USSA Programs

USSA Blogs

How Ski Clubs can be Community Oriented

Monday, Nov. 16, 2015

The strongest ski and snowboard clubs are ones that are positioned to be community development partners rather than just sports organizations. Many USSA clubs get involved with community initiatives, collaborate with a numbers of community partners, perform service work in their communities, and some even require community service hours from their student-athletes. This approach will: Make the club more relevant and known in the community, Increase the club’s base of support, Improve retention, and Improve the performance of both the club and individual athletes.


Developing Funds and Resources for Your Club

Monday, Nov. 2, 2015

We're kicking off November with a conversation on giving. We know the topic is a little overdone in November, but hopefully this blog will provide you with some fresh ideas and a new perspective on how to get your club the support it needs. Fundraising typically gets a bad reputation for being frightening and forced, but this presentation from Sport Education Director, Brian Krill, aims to reduce some of that stigma.


Marketing Doesn't Have to be Scary

Monday, Oct. 19, 2015

Welcome back, and Happy Halloween from USSA Sport Education! This time of year is often dedicated to tricks, treats, and dressing up, and why not do the same for your club's marketing and communications? Did you know that USSA Sport Education has numerous resources to help clubs create successful marketing strategies and communications plans? No matter what type of club you may be people outside the organization and your own members need to know what you are doing. It is important to maintain a consistent message and an effective digital presence. The USSA PR, Communications, and Marketing Resources page presents the following principles and other resources to help with implementation...


Welcome to the USSA Sport Education Blog

Monday, Oct. 12, 2015

Hello USSA clubs and coaches and welcome to our new USSA Sport Education communications platform. Over the last few years we have been working to better serve the backbone of competitive snowsports in the United States. YOU, the coaches and the clubs, serve as USSA representatives to the athletes, parents and communities. This new blog format will act as an efficient way to distribute the news, resources, stories and information that will support what you do on a day-to-day basis all season long.


Vision Screening for Developing Athletes

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

The USSA's medical department routinely performs pre-participation examinations and periodic health evaluations on its elite team athletes, providing a screening for injuries or medical conditions that may place an athlete at risk against safe participation in the athletic programs, ensuring that existing health problems are managed appropriately, and identifying conditions that may impede athletic performance.

A standard part of the periodic health evaluation is a basic eye screening, using a "Snellen" eye chart, which provides a simple screening for visual acuity.


Athlete Data to Strengthen the Future

Sunday, Sep. 7, 2014

The AMP Athlete Management Platform has been developed in collaboration between the USSA's high performance department and AMPSport.  Initially developed as a technology to better facilitate communication and data sharing between the coaches and performance service providers of the USSA's elite teams, AMP has expanded rapidly beyond that to provide athlete performance tracking and analytics, dynamic athlete evaluations and goal setting, media sharing and mobile applications.  Training sessions can now be scheduled, monitored and shared live, and ongoing at


The Potential of SSC Vail's Latest Move

Monday, Aug. 25, 2014

Last week Ski and Snowboard Club Vail announced the initiation of a Skicross program, and the hiring of a head coach to focus specifically on the sport.  While other clubs have organized Skicross activity – primarily providing support for elite-level competitors, or exposing athletes in alpine programs to Skicross course features and fundamentals – Vail's new program is notable in that it will focus on two groups, U-16 and U-14 athletes.  And with the hiring of an experienced leader and coach in Erik Steinberg, Vail has signaled that they see a lot of potential in the sport.


The Role of RallyMe in Best in the World

Thursday, Jun. 26, 2014

The USSA will spend roughly $25 million this year on elite athlete performance, athlete development at a national, regional and club level, coach and club development, and hosting national and international competitions. The success of the USSA's national team at the very highest levels inspires youth participation, and motivates adults to continue to be active in and give back to our sports. Development programs provide those youth with an avenue for high-quality participation and a culture that emphasizes personal dedication, commitment and discipline centered on the USSA's values.


A Culture of Excellence

Monday, May. 5, 2014

As it has done following the Torino, Vancouver, and now Sochi Olympic Winter Games, the USSA’s senior staff conducted a post-Olympic leadership retreat to discuss and define the role of organizational culture in the future success of our team and the association.  Where past such retreats have focused on the USSA's Core Values from an internal perspective, this most recent retreat was designed to look at it from an external perspective, utilizing the help of world-expert Dr.


