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Eastern Region Update - January 2021

By Paige Roberts
January, 22 2021
Eastern Region January 2021 update

Hello Eastern Region!

After a lot of planning, tons of revision, a little magic, and the right planet alignment, the 2021 Eastern Region FIS race season officially kicked off this month! Proctor Academy in New Hampshire and Stratton Mountain School in Vermont hosted the first FIS races of the season on January, 11th. Since then, we’ve been off and running (or should I say, off and skiing?!) with our Divisional FIS calendar, and even completed a successful FIS-U event hosted by UNH at Mittersill/Cannon Mountain this past week. Many other venues have launched with youth racing as well - some bumps in the road along the way but so far we are making good progress.

It has not been an easy task getting these races off the ground and a huge round of applause is owed to the members, clubs, and programs in our region who have stepped up to the plate these past few months and helped make this sport a reality. There have been many, many moving parts and lots of changes, but ski racers everywhere have banded together and faced this challenge head-on. You all should be very proud!

Perhaps even more exciting than the FIS-Calendar-in-motion is the “Language Locker Practice” presentation our Eastern Youth Development Coach, Kathy Okoniewski, has been sharing with groups of coaches throughout the region. She has shared this presentation with coaches in NYSSRA, VARA, TSASRA, MARA, and earlier this month, she delivered the presentation to over 55 coaches in PARA! 

“What exactly is ‘Language Locker Practice’?” you may ask. Kathy explains a bit below:

“Language Locker Practice” is a coach’s education presentation that shows coaches how to use Cues and Questions to enhance their coaching and their athlete’s learning. I’ll explain the “What, How, and Why” of using cues and then we’ll practice building a Language Locker together. I have been working virtually with clubs and divisions around the East and our common goal should be to collaborate together, transform how we coach, improve our delivery, and ultimately enhance learning and performance. 

The Language Locker is a coach’s communication tool, created by the Sport Education Dept. at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. As you know, this fall we had an opportunity to share the APOLLO Project with our ski racing coaches through our own U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sport Education Dept. I have participated in that training a few times now, and felt incredibly inspired to create a small presentation on cueing to share with our coaches/clubs around the East. So here we are!"

Are you interested in having Kathy deliver the “Language Locker Practice” presentation to the coaches of your division or program? Send her an email at to set a date! 

Hopefully you’ve all been able to watch some World Cup racing as well, as many of our Eastern athletes are having breakout seasons! Ryan Cochran-Siegle won a dang World Cup SG with a run that nearly moved me to tears, Paula Moltzan has been in the top-10 and on the podium, Nina O’Brien as popped into the top-10 and top-15 a few times, Sam Morse had a top-30 DH result, and oh yeah - Mikaela slays! RCS is the story of the season for me so far. He started at Cochran's, came through Stowe, and now has World Cup speed podiums to his name, and GS results to boot!

Before I sign off, I just want to say that I hope you all are enjoying the winter, doing your very best to take this less-than-normal race season with stride, drinking lots of water, keeping your athlete journal up-to-date, staying safe and healthy, and most of all, having fun. 

See you on the hill,