CSCF membership fees are due!

As of September 30th, 2014 (Yesterday!), all CSCF members who haven’t paid their dues are not covered in terms of insurance and therefore should not be actively coaching until membership dues are paid.

Please, make sure that coaches that are away on training camps at the moment or coaches that you are hiring, have paid their dues before commencing their work with athletes.

Dues can be paid here :

or at by clicking on “My Personal Page” tab.

Please, forward this message to all your coaches.

Thank you,


Justine Parent  ·  Club Development Coordinator  ·  250.602.9077

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BC Coaches Blog – Field Testing Protocols Revised

Hope you are all having a great early summer! I have been doing some work on the fitness field testing protocols which were updated a few years back. Of course, we are not reinventing the wheel and so there are only minor changes so this does not reek havoc with your testing. The major changes to the last revised protocol are:

1. Some refinement of testing protocols/procedures
2. Recommendation to include a basic movement screen OR hire a professional to do a standard one such as the FMS (I can go through a basic screen at the fall meetings.)
3. Recommendation to include a basic, standard medical screen.
4. The countermovement jump is now a squat jump from a static position. This was tested at the 2014 TID camp and so I have a lot of data from the HPP/BCST athletes for you to make comparisons (it was done using the ‘just jump’ jump mat system). Rather than asking you to calculate power yourselves through the equation provided, I will work on an excel which does it for you.
5. The Pentajump involves 2 trials on both legs and 2 trials single leg. The previous protocol was just 2 legs. This is particularly important as single leg strength / stability / explosiveness have become a much greater factor with the new skis being introduced.
6. The balance test is out. This is a good training tool. However, it is important to realise the difference between an exercise and a test. A test is easily standardized therefore increasing reliability.
7. I kept the push up test in, despite it being difficult to standardized due to the loss of low back (lumbar) control seen in many athletes. I believe the push up is a fundamental body weight strength exercise that all young athletes should master.
8. I put in some new guidelines for the box test in terms of what is appropriate for the age groups. Most will use reebok step box as standard because it reduces the risk of injury and is found in most gyms. They don’t exactly meet the specs required, however, I believe this is an important safety intervention to avoid skinned shins which frequently occur using a wooden box. There is a note in there which encourages the coach to use discretion when deciding which box height to use. There are some small, immature kids who may dominate the box test, while older athletes will really struggle with 90 seconds. Use your judgement.
9. I have taken the 40 m sprint out. The T-Test has a greater specificity for alpine skiing and requires greater coordination / athleticism. This is not a knock on sprinting for alpine skiers– running / sprinting are fundamental skills which all young athletes should master.

Many of you have access to testing through either the CSI or Pacific Sport. They will provide you with equipment (jump mat; brower timing system) and perhaps administrative support. I recommend connecting with your local sports centre in the lower mainland, Whistler, Okanagan, Kamloops, and PG. Hot off the press – the CSI/Viasport just announced that that will be opening a regional sports centre in the Kooteneys, hopefully in the near future. Location I do not know, but at least there will be more support for programs east of Vernon.

When you have completed your testing, pls send the results to myself and Gordie. We are working on normative data so we can give you an accurate idea of the average and target for each age group and each test. I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow the principle of reliability discussed on P1. Failure to do this affects the results and can then in turn will affect normative data for the province.

Both the testing protocol and a recording form will be uploaded to in the coming days.

I’ll be blogging again more through the summer and fall starting next month. If you have questions regarding testing or dryland, pls don’t hesitate to call.

Thanks to Sead and Tamara for their feedback on testing the development level and helping me with the revisions.

COACH Action December 2013

Coach ACTION  –  December 17, 2013

“Snow Stars actively guides athletes, coaches and parents through a skill development progression aligned with Alpine Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development Model”.  For all the updated information on Athlete Development, Skills Assessment, and Resources, visit  Also check the Snow Stars Level 1-7 Benchmark videos.


Listen and learn:  Jay Keddy, CAST World Cup coach, discusses training and recovery strategy, especially relating to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and his personal coaching methods for teaching and for learning.


“A parent can be the biggest problem you can have on a team or an ally for a successful season”.  Coaches Plan Magazine presents 7 tips to turn parents into team players.


Help your athlete by studying this excellent article from Coaches Plan Magazine, which points out the importance of discovering and managing one’s identity.  “Research supports the idea that athletes who are able to develop other parts of their identity beyond sport are ultimately more successful in and beyond sport”.


