Curtis Sinton

Head Coach

We are proud to announce that Curtis will be joining us again for another great season with SAFSC. Curtis will be coaching the Competition and Competition Development team, as well as running the team as our Head Coach and Program Director. Known as the airbag fashion extraordinaire king, Curtis is always sure to bring his vast knowledge, experience and humour. 

GET TO KNOW CURTIS:

What is your background in freestyle skiing?
I started freestyle at the age of 12 converting from snowboarding to try out the sport at Fortress Mountain, from that point on Freestyle Skiing has been my passion. I was quite determined to never specialize but ended up skiing on the Alberta Mogul Team for one season as my last year as a competitor. This will be my 7th season coaching for SAFSC and my 3rd season as Head Coach. 
Years on skis: 22

Years competing: 7

What coaching courses have you taken?

CFSA: Club Coach, Park & Pipe Module, TSM 1&2, Air 1,2,3,4a,(SuperCoach)Gymnastics: Foundations, Trampoline level 1NCCP: Make Ethical Decisions, Teaching and Learning, Planning a Practice, Basic Mental Skills, Nutrition, Design a Basic Sport Program, Managing Conflict, Coaching and Leading Effectively, Developing Athletic Abilities, Prevention and Recovery, Psychology of Performance, Leading Drug-free Sport 

What is your proudest ski career moment?  
My proudest ski career moment would be very hard to narrow down, for me it does not really come down to a specific result, but more being able to travel and experience competition as both an athlete and a coach at national level events. 

What was your biggest struggle during your competitive career?

The biggest struggle for me during my competitive career was to produce runs that would be equal to those executed in training. Another challenge for me was injuries, although not the injuries themselves but more adhering to recovery time and complete rehabilitation, as my drive to compete was so high.

What are you doing outside of coaching
Last spring I graduated from Mount Royal University with a Bachelor of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship for Sport and Recreation. I also work part-time as an arborist. 

What are you goals as a coach
My coaching philosophy is to apply my knowledge and experience to create a fun and safe environment for athletes. Encourage and motivate progression and innovation and build athletes on and off snow. “Leave no stone unturned” My goal as a coach is to get athletes as stoked on skiing as they get me. 

Why did you decide to coach for Southern Alberta Freestyle
For me it was an opportunity to give back to Southern for the awesome years I had as an athlete. I had a sense of pride and belonging to SAFSC and feel blessed to have had inspiring coaches such as Rafael Guembes and Marc Shymko to name just a few. 

Who is your role model?
There are many influential skiers that I could list as my role models when it comes to skiing. Watching action sports films, the Xgames, & Olympic athletes in any discipline as well as any “Underdog” with a strong drive to succeed is how I find my role models. My role models are always changing. The one consistent role model for me would by my dad AL, who introduced me to skiing and to freestyle and even had a brief coaching stint with SAFSC!

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I would like to fly, like an eagle.

Mark Whitteron

Freestylerz Coach

Returning for another year with SAFSC, but this time as a coach, we'd like to introduce Mark Whitteron! Mark is a fun loving guy sure to make any day on snow awesome! Mark will be joining us this season as a Jumps and Bumps coach. Welcome!

GET TO KNOW MARK:

What is your background in freestyle skiing?
Years on skis: 15
Years competing: 4

What coaching courses have you taken?
Club Coach.

What is your proudest ski career moment?  
Flipping the Castle Mountain big-air jump for the first time. It was a really windy/cold day and that jump is just plain terrifying. I finally committed to doing the trick on my last training jump, thanks to some in-air comforting from Curtis on the knuckle. But more than anything, I am proud to have been a part of such an awesome and supportive community that is Alberta Freestyle. 

What was your biggest struggle during your competitive career
My biggest struggle was always putting off new tricks/runs until right before competitions. It wasn’t until late in my career that I prepared in advance for events an it helped my performance a lot.

