By Julia Ford, Director of Skiing
Just before holiday break, the Alpine Ski Team enjoyed a great pre-season training camp at Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine. The boys worked incredibly hard, both physically and academically, as we organized daily study halls just like we do at school. They returned home happy, exhausted, and excited for the rest of the ski season, as are the coaches!
We had five great days of skiing and three excellent sessions of gate training. Starting camp after breakfast on Saturday, we left Cardigan around 9 a.m., drove straight to the mountain, and skied in the rain. I can honestly say it was fun. We free-skied the whole mountain, talked about technique, and came together as a team with a strong positive attitude that allowed us all to enjoy the rainy day. The fact that a day that made our clothing soaked, goggles fog, and fingers pruned could be so fun is a huge testament to the powerful team culture that is developing among the boys. The leaders and returning athletes have set a standard of excellence, whether that be in effort, attitude, academics, or behavior, and have held the new athletes to the same level of expectation. We, the coaches, are proud of these young men.
Over the next several days, the boys capitalized on three days of a gate-training progression–consisting of a day of “stubby” slalom elements to test their balance, athletic stance, and tactics; a day of panel slalom which is a great tool to help develop forward movement on a strong platform; and a day on an extremely challenging, East Coast injected GS. Each day, I was curious how the boys would respond to the different elements put in front of them, and each day they rose to the occasion, especially the GS day; it was some of the most challenging GS conditions they will see all year. The icy surface glimmered blue, revealing the fact that it was more ice than snow. The boys summoned their courage and attacked the course with all they could. As a former athlete, I walked away from the day understanding how much energy and mental fortitude it takes to overcome fear, self-doubt, and struggles all with a smile on your face. Once again, I want to thank the coaches and the leaders of the team who have created a safe environment for each boy in which they feel comfortable and confident trying hard things with the intention of improving and learning, not just achieving.
I owe a huge thank you to Coach Clark and Coach Nevins for their monstrous effort during this camp. They planned, strategized, and provided a memorable and beneficial experience for each boy. Another big thank you goes to Coach Gray for holding down the fort at school!