TA News

Alpine Ski Team Recruiting for Upcoming Season

Learn more about TA’s alpine ski program with this FAQ-style overview. Co-Coach Amy Huyffer provides this informative (and witty) post to help students and families think more about joining the team. Middle school and high school students are invited to participate. The season starts in late November.

Who can join the TA alpine team?  Any TA student (middle school or high school) who is a somewhat proficient skier can join the team. You don’t have to be fast or super confident, but you should be able to ski blue square trails comfortably. Don’t worry if you think everyone will be better than you. That’s probably not the case and after a few practices, you’ll be better than you, too. Also, no one cares.

I love skiing, but I don’t really care about racing.  Can I do ski team without racing?  The short answer is yes, if you’re in middle school (there is no middle-school-level competition so it’s just practices anyway), and no if you’re in high school. The long answer is that almost everyone who is on or has been on the team has felt this way and has come to either enjoy the racing itself, or to appreciate how the few minutes of competition open the door to so much skiing and team camaraderie. And your skiing will improve exponentially.

What do I need for gear?  Middle schoolers only need basic ski gear (helmet, goggles, boots, poles and a pair of all-mountain skis). High schoolers also need those things but may want dedicated slalom skis as well. There’s plenty of specialized gear that is good and nice to have and the coaches keep a library of a lot of it, but slalom skis (for high schoolers) are the first thing you might want. Here’s a guide for how to size race skis: https://the-raceplace.com/pages/how-to-size-race-skis

Is there a team philosophy?  Yes. We operate on the belief that it’s more fun to ski better. We give every athlete the opportunity to hone their skills, take on challenges, and grow as a skier. We also work together and support each other as a team. And we really like everyone to have a good time.

What are races like?  There are six regular season races, usually two each at Pico, Bromley and Suicide Six. Depending on where the mountain is, high school skiers are dismissed between 9:45 and 10:30 on race days. (Middle schoolers do not have practice on race days.) We get to the hill, gear up, inspect the course and take warm up runs, cue up to race, race again, and then free ski as a team. There is usually time to make a few runs in between race runs as well.  We are equally serious about doing our best in the course and exploring the different mountains we race at. There is also a full-day district meet and, should we qualify, a two-day state meet the first Monday-Tuesday in March.

Where does the team train?  The season begins with dryland training at TA. Dryland is a combination of strength and fitness training and team-building exercises, aka Reindeer Games. We run through the woods, go hiking and sledding, relay race, solve puzzles, and discuss movies while we do wall sits. Once we can get on snow, practice shifts to Storrs Hill in Lebanon where we set courses, do drills, and just ski. In past years, we also had a few opportunities to practice at Northeast Slopes or the Dartmouth Skiway.  Athletes will need to purchase a racer season pass from the Lebanon Outing Club for $150. The school pays for tickets on race days.

Is there transportation to training and meets?  Yes.  Depending on group numbers and bus availability, we may sometimes carpool with coaches and student drivers.  Stay tuned on this one.

Who are the coaches?  Amy Huyffer (2nd from left in the featured photo) and Paul Dixon. Together, they represent a combined 24 years of coaching and 90 years of skiing. Amy and Paul are also parents of current TA students and TA grads. Please feel free to reach out with questions. Amy: ahuyffer@gmail.com; Paul: oscarfranky@gmail.com.



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