimed at educating all key stakeholders involved in the development of our next Canadian ski racing heroes. 

Alpine Canada would like to thank all of our partners, previous ACA LTAD writers, editors, contributors along with our current contributors for their time and efforts put forth on this project, many of which were volunteer hours. Their passion, determination and burning desire to become the best in the world as Canadians are displayed in each section of the ACA LTAD 3.0 site. We wish to salute our dedicated and hardworking Canadian ski racing community, your dedication and passion for the sport of skiing inspire us! 

GO CANADA GO! 

Jennifer Stielow, M.Sc., Senior Manager Coach Education & Editor in Chief ACA LTAD 3.0, Alpine Canada Alpin


ACA LTAD 3.0 Contributors

  • Jennifer Stielow, M.Sc. - Editor in Chief ACA LTAD 3.0*
  • Johnny Crichton, BC Alpine*
  • Eric Prefontaine, Ski Quebec Alpin*
  • Kip Harrington, Alpine Ontario Alpin*
  • Dusan Grasic, Alpine ACA*
  • Martin Rufener, Alpine ACA
  • Matt Hallat, Para-Alpine ACA
  • Mark Newton, Para-Alpine ACA*
  • David Ellis, Ski Cross ACA
  • Stanely Hayer, Ski Cross ACA
  • Sead Causevic, Ski Cross ACA*
  • Lauren Kucera, Ski Cross ACA*
  • Dr. Stephen Norris, LTAD Expert Consultant Alberta Sport Connection*
  • Dr. Matt Jordan, Sport Science & Injury Prevention Consultant CSI Calgary*
  • Dr. Colin Higgs, Sport for Life Consultant
  • Carolyn Torno, Sport for Life
  • Frank van den Berg, Mental Performance Consultant CSI Calgary
  • Ashlie Avoledo, Consultant Safe in Sport policies ACA
  • Andrew Lambert, Strength & Conditioning Consultant
  • Amy Bender, Sleep & Regeneration Consultant Centre for Sleep
  • Kelly Drager, Nutrition Consultant CSI Calgary
  • Josee Rochon, Translation
  • Ken Read, Consultant
  • Jade Weatherall, ACA LTAD 3.0 website graphics & images editor
  • Lisa Dornan, Director of Communications and Brand
  • Malcolm Carmichael, Images
  • Matt Campbell, Images and graphics consultant
  • Michael Colligan, Graphics Consultant
  • Nick Bass, Consultant
  • ACA Current athletes and Alumni families
  • ACA Staff coaches (alpine, Para-Alpine & Ski Cross)
  • Club and local race photographers
  • Provincial and Territorial Sport Organizations
  • CSIA
  • CADS
  • CSA

*ACA LTAD 3.0 revision working group

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Terms of Use

Terms of Use

Terms of Use

The information on this site may be used for educational and other non-commercial purposes, provided any reproduction of data is accompanied by an acknowledgement of Alpine Canada as the source (Alpine Canada, www.alpinecanada.org).

Under no circumstance may an outside party copy, extract pictures, videos, logos or visual images from alpinecanada.org. Picture, video, logo and visual image requests may be e-mailed to info@alpinecanada.org.

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

PRIVACY POLICY & SECURITY

PRIVACY POLICY & SECURITY

PRIVACY POLICY & SECURITY

Alpine Canada Alpin reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the revised Privacy Policy on alpinecanada.org.

WHAT IS PERSONAL INFORMATION?

Personal Information is information that refers to an individual specifically and is recorded in any form. Personal information includes such things as age, income, birth date, medical records, credit records.

COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

Alpine Canada does not automatically collect personal information such as your name, address, telephone number or email address when you visit this site. Such information will be collected by Alpine Canada if you provide it to us in order to:

  • receive our newsletter
  • enter a contest or promotion
  • request information from us.

We do not require that any personal information be provided in order to view our website.

Alpine Canada collects only the personal information required to provide products and services to you.

If the personal information we require is collected for a reason other than to provide products and services, your consent will be requested at or before the time the information is collected. Examples of reasons we collect personal information include:

  • To respond to your inquiries and send you requested information
  • To provide products and services you request
  • To allow you to participate in contests and promotions
  • To protect against fraud and error
  • To recommend products and services that Alpine Canada believes will be of interest to you
  • To comply with legal and government regulations

RETENTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

Alpine Canada does not sell or rent personal information to any organization or person for any reason. We do not share your personal information without your consent with any third party organizations except to offer you products or services we believe will be of interest to you.

Alpine Canada retains your personal information only as long as it is required for our business relationship or as required by federal or provincial laws.

You can change your consent preferences at any time or request access to the personal information we have on record in order to review and amend the information by contacting media@alpinecanada.org.

COOKIES

Like many organizations, Alpine Canada uses cookie technology on our site. A "cookie" is a unique identifier collected by the site to verify a returning visitor's identity or to understand how visitors navigate the site. The use of cookies is standard on the Internet and many major websites use them (You can visit the Network Advertising Initiative if you want to find out more information about this practice). Most web browsers automatically accept cookies. You can usually change your browser to prevent or notify you whenever you are sent a cookie. This gives you the chance to decide whether or not to accept the cookie.

A cookie does not tell us who you are, your email address, or any other personal information. We use the information it provides to help us improve the site and our service, and to provide our visitors with a better website visit. We do not share information obtained through cookies with any third parties.

We have no control over the content of third party websites that individuals may access through hyperlinks at our website. We encourage everyone to read the privacy policy of every website they visit.

Even without accepting a cookie you can still access most of the features on the site. There may, however, be limitations on your use of some site functions.

LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES

This site may contain links to websites of third parties. Alpine Canada is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

By using alpinecanada.org, you are consenting to the information collection and use described in this policy.

CONTACT

If you have any questions about our privacy policy, please contact media@alpinecanada.org.

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Get Involved

There are several ways to become involved in the sport of ski racing. Finding a club that fits your families needs is one of the most important factors related to longevity in ski racing. The second factor is to become involved in the ski club by volunteering to be a board member, race official, tail-gunner with your child's group, or team mom. Ski racing is family friendly and there are opportunities for the entire family to become involved in ski racing.  

Photo: Filip Gigic NASA U12's at Sunshine Ski Village 2018 Get Involved

Finding a Club

All clubs within Canada are expected to engage in a continuous process of self-assessment, reflection and on-going improvement that enables them to stay relevant to their missions and to the athletes and families they serve.  Clubs demonstrate this commitment by working continuously to improve their programs, actively participating in professional development opportunities and pursuing and maintaining certification. Choosing a club that fits your family is one of the most critical decisions.

Here are some sample questions to use when researching the best organization for you and your child. 

  • Are the coaches certified in the National Coaching Certification Program
  • What coaching experience do they have and at what levels? 
  • Do they have healthy short and long-term goals?
  • Do they have secure 'Safe in Sports Policies'? 
  • Do they follow the LTAD guidelines?
  • Does the program emphasize the development of skills?
  • What is the driving time to the hill (proximity)?
  • What is the overall reputation of the club for providing a quality sports environment for all developing ski racers?
  • What is the is the club reputation amongst parents of current athletes?
  • How many days on snow (volume) is available to your child and is it consistent with the LTAD recommendations?
  • What is the cost? Volunteer expectations?
  • Is there an equipment pool available?
  • Are they committed to creating efficiencies for the parents (carpool/vans)?

Becoming a Race Official

Alpine Canada’s greatest asset is our dedicated volunteers who help organize and run events. Volunteers staff the race office, help in the start and finish areas, work as gatekeepers and assist with timing, slipping and course setup.

Officials, many of which are volunteers, play a critical role in young ski racers achieving their goals and dreams. Competition would not be possible without dedicated officials and other competition volunteers. It takes a team of race officials to host an event in partnership with the local clubs and ski resorts. Alpine Canada in cooperation with the National Alpine Officials' Committee has established standards and developed tools that will allow provincial associations to deliver their officials' educational programming efficiently and in a professional manner. . Contact your local Provincial Sport Organization Officials Chairs to get started today!

Officials' Committee Chair

John Lambert (Ontario) - jlambert_56@sympatico.ca or officials@alpinecanada.org

Provincial Sport Organization Officials Chairs

British Columbia - Mark Schwenck - schwenck@telus.net

Alberta - Don Boyce - dlboyce@telusplanet.net

Ontario - Pete Dyson - dysonp@alpineontario.ca

Quebec - Claude Marquis - claude.marquis53@gmail.com

Canada District West* - Aron Klassen (Saskatchewan) - aron@acelandservices.com

*Canada district West includes; Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Nunavut and the North West Territories.

Canada District East* - Henrik Tonning (New Brunswick) - henrik.tonning@gnb.ca

Canada district East includes; Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundlad and Labrador

CATEGORIES REQUIRING OFFICIALS' CERTIFICATION
Administration Course Timing Jury
Race chairman Chief of race Chief of timing and calculations Technical delegate
Chief of administration (race secretary)  Chief of course Chief of timing TD candidate
Race office Chief of gate judges Starter Referee
Chief of event quality Gate judge Assistant starter Assistant referee
Event quality Course crew Timer Start referee
Chief of ski area relations Chief of equipment Time recorder Finish referee
Chief of media and awards Chief steward Chief of calculation  
  Steward Calculator  
    Finish Controller  

ALPINE CANADA OFFICIALS’ CERTIFICATION CRITERIA

LEVEL 1

Level 1 manual | Level 1 presentation

This is the entry-level course. It is an overall introduction to race organization and the various officials’ positions with particular emphasis on timekeeping and gate judging. There are no course prerequisites or required experience. Participants will benefit more if they have practical experience.

Course attendance automatically qualifies the participant as Level 1 Alpine Official. Parents of entry level and K1-level racers find this course an excellent introduction to race officiating and in gaining insight into the racing program as a whole.

Course description:
Time required: Three hours.
Course fee: Set by the provincial alpine associations’ officials’ chair – includes manual and officials’ pin
Prerequisites: None
Exam: None

LEVEL 2

Level 2 manual | Level 2 presentation

This level is the second of three officials’ courses and is designed for those who have already taken the Level 1 course and have then obtained the necessary practical experience to qualify for Level 2.

Level 2 has been designed as a detailed introduction to the methodology of alpine ski racing, the types of races, rules, points systems as well as preparing officials for the managerial positions of chief of gates judges, chief of course, chief of race, start referee, finish referee and referee (coaches). It is a fairly intensive course and does not cover in any detail the material presented in Level 1.

The objectives of the course are to develop officials capable of functioning at a carded-level race and to provide a base of experience and knowledge to course participants to allow them to assume greater responsibilities at higher-level races.

Course description:
Time required: Eight hours plus a one-hour exam (may be done in one day or two evenings).
Course fee: Set by the provincial alpine associations’ officials’ chair – includes manual and officials’ pin.
Prerequisites: Level 1 certification and practical experience in at least three different 
officials’ positions from two different categories which cover a minimum of eight days race experience.
Exam: One hour – multiple choice, true/false and short answers. Open book.

LEVEL 3

Level 3 manual (updated) | Level 3 presentation

This level further prepares officials for all chief positions and for minimum-entry qualifications for the Technical Delegate (TD) Program. It is designed for those officials who have obtained Level 2 and since then have gained specific practical experience as covered in the Alpine Officials’ Certification Program. It is an interactive course in which the major emphasis will be discussion and exchange of ideas, opinions and race experiences by the participants. An examination of the course outline will show the variety and depth of the material covered.

The level requires the official to gain all necessary knowledge (experience not included) to manage races at the national or FIS level. The course directs the participant to use the FIS ICR Book and apply the rules and their interpretation in precise circumstances. This level develops the volunteer’s judgment and leadership skills in concrete situations.

Course description: 
Time required: 12 hours. Generally given on a weekend but can be given over four evenings.
Course fee: Set by the provincial alpine associations’ officials’ chair – includes manual, course materials and officials’ pin.
Prerequisites: This course is only open to those who have the necessary prerequisites or are identified as being very close to having the necessary practical experience to take the course. Participants must be recommended by their provincial alpine associations’ officials’ chair.
Exam: Two-hour open book exam.

