U10 Updates

Hi All, we have had a total of 9 days on snow and the kids have already started show significant improvements in both skill and confidence.  The soft fresh snow allowed us to get off the groomed runs and work on bumps and jumps which is one of the best drills for stance, balance, and pole plants.  With the rain followed by cold air forecasted for this week it will be important for everyone to have sharp edges as we will begin gate training this Sunday.  I will try again to hold a brief tuning clinic this Saturday at noon.  Plan to meet me at the top of the stairs inside the Skiway and we can then head over to the race shack.

Looking ahead we will have our first race on January 28th at Sunapee so now is a good time to sign up if you have not done so already.  Suicide 6 is holding their Masters of the Mountain on the 28th as well which is a bummer because we always love going to this event.  The DEVO crew will be going to Suicide 6 so for those of you who have kids in both programs I understand if its easier to have your U10 compete at S6 but my preference is to have them race at Sunapee in the U10 only race.  Please let me know if your child will go to S6 and not Sunapee.

You will need USSA membership for the Sunapee race.  Check out my earlier blog post on race sign up for more details.  Other USSA races you can sign up for are the Cote Open at Ragged and the T-Shirt Race at Sunapee, both are in March.


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Christmas Camp Schedule

Nothing like kicking off the season with a powder day!  I also think the U10’s set a new record for the number of airheads consumed in one day.  Unfortunately the rain and then cold that followed will make things a little firmer as we head into our holiday break.  Below is our schedule for the next week or so which can also be found on the U10 google calendar.  I am going to offer a quick tuning clinic on Monday at noon for those you are interested.  Meet me outside in front of the lodge and we will go over to the “race shack”.

Friday Dec 23rd – Optional Supervised Free Ski 9am-1pm.  I was able to put together a skeleton crew of coaches for this Friday to give the kids another day to get out and make some turns and for you to get your last minute shopping done.

Saturday and Sunday (24th and 25th) – OFF Merry Christmas

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (26th-28th) – Training 9am-1pm

Thursday and Friday (29th and 30th) – OFF

Saturday Dec 31st – Training 9am-1pm

Sunday Jan 1st – OFF

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Stowe this Sunday!

Hi All, sorry for the wait in regards to our plans for this weekend. The Skiway plans to open next weekend so for this Sunday we were able to put together a group rate for Stowe along with the U12 and U14 team.  They have received a bunch of snow over the past week and are reporting 60 trails open.  We will have 3-4 coaches there and would like to free ski with the kids however if your child has not yet skied this winter or is new to Ford Sayre I would ask that you consider either waiting until next weekend at the Skiway or plan to tag along with us.  Last year we had a number of first day issues regarding equipment and ability and since we will be at a big mountain it is much more challenging in terms of skiing in a group and quickly getting back to the base if there is an issue.  Thanks for your understanding.

 For those who choose to join us we’ll meet in the Mansfield Lodge (forerunner quad side) at 8:30am for ticket distribution, and plan to be on snow around 9am and will ski until around 2pm but the tickets are good for the full day. 

Tickets for Sunday need to be purchased in advance on the Ford Sayre online store by 6pm on Friday (link below).


Cost is $35 for 12 & Under, $47.50 for 13 & Older.



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Memberships and Races

Looking ahead to the ski season and racing I wanted to share some important details.

All athletes need to get a USSA (United States Ski and Snowboard Association) membership to be able to participate in a number of our scheduled races.  Go to http://www.ussa.org and click on membership to get started.

Races that we plan to attend and how to register are as follows.  NHARA is the New Hampshire Alpine Racing Association and is the governing body for all NH races and all of the USSA sanctioned races and information on how to register can be found on their website at http://www.nhara.org.  There is a new online option (not yet operational) for many races or you can do it the old fashioned way by mail.  It is not super intuitive on the website so be patient and read the instructions closely and let me know if you get stuck.