Cross Country Olympic Selection

Friday, Jan. 24, 2014

The growing success of cross country ski racing in the USA has come through the passion by the American ski community, fueling the fire that has resulted in more and more skiers find success internationally. The cross country community has followed a vision that its athletes could, indeed, be Best in the World.



The Role of Education in Athletics

Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

The USSA considers itself an "educationally based and athletically focused" organization, referring both to sport education (for parents, coaches, athletes, clubs and officials) and the academic education of its elite athletes.  Academic education for the USSA's eli


Can a New Member Structure Facilitate Organizational Growth?

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013

The USSA is contemplating a new member fee structure, which is intended to streamline the registration process for members, establish stronger relations between USSA and its divisional associates, reduce organizational administrative burdens, provide stronger and consistent value to USSA clubs, and reduce the barrier to entry into USSA programs.


Athlete Retention in an Era of High Performance Clubs

Monday, Oct. 14, 2013

A number of weeks ago I was asked via Twitter where I thought the "33% of youth ski racers who quit return to the sport", and whether or not they came back into interscholastic leagues.  This is an interesting question, which I did not know the answer to.  And although we clearly know that dropout from USSA programming is at its most pronounced at around age 12, we haven't validated the rate of dropout or studied whether or not those athletes continue in ski racing through other avenues, take up different sports, or leave sport completely.


New Olympic Sports

Sunday, Sep. 8, 2013

Today's vote on the addition of sports to the Olympic program highlighted the skill with which the FIS has been able to update, refresh, and expand its own Olympic program by working both within the confines of the space FIS already occupies within the IOC, and by deftly taking advantage of the IOC view that the Winter Olympics still has room to grow.

FIS has had a near constant eye on innovation for over a decade.  Annually its sports are reviewed and adapted to ensure they're interesting for viewers, and particularly teens and young adults.


Lessons from a Champion

Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013

Periodically the USSA's elite athletes training at the Center of Excellence schedule time to speak with their support staffs, to tell them their story and to share with them their programs and goals for the coming year.  These "athlete socials" are always a great way to connect the athletes with their support staffs and vice-versa.  And they're a great way to remind the staff, many of whom never go into the field with the teams, what their work is all about.


Alpine Training Volumes at Youth and Junior Level

Monday, Aug. 5, 2013

Last winter the USSA surveyed its clubs and coaches to determine actual on-snow training levels of our alpine athletes at the youth and junior levels compared to the recommendations set forth by our National Training Systems.

This survey indicated the following:

·         On average, U10s ski close to the number of target days of skiing per year (40-60 days).  But a significant number ski 31-40 days (or in some cases less).  And a minority ski more (60-100 days).


Olympic Selection Procedures - Freestyle/Freeskiing

Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013

Every four years, the USSA has the honor of selecting its Olympic Team.  Given the strength of the USSA's athletes and teams, this selection process can be demanding on the athletes, and the stresses associated with Olympic selection are considered in the design of the selection procedures.  Ultimately, the procedures are designed to build and select the most competitive Olympic Team possible, and to support the USSA's Vision of being Best in the World.


Club-Based Organization - Progress Report

Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013

Last winter the USSA undertook a self-study to determine how to partner more effectively with the USSA's 400+ clubs to deliver an optimal athlete development program and ensure Best in the World performance well beyond 2014.  This study, which is initially focused on the alpine domestic system, involved the direct feedback of over 100 individuals comprised of Club and divisional leadership, athletes and parents, analogous organizations, USSA Board members, FIS and USOC leaders, and affiliated industry experts.  In addition, nearly 800 US


Best in the World - Not Only for the Elite

Saturday, Jul. 27, 2013

For the past 17 years, the Vision of USSA has been to "make the United States of America the best in the World in Olympic skiing and snowboarding."  That Vision has driven every decision the association has made, and every direction it has established since then.  It has been a game-changer in focusing the association on organizational performance, and on excellence.  Prior to that Vision, the association lacked direction and inspiration, and had little to measure itself against to determine progress and success.


Sport-by-Sport Funding - How it Works

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2013

The USSA invests over $20 million annually in its elite teams, and over $4 million annually in local youth, coach, club and development and competition programs.  These resources are used to support the USSA's Vision of being Best in the World in Olympic skiing and snowboarding, and its Mission of providing strong leadership that establishes and supports athletic excellence.  Winning more medals than any other nation at the Olympic Games is the ultimate manifestation of a Best in the World system, and is the benchmark that drives the allocation of USSA's resources in support of its athletic