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Alpine Junior Program

The BMA Junior Program offers a strong, fundamentals-based ski curriculum derived from our national ski federation’s (USSA) ski education program.

The fundamental elements of skiing are essential for a life-long enjoyment of the sport, as well as progress in athletic ski competition at every level. We also understand and hold true that the love of skiing is critical to meeting the many challenges our sport offers. Families are the core strength of our program; we rely on their volunteerism and support for our success.

Philosophy:
Our goal in the BMA Junior Program is to create avenues for children to develop skills and habits that will engender future success both in ski racing and in other pursuits. To that end, we have significant sport science supporting the following points, upon which we base our program philosophy:
  • Research indicates that expertise in academics, athletics, and music is more correlated to the amount and quality of practice over time than genetics.
  • Critical in all sports is the ratio of training to competition.
BMA Junior Program athletes are strongly encouraged to spend as much time as possible skiing; we and many others have noted a strong correlation between long term athletic success and youth skill development. The focus should be on skill development, strength of free-skiing and time on snow rather than accomplishment throughout the Junior Program years. We note that there tends to be a strong correlation between amount of skiing done as a young child and athletes who are accepted from the BMA Junior Program into Burke Mountain Academy.
 
We tend to have fewer athletes than many other Junior Programs, and we place significantly less emphasis on accomplishments or even races through the Junior Program years. In our program, the emphasis is on athlete development, and so free-skiing, overall comfort, ability and confidence on skis and in various conditions is valued, and technique and technical goals developed consistently.
 
Structure:
The BMA Junior Program accommodates athletes from 7 to 15 years.

Calendar:
The BMA Junior Program is an official USSA member club and also part of the Nothern Vermont Council of the Vermont Alpine Race Association (VARA), so the club participates in NVC races. The official NVC Calendar can be found here: NVC/VARA Calendar
VARA – www.vara.org   USSA – www.ussa.org   USSA East – www.ussaeast.com
 
Program Training Options:
Weekend training is offered for all ages and groups; we meet at the Mid-Burke Lodge and ski from 9 (U16s and U14s) or 9:30 (U12s and U10s) to about 1:30. Typically, the day is broken into two sessions; one free-ski session and one technical skills session.

Midweek Training Group
We offer an additional Midweek Training Group for our more advanced or more focused junior program athletes that includes Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon sessions. Involvement in the midweek program is by invitation or application only and is typically limited to fewer than 20 athletes total. Again, the more skiing athletes are able to do, the greater their chances for long term athletic success. We encourage athletes who anticipate applying to Burke Mountain Academy to participate in optional early season and summer ski camps and to participate in the Midweek Training Group. Generally these opportunities are available for U16s, U14s and U12s. For information about the Midweek Training Group and summer and early season camp opportunities, please contact Tory Amorello, Director of Admissions.

BMA Junior Program Contact:
Denise Leafe – leafe@roadrunner.com; BMA Junior Program Coordinator
Eric Wilson – wilsons.burke@gmail.com; U10/U12/U14 Athletic Manager
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Burke Continues a Tradition of Athletic Excellence
Since 1970, over 130 BMA graduates raced as members of the U.S. Ski Team and Canadian Ski Team as well as other National Teams. Over 30 BMA graduates competed in over 50 Olympic events with BMA represented in every Winter Olympics since its founding, in addition to countless Alpine and Nordic World Cup events.
Burke's College Placement Record is Remarkable
As the first sports academy in the U.S., BMA is a fully-accredited, college preparatory high school located on Burke Mountain. It provides passionate ski racers the opportunity to pursue their limitless potential on skis and in the classroom in a community based on trust.
 
BMA is the most successful program of its kind in North America.
 
BMA student-athletes hold hard work in high esteem and believe risking failure and learning from success are exceptional preparations for life beyond Burke.  99% of BMA graduates pursue their higher education goals at highly selective colleges.