What are the major benefits of FSA?
The athlete is able to live at home, attend their local school, and receive a quality, competitive racing program “in their backyard”. The athletes maintain local friendships and are able to participate in fall and spring sports, and enjoy family and local community events and activities.
While FSA started as a program through Hanover High School and the Ford Sayre Ski Council, it is an independent program and has drawn racers from Hanover, Norwich, Enfield, Lebanon, Lyme, Thetford and Kearsarge.
FSA is for the seriously committed racer, and some racing experience is advised. However, if an athlete is willing to give 100% to the program in terms of time, attention, determination and willingness to learn then they can advance in skill progression.
FSA trains at the Dartmouth Skiway and other area mountains. Currently, that other training hill is Burke Mountain. Training at other mountains is dependent on space/training lane availability and reasonable costs associated with that.
FSA was established for the serious full-time racer who wanted to stay at home, attend their local high school, and receive quality coaching to progress in alpine racing skills to meet individual goals. At this time, part-time participants have two options: 1) to train during the week with other Ford Sayre alpine programs such as the U14 group, and depending on the day of the week, joining up with the other FSA athletes after early dismissal on Wednesdays, or 2) to train on weekends only and race/train for their local high school program on weekdays. Those racers that join FSA for weekends/vacations only will have a more limited training schedule as usually one day of each weekend is spent at a race.
FSA coaches try to work with and get to know all the athletes. There is more limited time for part-time athletes to “connect” with coaches due to the weekend race schedule. Coaches work with all racers on goal setting throughout the season. Each year the allocation of coaching staff is reviewed, and in past years we have had a dedicated coach to serve the part-time needs in order to achieve consistency of coaching and availability to those athletes. FSA is proud to have the level of knowledgeable and quality coaching that it has had since its inception, and every effort is made to hire enough coaches to serve the needs and goals of all FSA athletes.
Participants are highly encouraged to participate in an aerobic fall sport as part of pre-conditioning for alpine ski racing. FSA will provide a written exercise/strength training plan specific for alpine racing upon request from any athlete wishing to add to a program, or is not a part of an organized athletic program in the fall. FSA team conditioning begins when the program begins in early November and athletes locally do strength and aerobic workouts and supplement that with outdoor runs, hikes and plyometric exercises.
In May all interested athletes should contact their guidance counselor to set-up time to discuss the scheduling of classes. The eventual plan will be worked to the best of the school’s ability to schedule around those classes that the racer has requested for the following school year. It is important to let the school know as soon as possible about your potential enrollment in FSA, and to understand the course requirements of your school. Your guidance counselor will be able to advise on the feasibility of taking certain honor level classes, and lab classes and electives that will have too much of a conflict with the FSA schedule.
The number of absences vary from racer to racer. On average an FSA racer can miss up to 10-15 days of school. For the elite level athlete (FIS racers) the amount of time can sometimes be much more and often there is little advance notice of when a racer qualifies for different events, or when weather/snow conditions postpone races. All speed events are scheduled during the weekdays, and racers can expect to miss several days of classes to attend these. Expect changes to the schedule on an on-going basis. The FSA coaches work with all athletes to keep them informed as much as possible about upcoming events, and those events that the coach would like to see them race at. It is always the prerogative of the racer and parents to choose their own race schedule, and time away from the classroom. FSA will work with any family that needs help in learning how, when, what and to whom to communicate with when the racer misses classes.
Before the season starts, all athletes are asked to allow the FSA guidance counselor at HHS to speak with the head coach if they notice grades to be falling. If a racer falls seriously behind in school, and grades start to reflect that, the coach will then create a plan with the parents and athlete that is acceptable to HHS. In rare instances, racers have had to withdraw from the program.
Tutor lists are available through the department heads of the school, and through your guidance counselor. The cost of tutoring is the expense of the participant, and is negotiated directly between the parent/tutor. Typically there are 1-2 tutor sessions per week. Scheduling and location for these sessions is decided between the tutor/athlete. There are tutorial “contracts” which must be signed by the high school teacher, tutor, athlete and parent so that all are aware of how the process will work for the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Course work follows the syllabus of the missed class. When tutoring sessions are missed it is the responsibility of the athlete and tutor to reschedule those times in order to keep pace with the regular class. It is the general expectation that the racer will be at the same place in course work as the regular class when the 4th quarter starts.
Working at races hosted by Ford Sayre is a requirement. FSA works with the Ford Sayre junior program to coordinate race worker assignments. FSA parents are expected to sign up to work the scored U16 through U21 races first as we have a more limited pool of parents to choose from, and typically FSA parents have more knowledge of race day needs as their children have been racing for several years prior to joining. We cannot run these races without parental involvement. The revenue from these races goes directly to offsetting program costs. Race requirements and assignments are decided in the fall once the race schedule has been set by NHARA.
FSA presently uses a 10 passenger rental van for primary transportation to training and races.
*Due to the nature of the schedule and the different levels of ski racing that FSA athletes attain, there are times that licensed athletes drive to training/races on their own, or with other parent approved athletes. At times FSA requests use of parent vehicles to transport athletes to events when the van is needed for a conflicting event. Coach’s can/do drive these vehicles to the events.
The program fees for the 2013/2014 season are $6,500 for full-time, and $2,050 for part-time, and $1,250 for weekend only. Fees depend on coaching, equipment, transportation, and insurance needs. FSA is one program under the auspices of the Ford Sayre Council and works closely with the Council to manage and coordinate keeping programs competitive and affordable.
The program fee does NOT cover the cost of hill passes, NHARA/USSA/FIS membership fees, insurance, race entries, lodging, airfare, food, or any individual equipment needs. The program fee covers the costs of coaching and van transportation.
100% commitment to the program. Coaches expect all racers to communicate with them on a regular basis about school concerns and stresses, and health related issues that affect their participation in training and racing. It is also the expectation that all the athletes work together as a team, and to behave at all venues with a positive attitude and to exhibit good sportsmanship at all times.
YES! FSA excels at creating a fun and competitive environment for all its participants. Almost all FSA athletes/coaches go through “racing withdrawal” symptoms as the final spring races arrive. New friendships are made within the team and with other racers from other teams around the State and eastern region, which endure throughout the years. The annual November trip to Colorado provides exciting big mountain skiing and builds team cohesiveness, and the various other travels throughout the season for races to a wide variety of eastern mountains deepens friendships, and creates atmospheres to develop athlete confidence, responsibility, organization and time-management, and certainly, the ever evolving “inside joke”.
Program Heads: Robert and Michelle Couture (603) 795-3116