The ATC Way

Alpine Training Centre (ATC) provides high-quality race training and camps for young athletes, ranging from under 10s right up to FIS level. The underlying ethos of the training camps plays a major role in helping ATC stand out from the crowd. That’s because, at its heart, is a set of core values that underpin each and every camp to create a magical atmosphere, which can only lead to fun and fulfilling experiences, as well as happy memories and lifelong friendships.

So just how does ATC achieve this?
Putting fun first This is top priority at ATC – apart from ensuring everyone is safe, of course. Skiing is a sport that grabs you for life and if the camp atmosphere is overly serious, and leave kids feeling deflated, they’ll find something more fun to do. That is why, on an ATC camp, after training is finished you’ll often see the coaches in the snow park, skiing powder or bumps with their group, making the most of the whole mountain to help build resilient, versatile - and happy - athletes.

Be a good sport

Good sportsmanship is key to building great team spirit and the foundation of a joyful race camp. ATC coaches work hard to foster this atmosphere and nothing makes them happier than seeing ATC athletes cheering on teammates and other racers during a race day.
Embrace the process One motto that ATC swears by is: ‘Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”. The road to ski-racing success is a roller-coaster and ATC enjoys nothing more than when its racers respect the processes put together by their coaches – in a nutshell, working hard to improve skills and get faster.

Championing resilience

There’s nothing quite like seeing a trainee racing a course again and again making small adjustments with their coach to finally make the changes that allow them to finish well. Ski racing is a fantastic way of teaching resilience – often frustrating at the time but an important skill in skiing, as well as life.

Continuous improvement

“You cannot allow your desire to be a winner to be diminished by achieving success before, and I believe there is room for improvement in every sportsperson.” Lionel Messi. If an athlete is at the top of their game, winning races and the respect of their peers, it can be very easy to become complacent and not change what they are doing. Resting on your laurels can mean you are overtaken by others in the future, which can be demoralising. Following world-class footballer Messi’s example, ATC coaches encourage their athletes to strive to be the best they can be, no matter how good their current form.

Loving your community

The ATC family is a nurturing community that builds a fantastic learning environment for young athletes. The team feels very fortunate to have such supportive, friendly and helpful athletes, parents, coaches and friends, so that, on ATC camps, everyone feels at home and truly cared for.
Go the extra mile Directors Sean and Lara believe in encouraging the ATC coaching team to go out of their way to make sure everyone who skis with ATC has a great time, from the athletes to their parents. More often than not, this results in the athletes going the extra mile, too, training hard, helping each other out and building friendships.

How it works…

ATC head coach and Olympian, Andy Freshwater, has this to say about ATC’s core values: “Sean and I have been friends for many years – indeed we grew up together in and around Aviemore. Our families became friends out of a love of the outdoors in general, whether it be skiing, camping or paddling Scottish rivers.

Sean and Lara’s enthusiasm for the outdoors is infectious and they easily talked me into helping out when ATC was created. As a parent of three kids and a ski instructor I believe in what ATC stands for. I agreed with Sean and Lara when looking for opportunities for our own kids to learn the art of ski racing that there were not many options that we could get behind. ATC was born and it’s about learning to be a ski racer but it’s also about so much more.

As a coach, I sign up to the core values. You know the hard work bit, but what about the more difficult bit? The resilience and the continuous improvements. That’s what we try to do on the hill. But ski camps are about so much more than that. I’m really keen to continue working when the skis come off. I often ask my own kids why they want to come with me on an ATC camp. I get good feedback from them! Now it could be because we occasionally skip a week of school but the number one reason, in their own words is, ATC camps are fun! Then they like making friends and visiting new places. I think my aim during camps is to try and show kids how much fun can be had doing the sport I love. If the kids really want to be there and are enjoying themselves, a coach can ask for hard work and a few extra runs at the end of each day and they’ll do it without question. Once you have found something you like, doing it doesn’t feel hard. It doesn’t feel like ‘work’. I think that’s a good life lesson and one I try to live by.”

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