LEVEL 4

This level is for those officials who have gained further experience at national or international level races and who have demonstrated superior knowledge and ability as an official. The provincial alpine associations’ officials’ chair must recommend the Level 4 nominee to the national Officials’ Committee.

Admission for coaches into the officials’ program
All Canadian Ski Coaches’ Federation (CSCF) Level 1 and higher can attend the Level 2 officials’ course without any other criteria of eligibility.
Prerequisite for referee – Level 2 CSCF and Level 2 official certification.
All Level 3 or 4 CSCF coaches can attend a Level 3 officials’ course without criteria of eligibility.

Officials’ recognition and identification
All officials will receive a national pin in recognition of their certification level.

Officials’ requirements to maintain certification
Upon qualification, the initial period of certification and practical requirements to maintain certification for each officials’ level is as follows:
Level 1    Three years    Activity as an official
Level 2    Three years    Work a minimum four race days in a three-year period and an officials’ update every two years.
Level 3    Two years       Work a minimum of  four- race days a year and an officials’ update every two years.
Level 4    Two years       Work four days a year as a TD or chief level or to the satisfaction of the officials’ chair. Attend an officials’ update every two years.


TECHNICAL DELEGATE PROGRAM

A technical delegate (TD) is a person who has advisory control over pre-race and race operation and together with other members of the jury has complete control over the competitive operation of a race. He or she along with the jury have the final decision in all matters of racer protection and have the authority to cancel, postpone or annul the race if necessary. In all cases, the TD is the representative of the governing body by whom he/she is appointed.

Technical delegate levels and criteria
A TD must have a broad working knowledge and experience as an official and have demonstrated an ability to handle a variety of on-hill situations in a calm and knowledgeable manner. The requirements for certification at the various levels are:

Regional technical delegate (only Ontario) 

Level 2 officials’ certification. 
Recommended by the divisional and provincial alpine association’s officials’ chair. 

PSO technical delegate – Technical (T)

Level 3 officials’ certification. 
Recommended by the provincial alpine association’s officials’ chair for TD certification. 

PSO technical delegate – Technical/speed (T/S)

Level 3 officials’ certification. 
Certified in technical, downhill and super-G events. 

National technical delegate

Level 4 officials’ certification. 
Licensed divisional TD (T) and/or (T/S). 
Recommended by the provincial alpine association’s officials’ chair to the Alpine Canada Officials’ Committee. 

FIS technical delegate

The first step in entering the FIS TD program is nomination by two members of the national ski association, one of those members must be a licensed FIS technical delegate. The nomination must be signed by the PSO officials’ chair and PSO president prior to being sent to the Alpine Canada Officials’ Committee. The Alpine Canada Officials’ Committee TD sub-committee makes recommendations if the nominee should enter the FIS-candidate program and is accepted by the FIS commissioner for Canada.
If accepted, the candidate follows the program outlined in ICR 602.

*The minimum criteria to be assigned as a PSO/national technical delegate are the following:

Regional technical race: Level 2 
PSO technical race and speed event: Level 3 
National race events: Level 4. 

RACE ORGANIZATION

The organizing committee of the sponsoring club or association is responsible for the overall conduct of an event.

The officials that are needed for an event will depend on the particular needs of the event and the availability of people. Nearly all of the activities needed to stage a FIS race take place at lower-level races. The various procedures will differ as will the number and qualifications of the various officials involved. For example, at a high-level race there will be a chief of awards and presentations to research and obtain prizes and to arrange a special awards ceremony. At a lower- level race, the race chairperson or the chief of administration (race secretary) will obtain the prizes and will quite often award them at the award ceremony. Further examples: the area ski patrol handles first aid and often security rather than a special team assembled just to cover that particular race; the chief of course will probably also act as chief of equipment and do course maintenance. In each case, the goal is accomplished and the rules were followed. 

Race organizing committee
The actual running of a race is done by the race organizing committee (ROC); the ROC’s chief or chairperson heads the committee. The race committee appoints the chief officials, assistants and crews.

Race jury
The jury is responsible for all decisions pertaining to the race, for the arbitration of protests and for upholding the rules. The jury members must collaborate closely with the race committee through the chief of race. Jury members include the technical delegate (chairman of the jury), chief of race, referee, assistant referee (for speed events) and two non-voting jury advisors - the start referee and finish referee. Jury members must be qualified with specific officials’ certifications for the level of race event.

Qualifications for jury members:

Downhill and super-G races

Chief of race:

FIS - Level 3 - Official certification
PSO race - Level 2 certification

Assistant referee: 

Coach with at least a Level 2 coach certification, plus Level 2 officials’ certification.

Referee:  

Coach with at least a Level 2 coach certification and a Level 2 officials’ certification or a FIS or division licensed speed TD

Technical delegate:

 FIS - FIS technical delegate

PSO - Technical delegate - speed certification and minimum Level 3

Technical events

Technical delegate:   

FIS - FIS technical delegate
PSO - Minimum of Level 3 divisional technical delegate
Regional races - Level 2

Chief of race:   

FIS - Level 3 official
PSO - Level 2 official

Referee:

Level 2 coach and Level 2 officials’ certification.

Assistant referee: 

Level 1 or 2 coach 

Introductory program 

Start and finish referees:


In addition to the above, there are two jury advisors - start referee and finish referee. They are appointed by the race committee.

They are responsible for the start and finish areas respectively.

They advise the jury concerning competitor disqualifications and may with the approval of the jury allow provisional starts/re-runs.

All races, including weekly races must have one Level 2 official and three Level 1 officials in charge.
Note: the above are minimum qualifications for race jury positions

Supporting the Coaching Staff - Under Development

Becoming a Board Member - Under Development

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Journey to Excellence

THE JOURNEY TO EXCELLENCE AS TOLD BY OUR ALPINE CANADA SKI RACERS

The road to the podium in the elite levels of ski racing is long and challenging. Our Canadian skier development pathway begins during the Gliding Start and Skier Essentials stages of development continuing onto the Race to Win and Skiing for Life Stages. Watch and listen to these short video clips where they describe in their own words their journey to the achievement of excellence in ski racing. Skier development is a long-term process, these video collections provide insight into how our top Canadian ski racers started in the sport of ski racing and overcame challenges during their careers in order to succeed at both ski racing and life. 


Presented by Helly Hansen
 

Kitzbühel is here, and we all know what that means, it’s going to be a wild ride! Catch the fifth chapter of “Living History” with Helly Hansen, featuring alumnus Erik Guay and current athletes, Benjamin Thomsen and Brodie Seger.

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup has arrived in Wengen, Switzerland, featuring the longest downhill track in the world. Catch the fourth chapter of “Living History” with Helly Hansen, featuring alumnus Ken Read and current athlete Manny Osborne-Paradis.

The Alta Badia World Cup, featuring the ultimate giant slalom hill, is kicking off this Sunday! Catch the 3rd chapter of “Living History” with Helly Hansen, featuring alumnus Thomas Grandi and current athlete Erik Read.

Women's Weekend at the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup is just around the corner. Don't miss the 2nd chapter of "Living History" with Helly Hansen, featuring alumnus Kelly VanderBeek and current athletes Marie-Michèle Gagnon and Candace Crawford

The first instalment of "Living History" with Helly Hansen is here! Check out the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup with our Men’s Head Speed Coach and alumnus, John Kucera, as well as current athletes Jack Crawford and Dustin Cook.

Mackenzie Investments Performance Series

Part 3) Mackenzie Investments Performance Series: Better Together “Everyone elevates each other, we feed off each other, and together we're better” – Marie-Michèle Gagnon

Part 2) Mackenzie Investments Performance Series: Better Together “There’s no way that any of us would be able to achieve what we achieve without everyone behind us.” - Roni Remme

Part 1) Mackenzie Investments Performance Series: Better Together “It’s always better when all of us are together and were working towards a common goal. It’s not just team mates versus teammates, it’s Canada versus the rest of the world.” – Erin Mielzynski

Watch the final installment of the Mackenzie Performance series, featuring 2018 Paralympic medalist Kurt Oatway, member of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski team. Kurt speaks to his journey to success, highlighting the importance of his family, friends, and team members, as well remembering: “to not think too far into the future, and just work on what you can work on right now.”

As a veteran of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team, Alana Ramsay has the experience to push through the ups and downs of the ski racing season: "A bad day is only 24 hours, when you get up the next morning it’s a whole different day." 

Hear from Benjamin Thomsen about the importance of being present in the moment, as well the strength and support behind the #CANskiteam.

Find out what drives #CANskiteam's Dustin Cook to push through the highs and lows of competition.

Canada's Ski Cross athletes talk about life as being a part of the team, and what it takes to be ready for each race.

Presented by Solace

“Every little bit counts, whether it’s how fast your skis are, how fast your suit is, it all adds up to get you medals.” – Reece Howden Hear from our athletes on the journey to the podium, and what it takes to hit your performance goals and taste success.

“This is a sport of hundredths. Every little bit counts.” – Jeff Read

Alpine Canada athletes were able to put themselves to the test at high speeds, in a state of the art wind tunnel before the season started and the impact is already being seen in results this season. Thank you Solace!

It's Ski Racings 100th Anniversary 1920 to 2020!

Take a trip down memory lane with Alpine Canada’s official 100th anniversary video. Curated by renowned sport video producer, Tim Thompson of CBC,  this video highlights the rich tradition of our sport in Canada, with authentic footage captured throughout the last century.

My Ski Story

In 2011 and 2012, Alpine Canada produced a video series called #MySkiStory documenting the incredible journies of some of our current and past national team world-class competitors. 

This video series provides an inspiring glimpse into the journey of our current and past ACA national team ski racers. Watch and listen to these short video clips where they describe in their own words their journey to the achievement of excellence in ski racing. Skier development is a long-term process, this video collection provides insight on how our top Canadian ski racers started in the sport of ski racing and overcame challenges during their careers in order to succeed at both ski racing and life. 

Alpine Skiing

Erin Mielzynski 

 Marie-Michèle Gagnon
 Mike Janyk
 Erik Guay
 Ben Thompson
 Manuel Osborne-Paradis
 John Kucera

Ski Cross

Ashleigh McIvor

Kelsey Serwa
   Marielle Thompson
 Brady Leman
 Chris Del Bosco
 

Para-Alpine

Josh Dueck

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Planning for Performance

Performance planning is why you do, what you do when you do it. Skiers of all ages benefit from quality training that is appropriately planned to match their current level of growth and development. Success in ski racing is a result of adequately preparing the various key performance factors including physical fitness, athletic character and intelligence, technical and tactical skill, proper equipment set up as well as good lifestyle and personal habits. Alpine Canada believes proper performance planning will create successful, durable skiers from the Gliding Start through the Race to Win Stages resulting in Skiers for Life

Photo: Erik Read 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games training camp at Mount Norquay, Alberta with alumni team Banff Alpine Racers. J.Stielow. Planning for Performance

OVERVIEW

“This is an amazing day today, to have everything come together like that on race day at the Olympics is incredible and it takes a huge team behind me.” ~ Brady Leman, Canadian Ski Cross athlete after winning the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Gold Medal in Men's Ski Cross

Behind every successful ski racer is a well-prepared coach and support team who in partnership with the ski racer and their family carefully plan their campaign towards success.

Performance planning is why you do, what you do when you do it. Success in ski racing is a result of adequately preparing the various key performance factors. Variation in an individual skiers training and competition plan will depend on the needs of the ski racer and their specific goals. 

