MAST Update 17.1
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Dear MAST Athletes, Families and Coaches:
I. Training tonight, Wednesday, January 13th:
II. Wild Mountain racers - UPDATE
Details for Monday, January 18th race are below. We are still waiting to hear from Wild on our race hill.
Racers & Parents:
MAST Update: RACING in 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Dear MAST Athletes, Coaches, Families:
First, you might have received a MAST Calendar that indicated we had a race this Saturday morning, January 16. We do not have a race.
We will have practice though:
7:45-10:15: Pods 10, 11, 12
9:30am-12:15am: Pods 7, 8, 9. Meet on Center Chair at 9:30am. If you are late, you may find us on South Chair until 10:15 when we will move to Lanes 1, 2.
Second, we DO have a VARSITY race on Monday at Wild Mt. More on that in a bit.
Race Schedule and The Need to “State Your Race Intentions”
Due to Covid, we are limited by the MSHSL in the number of athletes that can race per course (36) and the number of teams (3). So, for each race on the calendar, 36 boys and 36 girls will be racing. We have two races scheduled at Wild Mt, both against Hill-Murray. We have a number of races scheduled at Hyland on either Friday afternoon/evening or Saturday morning. You can see from the schedule that we have both a JV and a Varsity race schedule on each date. Once the first race is over and all the competing athletes have left the premises, we will hold the second race. We are in the process of working with other high schools to bring in some competition at these races. We may switch the order around yet so don’t get too locked into whether the Varsity is racing at 4:30 or 7:00 on Fridays, or 8:30 or 10:30 on Saturdays. We also may move up the second start times should we discover that the races go more quickly than anticipated.
For each scheduled race, every athlete needs to STATE YOUR INTENTION TO RACE OR NOT RACE. If you do not state your intention, you will not be on the race run order and you will not get to race. You also need to state your intention by the race entry deadline. Why do you need to do this? A lot of work goes into organizing a race. For instance, we need to create a race run order. We only want people listed on the run order who are actually going to show up and race. This makes races run much more smoothly and quickly. If you are not planning on racing, you still need to state your intention to NOT race. This is just a courtesy to your hard-working coaching staff, so we aren’t sitting around guessing about what your plans are.
You can state your race intentions by using the form that can be found on our website. Look for the TRAINING AND RACING header. Then click on the drop-down header titled RACE DAY SIGN UP. You will see a button for each race day listed on our calendar. Just click on the race date and the Race Intention Form for that race date will appear. Fill it out and click submit. Here is a link to make it really easy for you:
State Your Race Intentions Here
January 18th Race at Wild Mt against Hill-Murray
The invitation to race at Wild Mt is extended to the athletes listed in the spreadsheet that is attached. If your name is listed, please state your race intentions for the January 18th Wild Mt Race. With only one practice under our belts, we had to select the athletes to invite to the first race from results from last season.
We are racing Hill-Murray, a tough competitor from Section IV. Washburn girls should be fired up to face them. You will not have had much time in gates beforehand, but don’t let this worry you. The Hill-Murray athletes have not either and they do not have the advantage of having been training virtually during ‘the pause’. You have the head start even without dozens of hours in gates this year.
One problem we have this year: Transportation. I do not want our athletes and coaches riding a bus together. The drive to Wild is long and I just don’t think that would be a safe trip for us to make together yet. Consequently, we need you to ride with your parents or with your parent’s permission, another parent—preferably a family you already car-pool with regularly. The Race Intentions Form will ask you how you are getting to Wild Mt. Please fill this out. If you can’t get a ride, let us know that as well.
Finally, please look at the Instagram post each day before practice so that you know which drills we will be doing and how to do them. After practice, watch them again. Try to figure out how you can perform the drill better. We need the athletes to take control of your development. Standing around explaining each drill is not a good use of time and it is difficult to do outdoors with a mask on and with the large groups we have.
And I almost forgot: go one-at-a-time down the hill. Single file. I don't want any collisions out there.
