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Athlete Spotlight: Elissa Cole


By Kim Duke, NETA & AAFA Certified Trainer

Over the years I have had the opportunity to train a variety of clients.  Each client has his or her own unique set of goals.  Recently, I had the opportunity to train 15-year-old Elissa Cole.  Elissa, a freshman at Ellicottville Central and a self-described tomboy, is a rising star in the world of freestyle skiing, specifically, shredding moguls while doing tricks.

Elissa started skiing at HoliMont when she was just three years old. By the time she was 7, she was spending all her time in terrain parks.  Due to her reckless nature, her parents suggested channeling that energy into freestyle skiing, where she would be properly trained and less likely to end up in the ER.

Elissa competes for HoliMont’s FLITE Team where she is on the A Team.  What follows is an opportunity to be apart of Nor-Am, World-Cup and ultimately, the Olympics.  Since that is the lofty goal of this avid and enthusiastic athlete, Elissa, along with her family, puts in many extra hours of additional training.

Over the past year, Elissa diligently trains after school, on summer mornings and between school sports programs like volleyball and softball.  We work on her cardio vascular endurance, core strength, balance and elasticity.  When she is not in the gym, she is training in Lake Placid perfecting her tricks like back flips and the back full (a flip with a full 360 degree twist).

When I asked her if she felt a difference in her freestyle performance since training at Core Performance, Elissa stated, she is “no longer winded at the end of a course” adding that, “the training has helped (me) feel more in control while being constantly in motion.”

However, even the best-trained athletes can crash.  Just this past season, Elissa was training when she crashed, landing on her face while attempting a back flip.  Elissa did note that she always wears an FIS-approved helmet and a back brace, but, even with the best equipment, crashes can be inevitable.  This is yet another reason why Elissa trains.  She knows the stronger she is, the more she is assured that her body can withstand the rigors of freestyle skiing.

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