Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport, and freeskiing, or any discipline that pushes the boundaries of any sport, increases the risks to which a participant is exposed. The SMART Freeskiing coaching principles and methods were specifically designed with the intention of teaching the athlete to better understand and take more control of his/her situation. We believe that this lowers the risk to which that athlete is exposed.
Smart Freeskiing Camps
SMART Freeskiing teaches the Science, Mechanics, and Aerial Rotations of Today’s freeskiing. Our coaches have developed these techniques over the last 15 years while coaching aspiring competitors, X-games, and Olympic athletes from around the world. The program was conceived by Mike Wilson, whose training and air awareness supported his career as a pro and a leading innovator in the sport of freeskiing. Skiing is fun, and Mike takes his fun seriously.
The SMART Freeskiing method is a combination of class time and air time designed to help athletes learn the science of skiing, the biomechanics of the rotations, and then to perform those rotations with consistency. We work on these “building blocks” until the biomechanics of rotational consistency are stronger than muscle memory, and we build tricks from there. We break down the rotations into components, then lead you through bigger and bigger tricks, so that you learn to do them easily and consistently, which also means more safely. Then we introduce grabs and other methods of altering rotations to make them safer or easier. Many programs teach how to “set” a rotation, leaving the athlete's rotation at the mercy of the terrain, SMART Freeskiing teaches how to perform the rotation, which allows the athlete to control their rotations regardless of terrain. That means more consistent skiing: every trick, on every jump, every time. SMART Freeskiing teaches you the “rules”, how to follow them, when and how you can bend them, progressing into when and how you can break them.
While attending a SMART Freeskiing camp, we'll discuss style in depth, and analyze the styles of some of the top freeskiers, not because we want to mold you into a style, but to give you the tools to create your own!
SMART Freeskiing Trampoline Camps:
The best way to increase air-awareness is to spend time in the air. We have found time and again that trampolines are the most effective way to train for freeskiing. SMART Freeskiing trampoline camps combine air time on the trampolines with class time learning the biomechanics of fundamental freeskiing rotations, which are taught in a lecture and discussion format.
We offer two different levels of camps – our Corked Camp covers all of the aerial rotations from your first corked rotations to your first double corks. And, the Double Cork Camp covers everything from the initial double corks up.
The Corked Camp is designed for athletes whom want to solidify the fundamental rotations used in park skiing, big mountain skiing, and for single corks in a halfpipe. While this camp is designed for rapid progression, you do not need to be an advanced freeskier to take this camp. We only expect that you can comfortably do 180s, 360s, 540s, 720’s, and ski backwards before signing up.
The Double-Cork Camp is focused on preparing athletes for tricks at or above the double cork level. This camp is targeted to park and pipe riders looking to improve their understanding of the most advanced rotations and tricks in the sport. We review the biomechanics taught in the advanced freeskiing camps, and then quickly push into more advanced tricks and concepts. Mike has successfully coached this curriculum with Nick Goepper, David Wise, and many more top freeskiers.
During SMART Freeskiing Trampoline camps, we like to keep the group sizes small – this ensures that athletes stay active and don’t lose focus between their time on the trampoline. This also secures rest time and trick analyzation between athlete rotations on the trampoline. Our focus is on safety and efficiency, we avoid having athletes getting tired too early in the day or losing focus and not learning.
Our Coaches: Our coaching staff consists of the most qualified coaches in the world, who all specialize in freeskiing rotations. They teach the SMART Freeskiing method which is designed to accelerate progression while maintaining safety. Our coaches have an intimate understanding of freeskiing rotations because they are freeskiers, and they coach freeskiing. They are not mogul coaches, aerials coaches, or snowboard coaches that offer freeski training.
Mike Wilson (Program Director)- Mike is among the most innovative freeskiers in the sport. Mike’s accolades start from a very young age, he harnessed his talent and progressed the sport from his early teen years - He was the first skier to misty flip on and off rails, rodeo flip on and
off rails, and he created the first double corks. Mike helped found the Squaw Valley freeski program, and assisted in the expansion of the freeride program at Alpine Meadows.
Mike has been developing the SMART freeskiing method since he was training as a professional athlete, and has coached many top tier athletes such as: David Wise, Gus Kenworthy, McRae Williams, Jossi Wells, Byron Wells, and Nick Goepper. Mike has also coached many of skiing’s top coaches including Mike Hanley (Windell’s, New Zealand National team), Luke “Ocho” Allen (Norwegian National Team), Todd Schirman (Director of Freestyle, US Ski Team) and many more. Mike is one of the few freeski coaches in the world who teaches by demonstration, as well as explanation – when not coaching he can be found improving and progressing the SMART freeskiing program by exercising on the trampolines, freeskiing and studying the key ways to connect and communicate through classroom education.
Mike is also a nationally registered EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and WFR (Wilderness First Responder).
Zach Steele (Head Coach)- From rail jams to big mountain, Zach has competed at the highest levels across all disciplines of freeskiing. His competitive background as well as his understanding of air awareness have established him as one of the top multi-disciplinary coaches in freeskiing. Zach started his coaching career at Mt Hood Summer Ski Camps in 2006. He has also trained athletes at Northstar near Lake Tahoe, California, as the head coach of their freeski team. Zach is passionate about being in the air, so he can often be found developing new tricks by cross training as an elite cliff diver.
Quotes and Feedback:
“Training with Mike Wilson pushed me mentally more than anything. I had never challenged myself like that before. “
-Nick Goepper, 2-time Olympic Medalist
“Since his time as a pro, he continually has been giving back to the sport helping young and Olympic level athletes with their technical skills.”
-Luke “Ocho” Allen, 2-time Olympic Coach and 2018 Olympic Slopestyle Gold Medal Coach
“Ever since the time he was a teenager, he was always excited to give back to the sport he helped create by mentoring some of the future stars, like 2-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper.” -Mike Hanley, 3-time Olympic Medalist Coach, New Zealand National Team Head
Pricing and Information
SMART Freeskiing Trampoline Camp: $1,950 for the 9-day camp. This price includes your 2018/19 season pass to Woodward. If you already have a Woodward pass that amount is deducted from the camp fee.
Woodward Tahoe camp dates (November 10-18) include 2 weekends and the midweek in between. Camp runs from 10:00am to 6:00pm on weekends, and 2:00pm (or immediately after school) until 6:00pm midweek. The coaches will be available before and after those hours (depending on Woodward’s operating hours) for athletes without schooling conflicts, but the camp curriculum is designed to be taught after school to allow everyone to attend. Please be aware of the time commitment, as it can be demanding for student athletes to keep up with homework/schoolwork while dedicating time to ski training as well.
Woodward Copper camp dates (November 24-December 2) include 2 weekends and the midweek in between. Camp runs from 1:00pm to 7:00pm on weekends, and 2:00pm (or immediately after school) until 6:00pm midweek. The coaches will be available before and after those hours (depending on Woodward’s operating hours) for athletes without schooling conflicts, but the camp curriculum is designed to be taught after school to allow everyone to attend. Please be aware of the time commitment, as it can be demanding for student athletes to keep up with homework/schoolwork while dedicating time to ski training as well.
Our website will be up for registration shortly, but for now you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are on our registration list, we will contact you regarding payment. We accept checks, paypal, venmo, or credit cards. You will not be registered for the camp or clinic until your payment has been received, and cannot start camp without submitting all paperwork, including liability waiver, and proof of medical insurance.