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  1. #51
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    My buds a head trainer for a major university.
    He’s become disillusioned with college spots. Kids have to specialize in one particular sport to be competitive. This leads to stress injuries from repetitive activities.
    Plus they’re just $ to the university.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    ...it's totally ok for kids not to be involved with sports...
    For sure. But in addition to being notably less strong and less coordinated than many of his peers, he is very interested in sports. He does seem to have good endurance for a little guy. He loves a good hike. Unless there is a single rock on the trail, in which case he will trip over it on the way up and the way down.




    Just kidding. He mostly trips on the way down.





    OK, enough jokes at my boy's expense. I don't say things like this around him ever. And I will not absolutely not push him to play sports he's not interested in (except for skiing obviously, because I'm a good dad).

    But I hope he can find some joy being on a team, at least until age 12 or so if that is what he wants. It makes me think of a kid I played little league with named Jonathan Ross. My dad coached my little league teams and he picked Jonathan to be on the team 5 years in a row. Jonathan was slow. His bat speed was even slower. But he was a great teammate who was stoked on baseball and worked hard at it. He drew a ton of walks and could catch the ball. He always knew the pitch count, how many outs there were and where to throw the ball. And he was just fun to be around. He was never picked for an all star team, but on a typical little league squad he was undoubtedly an asset. And he loved it. That's what I want my kid and other kids to have access to if he wants it. But it seems like access to these opportunities are shrinking.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    My buds a head trainer for a major university.
    He’s become disillusioned with college spots. Kids have to specialize in one particular sport to be competitive. This leads to stress injuries from repetitive activities.
    Plus they’re just $ to the university.
    I've heard the same from a similar source. She says that what they're doing to basketball players is especially fucked up. She sees 18 year olds who have the wear and tear you'd expect on a 28 year old pro. And coach gets pissed when he hears that a kid needs rest.

  4. #54
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    The problem with the so called bratty racers is that they stick out like a sore thumb.

    When I ran a small race program I always told them, with those skin suits, pads racing gear and, frankly, way better skills than the general public, you have a target on your back.

    Like someone said there are some bad ones but that is any group of kids and a lot of time after meeting their parents I understand why.

    There are just as many bratty park kids and snowboarders but Im not afraid of being in a collision with the race kids, they develop way better fundamentals of skiing and control.

    I am really glad both my kids raced, it made them fantastic skiers and to this day in their 30's they still ski and still have some good friends back from when they were 10 and we are still friends with many of the parents from back in the day. Some of the best ski trips we took were with other racer families.

    That all said there is definitely a clique system in racing and some places are worse than others. here in Alberta it seems less and more friendly than in Ontario although racing doesn't seem as big. I think that is because why stand around a race course when you have all these beautiful mountains. In Ontario the race program is huge because really there isn't much else to do on a 700 foot hill, especially if you don't have the $50,000 to join of the private clubs who control the biggest hills.

  5. #55
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    I can say that it's a much more healthy environment the the Texas competitive dance scene that my niece is wrapped up in.

    As a former ski coach that lives in a ski town that has friends with kids all the way from the Olympics casual High School racers, I see and here it all. At its best, its kids doing what they absolutely love. At it's worst in is a disgusting money flex by the parents. Its pretty gross.

    Sometimes I give my neighbors kid a ride to Winter Park early on Saturdays for race training. I drop her off and she walks across the bench with her giant backpack, skis (2pair sometimes) and bag lunch. Some of the other kids parents have a garage parking pass, pay for lockers at the base, have a credit card and eat breakfast and Coffee and Tea and Derailer when they are done skiing.

    The kids have an unlimited amount of fancy stuff and the parents overtly offer to pay for things for the other kids which makes it weird. It makes for a really challenging situation for the less wealthy (or conspicuous consumption) parents. The kids of the wealthy kids seem to have a lesser love of skiing and and really no more success.

  6. #56
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    You made me do it.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    I can say that it's a much more healthy environment the the Texas competitive dance scene that my niece is wrapped up in.

    As a former ski coach that lives in a ski town that has friends with kids all the way from the Olympics casual High School racers, I see and here it all. At its best, its kids doing what they absolutely love. At it's worst in is a disgusting money flex by the parents. Its pretty gross.

    Sometimes I give my neighbors kid a ride to Winter Park early on Saturdays for race training. I drop her off and she walks across the bench with her giant backpack, skis (2pair sometimes) and bag lunch. Some of the other kids parents have a garage parking pass, pay for lockers at the base, have a credit card and eat breakfast and Coffee and Tea and Derailer when they are done skiing.