Key Performance Factors

  1. Physical Fitness: Great ski racers are strong, powerful, aerobically and anaerobically fit, agile, excellent at maintaining balance, coordinated, and mobile. A solid fitness foundation allows ski racers to withstand the technical and tactical demands of ski racing. 
  2. Athletic Character & Athletic Intelligence: The difference between a good ski racer and a great ski racer is their mindset and mental approach to training and competition. 
  3. Exceptional Technical Skiing Skills: Great ski racers have developed their athleticism to support the development of their solid technical skiing skill foundation. Ski racers who have excellent technical skiing skills have more adaptability tactically resulting in a more exceptional ability to apply different strategies in the competitive environment. 
  4. Strategic Application of Tactics: Great ski racers can execute strategy on demand during competition due to their athletic intelligence, decision-making skills and application of their technical skiing skills.
  5. Equipment: Great skiers ensure they have correctly fitted equipment, their skis are adequately sharpened and waxed before every training session, not just on race day. As skiers progress into the competitive pathway, they begin to work with their coaches and manufacturing reps to ensure their equipment set up matches their competitive requirements. 
  6. Lifestyle Management: Great ski racers are excellent at efficiently managing their sleep, nutrition, and educational needs to ensure they are recovering from training and competition bouts. Time management is a critical life and sports performance skill. 

Ski racing requires the precise execution of technical skiing skills in various tactical environments. Successful athletic performances are a result of an individuals response to training. The use of performance planning to set appropriate goals at each development stage results in the creation of successful, durable skiers for life.  

The one-page PDF summaries provide an overview of the recommended training and competition progression for each stage of development. There are many paths to the podium; skier development is a process and highly individual with each athlete bringing their own set of strengths and weaknesses resulting in variance between training plans and progressions between skiers.

These documents should serve as a guideline, adapted to fit the individual ski racer's needs and expectations in their specific region. However, these documents also serve as a benchmarking tool for ski racers seeking to reach the podium at the elite levels of ski racing. 

Performance Planning Principles

"Keep a long-term goal in mind, but pay attention to the details and have as much fun as you can along the way." ~ Erik Read  (Rocky Mountain Outlook, 2018).  

Performance planning involves the timing, sequence, and interaction of the different training stimuli to promote the best adaptive response in pursuit of specific goals through the use of essential principles. 

Setting Goals 

Goals provide a central target for effort and provide skiers with a measuring tool to rate their level of success through the use of a proper evaluation process. 

Performing an Initial Needs Analysis

Using a skier's goals, coaches conduct a needs analysis to understand the current status of their skier's abilities. The needs analysis identifies areas of improvements, which can be remedied by setting specific improvement goals and the application of appropriate training interventions in the correct sequence at the proper time.

From the last year of the Train to Train stage, the needs analysis should include medical and physiotherapy screening, physical fitness testing, athletic character assessment, evaluation of technical and tactical skills, review of the skier's equipment set up, development stage, and their lifestyle behaviours outside of training and competition. 

Periodization & Reverse Planning

Periodization is the planned organization and variation of training into different sequential cycles to match the needs of the ski racer. The goal of periodization is to maintain an adequate training stimulus to bring about the required adaptation while minimizing fatigue or exhaustion (Warrington, 2010). 

The goals of periodization are to: 
  • Focus on long-term athlete development and building a strong technical foundation.
  • Prioritize training into "need to do" and "nice to do." 
  • Integrate complementary training at the appropriate times. 
  • Provide variation in training loads and stress. 
  • Manage fatigue and avoid overtraining and burnout. 
  • Achieve a gradual progression towards a performance goal. 
  • Peak at the right times.
  • Prepare for optimal performance improvement (Warrington, 2010).

Using an annual/seasonal planning template, coaches identify the number of months, weeks, days available before a skier's peak event and then the coach plans backwards from that peak race to maintain an adequate training stimulus to bring about the required adaptation while minimizing fatigue or exhaustion. 

At the earlier stages of development, coaches in partnership with the skier and their parents identify key events that match the skier's goals. Setting and achieving smaller target goals assists in the maintenance of a proper balance of training to competition ratio and the inclusion of adequate recovery time. 

If a skier attends too many competitions, it makes it more difficult to plan their peak performance properly. Some races are sacrificed to peak for the primary goal, and some events serve as training sessions with a specific focus on preparing for peak event. 

A ski racer requires adequate time to prepare to compete at the best of their ability for their peak event(s). A ski racer's competition plan should always focus on quality vs. quantity. 

Monitoring

The process of performance planning promotes coaches to reflect on the structure of a yearly or seasonal plan, and appropriately sequence training and development priorities to achieve peak performance. Coaches and athletes who are actively engaged in the development process maintain daily training records. Completing a brief evaluation at the end of each training session provides a mini-evaluation of where the skier is currently in the process and if the skier is on target to achieve their goal. Daily journaling can promote self-reflection on the process by the skier if appropriately guided by coaches and parents. 

Daily training session monitoring and analysis should include notes on what occurred, training loads and volumes, any changes to the training plan including why, and how well the skier has responded to the training plan. The last reflection point considers to what extent were the training targets achieved and the next steps if the objectives were met or not met. After a complete analysis, modifications are made for the next training day, week(s), month(s), or season to better ensure the skier achieves their overall season goal(s). 

Weekly reviews of the compiled daily training records provide a more thorough review allowing for more accurate adjustments to the training plan to improve future training sessions and achievement of success. 

Skiers should also perform a daily evaluation using an athletic journal from their perspective. Details include notes about their training sessions, overall rating of the training session, coaching feedback, and a total score of their health and wellness status. A skier's daily journal will vary based on the level of skier and their overall goals as described below. 

The parents of younger ski racers in the Gliding StartSkier Essentials and Learn to Train stages should track the number of hours they participate in sports and physical activity to ensure they are obtaining 60 minutes per day of vigorous physical activity and getting enough recovery time.

Parents should record how their children are feeling before and after skiing by asking them to rate their day or training session using a simple star rating scale where one star means the skier did not have fun and five stars equal a super fun day. Developing the habit of self-reflection using a simple approach will enhance the chances of the self-reflective habit continuing onto the later stages of development. 

As skiers enter the Train to Train stage, they should be encouraged to complete their athlete journal daily and begin to rate their training session, reflect on the day by rating the overall training session, how they felt during training and competition, fluid, nutritional intakes, stressors, and sleep quality/quantity. More advanced ski racers will record how ready they felt for training or competition, their quality and quantity of sleep, quality of the training session, global energy level, muscle soreness, overall mental state and attitude, level of stress, hydration status and rate their nutritional intake for each day. More advanced skiers in the Train to Race and Race to Win stages will also complete a post-competition reflection worksheet reviewing the competition and actions to achieve in the next race to improve performance.   

Parents and skiers are encouraged to share the self-monitoring data with their coaches to ensure a proper amount of stress and recovery are maintained through planned adjustments leading up to the peak event.  

Evaluating & Adjusting the Plan

An evaluation of a skiers performance plan should occur with the skier and their parents at regular intervals. Adjustments to the performance plan are made in partnership with all stakeholders during a formal evaluation/review session. Details of the factors that influenced the performance from both a positive and negative aspect are used during the evaluation process to seek continual improvement. 

The more a coach and a skier's parents understand the skier's response to training and adjust the plan in cooperation with the skier, the more successful the partnership will become resulting in a build-up of trust in the process and the higher likelihood of the achievement of success by the ski racer. When a team and community support a ski racer, their potential can be genuinely be unlocked. 

Kaisen

Developing goals is the first step in the planning process. Mapping a route towards the attainment of a goal is critical to the achievement of excellence in ski racing. While the identification of a clear path is essential, there are many paths to the podium. Continous improvement throughout a ski racers journey does not happen by accident.

 
Coaches, parents, and skiers must continually reflect and adapt to achieve their goals through the use of continuous improvement. Leave no stone unturned, be open to adjustment and change. 

Planning a Training Session

Many community sports consist of one hour of non-stop action at the local rink or soccer field two or three times a week making it very easy to accumulate several hours of sport specific skill development time. Most ski racing families in Canada drive long distances to the nearest ski resort to experience time on snow making it more challenging to achieve several hours of skiing skill development on-snow. Lift rides, lunch in the lodge, going in to warm up, etc. are all factors that inhibit time spent skiing. For developing ski racers, twenty runs is considered a big day. In general terms, it takes a more extended amount of time to see ski specific skill improvement. 

Proper planning assists in the effective use of time on snow to promote the development of a strong technical foundation. While there should be time allowed for free skiing and self-expression on and off-piste, skiing for the soul, accumulating technical free ski time with the goal of improving ski technique is critical to long-term success. 

Technical freeskiing, course training, drill skiing, etc. are a part of a typical training day, and the hours spent sitting in the lodge must be minimized. Ski racers should be encouraged to ski all day to take advantage of time on-snow. The development of this culture has to be learned early in the child’s ski racing career.  

Peaking for career-making results from ages 6-15 is not the goal, there are several minutes of downtime during a race day apart from the two or three minutes involved in the actual race run. It is essential to freeski before and after the event to maximize time on-snow and promote the continual development of a strong technical foundation. Competition at the early stages of development should focus on developing fundamental skiing skills by gaining mileage while having fun. 

It is necessary to build programs around more local days and training sessions outside of the usual weekend sessions on snow, particularly in the earlier stages of development. This again requires parental commitment. 

The number of suggested days or sessions on snow in the specific guidelines has been dramatically increased to stress the importance of time on snow in the early years. Again, there will be differences in all regions due to the length of the season, but it is important that clubs understand the responsibility of the critical foundational years of sport and motor skill acquisition.

Quality Sport Experience is FUN!

“It was a different atmosphere from the moment we woke up this morning at 5 am.  Britt and I are morning people, and so when the alarm goes off, we are like ok, yeh, good morning, we’re at the Olympics and finally here to race.” ~Kelsey Serwa, Olympic Gold Medalist Women's Ski Cross, 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. 

As defined by Sport for Life is, "Quality sport is developmentally appropriate, safe and inclusive and well run. Quality sport is based on Long-Term Athlete Development factors and principles. Quality sport optimizes an individual's potential both athletically and personally. Quality sport enables the optimal holistic development of healthy individuals, who, in turn, can make positive contributions to society". 

Good programs that promote the quality sport experience are:

  • developmentally appropriate
  • participant-centered
  • progressive and challenging
  • planned and competition is meaningful

Good people, leading well-run programs that promote the quality sport experiences include:

  • coaches and officials
  • leaders
  • parents
  • partners

Fun is essential to keeping young skiers involved in ski racing. It's commonly known that attrition from youth sport, in general, is high, as high as 70% (Eitzen & Sage, 2009). This statistic is mostly attributed to negative sport experiences (Fraser-Thomas & Côte, 2006). The number one reason young athletes cite for dropping out of youth sport is that it is no longer "fun." The primary reason they continue to play is that sport participation is "fun" (Visek & Manning, 2014).    

Good places, creating good feelings and promoting the quality sport experience include:

  • inclusive and welcoming
  • fun and fair
  • holistic
  • safe

Until recently, we did not fully understand the true meaning of fun from the perspective of developing ski racers. Fun is not just goofing around; it's sophisticated. The fun integration theory identified 81 specific fun determinants with four fundamental tenets organized into 11 key fun factors with the first three factors creating the youth sport ethos being the most important to promoting youth participation in sport (Visek et al. 2015).

Fun is synonymous with Long-Term Athlete Development and retention in the sport of ski racing.   


REFERENCES:

Alpine Canada Performance Planning Coach Workbook (2016). 

Eitzen DS, Sage GH. Sociology of North American Sport. 8th ed. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers; 2009

Fraser-Thomas J, Côte J. Youth sports: implementing findings and moving forward with research. Athl Ins. 2006;8(3):12-27.

Gambetta V. (2007). Athletic Development: The Art & Science of Functional Sports Conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

McGuigan M. (2017). Monitoring training and performance in athletes. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 

Petichkoff LM. Youth sports participation and withdrawal: Is it simply a matter of fun? Pediatr Exercise Sci. 1992;4:105-110. 

