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Divas of race kids?

SkiBabyMD

Certified Ski Diva
#1
Any Divas with kids in alpine race teams?

My DD10 and DD12 started racing this year after being on development teams and wow, the intensity is cranked up! They are starting with Tahoe Race Series instead of the more demanding Far West league. The number of skis have grown exponentially with SL, GS, and SG skis. SL and GS poles. Race boots. Chin bars, shin guards, and spine protectors, oh my! We've had to miss some school days for "pre-race training". At least my DD10/12 are enjoying the experience and have never complained about team.

Any Divas want to share their experiences or tips/tactics on how to manage all the gear ($), travel ($$), etc.? Also, my DH and I are thinking of a summer ski camp at Mt. Hood and Keely's has caught our eye. Any thoughts on this camp or summer skiing in general?

Thanks!
 

sibhusky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
I used to have a race kid. My daughter raced from age 11 to 18 on resort teams. Then continued beer league until this year. She's 32 now.

She also earned some of that money back as a race coach for 4? 5? years.

  1. Racing is expensive and it gets worse every year. The better your kid is, the more it will cost. It's cheaper in the East. In the West we have bigger distances and you'll start putting the kids on planes after a while.
  2. The kids will learn to ski great. Whether they earn school scholarships or not is a huge question. Do not count on it. I hear full ride scholarships are rare these days. So don't do this for that. Many of the colleges are giving ski scholarships to foreign students, which decreases the available slots. Just decide you want your kids to ski great and anything else is just gravy.
  3. We're in Northern Division. The kids miss a lot of school. Fortunately there are arrangements to handle that because every race other than our own requires at least over night lodging and sometimes airplanes. The kids have grade requirements they have to maintain.
  4. Camp is expensive. Whether it is worth it is a huge question to many. If you find a camp that's clearly made a difference consider yourself lucky. My daughter felt after going to a number of them that it was not worth it. Fortunately they had dryland training here starting in early fall. Camps get to be a "my friends are going to x" kind of thing. I think the benefit is minimal. But there's always parents who want to throw money at things.
  5. Fortunately the USSA or whatever they are calling themselves these days has started to call for less equipment purchases for younger racers these days with new rules. They are also discouraging race ski prep at the venue and a lot of the other trappings that were big when my daughter was involved. There is a recognition that the kids need technique more than they need two pairs of every type of ski, etc.
  6. Be involved in terms of gatekeeping, attending board meetings, etc. But don't drive the coaches nuts with advice. It will not help your kid if the coach considers you to be overly protective or interfering. There's a lot of parents who used to race who think that they should tell the coaches how to do their jobs.
  7. Consider tipping the coach at the end of the season or if nothing else, have your kid write thank you letters. My daughter would weep over some of those letters she got. It helped make up for all the grief of the season. Herding cats comes to mind. Some kids are real stressors.
My daughter started out at an Eastern mountain with training only on weekends and races close by. We then moved here and was on a team that met for training five days a week and all the races were major undertakings. So we've got a pretty wide perspective. Don't jeopardize the kids' college fund over this. We have friends who did. The girl fortunately did get a full ride, but hurt her back freshman year. And then her younger siblings were unable to be on the team because there wasn't any money left. Keep things in perspective.
 
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SkiBabyMD

Certified Ski Diva
#3
I used to have a race kid. My daughter raced from age 11 to 18 on resort teams. Then continued beer league until this year. She's 32 now.
Thanks so much for your insightful response and experiences. It is exactly what I was looking for: what to expect down the line. Love the community!
 

MI-skier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
My daughter has been on the HS racing team 3 years and is now a captain. She loves it. She did her first camp at Loveland and gained quite a bit. It is not an inexpensive sport. None are but like sibhusky said, it's all a matter of perspective. This DD applied and wants to go got CU-Boulder, not just for the school, but also for the skiing-just for fun, no chance of ski scholarships. Kyra.jpg
 
#8
My daughter (now 30) played travel hockey, and then (ice) hockey in prep school. Not as expensive as ski racing, but of course she had to be a goaltender, with an extra thousand dollars worth of equipment! The 6 am practices were the worst (except for the 5 am ones).

Eventually, she found that the athletic life wasn't really for her. She found opportunities in prep school that she would have missed if she continued in hockey - theater, social justice activities, and more.

We sacrificed for hockey; they keep growing out of skates, new pads, bigger hockey bag, camps, lessons, fees. It was a great experience for her; fortunately, she was a well-rounded kid, and found her own path.

College wasn't cheap, either!
 
#14
Did she ever pick up skiing? I hear hockey players pick up skiing really fast!
She wanted to snowboard, but it never took off. (Going to college in NYC didn't encourage it.) She tried riding again a couple of years ago with me, but had a miserable time, and announced she is done with it. No interest in skiing.

My granddaughter, however . . . we already have the baby skis. She is 20 months now. :-) Here are the two of them.
IMG_2573.JPG
 
#15
My DS 13 and DD 8 are both racing this year for the first time. The money we spent at the beginning of the season was absurd. Despite the $, I'm glad we're doing it. They are both much stronger skiers and having a blast! We ski mostly in the Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse area for races so fortunately we don't have to travel too far.

I've found the learning curve is steep for new families. Volunteer commitments, gear, tuning and waxing are a lot of hurdles we needed to figure out but the team is very inclusive and do their best to make sure everyone has what they need.
 

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