proper ability level to compete in pipe?
This is a question for any of you snowboard coaches or athletes who have actually competed in USASA level events (or something similar).
I work weekends as a snowboard coach for kids ages 9-15. All know how to ride, and can ride almost all of the mountain. The program is there to boost them to competition level for slopestyle, pipe, slalom, and boardercross. Iíve got one rider who really, really wants to compete in pipe but only has been in a pipe a couple times. Sheís still a beginner in slopestyle too, she can do one or two grabs, but thatís it. Definitely not spinning yet.
Thereís a halfpipe competition coming up and one of the other coaches thinks this athlete should just enter it, if only for the comp and halfpipe experience, all other expectations of getting on the podium not included. The only plus I can think of is that sheíd be on of maybe two or three other girls in her division, so the odds of her getting on the podium are actually pretty good, but only b/c of athlete numbers. Iím not so sure of this decision, and was curious what you guys think. When should a younger athlete be entering pipe competitions? She would be training the day beforehand so she would have a little bit of experience.
Basically, do you think itís OK to throw an athlete into a competition even if they really arenít ready for it? I should clarify that she is intelligent enough to know not to throw huge tricks, Iím not worried about her getting hurt. At this point I can see 90% of her run being simple airs off the walls.