 Willinger, H. Banff Alpine Racers alumnus Read and Philp give back to local club. Rocky Mountain Outlook. Feb. 22 2018.  

Visek AJ, Manning HM. The FUN MAPS: A Youth Sport Scientific Breakthrough. Olympic Coach. 2014;25(4):39-42.

Visek AJ, et al. The Fun Integration Theory: Toward Sustaining Children and Adolescents Sport Participation. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2015;12:424-433

Warrington, G. Dr. (2010). Planning for Performance http://www.sportireland.ie/Coaching-Ireland/Publications-/Planning-For-Performance.pdf Coaching Ireland.

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Reference Materials

Photo: GEPA Reference Materials

Alpine Canada Training and Competition Volumes Matrix - one-page summary reviewing the suggested training to competition ratios, days on snow per year and weekly training volumes for each development stage. 

Alpine Canada Training and Competition Focus Matrix - one-page summary reviewing the suggested training and competition focus for each stage.   

Ski Cross Reference Materials

FORMAT

In World Cup, World Championship and Olympic races, athletes complete a qualification round that is run as a time trial, with racers skiing the course solo. Based on their qualification time, athletes are placed into brackets for heat racing. In heats, four athletes race head to head down the course, with the top two from each heat advancing to the next round. Finals consist of a small final, with athletes competing for places 5 to 8 and a big final which determines the winner of the race, following by 2nd, 3rd & 4th. At the Winter X Games – one of the sport’s biggest events – six skiers compete for head to head instead of four.

Alpine Canada Ski Cross Progression Matrix - one-page summary reviewing the competition recommendations, course guidelines, performance benchmarks and race formats for each development stage. 

Alpine Canada Training and Competition Volumes Matrix - one-page summary reviewing the suggested training to competition ratios, days on snow per year and weekly training volumes for each development stage. 

Alpine Canada Training and Competition Focus Matrix - one-page summary reviewing the suggested training and competition focus for each stage.   

Ski Cross Glossary

Courtesy of CanWest News Service Article from January 15, 2010.

  • Banked turn: turn that is set at an angle helping in the direction of the turn.
  • Basketball turn: reverse banked turn, off angle, fall-away. The bank works against the direction of the turn.
  • Blocking: skiing in a manner to protect yourself from being passed.
  • Butter or buttered: skiing a section or terrain very smoothly
  • Bounced, or Bouncing: missing transitions through a roller section, or what you do when you "knuckle."
  • Boxed or Boxed in: stuck in a place/position that doesn't allow you to do what you want.
  • Case, Cased or Casing: coming up short on a jump, landing before the transition.
  • Double: a set of two "rollers" that can be jumped or "doubled."
  • Drafting: following closely behind another skier.
  • Flat turn, GS turn or Alpine turn: a turn that has no feature built to define it, it is flat like a Giant Slalom turn.
  • Hole-shot: winning the start and taking the lead
  • Knuckle: place on a feature where a flat spot rolls into a transition.
  • Knuckled: landing just short of making the transition.
  • Locked: stuck on edge, off-balance without the ability to release
  • Nail or nailed: skiing a section or terrain very well, fast
  • Over-shoot, over-shot: jumping long on a feature, missing the transition, or ideal landing area.
  • Pancaked, Pancaking: landing flat and hard, either short or long.
  • Rollers: section of terrain made up of rounded, wavy terrain. A skier is usually able to stay on the ground through a roller section.
  • Sling-shot: using the draft to accelerate and eventually pass another skier.
  • Step up: jump where the landing is higher than the take-off.
  • Squeezed: getting caught between two skiers, or a skier and a gate, or fence, and are unable to move
  • Step-down: jump where the landing is lower than the take-off.
  • Table or table-top: A jump where the take-off is at a similar level as the landing. Where the athlete has the option of clearing the flat portion in the middle and landing on the downslope of the feature or if travelling at a reduced speed can ski across the top.
  • Tranny: slang for the transition.
  • Transition: an ideal place to land on a feature, where landing is most forgiving, or part of a feature where speed can be generated by "working," "pumping," "milking."Triple: a set of three "rollers" that can be jumped all at once, or "tripled."
  • "Working" or Worked: (ex: Working a section, "I worked the rollers really well") Using the terrain to generate speed. (synonymous with pumping, milking)

Alpine Canada Training and Competition Volumes Matrix - one-page summary reviewing the suggested training to competition ratios, days on snow per year and weekly training volumes for each development stage. 

Alpine Canada Training and Competition Focus Matrix - one-page summary reviewing the suggested training and competition focus for each stage.   

Para-Alpine LTAD Progression - multiple page PDF reviewing the suggested training volumes and focus at each one of the development stages. 

  • https://www.mackenzieinvestments.com/
  • http://www.hellyhansen.com/
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Coach Reference Material

Coach Reference Material

ACA-CSC Coach Education Reference Material

Alpine Canada Coach Education (ACA-CSC) in partnership with the territories and provinces develops our Canadian ski coaches by providing coach education, certification and professional development opportunities. Our coach certification program is part of the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). As a partner of the Coaching Association of Canada, Canadian ski coaches must meet or exceed minimum competency requirements to be recognized as trained or certified. All ACA-CSC member coaches focus on and uphold the NCCP coaching core competencies of valuing, leading, interacting with people, problem-solving and critical thinking. 

The following links provide access to coach education reference materials used by coaches and coach developers during the coach accreditation process. All links are password protected, please contact your local PTSO coach education representative to obtain access. 

ACA-CSC Webinar Series 

ACA-CSC provides educational webinars for our ACA-CSC registered coaches throughout the year. The links below are representative of some of the webinars provided by ACA-CSC for registered coaches. Visit the ACA-CSC Snow Reg platform for more information on upcoming webinars. 

Coach Webinar Series 2021 - 2022:

Past  Webinars 2020 - 2021 Season:

Links to Supporting Reference Materials 

Alpine Canada Performance Planning Coach Workbook (2016). 

Eitzen DS, Sage GH. Sociology of North American Sport. 8th ed. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers; 2009

Fraser-Thomas J, Côte J. Youth sports: implementing findings and moving forward with research. Athl Ins. 2006;8(3):12-27.

Gambetta V. (2007). Athletic Development: The Art & Science of Functional Sports ConditioningChampaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

McGuigan M. (2017). Monitoring training and performance in athletes. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 

Petichkoff LM. Youth sports participation and withdrawal: Is it simply a matter of fun? Pediatr Exercise Sci. 1992;4:105-110. 

 Willinger, H. Banff Alpine Racers alumnus Read and Philp give back to local clubRocky Mountain Outlook. Feb. 22 2018.  

Visek AJ, Manning HM. The FUN MAPS: A Youth Sport Scientific Breakthrough. Olympic Coach. 2014;25(4):39-42.

Visek AJ, et al. The Fun Integration Theory: Toward Sustaining Children and Adolescents Sport Participation. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2015;12:424-433

Warrington, G. Dr. (2010). Planning for Performance http://www.sportireland.ie/Coaching-Ireland/Publications-/Planning-For-Performance.pdf Coaching Ireland.

FIS Competition 2023/2024

Coaches are reminded that entry into FIS events is governed by the FIS International Competition Rules (ICR) and it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of the rules before intending to enter athletes to these competitions. Different levels of FIS competitions have different rules for acceptance. 

Below is a link to the FIS resources in which you should be aware of in advance of travel to FIS competitions. If you require clarification on competition entry requirements, quota allocation etc., please ensure you connect with Alpine Canada in advance of the event, (minimum 14 days) via raceentries@alpinecanada.org

Canada follows a strict process for race entry intents, and with the increasing number of Canadian athletes in international programs, it is critical you are knowledgeable on rules, processes and quotas for the season.

If you are not already signed up for the FIS international race intent site, please connect with your PTSO to be advised on the process of registration for your province/athletes.

FIS Resources:

FIS ICR: https://assets.fis-ski.com/image/upload/fis-prod/assets/ICR_15.07.2023.pdf

FIS Points Rules: https://assets.fis-ski.com/image/upload/fis-prod/assets/FIS_Points_Rules_Alpine_23.06.23.pdf

FIS Continental Cup Rules: https://assets.fis-ski.com/image/upload/fis-prod/assets/COC_Rules_2324_13.06.2023.pdf

FIS Quotas: https://assets.fis-ski.com/image/upload/fis-prod/assets/FIS_Quotas_23.24.pdf

FIS Continental Cup Quota Periods: https://assets.fis-ski.com/image/upload/fis-prod/assets/Periods2324.pdf

*** must review quota periods in accordance with the above, found @ https://www.fis-ski.com/en/inside-fis/document-library/alpine-documents

 

Additional resources to support your season can also be found via Alpine Canada

https://alpinecanada.org/community/criteria-publications 

  • https://www.mackenzieinvestments.com/
  • http://www.hellyhansen.com/
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Awareness and First Involvement

To engage in sport and physical activity, individuals must be aware of what opportunities exist for them, and when they try an activity for the first time, it is critical that the experience is positive. 

Photo: Mark Newton Para-Alpine Development Coach Awareness and First Involvement

Awareness

Awareness promotes an understanding of opportunities to get involved in skiing, sports,  and physical activity. It highlights opportunities for persons of all abilities to participate in skiing and become a ski racer, and go as far as their ability and motivation will take them. In this stage, future skiers become aware of ski cross, alpine and para-alpine skiing opportunities through local ski schools, ski clubs, and adaptive para-alpine ski programs.

Partner Adaptive Ski Organizations who work to promote opportunities for persons with disabilities include:

Alpine Canada & CADS Partnership

First Involvement

First involvement refers to the initial experience participants have in ski cross, alpine, para-alpine skiing and sports. In this phase, it is critical to ensure individuals have a positive first experience in an activity. A negative experience when initially participating can lead to future non-participation in physical activity and skiing. Organizations such as CADS create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for participants with developmentally appropriate instruction, adapted equipment and facilities and a program orientation that will nurture the desire and confidence to participate in life. Clear direction should be provided to participants with regarding their second involvement.

Prospective para-alpine skiers will have access to conditions for a positive first adaptive experience through the CADS program. CADS is a multi-sport organization recognized nationally and internationally with a mission to develop and promote adaptive snow sports through partnerships, training, and instructor certification programs. With over 4,000 active members, CADS, directly and through its 10 Divisions and a network of over 60 local Programs from coast to coast, provides quality opportunities for people with disabilities in Canada to experience the joy of participating and competing in adaptive snow sports.  Alpine Canada encourages all prospective para-alpine skiers to undergo an assessment and orientation through their local CADS adaptive para ski program. 

Resources:
  • https://www.mackenzieinvestments.com/
  • http://www.hellyhansen.com/
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Women in Skiing

Since 1956, top female Canadian skiers have been inspiring and supporting the next generation. Anne Heggtveit, the winner of Canada's first ever Olympic gold medal in alpine skiing in the women's slalom at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California, shares some great advice for our young Canadian ski racers. 

"I would tell them to aim for the top. Go for the gold. It takes determination and hard work. But you can do it. If that is really what you want to do and you've got the talent, you can get there with hard work."

Interview by Jeremy Freeborn with Anne Heggtveit for The Canadian Encyclopedia(2014)

Photo: ACA Rising Stars December Camp at Panorama Mountain Resort taken by Malcolm Carmichael Women in Skiing

#SHECANSKI 

The number of women and young girls participating in physical activity, recreation and elite competitions has increased immensely in the last 30 years. Women and girls are empowered when they are physically literate which can be developed by playing complementary sports and skiing. A young woman's confidence comes from practice, mistakes, setbacks, recovery, mastery and most of all success. Whether or not a young woman goes onto become a professional athlete, the confidence they gain from moving well will have a positive impact well into adulthood. 

In 1956, the sport of alpine skiing fell into the limelight when Lucile Wheeler won Canada's first Olympic medal a bronze in downhill at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Lucile also unexpectedly won the world championship titles in both downhill and giant slalom in 1958. These wins inspired Canada to send a national team to Europe the following year. Lucile was a trailblazer and inspired all our female Canadian ski racers to aim for the top and go for the gold.

