Why training systems?

Although the United States has seen great success in skiing and snowboarding at the international level, we can do better at all levels. The USSA Training Systems are based on scientific research to develop a systematic approach based on the concepts of biological and training age. Putting the USSA Training Systems to work will result in smarter coaching, better competitions, more enjoyment, and ulitmately greater success. The outcome is a better experience for everyone involved.

Why do we need to make changes?

While there appear to be many similarities between adult and child competition in skiing and snowboarding, a deeper look shows that their capacities are very different. Often training and competition are designed based an the adult model in terms of format, distance, scoring and selections. We need to do a better job of designing our programs with young athletes' needs and opportunities in mind. Children will have more fun, greater self-confidence, and better development when they participate in age-appropriate programs.

In addition, it is important to understand how the different maturation rates and experience of young skiers and snowboarders impacts their performance. There are many differences among athletes with the same year of birth that should be factored.

How do skiing and snowboarding compare with other sports?

Skiing and snowboarding are among the most difficult sports to master due to the many complex and variable demands. Weather, snow conditions, varying competition venues and courses; along with unique demands for strength, power, agility, endurance, and courage come together to challenge the skier and rider. With so many factors at play, strengths or deficiencies in certain areas may not appear until late in one's development, when it may be too late to effectively make a change. Only by emphasizing the right things at the right time in training and competition can we be sure that each participant will have the chance to reach their full potential.