(Jackson, Wyo.) - Late last week, the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club announced that Dr. Lester Keller has been named the Alpine Program Director and U16 Head Coach.
Dr. Keller has been involved in competitive sports as an athlete, coach, club director, and National Governing Body (NGB) official and staff member for more than four decades. He directed the sports psychology program for the United States Ski Team Sports Science and High Performance department for 17 years. He is the past president of the national ski coaches association and has conducted scores of coaches’ clinics for hundreds of coaches at every level. He directed the highly successful Western Regional Alpine program, winning the Tom Garner Regions Cup for 14 consecutive years.
“I am very excited about this development. We have a very strong alpine coaching staff, and Lester will bring additional experience and leadership to further develop holistic and comprehensive programming. Much of the alpine staff has already worked with Lester in some capacity," said Brian Krill, Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club. "That fact, his experience, and his knowledge of the region will allow him to make an immediate impact. Also, some of Lester’s specific expertise in performance psychology will be a benefit to all the Club’s programs.”
Before his involvement with USSA and the western region, Keller had an extensive coaching career that included positions as Head Alpine Coach for the NCAA winning University of Utah Ski Team, Head Coach for the Canterbury Regional Team in New Zealand, and Program Director & Head Coach at two major Colorado ski resorts: Winter Park Resort and Durango Ski Corporation. He has earned two graduate degrees: a Master’s Degree in the Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and a Ph.D. in Exercise and Sport Science, both from the University of Utah.
Dr. Keller is an International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Technical Delegate and is certified as an International, Level 500 Master Alpine Ski Coach by the U.S. Ski Coaches Association.
He has published numerous articles related to competitive ski racing, including editing and as a contributing author of the first edition of the Alpine Athlete Competencies Guide published by the U.S. Ski Team. He has also edited and been a contributing author of the first sport psychology manual for the U.S. Ski Team, Take Your Brain to the Mountain and the USSA Coaches Education Department Elite Performance Series CD-ROM, Sports Psychology. He led the committee that developed the first strategic plan for USSA’s Alpine program, as well as the first USSA High Performance Plan developed for the USOC. Most recently he was a leader in the development of USSA’s BASE Test and Skills Quest programs, as well as a major contributor to the club assessment and certification program.
Dr. Keller is an adjunct professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City teaching classes on positive psychology and performance psychology. He maintains a keen interest in the future direction of sport and is always researching topics of participation motivation, attrition, skill acquisition & development, and the development of expert performance.
Dr. Keller will be in Jackson as early as the week of July 24 to start meeting with JHSC staff and will officially start on August 1, 2016.
Feature Photo: Dr. Lester Keller. h/t Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club / Pitchengine Communities