2021 USCSA Virtual Conference
Saturday, June 12th
11:15 am to 5:30 pm Eastern Time
Registration for the 2021 USCSA Virtual Summer conference is OPEN! This year’s conference will include various seminars, organization updates and keynote addresses to educate attendees and foster growth in our organization. This free event is open to all athletes, coaches and stakeholders but registration is required. For complete schedule and sessions please click here.
Zoom link for the conference will be sent to all registrants the day prior to the event.
USCSA Alumni Interview
Ali Spencer, Former Castleton University Athletes and
Current US Ski Team Coach
For this month’s feature, Student Representative Katie Brust (Alpine, University of South Dakota) interviewed Ali Spencer, a 2014 graduate of Castleton University and current US Ski Team Coach and Certified Athletic Trainer!
How has your experience with USCSA impacted your life both within and outside the workplace?
My time in USCSA taught me that wherever I went, team was the most important aspect of success. My teammates at Castleton showed me what team truly meant; if one of us succeeded, we all succeeded, if one of us needed help, then it was our duty to our teammate to support them and get them what they needed to be successful. I have taken this team atmosphere that I found in USCSA and brought that into both the workplace and in life. Surrounding myself with support, allows me to never work or feel alone when my athletes and I find ourselves in challenging situations. I know that I always have someone I can call and bounce ideas around with as well as be the person that my colleagues can call and bounce ideas around with when they feel in the need of extra support. Traveling around the world separately can feel daunting at times when you look around the room and it is just you, but knowing your team (both at work and at home) are just a phone call away, the daunting times don’t feel as daunting.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work as an athletic trainer?
Seeing my athlete in their first race, getting their first podium, or first whatever back from an injury is by far the most rewarding part of the job. Not many people see the mental and physical struggle the athlete goes through so it is always incredibly rewarding to walk that journey with them and see them on the other side crushing it. I’m known to shed some tears at the finish or dance around the clinic watching from the screen of my computer.
What do you most enjoy about coaching, and if you could travel back in time and advise yourself as a young coach, what would you say?
Time traveling back to myself as a younger athlete, I would grab myself by the shoulders, look myself dead in the eyes, and tell her how incredibly capable she is. That being said, watching my athletes, learn, adapt, and find belief within themselves is by far my favorite part of coaching. Showing them that taking care of the details, forgetting the external noise, and trusting the process is where they will find how wildly capable they are, because they are capable. I feel that my background as an athletic trainer has helped me tremendously with this piece of coaching as it is the same process my athletes go through when they are coming back from injury.
What age group has been your favorite to coach?
I’ve coached 8 year olds up to 30 year olds, and to be honest I don’t think I have a favorite. Each level of coaching has a different challenge and amazing reward. What would you say to students considering collegiate skiing/snowboarding? GO FOR IT! Don’t ever count yourself out of something because you may be afraid of where you stack up, the time commitment, or whether you will make friends. My best friends in the entire world from when I was a college freshman to now are my teammates from my time racing USCSA.
Which do you prefer: competing or coaching?
Though I miss competing and wish I knew then what I knew now, I love coaching and am so grateful I am able to continue to be involved in the sport.
If you know of an alumni involved in the ski/snowboard industry who would like to be interviewed send an email to email@example.com and we’ll reach out!
USCSA Membership Refund Policy Update As we begin to look towards the 2021/2022 season, the USCSA Membership Committee has approved the following policy: The USCSA will review registration fee refunds and/or transfers for the 2020-2021 season until June 01, 2021.
After this date, no refunds will be issued. This includes all Team, Institution, and Individual registration fees.
Outreach Opportunities for Ski/Snowboard Clubs and High School Teams
To help spread the word about USCSA and our great programs, the Marketing Committee is working with clubs, academies, and high schools across the country to give presentations to, including a recent one to the Park City Ski and Snowboard Club attended by over 30 athletes and parents. Do you know of a club or team that may be interested in learning more about USCSA as well? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reach out to them!