This past month was slammed with skiing, coaching and a few tournaments. It has been nice to be home for a while. Things are a bit more relaxing compared to being on the road and traveling all the time.
We had our first tournament of the year at Shortline Lake in the beginning of June. It felt weird saying it was our first when I had been in FL and people were telling me they had already had 15-20 tournaments this year. It was a turn and burn format and my best round was in the first round; I ran 1@41 off. Check out the new website for Shortline –ShortlineLake.com
June is when everyone starts getting out of school so all of the juniors are ready to start skiing and getting some quality time on the water. I coached 3 Junior Development Clinics over a 3 week period. The first clinic was the SACTO Jr. Development which covers the entire Sacramento Region. It was held at Bel Acqua Lake #1. There were 12 boys and girls ranging from 8 – 16 years old. Some had never run the course before and others were cutting the line. At the end of the 2 day clinic, 7 of them had run a personal best. The most impressive was a 13 year old named Alex who had run 25mph once before the clinic and ended the clinic with a personal best of 1 1/2 @ 30mph. It was a 13.5 buoy improvement!!! I have been asked to coach 2 more SACTO clinics for their juniors before regionals and nationals.
Next I headed down toward the Bay Area for the Delta “RATS”, River and Tournament Skiers’, Jr. Development Clinic. We used 2 courses on the delta and camped at Holland Track. There were 26 boys and girls ranging from 6 – 18 years old. Some kids were just learning how to get up and were running the mini course, others were running the course at slow speeds and we even had some junior girls getting into 32 off and boys getting into 35. Approximately 50% of the kids ran personal bests in the 2 day clinic or ran a personal best in the tournament that followed the clinic.
After the Delta camp it was time to get ready for a 3 round record at Diablo Shores. There was some great skiing, especially by HO Syndicate skiers – Greg Badal ran 3 and 4 @ 41off, I ran 4.5@39off and Josh Badal ran a new pb 4@39off.
Last but not least, I drove down to central California and coached the Arvin Area Tournament Association’s (AATA) Junior Development Camp. This camp was sponsored by Pacific Slalom and is Ball of Spray central. Arvin is just outside of Bakersfield. I am sure many of you have been there before for Regionals or Nationals. There is approximately 20 man made lakes on one street so it is the perfect place for a junior development camp. We used 4 lakes since there was approximately 50 kids. This clinic had the biggest range in ability (getting up on a boom – cutting the line) and it was a 3 event clinic. I had never met any of the juniors from this camp so I was excited to coach some new faces and check out the talent that central California has. The juniors I coached improved a lot and we had a lot of first – one got up on a slalom ski for the first time, one ran the course for the first time, one put her foot in the trick toe harness for the first time and one shortened the line for the first time. I also had one of the boys try a new a new 66” HO Syndicate A2 because his 65” ski was too small since he was 6’2” 130lbs. After a few sets, he started ripping on the A2 and ran a personal best!! Thanks to Pacific Slalom for sponsoring this junior clinic and having equipment available for the kids to demo and buy!! I am planning on going back down to Bakersfield to coach a few more clinics later this season.
I received a lot of positive feedback at all 3 clinics from the juniors and their parents. Some of the feedback was: how I was able to connect with the juniors, that I was able to put instructions in terms they were able to understand, I always made sure they understood what I was saying, I not only helped with technique but I was also making sure their equipment was set up right and that I made sure they were having fun because that is the most important part.