Did you have any competition rituals?
I always fist-bumped and thanked the starter after they cleared me to drop-in. I also loved to have my friends and coach around me in the moments before my run. Nothing like having good tunes in your ear and cheers from all your buddies when you drop-in!

Do you have a skiing philosophy
Keep it fun! Style is everything, and of course, you have to get sketchy once in a while, it keeps you on your toes!

What are you doing outside of coaching
I am currently a first-year business student at the University of Calgary.

What are you goals as a coach
The sky is truly the limit. I would love to become super-coach certified in the next year or two. But most of all, I want to develop stylish, confident, and well rounded skiers for life. And hey, if I can teach them a thing or two about life that would be cool too!

Why did you decide to coach for Southern Alberta Freestyle
I decided to coach for Southern because it feels like my second family. Southern continues to develop great athletes from the foundation up. Having athletes as young as the Jumps & Bumps age training in the same environment as the competitive athletes is something you don’t see in most clubs, and it shows in the amazing skills our younger athletes have. Southern is a club that I feel allows me to grow as a coach along with my athletes, and that is very exciting for me.

Who is your role model?
In skiing, my role-models are all my friends I ski with, plus all the professional skiers in which I try to take parts of their style in creating my own. (examples: Chris Bentchetler, Banks Gilberti, Jossi Wells, TheBunch.) 
Off the slopes, my role models are my parents, my sister, and anyone who is passionate and driven towards their goals in life. 

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I would want the super power to stop myself from procrastinating, that would be a very practical super power for me.

Tori Schmidt

Fundamentals Coach

 

Tori joins us for her first official season this year as a J&B coach, and we couldn't be more excited! Famous for her cow costume at last years Moustache Olympics, we know she'll be sure to keep everyone laughing on the hill! Welcome Tori!!

GET TO KNOW TORI:

What is your background in freestyle skiing? 
My first trek into the mountains was as a baby in my father’s backpack, then I joined Nancy Green and found out that my all time favorite runs were the double black moguls, so when I was nine I switched to Southern Alberta. I skied with the team until 2007 and then I joined the Alberta Freestyle Team. After a year I retired to focus on my education and score a spot in University!

Years on skis: 14
Years competing: 8

What coaching courses have you taken?
FIS Level 1

What is your proudest ski career moment? 
I took an insane crash on one of my largest jumps for my first comp jump at a Jr. Nationals. I swore I wouldn’t try it again, but my coach talked me into it, convincing me that I would be so proud when I landed it. Finally, I believed him, flew off of the jump, nailed the landing, and snagged second place!

What was your biggest struggle during your competitive career? Jumps! I absolutely hated jumps. Moguls were a total blast, but those two jumps in every single darn mogul course were so frustrating and were a constant battle.

Did you have a competition rituals?
Listen to music and dance! For my warm up I’d go boot skiing and run back up the hill.

Do you have a skiing philosophy?
I’m a technical person by nature, so I love skiing every run with a purpose, focusing on a different technique or skill.

What are you doing outside of coaching? 
I’m an engineer in oil and gas, I volunteer with an awesome organization called Momentum, and I have all my hobbies like climbing, reading, camping, guitar, soccer, volleyball… this is a never ending list.

What are you goals as a coach? 
Ultimately I want to motivate youth to learn to overcome fears. That skillset is valuable for all walks of life and it has truly helped me with my career, education, and overall happiness. I want kids to find their passion and explore different aspects of life.

Why did you decide to coach for Southern Alberta Freestyle? 
I started in Southern when I was 9 years old, I was psyched to be able to come back to the team that kickstarted my life!

Who is your role model? 
Sallie Krawcheck, she is an incredible woman who was invited to leave her powerful position at a financial company for fundamental differences in business perspective, primarily for lobbying to the board to reimburse clients for flopped investments. She did what was morally right, and lost her job because of it. Now, she has launched an investment fund that focuses on women-friendly companies, and targets women as investors.

