Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Could skiing be his sport? (age 7 skier)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Long term lurker- finally joined up. I'd really like some advice please on what to do with a keen young skier who may be have found his metier - or not. I read the recent "Kids ski racing" thread with interest!
Short summary: Should I sign up for a few sessions at Snowtrax, or jump right in and do a season next year? Or just wait until they are older.

I have two boys who are super-keen on their skiing and have been working through ESF since they were about 3yrs old, for about 3 weeks each year. The eldest (7) has just passed etoile d'or and has done his first fleche. (Not trying to brag, I've seen mention of plenty of kids with golds on here). He's confident on all runs in Courchevel, and has done the grand couloir a few times this season (not pretty, but no falls). He's skied a few days with the local kids and keeps up with ease. His brother (6) was in the bronze class with the local kids. I'm an experienced skier (PSIA, 2 seasons) and they follow me everywhere pretty quickly.

We're about an hour away from Snowtrax in Dorset. Should/can I take the boys there on a weekend and see if they are any good (musher?)? I don't know how different it will be going to dry-slope.

We have the opportunity to spend a season / significant time in the 3 Vallees next season (access to a family place), and I'm trying to work out if this could be his sport and we should do something about it. Maybe next season, or in the future, if there is a age when it's best to "invest" in their skiing. We could do just the school holidays, or put the boys into local school for a term and join the enfants du payees.

I'm now wishing I'd known sooner how the fleche test worked and I could have entered him a few more times to get a feel for his ability!

Thanks in advance.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Welcome to SHs @gmgmgm, snowHead Can't help with the racing questions. Do your kids already speak fluent French? If not (or even if they do, for that matter) it's a fantastic opportunity for them to spend some time in a French school - much better than just doing school holidays.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@gmgmgm, I must confess I don’t quite understand your question?

(welcome to SHs by the way).

Are you asking whether your son should, at this stage, actively pursue an (effectively) pre-professionnal sporting arc?

Or if he should just ski a lot cos he likes it?

Bearing in mind that if it’s the former, the odds (e.g. and not restricted to, not being from an alpine nation therefore logistics and finance a bit of a mare) are well stacked against him...
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@gmgmgm, my advice. Go for it and do the season. He will have a great time and learn french as well. As for the racing. I have posted the details of how the Fleche and Chamois work and becoming part of ESF Club in another post earlier tonight when someone from Sweden asked about racing. Have a read and PM me if you have any other questions. Hope that helps.

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3223997#3223997 and also on this thread http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3223998#3223998
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Gmgmgm - how did he get on in the Flèche? My son did his first Fleche and Chamois this Easter, I even got roped into doing both with him, hopefully never again.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

We have the opportunity to spend a season / significant time in the 3 Vallees next season (access to a family place)

Irrespective of every other question..

Just YES!
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
gmgmgm wrote:
We have the opportunity to spend a season / significant time in the 3 Vallees next season (access to a family place)


Sorry, I should have answered this first - as andyrew say, definitely, if it's easy to do and you can manage all the admin like schooling, then absolutely do that no matter what else.

It's surely only a positive experience.
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks everyone. doddsie, he really enjoyed his first fleche, but I heard it was pretty chaotic on the day. His score was "69.37 points", which appears to be below the cut-off for bronze or "flechette".

Snowcrazy- thanks, very helpful. Wish I'd known that at the start of the season Happy

Pam/under-a-new-name - their French is limited to confident ordering in the boulangerie. But we can sort out some French lessons in advance and I think at this age they'd learn the language like a sponge. Moving over there for a season would be serious upheaval for the family (and my job!?) but if it would really help him, we'd find a way. Under-a-new-name: probably the former if he's good enough- we're lucky enough to have access to a family place, and to fund his skiing. It would be less disruptive to go for just the school holidays, which is still circa 8 weeks.

Really it comes down to: how do I find out if he has a talent or not? If so, is now the time to nurture it? He is a quick skier on the pistes, but this doesn't always translate to the gates. And I don't want to push him too early.

It feels as though a couple of trips to the local dry slope in Dorset might help.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@gmgmgm, better questions there. I don’t have answers.

We have friends who are both instructors, ran their own ski school, live in French Alps and their son at 14 was frequently podium in his region.

He’s heading to University to do a degree this year. The effort (and cash, say? GBP 25k+ p.a. (I don’t really know so ymmv) at high level required) to get anywhere serious...

Don’t want to put you off. But it’s a big decision, not easily predicated on a 7 year old’s whim or transient enthusiasm...

Would scare me.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@gmgmgm, I have slightly older kids who race in France in the ESF system and we follow a similar route to your (I think preferred) option of spending all the school holidays out here. I’m just back from today’s fleche!

If what your asking yourself is whether his skiing already shows signs of being good enough to justify the upheaval of relocating to the alps, then I think you’re way too early to tell. My wife went to a presentation by one of the commercial race training operators (maybe ambition?) last year which had lots of data, broadly showing that you can’t conclude much from pre/lower teen performance vs “real” FIS racing.

A strong performance for a foreigner in ESF is etoile d’or at age 6, flèche d’argent at 7, and whilst this is vastly better than most british kids will ever have the opportunity to achieve, it is still some way adrift of the locals. Your plan A of lots of school holiday trips strikes me as the one that puts much less pressure on all of you whilst giving you a chance to put him through some ESF competition classes and flèche races to get a better idea of performance, but also for all of you to have fun and enjoy it!

