Why Team Afton?
Coaching in the United States has been around for a while - becoming fairly well organized in the 1960’s. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that sport education in ski racing really started to form. Since then, US Ski & Snowboard coaches education has been a vibrant part of the sport - elevating ski racing education across the nation.
Our staff is led by Tony Olin, a Level 500 Coach. What does that mean? It’s the highest certification available. Tony is one of only a handful of L500 Coaches in the nation. Raised by a bunch of Austrians who brought skiing to America in the 1950’s and 60’s, Tony has soaked up everything that they could throw at him. In-turn, he threw it down to the next generation - most notably, to a little kid from Apple Valley, who turned out to be Lindsey Vonn….
Tony and his staff aim to deliver the best in modern athletic development to their skiers. It is our goal to have all our coaches certified by US Ski & Snowboard by the 2021 season - and we are well on the way there. Several of our staff are L100, and a few more are L200. We have a L400 coach, as well as our Director at L500. We are committed to sport education because we believe it directly translates to results for our skiers. As mentioned, most of our staff were high-level racers themselves.
Team Afton Programs are conceived on the notion that not everyone is a born ski racer. Most people have to be nurtured into this complex, challenging, and sometimes acrobatic sport that, like ice skating, can be a slippery business. Unlike hockey though - our skating rink is slanted!
Just starting out? Our Rising Stars program starts at 7 years old. It’s Team Afton’s equivalent to area D-Team programs with a key difference - it’s small and focused. Lead by our regular elite US Ski & Snowboard staff, Rising Stars can expect the same energy and expertise from a group of coaches who are bent on making life-long skiers and champions.
Not all-in? We have a transition program for D-team skiers, and/or High School racers who want the focused attention of a professional US Ski & Snowboard staff, but aren’t ready to take the plunge into a full US Ski & Snowboard commitment. Jr. Team Afton and H.S. Team Afton are perfect complements to any D-team program or High School program to elevate you on the podium or get you to the State Meet.
Our full Team Afton Programs have yielded some top National and International performers. From Monte Meier (one of the US Paralympic top-all-time medalists), to Tague Thorson and Jake Lund who landed on the US Ski Team.
We’ve got gobs of MN and WI State Champions. As racers invest in their futures as ski racers, our US Ski & Snowboard program can take them to places they never imagined going. The friends they’ll make are life-long. Most of our staff were racers too - and they’ve decided it was such a great experience growing up as a ski racer, they couldn’t help but pass it along to the younger generation. This is a family. Team Afton fosters an inclusive, supportive, encouraging (sometimes even pushing), and joyful attitude applied to our snow sport.
Arguably one of the best training hills in the Twin Cities, Team Afton boasts a training hill that explores all the elements of challenge in ski racing. From it’s just-so-high start, launches you into a flat that teaches skiers to get-up-and-get-going. It’s been said numerous times by ski racing greats: “races are won on the flats”. We have a genuine headwall that demands attention. The “break-over” teaches the skier to transition into a new plane of existence that can be echoed in some of the more challenging spots around the country, if not the globe.
Side-hills, rolls, and compressions - our training hills have them all! Want to challenge yourself as a ski racer - and be ready for anything? Team Afton has a course set for you!