The final stage in the learning process called automation and variability is briefly characterized in this article. From that discussion the proper methods and aims are derived and described. Special focus is laid on practical tips, models of training sessions, and suggestions for exercises.
The technique of elite athletes is stable against external and internal disruptive elements
What is automation and variability?
Even in unfavorable external and internal conditions such as bad tracks, wind, exhaustion, and stress you are able to control your movement in a way that the movement elements rhythm, economy and precision remain fully developed. You have a clear and concrete imagination about your movements. Particularly your introspection (“feeling”) is highly complex and closely reflected in your ability to precisely verbalize your motion. Anticipatory adjustments of your movements to changing terrain as well as your creative skills characterize you as a true professional.
Aims and methodology:
You can acquire automation and variability through permanent practice in changing and difficult conditions. Your exercises should be of medium difficulty (overload leads to frustration, undemanding tasks to stagnation). In order to choose the proper exercises you should consider the principles of variation, which offer valuable help for the creation of adequate tasks (cp. info-box).
Session model 1: Adaptation and change of technique on a rolling course – skill level: expert
Training session: Beginning: approx. 15 minutes of free skating and getting to know the course
Main part: 25 — 30 minutes
Skate the whole course in â€œDobbeldansâ€ (also on steep passages and downhills).
Skate one lap without poles, but adapt the technique to the terrain. Imitate the arm swing according to the technique.
Skate one lap behind your partner in easy speed and with synchronized movements.
Skate one lap ahead of your partner in easy speed and with synchronized movements (also include special exercises such as the “super Enkeldans” [= 2 double-pole strokes on one side? a long glide is necessary] and try several rhythms for switching sides).
The same exercises as before at a higher speed.
Ending: free skating or training according to schedule
Dr. Stefan Lindinger: Sports scientist at the Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg / Austria with the main fields advanced biomechanics / kinesiology / science of training in cross-country skiing; special focus on new methods in technical training; state-certified cross-country skiing coach; responsible in trainers’ education in Austria; technique analysis projects with the Norwegian Ski Association 1997-1999 (Coaches: Ulf Morten Aune (now sprint coach); Erik R?ste (this time’s chief coach)) for Ph.D.; cooperation (teaching in trainers’ education, training projects, research) with the ski associations of Sweden and Switzerland since 2002 and 1999, respectively.
Dr. Walter Minatti: Director of Cross Country Skiing at STAMS Skiing High School / Tyrol / Austria; Sports scientist and psychologist; main responsible for trainers’ education in Austria. Both published the CD-Rom 'Perfect Skating'