Stacey Cook, Steven Nyman, Marco Sullivan, TJ Lanning and John Teller: You could say this group knows something about going fast.
The Stacey Cook and Friends Speed Camp, set to commence this Memorial Day weekend, added extra firepower recently, enlisting the tutelage of Marco Sullivan and augmenting an already stacked coaching lineup.
“It’s a camp based around speed elements and it’s formatted to fit all ages, all abilities, so we’ve had mighty mice all the way up through masters,” said Cook. “We try to keep the focus on everything being really comfortable and fun, teaching people to love speed, rather than be scared of it. And Steven and Marco are the perfect guys for that because they’re both so carefree and fun. … There are so many Ski Team athletes that possess the skill; there aren’t as many that possess the personality [for coaching]. We just thought Marco would fit right in.”
This will be the fourth year Cook has held the camp, the second year Nyman has made an appearance and the first for Sullivan. They expect as many as 60 participants.
“We keep the group sizes between five and seven,” said Cook. “[Steven, Marco and I] are rotating coaches, so we make sure that every group gets to spend time with all three of us, and then there are other all-star coaches from the Far West. We have a few U.S. Ski Team coaches involved, too.”
Cook says one of the most important things about speed is being able to adjust to terrain. “We’re constantly sending them through terrain changes and teaching them how to deal with that. But we don’t just send them down the hill. We have a special progression that we follow.”
The camp will also take participants into the ski cross course and into the trees to prepare racers for the unknown, a crucial part of speed racing, says Cook.
“The best way to do that is just put the miles in,” she said. “It’s really nice to spend some time coaching. So much of our lives are very selfishly focused around us as athletes. When we get to work with these kids and masters and you see improvements so quickly, it’s really rewarding. Also, it helps our own careers when you can start to have an eye for coaching.”
For more information on the Stacey Cook and Friends Speed Camp this Memorial Day Weekend, visit the camp’s website here.