What Racing in Europe Does for Development
Kate Barton: What These Trips Do
As the head coach at Burke Mountain Academy and a multiple time trip leader for the U18 Scando Cup trip, as well as staff to the World Junior Championships, Kate Barton has seen NNF funded skiing development first hand. Here’s what she explained as the result of dollars spent:
1. The first time. For most athletes, this is their first ski racing trip overseas and for many their first high level international competition. Exposure to this kind of event is the first step to creating comfort and confidence on the international level in the future.
2. The coaches. Exposure to this kind of event and this level of racing is as eye opening and motivating for us as much as it is for the kids. The process of developing athletes is long and involved, and watching the kids ski fast and succeed at this level is a big deal.
3. The truth. Many of the athletes who qualify are coming off of a high based on their performance at US Nationals and this competition helps to bring them back toward the ground, reminding them that there is still a lot of work to be done. The kids make a shift in focus to getting stronger, faster, fitter because exposure to a higher level of racing reignites the idea that this is an ongoing process. It doesn’t end in Houghton or Salt Lake. If they have a future in ski racing this is crucial and will benefit them.
4. Experiencing success is important. You can benefit from learning to win. Getting on the podium at U-18 championships proves our athletes can succeed at a high level in international junior racing. As these athletes progress in their racing opportunities, to World Juniors, U-23’s and the World Cup, they can remind themselves of this performance and the fact that theybelong here. They’ve been here and they’ve been successful. Its hard to break through, but the earlier and more often you do it the easier it gets. Now, athletes can believe in the success and go after more!
Kate Barton (l) with Nick Mahood readying skis at Junior Nationals.
Support the Drive today. Help US skiing get more chances at International Competition before the first World Cup start.