Coach’s Corner: Top-notch workers create top-notch athletes
Those of you who live around here might be feeling like the season is coming to a close. Not quite yet, but it’s close. The weather has been warmer; the sun is staying up longer. People are pulling out their spring and summer attire and making use of it, even if it’s just for a few short hours a day.
The winter snow-sports season definitely has less time left than more, but that doesn’t mean everyone is at a point of thinking about biking, rafting, skating, paragliding, hiking, disc golf and all the other incredible activities that Snowmass Village and the surrounding Roaring Fork Valley have to offer.
For some of our Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athletes, these next few weeks are the most coveted and important weeks of the entire season.
We all have goals. Some are bigger than others. Some are misunderstood by our peers, but one set of goals that is typically universal is to excel in one’s endeavors. For many of AVSC’s athletes, that opportunity is rapidly approaching in the form of the USASA Nationals. This multi-week event (March 29 to April 8 for snowboarders and April 5 through 9 for skiers) is the culmination of this season’s work and progress. This event plays host to just about every competitive discipline skiing and snowboarding has to offer and pits the best of the best from all over the country against one another.
Going into this event, I feel confident about our athletes’ abilities, the progress they’ve made this year and their preparedness for this final showdown. Aside from the time and effort our kids have put into progressing their skills, I’m confident because I know that we’ve been blessed with opportune and phenomenal training facilities.
As some of you might have noticed, our terrain-park locations have been altered a bit this year, with all three in Snowmass (Snowmass Terrain Park, Makaha and Lowdown) now accessible via the Coney Glade lift versus being spread across both sides of the mountain.
Not only was this development a huge benefit to efficient training with regard to location and time management, but the park crew has been doing a stellar job of building and maintaining a variety of creative features to push and promote safety, fun and learning. People such as Yannick Rioux, Chris Branstetter, Ben Nelson and Fred Ables, among many others, work tirelessly to make sure our parks are top-notch, giving tourists a unique and unforgettable experience as well as providing an opportunity for local athletes to hone their technical and creative skills.
This will be proven as AVSC athletes head to the national stage and perform for their parents, peers, coaches and rivals.
While some of you might feel things are winding down for this winter season, remember that others are just about to go their biggest and try their hardest.
If you see AVSC athletes training on the hill, please take a moment to admire their abilities and perhaps even slap them a high-five or wish them luck in the upcoming weeks. If you run into someone wearing a blue Helly Hansen uniform with an official-looking vest in the Coney Glade-accessed terrain, consider thanking them for their hard work.
Even if you don’t personally make use of the terrain-park features, just know they are providing a great venue for our valley’s youth as well as all of the guests who travel to the destination resort of Aspen/Snowmass for our world-class terrain, both natural and man-made.
Josh Ganz is a snowboarding coach for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. He writes about the progress of athletes who live and/or train in Snowmass Village. Email him at email@example.com.
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Snowbikers at NASTAR national championships in Snowmass hope to spread a message of fun, inclusive riding.