Women inspiring the next generation of young alpine ski racers: 

Melanie Turgeon on Dreaming Big - Fast and Female ambassador and 2003 World Champion in Downhill skiing - Mélanie Turgeon - shares the biggest lesson she's learned from her athletic career: DREAMING BIG! Watch this clip as she tells us how she decided to own her big dream and became World Champion.

Georgia Simmerling talks about the importance of teammates! - Fast and Female TV: Georgia Simmerling, a member of the SkiCross National Team, talks to Fast and Female about the importance of teammates. When travelling for many months during the year to compete, your teammates become your family on the road. They can help bring you to the top of your game or give you a boost when you need confidence. Although in SkiCross Georgia's teammates are actually her competitors, they are also her closest friends and allies on the road and help her towards reaching her highest potential. Keep your teammates close!

Pre-race and pre-training warm-up with Marie-Michele Gagnon - Fast and Female TV: Pre-race and pre-warmup routine with World up and Olympic alpine ski racer Marie-Michele Gagnon. See how she prepares for an important race or a big workout in the gym. Simple yoga stretching and breathing helps Marie-Michele Gagnon get moving in the morning!

We hope young girls all over the world look up to these strong, resilient and determined women; they are truly an inspiration. Sport can do such amazing things as viewed by this most recent trailer from CBC Sports celebrating women in sports, including several past and current Alpine Canada national team athletes. 

WOMEN IN SPORT RESOURCES

Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) - We are dedicated to creating an equitable and inclusive Canadian sport and physical activity system that empowers girls and women – as active participants and leaders – within and through sport. With a focus on systematic change, we partner with governments, organizations and leaders to challenge the status quo and to advance solutions that result in measurable change.

Coaching Association of Canada Women in Coaching - Women represent an untapped resource throughout the sport community. Women have different life and leadership experiences, values, and attitudes which equip them with valuable sport expertise and perspective. Women in Coaching is a national campaign to increase the number of coaching opportunities for women, at all levels of sport. Directed by the CAC, the program enjoys the support of many individuals and organizations committed to improving the coaching environment for women in sport.

Fast and Female - Fast and Female’s vision: create a positive, empowering culture for all girls in sports.

Tucker Center for Research Girls & Women in Sport - The first of its kind in the world, the Tucker Center is an interdisciplinary research center leading a pioneering effort to examine how sport and physical activity affect the lives of girls and women, their families, and communities.

Own the Podium Women in Coaching Initiative - The coaching enhancement program (CEP) has prioritized providing financial support to the Coaching Association of Canada's Women in Coaching program, in addition to targeted investment opportunities for female coaches at the next generation and pathway levels. 

Women's in Sport Foundation - The Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring girls access to sports.

Women in Sport - United Kingdom website with links to research around women in sport. 

  • https://www.mackenzieinvestments.com/
  • http://www.hellyhansen.com/
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Coaching Pathway

Better Ski Racers Through Better Coaches

At Alpine Canada, we’re on a mission to develop the next generation of great coaches. At each development stage, young skiers must acquire and develop their physical and mental abilities, capacities and skills at the right time. The ACA-CSC coach education program links directly with the ACA LTAD stages of growth and skill development.

ENTRY LEVEL COACHING COURSE REGISTRATION, CLICK HERE!


Become a great ski coach

Alpine Canada Coach Education (ACA-CSC) in partnership with the territories and provinces develops our Canadian ski coaches by providing coach education, certification and professional development opportunities. Our coach certification program is part of the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). As a partner of the Coaching Association of Canada, Canadian ski coaches must meet or exceed minimum competency requirements to be recognized as trained or certified. All ACA-CSC member coaches focus on and uphold the NCCP coaching core competencies of valuing, leading, interacting with people, problem-solving and critical thinking. 

The coaching pathway is designed to guide your training and skill development as a coach, providing you with the tools required to support athletes at successively higher levels of performance. To be eligible to coach with any Alpine Canada recognized club, coaches are required to be licensed ACA-CSC registered coach in good standing

New coaches begin their journey by completing the Entry Level Licensing and Certification requirements.  Once those credentials are achieved, they can begin to work with young ski racers at their local club in the gliding start and skier essentials stage of LTAD. 

Coaches who are interested in working with Development level ski racers at learning to train and train-to-train stages of the LTAD will seek their Development Level, Licensing and Certification.

When deemed ready to transition into a professional coaching role with competitive train to train, train to race and race to win ski racers, coaches move along the next level of the pathway by obtaining their Performance Level, Licensing and Certification. 

The final step of the coaching pathway is the High-Performance coach certification which is reserved for national team coaches working with World Cup and Olympic Winter Games ski racers. The licensing and diploma program is often customized, followed by ongoing professional development and evaluation in partnership with the Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and the Coaching Association of Canada. 

Click here to begin your coaching journey today

Coach in Training 

The Coach in Training (CIT) program is a licensing program for prospective coaches. There are two (2) registration/licensing programs underneath the "Coach in Training" program.

Coach in Training - Supporting an accredited ACA-CSC Coach:

An introduction to alpine ski coaching for athletes transitioning from competitive ski racing, volunteer coaches, and parents interested in assisting an accredited coach with the management of a group at the Gliding Start and Skier Essentials stage of development with their local club. This program is meant to pair up a prospective coach with a mentor coach during the initial stages of learning how to be a coach while supporting young developing ski racers.

Coach in Training - CSIA Level 1 & 2 Certified Instructors:

In the ACA-CSC coach accreditation policy since 2015, clubs can hire CSIA members as a first time new hire if they are coaching athletes under the age of 12 years for the period of 12 months from the date they start coaching. 

For clubs seeking to utilize CSIA certified individuals, ACA requires a list of names from the club so ACA-CSC can verify the prospective coach status and certification level with CSIA. Once verified ACA will manually input them into the membership database as a temporary member since they still need to be an ACA-CSC registered licensed coach to work with developing ski racers. 

Register to become an ACA-CSC Coach in Training!

ACA-CSC Coach In Training program overview PDF

ACA-CSC Coach Accreditation policy

ENTRY LEVEL COACH - Gliding Start and Skier Essentials

The Entry Level (EL) certification pathway provides new coaches with the tools to efficiently run a training session in the free ski and gate training environments for the Gliding Start or Skier Essentials skier. 

Entry-level coaches understand how to plan a daily training session, set up a proper, age-appropriate training environment while considering skier safety at all times. Entry-level coaches are focused on developing fundamental ski technique through the use of the Snow Stars program. This certification status will allow a coach to work in a ski club or ski school and coach at an entry-level ski racing program with U6 to U12 skiers. 

Entry Level Coach Pathway

Individuals seeking to become ski race coaches at the Skier Essentials development stages start the coach development pathway by enrolling in an Entry-level course. To enroll in an Entry Level course, you must be 15 years of age on the first day of the course. No exceptions. 

Coaches start their training by completing all the Entry Level training modules through an approved ACA-CSC course, delivered by your local PTSO.To start working with young skiers, all coaches must be licensed registered coaches in good standing. ACA-CSC Licensing Policy.

Coaches continue their entry-level training and the Entry-Level Coach Portfolio throughout their first year with a local club mentor until they are ready to take their on-snow practical coaching evaluation and become Entry Level Certified coaches. Coaches are required to complete their entry-level portfolio with their local mentor and the NCCP “Make Ethical Decisions” online evaluation prior to undergoing their on-snow practical coaching evaluation. 

Next Steps after Entry-Level Certification

Once coaches are Entry Level Trained, they can progress to the Development Level training course if they are working with more advanced athletes in the Learn to Train stage of development. Coaches who are working with para-alpine ski racers are encouraged to complete their para-alpine coach certification by completing both the para-alpine eLearning and on-snow modules. Coaches who are working as head coaches at the Skiers Essentials development level are encouraged to complete the next steps of the Entry Level Advanced Certified pathway to be fully equipped to lead staff coaches and develop skiers at the Skier Essentials level. 

DEVELOPMENT LEVEL COACH - Learn to Train and Train to Train 

Development level (DL) coaches are working with skiers in the Learn to Train and Train to Train development stages. 

Coaches in this pathway understand and use specific drills and exercises to develop fundamental ski technique in the free ski, gate training and competitive environments in preparation for the Train to Race stage. 

Development level coaches are educated in the course setting principles used in slalom and giant slalom at the U14 and U16 levels. Coaches safely apply fundamental teaching and learning principles during training and competitions to promote the consolidation of a skier's technique and application of tactics in giant slalom and slalom. Development Level certified coaches have the knowledge and expertise to safely guide skiers when learning speed and ski cross terrain management skills. 

Development Level coaches complete their Development Level Coach Portfolio prior to undertaking their Development Level Evaluation. Development level coaches focus on developing proficiency in the coaching core competencies prior to evaluation: valuing, leading, interacting with people, problem-solving and critical thinking.  

 

PERFORMANCE LEVEL COACH - Train to Race and Race to Win

Performance Level (PL) coaches are working with ski racers at the Train to Race and Race to Win stages. Ski racers at these stages are following the competitive pathway to compete at the highest level of ski racing.

Performance Level coaches are skilled at performance planning, analyzing performance, environment setting, sequencing of training to promote the consolidation of technique in a variety of tactical situations, and supportive of ski racers during training and competition. Coaches should plan to complete the training and certification process over multiple seasons. 

Performance level coaches focus on the coaching core competencies: valuing, leading, interacting with people, problem-solving and critical thinking. The Performance Level Trained coaches utilizes the Performance Level Coach Learning Journal to prepare for evaluation. 

Performance level coaches undertake four evaluations to become a certified coach at the competition-development level of coaching including:

  • Performance planning evaluation (annual training plan) 
  • Managing a performance program evaluation (management of the annual training plan and athlete development)
  • In training evaluation 
  • In competition evaluation 

To coach ski racers, all coaches must be licensed registered coaches in good standing. Review the licensing policy here.

Ski Cross Coach

Trained ski cross (SX) coaches understand the proper sequencing involved in developing terrain management skills over SX terrain features, setting considerations for SX, inspection skills required in SX, heat racing, rules and regulations related to SX and course safety requirements.

Trained SX coaches are also, at the minimum, Entry Level certified coaches who have completed an online safety and training progression course in addition to attending and completing the ACA-CSC Ski Cross on-snow module. 

The Ski Cross trained status is a specialization status much like para-alpine and focuses on developing skiers in the sport of ski cross from the Skier Essentials stage through the Train to Race stages preparing them for the high levels of competition experience at the Race to Win stage.

Para-Alpine Coach

Skiers in para-alpine compete in several different sport classes, depending on the activity limitation that their impairment causes. Standing classes are LW2-LW9: LW2 to LW4 are for skiers with leg impairment; LW5 to LW8 for skiers with arm impairments and LW9 for skiers with a combination of arm and leg impairments. Sit-skiing classes are LW10 to LW 12: All sit-skiers have impairments affecting their legs. Skiers with visual impairment are classified B1 to B3.

Canada has won medals in para-alpine skiing at every Paralympic Winter Games since 1976 including 13 on home soil in Vancouver-Whistler in 2010 and 10 in PyeongChang. Canada’s amazing Para alpine ski team is lead by head coach and architect Jean-Sébastien Labrie, who has masterminded the Para alpine program for Alpine Canada since he took the head coaching helm in 2008.

‘’I never imagined I would have coached this program this long and had so much success,’’ said Labrie, from his Calgary office as he crafted his plans for the 2018-19 season which starts next month. ‘’It was really an opportunity that came by chance. One thing I’ll never forget at the time; I was advised at the time by others in the field this position could hurt my credibility as a coach.’’. Well that certainly hasn’t been the case for Labrie. This past March he was asked by the IPC to chart the downhill course for the Paralympic Games. That’s the one of the highest accolades in the sport  and a most obvious indication that you are one of the best in the business. (CPC Coach Spotlight, November 29, 2019).