Visit for the schedule of upcoming courses.  There are on line modules available, also.


Certified status is more easily attainable than you think!  If you have any questions after viewing the website, contact CSCF.


A great mental imagery coaching tool for elite performances – watch World Cup Winning Runs video clips.  Members, sign in to your Personal Page and click on the new Media tab.

Our new U12 iPhone app has a benchmark section – great for Entry Level performance mental imagery.  This hot-selling application is available in the APP store for only $1.99 – an excellent deal.

In-season fitness maintenance – Strength or Endurance…or both?

Alpine Skiing In-season Fitness Maintenance – Strength or Endurance…..or both?

 Hi everyone – here’s a summary of my thoughts on endurance training for alpine skiers.  I’d been meaning to write this one for a while as I think it is a hot topic and is relevant whatever the time of year or season we are in.  SummaryBoth strength and endurance are important qualities for alpine ski racers.  Maintaining both of these qualities through the winter is important for consistency of performance.  The research suggests that IT IS possible to train these components of fitness simultaneously.  Power output has been shown to be diminished as a result of combining strength and endurance training, although mode, frequency and duration are key factors.  In one study, those who combined strength training with cycling actually experienced superior gains when compared with athletes who just did strength training (Wilson, 2012).  Therefore, it is recommended that alpine ski racers spend more time cycling to improve/maintain endurance and less time running. However, it is imperative that young athletes are exposed to a variety of endurance training methods, including running, as this is an important component of physical literacy.

For the complete article, please click on the link below.

Thank you,


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BCA Coaches Blog: Injury Reduction Methods 1 – Pump up the Hams!

Injuries Reduction Methods 1 – Pump up the Hams!

In this series of short articles, I’ll give you a few tips on how you can minimize (reduce) the risk of injury through an effective conditioning program.  The knee is a common site of injury for ski racers.  When an athlete encounters high forces which their body is not prepared for, the knee can be placed in a compromised position and injury may result.  There are a variety of areas of conditioning which may be lacking.  Fatigue resulting from poor ‘fitness’ (low cardiovascular conditioning combined with a higher body mass index), a lack of fundamental motor skills, muscle-group asymmetries, poor trunk stabilization and poor core stability are all factors which place the athlete at greater risk.  Of course, the risk is dependent on the demands being placed on an athlete.  Coaches should always provide athletes with an appropriate progression (terrain, snow conditions, speed, forces encountered).  By following a progression in difficulty, the athlete receives neural feedback which will allow them to respond and adapt accordingly. A thorough, progressive warm up should be conducted before every session on and off snow to prepare the athlete for the demands of their sport.

The hamstring muscle group (semitendinosus, semimembranosis and biceps femoris) plays a key role in protecting the knee from injury.  The hamstrings cross both the hip and knee joint and are therefore involved in hip extension and knee flexion, as well as internal and external rotation.  As the knee flexes during a ski turn, the hamstring works to decelerate forces.  I often refer to this as the ‘brakes’.  Here are a few hamstring deficits I often see in young athletes which I aim to correct:

1.            Quad-Dominance:  In this case, the quadriceps group is relatively string and the hamstrings are undeveloped.  A strong hamstring allows the knee to decelerate under force which is highly important for skiers.  I see quad dominance especially in young female athletes.

2.            Ligament dominance:  In this case, the athlete shows a tendency to stress the ligament prior to muscle activation to absorb ground forces.  Again, quad-dominance and poor neuromuscular control of hamstrings are implicated in ligament dominance.

3.            Poor motor control:  A strong hamstring is not much use unless it can be activated in a wide variety of unpredictable situations (e.g. pretty much any sport!).  This is one reason why I include a lot of jumping, agility and balance in my training programs.  I use of a combination of both predictable and unpredictable drills – movement in sport is rarely predictable. Check out an unpredictable agility drill here!

4.            Poor flexibility – I see this particularly in growing males.  As a coach, you have to be patient during this time and encourage your athletes to engage in activities such as mobility training, yoga, stretching and rolling.  Eventually their muscles will increase in the length to an acceptable level but it takes time.


What can I do to train the hamstrings in my programs?

