With the ski season half over for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, the coaches did a mid-term review on the performance of their teams and athletes last week.
Sead Causevic, the head K1 coach (11 and 12 year olds), says his group has been progressing ahead of previous years.
"Looking back at past years our kids are racing a lot harder this year," he said. "Some technical components and greater attention to detail is missing, but the kids are stepping up and just givener, which is great to see and beneficial in the long run.
"That said, we have introduced new components such as our skills challenge, which has raised technical expectations, and our recently completed speed camp on Lower Cruiser gave our racers an opportunity to expand their skill set."
The next test for the K1 racers, ages 11 and 12, is the B.C. Winter Games in Port Alberni this weekend. After that the racers will participate in the provincial championships, which are followed by the Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup.
K2 coach Rob Boyd was also pleased with his racers (13 and 14 year olds).
"The season has just been getting better and better. I must give credit to the coaching team as a big part of the reason things are running so smoothly.
"We can really see the kids are growing hungry for speed and love to race. Earlier this month we completed a great speed camp at Silver Star for 33 of our racers and we have since enjoyed great speed training on Lower Cruiser.
"We have increased emphasis on speed training this year. Firstly it is important as we head into speed events such as the Bob Parsons (Memorial), Canadian Championships, and Whistler Cup, but secondly, the greatest value of speed is the skills and experience racers gain can be transferred back to other events. They learn aerodynamics, how to run out their turns, edge control, and grow more comfortable at top speed."
The Bob Parsons Memorial Downhill is this weekend, followed by the provincial time trials, and the provincial championships.
FIS racers (15 years and older) are holding their own at the provincial and even national level, with some strong prospects for the B.C. Ski Team and the national team on the roster.
"It has been amazing watching our athletes step up and respond to race day this year," said FIS head coach Jordan Williams. "We always have great diversity in our teams and it is always great when things come together such that our athletes start winning medals and we see progressions in everyones abilities.
"We are somewhat of a young team, but there has been great leadership by our older athletes such as Charlotte Whitney who recently grabbed some medals at the Apex Pontiac GMC Cup speed series. And for our younger racers, now that they are more comfortable racing at the FIS level we look forward to seeing elevated performances through the remainder of the season."
Upcoming events include a Mars Cup technical series in Whistler, Nor Am events, and the Pontiac GMC Cup National Championships in Quebec.