  1. GS at Gunstock on Jan 15th – USSA race.  This race is only recommended for returning U10’s who are experienced racers.  If your child was in DEVO last year or is hesitant about racing please do not take them this race.  We will have gate training at the Skiway for everyone not going which I expect to be at least 50%.  Sign up via instructions on NHARA.org
  2. U10 Kombi at Sunapee on Jan 28th.  USSA race.  I consider this to be the first official race for everyone on the U10 team.  Signup via NHARA.
  3. Suicide 6 Masters of the Mountain date TBD – Non USSA race.  No advance registration I will send in team roster.
  4. Cote Open March 19th at Ragged Mt – USSA Race. Registration via NHARA website
  5. T-shirt race March 25th at Sunapee – USSA Race. Registration via NHARA website

In addition we will likely have additional non USSA races or race like events at the Skiway and Whaleback and I will post those dates as soon as we nail them down.  For all of you who are new to this and have questions please feel free to send me an email at sross@lymetimber.com or ask any of the coaches at dryland this weekend.

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Welcome to the Ford Sayre U10 Alpine Race Program

Hi All, welcome to the 2016-2017 season of Ford Sayre U10 Alpine Race program.  It was nice to see many of you at the parent night last week.  Here is a recap along with some additional information.  First and most important, communication throughout the season will be through the U10 blog.  I will post information weekly about the upcoming weekends plans, schedule, weather, etc..  I will also be sharing important information about ski tuning, USSA memberships, and race registration requirements.  To receive a notification when I post something to the blog you will need to subscribe.  In terms of the season schedule I have created a google calendar which you can access via the U10 blog and the Ford Sayre website.  Our entire season schedule is up but I guarantee it will change and I will make sure it is current and accurate.

Important upcoming dates:

  1. Fall Conditioning (dryland): We do three dryland sessions with the first one this Sunday November 6th from 1 to 3 pm.  We will meet on the soccer field at the Richmond Middle School in Hanover.  Plan is to go for a run/hike and then play some games and talk a little about the importance of exercise, sleep, and nutrition in sports.   These are a great way for the coaches to get to know the kids and for them and you to get to know us.  We will also meet on Sunday the 13th and Sunday the 20th from 1-3pm at a location TBD.
  2. On Snow Training:
    1. Family Skiing: 11/27 and 12/4 locations TBD more details to follow
    2. Sunday Skiing with coaches 12/12 until the Skiway opens.
    3. Weekends (Sat/Sun) at Skiway: 9am to 1pm (when Skiway opens)
    4. Christmas Camp at Skiway: 9am to 1pm (dates on calendar)
    5. February Vacation Camp at Skiway – 2 days TBD

Before we get on snow – Make sure your child’s equipment is ready to go and your Skiway pass is purchased.  Please be sure that boots fit the feet and skis, and everything is appropriately sized and in good safe condition.  If you need any help or have questions please let me know.

Equipment needs – A helmet (hard ear if you plan to have your child attend races), boots, skis (one pair of Junior SL type skis works best), and poles that fit and are appropriate to their size and ability are required.  At the U10 age group many kids start wearing GS suits at races but these are not required.  There are a number of excellent ski shops in the Upper Valley who have both special purchase and lease programs. Omer’s & Bob’s in Lebanon, Golf & Ski in West Lebanon, Henderson’s in Quechee, and Skinners out near Sunapee, can outfit your child with most anything they might need  Artech in Enfield is a great resource for all your ski tuning equipment needs.  The coaches are also happy to provide advice. If you ever have any questions about whether or not a certain piece of equipment is right for your child please don’t hesitate to ask the coaches.

Tuning and waxing:. Skis need to be tuned and waxed to start the year and then regularly tuned throughout the season (typically once for every 3-4 days of skiing).  I plan to organize an early season ski tuning clinic for parents who are new to ski tuning to help you get started.

Lots more information to come.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to send me an email or connect in person this Sunday.  We have an amazing group of coaches and we are all looking forward to a great season

Sean Ross

U10 Head Coach

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Cote Open is Cancelled

Refunds will be issued to all those who have registered.

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S6 Race Registration Details and Weekend Plans

Hi All here are the details for this weekend.

  1. Saturday – Skiway training 9am-1pm
  2. Sunday – Suicide 6 Race (no jumps or bumps this year just a dual panel SL) or Pats Peak SL.  Coach Geoff and Tobi will be at Pats Peak so if you have older kids racing there and you want to bring your U10 to make your life easier I understand, however if that is not the case please plan to attend the Suicide 6 Race (Coach Sean, Bob, Isabel, and Carly will be there)
  3. Next weekend plan is to ski at the Skiway on Saturday and Race at the Cote Open on Sunday at Ragged Mt.  Please go to NHARA.org to sign up for this race like we did for Sunapee.  Not sure if there is an online option.  If not print a race voucher of the NHARA website and mail it to the Ragged Mt race secretary (also on website).  This will be our last official day of skiing.