 I recommend that on a weekly basis, you include agility training, balance training, jump training and strength training.  In a strength program I always include a hamstring exercise if I have a quad exercise.  In the winter I may focus more on the hamstrings as the quads get plenty of action from skiing.  Here are a few examples of hammy exercises I use periodically:

•             Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts

•             Swiss ball roll ins

•             Hip Hikers

•             Face Plants

•             Hamstring curls (on machine)

•             Any movement pattern where you go BACKWARDS.  E.g. backward lunging, backwards hopping, backwards running.

Most interestingly, a recent study concluded that the Romanian deadlift  and Glute-Ham raise movements resulted in the greatest hamstring activity (measured through EMG) when compared with the leg curl and good morning exercises (Graziano et al, 2013).  Personally, I use a wide variety of hamstring exercises periodized in different volumes and intensities through the year.  Bear in mind that only a limited number of exercises were used in the study and there are many exercises that can be effective to strengthen and improve proprioception of hamstrings.

It is important to note that, as a coach, you cannot prevent injuries from happening.  Sometimes bad luck and/or poor decision making are factors.  However, by implementing some basic techniques in your program, you may be able to reduce the risk of injury to your athletes.  Stay posted for the next blog on injury reduction!



Graziano et al (2013).      Anterior Cruciate Ligament Prevention in the Young Athlete:  Evidence Based Application.  Strength and Conditioning Journal.  25 (3) NSCA.

McAllister et al (2013).    Muscle Activation during various hamstring exercises.  Journal of Strength and Conditoning Research. (release prior to publish).


All for now!



Disclaimer:  The advice given in this communication is in no way intended as an exercise/nutrition prescription.  Each individual coach/athlete is responsible to decide which training/nutrition methods are appropriate for their athletes based on their assessment.  FITSolutions takes no responsibility for injury or health issues arising from inappropriate use of the methodologies and/or training exercises shared in this email.

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Snow Stars Update

logo_redBC Alpine is taking pride in the quality of the coaching level and experience we have in the province. We believe that our U12 and under coaches are key to build strong clubs and skiers. Their education is our PRIORITY!

Since April, a committee of volunteers and staff from BC, Alberta, Quebec, ACA and CSCF  has worked together to modernize the Snow Stars Program to its new standard and to make it more user-friendly.

Nation Wide Snow Stars Program Launch

We had to deal with minor delays but things are now in order and we are planning to launch the modernized Snow Stars program December 2013. More information will be provided to you as we get closer to the launch date but in the meantime, he is some information to keep in mind:


What:                   Launch of Snow Stars program

When:                   December 12th (time TBC)

Where:                 Nationwide Webcast

Who:                     PSO personnel, Club Head Coaches (webcast details will be sent to head coaches/Program directors)


BC Alpine Snow Stars Academies

Alpine will be conducting Snow Stars Academies in all 4 zones of the province.

Academies are geared towards U14 & U12 and under coaches. They will be indoor sessions (except for North Pro-D) and content will be focused on learning the different ways coaches can integrade Snow Stars as the base of their training sessions. It will be a fun, interactive and practical session that no coach should miss! Of course, the presence of Program Directors, Head Coaches and leader experienced coaches at the Academy is key in order to ensure the continuity and viability of the program in your club.

Academy content:

  • Presentation of the new website: how to navigate and get information fast and effectively
  • Review of the evaluation grid
  • How to plan your daily session based on Snow Star principles and level of your athletes.
  • How to integrade Snow Stars into your own club and group’s reality.
  • Presentation of the new CSCF coaching app (available on iTunes for iOS 7 users) Release date to be announced soon.

Locations and dates:

*North Zone will be covered by individual visits.


  • Whistler               November 16th -17th        Coast Zone Coaching Symposium                                                confirm with Raul Anguita
  • Vernon                 December 6th                     Okanagan Snow Star Academy                                                 confirm with Justine
  • Castlegar             December 13th                  West Kootenay Snow Star Academy                                          confirm with Justine
  • Cranbrook           December 14th                  East Kootenay Snow Star Academy                                           confirm with Justine
  • Timberland         January 2nd                          Williams Lake Pro-D day                                                        confirmed. Thank you!
  • Troll Mtn.            January 3rd                          Lightning Creek Pro-D day                                                      confirmed. Thank you!
  • Purden?               January 4th                          Prince George Pro-D day                                                             location TBC
  • Powder King      January 5th                           Pine Pass Pro-D day                                                                   confirm with Justine

Academies are open to all BC coaches and are FREE to attend.