    The kids have an unlimited amount of fancy stuff and the parents overtly offer to pay for things for the other kids which makes it weird. It makes for a really challenging situation for the less wealthy (or conspicuous consumption) parents. The kids of the wealthy kids seem to have a lesser love of skiing and and really no more success.
    Pretty much any youth sport is like that in Texas. I can't remember what gym they're based out of anymore but Team Texas is/was one of the best youth climbing programs in the US. My daughter no longer skis competitively but the displays of wealth by the parents at the kid drop off bro down at Bridger was an absolute clown show. Kids climbing is the same but since it's relatively new on the kids sport scene it's still tolerable, I would assume it's only a matter of time but since most of the parents don't climb the parental pressure seems a bit lower. I'm just glad I dodged dance, gymnastics and ski racing.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    The reality for my kid is she lost the parent lottery when it comes to athletics, I do not have the genetics that, say, the EWG family does. I was a non-athlete as a kid and discovered ultimate as a teen. Was a hardcore player through college and adulthood, but at best I was a rotation player on a good regional team, I simply never had the athletic ability to go to nationals in a fringe sport, even when I was working out like a fiend.
    Ultimate gets the side eye from a lot of people but I think it's the best "team" sport out there. Because there's no goalie or defencemen to blame for goals everyone on the field has a stake in every point or game out come.
    It's also a great sport for skiers, some of the best teams I played on or against were loaded with skiers. Plus when soccer players get tired of standing around they can come play a game where you run the whole time
    Due to a knee injury this was the first summer since '93 that I didn't play a single game just threw a bit with new players on the sideline. sad waxman is sad
    what's orange and looks good on hippies?
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    For sure. At least with ski racing you get to go skiing, and there's no jackass parents screaming at underpaid refs from the sidelines.
    Yeah, the jackass race parents yell at their kids instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxman View Post
    Ultimate gets the side eye from a lot of people but I think it's the best "team" sport out there. Because there's no goalie or defencemen to blame for goals everyone on the field has a stake in every point or game out come.
    It's also a great sport for skiers, some of the best teams I played on or against were loaded with skiers. Plus when soccer players get tired of standing around they can come play a game where you run the whole time
    Due to a knee injury this was the first summer since '93 that I didn't play a single game just threw a bit with new players on the sideline. sad waxman is sad
    Ultimate is also incredibly welcoming to newcomers.

    Spirit of the game is a great lesson for kids (and adults).
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "everybody's got their hooks into you, fuck em....forge on motherfuckers, drag all those bitches across the goal line with you." - (not so) ill-advised strategy

  11. #61
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    My story is similar to Telefree's. I put my kids on the hill young with one objective: that they get skiing in their bones so they could do it the rest of their lives. I put them (#2 and #3) in racing pretty young with one objective: that they get good technique in their bones too. I got lucky because all of them ended up loving it. That's not the case for all families.

    We were definitely the dirtbag racing family in our CMAC racing days. My kids were in thrifted outerwear, sometimes skis, clamps, boots. Never bought the team jackets all the other kids had, picked up LOTS of hand-me-down stuff from the rich kids' quivers for cheap. And only if it was really cheap. They never suffered for it and always had the gear they needed to do what they were doing.

    I always brought food from home and if we travelled the three of us would share a double bed in the cheapest fleabag motel I could find. There were a couple of seasons where we paid for full time training because they were doing pretty well. It was manageable - barely - at the time, and my frugal equipment gathering and other cheapskate skills helped a lot. They were both done with racing by about 13 (with 3 or 4 race years under their belts, which did exactly what I wanted it to) and moved to competitive freeskiing. Most of the race parents didn't even know I existed, but they noticed (eyebrows raised) when my kids were on podiums in their goodwill outerwear.

    Junior freeskiing circuit wasn't cheap either, but WAY less than full time race training, and way cooler parental circles for the most part. Eventually the boys started getting free outerwear and gear so that helped. They were both pretty successful in the end, and they had a blast. Both of them, to this day, say how glad they are they had race training. Not only because it made them good skiers, but it taught them how to stand in a start gate and be competitive which definitely served them as freeskiiers.

