Hello from Chile! A daily blog from the U16s

Submitted by the U16HPP Coaching staff

ARRIVAL

After a very long travel day we are settled in to our place in El Colorado.  The kids have eaten, prepped for day one on snow, and are now heading to bed.  Tomorrow we will be free skiing SL, getting familiar with our new surroundings, and getting our legs back under us.  The weather is great and we’ve heard nothing but great things about the snow.

A big thank you to Cheryl and the other U16 parents who helped u out at Pearson.

 

DAY2

Day two in Chile, day one on-snow, was great. Great weather and great snow conditions.  We spent the day free skiing on slalom skis and getting to know the mountain. We began with some drills and will continue to develop on these in the coming days. We will continue to free ski on slalom skis and working on drills tomorrow. This evening we began with course time on our Civics and Careers course.

 

DAY 3

Today we spent the morning in designated lane space, where we trained slalom using stubbies and brushes, with three different environments set up.  After lunch we continued our free skiing and drills, enjoying the continued great conditions and weather.

This evening in our team meeting we were lucky enough to be joined by past Ontario Ski Team, and current NCAA, athletes Corey McConville, Patrick McConville, and Karl Kuus. They relayed their past experiences in Chile, and the route they’ve taken to get to where they are now.  Our group will get to watch these athletes in action tomorrow.

 

DAY4

Today we wrapped up our first 4-day on snow block.  Again we spent the morning in a lane working on slalom drills using stubbies and brushes, followed by an afternoon of free skiing and additional drills. We were lucky enough to share lane space with the Southern Ontario Division team (SODST) with the U16s observing some of the training environments being worked on by these FIS athletes.  Tomorrow will be the first rest day of our camp which will be comprised of a sleep in, followed by a walk to La Parva (the neighbouring ski hill) for lunch.  We will also use this time to continue to work on the Civics and Careers course which is, in most cases, progressing on schedule.

Today the Ontario Ski Team arrived and we look forward to having some opportunities to interact and train with them in our coming block.

 

DAY5

We have had a great first block of training in Chile – the snow has been excellent and weather beautiful. Athletes have been working hard on the snow and are having a well-deserved day off today with a sleep in, a big focus on their Careers and Civics credits, a hike over to La Parva for lunch, tuning, stretching and relaxing.

We are really happy with the level of focus, work ethic and progress we are seeing on the hill. Tomorrow we move into a 4 GS and SG block – starting with a day of free skiing and drills followed by 3 days of gate training and free skiing – weather looks like it will hold through this block with sun, cloud and no significant precipitation.

Athletes seem to have settled in and become more comfortable with the altitude, food, culture and accommodation

 

DAY6

Today we began our second training block.  This block we will be focusing on Giant Slalom.  Today we began with free skiing allowing athletes to get adjusted to the skis. Today we had great conditions with some groups skiing well past 4:00 pm.  At this evenings’ meeting we were joined by Kip Harrington, Ontario Ski Team Head Coach & Program Director, who discussed a few tips regarding GS. Kip will join us tomorrow morning as we begin  our first day of training GS in a set course.

 

DAY7

Today we set a 22 gate GS training environment this morning with stellar snow conditions. Athletes were able to complete between 8 and 10 runs through the course.  This afternoon we continued on our GS skis focusing on a multitude of drills while free skiing.  Kip Harrington, OST Head Coach and Program Director, also stopped by for free skiing this afternoon and spoke with the athletes between runs.  Tomorrow morning we will set a GS training course tomorrow morning. At lunch we will switch to our Super-G skis for some free skiing.

We also completed the Careers course today with the final exam – Job Interviews – Overall these were done exceptionally well.

DAY 8

Today we had another GS set in the morning, this set was a little shorter with some more tempo. Great continuity from day to day, and athletes are making good progress.  The afternoon saw the athletes strap on their Super-G’s and enjoy an afternoon of free skiing getting used to running the longer skis.  Tomorrow we will move to a steeper lane.

DAY 9 

Today was a near repeat of yesterday, with giant slalom being set in the morning and Super-G free skiing in the afternoon.  The morning saw us move to a more difficult lane for GS, the athletes were up for the challenge and continued to progress.

The class continued to progress with a unit test being written once we got off the hill. 

Tomorrow will be an off day, which is timely as the weather is not looking great.  Athletes will use the down time to continue to work on the course and we’ll head out for lunch.

DAY 10-11-12

We have now completed two days of our final block and are on our way out the door for day three.

Two days ago we did paneled slalom. The afternoon included a great session of free skiing where we took advantage of 20 cm of fresh snow!  Yesterday we were lucky enough to train GS beside the Polish Women’s Europa Cup team. A great opportunity to watch in between our own training runs.

Last night we were joined by Patricia Peña, the Canadian Ambassador to Chile, who talked to the athletes abouther roles, career path, and made us a little more aware about the Canadian/Chilean relationship.

FINAL DAYS & HOME! 

Wow – it is really hard to believe that we have just one day left at our camp – the time has flown by super quick and the camp has been awesome and productive despite a few “hiccups”. We have had sunny skies pretty much every day which provides great visibility, the snow has been very hard each morning and amazing for training, the lanes are wide and open and provide excellent venues to set environments that create wonderful learning opportunities and we are surrounded by some of the best racers in the world !!

We have shared a lane with, not only the Polish Women’s Europa Cup team but also Ilka Stuhec (Slovenia)  who is currently ranked 5 in DH and 6 in SG and is a former World Champion. Today we were a couple lanes away from the CAST Women who just arrived.  A few stopped by to say Hi and chat !! (photo of Candace Crawford – CAST GS and SG – 2018 Olympian with the U16 Girls 🙂

We are finishing off with two days of SG.  We have done a lot of free skiing on the big skis and athletes have become very comfortable and confident on them – today our course was a rounder, rhythmical course for timing and to develop a strong platform on the outside ski by being patient at the top of the turn. Tomorrow we are on a more gentle slope where we will set straighter and work on tucks and gliding. Many athletes are figuring out that these skis are actually fun to ski on and turn quite easily with the right moves !!  Some of the group joined the SOD team on their SG lane as well  – so all in all a great day.

Kids have become a little braver with the food – which is 100 times better than it was 10 years ago when I was here !! They are all pretty much wrapped up with their course which has kept them engaged and focused off the hill. They have their GS and SL skis travel waxed and have started to gather and clean up their stuff so hopefully they come back with everything they brought. They have all become great friends and have worked very hard on the hill and made some excellent progress.

We will have an early morning on Wednesday departing at 430 am  – we look forward to seeing everyone in Toronto  – we arrive on AC 0093 at 6:50

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