Coaching can certainly take a team to the next level. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) added veteran coach Thomas Erhard to its alpine staff. This addition could take the alpine team to that level because of the experience he brings to the table.
Erhard looks to help build the youth into great winter athletes for the US. Erhard will focus on creating high-level training possibilities for the nation’s top athletes in the under 18 and under 16 age groups. “Thomas has already established himself as one of the top coaches in the country,” U.S. Ski Team Alpine Director Patrick Rimi said. “He has coached on every level, from club to World Cup, and understands what it takes for a young athlete to make the right strides toward international success.” The program will compliment and serve as a resource for the nation’s top club programs.
“We have such an amazing base of elite coaching in our club programs, but what we’ve noticed is a drop off with those athletes between club programs and the Development Team level,” Erhard said. “These new training possibilities will serve as a compliment to the clubs in order to boost our young athletes’ international performance at a younger age. Essentially, we want to raise our own bar.”
Some of the athletes in this group will be students at the newly formed USSA TEAM Academy located at the Center of Excellence in Park City. “He will work with both athletes in the USSA TEAM Academy and the top club athletes in the country on a project basis,” Rimi said. “This is about creating opportunities for the top young athletes across the country to train together at a very high level.” The academy offers an educational and athletic model for high school-aged elite student athletes by paring traditional classroom education in the Center of Excellence with innovative technology-driven learning.
“To see a young athlete develop a positive direction in life is one of the most real things anyone can be a part of,” Erhard said. “The current U.S. Ski Team staff whole heartedly believes in that. I’m proud to be a part of that shared vision.”
Highlights on Erhard
- Thomas Erhard was adding to the U.S. Ski Team alpine staff as a coach for athletes in the under 18 and under 16 age groups.
- Erhard’s focus will be on creating high level training opportunities for promising young athletes across the country.
- Erhard’s extensive career includes elite alpine coaching at every level – USSA clubs, U.S. Ski Team and international programs.
- He was recently on snow at Mt. Hood, OR working with the U.S. Development Team and national club programs
Photo Credit for first/featured image at the top to www.alpineontario.ca