The Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club has rolled out an exciting snowboard program this winter, lead by a few of the community’s own homegrown snowboard stars. TSSC snowboard team veterans Molly Cooney and Wyatt Glynn, along with expert boarder Shane Carrick, join new head snowboard coach Dylan Cooney as the team’s new all-star coaching cast.
All four coaches boast impressive competitive snowboarding resumes; Dylan Cooney was National Champion and also placed second in the national snowboard championships, sister Molly placed first in the Open Class at the US Snowboard Nationals last season, Glynn has been part of the professional snowboarding circuit for the past six years, and Carrick competed at the NorAm level for many seasons and was a member of the US Snowboardcross team. All have been sponsored by name-brand snowboard companies, and have won cameo appearances in snowboard flicks.
“It’s the best we’ve ever had,” says TSSC Director Justin Chandler of this year’s coaching roster for the now-mature local snowboard program.
While all of the team’s coaches are well-seasoned competitors, head coach Cooney emphasizes that doing well in competitions isn’t the sole objective for TSSC’s up-and-coming snowboard team members.
“It’s all about the kids having a good time and progressing their snowboarding in a fun environment,” he says of this year’s coaching ethic, which, he explains, relies heavily on helping young boarders discover all the avenues through which they can excel in the sport. “We want to show them all the benefits snowboarding has to offer,” including film, sponsorship and other opportunities.
When kids are having fun on the slopes during training, doing well in competitions comes naturally, Cooney says.
“Instead of being focused on drills and training for competition, we spend time free-riding and having a good time. That ends up relieving some of that competition stress…. I’ve found the best way to help kids to progress is to not be so focused on getting that trick or winning that contest, but to just put a smile on their face. They end up doing better in contests that way anyway,” Cooney says.
Cooney was schooled in the TSSC snowboard way from an early age, beginning with the team at age 13 and continuing to compete for TSSC through age 18. He went on to pursue professional snowboarding interests, in both film and competition. He returned to Telluride last season as TSSC’s assistant snowboard head coach to, in his words; “Give back to the club all that it’s given to me.”
The start to this season has given the team’s 16 members (in second through ninth grades) a lot to be excited about; They have not only been able to watch the world’s best parallel giant slalom and snowboardcross athletes up-close-and-personal at this week’s Telluride World Cup; Telluride’s young snowboarders even had the opportunity to ride with US Snowboard Team members last week.
“It’s given the kids a lot of motivation,” Cooney says of the World Cup’s Telluride presence this December.
The TSSC snowboard club will travel to Crested Butte for their first USASA alpine competition of the 2009-10 season, Dec. 19-20.