Here’s to one of the many unsung heroes of ski racing – the ski racing dad.
Dad is the driving force
Often it is you, dad, that is the hard core skier of the family. You grew up loving skiing. Maybe you were a ski racer when you were a kid. And now you want to instill that love in your own children too. So you get your family involved in skiing at early ages to continue to do what you love.
With everyone in tow you spend countless hours getting everyone to and from the mountain on a regular basis. After putting the kids through a few seasons of lessons, finally, all they want to do is “ski faster”. It is now, somewhere between the ages of 6 and 8 you realize they are hooked too.
One of the greatest joys I get is when I ski with my daughter and get to revel in her joy. – Rudy Muto
After much consideration you have decided your kid needs to get into ski racing. Maybe you were a ski racer when you were a kid. Maybe your kids friends are involved in ski racing and they are bugging you to join the team too. Or maybe you are racing NASTAR or Beer League, and your kids want to be like you. Whatever it is, you understand that ski racing is the natural progression to get more training. And more training will increase their confidence and skill and allow them to enjoy skiing faster and with more control. You also understand that now is the time to help them form good skiing habits and skills. So you sign them up for a race team or join the local ski club to give them every opportunity to succeed.
Ski racing dad life
Initially it is hard work. Schlepping the kids and all their gear to the mountain every weekend all winter long. Getting up early on weekends to get them to training. In season, spending every weekend driving to a different mountain to race. But you love to see the kids progressing. And after training they love to drink hot cocoa and mess around in the lodge with their new found ski racing friends. And then one day you realize, at about the age of 9 or 10 that your kids love the sport as much as you do. And they can ski as well as you do. And you can ski any trail together anywhere you go. And then you have a new best friend on the hill, and someone who will eagerly join you every time you want to ski.
A family that skis together, stays together
Skiing is a lifetime sport. And ski racing produces good skiers. Ski racing offers parents and kids the opportunity to spend many hours together – in the car, at destinations they are not familiar with and on the hill. Where you can learn many valuable lessons. It also creates a cohesive bond between the entire family that all will remember for life.
There are so many dads out there that have had a profound impact on ski racing. Whether you are a coach or a parent on the side of the hill, we know it takes a lot of work to foster this sport we all love. Thanks for doing what you do, ski racing dad.