Key statements that a coach should consider prior to entering Para-alpine coaching

  1. As is the case for any other participant or athlete, sport represents a vehicle for personal achievement, development, health, enjoyment, etc. for para-athletes. 
  2. You are a coach and they are athletes; do not change your coaching philosophy or the way you deal with the athletes or their parents because you are now coaching para-athletes. 
  3. Jean-Sébastien Labrie’s advice is simple for aspiring coaches: never stop learning. ‘’Get informed and educated about coaching and your sport,’’ Labrie said. ‘’You are always learning not only about technique but about the mental aspect and performance factors.” (CPC Coach Spotlight, November 29, 2019).
  4. Remember, you are not alone! There are many experienced people and groups who can help you, and quality resources that are available. 

Coaches interested in coaching para-alpine athletes can follow the ACA-CSC Para-alpine coach certification pathway at the Entry Level (EL) and Development Level (DL). The para-alpine coach pathways include elements of the able-bodied EL and DL pathways and Para specific eLearning and on-snow modules compatible for both EL Para and DL Para programs. 

The Performance Level (PL) coaching context is the final stage, this context has the least modification, as working with Para-athletes in the high-performance setting follows very similar protocols, both on and off-snow. 

“At a high level, it’s almost more about all the things in the surroundings that affect the athlete rather than the technique. You need to be open to new technologies and be at the cutting edge of everything that’s affects performance says J.S. Labrie, CPC Coach Spotlight, November 29, 2019.

Coach Developer - Learning Facilitator 

Coach developers are coaches who are already involved in the NCCP and have actively coached for many years. Coach developers may have backgrounds in physical education, kinesiology, or similar areas of study. Coach Developers, train and coach the coaches. They are not simply experienced coaches or transmitters of coaching knowledge – they are trained to develop, support, and challenge coaches to go on honing and improving their knowledge and skills to provide positive and effective sport experiences for all participants. 

Coach Developers need to be experts in learning, as well as experts in coaching and technical concepts. ACA, PTSO’s and Master Coach Developers are all involved in identifying and training coach developers. ACA sets national standards. Selection of applicants for LF training and designation shall be made in partnership between ACA and PTSO representative responsible for co-ordinating coach education courses.

All coach developer - Learning Facilitators are required to be fully licensed as a registered coach in good standing to facilitate courses. To review licensing requirements review the ACA-CSC licensing policy.  

The pathway to become an ACA-CSC and NCCP Approved Coach Developer - Learning Facilitator

Every ACA-CSC course or workshop is led by a trained Learning Facilitator (LF) who has undergone a standardized training process. LFs are crucial to the development of skilled, knowledgeable coaches who are then able to develop safer, happier athletes. The goal of an LF is to effectively facilitate sessions that result in the development of coaches who can demonstrate their abilities and meet the standards established for certification. An LF should have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes to facilitate workshops using the competency-based approach. In addition, they serve as contributing members of the community and ambassadors for the ACA, PTSOs and the NCCP.

 For more information on the NCCP Learning Faciliator Pathway click here or If you have additional questions; coach@alpinecanada.org

Selection of Coach Developer - Learning Facilitators

The success of Alpine Canada, it's member PTSO's and their clubs, and the NCCP training depends on the quality of the individuals selected as Learning Facilitators. Selection of applicants to undergo LF training to recieve the LF designation shall be made in consultation with the PTSO representative.  
Coach Developer - Learning Facilitators must possess the following traits:  

  • Good communicators: can speak clearly and communicate professionally
  • Good presenters: are comfortable presenting in front of a group, are well spoken, can keep presentations to time limits, and able to adapt to questions and changes
  • Good facilitators: can facilitate discussions, actively listen, evoke participation, and move discussions along when need be
  • Good organizers: are well prepared, organized, and professional
  • Good technical experts: have good knowledgeable of technical/tactical ski racing concepts
  • Also learning facilitators are approachable, ethical, responsible, and self-confident

Kaizen - Continuous Improvement 

After a coach obtains the LF trained or LF certified accreditation within the ACA Coach Education Coach Developer pathway, Learning Facilitators must conduct at a minimum one (1) course every two years in order to maintain their active status as a coach developer - learning facilitator. Failure to meet ongoing accreditation standards will result in the inactivation of the Learning Facilitator status on the coachs profile. Coach Developers are required to attend a sport specific coach developer update every two years or when there are significant changes to the curriculum or administration processes. More information on the coach developer pathways and standards required for accreditation review the ACA Coach Education Coach Developer Policy.

Coach Developer - Coach Evaluator

Coach developers are coaches who are already involved in the NCCP and have actively coached for many years. Coach developers may have backgrounds in physical education, kinesiology, or similar areas of study. Coach Developers, train and coach the coaches. They are not simply experienced coaches or transmitters of coaching knowledge – they are trained to develop, support, and challenge coaches to go on honing and improving their knowledge and skills to provide positive and effective sport experiences for all participants. 

Coach Developers need to be experts in learning, as well as experts in coaching and technical concepts. ACA, PTSO’s and Master Coach Developers are all involved in identifying and training coach developers. ACA sets national standards. Selection of applicants for Coach Evaluator training and designation shall be made in partnership between ACA and PTSO representative responsible for co-ordinating coach education courses.

All coach developer - Coach Evaluators are required to be fully licensed as a registered coach in good standing to evaluate and certify coaches. To review licensing requirements review the ACA-CSC licensing policy.  

The pathway to become an ACA-CSC and NCCP Approved Coach Developer - Coach Evaluator

A Coach Evaluator’s (CE) role is to contribute to the development of coaches after they have acquired their NCCP training. This includes assessment, evaluation, debriefing, and follow-up with coaches trying to achieve Certified status. CEs are experts in the observation process and have in-depth knowledge of the outcomes, criteria, and evidences that comprise the evaluation tools that establish NCCP standards for coaches of a sport context. CEs act as ambassadors for Alpine and the NCCP and as a resource to coaches seeking to augment and validate their coaching abilities. 

A Coach Evaluator’s role is to contribute to the development of coaches after they have acquired their NCCP training. This includes assessment, evaluation, debriefing, and follow-up with coaches trying to achieve Certified status. Coach Evaluators are experts in the observation process and have in-depth knowledge of the outcomes, criteria, and evidence that comprise the evaluation tools that establish NCCP standards for coaches of a sport context. Coach Evaluators act as a resource to coaches seeking to augment and validate their coaching abilities.

For more information on the NCCP Coach Evaluator Pathway click here or If you have additional questions; coach@alpinecanada.org

Selection of Coach Developer - Coach Evaluators

The success of any evaluation program rests to a large degree on the quality of the individuals selected as Coach Evaluators. It is critical that quality control be exerted when appointing someone as a Coach Evaluator, as not everyone possesses the experience, skills, or attitudes to be effective in this position. Applicants for Coach Evaluator training and designation will be selected in consultation between ACA and the appropriate PTSO. Coach Evaluators are also highly encouraged to complete the NCCP Mentorship training module. Coach Evaluators must possess the following:

  • A thorough understanding of the ACA evaluator guidelines document in the relevant context
  • Completed all context relevant training as an evaluator as described in the NCCP pathway
  • A minimum of 3 years of coaching experience in the context in which evaluation takes place;
  • Successfully completed the NCCP Make Ethical Decisions on line evaluation requirements;
  • Credibility with their peers;
  • High ethical standards and leadership skills;
  • A desire to see the coach certification system as well as the sport grow;
  • Time and energy to commit to the evaluation process;
  • Proven guiding and facilitation skills;
  • The ability to be critically reflective and ask questions
  • The ability to listen actively to the candidate.
  • In good standing with ACA Coach Education

Kaizen - Continuous Improvement 

After a coach obtains the CE trained or CE certified accreditation within the ACA Coach Education Coach Developer pathway, Coach Evaluators must conduct at a minimum three (3) evaluations every five (5) years in order to maintain their active status as a coach developer - coach evaluator. Failure to meet ongoing accreditation standards will result in the inactivation of the coach evaluator status on the coachs profile. Coach Developers are required to attend a sport specific coach developer update every two years or when there are significant changes to the curriculum or administration processes related to the certification process in the ACA Coach Development Pathways. More information on the coach developer pathways and standards required for accreditation review the ACA Coach Education Coach Developer Policy

Master Coach Developers

Coach developers are coaches who are already involved in the NCCP and have actively coached for many years. Coach developers may have backgrounds in physical education, kinesiology, or similar areas of study. Coach Developers, train and coach the coaches. They are not simply experienced coaches or transmitters of coaching knowledge – they are trained to develop, support, and challenge coaches to go on honing and improving their knowledge and skills to provide positive and effective sport experiences for all participants. 

Coach Developers need to be experts in learning, as well as experts in coaching and technical concepts. ACA, PTSO’s and Master Coach Developers are all involved in identifying and training coach developers.

The role of the Master Coach Developers (MCD) is to train, to evaluate, to support, and to mentor Coach Developers, i.e. Learning Facilitators (LFs), Coach Evaluators (CEs), and other MCDs. In addition, MCDs play a key role in promoting the NCCP. Master Coach Developers must possess adequate knowledge and expertise in facilitation to assist in training Coach Developers and to lead workshops and professional development experiences for Coach Developers. 

It is expected that Master Coach Developers will have more responsibility in a supportive role with Coach Developers during workshops, evaluations, and in Coach Developer development. MCDs should be willing and able to lend support to Coach Developers, program administrators, and delivery host agencies. 

All Master Coach Developers are required to be fully licensed as a registered coach in good standing to evaluate and certify coach developers. To review licensing requirements review the ACA-CSC licensing policy.  

The pathway to become an ACA-CSC and NCCP Approved Master Coach Developer 

A Master Coach Developer is a coach who has completed the learning facilitator pathway and the coach evaluator pathway within their coaching context of expertise. A Master Coach Developer is the coach of the coach developement workforce, learning facilitators and evaluators, in their local province or territory who can support both coach developer roles as described below.

  • The goal of an LF is to effectively facilitate sessions that result in the development of coaches who can demonstrate their abilities and meet the standards established for certification. An LF should have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes to facilitate workshops using the competency-based approach. In addition, they serve as contributing members of the community and ambassadors for the ACA, PTSOs and the NCCP. 

  • A Coach Evaluator’s role is to contribute to the development of coaches after they have acquired their NCCP training. This includes assessment, evaluation, debriefing, and follow-up with coaches trying to achieve Certified status. Coach Evaluators are experts in the observation process and have in-depth knowledge of the outcomes, criteria, and evidence that comprise the evaluation tools that establish NCCP standards for coaches of a sport context. Coach Evaluators act as a resource to coaches seeking to augment and validate their coaching abilities.

For more information on the NCCP Master Coach Developer Pathway click here or If you have additional questions; coach@alpinecanada.org

Selection of ACA Education Master Coach Developers

Application to become an MCD is to be made directly to ACA Education by emailing coach@alpinecanada.org. Applicants will be selected in consultation with the appropriate PTSO Coach Education lead and PTSO athletic director. 

Master Coach Developers must possess the following: 

  • Have five (5) years of experience or more as an LF;
  • Have successfully completed the NCCP Make Ethical Decisions online evaluation;
  • Are trained or educated in an area related to coaching or coach education;
  • Have relevant coaching experience in alpine ski racing;
  • Expert technical and tactical knowledge of ski racing
  • Knowledge and understanding in the NCCP coach developer pathway;
  • Contextual understanding and knowledge in athlete skill development and growth and development, including content included in the ACA LTAD 3.0
  • Experienced in training and instructional methods in an adult education environment
  • Successful completion of the NCCP Making Ethical Decisions on line evaluation
  • Successful completion of the MCD training sessions
  • Demonstrable skill in the NCCP core competencies: leading, valuing, interacting, problem solving, critical thinking
  • Must be have completed all NCCP requirements in the Coach Developer pathway

Kaizen - Continuous Improvement 

Upon gaining either trained or certified status within the Coach Education, Coach Developer pathway, LF’s, CE’s and MCD’s MUST conduct, at minimum, one (1) course every two (2) years in order to maintain their active status. Failure to meet ongoing accreditation standards will result in the removal of LF. CE or MCD status from the coach profile. All Master Coach Developer’s must attend a yearly update and contribute actively to annual curriculum reviews and updates to maintain their Master Coach Developer status. 

