For the intermediate skier ready to step it up at Bridger Bowl, BSF Intro is an 8-week program designed to 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 Alpine & Freestyle, 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. When Intro skiers are ready to move up, they can choose the Alpine Development Team (ages 8-11) or the Freestyle Development Team.
The U10-U12 Development (aka Devo) Program is for the young skier who enjoys the thrills of Alpine gates and is ready to move up from BSF's Intro programs. Typically this is U10 & U12 ages, but some U8 skiers join us on a case-by-case basis. Coaches reinforce the fundamentals while giving athletes the tools to be an entry-level Alpine racer. We maintain a balance between having fun, building a positive team environment, and advancing our skiing. We want you to love skiing as much as we do.
For athletes progressing with their alpine skiing and transitioning to a more comprehensive training and racing schedule. U14s and U16s are coached separately. 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.
The U19, U20 and PG Teams are for athletes age 16+ who are ready to train on and off snow 5-6 days a week. BSF coaching staff provide personalized training plans, dryland and strength training, and the opportunity for each athlete to develop their craft and excel both on the hill and off.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.