Please confirm your club’s presence and approximate number of coaches.


Some of the notable changes of the Snow Stars program are:

  • Development of a new website and online skills assessment tool
  • Technical element upgrades for all Levels
  • New evaluation grid for on-snow evaluation
  • New grading system to be able to remain in one level for more than 1 year but still show improvement
  • Increased awareness of Para-skiing skills throughout the program
  • Addition of ski cross technical skills to level 4 to 7 (dependent on terrain and coach certification)
  • Same GREAT holistic program!


Updated materials that will be available from the website:

  • Skills Assessment cards (downloadable)
  • Certificates of Achievement (downloadable)
  • Videos (limited number for the 2013-14 season; more developed for 2014-15)
  • Online skills assessment tool (trial/pilot version)


DID YOU KNOW?         

  • That Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) is the pioneer of Athlete Development with its AIM 2 Win document and Snow Stars program?
  • USSA has “copied” our Snow Star program and AIM 2 Win and has been using OUR principles to build their racers for a few years now?
  • Snow Stars has been used in Canadian Alpine Ski Racing Clubs for over 12 years?
  • There has been approximately 50,000 ski racers in Canada that have benefited from Snow Stars so far?
  • Snow Stars gives each child the chance to enjoy skiing FOR LIFE!


Thank you for your continued support! Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

BCA Condiitoning Blog – Concussion Risk Reducation, Recognition and Management

Hi Everyone,

Today’s topic is concussion recognition and management.  Dealing with a concussion can be extremely challenging and frustrating for the athlete, coach and parent.  However, if you follow the simple guidelines set by Think First, you can create a safer training environment and also minimise the risk of further injury to the athlete.  The new concussion Making Head Way eLearning series  is free to coaches for 2 more days, until October 27. These NCCP Professional Development modules will teach coaches the knowledge and skills required to reduce risk and provide appropriate management.  I took the course today – it takes around 1 hr and I found it very beneficial.  In particular, having a clear policy set up at your club included in your code of conduct I think is crucial.  Often concussions can occur around major events and the coach may feel under pressure to put the athlete back in competition.  Having a clear process and guidelines which you can refer to when things get emotional is a key step in dealing with concussions.

FYI – there is a generic module you can take and also some sport specific ones.  I took the generic one as there was not one available for alpine skiing.  However, there was one available for snowboarding which is a similar environment so you may choose to take that option.

Visit the Coaching Association of Canada’s website for more information. While you may already have a clear policy and procedures in place at your club,  I recommend that all our coaches take the time to go through this module.


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Entry Level Pro-D

Entry Level Pro-D

The BC Alpine Entry Level Professional Development days (Pro-D) are designed to promote, encourage and facilitate coaches’ education in BC.  It is a free service provided to ski clubs in communities all around the province with the goal of developing the best ski coaches and clubs while helping young athletes develop skills for life.

The Club Development Coordinator travels around the province meeting with coaches, athletes and their parents. As well as keeping in touch with club executive members.

The 2013-2014 schedule is almost done, it will be posted shortly on BC Alpine’s website

Each club will be contacted prior to the Pro-D to establish activity priorities and needs to the club.

Below are some of the components included in these Academies, but not limited to:

  • Coaching/Ski skills improvement
  • Course setting Environment workshop
  • Integration of AIM2 and SnowStar philosophies and documentation

Benefits to the Clubs:

  • Fun, challenges and opportunities for personal growth and excellence through athletic participation and competition
  • Free coach professional development
  • Improved performance and results
  • Support for all BC coaches & club executives
  • Ski Safety
  • Collaboration with BC Alpine
  • Goal-setting
  • Task-focused activities



Justine Parent

BC Alpine Club Development Coordinator


BCA Conditioning Blog – Dietary Supplements video

Hi Everyone,

I was sent this video today on a topic which I think is highly relevant to your age groups as it was presented at the IYCA (International Youth Conditioning Associations) latest conference.  I did write a blog on this topic earlier this year and this is a good supplement to that (forgive the pun).  It is quite long (1hr) but is a great resource for both you and your parents if they have questions on supplement use with young athletes (<18 years).

A basic summary?  Prior to adulthood and sub-elite/elite level, the focus should be on developing sound nutritional habits with young athletes.  Some supplements can provide an ergogenic benefit to athletes, but only when they are used on the foundation of sound nutrition.

All for now,


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