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Transformation! I’d be able to transform into any animal that could have the skillset that I need at that particular time. A fly for when I need to be stealthy, shark for when I need to be feisty, and a darling puppy for when I need cuddles.

David Cooksley

Freestylerz Coach

 

Fresh off his impressive mogul skiing career, David Cooksley joins us for his 2nd season as a coach. David completed his SUPERCOACH training this past summer in Whistler, AB and we are excited to welcome him back to his former club. With all of David's experience as a high level mogul skier, we are sure he will become a role model to athletes of all ages. David will be joining the team as a Jumps and Bumps coach. Welcome David Cooksley !!

GET TO KNOW DAVID:

What is your background in freestyle skiing?
Years on skis: 20
Years competing: 11

What coaching courses have you taken?

Club Coach, TSM 1, TSM 2, Park & Pipe, Air 1, Air 2, Air 3, Air 4

What is your proudest ski career moment?

First noram final

What was your biggest struggle during your competitive career?

Mental issues

Did you have a competition rituals?

Yes, a specific warm-up routine

Do you have a skiing philosophy?

No

What are you doing outside of coaching?

U of C engineering

What are you goals as a coach?

Maintain Alberta’s mogul program strength

Why did you decide to coach for Southern Alberta Freestyle?

My old team

Who is your role model?

Don’t have one

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Time travel

Magan

Fundamentals Coach

 

Info

Kris Atkinson

Fundamentals Coach

 

Southern Alberta Freestyle is proud to intoduce Kris Atkinson and welcome him to our coaching roster for a 2nd year. Kris is a positive role model with extensive competitive skiing experience and knowledge to pass on to a new generation of shredders. Southern is stoked to have you!

Here are a few questions answered by Kris

What is your background in freestyle skiing?
I started off in Freestyle Skiing at 14 years old, I was first introduced to Big Mountain skiing and gradually gravitated towards park and pipe. I found that Halfpipe skiing was my favorite and for the next 10 years dedicated my life to competitive halfpipe skiing. I was a member of the Canadian National Halfpipe Team for 4 years, attended 2 X-Games, 2 World Champs and numerous World Cups.

Years on skis
I started ski lessons when I was six or seven and got more into skiing when I was 10. That makes 16-20 years on skis.

Years competing:
12 years

What coaching courses have you taken?
Fundamentalz club coach in 2007 & 2017, Freestyle Ski Aerials Level 2 in 2010, CSIA Level 1, and a few classroom course modules.

What is your proudest ski career moment?
In 2009 when I was 18, I made it through 4 rounds of qualifications for the World Ski Invitational Big Air in Whistler to make it into the super finals and claim 5th place. It was absolutely amazing competing in front of a crowd of 10,000 people, with a music concert and fireworks going off in the background.

What was your biggest struggle during your competitive career
Injuries and financial strain were my two biggest struggles throughout competing. My parents would help me financially whenever they could, but competitive skiing around the world came with a large cost, working and training was always difficult to balance. Injuries, specifically concussions, take a long time to heal, and were always a struggle to recover from.

Did you have any competition rituals?
I liked to go out for a nice steak dinner before a competition day. Not making dinner was one less thing to worry about, and I always felt good the next day.

What are you doing outside of coaching?
I am attending school at SAIT for a Civil Engineering Technology diploma with plans to transfer to a full degree program afterwards.

What are you goals as a coach
My goals as a coach are to share my passion for skiing to young kids and teach them how ski every part of the mountain.

Why did you decide to coach for Southern Alberta Freestyle?
I grew up skiing with many of the current coaches, so it's great to be working with my friends. Southern Alberta Freestyle is also very organized (compared to other freestyle clubs), which means I can focus on coaching and not worrying about dysfunction.
Who is your role model?
Mike Riddle is one of my favorite skiers, he is a few years older than me, and could always help me with my skiing career questions.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
My super power would be the ability to fly! Freestyle skiing is probably the closest way for me to get that feeling.

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