ABOUT alpine programs

From beginning racers to international level competitors, the BSF Alpine program provides training to help each individual improve. We promote a positive, quality sport and winter outdoor experience. And above all, we want you to have fun and love skiing. COME SKI WITH US.

Important Updates

ALPINE SUMMER CAMPS
April 21, 2017
Save the dates for these Alpine summer camps. Beartooths, Mt. Hood and Italy!
Read more>>
2017 Alpine Awards
April 19, 2017
Several athletes received season awards from the USSA Northern Division.
Read more>>

Ages 6-12

YOUTH SKI LEAGUE

Explore alpine and freestyle skiing

1 day a week

Youth Ski League Team (YSL) is an 8-week program designed for intermediate-level skiers ages 6+. Build your skiing skills by exploring the fundamentals that apply to both ski racing and freestyle/freeskiing in a fun, no-pressure environment.  Skiers can explore both disciplines, should they wish. Athletes need to be competent lift riders, able to ski with poles, and able to ski mid-mountain at Bridger Bowl. The program starts in early January, meeting once a week for 8 weeks.

Learn more about Youth Ski League

Ages 8-11

U10-U12 Weekend development team

1 or 2 days a week

The U10-U12 Weekend Team is for the young skier who is an advanced skier and has completed at least one year in the BSF Youth Ski League (or a similar program). This 1- or 2-day/week program maintains the fun-filled attitude of BSF ski programs, while emphasizing developing race techniques by skiing difficult terrain and conditions and working on drills in and out of gates.

Learn more about u10-u12 devo team

Ages 12-13

U14 development team

3 days a week

U14 Development Team is a 3-day/week program for athletes progressing with their alpine skiing. This program also offers fall training (outdoor play and strength), which helps prevent injuries and builds a fitness base.  On-snow practice, which begins as soon as resorts are open (early December), combines free skiing, drills, and gates. Technique (how to ski) and tactics (where to ski) are taught in tandem.

Learn more about u14 Devo Team

The U16/U18/PG Teams are for athletes age 14+ who are ready to train on and off snow 5-6 days a week.  Athletes in the BSF competitive program are committed to excelling in skiing, physical training, and academics.

Learn more about comp teams

Adults

masters team

1-2 days a week

We provide lane training on Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings for adults of all ages, no matter what your ski racing background is. Get great coaching, run the gates, and enjoy the slopes.

Learn more about Alpine Masters

Alpine Age Classes

Alpine Age Classes as determined by age on December 31st, 2017

U8 - 7 years and younger
U10 - 8 & 9 years of age
U12 - 10 & 11 years of age
U14 - 12 & 13 years of age
U16 - 14 & 15 years of age
U18 - 16 & 17 years of age
U21/PG - 18, 19, & 20 years of age

BSF programs are aligned with information put forth by the USSA (United States Ski and Snowboard Association). 

The majority of the athletes will participate in programs that fall under two categories, either Development or Comp (competition). It is important to note that Development athletes can compete and Comp athletes are always developing. These are simply terms that are common throughout ski racing circles, and terms that are familiar to BSF staff and families. Within the Northern Division, "development" groups attend their own circuit of races, while "comp" athletes have their individual circuit as well.  Some of the older (U14) development athletes, based on coach discretion, may have the opportunity to race at a "U16 and older" event. 

Please feel free to email Program Director Jason Moore at jason@bridgerskifoundation.org with any program questions.  

LTAD

(Long Term Athlete Development)

Long Term Athletic Development is the managed developmental progression for an athlete that will both maximize their long-term potential and enjoyment in the sport.

What does that mean? We’re not focused on short-term success—and the hazards (and burnout) that often come with it. Instead, we follow LTAD plans that are individualized and based on science to make sure your child can maximize their long-term potential as a skier (should they wish to do so) and their enjoyment in the sport. We take into account a child’s development physiologically, cognitively and socially, as well as their experience skiing.

This makes it easy for your child to progress through our programs—from Youth Ski League, the Development Teams, to the competitive teams, and even on to skiing as an adult Masters athlete.

The BSF Alpine LTAD follows the guidelines of the USSA LTAD. 

This plan addresses:

  1. Sport Participation: How many days skiing/year, # of competitions, and train/comp ratios.
  2. Conditioning: volume and content for physical training outside of skiing.
  3. Technique and tactics: specific skills for the sport.
  4. Equipment selection and preparation: the essential equipment needs for competition.
  5. Performance Psychology: mental skill activities
  6. Conditioning: appropriate type and level of competition.

