The Alpine Canada Long-Term Athlete Development Pathway

Whether it's their first trip on the slopes or their first start at a competition, our 7-step program is designed to develop and encourage skiers of all levels.


Gliding Start 01

Children from zero to six years of age need to participate daily in age-appropriate activity. Through play and movement, children develop their competence in the fundamental movement skills and learn how to link movement patterns together to perform sports skills. The focus of this stage is to have fun while participating in sliding snow sports and the development of fundamental movement skills to increase confidence. Children in the Gliding Start stage should ski as often as possible with their parents. 

Boys 1-6 / Girls 1-6 / Snow Stars Level 1 - 3 / No formalized competition
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Skier Essentials 02

In the Skier Essentials stage, skiers continue to develop fundamental movement and skiing skills in fun, structured and unstructured environments. Providing fun, inclusive and developmentally appropriate physical activity experiences will promote the development of a child's confidence and desire to ski. Skiers at this stage are focused on developing technical skiing skills in a wide variety of training and competition environments. 

Boys 6-9 / Girls 6-8 / Snow Stars 1-5 / Club Level / Local Club and Inter-club skill events
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Learn to Train 03

Skiers have acquired a wide range of fundamental movement skills and technical skiing skills when they enter this stage. Skiers will begin consolidating their technical ski skills while having fun participating in a variety of ski racing events, including Slalom, Giant Slalom, and SX kombi events. Skiers start to understand the use of dynamic, athletic turns in different training and competition environments, including head to head and team event formats. 

Boys 9 -12 / Girls 8 - 11 / Club Level / Local & Zone racing / Limited provincial racing / Stage ends with start of adolescent growth period
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Train to Train 04

The gateway for several opportunities including the transfer of learned skills to another sports discipline, entry into the Podium Pathway or transition into the Ski for Life stage. Ski racers in this stage are focused on transferring fundamental technique and basic tactical skills into the competitive environment. Ski racers begin formalized speed and ski cross training progressions. While ski racers start competing more seriously, the primary focus during competition is on applying what they've learned in training and not on winning at all costs.

Boys 12-16 / Girls 11-15 / Adolescent Growth Spurt / Rising Stars / Club Level / Local & Provincial level events / National Championships / Beginning International FIS events
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Train to Race 05

Ski racers enter this stage when they have progressed past the adolescent growth spurt, have acquired excellent skiing skills and a high-level of physical fitness. Ski racers are refining their technique and tactics through training and competition in a variety of events. Ski racers are starting to compete in FIS races. Training programs are individualized, and athletes will begin to specialize in their strongest discipline as they enter the Race to Win stage.

Boys After adolescent growth period / Girls After adolescent growth period / Dependent on skiing skills & fitness / Club through Provincial Team Level
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Race to Win 06

Ski racers are competing at the highest levels of competition in the world (i.e., Olympics, Paralympics, FIS World Championships or FIS World Cups). They are the best of the very best Canadian ski racers and not everyone on the national team will fall into this category. Competitors at this level, have highly personalized training and competition plans designed by an integrated support team of physical therapists, athletic therapists, sports psychologists, and their Alpine Canada coaches to provide ongoing support for the pursuit of athletic excellence. 

Boys Alpine Canada National Teams / Girls Alpine Canada National Teams / CAST/Canada SX/CPAST
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Ski for Life 07

Skiers and racers that have the desire to maintain physical activity through skiing are in the Skiing for Life stage. A skier may choose to ski competitively or for fitness, and if inclined, give back to the alpine community by becoming a coach, official, or volunteer. Competitive skiers participate in the Alpine Canada Masters’ program or a recreational ski club program and can choose to compete nationally or internationally. A skier may also wish to ski for enjoyment to maintain fitness and health. 

Boys Lifelong enjoyment of skiing / Girls Lifelong enjoyment of skiing / Any age / Master's Racing
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