The Mt. Hood Series supports the development of the essential elements of character-building and ethics in individual sports, i.e., Sportsmanship.
Embodied in the concept of sportsmanship are six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when a competitor reflects these "six pillars of character."
Here are a few positive benefits of participating individual sports:
1. Youth athletes in individual sports learn to be self reliant. Their success is entirely dependent on their own efforts. If they want to win, they can’t count on someone else carrying them through the competition. If they lose a match, individual sport athletes can’t blame anyone else for their failure. This helps teach them to be responsible for their own action and decisions.
2. Individual sports can teach athletes how to be comfortable in the spotlight. All eyes are on them during play and they can’t hide out in a crowded field. Being comfortable performing solo in front of a crowd can come in handy for school and work presentations later in life.
3. Even individual sports have “teams.” For instance, each member of a gymnastics squad competes as an individual, but their individual scores feed into the overall score for the whole team. Their efforts still affect the success of their team, even if they are competing on their own.
4. Participation in individual sports teach athletes how to motivate themselves. There is no team pressuring them to improve, the drive has to come from within. This kind of intrinsic motivation is oftentimes much more powerful than external motivation.
5. Individual sports allow athletes to compete at their own pace, with their own results. Some will push the envelope, others will just participate in an organized sport for the fun of it!
Competitive snowboarding and free skiing have certain inherent risks that participants and parents alike should recognize.
These hazards include, but are not limited to changes in weather or snow conditions, natural and man made obstacles, structures, and features, equipment failure, high speed collisions with objects and structures, variations in steepness of the terrain, being struck by other skiers/riders or equipment, and exceeding one’s own ability.
Participants should recognize that competitive snowboarding and free skiing might be more hazardous than participating in the sport recreationally. The risk of severe injury, permanent disability or death is present when engaging in these activities and the risk of severe economic and property loss and damage, exists in all training and competition locations and activities.