Olympians share their tips

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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