Olympians share their tips
SKI and Snowboard Australia recently held Futures camps at Mt Hotham with the National Alpine Committee holding the Alpine Performance Camp and Snowboard Committee running their Snowboard Cross (SBX) Sessions.
Both camps were held in the lead up to the Alpine, Ski Cross and SBX races with the Alpine Performance Camp being held over five days from July 29.
With around 30 young skiers taking part, the camp provided the opportunity for youngsters to work with four athlete mentors including 2014 Winter Olympians Ross Pearudo, Sami Kennedy-Sim and Anton Grimus and former National Alpine Team member Mike Rishworth.
The first day of the camp provided Giant Slalom (GS) training as well as an on-snow skills assessment providing valuable insight into the current skill level of our FIS athletes.
The young athletes were assessed on linked turns in a wave track, one ski skiing without poles, hop turns, freeski on varied terrain and snow conditions, basic jumps and ski cross starts.
Athletes were able to learn a great deal about themselves and better understand opportunities for improvement in their skiing.
Following the skills assessment the athlete mentors conducted Q&A sessions with the participants in a relaxed environment where they were told about what it takes to succeed at the elite level.
Also built in to the Alpine Performance camp were specific elements relevant to athletes vying for selection at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games (WYOG) in Lillehammer.
Following the GS race on day two, eligible athletes were put through an abbreviated version of the NAC Physical Testing protocol.
The SSA will now consider results from the on-snow skills assessment, the physical testing and results from the alpine and SX events to select the athletes for the WYOG.
The SSA SBX camp was held on August 3-4 and involved 56 talented youngsters who had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business including Winter Olympic athletes Alex Pullin, Cam Bolton and Belle Brockoff, a number of NSW Institute of Sport athletes and national team coaches.
The purpose of the camp was to bridge the gap between interschool competition, participation and involvement and introduce the young boarders to a seasonal SSA Pathway Program.
It was also an opportunity to inform athletes of elite sporting opportunities and offer coaching with elite sports people while increasing their knowledge of the pathways to the top level.
Participants were guided through some of the technical and tactical elements of boarder-cross including effective starting, jumping and technical snowboarding doing so on a course that featured rollerpacks, box-rollers, step-ups and step-downs.
Off snow activities included an introduction to nutrition and hydration, tactical approaches to course inspections and the importance of it, course memory as well as competition planning and mental skills.
Participants then had the chance to put their skills to the test on the final day in the official training ahead of the International Ski Federation SBX series races.
FUTURE OF THE SPORT: Young skiers practise their ski cross starts during Mt Hotham’s Alpine Performance Camp at the end of July.