US Ski and Snowboard names Team Summit coach as Rocky Mountain Division’s Ability Coach of the Year
Team Summit’s head Federation of International Skiing coach Doug Elsey was recently named Ability Coach of the Year for the the Rocky Mountain Division by U.S. Ski and Snowboard after a successful 2021-22 Alpine ski season.
Elsey received the honor after he coached five of his 11 athletes to a title in at least one Federation of International Skiing-sanctioned race. The team also had three athletes at U18 nationals, where it was able to notch the fourth most top 15 finishes by a program — trailing behind only the Vail, Steamboat and Sun Valley teams.
Along with a 13-year span as a Team Summit coach from 1999 to 2012, Elsey has also coached privately, served as a coach in Vail and coached for the British Ski Academy.
Four seasons ago, Elsey returned to Team Summit and became the head coach of Team Summit’s Federation of International Skiing program.
Prior to Elsey returning, it was common for the program to see a fair amount of turnover as athletes transferred to other programs to get the training they felt was needed to make it to the next level.
“Over the past four seasons of dedication to his athletes, Elsey has stopped the outflow of athletes and raised the performance level of the athletes in his program,” Team Summit Alpine Director Aldo Radamus said.
Elsey feels like the success of the program is not due to solely his coaching, but rather an entire Team Summit effort.
“It’s a we more than a just me thing,” Elsey said. “Everyone (at Team Summit) has been quite integral in everything we are doing. I have tried to create a culture of team, where kids like each other and help each other out.”
Elsey also contributes the success of his program to the local ski resorts that have been fundamental in getting the athletes what they need to perform through top-tier training terrain that mimics the locations where the team often competes.
The day-to-day, selfless work that coaching entails and seeing his athletes succeed at a high level is what Elsey enjoys.
“At the end of the day, it’s (about) watching the kids grow and develop,” Elsey said, “trying to mold them and help them anyway you can — in both skiing — and as young humans.”
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