1. How do find the Schedule of BST Supported Races and practices?
Click on the Enhanced Tab in the BST website, bradfordskiteam.com, you will see choices for both.
2. How do you register for one of the Enhanced races and is there a deadline for doing so?
If you see a race on our Enhanced schedule, the “Schedule of BST Supported Races,” there is a link (the blue underlined words) that will take you directly to the appropriate website. As for a deadline, that will be listed but please do not wait until the last minute. Most USSA races have caps and some tend to fill up very quickly.
3. How many extra races are there and where have they been in the past?
The “extra races” are the USSA Tri-State races, in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, which differ in number by the U group of the racer, and a few late season races, normally in New Hampshire. The actual number probably ranges between 7 and 10, depending on U Group.
4. Do we have to race in the USSA races?
No, those are options for racers interested in trying longer, more challenging courses that can be found at larger venues. The term “higher level races” is discouraged because it is the course, the terrain, that may be more challenging. While the competition may be tighter with a larger number of racers vying for the top podium spots, Bradford Ski Team members have proven to be top-notch competitors and bring home some “hardware.”
5. What day/time are practices?
This is tough to answer because there is no way to know what the hill obligations will be outside of regular BST practices. When the Enhanced group can arrange for the hill, it may be possible to try to schedule a practice. That said, the Enhanced Group does go up north starting as early as snow and conditions allow, as early as mid-November through December.
6. Are courses set for Enhanced practices?
Early season practices at northern mountains focus on skiing. As the season progresses and practices are held at Bradford (where we can set gates,) more likely than not, a course will be set. There are times that it is beneficial to forego the gates and work on basic skills.
7. If a racer is not one of the top racers, can they still benefit from the program?
Absolutely. One of the main coaching concepts of the Enhanced Group is to coach the individual. While everyone may be working on the same technical skill or tactics, there are different skill levels involved. The Enhanced program works with each racer for personal improvement regardless of where he/she may fall on the results page. While ski racing with the EMBWL is a team event, it must not be forgotten that ski racing is, in fact, an individual sport.
The BST slogan is...
Good skiers make good racers...
Great skiers make Great racers!
The entire Bradford Ski Team Race Program is built around improving skiing. As a racer moves from U group to U group, and skill progression is made outside of the gates, the racer will start seeing better results (race times) inside of the gates on race days.
Improvements cannot and do not happen the other way around. If you want to run gates all the time, the racer will either regress, not improve, or improve more slowly that his/her counterparts. That is why the Enhanced Group may not be for everyone if gates are the primary concern.
8. If we can’t join the Enhanced Group, what do you suggest?
The answer is ski, as often as possible and wherever possible. While no one is going to concentrate on dedicated practice all the time, put aside some time each time you’re on snow to work on something specific – something that one of the coaches has provided feedback and given suggestions. Just get out there and ski and have fun!