More information on the coach developer pathways and standards required for accreditation review the ACA Coach Education Coach Developer Policy.

Pathway FAQ

HOW ARE SKI INSTRUCTORS DIFFERENT THAN SKI COACHES?

Ski Instructors- CSIA

Resorts and hills across Canada operate snow-schools, where learners get their initial on-snow lessons and experience. These lessons are led by Instructors.Instructors work with gliding start and skier essentials skiers, who are learning fundamental movements and how to ski. In order to become a qualified instructor, candidates complete the Level 1 Course through the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliace (CSIA). If delivering snow-school lessons at your local resort sounds like the right fit for you, visit www.snowpro.com to get started.
 

Ski Coaches

Ski Clubs, Provincial / Territorial Teams and our National Team rely on the expertise of Coaches to help ski racers learn new skills, compete at the highest level, and reach their athletic potential.

Coaches work with skiers and ski racer to develop specific competitive ski racing skills, while training for success in competitive ski racing disciplines, and developing the experience and confidence needed to win at progressively higher levels. To become a trained and licensed coach, you will begin by taking an introductory coaching course. This course is delivered in partnership between ACA-CSC, provinces and territories, and the National Coaching Certification Program. The course is then followed by a short checklist of follow up action items to complete and meet the minimum NCCP standards. .

If mentoring and developing ski racers sounds like the right fit for you, then you’ve come to the right place.
 


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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Rising Stars

Needs description work - team input! 

Rising Stars

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Para Alpine Reference Materials

Para Alpine Reference Materials
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Ski Cross Reference Materials

Ski Cross Reference Materials

Ski Cross Glossary

  • Banked turn: turn that is set at an angle helping in the direction of the turn.
  • Basketball turn: reverse banked turn, off angle, fall-away. The bank works against the direction of the turn.
  • Blocking: skiing in a manner to protect yourself from being passed.
  • Butter or buttered: skiing a section or terrain very smoothly
  • Bounced, or Bouncing: missing transitions through a roller section, or what you do when you "knuckle."
  • Boxed or Boxed in: stuck in a place/position that doesn't allow you to do what you want.
  • Case, Cased or Casing: coming up short on a jump, landing before the transition.
  • Double: a set of two "rollers" that can be jumped or "doubled."
  • Drafting: following closely behind another skier.
  • Flat turn, GS turn or Alpine turn: a turn that has no feature built to define it, it is flat like a Giant Slalom turn.
  • Hole-shot: winning the start and taking the lead
  • Knuckle: place on a feature where a flat spot rolls into a transition.
  • Knuckled: landing just short of making the transition.
  • Locked: stuck on edge, off-balance without the ability to release
  • Nail or nailed: skiing a section or terrain very well, fast
  • Over-shoot, over-shot: jumping long on a feature, missing the transition, or ideal landing area.
  • Pancaked, Pancaking: landing flat and hard, either short or long.
  • Rollers: section of terrain made up of rounded, wavy terrain. A skier is usually able to stay on the ground through a roller section.
  • Sling-shot: using the draft to accelerate and eventually pass another skier.
  • Step up: jump where the landing is higher than the take-off.
  • Squeezed: getting caught between two skiers, or a skier and a gate, or fence, and are unable to move
  • Step-down: jump where the landing is lower than the take-off.
  • Table or table-top: A jump where the take-off is at a similar level as the landing. Where the athlete has the option of clearing the flat portion in the middle and landing on the downslope of the feature or if travelling at a reduced speed can ski across the top.
  • Tranny: slang for the transition.
  • Transition: an ideal place to land on a feature, where landing is most forgiving, or part of a feature where speed can be generated by "working," "pumping," "milking."Triple: a set of three "rollers" that can be jumped all at once, or "tripled."
  • "Working" or Worked: (ex: Working a section, "I worked the rollers really well") Using the terrain to generate speed. (synonymous with pumping, milking)
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Snow Stars

Snow Stars is a five-step skill development guide providing coaches with an assessment tool for alpine, ski cross, and para-alpine skiers. Originally created in 2001, the success of this program is built on its role as an accessible education and planning guide for Canadian ski coaches and families.

Snow Stars

SNOW STARS OVERVIEW

Snow Stars is a five-step skill development tool for young skiers which guides the child, coach, and parent through a progression aligned with proper long-term athlete development.  

Optimal skill development takes place primarily between the ages of five to twelve years of age. For this reason, the program is aimed at young skiers from the Gliding Start, Skier Essentials and to the Learn to Train stages. The Snow Stars program is meant to provide ski clubs and coaches guidance through the foundational years where the development of proper skiing skill execution on demand is critical to future success. 

The vision of Snow Stars is to provide a solid foundation and knowledge base upon which to build a skier's athletic abilities in the physical, technical, tactical and mental domains. 

Snow stars encourage the development of skiers and ski racers of all skill levels by discovering the joy of skiing, skill competence, competition, and excellence in a fun and rewarding environment. 

Enthusiastic, well-prepared coaches and participants play an integral role in the success of the Snow Stars program. 

Parent's Role

Encouraging and supporting constant activity in sports is one of the most critical gifts you can provide for your young skier. 

Ski club programs are typically scheduled to run training on-snow during the winter in the Gilding Start, Skier Essentials and Learn to Train stages.

Without the involvement of daily physical activity through participation in complementary sports and free play year-round, a significant physical literacy development opportunity is lost resulting in the inability of the young skier to reach their full potential.

Parents are the key source of support and encouragement for a young Snow Star. From the moment of registration to their final graduation from the program, you can follow along with your skier's achievements.

Understanding the principles of Snow Stars and long-term athlete development will enhance your knowledge and communication with your young skier's coach and ski club program.

Coaches' Role

Coaches play a critical role during the Gliding Start, Skier Essentials and Learn to Train development stages, world-class athletes and all around sports people in our society would not exist had they not been fortunate enough to have optimal preparation during their childhood. 

Enthusiastic, well-prepared coaches and participants play an integral role in the success of the Snow Stars program. Combining coaching creativity with the resources presented here in the ACA LTAD you can develop a skier's fundamental movement and skiing skills using the Snow Stars programming. 

 Effective coaches will create a safe learning environment and allow young skiers to learn through guided self-discovery. Coaches should use a variety of coaching methods to accommodate the various learning styles of the children. A coach will guide their skiers through a skill progression to make skiing skills easier to acquire. Coaches also act observers who provide timely questions and feedback to their skiers to match their learning style.

Review the Snow Stars skill progression with your ski club peers and head coach. Use the Snow Stars progressions to help you plan your season and to identify the skills you want to develop for the current season. Without a plan, it will be difficult to measure and manage a progression to ensure you are meeting or exceeding your goals.

Program Directors, head coaches, and coaches should work in partnership with their respective resorts to ensure you have the proper training and evaluation on-snow environment. Skill evaluation events are planned well ahead of time; young skiers should be evaluated two to three times per year. Working together with another nearby club helps to promote a festival environment. 

The club programs should promote the concept of physical literacy as the cornerstone of athletic development in any sport.

Freeskiing as many miles as possible is the simplest and most effective method to encourage skill development at the entry level.

Skill Development is enhanced by:

  • Free skiing for many miles, in all conditions, both supervised and unsupervised is a critical element to develop strong skiing skills. 
  • The skillful course setting of specific environments to enhance a particular skill. 
  • The use of brushes, stubbies, and gates for markers, creates a reaction from the skier. 
  • A child's knowledge of sport specific skills.
  •  The use of mental training techniques.
  • Employing a variety of coaching intervention methods based on learning styles. 
  • A well-planned training program with specific goals and objectives.
  • Terrain selection to enhance skill acquisition. 
  • Terrain selection to challenge the skier.
  • Training giant slalom. 
  • Training slalom in brushes and stubbies and progressing to taller gates when appropriate.
  • Training in a variety of conditions through a variety of terrain including some terrain park features.  
  • A skier's form follows the function of his/her action. 
  • Coaching the performance of a movement versus coaching the look of a move. 
Proper skill development is a result of all performance factors working well together. 

Gate skiing comes with time!

Before the introduction of the gate training environment, the coach observes the skiers "perceiving" and "patterning" line and turn shape in the free ski environment. 

Successful progression to gate training is ENSURED by sequencing:

  • Technical freeskiing
  • Games and exercises in gates (obstacle courses, over/under)
  • Drill courses - constant rhythm to arhythmical 
  • Gate training
  • Competition

Effective training plans consider:

  • Enjoyment of the skier
  • Looking ahead
  • Line
  • Turn shape
  • Rhythm

Benchmarking the Skills of Your Skiers

Coaches must be competent in assessing the skill development level of their skiers to know when to progress a skier onto more challenging tasks. The following terms explain the stages of skill development that a young skier will proceed through when learning new skills. This progression assists coaches in determining where their skiers are on the skill development continuum. 

Stages of Skill Development
Initiation
  • First contact with the skill and may not understand what to do. 
Acquisition
  • Skier coordinates and executes the key components in the correct order. 
  • Skill is roughly performed, lacks synchronization, rhythm, and flow. 
  • Skill execution is inconsistent and lacks precision. 
  • Skier thinks about what they are doing during the execution. 
Consolidation
  • Coordination of movement begins to appear. 
  • Skill is performed with control and rhythm under stable conditions. 
  • Some elements of performance are maintained when the athlete is under pressure, in changing conditions or demands increase. 
  • Performance remains inconsistent. 
Refinement
  • Performance is very consistent. 
  • Precision is high in demanding conditions. 
  • Movements are seamless or automated. 
  • Only fine tuning of skill performance may be necessary. 
  • Critical reflection and correction are completed by the athlete. 
Creative Variation
  • Athlete begins to explore and invents new movements. 
  • Athlete tests skills in new and unfamiliar situations leading to adaptation.
  Bronze Silver Gold
Level 1 Initiation Acquisition Refinement
Level 2 Acquisition Consolidation Refinement
Level 3 Acquisition Consolidation Refinement
Level 4 Acquisition Consolidation Refinement
Level 5 Acquisition Consolidation Refinement

HOW IT WORKS

When young skiers are ready to be evaluated, creating the optimal assessment conditions to promote a high level of skier engagement is simple by following the suggested pre-planning and assessment day tips.

Planning the Assessment

  1. Let the skiers and their parents the date you plan on doing the skill assessment, the weekend before is a reasonable notification timeframe.
  2. Tell the skiers about any specific equipment needed for the assessment day.
  3. When performing a drill or a skill that is in the assessment, let your skiers know that this is a skill they will eventually be evaluated on.
  4. Print your assessment scorecards ahead of time. Only one scorecard per skier per season is needed to record the scores of an early, mid and end of season evaluation.
  5. If the assessment is the end of year evaluation, print the certificates ahead of time. Young skiers love knowing their results immediately.
  6. Use a pencil to mark and have a couple of spares available.

Assessment day

  • Are the conditions optimal to conduct the evaluation? (weather, snow conditions, skiers on the mountain, etc.?)
  • If conditions are optimal, proceed to next step. If snow conditions and weather are going to affect results negatively, please select another day.
  • Make sure you select the appropriate terrain to do your evaluation
  • Let your skiers know the plan for assessment, including which run, how long it will take, when you break, etc..
  • Inform your skiers about the skills they are being evaluated on. Are they drills that they have done before? If yes, this will help to reduce the stress level of the skier.
  • Once you have started your assessment, keep the skier's waiting time to a minimum, keep them skiing. 
  • Review results on the chairlift or during regular break periods.
  • Don't be afraid to repeat skill if you feel that your skier’s first attempt wasn't at their usual level of performance.

