What do we focus on?

FasterSkierJune 6, 2003

This mini-series of Coaches’ articles will include examples of workouts
with some of our athletes, how we’ve structured the sessions, and what
we’ve focused on during the workouts. 
This month we’ve had two of our most talented female skiers visiting Park
City for a training camp. These athletes are relatively “new”
for us, and through our workouts together we’ve discovered and determined
the tasks and adjustments needed to improve their future racing performance.

Example 1:             Classic
roller-ski workout  1:30 hr
This session was the first distance classical roller-ski session with the athletes
– (we did one short classic session with a few drills a few days prior
to this).  Our goal for the workout was to first observe their general
skiing technique and their choice of technique in different terrain, then further
determine if there were any technique or strength issues that needed to be discussed
along the way. Finally we wanted to determine how to adjust or improve
any such issues.
Our first observation was the difference in style of our two athletes. Although
the skiers are about the same overall size and using the same size clothing,
their bodies are different in terms of muscular strength and abilities, as well
as different in length, appearance and movement of their limbs. At the
same time we observed that certain technical elements and tasks were performed
in a common way, even movements we wanted to correct.
During the session, we worked on the following technical points:
–         Relaxing shoulders and
optimizing path of arms and elbows during the whole pole motion, even during
the phase when poles and arms are moving forward towards the next pole plant. Optimizing
use of large muscle groups during compression phase.
–         Extension and completion
of arms and pole-plant when completing poling motion (behind body)
–         Movement of body’s
“center of gravity” in between pole plants
–         Extension and stretching
of hips and chest in the rest phase between pole plants
–         Positioning of head and
visual focus
–         Power and effect of kick
in kick-double-pole technique
–         Position of center of
gravity and upper body during kick-double-pole technique

Even though the athletes can be considered high national-level skiers, we need
to work on improving all of the above technical points. 
In addition to the purely technical points, we also discussed use of diagonal
technique on roller-skis. Our philosophy is that classical roller-skiing
is foremost specific strength/endurance training for the upper body, and we
therefore try to convince our athletes to pole and kick-double-pole up all but
the steepest uphills.
We do however believe that a few diagonal technique interval sessions can be
beneficial for MaxVo2 development in the fall.
Torbjorn and John’s Personal Coaching Service can be designed for any
athlete and coach interested in reaching their potential. Contact us through
www.fasterskier.com or info@torbjornsport.com


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