USA Bobsled/Skeleton Combine Goes Virtual
13 Aug, 2020
Athletes interested in trying out for the sports of bobsled and skeleton can now take the combine virtually thanks to a partnership between USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS) and GMTM Sports, an athlete recruiting platform that contains a large database of athletes from around the world. The USABS combine, powered by Hammer Strength, helps the coaching staff identify talented athletes that can transition to the sports of bobsled and skeleton.
Covid-19 forced the cancellation of USABS recruitment events that normally happen each offseason at locations around the country, but that hasn't stopped the USABS coaching staff from finding new talent.
"Athletes now have the ability to compete in the USABS combine from their backyard or a local football field," said USABS Director of Athlete Development Mike Dionne. "We have the opportunity to reach athletes from locations outside of our normal range, and we see this as an opportunity to expand our recruitment efforts beyond what we've ever done in the past. Covid-19 has provided us with the opportunity to think outside of the box, and we're excited about the possibilities."
Historically, USABS medalists have been identified from a variety of sports. For example, women's bobsledder and three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor was a standout softball player at George Washington University before she transitioned to the ice, and men's bobsled Olympic gold medalist Curt Tomasevicz formerly played football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Athletes have been drawn from sports like track and field, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, to name a few. Skills learned while competing in various sports, combined with a dedication to be a team player, can easily transition athletes to the ice.
The USABS combine asks participants to upload four videos after registering on the GMTM Sports website. The first is an interview so the USABS coaching staff can get to know more about the recruit. The next two videos are to demonstrate the 40-yard sprint and broad jump so the coaching staff can evaluate speed, power, and strength. The final video is an athlete highlight, giving recruits the chance to showcase their other athletic accomplishments.
Several athletes that were scheduled to attend a combine test event were asked to take the combine virtually before the launch. One of those athletes was Emily Morgan-King, an accomplished track and field athlete from Weber State University. She is the Weber State University indoor record holder in the 60, 100, and 200 meter sprint, and the indoor Big Sky Conference record holder in the 200 meters. Morgan-King also claimed the Big Sky Championship title in the 100 meters in 2019, and the 60 and 200 meter titles in 2020.
"Taking the combine online was super easy to do," Morgan-King said. "It's obviously a little bit different, but I still feel like I was able to showcase my athletic ability well. The website is simple to use and the directions were very clear as to how to go about doing each event. This was a great, well thought out way to participate in the combine during this time."
Morgan-King, who is from Vancouver, Wash., said she admires the women's athletes on the USABS team, and "how much success they've found through their hard work."
""I've always wanted to compete at the highest level," Morgan-King said in her interview video. "It would be an amazing opportunity for me to do that, and achieve that dream...It's an inspiration to me and it would be an honor to train alongside them and get to know them a little better."
"Going virtual actually expands our ability to get to know our recruits," Dionne said. "Rather than a group of athletes getting together at one spot and just running everyone through the events, we get a chance to learn more about them as people in addition to seeing their athleticism through their video uploads."
Athletes will be evaluated by the USABS coaching staff, and top candidates will be extended an invitation to attend a training camp in Lake Placid once facilities open.
To register for the USABS combine, visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.Submissions for the 2020-2021 season will be accepted through September 30, 2020.
About USA Bobsled & Skeleton - USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers, and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, Hammer Strength, and Boomerang Carnets. For more information, please visit the USABS website atwww.usabs.com