Jeff "Hawk" Hawksley
Hawk, as his friends and racers call him, has been at this sport for much of his life. He has dedicated the past 1/2 decade to forwarding the love and fundamentals of alpine ski racing. He has coached for Saddleback Alpine Training Center (self owned), CVA and now RASC.
Maine Jr. Coach
Jonny has been skiing since he could walk. Growing up in Saddleback's Alpine Training program under Hawk's coaching gave him a phenomenal foundational start. He went on to ski with Bates College. He now enjoys sharing his love of the sport through coaching and teaching his young son Birch.
For many kids, playing sports, organized and otherwise, is one of the greatest joys of growing up. In my opinion the life lessons learned are numerous and the pure joy of playing is literally priceless. Kids play sports for many reasons but mostly because sports are fun and they enjoy being with their friends. Skiing and ski racing is no different.
For most athletes participating in several sports per year like baseball or softball, soccer, basketball and skiing is enough competition and meets their needs. For others, there may come a time when they choose one primary sport to focus on while continuing to participate in the sport of the season; or they may hope to improve their skills and fitness in order to get more playing time; or perhaps in individual sports, like skiing and golf they may aim to be more competitive at local or state- wide competitions. There will come a time for these athletes when just participating in the sport of the season will not be enough to help them achieve their personal goals. There will also come a time when countless hours playing their sport will not be enough and beginning to train their body will become essential for the very best possible performance outcome to be achieved. In skiing we get to spend more time in season than most teams, in the gym, working on developing a strong athletic body. Days that we are not on snow are used to develop overall strength and fitness with focus on sport specific exercises.
When it comes to performance in skiing, and most other sports, there are a few things that matter the most in my opinion.
· Fundamental skiing skills. This is the foundation for everything that happens on skis. This is developed at very early ages and the focus remains throughout an athlete’s career. Proper movement patterns learned at early ages last a life time. We focus so hard on fundamental skiing skills. The sooner an athlete can feel and repeat proper movement the better. This takes AWARENESS, FOCUS AND CORRECT REPITITION. This is the formula for success.
· Ski Racing Tactics, awareness and execution. Also taught at very early ages and progressed as skill and learning capabilities evolve. This is how we play the game! Where we put the skills to work. The lines we ski in gates. Knowing precisely where to go and having the skills to go there.
· Sport Specific fitness, endurance, strength, power, speed and agility. These elements are always a part of skiing and ski racing but become more and more important as athletes develop mentally and physically.
· Physical and mental toughness, grit and a competitive nature. The very nature of skiing can make it a very tough sport. Extreme weather variation and temperatures. Hard snow, soft snow, rutty courses and much harder snow. Ski racers need to adapt to all of it. And it must be done with a positive confident attitude. Self-belief is critical for ski racers and all other athletes for that matter.
· Self -Reliance: Always having the clothing and equipment needed for training and racing. Be able to follow directions and meet coaches on the hill when needed. Learn to inspect race courses and focus on the specific technical and tactical task directed by coaches. Assess your own performance and learn to make technical or tactical adjustments from run to run, with or without guidance from your coaches and you will become your own BEST coach.
Expectations and Communication
Be on time. Be prepared. Be coachable and cooperative. Be helpful. Be a good teammate and be kind.
Be grateful that you have this opportunity and BE HAPPY!!!!
Never forget that you are always representing your community, family, school and coaches.
Ski Fast and Laugh Often
Questions? Feel free to reach out to RASC