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Pressure is a Privilege

Fri, Jan  2, 2009 - By Morgan Smyth

A post inspired by Billy Jean King

U.S. Short Distance Nationals is right around the corner.  A week of opportunity. National Champions will be named as will World Junior, U23 and World Cup teams.  

As we head into this ever so important week of racing remember... Ski racing is not something you have to do it is something you get to do.

“There is a saying in sports - ‘Give me the ball!’ Champions call for the ball because they want to prove themselves, they want to play their game, and they see having the ball as an opportunity to make something happen - to score, set up someone else or win for themselves and/or their team. Certainly there is pressure with having the ball, but champions don’t run away from this pressure - they recognize that taking the ball and being in the spotlight can be scary, but it is also a privilege and an honor - not many people get this chance to shine. Champions grab the ball and go for it, with confidence and adrenalin  flowing. You can dread getting the ball or view it as an opportunity, a chance to show them what you’ve got and to make a difference. After all, if you don’t have the ball you can’t score.”

- Billy Jean King

As you step up to the line this week remember pressure truly is a privilege.

Article by Morgan Smyth.  Photos by Morgan Smyth and Maria Stuber

Morgan Smyth.


Important Notes:

To race a World Cup you must have a sub 90 FIS point race (women) or sub 60 FIS point race (men).  To race in the nations group (Whistler WC) you must have sub 120 point FIS race.  This is within the last year of the competition to be raced.  For the full WC rules:

Check your FIS point results and standing:

Qualification for Whistler WC, JWC/U23, World Champs, etc. (scroll down for all Qualification criteria):

To see your USSA rank:

Selection will be oriented toward short and long term international success. 

Funding will be tight. 

Avoid the bubble.