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Colorado Discovery Ability Knowledge Base Series
The following materials are published and used by CDA as outlines for conducting continued education clinics.

Slalom and Giant Slalom
Guidelines for Basic Course Setting

December 2003



These articles are designed to guide coaches through the basic principles of course setting relative to the skill and age level of the participants. It will reflect the most contemporary specifics of each training level and event. It will also help coaches understand the safety requirements necessary for effective course setting with safety and risk assessment as priorities.

Course design and setting is an essential component of on-hill training and competition. Coaches must possess the ability to design training courses for event specific skill development as well as set courses for competition that will test the abilities of the most skilled participants yet yield a highest finish rate.

While FIS rules offer disabled athletes and competition directors the benefits of standardized ski competitions worldwide, it must be remembered that FIS rules were written for conducting competitions in which only athletes who have acquired a relatively high level of skill participate. A small percentage of our alpine athletes have acquired such high level of skill. Therefore, it is appropriate to assess all our athletes on ski courses, which meet their abilities. FIS regulations for alpine skiing (number of gates, vertical gate combinations and vertical drop) develop courses on terrain, which is too steep and long for skiers with lower abilities. Setup and modify the course to meet the needs and skill level of your students. The rules for setting the courses, i.e., widths of gates, distance from turning pole to turning pole, start and finish requirements, remain largely the same.

Setting effective training and competition courses requires the following:

The course setter is solely responsible for the design of the course. The set will directly impact the performance of participants.

Training courses should be set with variety in mind in order to provide an opportunity for the participants to acquire new event specific skills as well as challenge their existing skills.

Competition courses should be designed to provide the participants with the opportunity to test their newly acquired skills under compelling conditions with timing.

General Guidelines for Course Setting

Training Courses (Preparation for Competition)

Skill development is systematic and predictable. Coaches who plan the training in sequence will yield better results. Sequential training allows the participants time to adapt to consecutive training stimuli. It is critical that the sequencing of the training be individually programmed, appropriate and specific to the participants' skill level and growth and development.

To that end, training course must be set in order to challenge and further enhance the participants' technical and tactical skills while working within the parameters of the participants' physical and psychological abilities.

The training sequence is best illustrated as follows:

Technical free skiing
     Drill/short courses
          Full-length courses
               Race simulation

In order to create an effective learning environment, the coach training methods must reflect what the participant will encounter in a competitive environment. The following guidelines will help prepare participants for competition with a well-planned training program.

Setting with variety

Race Simulation

NEXT: Slalom Overview

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