Coaches Corner – Meet Kristin Waddle
Monthly interviews from our all-star female staff on their backgrounds and how they are empowering, inspiring, educating, and connecting girls in skiing.
Meet Kristin Waddle
Kristin grew up on the coast of Maine and would travel to Sugarloaf every weekend in the winter to ski with her family. She started racing as a J4 in the weekend program at Sugarloaf and wanted to continue racing so she decided to attend Carrabassett Valley Academy for high school, where she also played soccer, golf and took part in several other activities. While at CVA, Kristin competed in J3 Olympics, J2 Nationals and US Nationals. After high school she took her ski racing even further and raced Division 1 at Bates College. Kristin coached J5-J3s for a year at Sugarloaf and has coached for six seasons in Jackson. Kristin has been a Keely’s Camp Coach since 2015. She is extremely passionate about the sport and would like to impact the kids in a positive way and teach them the skills and lessons she has learned over the years.
Keely’s Camp: You have been coaching in Jackson Hole since 2011 and have coached for Keely’s Camp since 2015. With the knowledge you now have as a coach, what advice would you give your fifteen year old ski racing self?
Kristin Waddle: That confidence is everything and not to be so hard on myself. I would have also said, go get yourself some freeskis and do more skiing off piste! Since moving to Jackson that has helped my overall skiing tremendously and I can also see it in the kids that I coach.
KC: How did your upbringing in Maine shape your love for skiing? And how have you incorporated that into your life in Wyoming?
KW: Thanks to my dad I started skiing quite young! My love for the sport began in a backpack at Sugarloaf. Sugarloaf was my favorite place in the world when I was growing up (which is not said by many). I could not wait for the weekends so I could rip down its icy slopes. Growing up back east definitely gave me a strong base for skiing here in WY and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. With that said, the snow here in WY is waaaay better!
KC: You ski raced most of your life. What is the most important lesson you have taken from the sport?
KW: I would say hard work and time management. Being known as a hard worker and being timely are good things to strive for in all aspects of life!
KC: You have been on the winning team in the local Jackson race league the past few years. What do you like to think about before charging out of the start gate?
KW: HA! To be honest I get a little nervous leading up to the race which is ridiculous since I am just racing against/with all my friends. But when I’m in the start gate I kind of zone out and try to realize how lucky I am to be here competing in a sport I love with all my closest friends. Don’t get me wrong, when the starter says “racer ready” I put all that to the side and go as fast as I possibly can to get to the bottom!
KC: You will be heading to Iceland with Keely’s Camp for the first time this Spring. What are you most looking forward to?
KW: I really can’t tell you just one thing because I am looking forward to every single part! Young ladies who all share the same passion coming together to make new memories and create friendships while learning life skills and ski amazing terrain in an unbelievable place. WOW! How am I lucky enough to be a part of such a trip!? I can’t wait!
KC: What do you like to do when you aren’t coaching?
KW: I love adventuring with friends, whether it be skiing, mountain biking, golfing, camping, cooking/eating etc. To relax though, I like to light a yankee candle and cuddle up with a good book!
KC: Lastly, if you could put a unicorn horn on any animal what animal would it be and why?
KW: Probably a lobster! 🙂 My dad is a commercial lobsterman and lobsters were the reason I was able to pursue ski racing and a life of adventure. Obviously they taste delicious too!