MAST Update 17
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Dear MAST Athletes, Families and Coaches:
It is time! Practice begins tomorrow. Please come to practice during your Training Pod’s scheduled time. For tomorrow, meet at the top of Lanes 4 and 5. I encourage you to bring rope tow gloves (leather chopper or gloves). You will get in many more runs by using the rope tow. Attached is a map that roughly outlines the lanes for you
If you are not following MAST on Instagram, follow us at @mplsalpineski.
I will post the drills we will be utilizing each practice on Instagram first thing each morning at the latest. Watch the drills before practice so you know what drills to do, how to do them and how many. This will free up the coaches to give feedback. Here are the drills we will introduce tomorrow. You can also watch all the drill on Sprongo in the Drills For Skills Playlist.
Fundamental Skills Training
Week 2-Day 1
Monday Jan 11
# of Runs/Movements/Drills
2--Downhill Traverse In Parallel Position
3--Garlands Linked With Passive Pressure
3--Outside Ski to Outside Ski (Inside Ski Raised from Transition to Transition)
3--Wide Track Turns (Gorilla Turns)
3--Railroad Track Turns with Parallel Shins
Attached is an updated schedule. Throw out any previous calendars that I might have sent. Know that this one may change.
Again, your grade level is your pod assignment. So ...if you are in grade 8, you are in Pod 8.
Good Evening MAST Skiers:
1. MAST is assigned lanes 3 and 4 tomorrow (Friday during the 3-5:15 and 5:15-7:00 lane assignment times.) Wayzata is switching lane assignments with MAST tomorrow during the 5:15-7:00 time slot. So, from 3-5, MAST skiers should ski on lanes 3 and 4. From 5-7, ski on lanes 1 and 2.
2. Tonight, Mr. Beckett Wedren was faithfully and intensely executing drills that required him to leave his poles on the top of the lane. Unfortunately, his poles went missing and a shorter pair of poles remained. His missing poles are Leki brand, 115cm, green tape around the bottom of the handle, name and phone number are printed on the poles. PLEASE CHECK YOUR POLES TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR POLES. If you might have inadvertently taken the wrong poles, aka, Beckett's poles, please let him know immediately so he can sleep restfully tonight. Here is Beckett's contact information: 612-275-0589.
3. Please continue using the drill progressions on Instagram to self direct your technical skills development.
Now this may not be the place or time to do this, but I do need to express a bit of frustration? Hurt maybe? Confusion perhaps?
Everyday I post 8-10 brilliant short video clips to Instagram. Each clip features a perfectly demonstrated drill, beautiful cinematography, brilliantly timed editing, eloquent descriptive narrative--- all meant to enhance your skills, broaden your experience, deepen your well of wisdom, enlighten your heart, and fill you with the joy of making a perfectly carved turn by the time you are 18 years old. Being new to Instagram, I have become--admittedly-- a bit obsessed by one of its tantalizing features: THE LIKE BUTTON. With each post, I wait--paralyzed--in hope that this is the day we break .... out of the low teens. To pour salt into this wound of neglect, my dear son Luke posts a selfie of his smiling face from a chairlift at Bridger Bowl today AND HE RACKS UP 298 LIKES IN ABOUT 5 MINUTES. And to give the arrow one more twist into my already aching heart, many of those likes came from MAST skiers. WHHHAAAATTTT?!?! Don't you know that some of those teeth he is showing off aren't even real. I should know. His mother and I paid for them. Come on Folks! These progressions could change your life? Where is the love I ask?
And yet... we carry on. Continuing to give one life-altering drill at a time. Putting it out there for you with selfless love. Everyday. Receiving nothing in return EXCEPT the hope that someday, you too, will be riding a chair at age 18, at an elevation of 8000 feet at Bridger Bowl or Big Sky or Grand Targhee or maybe, like Elsa at 3000 feet at Stratton Mt in Vermont, with a foot of fresh powder awaiting your perfectly carved turns. Maybe you'll send a selfie and you'll get 298 likes, and then... finally then...you will remember who liked you first. So, no likes needed. Just get good enough so you can't not smile on a chairlift in the mountains on a powder day.
See you Monday. Can't wait.
PS. Make sure you are following MAST on Instagram. @mplsalpineski Your smile will get brighter.