 

TIPS for a successful assessment day:

  • Seek high level of proficiency when assessing.
  • Don't be in a rush to move to a different task.
  • Use good demonstrations, for example, another coach, peer or video).
  • Promote a "feeling" for the snow surface.
  • Discourage robotic, stiff skiing.
At each level, assess the athlete's overall form of skiing. From the Level 1, controlled skier to the level 5 versatile skier, you will be able to see if the skier is confidently carving linked turns with speed and consistency. Always look for fluid movements and a relaxed attitude on the skis.

While assessing your skiers, these words should come to mind:

  • Fluidity
  • Flowing
  • Rhythm
  • Musical
  • Dance
  • Orchestration
  • Linking
  • Relaxed
  • Easy
  • Soft
  • Light

LEVEL 2 – THE PARALLEL SKIER

SKILL LEVEL ATTRIBUTES

  • Introduction to Turning
  • Experimentation of fore-aft movement
  • Maintain vertical movement
  • Intro to lower leg joint mobility
  • Vertical explosiveness
  • Psychological skills
  • Intro to competitive spirit

Snow Stars Level 2 Skill Worksheet

BENCHMARK

Watch the full drills and skills playlist here.

Pure line traverse

Wobbly lower legs

Edge sets traverse

Under bridge jump

Parallel skiing vertical movement

2 arm actions 2 leg actions

Coach signals stop

Responds cues coach

Brushes 2m vd 2m os

Tuck position

Tight direction changes

Straight flush 2m vd

Hockey stop

Downhill lateral hops

Different types terrain

LEVEL 3 – THE MOBILE SKIER

SKILL LEVEL ATTRIBUTES

  • Introduction to Turning and Carving Skills
  • Maintaining fore-aft movement
  • Intro to lateral movement 
  • Introduction of pole plant
  • Psychological skills,
  • Competitive spirit

Snow Stars Level 3 Skill Worksheet

BENCHMARK

Watch the full drills and skills playlist here.

Corridor sliding

180 switches

30 speiss

Free run carving

Short turns bumps

Course  splits

Split course coach signals

Flush 1 5m vd

Flush 4m vd 2m os 1

Tuck position in motion 

Timed round trip skate

Straddle brush dual

1000 steps

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Physical Fitness

Alpine skiing is a complex sport that requires high levels of technical skill and physical fitness to counteract the internal and external forces placed on the body during a run. Developing a high level of overall physical fitness and athleticism is critical to becoming competitive at the international level.

Skiers must be active year-round through participation in complementary sports to develop the standard of athleticism and physical fitness required to succeed in ski racing. 

The physical demands of ski racing require aerobic endurance, stamina, strength, power, agility, balance and coordination. These physical skills should be developed from a young age to lifelong enjoyment of skiing and sports. 


ACA FITNESS COMBINE

The ACA Fitness Combine aims to implement a system-wide standardized testing protocol to ensure Canadian skiers are developing ski-specific physical fitness abilities as they progress through the athlete development pathway while tracking the progression of skiers. 

PURPOSE

The development of general physical fitness is a necessary component for elite ski racers. Physical literacy, the establishment of efficient fundamental movement patterns in coordination in various situations, and the development of general strength, power, and endurance are critical neuromuscular and physiological capacities required of elite-level ski racers. 

An athlete's fitness level will either support or inhibit technical skill development by greatly influencing their ability to tolerate the training volumes required across different stages of development. 

Analysis and research have shown that the following physical fitness factors are characteristic of top ski racers:

  • Good aerobic work capacity (high maximal oxygen uptake/VO2Max)
  • Great muscular strength in terms of dynamic muscle function
  • Significantly prolonged muscular endurance, in terms of dynamic muscle function in given submaximal work
  • Well-developed muscular coordination

The assessment and quantification of these qualities can help identify potential performance deficits and track long-term performance trends. This document provides an overview of Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) nationwide physical fitness combine protocol. As ACA collects data and builds normative trends for each gender and phase of development, the ACA Fitness Combine will identify target areas for later development to promote the development of successful elite-level ski racers. 

There may be certain situations where teams have access to more sophisticated testing methods. This nationwide physical fitness combine program does not prevent the inclusion of additional testing. Instead, it provides guidelines for benchmarking ski-specific fitness abilities that are important for all ski racers in the development pathway. A coach can use the data gathered from each test to more accurately determine an athlete's starting point with their developmental and physical fitness stages and track subsequent progress through re-evaluation. This will promote the construction of an appropriate training program that serves the athlete's needs in the context of their sport, ski racing, and is suitable for their capabilities. 

The ACA Fitness Combine protocol represents a critical step forward in Canadian alpine ski racing. Standardized physical fitness testing implemented across various stages of development contribute to this cohesive pathway. A development pathway is not a series of independent stops as a skier ascends the ranks to international competition. Instead, it should be one continuous effort on behalf of all stakeholders to provide a fun, cohesive and exhilarating experience for all athletes. 

PDF FILES

ACA Fitness Combine (Fall 2022 v1.1) Protocol

ACA Fitness Combine Performance Evaluation Tables (PDF)

ACA Estimated 1RM Calculator and Weightlifting recording sheet (Excel)

ACA Weightlifting Recording Sheet (Fillable PDF)

ACA Fitness Combine (Fall 2022) Registration and Results Reporting Protocol 'How To Guide'

Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) 2014

ACA Fitness Combine Equipment, Facility and Administration Checklist

AUDIO FILES

AIS 20m Shuttle Run (Beep Test)

Max Push Ups (Tempo Imposed)

Sit Up (Tempo Imposed)

Online Metronome (set 20 BPM)

VIDEO FILES

AIS 20m Shuttle Run (Beep Test)

Hexagonal Obstacle

Standing Long Jump

Double Leg Penta Jump

Max Push Ups (Tempo Imposed)

Pull Ups

Brutal Bench

90s Box Jump

Technique - Full Squat

Technique - Deadlift

KEY FITNESS COMPONENTS
 

Ski racing consists of several disciplines, which vary in duration, the number of changes in direction, type of terrain, type of snow surface, jumps and course sets. 

At each stage of development, physical fitness is paramount. By the time ski racers enter the Train to Race and Race to Win stages, they must have a high level of physical fitness to tolerate the 130 - 150 days of training and competition required to become the best. 

The length of a single run, as described by Gilgien, M. et al., 2018 helps to show some of the differences between the different disciplines: 
  • Slalom races average 52 seconds with an average and maximal speed of 54 km/h.
  • Giant slalom races average 77 seconds and average/maximal speed of 65/85 km/h.
  • Super G races average 93 seconds with an average/maximal speed of 86/110 km/h.
  • Downhills average 121 seconds with average/maximal speeds of 94/150 km/h 

Improvements in slope preparation, ski equipment, course design and the near-perfect execution of skiing skill required to be the best on race day need ski racers of all ages to be in top physical shape to withstand the ground reaction forces placed on the body during alpine, para-alpine and ski cross training and competition. Ground reaction force can vary between disciplines. In slalom, when the ski racer performs a short-arc turn, lasting about 0.8 of a second, there is a sharp increase in maximal ground reaction force reaching about four times their body weight. In giant slalom turns lasting about 1.4 seconds in length result in maximal ground reaction forces approximately 3.2 times the ski racers body weight (Gilgien, M et al., 2018). In Super G and downhill, the turns last about 2.3 seconds resulting in a  smooth increase in ground reaction force peaking at 2.6 times body weight similar to the ground reaction force felt in downhill. In Super G, about 20% of the run is spent tucking without turn versus DH where approximately 45% of the time is spent tucking (Gilgien, M. et al., 2018). 

All around training programs that enhance movement mechanics, improve functional abilities and increase muscle strength can be an effective strategy for the reduction of sport-related injuries in young ski racers (Lloyd et al., 2016). Participation in strength training throughout all stages of development not only strengthens the muscles and connective tissues it can make ski racer more capable of sustaining higher external forces, which can reduce the chances of soft-tissue injury (Lloyd et al., 2016). 

Ski racers focus on training strength and core stability, power, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, agility, balance, coordination (motor skills) and mobility. The training plans for ski racers are adjusted to meet individual needs and requirements. For example, a speed specialist (DH/SG) will focus more on training endurance and strength versus a technical specialist (SL/GS) that focuses on the development of quickness and power (Gilgien, M. et al., 2018). Adjustments to training plans for injured or return to snow racers occurs in collaboration with a sports medicine professional. 

Participating in complementary sports is an excellent supplement to the sport specific training completed on snow and in the gym. 

Required physical fitness capacities for alpine skiing include:

  • Muscular strength (maximal strength, strength endurance, and stability). 
  • Power
  • Energy Systems (aerobic and anaerobic capacity)
  • Balance 
  • Coordination
  • Movement Competencies (mobility)
A brief description of how to best prepare physically fit ski racers for success at the international levels of ski racing can be found in each stage:

Physical Training for Para-Alpine

Much like the development of a long-term plan for skiing, the same must be looked at for a participant's or athlete's physical aspect. For the Para-Athlete, we must make specific considerations based on the physical impairment of the individual. It is necessary to realize that every aspect of the program will be considered individually due to the differences between each athlete’s needs. Training does not differ from an able-bodied regimen. However, extra considerations should be taken into account for each category.

Visually Impaired

Goals: develop proprioceptive awareness and balance to increase confidence in spatial moving, if possible, improve chemistry and communication with a guide.

Considerations:

  • Not usually any physical restrictions, no modifications to testing procedures.
  • Need to educate and progress from bodyweight movements to movements with external objects and object manipulation.
  • Landing and jumping progressions can help build spatial awareness, increasing balance and coordination.
  • Outdoor conditioning workouts will most often require a guide with experience.
Sitting

Goals: Develop and improve sitting positioning, balance, core strength, scapular, rotator cuff and potentially hip stabilizers.

Considerations:

SAFETY: gain awareness of their ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) status and lesion level. Before starting a program, gain a clear understanding of their current function (both sensation and motor).
  • Orthostatic hypertension: gradually change positions.
  • Autonomic dysreflexia (T6 and above): ensure they have used the washroom before their workouts and there are no bladder infections, restrictive clothes or other potentially noxious stimuli present.
  •  Respiratory function: do they need an assisted cough?
  • Caution with overtraining as this will affect their ability to carry out activities of daily living.
  • They may need more help than usual with moving themselves and equipment around the weight room or training area.
  • Be aware of areas without feeling and rubbing pressure points during specific movements.

Standing

Goals: Address muscular imbalances that may occur. Engage and encourage proper movement patterns, but understand that they may not be perfect.

SAFETY: If working with an amputee, ensure that skin care is managed, particularly if training in a hot environment.
  • Understand the differences in each athlete's range of motion, strength and optimal positioning.
  • All of the facets of training (strength, power, agility, etc.) can be trained; however, they all may look different between athletes and possibly within an athlete (i.e. left and right sides).
  • Some athletes (e.g. Cerebral Palsy or stroke) may need different movements for each side of their body, don’t neglect the less functioning side.
The coaching and integrated support staff (IST) must communicate and know each athlete’s functional status, technical levels and abilities. This will allow for better flow and alignment of physical, tactical, mental and technical development to create the best possible environment for maximal overall growth.

  • https://www.mackenzieinvestments.com/
  • http://www.hellyhansen.com/
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html

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Alpine Canada | Long-Term Athlete Development | Athletes | Coach Education Action Plan

Skiing for Life

This stage is all about a smooth transition from a competitive career to lifelong physical activity and participation in sports and skiing. The goal is to make the transition from competitive skiing positive and to keep everyone active for life. This transition can occur at any stage, it usually occurs after the Learn to Train stage.  

  • https://www.mackenzieinvestments.com/
  • http://www.hellyhansen.com/
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html

© 2024 Alpine CanadaSite by They

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