You can look at the club ESF resultats page http://clubesf.com/resultat/classement.php and see how other kids of any given age do, and also how the best e.g. 16year olds have evolved over the years. A strong score for a 7yr old boy would be sub 30 skiopen points (that would make him top50) which is about 25% faster than his existing pace.
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@gmgmgm,

Don't worry about his points. You would not expect a 7 year old to achieve gold!

Concentrate on skiing all the mountain, safely, improve his technique and enjoy.
Keep entering fleeche's so you can record his progress.

It's a long journey to become a top ski racer 😊
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Technique and desire alone might not be enough, as alluded to here a lot can change from pre-teen to 18 year old.
A friends child attends a special sports school in Cham and was in the top 10 in France as a teenager.
As they got older they remained slightly-built despite year round physical training, ( other kids got bigger quicker) and they dropped from the elite programme.
That being said, they are academically gifted, and they pissed the speed-test, so they are off to uni in September, and have been offered work with the ESF in their vacations.
The flip side is our kids who just skied and now board for fun, there was never any pressure on them other than to be safe and enjoy themselves.
( Occasionally mutually exclusive goals, as teenagers ideas of what is safe may vary from accepted norms**)
They did all the Enfants du pays stuff, and can ski and board well on all mountain conditions - a couple of years back their school did a week in Chatel.
Some of the other children from their school were in the ski club, and were great on the piste, but when it came to bumps (the wall), jumps, park (Stash), forest, powder, couloirs, small drop offs etc.... the ski-club children were competent, but by no means at the front.
The ski club is an excellent opportunity if you want to race, but very few people make it all the way.
ski holidays     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
A well known British ski instructor who lives with his family in the Alps told me that he thought kids need about 14,000 hours on the snow by the age of sixteen if they were to really have a chance of making it in the big time. I thought it was a staggering figure but what do I know. I won't name him in case I have misunderstood. He is not actually logging the hours of his sons day by day it was just a figure he gave. The sons clearly enjoy themselves and I think they will get the chance to make their own choice in good time.

If you want to make it in the traditional alpine disciplines of slalom and downhill, in this day and age I think you really need to live in the mountains as there is huge competition and as others have said, it is not just about natural ability. Most gifted champions in any sport have actually spent many hours developing their natural skills.

Perhaps a Brit might have more chance in some of the newer alpine events that we see at the Olympics for example. There seem to be far fewer participants overall and there might be a chance to make a bigger mark in a smaller pool.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Gmgmgm - Definitely take your son along to Snowtrax, I think you’ll be surprised by the standard of some of the kids.
My son is a member at Hemel, but the training they do does little to improve their skiing, but it does at least mean they spend all year on snow. Most of the good kids also train with one of the commercial race teams and spend a good number of weeks a away with them, often during term time, as well as all the holidays with either race teams or their family.
For reference my 7 year old got Chamois Silver and Fleche Bronze(he fell over) this Easter, but he knows quite a few kids who are better then him. He spends 5 weeks each winter skiing, all of which is free skiing, the 2 races are the only time he’s been near a gate.
If you want to see a British family who are fully committed to ski racing then check out the Carrick-Smith boys and then think if you can match that commitment.
I also saw the ex French National coach (his wife is an ex World Cup racer) skiing with his 6 year old daughter and her little brother, totally different class for their age, so understand that it’s not a level playing field even if you moved to the Alps full time.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
For what its worth IMHO! Think about your child's potential in all fields. If he/she is far ahead of the field in just one activity, and loves it, it may be worth investing a lot in that particular activity. Because success brings rewards! But it may end up being an all for nothing route.

There is always the risk that in specialising too early in a child's educational path you restrict their options. It often seems possible to continue to support a particular activity through the junior school years without too much compromise elsewhere educationally (so long as you have the funds) but the critical time/choice comes in the adolescent years! It is a difficult one!

Every parent with a talented child must make a decision, hopefully along with their child's input, about how said child's future is likely to play out. To pursue above all else, one particular activity/career or pursue a general/wide range of education to keep all options open for as long as possible?
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
doddsie wrote:
If you want to see a British family who are fully committed to ski racing then check out the Carrick-Smith boys and then think if you can match that commitment.


Now you have mentioned it, that is who I was hinting at in my previous post.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
richjp wrote:
A well known British ski instructor who lives with his family in the Alps told me that he thought kids need about 14,000 hours on the snow by the age of sixteen if they were to really have a chance of making it in the big time.




the old 10,000 hours rule:

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=75059 (snowheads thread at its best I think)

I think there is something in that but as I said in the thread on this, that is a lot of on snow time, especially with school. My son has about 30 days skiing @ 4 hours day, this season (and we're pretty quick around the pistes too) but that is just 120 hours, he'll probably be on around 1000 hours by the time he's 16. I would have thought the ski club kids would be on around 2500 hours by that stage. That's a lot of skiing, week-ends traveling to races (not your tourist ESF fleche races either) etc. It is all a bit of a chore and all but the most motivated drop out. (btw: we don't race but we do ski hard).

The late, great Pete Garwood started a thread on the Fleche which snowball provided some interesting information

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=10762&highlight=fleche#10762

Courses vary though, the Chamrousse course is very long, for example, and sorts the wheat from the chaff.
latest report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy