October is here and the cooler weather is coming in. We’ve scheduled our fitness assessment and equipment night for Saturday, October 12th.

The fitness assessment will start at 11:00 am. We’ll be meeting at the Barton Performance Center located at 2170B South Ave. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Please bring water and athletic shoes for running and jumping.

The development of general physical fitness is a necessary component for elite ski and snowboard
athletes. Establishing efficient fundamental movement patterns, learning motor control
in a variety of situations and positions, and developing general strength, power, and capacity
is critical for young skiers and snowboarders. These variables can contribute directly to
long-term sporting success, and the assessment and quantification of these qualities by using
SkillsQuest-Fitness can help to identify potential performance deficits, as well as track long-term
performance trends. As USSA builds normative data for each gender, sport, and phase of
development, SkillsQuest-Fitness will help to identify target areas for later success and development
as elite athletes.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Model of Athlete Development focuses on the appropriate
application of stage-specific variables along the Long-Term Athlete Development continuum.
The focus early in an athlete’s lifecycle should be to assist young athletes in building
the fundamental qualities and skills that will be necessary at and for higher levels of ski and
snowboard competition. Without adequate levels of general fitness and fundamental skills, later
“sport- specialized” or “high performance” training will be limited in effect, as there will be a
limited foundation upon which to stack any sports-performance components.
The purpose of SkillsQuest-Fitness is to provide information for determining the current status
of the ski or snowboard athlete across multiple physical domains –

  • Aerobic Capacity
  • Anaerobic Endurance
  • Lower Extremity Strength, Power, Coordination, and Single Leg Strength
  • Lower Extremity Balance, Coordination, and Skill
  • Acceleration and Speed
  • Upper Body Strength, Strength Endurance and Control relative to the trunk and lower body

A coach can use the data gathered from SkillsQuest-Fitness to more accurately determine an
athlete’s “starting point” along the developmental continuum and track subsequent progress
through re-evaluation. This will allow the construction of an appropriate training program that
matches the needs of the athlete, both in the context of their sport or event as well as within
the athlete’s capabilities.

The effective administration of each test is detailed within this manual. A coach/administrator
should consider the rationale, equipment needed and calibration/maintenance required for accuracy,
methodology/execution protocols, preparation (warm-up), scoring, and recovery time
for each test. Through the consistent administration of the tests and the consideration of their
components, both validity, and reliability of SkillsQuest-Fitness will be improved.
When implemented and interpreted correctly, SkillsQuest-Fitness will be an important part of
the overall process of athlete development. By identifying an athlete’s existing abilities in the
following tests, the appropriate foundations can be built upon. This, in turn, will promote a
higher effectiveness of the sport-specific and high-performance strategies to come, that will
subsequently support and enhance performance throughout the athlete’s career.

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