TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. — The final of three USSA regional camps at Mt. Hood this July and August concluded with Rocky/Central’s project focusing on technical elements from Aug. 3-11. This project was open to U16 and older athletes who are members of the Rocky/Central Regional Training Group as well as a select number of invitees. Under the leadership Rocky/Central Regional Development Coach Ian Dunlop, Joe Downing (University of New Mexico), Ben Brown (Steamboat), Jen Stielow (AMP Sport), and John Leffler (Quantum – Breckenridge), athletes worked on fundamentals and tactics in both GS and slalom.
“The goal for this camp is to work on fundamentals and GS tactics. Many of the kids from the Central Region don’t get as many opportunities to work on GS so it was important for us to incorporate many of the GS tactical skills with the slalom fundamentals in this camp,” explained Dunlop. “The dynamic between the older and younger athletes has worked really well to accomplish the goals of this project. We had athletes come in from the University of New Mexico to mentor and set the track for the younger athletes. I think that the athletes really benefited from this and we were able to see a lot of improvement in the line and tactics that athletes were using.”
“My role at the camp was to assist the coaches with training the kids as well as demonstrate and be a role model,” remarked University of New Mexico NCAA skier Karoline Soevik Myklebust. “I found the camp very helpful. The days you get on snow before the season starts are very important. I got to do a lot of testing of equipment, which you don’t really have time for during the winter.”
Another important aspect of this project was integrating the use of AMP Sport, an athlete management system that is becoming an integral part of both regional and national USSA projects. Athletes who had not previously been using AMP were taught how to use the program to their advantage by reviewing coach’s comments while coaches can monitor athletes through wellness checks. Jen Stielow, a sport science expert at AMP Sport who formerly worked as the USSA Western Region development manager, was on hand to assist with educational sessions on the program.
“AMP is really helpful to our overall goals with these athletes,” noted Dunlop. “The connection with AMP is really great. The program is working behind the scenes taking care of details.”
Rocky/Central programing continues with a small speed camp in Valle Nevado, Chile in conjunction with the Western Region in mid-September and returns to the U.S. in November at Copper Mountain.