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U8 Alpine Race Team

Abenaki U8 Program philosophy – Fun-damentals


Athlete development can begin at an early age. For U8 athletes, the focus is on fostering a lifelong love of skiing and ski racing through fun and structured activities that teach the basics of skiing and balance.

Coaches design seasonal programs that promote basic competency and build a platform for advancement of skiing skills. A fun and skills-based focus provides athletes with the necessary tools to succeed at the next level and beyond. Very limited (if any) racing is done at this level.

Development Goals USSA Phase 1


Technical Goals

  • General Focus - Active start - Learning and fun environments

  • Athletic Stance and Balance -Ski stance is athletically adaptable. Can ski medium radius turns with parallel skis while maintaining balance. Upper body (pelvis and torso) orients down the fall line.

  • Skills (Rotary Edging and Pressure - Movements are varied, such as; wedge, parallel, converging & diverging steps, skating, etc. leading to outside ski dominance. Able to move from foot to foot and jump off both feet. Can turn both legs in same direction. 

  • Turn Strategies - Able to make short, medium and long radius turn relative to the skiers physical size.

  • Coordination of Movement - Leg rotation is simultaneous while maintaining a parallel relationship between the skis. Can skid down the slope on the uphill edges while maintaining parallel skis. Can flex and extend the lower body proactively and reactively in certain situations.Tactical Development Goals

  • Terrain - Have fun with skiing and gain confidence on skis. Mileage around the mountain is maximized with an emphasis on fun, freeskiing with friends.

  • Tech/GS and Slalom - Focus on drill courses & skill/obstacle courses. Limited normal GS courses. SL with stubbies and/or cones and other imaginative type sets are utilized for increasing skillfulness.

  • Speed/DH and SG - Elementary tuck practiced on cat tracks and low angle groomed runs. Able to jump with both feet.

  • Course Sets - Most skiing time should be on easier terrain, such that the athlete can learn/practice sound technique, not learn defensive technique encouraged by steeper terrain.

  • Competition Strategies - Focus on skill development through use of SkillsQuest Phase 1 Programs and tournaments.

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