Development director visits Carrabassett Valley students


CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Dr. Lester Keller, the USSA National Development Director, recently made one of three east coast stops to Sugarloaf Mountain. Keller spent the weekend with the SCVA Alpine program, launching the SkillsQuest system for the athletes and coaches. SCVA is a weekend training program collaboratively run by Carrabassett Valley Academy and Sugarloaf.

The SkillsQuest program focuses on the development and maintenance of fundamental skills through a multi-phase system of drills and coaching techniques. SkillsQuest drills spanned over three Sugarloaf trails accommodating more than 70 skiers and 15 coaches, the most in SkillsQuest history.

The founder of the program, Keller also held several speaking engagements for both SCVA/Perfect Turn coaches and parents of SCVA athletes. During his seminars, he addressed the importance of fundamental skills, fun and free-skiing as the building blocks to developing great skiers.

SCVA will be one of the first programs in the country to utilize the SkillsQuest techniques for its athletes.

SCVA program manager, Andrew Willihan had this to say about the weekend: “It was a wonderful experience to have the national director be a part of our program. His knowledge and passion for the sport is unmatched. Dr. Keller’s program will help us make great skiers who have a passion for the competitive side of the sport, as well as providing the frame work to create an experience that is both rewarding and fun.”

“The future of ski racing success will be in how well programs like SCVA and CVA can follow a path that lays down a base of sound technical skills at the beginning of a racer’s athletic experience,” said Keller. “I am excited by what is happening here. This is a great turnout of racers, coaches and parents for a first experience of the new USSA SkillsQuest program. If enthusiasm is any measure, we are off to a great start.”