From mid-November to early December, Burke Mountain Academy (BMA) students hit the road for ski camps in Colorado and British Columbia, marking the school’s second trips of the year following early fall training in Chile.
While FIS women, U16 women and all U14 athletes trained at Loveland, CO, all FIS and U16 men chased snow in Panorama, B.C.
COLORADO CAMP OVERVIEW BY BRADLEY WALL ‘97, ATHLETIC PROGRAM DIRECTOR
“We had a great camp in CO with a ton of free skiing and training, but a couple of sessions stand out in particular. We had one slalom day where all of our athletes were on the same lane at Loveland. We set four sections and split all of the FIS and U16 athletes equally among four groups. We had a shotgun start, with U16 and FIS coaches dispersed across the different courses. The athletes lapped through each station consecutively, receiving feedback from coaches they are perhaps not used to working with. This integration is important as we encourage familiarity with all of our athletes and their gender coaches regardless of age. The second session that stands out is the U14 synchronized skiing contest. They choreographed their routines and worked together as a team to bring them to life. The U16 athletes were asked to judge the video replay. Through a flurry of short to long radius turns, whirly birds and jazz hands, the Two-Headed Snake, narrowly bested the Pink Piggies. Each team was rewarded with a gift certificate for rolled ice cream.”
PANORAMA, BC CAMP REVIEW BY WILLY BOOKER ‘96, HEAD OF SCHOOL
“It was a true pleasure to get back on the road with the BMA “squad.” The training was excellent in Panorama, and the coaches were challenging the skiers each day. My observations are that we have an incredible group of athletes and coaches and we should have every reason to set the expectations high.”
“It’s always fun to be reminded of how special our group is in an environment like this. We received a number of comments from resort staff and peer coaching groups about how polite and helpful the Burke students are. I have to say that the long-standing tradition of Burke coaches being the hardest working is still alive and well. It’s common to see a BMA coach fixing netting around the hill even though our kids may not be training at that time. The Burke reputation is being well represented, and it’s easy to carry your head high wearing the BMA logo!”
LEARNING FROM THE BEST
During the Colorado camp, Burkies gained first-hand exposure to some of the nation’s best racers with the early-season NorAms held at Copper and Loveland.
Current PG Mckenna Wilson ‘17 gave great insight when reflecting on her experience training and racing alongside top tier competitors:
“My biggest takeaway from this series was the training environment, quality and that the two go hand and hand. I learned that mentally you have to set your own training environment. If you can put yourself in the right frame of mind, you can achieve everything that you know you are capable of. The girls who compete on the highest level of the Nor-Am circuit are so confident in their preparation and their ability to perform that by the time they even click into their skis they have already won. No matter who is at the race, what the environment, or how hard the hill is your attitude is everything. Even on the foggiest and coldest of days, you have an opportunity to make an improvement because ultimately, it’s not more training or better training that we need it’s more focus and intensity. A lot of the time you will see people ski out of a course if they mess up or just straight line it to the lift, but if you want to reach the next level, every turn has to have a purpose. Furthermore, quality goes beyond the hill. You have to implement quality into all aspects of your life because, in the long run, it’s the little habits that will have made a difference in your success.”
HOME TRAINING ADVANTAGE KICKS INTO HIGH GEAR AT BURKE MOUNTAIN
As athletes return home, Burke Mountain has been hard at work to prepare highly reliable, early season snow conditions – marking one of the earliest starts to the season in more than a decade.
The lower training hill is open and the number one priority for the mountain is getting the upper training hill finished as soon as possible. With arctic air moving into the region, Burkies expect the full training hill to open in a matter of days. The final electrical work is being completed on the T-Bar which should be inspected and operational very soon.