|June pow day #2 at Mt. Bachelor
The motel where we stayed also hadn’t been open to full capacity in 6 years. It took a couple days to grease the wheels and get everything and everyone rolling at the same pace, including myself.
This camp was the beginning of my new job description working with the younger kids, 12-13 year olds (J4’s, or now as they call them in USSA, U14s). I spent last season working with the 13-14 year old (J3/U16) boys and had a blast. Initially when I went searching for a new coaching job in the west, I wanted to work with the J4s. When I landed the job with Ski Club Vail, they put me with the J3 boys. I was super nervous at first and went through a phase of doubting my ability to coach this group to the best of my ability. After the first month or so though, I got into it and felt more comfortable helping these kids on the brink of stepping up their game in the coming years to ski faster. It turned out to be one of the funnest seasons of my coaching career, working with great kids who are so dedicated to the sport, and a crew of coaches, the “Z Team”, whom I learned so much from and had an absolute blast working so hard together every single day.
|Z Team hard at work
Starting with a new group of kids and new coaches was slightly intimidating to me. It wasn’t the familiar crew that I had spent the previous season bonding with. What made my experience last year especially great was working with a female peer coaching the same group of kids. Having another girl to work with was incredibly empowering and comforting to relate to on another level. Don’t get me wrong; I can hang with the boys. I’ve spent my entire ski racing and coaching life hanging with the boys. But having another girl who’s also spent her life with the boys made it that much easier.
There will be a more gender diverse group of coaches for the coming winter, but at Bachelor, it was just me. So coming into a new group without my support system from last season took some time to adjust. After a few days of “adjusting”, it turned out to be more fun than I had ever imagined. The 12-13 age group is incredibly special because they are starting to become athletes with muscles, but are still mostly innocent and cute. They only grow into their egos, bodies and bad habits as they age…Coming off the first ever SSCV Bachelor camp, I am beyond psyched to work with the U14s next season. We worked hard at camp and made big improvements to the kids skiing and my coaching. I feel more comfortable as a coach and more confident with my eye for U14s and beyond.