If you think your child might be looking to push their skiing a bit harder, then perhaps trying some ski racing is for you. But how do you introduce your kids to racing? There are two main ways to sample racing when on holiday.
First, in some resorts there are open races that anyone is welcome to enter. These are usually giant slalom courses on a blue slope to make sure it’s safe and fun. The atmosphere is welcoming and there will be a range of abilities from first time to the local race club. Most races will also let the adults try it too. This can be a great way to test the water and see if your child enjoys the experience.
The other introduction to racing can be through a ski school. Many schools now offer a race camp experience. This will normally be a full day of coaching on the mountain combined with some off-snow training. While there have been local race clubs in resorts for many decades, ski schools around Europe are starting to offer a more introductory experience, especially in the peak holiday weeks.
At Altitude a normal day for race camp might include a dynamic warm-up before some technical training outside of the gates. After a break or lunch, there would be some training in the gates to make sure the course difficulty is set to the right level. This would be followed by a cool-down and some off-snow work, looking at tactics and racing lines or doing some basic physical training.
Always remember that skiing in a race course and flying past gates can be a daunting experience. While it’s great to challenge our kids, we want to make sure that the experience is always positive and enjoyable. If we do that, who knows – perhaps your child could be the next Hermann Maier or Lindsey Vonn.