MAST Update 16
Tuesday, January 5, 2020
Dear MAST Athletes, Families and Coaches:
As you know, MPS has delayed the start of winter sports until January 11. This means that the coaches cannot hold in-person training. We can, however, continue to provide you with skill building progressions via Instagram that will allow you to self-direct your training. You have a season pass and you are welcome to use it. MAST has also been assigned training lanes by Hyland. If you are going to ski, I encourage you to use the lanes. This gives you safe space to practice your drills. All other lanes on the north chair will be occupied by other clubs and high school teams. The center and south chairs will be busy with lessons and the general public. In other words, not a lot of room to ski other than on our assigned lanes so please use them if you are going skiing this week. If they don’t get used, Hyland will ask us to forfeit the lanes. I don’t want this to happen.
Attached is a map that roughly outlines the lanes for you. Do NOT ski in another team’s lanes. That is not safe to do. Listed below is the lane schedule for the week. You will see that the lane assignment times do not correspond with our published practice times. This is because -under normal conditions -our practice times overlap with Hyland’s lane assignment times. Normally, we start practice on the south chair with directed free skiing and then move to our lanes for gate training. This allows us to have overlapping practice times. As one group is finishing up with gate training, the next group is warming up and working on technical skills on another hill. For this week, you can do all your self-directed free skiing in our assigned lanes during the times listed. I encourage you to go during your assigned pod’s training time, but you are free to go whenever you wish this week. So, if you are in pods 7 or 8, you are welcome to use lanes 3 and 4 at 6:30 when practice would normally begin. Next week when we start in-person coach led training, you will need to attend at your assigned pod’s training slot, and we will likely be asking you to start on the south chair.
3:00-5:15: Lane 3, 4. Pods 11 and 12.
5:15-7:00: Lanes 3, 4. Pods 9, 10.
7:00-9:00: Lane 4. Pods 7, 8.
3:00-5:15: Lanes A, B. Pods 11, 12.
5:15-7:00: Lanes A, B. Pods 9, 10.
7:00-9:00: Lanes A, B. Pods 7, 8.
3:00-5:15: Lane 6, 7. Pods 11 and 12.
5:15-7:00: Lanes 6, 7. Pods 9, 10.
7:00-9:00: Lanes 7. Pods 7, 8.
3:00-5:15: Lane 3, 4. Pods 10, 11, 12.
5:15-7:00: Lanes 3, 4. Pods 7, 8, 9.
8:00-10:00: Lanes 1, 2. Pods 7, 8, 9.
10:00-Noon: Lanes 1, 2. Pods 10, 11, 12.
If you are not following MAST on Instagram, my understanding is that you can find us at @mplsalpineski
The coaches are always worried about your safety and on the alert for unsafe situations and behaviors. Here are some rules you should follow to help keep you safe.
Best Practices For Skiing Safely At Hyland
Some additional reminders about proper etiquette and behaviors and practices.
Have fun. Use the drills. Trust the drills. We are the only team that uses drills religiously and it is the key to our success over the years. Strive to make an improvement to your skills every day. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Dear MAST Families:
Today at 4:41PM, I received notice that Minneapolis Public Schools is delaying the start of winter sports until Monday, January 11. I received no explanation for the delay. I was not given any information about how or why this decision was made or whether or not it is going to change again. Obviously, I am crushed that we will not be starting on Monday. I know you that are equally disappointed, maybe even more--although I am not sure that is possible.
I will continue to send drill progressions through next week. Please use these drills if and when you go skiing. Meanwhile, wear a mask, stay socially distanced, eat your vegetables, and say thank you to your parents a minimum of three times a day.
Hang in there.
.... therefore Pod 7 consists of 7th graders, Pod 8 of 8th graders, Pod 9 of 9th graders, Pod 10 of 10th graders, and Pod 11/12 of 11th and 12th graders. I should have made this clear in Update #15.
MAST Update 15
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Dear MAST Athletes, Families and Coaches:
We are getting very close to carving beautiful turns together. Please read this email for important information about our season and how we will be operating next week through the end of the season.