    I say don't try to keep up with the joneses. They have fancier shit but it doesn't make them better skiers or competitors. Take pride in being dirtbags while making sure the stuff they do have is in good tune and keeps them warm and dry. You can do a lot of it on the cheap, and spend the money where it really counts.

    You will probably look back later and go, FKNA! that was money and time well spent. I wouldn't trade a minute of all those years traveling, eating homemade lunches, camping out on venues, and long drives with stinky boys. It brought them and the four of us closer together.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  12. #62
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    It's so unsettling how much pressure these kids have to have themselves under. Sports are supposed to teach them life lessons too, ya know - fun, friendship, staying active, and learning to balance fun with life responsibilities.

    Racing is great because it gives a protected structure for people to express their natural competitive impulse in a sportsmanlike way, rather than some negative outlet like bullying.

    But the kids ain't getting wired this way. They're getting wired to the crushing pressure of competition, inequalities, and winning at all costs.

    I wonder what's perpetuating such a trend? The message they get from top athletes? Parents and coaches?

    Sent from my SM-S918U using Tapatalk

  13. #63
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    Well said.
    Time spent skiing cannot be deducted from one's life.

  14. #64
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    To those who worry about their kid finding a sport that fits their abilities, I think starting track in middle school is a great idea. There are so many different events that play to different strengths and abilities. I never did track but one of my daughters did after quitting gymnastics. I was very happy with how it worked out. I saw so many kids without much talent or any hope of winning competing to do their best, it was inspiring. Seeing a chubby short kid cross the finish line in the 3200m (2 mile) race, dead last by a couple laps but with the whole crowd cheering, is pretty awesome. And then there are the field events if the kid isn't a runner. I don't know, I was surprised how cool it was. The meets are long but I liked watching all the kids.

  15. #65
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    ^^^agreed. Ran track in Junior and High School. Was a fun cheap sport. My kid is running cross country and track. And yeah, the chubby kid in last place is getting cheered on (at least in rural montana) and it’s fun to see.

  16. #66
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    Be the adult, but ask them.

    That encapsulates most of what I had to say.

    Kids sports can get way out of hand, entirely due to pushy to pyscho parents who really aren't acting like adults. Adults behave better and parents should be adults who are aware of these potentially toxic environments. Like Oft and others wrote, there's ways to finesse the situation and guide your kids on how to manage the vibes and grow.

    On a personal level, my parents didn't ski, but I was a fiend who climbed the hill in our Minnesota backyard whenever there was snow from age 3 on, skied every day until we moved to a more urban clime at age 10. My parents saw my passion and made things work, while making me earn the money for equipment and lift tickets, they drove thousands of miles to races all over the midwest, including Mt. Ripley. I loved it and got good enough to just miss the Nationals, but got decent other results. In the course of that experience I saw so many parents destroy their kids, screaming at them and coaches and behaving in puerile, spoiled tantrums.

    One of my major takeaways was that if I ever had kids, I'd never do that to them.

    And so we had kids and we took them skiing and I wanted them to race. Badly. My wife grew up skiing and rips. But our son in particular did not interface with the world beyond books very well. And our daughter, who could lay a sharp arc, had vision problems that took a while to sort out. Neither of them wanted to race. I asked over and over and cajoled, connived, coaxed and charmed as best I could to get them to race. But it wasn't to be.

    So I had to be an adult.

    I skied with them a ton and they loved it until high school when academics got so stressful with our son having to be on the bus at 6:00 am every morning. So one day he said he didn't want to get up anymore. Admittedly the scene here in the PNW had been getting worse and worse with crowds and traffic, requiring being in the car and rolling by 5:30 am. But my son slays school, so I let him be. My daughter had different issues, but also dropped out of the dad driven skiing.

    Again, I had to be the adult.

    Now, both of them are killing academics and loving that life. We still go skiing together when we can, but they're off in their own worlds.

    So, I'm glad I asked them.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    You will probably look back later and go, FKNA! that was money and time well spent. I wouldn't trade a minute of all those years traveling, eating homemade lunches, camping out on venues, and long drives with stinky boys. It brought them and the four of us closer together.
    I completely believe your story but would anyone here admit it was a waste of time and money?

    Quote Originally Posted by allmountainsnowskating View Post
    It's so unsettling how much pressure these kids have to have themselves under. Sports are supposed to teach them life lessons too, ya know - fun, friendship, staying active, and learning to balance fun with life responsibilities.

    Racing is great because it gives a protected structure for people to express their natural competitive impulse in a sportsmanlike way, rather than some negative outlet like bullying.

