Training Systems Overview
The USSA Training Systems provide an optimal developmental blueprint for skiers and snowboarders. They have been designed to ensure that all athlete, coach, and parent members of the USSA have the best possible opportunity to fulfill their athletic dreams and talent. They are based on a long-term athlete development model (LTAD) for skiers and riders that emphasizes age-appropriate training and competition.
The USSA Training Systems are a vital tool to help parents, coaches, and athletes focus on the right things at the right time to maximize their improvement, long-term potential and enjoyment in skiing and snowboarding.
Fundamentals, Athleticism and Passion
The USSA training systems detail athlete development in all phases and domains. Before anything else, the following 3 concepts are the foundation for everything we do as clubs, coaches, athletes, and parents. Increased capacity in these areas, necessary for performance at the highest levels, builds over a long period of time.
Fundamentals: a focus on building basic skills in all areas of the sport that will lead to high performance of more specialized skills over time.
Athleticism: the application of fundamental skills through a multitude of environments and sports focusing on building higher capacity in all elements of physical fitness and health.
Passion: the fuel drives athletes to pursue the sport with joy, grit, and perseverance sustaining a lifetime of constant improvement and enjoyment.
USSA Training System Matrix
Each sport's training system is based on a document called the training system matrix. The matrix contains the fundamental information to direct sport participation, conditioning, sport technique and tactics, equipment selection and maintenance, performance psychology and competition in each sport. In one page, parents, athletes, coaches and clubs can see how programming builds through the phases to lead to an individual's full potential. Choose your sport below for the matrix and detailed information behind each box in the matrix.
What is Long-Term Athlete Development?
At its most basic level, LTAD is about doing the right things to prepare athletes for long-term success and enjoyment. In many cases, traditional training and competition programs are designed around short-term success to the detriment of long-term potential. Learn more.
Why do we need the USSA Training Systems?
While the United States has developed many international stars in skiing and snowboarding, we believe there is great opportunity to increase the competitive density. At the same time, while skiing and snowboarding are inherently enjoyable and thrilling sports, we see too many skiers and riders dropping out at young ages. The USSA Training Systems help address both of these concerns. Learn more.
What are the key concepts?
The USSA Training Systems are divided into 6 Phases of Development and 7 Domains. The Phases of Development track an athlete from starting in the sport to World Class Performance. The phases are based on a combination of an athlete's chronolgical, biological and training ages. These three factors are the primary determinants of what activities, skills and competition level is appropriate for a given phase.
The Domains are the major categories used to define each area of focus for each phase. Each domain consists of several Elements that make up each domain. The Training Systems consist of the following 7 domains:
The Development Domain gives definitions and guidelines used to determine an athlete phase placement. The determining factors are Chronological Age (actual age of the athlete), Biological Age (stage of physical development) and Training Age (number year of sport participation). The Development Domain also provides guidliens for appropriate training volumes, annual training, training focus and complementary sports.
The Physical Fitness Domain provides definition and guidelines for development of an athletes physical capabilties based on phase and age appropriate recommendations. This domain also addresses guidelines on nutrition, hydration and recovery throughout the phases of development.
The Technical Domain contains guidelines and benchmarks for the development of key skills required at each phase. Skills presented in the earlier phases are critical to the progression in to the higher levels of each sport. The recommended skills in each phase were defined and developed by USSA National Team coaches, USSA Sport Education Committees and other experts in each sport.
The Tactical Domain builds on the Technical Domain by providing recommendations for application of skills to terrain, courses, features and competition venues.
The Equipment Selection and Preparation Domain outlines the knowledge and skills an athlete needs to maintain and prepare their equipment for training and competition.
The Mental and Social Skills Domain addresses the progression of performance psychology through an athlete's development.
Finally, The Competition Domain oulines a gradual pipeline through the competition pathways for each phase of development.
Taken as a whole, the USSA Training System provide a thorough and comprehensive set of recommendation for Long Term Athlete Development in each sport. They are designed to help USSA Clubs, Coaches and Parents gain an understanding of the critical factors in each phase of development.
What are people saying?
Read and hear what many of the sport's top experts are saying about the USSA Training Systems approach here.