Alpine Programs

ATS Technique and Tactics

The Technique and Tactics section of the Alpine Training System highlights the skiing focus for skiers through each developmental phase. The technical part of ski racing describes how the skier skis, covering things like body position, balance, movement, but most importantly the ski and snow interaction. The tactical part of ski racing refers to where the racer skis, trying to learn the fastest way down the race course within their abilities. The two parts are closely related, as strong technical skiers have the ability to ski a more direct line, but skiing too direct a line can lead to a breakdown in technique and slow skiing.

Ski racing at the highest levels demands a very broad skiing base. Alpine skiing fundamentals take time to develop and must be worked on both in and out of gates. Younger ski racers will spend more time outside of gates working on their pressure, edging and rotary skills than in gates so they can incorporate a greater variety of turn shapes, terrain, snow conditions and tempos. As the foundation becomes stronger, more gate time will be more effective and tactics play a larger role.

SkillsQuest is the cornerstone program of the Alpine Training System, and the SkillsQuest Skiing Assessment is designed to measure, track and reward skiers in their skill development.

In general, phases 1-3 have a very high focus on technical development with only a small focus on tactics, just learning the basics. Time spent in training should reflect these priorities. In phase 4, while technical development remains a priority, more time is spent on tactics. If the foundation has been well built through phases 1-4, by phases 5 and 6 skiers can spend a large part of their training time working on finding speed in many different situations, drawing on their solid base. Click on your development phase above to learn more.

For more detailed course setting recommendations based on the phases of the Alpine Training System, click here.

Shiffrin on Skills

Mikaela Shiffrin talks about how she developed her technical skiing skills.

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