Details for Suicide 6 –

  • Register online by FRIDAY AT NOON at https://adminskiracing.com/node/59188
  • You will need to create an Adminskiracing account which is easily done on the site.   Once in the system click the RACE LIST button (Top Center of page) and then scroll down to Woodstock Ski Runners and then Masters of the Mtn.
  • 7:30-8:30am – Pick up bibs in the Race Building which is to the right of the main lodge.
  • 8:30 am Meet coaches ready to ski in front of the lodge
  • 9:30 am start of 1st run
  • 2nd run 30 minutes after completion of first run.
  • Awards 30 minutes after completion of 2nd run Top 3 medals for each group
  • Participation medals for all



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Details for Jan 30th and 31st

Since you have by now read my last post you are ready for the first race of the season.  We will have skiing on Sunday at the Skiway this weekend as well.  Plans for Saturday are as follows:

  1. U10 Kombi at Mt. Sunapee
    • Registration – When you arrive pick up your child’s bib at the Grey Building next to the North Peak Triple between 7:00-8:30am (your race fee includes a lift ticket which they will give you when you pick up your child’s bib).
    • 8:15am – Meet coaches outside of the Spruce Lodge (the “old” lodge) ready to ski.
    • 8:30-9:15am – course inspection with coaches.
    • 9:30am – START 1st RUN – Racers will run in bib order
    • START 2nd RUN after a mini break (likely 30 minutes after last racer of first run. Racers will run in the same order as the first run.
    • Awards – 45 minutes after last racer.  Held near finish area.
  2. Whaleback Masters of the Mountain
    • 8:00am – 9:00am registration inside lodge (lift ticket included in race fee)
    • 9am – Meet U10 Coach ready to ski (we will have at least one U10 coach at this race)
    • 9:00am – 9:45am course inspection with coaches
    • 10:00am – Paneled slalom – 1 run
    • 12:30 (or ½ hour after slalom) – freestyle competition – combination of small jumps and boxes/rail.  Currently both events will be on spout (trail right in front of deck).
    • Awards will be approximately 30 minutes after last run.
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Race Day 101

The kids really looked good this past weekend in training and I am sure everyone is fired up about racing this weekend.  Before I share the details for this weekends races I wanted to share the following Race Day summary that Mark Schiffman out together a few years ago.  Please take five minutes to read as it is full of very useful information and advice.

A Test Against the Clock

By the numbers the time actually spent racing is less than 2/10ths of 1% of the time spent skiing and training, yet is one of the most memorable parts of the season. The focus of the Ford Sayre Program is on having fun and developing skiing fundamentals. Races are great learning tool as they provide challenges, opportunities to test oneself, and encouragement to improve.

Getting There

Parents (or someone designated by the parent) are responsible for transportation to the ski area and back home after the awards at the end of the day. Plan on arriving by 8 a.m. for a 10am start and 7:30am for 9:30 start. When in doubt, get there a little earlier. It will save some stress all around.


When you arrive at the ski area you will need to pick up your racers bib at registration (ask a coach or a parent whose kid has a bib if you cant find it). Always bring a copy of your USSA (print off from website) to pick up the race bib.

Meet the Coaches

Racers should next meet their coaches at the appointed time (usually 8, or 8:30) for warm-up and course inspection.  Coaches will be responsible for supervision of the racers during course inspections and until completion of the racer’s run. Though depending on the start time we may encourage racers to take some free runs on their own. Coaches will be at the start, and when possible along the course and at the finish.

Two Race Runs

Typically, there will be one race run in the morning and one in the afternoon. In most cases the course will be reset between runs. Once the racer has finished his or her first race run the parent (or designee) is responsible for the racer until course inspection for the second run. Grab a snack or lunch, then find some friends, go ski and explore the mountain. The second run starts roughly an hour after the last racer completes the first run, usually at 12:30 or 1 p.m.  We will try to get on the lift for inspection at least 45 minutes before the start of the second run.  This means parents will have to make sure kids eat lunch soon after their first run, and keep an eye on them during this time. A smart, simple rule is to never take the race bib off from around your neck. That way it can’t get left on a table or in the bathroom.

