Alpine Skiers at MSA train for competition in Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super G. While we foster a team environment in which each student/athlete is respectful and supportive of one another, we also focus on helping each student/athlete achieve his or her individual goals.

Unlike many ski academies, MSA athletes are not limited to a particular trail or type of terrain for training. This allows us to customize our daily training according to the competition schedule and weather conditions.

Alpine Coaches

Alpine Junior Program Director & Head U12 Coach – Brian Wyckoff

Brian grew up ski racing in the Mount Snow valley and continued on racing through college at Syracuse University. After he was finished driving his three children around to their ski races, Brian began coaching at the Mount Snow Training Center. He spent six years coaching there in a variety of age groups ranging from U14 to U19. While there, he coached two girls in the same season to top ten finishes in U16 Vermont States and top 15’s at Eastern’s and Can-Am’s. Brian joined the Mount Snow Academy coaching staff in 2016 and serves as the Head U12 coach. He is a level 200 certified USSA coach.

Brian will be overseeing the technical direction for the U12 and U14 divisions, and leading the U12 Jumpstart team on the weekends.

When he is not on the slopes, Brian can be most likely found somewhere on a tennis court.

Head U14 Coach – Peter Benyik

After three years with the Green Mountain Valley School’s (VT) weekend program, Peter joins MSA for his second year. This season Peter will be leading the U14s as well as serving as a Dorm Parent and running his perennially popular in-season camps. Prior to GMVS, Peter spent three years working at Waterville Valley/BBTS with Peter Stokloza. Peter is a Level 300 coach.

U14 Coach – Dave Sklar

Dave joins us as an MSA alum. He grew up skiing and racing at Mount Snow, and skied Division 1 at Keene State College. He coached at the Mount Snow Training Center for seven years, four of which he served as the Head U14 coach. In the off season Dave runs a construction company and he enjoys playing soccer, golf and spending time with his family in the great outdoors.

Alpine Senior Program Director (U16-PG) – Mark “Speedy” Archer

“Speedy” brings 40+ years of coaching experience with him to Mount Snow Academy! He has run his own ski racing camps since 1979, has coached all over the world, and has led many of the athletes he worked with over the years from the junior level on to becoming members of their respective, USSA regional, USST, Canadian National Team and NCCA Collegiate Ski Team programs.

Notably, several of those former athletes he coached were nominated to represent their National, Olympic, World Cup and World Championship teams! These athletes, while successfully competing as members of those teams, won National titles, NCAA Collegiate races, World Cup races, Olympic and World Championship medals.  Most notably among these athletes is Thomas Grandi, the only Canadian Male skier to score a WC GS victory and World Championship Medal. Thomas Grandi is still Canada’s premier SL/GS skier of all time.

Speedy is now entering his 2nd year leading the men & women’s program at MSA. He helped Paige Petrell (PG ’19) to her best personal FIS result and MSA’s best ever men’s and women’s FIS results to date. Paige finished with a 2nd place and Chip Coffin (U19) finished with a 3rd/5th U19 Men’s overall at Owls Head FIS series in Cananda. He additionally helped both Erin McHugh (U16) and Jillian Pastore (U16) to a berth in the Eastern Finals, with Maddie Cho (U16) being the first alternate.

Speedy’s brightest moment in his entire career was seeing his stepson Darren Thorburn, Canadian National DH team member, start #78 in the Val Gardena ITA WC race, and found himself on his first ever WC podium in 5th place!

Speedy is a Level 300 certified USSA coach and Level 100 USSA Certified official/referee.

Alpine Senior Program Coach (U16-PG) – John Tyler

John brings more than 30 years of his best coaching practices and ski industry management skill sets to MSA. John’s experience and proven ability to passionately share his ski racing knowledge while working with all levels of U16-PG athletes will be welcomed. His unique teaching approach creates great opportunities for each athlete to achieve their personal goals, while allowing them to enjoy the fun with success during the process of becoming the best they can both academically and athletically!

John has been at Carrabassett Valley Academy for the past 4 years, assisting them in both their U16 Mens/Womens program and last season was spent assisting them with the U19 Women’s FIS program. His time spent working with both male and female athletes at various levels includes USSA, FIS, E Cup, NorAM, US National Championships, and D1 college.

John has been a certified Level 3 PSIA member for 30 years. Additionally, he is a  certified USSA Coach level 300, level 200 official, and safe sport coach.

Head Conditioning Coach & U-14 Jumpstart Coach  – Topper Van Backer

Topper Van Backer has been an Alpine coach for 30+ years.  He was in the first select coaches’ group to have attained the US Level 300 Alpine Coach certification and has coached Elite level athletes to successful levels. Topper’s background includes a 10-year stint on the men’s professional racing tours as well as coaching athletes in NH, FIS Level Coach at Mount Snow VT, Program Director and Head Coach at the Haystack Ski Educational Foundation, and both Head Coach and U-14, U-16 at the Hermitage Alpine Racing Program. Topper was the Head Coach and Director of the Flimms / Laax Racing Camps, in Laax Switzerland. Topper joins us this year as the U14 Jumpstart Coach, and he will guide our off-snow conditioning program for the Academy and Jumpstart Programs.

His work in the field of sports science enables him to work with the most current athlete performance recovery, as well as the neurocognitive aspects of athlete performance. His scientific work with elite level athletes includes Olympic Teams, Professional Sports teams, Intercollegiate D-1 programs, with successes in international competitions.  He has certifications as an athletic trainer, NSCAA Soccer coach, NSCA Strength and Conditioning coach, and EMT.

Topper’s outside interests include: rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, cycling, hiking and spending time with his family enjoying the outdoors.

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Alpine Calendar

July 2020

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