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Saturday, November 08, 2008

SPYDER Speedfreaks

Last season I started working with Spyder and we developed the Speedfreaks program.  Speedfreaks came from and idea I had about stoking the kids, creating a young team that kids can shoot for before they move into the international scene.  So Spyder gathered together a group of kids  12-16 who are passionate about going fast.  Last season consisted of the Freaks blogging and sharing stories about their year.  We wanted to make the program more interactive between the elite athletes and the younger ones.  Basically a mentoring program.  So this fall we brought everyone to the first Spyder Speedfreaks camp for some one on one training.  The Elite athletes (Me, Daron Rahlves, JJ Johnson, Errol Kerr, Jake Zamansky, Caitlin Ciccone, Bryon Friedman, TJ Lanning, Greg Samuels) were paired up each day with a different athlete each day from Nov 1-5 at Copper Mountain Resort.  
It was not only great for the kids, I learned a lot.  While coaching the kids I kept in mind some of the stuff I am working on and I see the kids already doing it.  I still come from the generation of straight skis and had to make the transition to shaped skis.  These kids have grown up on the new equipment so they naturally are performing the moves I am trying to make habitual.  So I feel like I have learned a lot from them and can learn more from them.  Ski technique is always progressing especially with the technology advances and I think by watching the little kids you can learn much.  
Aside from the kids being impressive skiers.  We had some little contests.  I brought a couple pairs of SkullCandy headphones to give out to the winners.  We had the layover contest the second day.  We judged which freak could lay it over the furthest with out crashing.  Ryan won the Heshs and then one night after some video analysis Nick and Bobby wrestled for some ICons.  It was a good battle it even drew little blood.  Nick put Bobby in a head lock rubbing his lips into his braces and cutting is lips.  But Bobby gave Nick a little rug burn and ended up taking the title after two rounds. 
Speedfreaks is small right now but should grow in the years to come and hopefully help influence kids to become the best they can be, think outside of the box and to keep the need for speed instilled in their blood.