Southern Ontario Division (SOD) Pre-Season Update
The Southern Ontario Division (SOD) ski team started the 2021-22 pre-season with the selection of new members and the return of last year’s athletes who persevered through ski hill closures and being split up for training due to hill/guest requirements and precautions.
Their first gathering was in June for physical testing, to get to know each other and start some mental preparation training. As summer flashed by, prep for snow began and ski bags were packed, vaccinations were updated, along with all proper COVID requirements and the team was off to their first foray for many into international territory in over a year – Saas Fee, Switzerland for a 16 day camp.
Going into the Fall and Winter months, the balance of school and ski racing became a new challenge but the challenge was accepted by team members and the second prep camp was underway in Austria during the last 2 weeks of October. Back in Canada, SOD athletes headed west for their third preparation camp in Panorama BC where they were met with the unbelievable floods that took out much of the province. Panorama was not affected but the travel there was, and the team arrived 2 days late but set straight to work! Training in different weather (very wet and raced much of the time soaked!) and terrain was a challenge but improved development. The performance of the SOD athletes was impressive considering the tough weather conditions.
They continue to work with athletes on what their intentions are versus what they expect or what they think others expect of them and try to create more reflection opportunities for the athletes to allow them to look back and learn from certain situations where they might have had a difficult time. Learning from our mistakes or struggles is a big part of moving forward in this sport and helping in this area can make a difference in mindset.
Now currently off to Mont Tremblant, Quebec for a pre-Christmas training camp, racing and then coming home for some time with friends and family for the holidays. Being able to train at home and race on our home hills will feel quite different for this team but very much needed for the athletes and the coaches. Looking ahead to what the season will bring, they feel resilient and ready to deal with it!