Relax and Ski

For coaches, the focus on race day is mostly on getting the racers to relax and transfer the skills they have practiced day-after-day to a more challenging arena. Almost all kids are nervous on race days. They turn to parents for encouragement and support. Be positive, and try to emphasize the effort, not the outcome.  By seeing you demonstrate a positive, low anxiety, relaxed approach to ski racing, your child will be encouraged to keep learning and improving. Even though well intentioned, there is nothing more counter-productive than having parents coach their child during a race.  It is a sure way to distract the racer, and make him or her more nervous than they already are.  A simple “good luck, go fast and have fun,” proves to be the most effective approach.

Keeping track of clothing and equipment

If you have not yet written your name on ALL of your child’s equipment and clothing, DO IT NOW! It is really easy to grab the wrong skis at a race. If your skis have your name written in large letters close to the tip, this will cut down on the likelihood of mistakes.

Most racers will shed clothing at the start of a race for aerodynamic or at least psychological advantage. First, it’s important that kids don’t do this until just before the start. Staying warm is more important than aerodynamics when it comes to performance. Whenever possible coaches or parents will take these coats and warm-ups down to the finish or into the lodge. To make sure your child finishes the day with everything she started with, follow these simple rules. 1) Write your child’s name, phone number and Ford Sayre on everything. 2) Tell your child to make sure he/she puts anything he/ she takes off in the team bag, or hands it to a coach. 3) Make sure your racer claims all of his/her clothes promptly once the bag or gear comes down.

End of the Day

At the completion of the second run, the parent is again responsible for the child. Turn in race bib(s) and get back USSA or bib deposit. This is a great time to go take a few runs and explore the ski area before the awards, which are typically held one (1) hour after the conclusion of the race. We encourage everyone to attend the awards ceremonies, to show good sportsmanship, as well as support for the team and event organizers.

When it comes to racing, the coaches emphasize that you can control your effort, but not the results. In most ski races at least 95% of all participants at a race do not win, but by giving their all, every race becomes an accomplishment. After a run coaches ask the skiers how they skied, not what their time or place was. However understanding that they won’t win every race, or even most of them, is one of the most important lessons of ski racing for kids learn. To be successful kids rely on their parents to let them know the world is still okay if they don’t reach their goals for a specific day, and on their coaches to remind them that that every race is a new opportunity to succeed.

Congratulate Your Racer

No matter what happened, no matter the result, the coaches always see something that each child has accomplished that day, don’t forget to let your child know all the good things that you saw. Even if they don’t acknowledge it, they’ll appreciate it . . . greatly!

Want to make sure you don’t forget anything. Use this: Racer Checklist

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Skiway both days this weekend

Hi All, we will be at the Skiway on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  They are hosting the Upper Valley Special Olympics on Saturday which means the lodge and parking lot will be more crowded than normal so you should build in a little extra time to get ready for our regular 9am start.  On Sunday the U12 and U14 team will be away at their first race so we will have the place to ourselves and we plan to run gates for a good part of our training day.  If your child has a GS suit I would encourage them to wear it on Sunday so we can practice stripping down to GS suits and taking a run in them.  Please remember that GS suits are completely optional for U10 races.

Looking ahead to the following weekend we have two race options or you, both on Saturday January 30th.

  1. Mt Sunapee Kombi – this is the race I would encourage kids to attend.  However if you have a child in DEVO who is going to Whaleback or you’re looking for a close to home option for a child that is still a bit reluctant to race you are more than welcome to attend the Whaleback event (details below).  For Sunapee your child needs to have a USSA membership and advance registration is required (www.nhara.org has registration info). Also a reminder that most races require kids to have a full/hard ear helmet (meaning hard plastic covering the ear).  Refer to my post on November 10th for more info on USSA and race registration and feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
  2. Whaleback Masters of the Mountain
    1. Cost of Event – $25 for on-line registration, $30 for in person – day of registration.
    2. Here are the instructions from Whaleback.
      • Go to www.whalebackcoreteam.com
      • Click on big red button on right hand side of page that says Masters of the Mountain
      • Follow the steps and you will be registered – you can either pay with pay pal right online or bring a check to the mountain with you to give at the registration table.
      • More information regarding the plan of the day will follow
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