I. Are You Cleared To Participate In Alpine Skiing By Your HS Athletic Director?
Attached to this terrific email is a roster of athletes who have been CLEARED to participate in alpine skiing with MAST. If your name is on the list, you are cleared to start skiing with MAST on Monday, January 4. There are a handful of you who have not been cleared, either because you have not submitted any forms to your high school athletic director, or because you are missing one of the forms, or because your Physical Examination Clearance Form is expired. So, if your name is not on the attached roster of CLEARED SKIERS, please contact your high school athletic director to find out why, or turn in the forms if you have not done so already.
For Washburn athletes: The Washburn athletic staff has been working remotely since sometime before break, so if you turned in your forms the last week of school they have likely not been processed yet. I know the staff will be back in the office on Monday, January 4 so please give Mr. Perkins or Ms. Lilly a call then to clarify your situation. You are not allowed to practice with the team until you a cleared to participate by your high school athletic director.
II. Training and Racing Schedule
Attached is the training and racing schedule. The training schedule is subject to change, but this should give you an idea of what we hope we will be able to offer in terms of training and racing. The MSHSL has not yet scheduled dates for a Section Championship or State Championship. No invitationals are allowed this year.
III. Pod Training and Racing
In accordance with the guidance we have received from the MDH, MSHSL, and MPS, all MAST athletes and coaches are organized into Training Pods with a designated lead coach.
As you can see from the schedule, training pods are assigned a training time and a training lane. Each pod can consist of 25 athletes and coaches or less. Given that not everyone shows up to every practice, we should be able to comply with this guidance even though a couple of pods roster over 25 skiers. The schedule has been created to even out attendance at each training time. Our goal is to have each pod assigned its own lane. For this reason, Pods 9 and 10 will see their training times move around a bit, depending on lane availability. Sometimes we have more lanes at 3:30 and fewer at 5:15 so in those cases Pod 10 will train at 3:30. When we have adequate lanes at 5:15 then Pods 9 and 10 will train from 5-7:15. You will also note that there are certain days when Pods 7, 8, and 9 will be training at the same time but on different lanes. The bottom line is to look at the schedule and plan ahead.
FOREWARNING: IF YOU CANNOT MAKE YOUR POD’S ASSIGNED TRAINING TIME ON A GIVEN DAY, YOU MAY NOT ATTEND A DIFFERENT PRACTICE AND TRAIN WITH A DIFFERENT POD.
The purpose for this restriction, I believe, is to aid contact tracing efforts should there be an outbreak within a Pod Training Group and limit the number of athletes who need to quarantine should an outbreak occur. Should someone test positive, then it will be easier for contact tracers to track down those who have been potentially exposed and perhaps we can limit the number of people who have to quarantine as a result. If people are switching in and out of training sessions then many more people will need to quarantine, perhaps bringing our season to a complete halt. So, our guidance is to adhere to training in assigned pods as much as possible.
As for races, we are limited to field sizes of 36 boys and 36 girls per race. Only three teams can be entered in a race. Hyland has graciously accommodated our request to hold races on either Saturday mornings or Friday evenings. We are not allowed to have spectators at our races this year. We can however have race workers. On race days, we will split the team into Varsity and JV teams. The Varsity race will run during one time slot, the JV race in the other. Once the race is over, all racers leave Hyland. No sticking around to watch and cheer your teammates in the other race unfortunately. Skiers will race in Pods. Pods will socially distance. We will have staging areas for Pods to “wait”... a warm up staging area, a load-the-lift staging area, a start arena staging area, and a quick-talk-with-a coach staging area. Athletes move as a pod from staging area to staging area. We don’t mix Pods at races either. Weird I know, but if we want to race this how we have been told we have to do it. Look for more details about races when we get closer to actually racing.
IV. Daily Training Routine
ALL practices and races will begin with DIRECTED FREE SKIING. This means that you will spend focused, intentional, joyous time at the beginning of practice performing a series of drills outside the course to perfect your technical skills. No one skis a course until they have worked through the directed free skiing progression workout of the day. In the past, a coach has stood at the top of the hill and told you individually which drill to perform and even how to perform it. This year, we will not be doing this. Our expectation is for athletes to come to the hill knowing the directed free skiing progression plan ahead of time. I want to minimize if not eliminate the need to give instructions regarding the day’s training plan. Every time a coach has to explain what drill you should be doing and how to do the drill, we are taking time away from skiing and taking time away from giving feedback to someone who is already doing the drill. So, we want YOU to know what the plan is for each practice BEFORE you come to practice. This means that before coming to the hill you will know which directed free skiing drills the coaches want you to perform that day, how many runs of each, and how to execute these drills. If we don’t have to explain all this to you in person, we can instead focus on watching you perform the drills and give you feedback.
