Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lane Clegg: Coach/Director Spotlight

Lane Clegg is a founder, director, and head coach for Team Utah. Lane and his fellow directors materialized their brainchild in early 2009 with the creation of Team Utah, and Lane continues to be the man behind the success of TUT. Lane's coaching has produced USASA Regional Champions, USASA National Champions, and even X Games competitors.

Lane has been riding slightly longer than he has been coaching, but got into the coaching game early. Riding with friends in the early/mid eighties first in the backcountry and then at sympathetic resorts (Brighton and Park West) he had a little bit of knowledge when Snowbird decided to open to snowboarders. One of three original instructors to help the program start at the Bird, he stuck with it through it's early (albeit slow) growth until the program grew to its largest size of over 100 instructors in 2002.
In 1988 Lane became one of the first group of snowboard instructors to become fully certified, and started developing instructor educational materials, as well as becoming an examiner for certified instructors. In 1996 Lane tried out and was selected to be part of the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Snowboard Demonstration Team – a group that develops and helps deliver instructional content across the country. Soon after becoming a member of the team, that group staged a small revolt and broke away from the PSIA by reorganizing as AASI (American Association of Snowboard Instructors) and demanding they be recognized as snowboarders – not skiers. AASI completely changed the methodology of snowboard instruction to what is currently used in instruction and coaching today.
Lane (center) with his intimidating crew of Snowbird riders

Unlike many coaches Lane came up not through competition but through a coaching background. He received his BS from the University of Utah in Psychology – emphasis on sports psych – once he realized that was where his talents and passion were. He has spent a lot of time training instructors and helping develop educational materials through his work in AASI and became a consultant for USSA (United States Snowboard Association) back in 1998, when he started helping that organization develop coaches education. Leaving the Snowbird Mountain School in 2003 he quickly found a new home as the Head Coach of the Snowbird Snowboard Team. With the amazing terrain at Snowbird and the introduction of USASA competition to the team, the numbers quickly grew and some amazing riders started to emerge who competed in national and international competitions. He stayed active in USSA and became active in USASA, quickly gaining his level 100 and 200 coaches certification and then moving into the group of Trainers for other coaches. He is now one of a small group of level 300 coaches who develop and implement coaches educational content. In 2007 Lane was named the new coach for the AASI National Team.

While Lane is still the Head Coach at Snowbird, he and other coaches around the Intermountain Region talked at competitions about how the sport wasn’t growing like it should, especially around the Salt Lake City area. With the amazing access to world class resorts and the huge population center along the Wasatch range, Utah should be producing many of the top athletes in the world. He and TUT coach/director Stu Rea chatted often about the resources available and underutilized in the state and how they could help bring snowboarding to a larger percentage of the population. Here the idea was born for Team Utah in which athletes (or prospective athletes) could easily gain access to training at one of the many resorts around the state. By taking advantage of the multitude of resort options as well as some truly exceptional (and unique) training opportunities like the Olympic Park and USSA’s Center of Excellence, TUT could offer world class training at prices that were within reach of a more middle class population. So with that idea in mind Team Utah was started in the spring of 2009.

Lane will be the head coach of the Snowbird TUT program in addition to his directorial duties.

To ride with Team Utah:
or call 801-573-7348

photos by Catherine Fegan-Kim and Robin Clegg

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