ATS Technique and Tactics - Phase 5

Phase 5 is considered a technical and tactical refinement stage with event-specific technical and tactical skills taking a greater percentage of training time. The skier now works to refine their technique after the growth spurt, taking advantage of increased strength, power and body size. Skiers in phase 5 should train and compete in all four alpine disciplines as skills overlap. While fundamentals training continues, not solely in the preparation period, but throughout the season, the majority of on-snow training time now focuses on the race environment, with skiers learning how to maximize speed and consistency while dealing with full length courses, more difficult terrain, and more advanced tactical situations. 

Key Competencies


  • Skis a variety of terrain and conditions with speed.
  • Can adjust turn initiation based on terrain.
  • Has command of upper body in extreme balance situations.
  • Ski/snow edging interaction is precise and rarely exaggerated.
  • Ski/snow pressure is maintained in extreme situations.
  • Pressure is used to gain speed during turning.


  • Can ski the most difficult course set with speed.
  • Inspects course on own and discusses tactical approach with coaches.

Course Setting Recommendations

The anaerobic system becomes more developed in this phase, allowing skiers to ski with greater intensity from start to finish of a longer course. As a result, starting in this phase, course setting should start to mirror that at the elite levels, as skiers begin to manage higher speeds and more difficult terrain over longer courses.


Use 27-31mm diameter full-length gates, though brushes and stubbies should still be used in training progressions throughout the season. Typical course sets will be between 7-12m in open sections and 4-6m in hairpins, being sure to set the full spectrum in this range. In reality, distances above 11m are rarely seen at high level competition internationally, 8-10m is more typical. More challenging tactical situations are practiced in this phase, with flushes on a steep pitch or pairing combinations or delays. Full-length courses are trained frequently, but shorter courses are still used to focus on a particular technical or tactical element. On occasion, to isolate a specific skill, coaches should set a broader range of distance, from 1m picket fence exercises to 18m over round sets.

Giant Slalom

Training course distances between gates can run from 18-32m or more, exposing skiers to the full spectrum of distances and requiring a variety of different turn shapes. Many skiers in this phase are just starting to use the new FIS GS skis which are less forgiving than what they are used to. Allow for some sets to give them confidence with the skis and the ability to carve clean turns throughout, but build to sets that challenge the radius require different turn entry techniques. Normal distances in this phase will be in the 23-26m range. Look for and set over terrain changes.

Super G

Use sections and full-length courses. Emphasis on terrain and glidging elements (use timing feedback when working on gliding). Some courses will be more downhill-oriented, some will be closer to GS, train the spectrum. Courses should incorporate more terrain, though sets should remain fairly basic through difficult terrain.


Use sections and full-length courses. Jumping progressions should be completed before applying in a course. Course set should control speed above the jump such that the athlete has time to be in a balanced position for jump takeoff. Overly difficult tactical/technical elements and large jumps are avoided, particularly on the lower part of the course where fatigue is a factor. 

Download this document for more detailed information about course setting based on the ATS.


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