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U16 Program

Ages 14-15


The U16 program philosophy is to have fun while improving technical and tactical ski racing skills. This is considered to be a transition stage to seeded competition. These athletes will go against some of the best skiers in the region, and the country. U16’s begin to develop precision in the execution of skills, and a firm understanding of the rigors of commitment to the sport. They will have a high volume of work and need a more thorough work ethic. You have to develop good skiers, before good ski racers. Most of the time will be spent in gates and directed technical skiing with the coaches.


U-16 athletes will be competing in the Vermont Cup Series. There is an entry fee between $45-55 for tech events SL/GS; and a $65-70 for speed events (SG). There are typically 6 to as many as 19 possible races per season. At the U16 level you may compete in the Vermont State Champions, the USSA Eastern U16 Series, U16 Finals, and the U16 Eastern Championships. Qualification is required for some events.

Sugar SL

This is a great two day event at the end of the season held at Stowe. The first day is a SL which qualifies you for the SL on day two. This race is optional for those who want to participate. Format may change due to snow conditions. Please check race announcements for further details.


Using a variety of drills in free skiing and gate training, coaches will work technically and tactically to help the athlete improve. The basics of skiing will be emphasized throughout the season, and they will be training more gates than the rest of the groups. In gates, the emphasis will be on minimizing unnecessary movements and wasted energy to maximize speed and deliver results to reach individual goals. The group will spend the rest of its time out of gates free skiing, directed free skiing, and learning more about the sport.


U16’s should have SL, GS skis, and a SG ski is optional, as well as a pair of fun skis. A proper certified FIS marked helmet is also required. Shin-guards, pole-guards are mandatory. A padded race top (stealth) is mandatory for this age group. Talk to the coach before making any decisions on equipment.


This is an essential part of ski racing at this level and beyond. One of the biggest battles at this level is for the athletes to trust their equipment, and they can not if their skis are not tuned. We recommend that the skis are tuned (or at least waxed) before each time that they ski and the edges must be sharp every time the athlete skis. The athletes at this level should also be competent at tuning their own skis.


Racing – It is recommended that the athletes should have a GS suit for all competitions. It is important to dress properly on race day to keep warm and dry, in case of bad weather or long course holds due to injury, course repair, or weather conditions (visibility). They should also have and extra set of lighter clothes (fleece and training shorts) for race day in case that they need to go back to the start for any reason before the clothes are brought down or if there is not enough time in between runs for the coach to come down. The coaches should have a clothes bag with them to transport the clothes from the start to the score board or designated location. It is important on race day to wear clothing that is easy to take off, so we recommend NO SWEATSHIRTS, or a pullover that you can take off over your helmet.

Training – Dressing appropriately is the most important thing for any training day, may it be SL or GS. We recommend that the athletes wear a GS suit to training, so that they can get a more realistic feel for the speed at which they will be racing. The GS suit will also supply an extra layer of clothing on the really cold days. It is also easier for the coach to evaluation the athletes’ legs during the training sessions.

Labeling – We ask that every piece of clothing be labeled with the athletes’ name and JPSC. It will be easier to identify and find clothes if we work with another program (which we often do) on race day.

Overall Goals:

• To have fun while learning about ski racing
• To develop strong skiing fundamentals
• To begin to develop race tactics and techniques
• To develop comfort levels at high speeds
• To learn the rewards of working hard
• To learn and implement mental skills that can improve race day performance
• To learn how to use their comfort with speed in training and in racing

JPSC U16 Competencies:

1. Ski challenging runs under a variety of conditions
2. Demonstrate the ability to maintain appropriate balance and stance in all terrain
3. Demonstrate appropriate upper and lower body separation
4. Understand and be able to execute proper GS tactics in varying terrain and conditions.
5. Exhibit a calm upper body with a minimum of excessive movements
6. Utilize ankle flexion to pressure the front of the ski at the initiation of turns.
7. Consistently exhibit pole plant in all turns.
8. Understand how the ski design elements affect technique.
9. Ski with parallel knees, feet, and skis
10. Understand how to properly run and execute SL combinations
11. Use and demonstrate appropriate lower body (hip, knee, ankle) angulations in all terrain and snow conditions


All athletes must have valid USSA and VARA memberships, before the first weekend in December!