Development Skills

Good Skill development is a result of all performance factors working well together. 

Enjoyment for children is movement and success.


Skill Development is enhanced by:

  • Free skiing for many miles, in all conditions, both supervised and unsupervised, is a pā€¢ owerful form of developing skiing skills.
  • The skillful course setting of specific environments to enhance a specific skill.
  • The use of brushes, stubbies and gates for markers, creates reaction speed demands on the skier.
  • A child's knowledge of sport specific skills.
  • Utilizing mental training techniques.
  • Employing a variety of coaching intervention methods based on learning styles.
  • A well planned training program with specific goals and objectives.
  • Terrain selection to enhance skill acquisition.
  • Terrain selection to challenge the skier.
  • Training giant slalom.
  • Training slalom in brushes and stubbies (progressing to full gates at end of U12, once the skier's body visibly takes a line inside the stubby 90% of the time).
  • A skier's form follows the function of his/her action.
  • Coaching the performance of a movement vs. coaching the look of a movement


Free Skiing as many miles (vertical feet) as possible is the most simple and effective method to encourage skill development at the entry level.

This section presents important aspects of how skills are developed, and provides practical guidelines that can be utilized in introducing "Skier Essentials" skiing skills.


Skill development success is ENSURED by:

  • Utilizing flat terrain for skill acquisition
  • Utilizing a variety of terrain and snow conditions to build confidence and challenge the children
  • Employing a variety of turning radius
  • Employing a variety of coaching intervention methods based on learning styles
  • Utilizing mental skill training techniques (breathing, goal-setting, focus, activation control, visualization) 


Skill development is MAXIMIZED through:

  • Knowledge of the eight (8) motor skills
  • Knowledge of the planes of balance and movement
  • Knowledge of the tactical approach to skill development
  • A planned training program with specific goals and objectives
  • Awareness of the children's abilities at the current level they are working on
  • Terrain selection to enhance skill acquisition
  • Terrain selection to challenge the skier (diversity and versatility)
  • Drill selection (drill/skill matching)
  • Supervised and unsupervised free skiing
  • Drills and games in free skiing
  • Obstacle courses and terrain gardens
  • Giant slalom gate training
  • Slalom drills



Sequencing training to go from free skiing into games, exercises and drills ā€“ with bamboo, foamies/stubbies, and eventually gates ā€“ requires planning and patience. Before children are introduced to a gate training environment, the coach must observe them "perceiving" and "patterning" (and in some cases "adapting") line and turn shape in free skiing.

Once the children are ready for gates, the coach must provide a practice time that promotes a high success rate in order for the youngsters to perceive and pattern the specialized movements required for gates. In addition, the coach must plan and monitor the safety of the children in the environment. The coach who plans all of these elements into the training program will be rewarded with happy and motivated skiers.

Successful progression to gate training is ENSURED by sequencing:

  • Technical free skiing
  • Games and exercises in gates (obstacle courses, over/under)
  • Drill courses ā€“ consistent rhythm, rhythm change
  • Gate training
  • Competition (team environment)


EFFECTIVE training plans consider:

  • Enjoyment of the skier
  • Looking ahead
  • Line
  • Turn shape
  • Rhythm

S5 Box