So how will you know what drills to work through each practice? You have two options.
Option 1: Follow @mplsalpineski on Instagram. As many of you know, we used Instagram this summer to post our virtual strength and conditioning workouts and for the past two weeks we have been using our MAST Instagram account to post daily drill progressions for you to perform on your own until we can ski in person together. We will continue posting a daily drill progression once we get on snow together. Each post includes 5 to 9 video clips of 60 seconds or less. Each clip is a video demonstration of a drill with verbal instructions about how to execute the drill and why it is important.
Option 2: Daily Email with Sprongo Video. I will send a daily email out every morning (or after practice the evening before the next practice) listing the drill progression for the upcoming practice. You can then go to Sprongo to watch these drills on the PLAYLIST titled DRILLS FOR SKILLS. You will have to search for each drill within the playlist.
Again, our expectation is that you will come to practice having viewed and studied the drills either through our Instagram post for that practice or on Sprongo. If you have questions about either of these platforms, please reach out to your lead coach for assistance. They will be happy to assist.
V. Additional Resources To Learn The Drills and Deepen Your Knowledge Of The Sport
Many of these drills are also posted online by other organizations, coaches and instructors. We have posted many of these videos produced by others on Sprongo in the playlist titled VIRTUAL TRAINING TECHNIQUE AND TACTICS.
Finally, there hundreds of great resources available on the internet. We have linked many of the more helpful sites on our website at https://www.mplsalpineski.org/technique--tactics.html
Use these resources to educate yourself about ski technique and tactics. They are wonderful tools to have at your fingertips... literally.
Thank you for your attention. I will likely send one more email over the weekend to communicate some last-minute instructions before we gather on Monday. Please look for this.
Meanwhile, get set up with Instagram or take a deep dive into the Drills for Skills Playlist on Sprongo and get started learning the drills, trying the drills, and loving the drills.
Always hoping for a wonderful New Year.
MAST Update 14
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Dear MAST Athletes, Families and Coaches:
The good news is that we are slated to start skiing TOGETHER on January 4, 2021. The bad news is that at this point, we are only allowed to train. However, I see this as good news because we have a lot to do to build our skills before we can start racing.
Virtual Training Review
For the past three weeks we have offered four virtual training sessions a week. Each day, the captains led the team in warm up movements and core exercises. Coaches Daniel and Will put together a 15-minute strength and conditioning workout with the added touch of a trivia question for each exercise. A visual training session covering one of the six fundamental skills of alpine technique followed the conditioning session. We watched and dissected video of world class skiers and introduced over 30 drills the athletes can use to develop these same skills into their skiing. The final act of each training session was to breakout into our training pods with the lead coaches and volunteer coaches to simulate the movements discussed in the visual training session and spend some time getting to know each other. It was great to see faces and hear voices. Thank you for participating.
I want to thank the captains for doing a wonderful job leading the team through this experience. Also, a big thank you to Daniel and Will for putting together the workouts and daily trivia. Thank you to all the lead coaches who were online every day with us and led the breakout sessions with their skiing pod. Thank you to the many volunteer coaches who joined us for these sessions. Finally, thank you to the athletes for your participation. You hung in there for the three weeks. Our attendance was in the 60’s and 70’s most evenings so that says a lot about your commitment to the sport.
We have two more weeks to go in our “pause” before we can meet in-person. The coaches understand how eager you are to be skiing. We also understand that many of you have been skiing quite a bit already. The decision to ski is entirely between your parents and you. If your parents are asking you to shelter in place over the next two weeks, that is what you should be doing. No arguments. You can still train your brain over the next two weeks. (See below.) If you have permission to ski, the coaches encourage you to take these two weeks to work on the skills we examined in our virtual training sessions. Regardless of whether you be continuing to shelter in place or will have the chance to ski over the next two weeks, I want you to utilize the ample supply of resources we have created for you to continue your development over Winter Break.