General Phases of Development

"What should an Alpine Ski Racer do? And when should they do it?"

(Adapted from the United States Ski Association's Alpine Training System and Coaching Guidelines)
Phase 1

2-6 years of age

1-4 years in the sport

skiing 1-2 days a week, 20+ days a year

95% free skiing

Athletes in Phase 1 benefit greatly from playing many sports. Gymnastics and balance-based sports are optimal. Fundamental skiing skills will be strongly emphasized with skiers learning to follow a designated line by skiing around cones, playing follow-the-leader, exploring the mountain and terrain, and race introduction via obstacle coursed and rhythmical NASTAR type courses.

Phase 2

6-10 years of age

1-4 years in the sport

skiing 2-3 days per week, 50 ski days a year

90% free skiing, fun races, and participation in a number of sports is beneficial.

Skiers in this phase are moving into an optimal window to develop agility, quickness, and speed (short duration).  Athletes in this age group can have relatively short attention spans and do not have a developed anaerobic energy system for sustained high-intensity skiing over a long distance or course.  Skiers in the phase are encouraged to use one pair of skis for all events.  Recommended disciplines include giant slalom, slalom, Kombi, dual courses, obstacle courses, and skills competition.

Phase 3

Girls 10-13 years of age, Boys 11-14

4-8 years in the sport

skiing 3-4 days per week, 70 ski days a year

60% free skiing with a competition period running from Jan-March

Approximate ratio of training days to race days should be 6:1.

Athletes are encouraged to play complimentary sports.  This phase is a very important developmental phase of the skier.  Skiers in this phase are in the optimal window to hone and demonstrate mastery of fundamental skiing skills.  With increased course (training) time, course setting will progressively challenge the skier's technique. Exposure to variety of terrain and a variety of training environments, drills, courses, is essential. Motor learning is a key element of phase 3 with skiers first demonstrating that they can perform a skill, then continue to execute the skill as the task gets more difficult.  Drill and training course progressions go from rhythmic to a-rhythmic, flat to steep, open to tight, and vice versa.  Versatility and a variety of turn shapes will be emphasized. Recommended disciplines include giant slalom, slalom, Kombi, dual courses, obstacle courses, skills competition, and an introduction to speed and terrain elements, including children's super G.

Phase 4

Girls 11-14 years of age, Boys 12-15

5-9 years in the sport

skiing 4-5 days per week, 80-100 days per year.

At least 30-50% free skiing with a competition period running from Dec-April.

Approximate ratio of training days to race days should be 5:1.

Skiers in this phase are typically into their growth spurt. For many skiers, the challenge will be to maintain their technical skills through this phase. Gate training will become a greater percentage of "training" time, and course sets will be designed to challenge tactical skills through more substantial rhythm changes. A variety of course sets, terrain, and conditions will be very important. Skiers in this phase can make significant gains in stamina but still do not have a well-developed anaerobic energy system. A mix of short and long courses will be used.  Recommended disciplines include giant slalom, slalom, super G, duals, terrain and jumping elements, and skills competitions.

Phase 5

Girls 12-16 years of age, Boys 14-17

6-11 years in the sport

skiing 4-5 days per week, 100+ days a year

At least 15-20% free skiing with a competition period running Dec-April.

Approximate ratio of training days to race days should be 4:1.

Skiers in the phase are growing into their "new" bodies after the growth spurt.  There are benefits of increased stamina, and strength gains can be quite rapid. Skiers in this phase will have the physical ability to generate more "power" through turns throughout the course.  The anaerobic system starts to become more developed, allowing skiers to ski with greater intensity from start to finish.  Course setting in this phase will start to mirror that at elite levels as skiers begin to manage higher speeds and more difficult terrain.  All disciplines recommended.

Phase 6

Girls 16+ years of age, Boys 17+

10+ years in the sport

skiing 4-5 days a week, 110+ days a year

At least 10-20% free skiing with a competition period running Nov-April.

Approximate ratio of training to race days should be 3:1.

Skiers in this phase are moving into mastery of all aspects of the sport. While a well-rounded training approach is still encouraged, some athletes may begin to specialize toward certain disciplines.  Course setting will test and challenge all the skills the skier possesses.  All disciplines recommended.  

For more detailed information regarding athlete plans and development, please visit the individual "age group" pages on the Alpine page.