    But the kids ain't getting wired this way. They're getting wired to the crushing pressure of competition, inequalities, and winning at all costs.

    I wonder what's perpetuating such a trend? The message they get from top athletes? Parents and coaches?

    Sent from my SM-S918U using Tapatalk
    Shitty parents and I'd guess coaches who want money. You are too polite to say it.


    I am wondering what the very rich spend to train a kid per year compared to the upper middle class spend. What are you all spending here? Everything is so vague I don't get it. And what is the tipping point is when you all go "ah fuck what did i do to my kids??" When the kids see money buys wins and know they aren't close to being poor? When you start spending money in a way you said you never would?

    I did join the mogul team in college and in a few years my skiing improved an indescribable amount. We had fun road trips, dialed focused training, and many good times. I'd like something similar to that for my younger kids. And I don't want them to have shitty racer form when skiing pow, ha, sorry. Maybe the offpiste plan of three year of racing (or moguls) and then graduating to Freeskiing team for a few years is the ticket like he says. All kids want to do is jump around anyways and racing doesn't teach the fun stuff that really hurts you when you get it wrong.

    There has to be local casual races for kids and training though....right??

  18. #68
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    Buster,

    Were you an Afton Alps guy? That’s where I grew up skiing.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackhead View Post
    Buster,

    Were you an Afton Alps guy? That’s where I grew up skiing.
    The only skiing I did in MN before 1967 at a commercial area was at Cedar Hills, a golf course out by Minnetonka. The Beatles' HELP! had just been released and was playing on the tinny loudspeakers. I facep[lanted lots trying to figure out the rope tows.

    I raced around MPLS 69-74, but it was at either Buck Hill or Welch village.

    As demonstrated, I'm not sure I warrant the claim 'growing up'.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  20. #70
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    Somehow Buck Hill actually produced good skiers on their 250’ of vertical

  21. #71
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    bitd, a great thing about the midwest was the accessibility of skiing. A story that transcends locale.

    Tons of little farmers, neighborhood, mom and pop ski areas with lift tickets for $1-5 made skiing available to the masses. There were so many little ski areas strung out North of Milwaukee in the late 60/s early 70s with rope tows driven by old tractors or some jacked up car. Greenbush, Hidden Valley, Forest Lake, Fox Hill, Little Switzerland, Holy Hill. It was cheap and a fun alternative to ice fishing, bowling, or polka and drinking shitty beer. Lots of kids raging around, sneaking cigarettes and weed and making out in the stanky damp lodges,

    It's those kinds of environments that spawn great skiers and because Buck Hill had a racing program, a lot of kids got drawn there.

    The current ski environment is available only to the well to do and that's not healthy and creates lots of the detrimental dynamics people refer to above.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  22. #72
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    Yeah the golden days of ski racing for kids is done unfortunately. These days getting up early to beat the Ikon/Epic masses on a weekend powder day to race first thing sounds reallllllly stressful.

    In college I skied with 4 guys that ski raced at Buck Hill or Afton Alps, I can't remember. Probably both places. They quit racing when they moved out west and were all super good skiers and fun to be with. I don't know what's in the snowmaking water there.

    I think I'm going to sign up my girls to casual moguls or ski racing at the new resort at the Olympic park here in the coming years. It's got that midwest feel - short drive to it, small resort, night time training. Not cheap like the midwest but cheaper than expected, ha. Then again, I may decide to completely avoid being sucked into the vacuum of the industrial sports complex.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    Yeah, the jackass race parents yell at their kids instead.
    In 30 plus years of hanging around race courses as a tech/fan and parent I can't recall this happening once.
    what's orange and looks good on hippies?
    fire

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    If I had a dollar for every time capitalism was blamed for problems caused by the government I'd be a rich fat film maker in a baseball hat.

    www.theguideshut.ca

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxman View Post
    In 30 plus years of hanging around race courses as a tech/fan and parent I can't recall this happening once.
    I saw it happen a few times as a kid where my friends were driven to tears.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackhead View Post
    ^^^agreed. Ran track in Junior and High School. Was a fun cheap sport. My kid is running cross country and track. And yeah, the chubby kid in last place is getting cheered on (at least in rural montana) and it’s fun to see.
    Track and Field is a very supportive tribe, from HS through College/University. It's completely different from elite level volleyball, softball, baseball, basketball, LAX, etc...

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