Resources For Training (Visual and On Snow)
1. Virtual Training Strength and Conditioning Workouts on SPRONGO.
All 12 workouts that you enjoyed are posted on Sprongo under the playlist titled Virtual Training Playlist: Workout. Utilize these workouts to continue building and maintaining your physical conditioning. Make sure you have activated your Sprongo account. I will resend an invitation to those of you who have not done this yet. Please look in your MPS email for the invitation.
2. Virtual Training Drill Videos are on SPRONGO.
Many of the drills we introduced over the three weeks are available on Sprongo in the playlist titled Virtual Training Technique and Tactics. View these videos to recall and deepen your understanding of the drills presented in our virtual training sessions.
3. Virtual Training Videos are on our website at mplsalpineski.org.
All of the videos I presented of world class athletes as well as those drills that we could not upload to Sprongo are available on our website at https://www.mplsalpineski.org/technique--tactics.html
I encourage you to watch these over and over again. Memorize the movements, the images, the concepts. Pack this stuff into your bones. MAST alum Ben Anderson (WHS Class of 2020) graciously offered to build out the Technique and Tactics page on our website. YOU NEED TO USE THIS PAGE RELIGIOUSLY. Ben did a magnificent job. Take a look at the Fundamentals Pyramid he created with links that go live when you click on one of the skills in the Pyramid. Thank you, Ben! Not only is it incredibly user friendly, it is artistically pleasing.
4. MAST Drills For Skills
But wait, there’s more.... Luke (WHS Class of 2020) graciously agreed to spend a day with me performing the drills we use in practice so that I can film the drills. We are half-way through the MAST list of drills-- 45 so far. All 45 are posted on Sprongo under the playlist titled Drills For Skills. Each drill is presented in under 60 seconds, in regular speed and slow motion. Yours truly narrates each drill so you know exactly what skill(s) the drill is designed to develop and how to execute the drill.
Starting tomorrow, we will post a progression of 5-10 of these drills on the MAST Instagram account (@mplsalpineski). If your parents give you permission, please follow MAST on Instagram so you can take advantage of these drill progressions. For those of you who are skiing, use these progressions over the next two weeks to build your fundamental skills. For those of you who are sheltering in place, please watch these many times over so that you become familiar with the drills before we meet on snow.
Luke and I still have another 30-40 drills to film, edit and post. By the end of the week the entire inventory of MAST Skills for Drills will be on Sprongo.
Once we get on snow, we will continue to post progressions on the MAST Instagram Account (@mplsalpineski) for you to use for your daily on hill warm up and directed free skiing sessions. This will help minimize the amount of time coaches are spending giving instructions on the hill and keep you skiing more.
5. Pod Virtual Meetings and the Covid Skiing Sprongo Playlist
We want to give you a break from online learning. You need it. So no more 6PM virtual training sessions over break. However, the Lead Coaches will be setting up several very short meetings over the next two weeks to review and answer your questions about the drill progressions we are posting and possibly analyze athlete(your) video.
I want to encourage those athletes who are skiing to send us short clips (45 seconds or less) of yourself skiing that we can post on Sprongo. We will create a playlist called Covid Skiing and post any clips we receive from you to that playlist. Your lead coach will be happy to analyze your video with you in your pod meeting or individually.
Please send your video clips for posting to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MAST apparel order has been placed. We do not have an estimated date of delivery yet. We are working closely with the supplier and will reach out once we have more details.
Coming Soon....A Virtual Retreat?
I am hoping to offer a virtual retreat that will give us an opportunity to cover some important topics before we get on snow together.
Hyland Operational Changes
I am posting an email I received from Hyland two days ago. Just in case you didn’t receive this, please scroll to the end of this post to read Hyland’s latest announcement regarding the operational changes we need to appreciate and honor.
Please know how grateful I am to all of you for your patience and support as we make our way through these difficult times. Hopefully, we will be skiing together soon.
Peace and joy to all of you this Holiday season.
Just a quick and very friendly reminder to order you MAST 2020-21 short sleeve t-shirt. The sale closes TOMORROW. Friday will be too late.
Here is a link: