2017-2018 Season has BEGUN!
I have just returned from Mt Hood, Oregon for the first camp of the season! It’s been just shy of two months since I have been on snow in Tremblant. To be completely honest, the ‘break’ was nice (especially on the body). After having 5 races in the poring rain (there’s only so much that can dry in 24 hours…), I was excited to have the option to stay inside and avoid the rain. The time off snow also helped me re-group. Remember the reasons why I’m not only willing, but excited, to continuously lose all feeling in my fingers and toes. If anything, the past season has taught me to embrace a lack of control and (try) to enjoy all weather conditions mother nature throws my way.
At the camp, we got on the lift by 7:30 and usually lasted until 12/12:30. Lunch by 1pm and then get ready for the off snow gym/recovery sessions! (and, as always, tuning).
The focus of the camp was going ‘back to the basics’. We pulled apart how turns happen and what made them faster. Maintaining speed and being in control. There are a million things in snowboarding that are out of your control, the more that you can have in your belt, the better prepared you are for the unpredictable nature of the sport.
Control what is uncontrollable.
The Why and The How
Why was that turn fast? How did it get that way?
One of the best coaching techniques is self analyzation. You truly get it when you find solutions to fix the problem yourself. Don’t get me wrong, this is not always the case! In fact, self correcting can also lead to bad habits that are hard to break (trust me..). This is where your coach comes in. Talk it through. Look it over. And practice, practice, practice.
That being said, there are many reasons why a turn can be fast. Equal weight and pressure on the board, a stacked body position, initiating the turn at the right time AND with the RIGHT sequence of moves.
The beginning of the turn is the most important. Think of it like writing an essay. Where do you want your thesis to go? As far as my University Degree in Environmental Science goes… the basis of your essay is in the beginning – which is then proven further down (with countless secondary sources of course…).
The basis for your turn is in the beginning. You start with small ankle movements to roll the board on edge and then add pressure, hold, and release. Simple, yet incredibly hard.
So how do we do this?
So what did we do at the camp to practice these small movements and learn all about patience?
Drills, drills, and more drills.
There was no gate time (sigh), and the challenge was not going fast, but managing speed. My favourite exercises of the camp were the 360 turn and carve as well as learning how to stop at a moments notice and stay BALANCED and UPRIGHT on your board. Much, much harder than it looks.
The conditions were variable to say the least. The first half of the camp was full of endless sun while the last dropped 15 degrees and the fog rolled in. Visibility became the main challenge. Heavy fog means you have to inspect the hill carefully and adapt to changing conditions quickly. This past season, 4 of our world cups have similar weather so this was great training.
What’s up next???
If you guessed the gym, then you’d be right! Followed by sports psych and my favourite, yoga
Catch me on –
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